A Climate Claim in Tatters

The evolution of Judith Curry, the outspoken Georgia Tech climate scientist, continues. Her emergence in the last few years as a persistent  critic of the climate science community can be marked by distinct stages.

At first, in the immediate aftermath of Climategate, Curry’s critiques focused on “climate tribalism” and “transparency” issues. By April of 2010, she had expanded her criticism to include the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), suggesting it was rife with “corruptions” due to bad practices and the behavior of individual scientists. Last December, her transformation from consensus-believing insider to dissenting outsider was cemented in a Scientific American profile, which called her a “climate heretic.”

All along, Curry has maintained that one of her goals is to help build bridges between the vociferous climate skeptic camp and the mainstream climate science community. But Curry’s recent trajectory has some of the cooler heads wondering if she’s become just another antagonist in the the fractious climate debate.

This week she seems to have reinforced that belief with a post that accuses climate scientists of being “dishonest” in the way they presented data in an IPPC report. NASA’s Gavin Schmidt quickly responded:

You have gone significantly over the line with this post. Accusations of dishonesty are way beyond a difference of opinion on how a graph should be displayed.

A caustic exchange between Curry and Schmidt ensued, which Joe Romm reproduces here.

Now, what interests me most about this latest contretemps is Curry’s apparent larger rationale for her escalating (and harsher?) drumbeat of criticism. The justification is inferred in a response to Bart Verheggen on the thread of that explosive post, in which she claims that

the public credibility of climate science remains in tatters.

That’s one of those sweeping statements that I don’t see any evidence for. Did some climate scientists get a chink in their reputations after the batch of East Anglia emails were released? Sure. But there was no larger indictment of climate science, or any revelations of fraud that undermined the large body of cumulative research pointing to man-made warming of the climate.

Now just because a new breed of U.S. Republicans uses this affair to reinforce their own biases doesn’t mean the credibility of climate science is in tatters. Same with conservative-leaning TV meteorologists, who seem unduly influenced by Climategate.

But what about the public at large? Here’s what Jon Krosnic wrote last year about his Stanford Study:

First, we found no decline in Americans’ trust in environmental scientists: 71 percent of respondents said they trust these scientists a moderate amount, a lot or completely, a figure that was 68 percent in 2008 and 70 percent in 2009. Only 9 percent said they knew about the East Anglia e-mail messages and believed they indicated that climate scientists should not be trusted, and only 13 percent of respondents said so about the I.P.C.C. reports’ alleged flaws.

And in the UK, where Climategate got wide and frequent play, here’s the findings from a recent Guardian poll:

Asked if climate change was a current or imminent threat, 83% of Britons agreed, with just 14% saying global warming poses no threat. Compared with August 2009, when the same question was asked, opinion remained steady despite a series of events in the intervening 18 months that might have made people less certain about the perils of climate change.

Last June, a similar poll in the U.S. also found that

public belief that global warming is happening rose four points, to 61 percent, while belief that it is caused mostly by human activities rose three points, to 50 percent.

If public credibility of climate science is supposedly “in tatters,” as Curry asserts, it’s certainly not reflected in public polls.

You want to know when something is in tatters?

260 Responses to “A Climate Claim in Tatters”

  1. Tom Fuller says:

    Well, this should be fun.

  2. Dean says:

    A week or two ago, Curry devoted a number of posts on her blog to a subject that even she considered to be a form of denialism, some book that denies that the greenhouse effect even exists. Apparently it is selling well on Amazon. She still doesn’t agree with it as far as I know, but she nonetheless decided to dedicate some serious blog time to it.
     
    And now this. I noticed that after just one day, there were over 700 comments on her blog on this post, over twice the normal rate I think.
     
    Some people may think that is fun, but I think it’s boring. I like blogs that have some genuine skepticism and RP Jr’s blog used to be one of my favorites until I realized that he does most of what he accuses others of doing. I like this blog because I don’t agree 100% with everybody on it, but many I disagree with are still people I can have a conversation with – or are worth reading. There may be a few of those on Curry’s blog, but they are one in a hundred, and not worth my time to dig out. I think she is a full-fledged conspiracy theorist at this point. I think she probably has been since her “dogmatist” series a while back. She backed off that for a bit, but it is history now.

  3. AMac says:

    I can sort climate scientists into three bins —

    Activists — the ~4% who make up the public face of their profession.  They present variations of the Consensus view on AGW via blogging, outreach, interviews, Op-Eds, public speaking.

    Specialists — the ~95% of climate scientists who are focused on the technical aspects of their work. They don’t seem to make a big effort to share their Big Picture opinions.

    Dissidents — the <1% who disagree with important aspects of the Consensus view, particularly that large-scale warming from human causes is already clearly underway, and/or that major gaps in understanding remain, and demand large doses of modesty when discussing attribution and multi-decade predictions.

    Some of the Activists’ stances seem to be at variance with good scientific practices, at least to me and many other informed observers.  The Activists seem to operate in lockstep, emphatically denying any error of significance has been made by any of their number.

    This posture does diminish the Activists’ reputations, in the eyes of many of us.  The silence of the Specialists is harder to interpret, but also worrisome.  Does the broader Climate community believe that the Activists’ actions are good and proper (as the Activists claim)?  Or are they indifferent? Go-alongers? Cowed?

    If pro-Evolutionists make fallacious arguments to counter a Creationist talking point, they get jeered by the broader community of biologists.  Nobility of Cause isn’t a trump card.  If us outsiders could see the same processes at work in climatology, we’d hold it in higher esteem.

  4. Tom Fuller says:

    I have trouble hanging out over there because of the sheer number of comments and the dreaded threaded comments.

  5. Ed Forbes says:

    LoL…pass the popcorn please.

    I am shocked, shocked I say, that anyone could say that Mann and crew were trying to “Hide the Decline”.

    showing two different data sets that are presented to give the effect of splicing two different data sets together to form a single curve is “normal” practice as I now understand it.

    I really must call and tell my upper division stat profs that they were wrong on how data must be displayed and presented. They are obviously not keeping up with the latest methods.

  6. Keith Kloor says:

    “The silence of the Specialists is harder to interpret, but also worrisome.”

    AMac, Would I be correct to interpret this as meaning, “why aren’t there more Judith Currys”?

  7. JimR says:

    I’ve enjoyed these posts by Judy Curry. “Hide the decline” was even mentioned here in comments just last week as someone tried to confuse the “hide the decline” Climategate E-mail with falling temps. But as Curry showed this is about removing inconvenient data that some were worried would dilute the message. It may not be bridge building to publicly address this, however it needed to be aired. It’s simply not a good scientific practice to remove adverse results and when the adverse results are removed specifically to shape the message it does cause a loss of trust in climate science. The two threads are approaching 2,000 comments and no one has been able to defend these actions as they are indefensible.

  8. Marlowe Johnson says:

    “Some people may think that is fun, but I think it’s boring. I like blogs that have some genuine skepticism and RP Jr’s blog used to be one of my favorites until I realized that he does most of what he accuses others of doing. I like this blog because I don’t agree 100% with everybody on it, but many I disagree with are still people I can have a conversation with ““ or are worth reading.”
     
    Couldn’t have said it better myself.
     
    Keith do you have an opinion on this, or are you just trying to drum up traffic after basically telling me and others not to bother visiting your site 🙂 ? Throwing us a bone perhaps?

  9. The most interesting comment in that thread was Judy’s response to Bart:
     
    “Bart, i’m trying to catch up on responding to comments, you’ve mentioned the “building bridges” issues several times. You seem to think it is primary importance for bridges to be build to scientists involved in the CRU emails. As a climate scientist concerned about the integrity of the climate science, I find it of primary importance to build bridges with the broader community of scientists (including skeptics), the public, and policy makers.”
     
    I’m rather curious who in the climate science community not “involved in the CRU emails” she is trying to build bridges to? She certainly seems to be losing folks like Bart and John N-G, who are among the more moderate voices in the debate.
     

  10. On Amac’s activist vs. specialist distinction, its also important to remember that there is a strong reluctance in the scientific community in general to speak out to the public on policy based on scientific findings. The classic example is the ostracism faced by folks like Sagan and Cousteau faced from their peers.

  11. Keith Kloor says:

    Marlowe,

    At one of the AAAS sessions, Andy Revkin described his blog in exactly the same manner as I see mine. He said he didn’t want Dot Earth to be a “comfort zone”–that there were plenty of those type of env/climate-related blogs. Instead he saw it as a “discomfort zone.”

    I couldn’t have said it better myself if I was talking about my blog. That will ensure that my traffic never gets too high or can be sustained at a high level–at least while writing on climate change related issues.

    As for RPJ’s blog, I have no idea what Dean is referring to, nor do I want this thread to turn into a RPJ bash fest. Besides, people do that plenty already at some of those comfort-zone climate blogs.

  12. Dean says:

    @9 – Zeke
     
    Curry responded to a post of mine there a very long time ago that she had no interest or desire to build bridges with those she considered the activist wing of climate scientists. The question is just how broad that category is for her. I think it includes most of the RC crowd and IPCC editors and reviewers.
     
    But given her posts about that denialist book recently, she apparently wants to build bridges with them, even though she wrote fairly disparagingly about the book. I think they make up most of her commenters.

  13. Tom Fuller says:

    I think Bart gets misunderstood quite a bit. I certainly feel that his actual beliefs about climate change fall right into those held by what Amac terms the Activists.

    But because he acts courteously, listens and declines to insult others he doesn’t come across as negatively as others who share the same views.

    Plus, on his weblog, he doesn’t have the same comments policy as found elsewhere in the Activist community, which I think has helped build him a reservoir of good will.

    More power to him.

  14. Tom,
    I think the difference between Activist and Specialist in most cases isn’t so much their beliefs as the extent to which they go to communicate them. While having a blog might automatically make one an “activist” in a sense, there are different gradations of activity from Bart on one end to Romm on the other extreme.

  15. Marlowe Johnson says:

    Keith,
     
    You sure seem prickly these days.  I was actually giving you and RPJr a compliment.  I like blogs that challenge my thinking.  I don’t always agree, and wish you’d put a little more effort into addressing questions that I find interesting (as noted in an earlier thread).  But at the end of the day the posts and the relatively low s/n ratio here is what keeps me interested…
     
    As for RPJr, while I can’t speak for Dean, but what I dislike (aside from the vacuousness of most of the comments) is his non-skeptical heretic/maverick/non-tribalist tone.  But hey, no one’s perfect and I find his material interesting enough to keep reading so…

  16. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andy Revkin, keith kloor, Joseph Davis, SEJ.ORG, Keith Johnson and others. Keith Johnson said: RT @Revkin: Judith Curry's climate (d)evolution well charted by Keith Kloor: http://t.co/2f3Ipvl #agw […]

  17. AMac says:

    #6 KK —
    CO2 is going up, which means that, on average, global temperature is going to rise significantly over the next century or two.  The direct effects of CO2 increases are relatively easy to calculate (so they tell me) — about 1.3 C per doubling.

    The indirect effects of rising CO2 and all the other human-caused inputs (e.g. land use changes) aren’t at all easy to project.

    In cases like this, my typical response is to look to the experts who are working in relevant fields.  I value their insights and advice, on the basis that they are both competent and disinterested.  And because policy is based on both fact and personal preference, I expect the experts to understand that my choices might differ from theirs.

    The Activists don’t strike me as able to to provide advice that is both competent and disinterested.  Confirmation bias seems to be an overarching issue.  So does hubris.  At the same time, most climate scientists seem to shy away from the public face of their profession — “not my department”? 

    My guess is that the 21st century will play out according to one of the IPCC AR4 WGI scenarios (unhappily, as I have no wish to live in a warming world).  My guess is that feedbacks will be less powerfully positive than feared.   But my guesses aren’t a good basis for policies, certainly not for drastic and costly policies.  Neither is the advice of scientist/advocates who haven’t shown themselves to be particularly trustworthy.

    So, yeah, I prefer Curry’s approach — mistakes and all — to more of the same.  Bart’s approach, too (“acting courteously, listening, and declining to insult others”).  Zeke’s point (#10) is true in my experience, to an extent.  Then again, one can look back to December’s roaring and tremendously informative “blog-science” arguments about the “arsenical DNA” of Mono Lake bacteria.  Would the biology equivalent of xxfourxx three uncalibratable proxies have been given a pass by any of the “sides” in that debate? I doubt it.  Why, then, with climate science?

  18. Gaythia says:

    The post above briefly mentions TV meteorologists.  I wonder if they aren’t skeptical of meteorology and climate science overall.  I mean, stations hire these people based on appearances and presentation ability, not science background.  But we viewers tend to think of them as experts.  They are at least presented by the stations as reliable sources.  Then they are forced to spout a bunch of forecasts that frequently don’t work out quite as anticipated.   Maybe that gets to them.

  19. Judith Curry says:

    Zeke, re “broader community of scientists” i mean physicists, chemists, biologists, computer scientists, statisticians, etc.  Many of them look at climate science and see voodoo science or political science.  Not a good thing for the climate science field.

  20. harrywr2 says:

    IMHO Ms Curry is the most politically astute climate blogger.

    If one wants to find a consensus, one doesn’t start from the position of the ‘status quo’. One first walks into the oppositions den and asks a lot of questions and finds out which issues are ‘hot button’ and which issues are ‘luke warm’ and which issues are ‘shoulder shrugs’.

    If I was a congressman considering voting for some sort of climate legislation I would send someone like Ms Curry out into the blogosphere before I settled on my final ‘messaging’.

    For all the talk about  evil republican’s an awful lot of them got elected last year.

  21. sharper00 says:

    @19 Judith Curry
     
    Many of them look at climate science and see voodoo science or political science.

    How many is many?

    Oh, wait I asked this before regarding the “many” skeptics in the APS.

  22. thingsbreak says:

    @3 AMac:
    I can sort climate scientists into three bins
     
    I agree with Zeke @12 on this. There seems to be an implicit belief that “activists” (I guess RealClimate bloggers and their coauthors?) and “specialists” somehow (at least potentially) differ in their position with respect to the broad strokes of the science. I’d contend that general labeling has little to do with their positions on the science and almost everything to do with their perceived positions on A) policy and B) the relevance of climate “skeptics”.

    People who oppose capping GHG emissions glowingly cite Ken Caldeira’s work on geo-engineering and talk about what a non-ideologue and realist he is. These folks are of course completely unaware of his old lady mugging analogy.

    Many people even within the climate “skeptic” community would probably consider Raymond Pierrehumbert’s work to be that of the “specialist” rather than “activist” (particularly when he’s, say, pushing back against the idea that we are in danger of a Venus scenario). This would presumably last as long as they don’t connect him to the “raypierre” of RC.

    There is nothing to distinguish the Real Climate bloggers’ “position” that climate sensitivity is likely ~3°C from the work of, say, Knutti, Joos, Hegerl, et al. and other groups in terms of the science. The average climate “skeptic” has simply never heard of the others.

    You can see this sort of double standard in other areas. NASA’s GISTEMP codes is freely available. To my knowledge Spencer and Christy’s UAH MSU code is not and there are no plans to make it so. Yet the UAH temps are almost universally more trusted in the “skeptic” camp, despite major errors in the recent past (e.g. problems uncovered in 2005). Yet I would imagine if you polled climate “skeptics” on their views of which group is more “open” vs. secretive, you’d get a poor reflection of this.

  23. Jay Currie says:

    One element of “building bridges” is clearing away the debris and getting to solid foundations.  The hockey stick, in its IPCC incarnation is dead. It was dishonest in the sense that it did not explicate the methods used in its construction in a clear way. It mislead many people. And that was wrong and needs to be acknowledged as wrong.

    So far the Team has clung to the hockey stick notwithstanding the impropriety of grafting together two sets of data and the reality that tree ring side of the paleo is deeply compromised and may not measure temp at all. This is foolish.

    It is well past time for the Team to admit that the hockey stick was in error.

    So long as they keep defending the bad science the hockey stick embodies the good science which Dr. Curry and many others wish to see done in climate science will be tarnished.

    (And it is also time for the team to admit that the Climategate emails were, more likely than not, not stolen or hacked, and contain damning evidence of bad scientific practice. And the Team would be wise to stop pointing at the various “investigations” as having exonerated the scientists involved – those investigations were not independent and, in most cases, barely scratched the surface of the Climategate material.)

    Dr. Curry is clearing the way for real bridges to real science. If Gavin and Co can’t bring themselves to help with this very necessary cleanup of a mess they are largely responsible for they should get out of the way and allow serious scientists to do serious, statistically competent, auditable, work.

    (Of course, the good news, notwithstanding the polls you cite Keith, is that the air has gone out of the political support for “solutions” to AGW. Gore has been reduced to a joke, the dolts attributing big snow to AGW have had their scientific heads handed to them by the NOAA, the House of Representatives has voted to defund the IPCC – the political manifestation of AGW hysteria is done. Now all that has to happen is for the MSM to buy a clue and for serious scientists to start taking uncertainty as the principle characteristic of the early stages of developing the discipline of climate science.)

  24. bluegrue says:

    Judith, I take it you are trying to find them on WUWT????
    curryja says:
    February 22, 2011 at 4:55 pm
    For more fun and games with Gavin, see my latest post at Climate Etc “Hiding the Decline” http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/22/hiding-the-decline/
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/22/realclimates-over-the-top-response/#comment-605122

     

  25. Tom,

    As Zeke pointed out, I think the term “activist” scientist refers mostly to the extent to which they’re engaged in public communication and how they’re going about doing that. I din’t think that those scientists who engage with the public necessarily have a very different view of the science than those who don’t.

    On Judith Curry, she’s contributing to what she’s bemoaning: A very negative and hostile view some folks have about climate science.

    If she wants people “to acknowledge the problems and talk about addressing them” she could start by not so violently attack them. As in, non-violent communication, reconcilliation and such.

  26. thingsbreak says:

    Bart,
     
    I think you mistook Curry’s claim to want to “build bridges” with the phrase how it’s normally used in the English language in terms of reconciliation. She’s obviously using it in its less widely known sense, which means “trawling WUWT for comments/pageviews, promoting cartoonists who depict the entire field as garbage, making things up about climate models, accusing dishonesty over issues that she acknowledges she isn’t all that familiar with, etc.”
     
    You know, that kind of “building bridges”.

  27. Dean says:

    “Many of them look at climate science and see voodoo science or political science.  Not a good thing for the climate science field.”
     
    However many it is that feel that way, the central question is whether they feel that way because of actions, behaviors, and statements of the IPCC, prominent RC folks, etc, as Curry tends to think, or is the reason to be found elsewhere? Is it because of ideology or misrepresentations of events and research, and maybe also the media not being willing or able to separate the wheat from the chaff?
     
    Even if the IPCC never made a single mistake at all, if Dr. Curry liked the treatment of uncertainty in the ARs, if everybody thought Michael Mann was the nicest guy in the world, I don’t think the dysfunction in the debate would be changed. A few people might change their mind, but there are plenty of others to fill their shoes. There are ideologies that AGW violates, and those ideologues will not be convinced. (Yes, there are ideologies that it reinforces as well – but in this case, they don’t need to deny the science, though they might with other issues)

  28. Francis says:

    This lawyer’s viewpoint:
    1.  Mann’s original work was an interesting attempt to chain together multiple different proxies.  Like many groundbreaking papers it has some flaws.  How these flaws are viewed tend, unfortunately, to be based on larger value-driven ideas as to how humans should respond to increases in atmospheric CO2 levels.
     
    2.  As best I can tell, the following has happened since the original Mann paper was published.  A.  The NRC criticized some of Mann’s original methodology, but found that changing the methodology didn’t change the results.  B.  Many other proxy-chaining papers have been released, most of which support Mann’s graph.  C.  Mann redid his paper using different methodologies but came out with the same result.
     
    3.  The ‘warmists’ now see the Mann paper as an interesting first step that has largely been superseded by later, confirming papers.  The ‘deniers’ believe that the flaws in the Mann paper are indicative of fundamental failures in the ability of ‘warmists’ to assemble an accurate proxy record.  As the proxy record is, allegedly, used to ‘tune’ climate models, the possibility of great error in the proxy record thus invalidates climate models.  ‘Warmists’, according to ‘denalists’, must start over and reprove the accuracy of the proxy record and the legitimacy of the models.
     
    4.  Dr. Curry’s motivation in using incendiary language towards her peers in the climatology profession is beyond my understanding.

  29. AMac says:

    @ thingsbreak #22
    “There seems to be an implicit belief that “activists”… and “specialists” somehow (at least potentially) differ in their position with respect to the broad strokes of the science. I’d contend that general labeling has little to do with their positions on the science and almost everything to do with their perceived positions on A) policy and B) the relevance of climate “skeptics”.

    I suspect that you’re right in that “specialists” broadly align with “activists”, but I have no way of knowing.  If “specialists” look at the actions of “activists” at RealClimate and elsewhere and think, “Hooray, those folks are fighting the good fight so we don’t have to!” — then I am disheartened.  IMO it’s not the Good Fight from either a Science or a PR point of view.

    On the other hand, if the “specialists” are thinking “I wish those folks over at RealClimate and elsewhere would stop giving my field a bad name by defending the indefensible, but I’m not going to risk alienating the powerful by speaking out” — then I’m disappointed for a different reason.

    And of course there are other plausible explanations, e.g. Zeke’s Reluctance Theory at #10.

  30. thingsbreak says:

    @23 Jay Currie:
    The hockey stick, in its IPCC incarnation is dead. It was dishonest in the sense that it did not explicate the methods used in its construction in a clear way.
     
    I’m curious about this. Can you explain, in your own words, what you found so dishonest about it?
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch6s6-6.html#6-6-1
     
    Whenever I hear this claim from an acquaintance or internet commenter, I ask them what the IPCC supposedly did that was so awful. They usually either point me to Climate Audit as though that’s a responsive answer, or claim that it hid the “divergence” problem. Anyone who bothers to read the relevant section of the report can see that the latter claim is simply false.

  31. Barry Woods says:

    At Bishop Hill a Professor of Physics at Oxford University, has come out in support of Judith’s Hide the Decline blog.  Andrew Montford and Judith Curry have confirmed that it was this person..

    So another ‘Judith Curry’, ie from the wider scientific community, speaking out?

    His words can speak for themselves..
     
    Professor Jonathon Jones:”People have asked why mainstream scientists are keeping silent on these issues. As a scientist who has largely kept silent, at least in public, I have more sympathy for silence than most people here. It’s not for the obvious reason, that speaking out leads to immediate attacks, not just from Gavin and friends, but also from some of the more excitable commentators here.

    Far more importantly most scientists are reluctant to speak out on topics which are not their field. We tend to trust our colleagues, perhaps unreasonably so, and are also well aware that most scientific questions are considerably more complex than outsiders think, and that it is entirely possible that we have missed some subtle but critical point.

    However, “hide the decline” is an entirely different matter. This is not a complicated technical matter on which reasonable people can disagree: it is a straightforward and blatant breach of the fundamental principles of honesty and self-criticism that lie at the heart of all true science.

    The significance of the divergence problem is immediately obvious, and seeking to hide it is quite simply wrong. The recent public statements by supposed leaders of UK science, declaring that hiding the decline is standard scientific practice are on a par with declarations that black is white and up is down. I don’t know who they think they are speaking for, but they certainly aren’t speaking for me.
    I have watched Judy Curry with considerable interest since she first went public on her doubts about some aspects of climate science, an area where she is far more qualified than I am to have an opinion.

    Her latest post has clearly kicked up a remarkable furore, but she was right to make it. The decision to hide the decline, and the dogged refusal to admit that this was an error, has endangered the credibility of the whole of climate science. If the rot is not stopped then the credibility of the whole of science will eventually come into question.
    Judy’s decision to try to call a halt to this mess before it’s too late is brave and good. So please cut her some slack; she has more than enough problems to deal with at the moment.
    If you’re wondering who I am, then you can find me at the Physics Department at Oxford University.

    Jonathon Jones

    ——
    http://www.bnc.ox.ac.uk/323/about-brasenose-31/academic-staff-150/professor-jonathan-jones-457.html

    Thoughts?

  32. Tom Fuller says:

    Bart, I think Judith explained her attempts pretty well. She’s not trying to build bridges to you, she’s trying to build bridges to us.

    She did start by not attacking The Hockey Team violently. She was patient, gathered views from all over, tried to engage with members of The Hockey Team–what’s it been now, six months? More?

    But eventually it became clear that there was no credible defense for their ethical lapses and scientific misjudgement. So she called them on it.

    High time, too.

  33. Jay Currie,
    Which of these hockysticks should we throw out? http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Proxy-Reconstruction-Comparison-Uncertainty6.png
     
    Note that the original 1998 reconstruction is no longer among them for good reason, namely that the science and methods have advanced significantly in the past decade.
     

  34. thingsbreak says:

    @29 AMac:
    f the “specialists” are thinking “I wish those folks over at RealClimate and elsewhere would stop giving my field a bad name by defending the indefensible, but I’m not going to risk alienating the powerful by speaking out” “” then I’m disappointed for a different reason.
     
    There is clearly no penalty in attacking the folks at RealClimate or Phil Jones, whether for a good reason or baselessly, as recent events have demonstrated. I cannot imagine a world in which this seems like a plausible scenario. And, despite what folks at CA and WUWT would like climate “skeptics” to believe, people like Gavin Schmidt just simply aren’t that important in the grand scheme of things (as he has himself pointed out on more than one occasion).
     
    People want to publish with Schmidt and Mann (and Archer and Pierrehumbert and Rahmstorf, and Jones, et al.) because they do interesting, useful work, not because they have some sort of Clilumminati powers.
     
    @31 Barry Woods:
    Thoughts?
     
    Yes. I’d like to know what planet Jonathan Jones lives on.
     
    However, “hide the decline” is an entirely different matter. This is not a complicated technical matter on which reasonable people can disagree: it is a straightforward and blatant breach of the fundamental principles of honesty and self-criticism that lie at the heart of all true science.
    The significance of the divergence problem is immediately obvious, and seeking to hide it is quite simply wrong.
     
    If you have overlapping observational records where data sets show good agreement with independent measurements but one set begins to anomalously diverge, you don’t dump all of those earlier data, and you don’t knowingly incorporate the data you believe to be faulty. This is asinine. How long do you think it would take someone from Jones’ department to provide an example from within his own field that is entirely uncontroversial.
     
    As for “hiding” it, I have to profess my puzzlement as to how one goes about “hiding” a problem by publishing papers about it and stating the issue outright in the relevant section of the IPCC Assessment Report.
     

    It sounds like this Jones has an even more superficial understanding of the issue than the people who inspired him to “speak out” if that’s possible.
     

  35. NewYorkJ says:

    the public credibility of climate science remains in tatters.

    It’s always appeared to be “in tatters” to a certain nutty portion of the public.  Those making such an assertion are generally those who are spending their days seeking to foster such an impression among the public, for various self-serving reasons.  Judith is doing her part.

  36. There is a danger with “hide the decline” style arguments of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Yes, the original Mann et al 1998 paper had a number of significant errors. Yes, the graph on the front of the WMO report was misleading. Yes, the Briffa series should not have been truncated to avoid showing divergence. Does this mean that paleoclimate reconstructions are broadly incorrect? Not necessarily, as numerous other folks (Ljungqvist, Moberg, Esper, D’Arrigo, Rutherford, Hegerl, etc.) have come to broadly similar conclusions. While there is a stronger MWP and LIA than in the original Mann et al hockeystick, it still seems that the balance of evidence we have today points toward recent decades having anomalously high temperatures.

  37. PDA says:

    LCarey called this correctly, IMHO, back in November. We’re seeing step 6 now, right on schedule:
    …scientist eventually has to start doing stuff so wacky and out-of-bounds that her academic colleagues are forced to take notice, and she must do whatever it takes to push for a confrontation of “truth” (well, hers anyway) against the vicious culture of “tribalism”. For the plan to work, she MUST do whatever it takes to get rebuked, censured, fired, or whatever. This of course demonstrates completely unmerited persecution by the warmist cabal…
     
    Observations to date confirm (least-squares fit) LCarey’s projected trend and indicate that it is very likely (Italian flag analysis: 65% verde, 30% bianco, 5% rosso) to continue.

  38. Dave H says:

    @Tom Fuller
     
    > Bart, I think Judith explained her attempts pretty well. She’s not trying to build bridges to you, she’s trying to build bridges to us.
     
    She has now come out and said this in this latest thread – but that’s not exactly bridge building is it? More just erecting a podium.

  39. thingsbreak says:

    @36 Zeke:
    There is a danger with “hide the decline” style arguments of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
     
    What you’re describing is a feature, not a bug, for those arguments.
     

  40. Tom Fuller says:

    DaveH, eventually you will figure this out. You haven’t yet.

  41. StuartR says:

    I can’t see anywhere in the details of that ICM Guardian poll any figure that would fit this description

    “Asked if climate change was a current or imminent threat, 83% of Britons agreed, with just 14% saying global warming poses no threat.”

    Seems a bit of a shonky exageration. I would have thought it would be more noticable to me that more than 8 out of 10 people are feeling they are living under a current or imminent threat.
    The implied 3% of Britons who have a position somewhere in the middle between imminent threat and no threat must include me.

  42. JimR says:

    Zeke (36), the “hide the decline” issue should have been easy to diffuse. As you said “Yes, the graph on the front of the WMO report was misleading.” There is no reason to throw out the baby with the bathwater, but on the flip side the reluctance of so many in the climate science community to acknowledge that this type of removing of adverse results is misleading has caused the issue to fester for quite a while. Even in this most recent flare up many are still trying to defend this practice. That other reconstructions show similar results is quite beside the point of “hide the decline”.

    The issue is that in fact some in the climate science community did “hide the decline”, in E-mails they used the phrase “hide the decline” for what was done to create this graphic and instead of criticizing this action it is still being defended to this day.

  43. NewYorkJ says:

    She’s not trying to build bridges to you, she’s trying to build bridges to us.

    …from where?  Considering how vacuous her arguments are from her podium, and how she’s burned bridges with mainstream climate science, one might call it a Bridge From Nowhere.

  44. grypo says:

    Actually, Judith rowed a boat over to another island, the one with McIntyre, Mosher, etc and then proceeded to build a bridge to the WUWT crowd, furthering the attempt to build a consensus around lukewarm predictions, whether they be scientific or policy driven.
     
    The mainstream scientists, and I mean the bulk of the science was left behind, both moderates like John NG, and the more activist-type alike (of course, this pushed the RC to the extreme, which always makes me laugh).  These moves appear completely political in nature.  As much as she’d like to think this is a scientific endeavor, it quite clearly isn’t turning out that way.  In fact, of all the blustering about natural variation and uncertainty, I’ve yet to see a paper written or even a coherent hypothesis, besides going on about decadal oscillations (which recently became century scaled).

  45. Tom Fuller says:

    New York J, you seem to think that Gavin represents mainstream climate science. Based on what? Why do people automatically think that The Hockey Team is the mainstream? Other than that’s what they claim for themselves…

    I’m not saying that most climate scientists are anything other than in the consensus stream of thought. But who died and made Gavin the poster child, or Michael Mann?

    And if it isn’t Gavin, then I don’t see this outpouring of criticism for what Judith Curry is doing. It basically seems like Gavin, the usual blog whiners, and commenters such as yourselves.

  46. NewYorkJ says:

     this type of removing of adverse results is misleading has caused the issue to fester for quite a while.

    One could argue that including such recent proxies in question on a graph intended for non-experts would simply be confusing.  Some might look at the graph and mistakingly believe temperature had not risen, not being at all familiar with the issues involved with recent high latitude tree ring proxies.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hockey-stick-divergence-problem.html

    Regardless, the fact that some people are still obsessing over a decade-old WMO graph that relatively few people had seen until recently, and declaring climate science “in tatters” in part as a result speaks volumes about their intentions.

  47. Ed Snack says:

    Zeke, I find your admission of errors and issues with a number of the iconic studies, MBH98-99 in particular, refreshing, but be aware that such a statement would get you censored on Realclimate ! Would it be that more on the warmenist side could unequivocally make such admissions, but also take a more thorough look at similar issues in the “supporting” studies.
    Unfortunately your claim for other supporting studies suffers from the almost complete lack of independence. The same few proxy series are mined over and over again, cherry picking at its finest. Until we get more studies that have clear pre-study data selection guidelines and less post-hoc justifications the position isn’t going to improve much. And for some of the more independent studies like Moberg (and Loehle), you should revisit that; MWP as high or higher than present, a clear LIA, and not a hockey stick in sight. And other than from a very short term perspective, how can we say that temperatures are “anomalously high”, 1-2000 years is surely far too short for us to make secure conclusions about temperature variation. there’s at least reasonable evidence that temperatures were higher some 5,000 or so years ago, sea levels have been higher, so what’s normal ?

  48. Tom Fuller says:

    One might argue that would be confusing. Indeed, one did. General looks of disgust and derision stopped honest people from repeating that absurdity.

    Policy makers were presented with a graph showing that the past 1,000 years were nothing like the past 30 years. They were told to make decisions based on the assumptions that science could with absolute confidence say that we are in uncharted territory.

    And they did. England changed its meteorological forecasting basis to align with climate models. They didn’t grit the roads or stock up to keep their airports open. They raised electricity rates and energy taxes to fight the expected monotonic temperature raises, secure in the predicition that England might never see snow again.

    And now people too poor to afford their skyrocketing energy bills are dying in their homes.

    Next time talk about uncertainty.

  49. NewYorkJ says:

    Tom,

    I might be wrong, but Gavin’s research to my knowledge isn’t much involved with the multiproxy reconstruction “hockey team” stuff, although he’s published some other paleo research.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/recons.html

    Judith’s contempt extends well beyond Gavin.  Remember – she trashes the IPCC and the “climate research establishment”.  Certainly, Gavin is only one small part of that.

    As far as islands go, no bridge is needed between WUWT and CA.  There’s already a very short isthmus between them where seemingly intoxicated inhabitants navigate back and forth to/from looking for somewhat different types of red meat.

  50. Blair says:

    Ultimately I think Dr. Curry speaks to and for a lot of us out there that seem to be forgotten in this debate. We the scientific literate within the general populace who are being asked to shoulder huge economic burdens based on what we can clearly see is less than stellar scientific practice. I am a professional scientist in the private sector. I have a Ph.D in Environmental Chemistry and am sufficiently well respected in my field and community that I can affect public opinion in my little piece of the world. I used to trust implicitly the authors of the IPCC and carried water for those seeking policy alternatives to address AGW. I, like many of my colleagues, was astounded when they lifted up the curtain and we saw the grimy details of climate science. I have read the letters and the analyses and was severely disappointed. These practices would not pass muster in my professional organization and would draw the attention of the discipline committee for ethics violations The results from these questionable practitioners are now the basis for monumental policy decisions potentially involving the transfer of trillions of dollars of economic activity.

    Until climate science can get its act in order, properly address the behaviour of the bad actors and give us a clear understanding of the limitations and uncertainties in its data then you are going to lose people like me. You need people like Dr. Curry to re-build the bridges to people like me because given our knowledge, credentials, activism and positions in our communities you really don’t want to lose us.

  51. Tom Fuller says:

    NewYorkJ, tell your tales of commenters beyond the pale to Secular Animist, dhogaza and others who I’m sure will make their appearance here shortly.

    Judith goes to skeptic sites and engages with skeptics. Good fisherman go where the fish are.

    Like Dave H, eventually you’ll figure it out. Like Dave H, you haven’t yet.

  52. anon says:

    That you, Keith, do not understand why scientists are so vehemently upset and outraged with “hide the decline” says much more about your own ignorance with respect to science, than it does about Professor Curry somehow going off the deepend.
     
    And a reminder, Gavin Schmidt is a participant, not some neutral observer.

  53. NewYorkJ says:

    Policy makers were presented with a graph showing that the past 1,000 years were nothing like the past 30 years.

    And the current evidence still indicates the recent period is anomalous compared to the last millenium.  Go figure.

    And now people too poor to afford their skyrocketing energy bills are dying in their homes.

    Oh brother.  And you folks call scientists “alarmists”.

  54. NewYorkJ says:

    Tom Fuller getting “expert analysis” from Monckton?

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/01/the_australians_war_on_science_59.php

  55. Tom Fuller says:

    BBC:
    Fuel poverty charity, National Energy Action, (NEA), said the strategy to help the fuel poor in Northern Ireland was failing. he NEA said national figures given to them showed 2008 had the highest number of cold-related deaths in a decade.

    40,000 deaths predicted this winter in Britain – 4 Feb 09
     

    Back to News Home

    A higher death rate amongst older people and an increase in cold related illnesses is expected, after the recent extended period of cold weather in Britain.

     Fuel Poverty: Britain is freezing to death. lastbesthope “¢ December 6, 2010.
    Daily Mail – Warren Swords – “ŽFeb 2, 2011″Ž

    It was in the middle of last winter’s prolonged big freeze and the temperature that night was only a single degree above freezing. A pathologist found that she had suffered hypothermia.

    Police say rescuers have found the bodies of three skiers believed to have frozen to death in the mountains of southwestern Norway.

    Investigators say it’s hard to know how long a woman was lying in the cold, but it was long enough to freeze her body. The Marathon County coroner says the Weston resident in her 60s likely died of hypothermia.

    Scotsman – “ŽFeb 21, 2011″Ž

    It is understood around 15 people last year had hypothermia listed as one reason on their death certificate

    Severe frost has killed 30 people in Poland this month bringing the total death toll to above 200 this winter, police said today.

  56. Tom Fuller says:

    BBC:
    Fuel poverty charity, National Energy Action, (NEA), said the strategy to help the fuel poor in Northern Ireland was failing. he NEA said national figures given to them showed 2008 had the highest number of cold-related deaths in a decade.
    40,000 deaths predicted this winter in Britain ““ 4 Feb 09
     
    Back to News Home
    A higher death rate amongst older people and an increase in cold related illnesses is expected, after the recent extended period of cold weather in Britain.
     Fuel Poverty: Britain is freezing to death. lastbesthope “¢ December 6, 2010.
    Daily Mail – Warren Swords – “ŽFeb 2, 2011″Ž
    It was in the middle of last winter’s prolonged big freeze and the temperature that night was only a single degree above freezing. A pathologist found that she had suffered hypothermia.
    Police say rescuers have found the bodies of three skiers believed to have frozen to death in the mountains of southwestern Norway.
    Investigators say it’s hard to know how long a woman was lying in the cold, but it was long enough to freeze her body. The Marathon County coroner says the Weston resident in her 60s likely died of hypothermia.
    Scotsman – “ŽFeb 21, 2011″Ž
    It is understood around 15 people last year had hypothermia listed as one reason on their death certificate
     

  57. Tom Fuller says:

    NewYorkJ, getting advice from Secular Animist?

  58. dorlomin says:

    “Hide the decline” is back. Is the cupboard that bare that all they have is last seasons reruns.
    If its all so corrupt should these new Galileos not be falling over much bigger fish than a 12 year old graph.
    So is this rerun because they have run out of anything new of substance to say or does this single graph prove the world is cooling.

  59. grypo says:

    “As far as islands go, no bridge is needed between WUWT and CA.  There’s already a very short isthmus between them where seemingly intoxicated inhabitants navigate back and forth to/from looking for somewhat different types of red meat.”
     
    Believe it or not, it is merely the difference between believing that the Greenhouse Theory or not, plus not falling into the sensitivity traps that Lindzen does.  This is enough to give the movement credibility, to an uninformed public.  It’s a short bridge, but I think Judith has spent much time trying to convince the crowd that, yes, the greenhouse is real, and, yes, everything else is uncertain — enough, to show that the science is engaging in activism when simply advocating for the prudent action of emission reduction and large scale adaption .  The important part is that the uncertainty is about policy, not science. I’ve yet to see a post that assists people in understanding uncertainty the way scientists, of all kinds, describe it.  Instead, we get packed metaphors, like uncertain monsters and unknown-unknowns.

  60. Tom Fuller says:

    grypo I don’t know where you get that. I read Judith daily and I don’t believe she has written, hinted or pointed in that direction at all.

    You are demonizing her because she is criticizing your heroes.

  61. dorlomin says:

    So why in the hell is Fuller suddenly so concered about the winter fuel allowance? Is he suddenly turning all old Labour on us? Left fists in the air and sing the Internationale with him.

  62. grypo says:

    This isn’t a demonization.

  63. Tom Fuller says:

    dorlomin, I lived in the UK for six years. The last of them was in Hove. My neighbours upstairs were all on government assistance. They had coin operated electric heaters. One of them was 83 years old. She didn’t have enough coins. She got carried to hospital last February. She died of pneumonia. She was too proud to accept coins from me. I had a bottle of probably 300 pounds of coins.

    That’s why I’m so concerned. And yes, I am old Labour.

  64. Ed Snack,
    Actually, Moberg and Ljungqvist (both fairly independent) have results quite similar to those of Mann et al ’08, and do not show a MWP similar to today’s temperatures: http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Mo-Lj-Reconstruction-Comparison-Uncertainty6.png
     

  65. StuartR says:

    I would agree that saying the public credibility of climate science is in “tatters” seems to be putting it too strong, but only because I don’t think the public care that intensely either way. However saying anything is “reflected in polls” seems a step too far the other way. As I said above, the Guardian seems to have just made up a quote about a poll by free association of the words and figures in the actual raw data, behaviour that is not too surprising to see from the media.

    “Hide the decline”, however, was a calculated decision by scientists to pitch information in a certain way to the layman. It was saying “we have knowledge of the past and we *know* the present”. And, like the Guardian poll, it seems there was a desire to create an easy to understand narrative and deemphasized doubt. Whether that act can be described as dishonest I guess is up to each individual to decide. When I see it coming from a scientist I personally think it is.

    I can accept that Guardian quote as just incompetence led by activist passion and shrug it off before I could be bothered to say it was dishonest, since we all know nobody takes newspaper polls seriously, do they?

    If that is that how climate science is going then maybe soon there will be some fraying at the edges of its credibility?

  66. dorlomin says:

    I lived in the UK for six years. The last of them was in Hove. My neighbours upstairs were all on government assistance. They had coin operated electric heaters. One of them was 83 years old. She didn’t have enough coins. She got carried to hospital last February. She died of pneumonia. She was too proud to accept coins from me. I had a bottle of probably 300 pounds of coins.
    = = = = = = = = = = = =
    Now this is a tangent. We should increase the winter fuel allowance, cool I am all for that. That and increasing grants for insulating low income housholds.

  67. Jay Currie says:

    Zeke, first off, good for you for acknowledging Mann 1998 is wrong. Second, good for you for recognizing the graph on the front of the WMO was misleading (though you forgot to note that it has never been corrected). Third, we agree that the truncation of the Briffa series was wrong. (And I suspect Briffa does too.)

    Now, as to subsequent hockey sticks. First, toss out any which use bristlecones. These appear to be very unreliable temp proxies. Second, toss out sticks which use Tiljander sediments (right way up or upside down) as these are admitted by no less than Gavin himself to have very serious problems.

    That tosses Mann 2008 in both versions. Moberg 05 shows very little blade possibly as a cost of the elimination of MWP. Ljungqvist 10 gives a tiny blade, well below the MWP high.

    That leaves us with Loehle who shows a good solid MWP and next to no blade.

    More generally, proxy studies need to be calibrated before they should be relied upon whatever their shape. And, of course, the data and algorithms used to make them should be publically archived at the time of publication.

  68. AMac says:

    thingsbreak @34 —
    “There is clearly no penalty in attacking the folks at RealClimate or Phil Jones, whether for a good reason or baselessly, as recent events have demonstrated. I cannot imagine a world in which this seems like a plausible scenario.”

    Some people attack the folks at RealClimate, or Phil Jones, for sure.  What I was wondering at #29 was why there’s a dearth of engaged argumentation on hot issues within the climate-science community.  That’s different.  Back at #17, I linked to Rosie Redfield’s blog-critique of the “arsenical DNA!” paper to show how specialists actively engage with one another in a different physical-science field (a timeline of that debate here). 

    So, do climate-science “Specialists” engage with RealClimate’s or Phil Jones’ more questionable/controversial practices/posts/assertions/whatevers in an analogous way?  E.g., have any climate scientists save those <1% Dissidents said, “Hey, you can’t use contaminated proxy series upside-down in paleoclimate reconstructions… obviously!”  Not to my knowledge. 

    Why don’t discussions like that take place? Maybe Specialists don’t care.  Or avoid controversy.  Or believe keeping heads down guards career prospects.  Or have much faith in their betters.  Or think that you can flip proxies, if you want to.  I don’t know the answer(s).

  69. Tom Fuller says:

    dorlomin, the UK government raised rates to finance on and offshore wind farms and have green taxes to boot. People are freezing to death to fight global warming.

    One of the reasons the UK government raised rates and instituted green taxes was the Hockey Stickl. The Hockey Stick did not have error bars when presented to UK politicians.

    That’s not a tangent.

  70. kdk33 says:

    A trick… to hide the decline.

    I know.  It’s so confusing.  Hard to understand.  It was only a TRICK to HIDE the DECLINE.  Ahhh, but yelling won’t help.

    Climate science is new and incomplete.  We’re being asked to take expensive and potentially risky action to mitigate an uncertain risk.  The decision requires a politically delicate and technically complicated cost/benfit analysis.  Trust is paramount.  The E-mails didn’t blow the science out of the water, they showed scientists with their thumbs on the scale.

    If this was, as it used to be, a boring scientific backwater, nobody would care. But given the implications of the choices, and the uncertainty, and the technicality; the thumb business is simply not tolerable.  In other words: it isn’t tolerable. To those who can’t see this: tough.

    For those of us who believe that doing nothing is, for now, our best choice, the RC boys are our best weapon.  So, carry on.

  71. Tom Fuller says:

    Amac, what astonishes me is the lack of discussion wrt Jones et al 1990.

  72. Jay Currie says:

    Zeke, you state “Moberg and Ljungqvist (both fairly independent) have results quite similar to those of Mann et al ’08”
    Er, no they don’t. Neither has a blade and Moberg ends in 98.

  73. NewYorkJ says:

    I also like the idea of low income energy rebates coupled with carbon taxing or cap and trade, much like what Waxman/Markey had.  The lowest income quintiles actually came out ahead.

    Page 16:

    http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/103xx/doc10327/06-19-CapAndTradeCosts.pdf

    Different topic though.  No need to derail this thread any more than trolling Tom already has (such as by claiming global warming concern is the cause for U.K. electricity rate increases and dead poor people).

  74. Andy says:

    I think how one criticizes matters a great deal.  It’s one thing to suggest that someone erred – it’s quite another to go further and question the motives behind the error.  Words like “dishonest” do exactly that.  Not  only does it suggest a person was in error, but also that the error was intentional and made with the specific intent to maliciously deceive. In this case I agree with Gavin Schmidt that Dr. Curry went over the line by impugning motives.  I would also like to suggest to Dr. Curry that bridges built on impugning motives will inevitably turn out to be bridges to nowhere.
     
    As a non-scientist who is genuinely interested in climate science and the surrounding debates, I’ve long admired Dr. Curry’s “heresy” and her attempts to build bridges with skeptics and get others to take the skeptic arguments seriously instead of impugning their motives.  I’m a big believer is examining arguments based on their merits – separate from the person making them and whatever motivations that person my have.  It’s therefore disheartening to see Dr. Curry turn down this path into the ad hominem and tribalism she once railed against.

  75. NewYorkJ says:

    Moberg/Loehle/etc., take your pick.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/new-remperature-reconstruction-vindicates.html 

    Not that I’d include Loehle’s reconstruction, since it was confined to E&E – Not a reputable journal.  Lots of problems too.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/past-reconstructions/

  76. Dave H says:

    @Tom Fuller
     
    So build a bridge. Enlighten me.

  77. Tom Fuller says:

    past…
    2007: Sunday Times. Families who choose to drive larger cars face an increase of up to £1,000 in the cost of motoring under a government plan to force people to switch to greener vehicles.

    present…

    Families face record winter gas bills averaging £360 as power companies reap a huge windfall from the big freeze.
    The ‘big six’ energy suppliers have refused to pass on a steep fall in wholesale prices to customers.
    They are collecting a profit bonanza of £846million in a single month by charging over the odds

    …and future

    Taxes to pay for contentious climate change policies are set to treble over the next decade, soaring to more than £16billion a year.
    The hike is the equivalent of 4p on the current rate of income tax, a report from think tank Policy Exchange claimed.
    By 2020 the tax take from green levies will be roughly equivalent to total public spending in England on both the police and fire services, the figures show.
    Householders will pay £4.3billion in taxes on their energy bills by 2015 ““ more than double the £2billion they will pay this year. This will soar to £6.4billion by 2020, or around £280 for every household.
    Firms will also be hit hard, with energy prices rising from £3.7billion to £9.9billion in the next decade.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1303694/Green-taxes-treble-2020-costing-taxpayers-16bn-year.html#ixzz1EvTB3u5h

  78. You know the old test question? Where you get a problem like: “Dave is studious, reserved and very well-organized. Is Dave most likely (a) a rock star, (b) a librarian or (c) a salesman?” And, of course, though you are tempted to answer that he is a librarian, just the sheer population frequency of these professions makes it far, far more likely that he is a salesman.
     
    Or, based on evidence in threads like these, maybe a dendrochronologist.

  79. JimR says:

    NewYorkJ,  “One could argue that including such recent proxies in question on a graph intended for non-experts would simply be confusing.  Some might look at the graph and mistakingly believe temperature had not risen, not being at all familiar with the issues involved with recent high latitude tree ring proxies.”
     
    One could argue that, but since the graphic contained the instrumental record such an argument would fall flat. It might raise questions on confidence in earlier periods using such proxies (and rightly so) but the idea that “hide the decline” has anything to do with recent temperatures is a red herring that few believe. The confusion is in the constant rhetoric that “hide the decline” involved recent temperatures when the reality is what the divergence that was hidden may indicate about our ability to accurately reconstruct the climate of the past.
     
    The bottom line is still that withholding adverse data is not an appropriate practice and as been demonstrated many still refuse to condemn this practice. Judy Curry is taking heat for giving this issue some focus and it is sad that few are willing to admit this was inappropriate.

  80. Tom Fuller says:

    Dave H, whose side do you think Curry is trying to advance? Do you honestly believe she is a skeptic?

    Have Bart or Robert Grumbine draw up a list of tenets of mainstream climate change. Judith will sign off happily on all of them, unless one of them is praising The Hockey Team.

    Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Judith is patiently working through the fear and skepticism so many feel after finding out that Al Gore has feet of clay, James Hansen has the PR skills of Muammar Ghadafi, and The Hockey Team is a cross between The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight and Enron.

    She’s at play in the fields of the Lord. I wish her luck, and you should too.

  81. Tom Fuller says:

    NewYorkJ, what does SourceWatch have to say about the BBC or the Sunday Times, both of which I cited?

  82. kdk33 says:

     “Dave is studious, reserved and very well-organized. Is Dave most likely:

    Republican.

    (not to distract from the party)

  83. Jay,
    The blade in the reconstructions for Mann, Moberg, and Ljungqvist are quite similar: http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j237/hausfath/MannMobergLjungqvist.png
    The instrumental temperature record has always been the real blade of the hockey stick. The proxies are calibrated to the period of overlap with the instrumental record.

  84. Tom Fuller says:

    Zeke, my understanding is that Mann’s work really was focussed on the shaft of the Hockey Stick, not the blade. There really isn’t much controversy about the current warming, AFAIK. What is your opinion of the accuracy of the paleoclimatic reconstructions in toto (not just Mann) when compared to historical narratives from the relevant periods?

  85. Tom,
    The shaftblade part of the reconstruction is important inasmuch as it allows the proxies to be calibrated against the instrumental record. That said, the “blade” is only controversial if you doubt the validity of surface temperature measurements. There is an issue of temporal resolution; proxies tend to reflect rapid changes poorly, so there could have been spikes or dips in the record that do not show up in the proxy reconstruction. Likewise, if temperatures suddenly fall back to 1950 levels the current “blade” might be anomalous, but this is unlikely.

    As far as agreement with historical narratives, I’m a lot more comfortable with Mann et al 2008 EIV than Mann et al ’98, given that the latter showed little if any MWP and LIA and there is reasonably good evidence that the MWP was at least significant in the Northern Hemisphere and the LIA was significant globally.

  86. Erm, I meant the blade part of the reconstruction is important inasmuch…
    All blogs should allow post-commend editing. :-p
    [I made the correction.//KK]

  87. NewYorkJ says:

    the idea that “hide the decline” has anything to do with recent temperatures is a red herring that few believe.
    Really?
    “Hackers broke into the servers at a prominent British climate research center and leaked years worth of e-mail messages onto the Web, including one with a reference to a plan to “hide the decline” in temperatures.”
    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2009/11/21/climate-skeptics-smoking-gun-researchers-leaked-e-mails

    The bottom line is still that withholding adverse data is not an appropriate practice

    Let’s keep that in mind when anyone presents a reconstruction that ends decades ago but fails to include recent temperatures, then declares MWP to be warmer.

    I don’t think you’ll find vast disagreement on 1999 WMO graph.  Where there’s a divergence between objective individuals and fanatics is with the declaration of dishonesty.

    “One example of this was the cover art on a WMO 1999 report which, until last November, was completely obscure (we are not aware of any mention of this report or this figure before November in any blogospheric discussion, ever). Nonetheless, in the way of these things, this figure is now described as “˜an icon’ in the Muir Russell report (one of their very few mistakes, how can something be an icon if no-one has ever seen it?). In retrospect (and as we stated last year) we agree with the Muir Russell report that the caption and description of the figure could indeed have been clearer, particularly with regard to the way proxy and instrumental data sources were spliced into a single curve, without indicating which was which. The WMO cover figure appears (at least to our knowledge) to be the only instance where that was done. Moving forward, nonetheless, it is advisable that scientists be as clear as possible about what sorts of procedures have gone into the preparation of a figure. But retrospective applications of evolving standards are neither fair nor useful.”

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/07/the-muir-russell-report/

  88. Stu says:

    Keith Briffa says:
     
    “I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple.”
     
    This is what Judy Curry might call a ‘clear and logical’ statement from Keith Briffa. The problem with the WMO graph (as some people see it, and I agree with them) was that the ‘nice, tidy story’ was allowed prominence over the ‘not quite so simple’ reality. Nice, tidy stories have a tendency to not be true, as most people who experience life on this planet must occasionally realise and appreciate. Surely, for policy makers, having the slightly messier reality presented would have been more informative and useful than not presenting it. But of course, people disagree.
     

  89. Tom Fuller says:

    New York J, Keith Briffa thought Mann was wrong and that the Medieval Warming Period was quite likely warmer than today.

    Briffa to Cook: “Bradley still regards the MWP as “mysterious” and “very incoherent” (his latest
    pronouncement to me) based on the available data. Of course he and other members of the
    MBH camp have a fundamental dislike for the very concept of the MWP, so I tend to view
    their evaluations as starting out from a somewhat biased perspective
    “

  90. Tom Fuller says:

    Email: Keith Briffa to Michael Mann, Jones and others, Sep 22, 1999, (Subject: “IPCC Revisions” [http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=136&filename=938018124.txt])
     
    I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago“
     
    Email: Raymond Bradley to Frank Oldfield, Jul 10, 2000, (Subject: “IPCC Revisions” “ [http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=172&filename=963233839.txt]).
     
    Whether we have the 1000 year trend right is
    far less certain (& one reason why I hedge my bets on
    whether there were any periods in Medieval times that might have been
    “warm”, to the irritation of my co-authors!).
    “

  91. Matt B says:

    The best thing about the Currie thread is that Gavin offered an amusing parallel to the hockey stick mess. In that same spirit, here’s mine:
     
    A company is making martensitic stainless steel parts out of powder metal in a dedicated furnace. The furnace runs with a hydrogen/nitrogen atmosphere mix (the hydrogen is needed to protect the furnace elements from oxidizing). We need to have enough hydrogen to protect the furnace elements, but not enough to decarburize the parts since it indisputably documented in many different lab tests that excess hydrogen will combine with free carbon to reduce carbon levels. 1970 or so runs are made in the furnace. The customer one day asks, “hey how well is my carbon level being controlled?” Well, we have never been checking carbon, & have virtually no furnace controls. The hydrogen & nitrogen are fed directly into the furnace from an outside tank & our furnace atmosphere control was to have the valves “open”.
     
    The corporate metallurgist (CM) is brought in to figure things out, installs a hydrogen flowmeter on the furnace & buys a carbon analyzer to check the output from each run. After 30 runs he says:
     
    CM: I have solid data from the last 30 furnace runs that the hydrogen level into the furnace has been rising in these last 30 runs and the carbon levels have been dropping, exactly matching the theory.  We must tell the customer that these last parts have a trending carbon problem and we must change the current hydrogen valving system to the furnace or else hydrogen will keep increasing, and the carbon levels will fall to catastrophic levels.
     
    Me: Boy, that’s good info & we need to be paying attention to this. Question ““ is there any way to know if this decrease in carbon levels has happened in the past?
     
    CM: The accountant showed me the shipments to fill the hydrogen tank for the time frame covering the last 2000 runs. This allowed me to estimate hydrogen furnace levels for this time period and that tells me that hydrogen consumption has been more or less steady over the previous 1970 runs, so yes this is an unprecedented turn of events.
     
    Me: Good work! We will get on this hydrogen valve improvement right away. By the way, hydrogen consumption has been going up over the last 30 runs, right?
     
    Accountant: No, in fact the hydrogen refill rate has been going down over the last 30 runs.
     
    Me; But, how’s that? Clearly there are more factors at play; maybe the oxygen content of the powder is variable, maybe it’s the nitrogen flow rate that’s varying, maybe it’s water coming in with the furnace trays, all things that can affect carbon levels”¦and maybe this situation is not unprecedented after all. Wouldn’t you agree, CM?
     
    CM: No, I am quite sure it is the hydrogen, that is where we must focus all our effort & that is what we must tell the customer.
     
    Me: Thank you CM, you may return to corporate now.
     
    The moral? There are many variables to a complex process”¦.and the corporate metallurgist NEVER EVER gets to talk to the customer”¦”¦  

  92. grypo says:

    “New York J, Keith Briffa thought Mann was wrong and that the Medieval Warming Period was quite likely warmer than today.”
     
    No he doesn’t
     
    Briffa to Cook:
     
    ” I certainly believe the ” medieval” period was warmer than the 18th century – the equivalence of the warmth in the post 1900 period, and the post 1980s ,compared to the circa Medieval times is very much still an area for much better resolution. I think that the geographic / seasonal biases and dating/response time issues still cloud the picture of when and how warm the Medieval period was . On present evidence , even with such uncertainties I would still come out favouring the “likely unprecedented recent warmth” opinion – but our motivation is to further explore the degree of certainty in this belief – based on the realistic interpretation of available data. Point re Jan well taken and I will inform him”
     
    Didn’t you write a book on this nonsense?

  93. Tom Fuller says:

    Email: Keith Briffa to Michael Mann, Jones and others, Sep 22, 1999, (Subject: “IPCC Revisions” [http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=136&filename=938018124.txt])
     
    “I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago”
     
    Email: Raymond Bradley to Frank Oldfield, Jul 10, 2000, (Subject: “IPCC Revisions” “ [http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=172&filename=963233839.txt]).
     
    “Whether we have the 1000 year trend right is
    far less certain (& one reason why I hedge my bets on
    whether there were any periods in Medieval times that might have been
    “warm”, to the irritation of my co-authors!).

  94. Tom Fuller says:

    Yes, grypo, I did.

  95. NewYorkJ says:

    Tom Fuller is withholding information adverse to his argument, as he and his book co-author appear to do frequently.  What would Judith Curry call that?

    Another decade and another nearly 0.2 C warmer than the previous one, along with more proxies and a wider variety of them tends to strengthen the previously “likely” conclusion.

  96. Tom Fuller says:

    New York J, I don’t know what you’re referring to, so feel free to enlighten us all. As for that 0.2C per decade, the warmest 30 year period since 1880 was 1974 through 2003, and it was at a rate of .19 per decade. Most other 30 year periods were much lower.

    Pray tell us what I’m withholding.

  97. JimR says:

    NewYorkJ, “Really?”
     
    Yup. Sure you can find people that confused the “hide the decline”, particularly in the days following the release of CRU E-mails. But as we both know that isn’t the meaning of “hide the decline”, that’s not the controversy and continuing to throw it out there as if it were is a red herring.
    As for my statement “The bottom line is still that withholding adverse data is not an appropriate practice and as been demonstrated many still refuse to condemn this practice”, you responded with a realclimate quote. The relevant portion:
     
    “Moving forward, nonetheless, it is advisable that scientists be as clear as possible about what sorts of procedures have gone into the preparation of a figure. But retrospective applications of evolving standards are neither fair nor useful.”
     
    I suppose that is as close as realclimate will come to criticism or acknowledgment of this problem but even that is a bit disingenuous. It doesn’t even mention that data was removed from the graphic. The standard best practice of not removing adverse data isn’t new within the past 10 years. That is not a standard that has evolved since Phil Jones wrote that E-mail. It is this type of dodge without actually addressing what was said in the Email and what was actually done that allows this to continue.
     
     
     

  98. NewYorkJ says:

    the warmest 30 year period since 1880 was 1974 through 2003

    Incorrect.

    1974-2003 average:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2011&month_last=01&sat=4&sst=1&type=anoms&mean_gen=0112&year1=1974&year2=2003&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=reg

    1981-2010 average:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2011&month_last=01&sat=4&sst=1&type=anoms&mean_gen=0112&year1=1981&year2=2010&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=1200&pol=reg

    As an exercise, compare 1991-2000 with 2001-2010.  2001-2010 would add about 0.2 C to the end of the original hockey sticks.  By 2100, it won’t resemble a hockey stick at all.

  99. grypo says:

    Check the dates.  Check what you said.  And check who he said it to.  You claimed that Briffa told Cook  “Mann was wrong and that the Medieval Warming Period was quite likely warmer than today”.  He did not say that to Cook, he said the exact opposite.  And that was in 2003.  Apparently he thought differently 4 years earlier, in a completely different email in which he was talking about different proxies.  And he also said “matched”, not warmer.  So you had the wrong email, the wrong wording, different proxies.  And it appears that the evidence over 4 years has cleared up the interpretation, even if he were talking about global temperatures, and not just this “For the record, I do believe that the proxy data do show unusually warm conditions in recent decades. I am not sure that this unusual warming is so clear in the summer responsive data. I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago.”

  100. Jay Currie says:

    Zeke, I am aware of the relative status of the blade and, of course, that is why the divergence problem with tree rings is such a problem. They don’t line up – for reasons never well explained – from about 1960 onwards which can be taken as evidence that the tree ring proxies do not calibrate.
    Now, I would think that the right response to the non-calibration issue would be to dump the bristlecones. Which is what Mann’s later papers did; however they used the (mysteriously) inverted Tiljander sediments which have significant problems. Now if you remove both the Tiljander sediments and the bristlecones you end up with a robust MWP and not much of an anomalous 20th century warming. (Basically a warming which you might expect coming out of the LIA.)
    Tom, I am with you on the failure to really bear down on Jones 90. Even Jones himself admits that this foundational work on UHI needs revision. Plus the data has been lost. Zeke alludes to people who are concerned about the blade as essentially calling the surface record into question and he is quite right. The effect of the doubts about Jones 90 is to cast a good deal of the surface record, as adjusted, into serious question.

  101. Keith Kloor says:

    Tom Fuller, New York J, et al:

    This is not a hockey stick/climategate thread. That’s been done ad nauseum, no?

    Remember, the post is about Judith’s claim that the public credibility of climate science is in tatters, which I’ve asserted there is no evidence of. The post (and this thread) also discusses Judith’s increasingly harsh criticism of the climate science community. There are some in the comments (such as Zeke, Bart, and Andy) who feel that her more recent communication efforts are counterproductive. How about we try to stay on these points?

  102. NewYorkJ says:

    Yup. Sure you can find people that confused the “hide the decline”, particularly in the days following the release of CRU E-mails. But as we both know that isn’t the meaning of “hide the decline”, that’s not the controversy and continuing to throw it out there as if it were is a red herring.

    It’s not a red herring when mainstream media outlets, blogs, deniers, etc. deliberately withheld relevant information and stated the phrase refererred to a decline in temperatures, all the while hyping up winter snow events.  That goes beyond misleading.

    The standard best practice of not removing adverse data isn’t new within the past 10 years. That is not a standard that has evolved since Phil Jones wrote that E-mail.

    Nonsense.  Typical presentation of reconstructions do show the full set along with the instrumental data.  This was done in the IPCC report, for example, as was discussion and reference to literature on the divergence of the high northern latitude proxies.  There have been many misleading attempts to claim otherwise, however.

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/07/09/terence-corcoran-whopper-manns-hockey-stick/

  103. tom fuller says:

    sorry, keith, i keep getting led down the garden path.
     
    Judith’s statement is certainly true for a subset composed of those interested inthe subject but not already adherent to consensus tenets. Which is why adherents turn out in force to condemn her.

  104. Francis says:

    <i>How about we try to stay on these points?</i>
     
    KK, why bother?  although the crowd is a little more diverse (and smaller) than that found either at Dr. Curry’s or Dr. Schmidt’s place, the steps have long been rehearsed.  Argue new points? Far too exhausting.
     
    I honestly wonder when was the last time a blog reader came to any climate change blog with an open mind.

  105. NewYorkJ says:

    Remember, the post is about Judith’s claim that the public credibility of climate science is in tatters, which I’ve asserted there is no evidence of. The post (and this thread) also discusses Judith’s increasingly harsh criticism of the climate science community. There are some in the comments (such as Zeke, Bart, and Andy) who feel that her more recent communication efforts are counterproductive. How about we try to stay on these points?

    Agreed.  As to public credibility of climate science, I’m not sure there’s “no evidence” that to the assertion that public views have changed.  Certainly, some recent polls indicate no change while others have indicated a modest shift towards skepticism (I can dig this up if requested).  Other polls are simply spun that way (such as polls indicating immediate economic issues seen as higher priority than climate change mitigation).

    Just as silly is the implication that any change in perception is the fault of a fairly obscure graph put together 12 years ago that a strong majority of people hadn’t seen until recently, or of alleged bad behavior of climate scientists in general.  This is just rhetoric.  A cold/snowy winter or two in populated areas might have some effect.  A changing political landscape (note polls show substantially more hardcore skepticism among the political right in the U.S.) might contribute.  And related to that, as pointed out here, misleading media stories on “ClimateGate”, or articles spouting alarmism on climate policies certainly have an effect.

  106. Nullius in Verba says:

    Regarding ‘bridges’, I think Judith’s original position after Climategate broke was that there was a small amount of bad science in amongst the large amounts of good science everyone knew was there but hadn’t got across to the public, and what the scientific community needed to do was to acknowledge, identify, and correct the bad science, and do a much better job of explaining the good science that would prove the danger, and all would be happy and bright with the world. What Judith was trying to do was build a bridge from the sinking sand castle the climate scientists were stood on to her ‘only a few bad eggs’ island in the middle of the debate.
     
    (Clearly, after Climategate, it was the climate scientists she thought needed rescuing with her bridge, not the sceptics.)
     
    The problem is that the hardline climate scientists regard such a position as ‘denier central’. She has built a bridge to a place they simply don’t want to go, and they have no intention of conceding an inch. It is obvious, in a sense, that crossing a bridge between believer and sceptic would mean them walking partway into scepticland. Climate scientists can only accept bridges if they lead between orthodox believer lands. ‘Why would anyone want to build a bridge to the sceptics?’
     
    They still can’t understand how much trouble they’re in, and think if they can just bluster it out long enough, it will all go away and everyone will forget Climategate, and they can go back to the good old days of everybody believing in them. They haven’t quite realised that we’re in that uneasy stage between the public saying “hey, hang on a sec…” and figuring out what the trick is. Most people, outside hardcore scepticland, simply don’t know what just happened. If/when they do, it’s going to get ugly.
     
    Judith was sincerely trying to help, by offering a dignified road back to what she saw as honest science. But climate science is not ready yet, and Judith, I think, is losing patience. She is starting to wonder if the sceptics were right all along – wondering if perhaps there is more wrong than she thought. In that sense, the sceptics are simply winning the argument.
     
    If you can’t admit that there was ever anything wrong with the way climate science was conducted, then the bridges are useless. You’ll stand firm on your sandcastles until the tide comes in.

  107. JimR says:

    NewYorkJ, “It’s not a red herring when mainstream media outlets, blogs, deniers, etc. deliberately withheld relevant information and stated the phrase refererred to a decline in temperatures, all the while hyping up winter snow events.”
     
    Sure, I understand you would rather focus on those few who misunderstood or misrepresented what “hide the decline” actually referred to. But how about focusing on what it actually did mean? Because whenever someone tries to talk about what “hide the decline” did mean and people like yourself try to turn the discussion instead to those who make whatever claims based on what “hide the decline” doesn’t mean…. well that is the definition of a red herring.
     
     
    “Nonsense.  Typical presentation of reconstructions do show the full set along with the instrumental data.”
     
    I don’t follow you here. You say it’s nonsense (to my statement that standards on not removing adverse data have not changed or evolved) and follow that by stating it is typical to show the “full set”. So what is nonsense? The idea put forth by realclimate that Phil Jones shouldn’t be criticized because standards have changed or evolved? Or the removal of proxy data that diverged from the instrumental record and calling it a “trick” to “hide the decline”?

  108. Marlowe Johnson says:

    I can’t seem to get the scene from the Fellowship of the Ring out of my head.  You know, the one where Gandalf asks Saruman when he abondoned reason for madness….Gavin the Grey and Curry the…Uncertain?

  109. NewYorkJ says:

    But how about focusing on what it actually did mean? Because whenever someone tries to talk about what “hide the decline” did mean and people like yourself try to turn the discussion instead to those who make whatever claims based on what “hide the decline” doesn’t mean”¦. well that is the definition of a red herring.

    It wasn’t me who brought it up:

    the idea that “hide the decline” has anything to do with recent temperatures is a red herring that few believe.

    The “few believe” is clearly incorrect, as this is peddled in many places, and quite important to the topic of this thread which is related to public perception.  The public is clearly being mislead as to the meaning of stolen private correspondence between scientists.

    The idea put forth by realclimate that Phil Jones shouldn’t be criticized because standards have changed or evolved?

    Where is this idea being put forth by RC?  Dr. Mann (RC contributor), for example, was not involved in the WMO report, and his work does show the full multiproxy reconstructions, as do the IPCC reports.  The 1999 WMO report was an exception.

    Gavin also brought up the point that by Curry’s research not showing data prior to 1970, one could fling the same silly accusations at her.  The reason she didn’t include the data is because it was poorer prior to 1970 (although data surely existed). 

    With the tree ring proxy divergence problem, evidence indicates it’s a mainly a modern occurrence.  Proxies having the modern divergence problem correlate well back in time with those that don’t, and extensive studies have suggested anthropogenic causes for these specific sets of tree ring proxies, so without these additional details, it’s possible that doubt on the reliability of the proxies could be severely overstated.  There’s a fine line between presenting details too complicated in a public report vs oversimplifying too much.  There’s good argument that the 1999 WMO erred too much on the simplification side, although the silliness of all this is that the graph itself would barely look different if the full proxy set was shown for the extra decade or two given the millenium scale of the graph.  It’s one incredible mountain made out of a tiny molehill for political purposes, as we see routinely from the contrarian crowd.

  110. JimR says:

    NewYorkJ, LOL OK I give up on the red herring. It’s a better talking point for you to focus on what “hide the decline” doesn’t mean.
    The idea put forth by realclimate that Phil Jones shouldn’t be criticized because standards have changed or evolved?

    “Where is this idea being put forth by RC?”
     
    It was quoted in your post above, “But retrospective applications of evolving standards are neither fair nor useful.” If I have misunderstood this please explain as it appears to me to say that looking back and being critical due to standards that have evolved isn’t fair nor useful.  And if my understanding is correct this is very disingenuous as these aren’t evolving standards.
     
    You may also note that Phil Jones infamous “hide the decline” E-mail talked of “Mike’s Nature trick” indicating he seemed to believe Mann had done something similar.
     
    I would be very interested in seeing something that shows the divergence issue is only a modern problem. I was not aware this had been resolved.
     

  111. David44 says:

    If anybody’s counting, count me with Blair @ #50.  Well said.

  112. Bob Koss says:

    My view is similar to Nullius in Verba in #107.
     
    As long as no contrition for bad acts is shown, and no penalties assessed against the bad actors, the reputation of agw climate scientists will continue its downward circling of the bowl.

  113. Jay Currie says:

    Public support for action on the basis of the current state of climate science and AGW is more than a little tricky to measure.
     
    For example: asking the question, “Do you believe that the world is getting warmer?” rather than the question “Do you believe that man is responsible for the world is getting warmer?” will get significantly different answers. (I would answer a tenative “yes” to 1, a more or less certain “no” to 2, your mileage may vary.)
     
    But imagine the effect of saying, “Many scientists are uncertain that man has anything to do with global warming: do you think man has cause the world to get dangerously warmer?” And you can imagine the warmist version of the question.
     
    On a question as complex as attitudes to climate change the likliehood of bias in polls approaches certainty.
     
    Now, is the credibility of climate science in tatters? Well, its civilian advocates such as Al Gore or David Suzuki are laughingstocks on both the left and the right. Poor Al can’t even get snow right without the NOAA demonstrating he is wrong.
     
    Climategate, for all the whitewash and <i>ex poste</i> rationalizations and spin destroyed trust. The plain fact is that supposedly objective scientists were exposed as engaging in tawdry tricks, flat out illegal activity, attempts to suppress counter arguments, fudging code, losing data, subverting peer review and so on. Public trust was lost and, perhaps more to the point, the MSM’s willingness to take the IPCC and its scientists’ word as Gospel ended.
     
    Some of the iconic papers in climate science, Jones 90, Mann 98, Mann 2008, Steig 2010, the two recent precipitation papers in Nature have been attacked and defeated in a variety of forums. Essentially, the skeptics have got the range and have realized a number of facts about climate scientists in general which leave them open to refutation.
     
    First, climate scientists have a very weak grasp of statistics as they are played by the people who actually do statistics. The climate science papers tend to be very vulnerable to statistical attack and the climate science peer review process is, apparently, too weak to prevent bad statistics from being touted as new insight.
     
    Second, climate scientists are apparently allergic to observational science without first running the observations through assorted, undisclosed, black boxes of adjustments. This leaves them open to attacks on the basis of a lack of transparency.
     
    Third, climate scientists are prepared to replace observation with synthetic, computer generated, “data”. Here’s what Echenbach was able to do to the Nature Pall. <i>et al</i> paper on GHG contribution to flooding in England:
     
    <blockquote>
    Unfortunately, the answer is, they didn’t analyze any historical river flow data at all.
    You may think I’m kidding, or that this is some kind of trick question. Neither one. Here’s what they did.
     
    They used a single seasonal resolution atmospheric climate computer model (HadAM3-N144) to generate some 2,268 single-years of synthetic autumn 2000 weather data. The observed April 2000 climate variables (temperature, pressure, etc) were used as the initial values input to the HadAM3-N144 model. The model was kicked off using those values as a starting point, and run over and over a couple thousand times. The authors of Pall2011 call this 2,268 modeled single years of computer-generated weather “data” the “A2000 climate”. I will refer to it as the A2000 synthetic climate, to avoid confusion with the real thing.</blockquote>
     
    That is just too easy.
     
    What Judy is doing is calling her own field on just how badly they are performing and how much damage they are doing to her field.
    To restore a bit of credibility the climate science community has to begin to acknowledge it has a problem. It needs to underbus Mann 98 and redo Jones 90 with real rural stations. It has to make all of its data and its code publically available. It absolutely has to call off the dogs of RC and the flocks of trolls they send out.
     
    Climate science has a huge credibility problem. To address that problem it must admit the uncertainty it knows exists. Judy is applying a bit of tough love to that end. The Team does not like it a bit. When you are in a bunker everyone looks like an enemy. They need to lose the bunker. A good step forward would be to shut down RC and let the Team blog individually.

  114. Dean says:

    “Why do people automatically think that The Hockey Team is the mainstream?”
     
    I’m not sure about “automatic”, but I think that the Hockey Stick methodologies are mainstream because of the NRC review. That review didn’t see MBH as perfect, but it also wasn’t seen as problematic or falsified or any of the other strong terms that critics use. The NRC found most of the conclusions to be plausible, and that strikes me as qualifying as mainstream science.
     
    While the methods can and have improved, as we would expect for such a challenging task on it’s initial try, the vituperative response from some to the Hockey Stick is one of my measures for whether people are really taking the science as it comes. There are fair criticisms of these paleo research methods, but when people cross the line beyond the range of the NRC review, then they are no longer responding to the science. Maybe it’s their ideology, maybe it’s something else. I’m not going to try to read their mind, and I’m mostly going to ignore them from that point on.

  115. Re: Zeke at #64 & 84; Jay Currie at 101
    Apples and oranges in the proxy/temp graphs.
     
    This is something that has bothered me since I’ve first looked at the “hockey stick” in all its versions.
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2000_Year_Temperature_Comparison.png
    — is a pretty fair example of the “spaghetti graph” Note that the various rainbow colors are various attempts at proxy reconstructions of past temps. But black is the instrumental record, of actual thermometer readings, albeit massaged in various ways. Unusually, on this graph it’s easy to see that (as Zeke points out) the black is the blade. The rainbow colors show a (historically normal, to my eye) recovery from the cold of the LIA. Note the recent “decline” in most of the recent (color) proxies. The instrumental record (as Jay Currie notes) has some problematic jacking-up, supposedly to correct for UHI. But, more importantly, the proxy reconstructions and the instrumental record are fundamentally different: apples and oranges. The thermometers record actual temperature; the proxies record, well, various best guesses of past temperatures. It’s unfair and misleading (particularly to non-specialists) to plot these on the same graph, and grossly misleading if the graph doesn’t make crystal-clear what’s instrumental and what’s reconstructed — as in Zeke’s example,
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Proxy-Reconstruction-Comparison-Uncertainty6.png
    And it certainly doesn’t help that the “real” temps have been “corrected” by partisans like Hansen and P. Jones. A ghastly muddle.
     
    Peter D. Tillman
    Consulting Geologist, Arizona and New Mexico (USA)
    My credentials:
    M.S. in geochemistry, 40+ years as a  field geologist, lifelong interest in paleoclimates

  116. James Evans says:

    “First, we found no decline in Americans’ trust in environmental scientists: 71 percent of respondents said they trust these scientists a moderate amount, a lot or completely, a figure that was 68 percent in 2008 and 70 percent in 2009. Only 9 percent said they knew about the East Anglia e-mail messages and believed they indicated that climate scientists should not be trusted,”

    I can’t find any mention of how many people knew about the East Anglia e-mail messages and believed that climate scientists should still be trusted.

  117. @115 Dean wrote:

    “The NRC found most of the conclusions to be plausible”

    Hmm … not quite, well far from not quite, actually. In fact, only one was “plausible” (which is far from laudable) and the validity of the conclusions went downhill from there:

    “Based on the analyses presented in the original papers by Mann et al. and this newer supporting evidence, the committee finds it plausible that the Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium. The substantial uncertainties currently present in the quantitative assessment of large-scale surface temperature changes prior to about A.D. 1600 lower our confidence in this conclusion compared to the high level of confidence we place in the Little Ice Age cooling and 20th century warming. Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that “the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium” because the uncertainties inherent in temperature reconstructions for individual years and decades are larger than those for longer time periods and because not all of the available proxies record temperature information on such short timescales.”

    http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11676&page=4

    But, hey … I’m not a “climate scientist”.  I just know how to read and comprehend the English language – but I will concede that all of the above may mean something completely different to one who is more familiar with the idiom of climate-speak than I might be.

    If so, then perhaps this would go a some way towards explaining why some “climate scientists” have begun wringing their hands about the problems they claim they are encountering in “communicating” with the non-scientist community at large.

    After all, if climate-speak dictates that a “trick” is not a trick and to hide” is not to hide, and if Dean is correct in his assertion that the plausibility of one conclusion must be translated as meaning “most” of the conclusions (thereby trumping “lower confidence” and “even less confidence” in other conclusions, notwithstanding any and all uncertainties) then it’s no wonder that the credibility of “climate science” is “in tatters”.

    OTOH, when I read/listen to Judith Curry, Richard Lindzen, Bob Carter, Roy Spencer, Pat Michaels, Roger Pielke, Chris Landsea (amongst others), even when they are discussing matters far beyond my scientific ken, I’m able to get the gist of their arguments. 

    Perhaps a new, improved PNAS study on “credibilty” and “expertise” in “climate science” is in order  long overdue.

  118. charles says:

    Wonderful cherrypicking of opinion polls keith. Trouble is, anyone can google opinion poll climate change and find all the ones you didn’t mention, showing rising skepticism.

  119. Stu says:

    What would be interesting is the same poll conducted, not by phone to random people, but advertised by all of the widely read climate blogs and perhaps popular science magazines, encouraging people to fill it out. What would the results of the same poll look like for instance, as reflected by the CaS audience? For a start- 9% awareness of the existence of the UEA emails would probably rise to something like 100%. It is these audiences who are more involved in opinions about the reputation of climate scientists- and it’s probable that Judith was referring to these more engaged audiences, not random people.
     
     

  120. Barry Woods says:

    34# 
    So an anonymous person, you, decides that a professor of physics knows nothing.  He has a ‘superficial’ understanding according to your great knowledge..

    I imagine that attitude, is why, most scientist have kept their heads down, I don’t think they will for much longer, just imho, of course.

    It is entirely possible that Professor Jonatthon Jones has even read a certain book ‘The Hockey Stcik Illusion’ and followed the debate very VERY closely.. 😉

  121. Stu says:

     

    There’s a new Bishop Hill post that captures something of this argument over credibility well, imo.
     
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/2/25/science-policy-on-data-and-code.html#comments
     
    As we all should know by now, a lot of the fire in the debate comes down to really simple stuff, like data archival and sharing of computer codes. If these things were taken care of at the outset, a lot of wasted time could be avoided. As reader ‘Lance’ says, much of the drama of ‘The HSI’ would have disappeared had this issue been attended to. Everytime a climate scientist withholds data, credibility points are taken. There’s this idea that we have no time to lose, no time for mucking around. Sloppy institutional practices such as not archiving data, losing data, withholding code etc- add up to wasted time, and this is the fault of scientists, not critics. The counter claim that it is critics who are to blame for slowing things up by pestering scientists via FOI requests, is unfair- as a thorough reading of the climategate emails and an awareness of the timeline of events shows clearly. It’s frustrating, but trying to get the issue of replicability and transparency to be taken seriously by supporters of the science, is like trying to extract blood from a stone. This is one of the issues which Gavin seems to find ‘boring’, which is imo a detriment to him as a spokesman. It’s a wonder to me that those in favour of strong action now and who are protective of scientists, don’t press on this issue much, as it is seriously eroding trust in climate science among interested people, perhaps unfairly even- as it seems to be the same small group of scientists making the same mistakes. That these same guys happen to be lead IPCC authors and also feature prominently in the most controversial of the climategate emails, does intensify things.

     

  122. “And in the UK, where Climategate got wide and frequent play”
     
    Did it bollox.

  123. Keith Kloor says:

    @119, 120

    My impression is that Judith is referring to the general public, not specifically interested subgroups of people that normally inhabit climate blogs.

    Charles, please feel free to offer cites for opinion polls/surveys that show a different result. But again, bear in mind that I’m talking about the general public as a whole. In nearly every opinion poll on climate change the last few years (in the U.S), it seems that rising skepticism is found only among Republicans.

    Additionally, it bears repeating what Roger Pielke, Jr. observes:

    “As I have said for many years, and documented in The Climate Fix, the battle for public opinion on climate change has been won by those who argue that there is a profound human influence on climate and action is warranted. This has been the message of opinion polls for as long as 20 years.”

    This “message” has not been reversed by Climategate. I submit that if public credibility of climate science was in tatters, it would be reflected in public opinion surveys. That is not the case. But by all means, if you can point to evidence that demonstrates otherwise, lay it out.

     

  124. Keith Kloor says:

    Simon,

    I followed the coverage pretty closely in the months after Climategate broke. Maybe you were in a Rip Van Winkle period, because to my eyes the UK papers covered it pretty extensively, including the IPCC Himalayan story–in fact. The Guardian also did that extensive report, which upset Real Climate.

  125. Wow! I’m in awe of your faith in public opinion surveys. Having worked my summers on phones in that industry while at university, I’m under no illusions about the direct relationship between the poll’s commissioners and their very specific preferred outcomes. To whichever extent you believe in opinion polls, it amounts to misplaced cynicism-free faith in something with no more dependable integrity than a partisan TV channel’s collection of vox pops, on any given subject.

  126. StuartR says:

    @Keith Kloor
    It wouldn’t surprise me that you often get an agreement to the question “Are humans affecting climate?” appearing in polls over the last twenty years. But does it mean anything?

    I think you can tiptoe around this subject and ignore any real world latent problems merely by assuming you have a deep understanding based on poll results, when in reality the latent imperatives that could be deeply realised or felt by the public are deliberately not being tested. You are just hearing whatever voices you want to hear in the white noise so to speak.

    For example, do you agree with the accuracy of the 83% figure you quoted from the Guardian poll above? As I said before, if there is casual shrug of the shoulders when you cite polls, it’s a bit of fun. Then I say you can’t have your cake and eat it. If the Guardian have been erm, creative with that 83% figure for example, and that is not being interrogated further, then why should we think polls mean anything at all?

  127. Stu says:

    Keith- I agree with your assessment if Judith was in fact referring to the public generally. My personal experience is that the public attitude (the public I normally hang out with, not online)- is that climate science remains untarnished. Climategate was kept pretty lowkey in Australian media so I would also attribute a very low percentage of awareness to the UEA emails among Australians. The world of climate blogs though is an entirely different kettle of fish. If traffic stats are anything to go by, then scepticism has been rising steadily over the last few years (mainly WUWT) while the audience is decreasing at the pro AGW blogs. This is also a ‘public’ though as you say, a subset.

  128. Keith Kloor says:

    @126, 127

    Despite the imperfections of opinion polls, they are a reliable barometer. If they weren’t, I doubt politicians would rely on them so heavily.

     

  129. Keith, it was two weeks from the release of the document archive before Climategate showed up on TV. When it did, it was absolutely clear that the angle had been pre-determined. The BBC, which you must know is by far the most far-reaching and trusted news source for those seeking balance (rather than affirmation), was particularly meticulous in its careful delivery. When I challenged the BBC on its bias on Climategate reporting, they responded:
     
    “The biggest peer-reviewed process in history, the IPCC, concluded with certainty of more than 90% that
    climate change was primarily driven by humans. Thus, this has informed our coverage.  Indeed, on 18 June 
    2007 the BBC published a report on safeguarding its impartiality in the 21st century. It was the result of a 
    project first commissioned by the BBC Board of Governors in conjunction with BBC management in 
    November 2005 to identify the challenges and risks to impartiality. The report has subsequently been fully endorsed by the BBC Trust, the BBC Executive Board and the BBC Journalism Board. Below is an excerpt 
    from the section of the report relating to coverage of the climate change debate: 

    “The BBC has held a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the 
    weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus. But these 
    dissenters (or even sceptics) will still be heard, as they should, because it is not the BBC’s role to close down this 
    debate. Acceptance of a basic scientific consensus only sharpens the need for hawk-eyed scrutiny of the arguments 
    surrounding both causation and solution.””
     
    I was living in the UK, watching for UK TV coverage of the *breaking story* of Climategate constantly – which NEVER happened during the *breaking story* period. I am highly aware of the amount of coverage Climategate received in trusted sources, and you suggest that I was having a “Rip Van Winkle” period?
     
    What if, right now, there was still NO mention of the earthquake in Christchurch NZ on the TV. What if news of the Egyptian uprising was JUST NOW beginning to be reported on BBC news, not as a current event but as a “recent” event.. how would you describe mainstream TV media? Incompetent? Slack? Controlled? What, Keith?

  130. kdk33 says:

    So, Judith strikes me more calculating than rash.  Realtively well connected.  And rather influential (or Gavin wouldn’t have bothered).  She chose to speak now.  I wonder why?

    Presage:  to portend, foreshow, or foreshadow

  131. “Despite the imperfections of opinion polls, they are a reliable barometer. If they weren’t, I doubt politicians would rely on them so heavily.
     
    That’s a joke, right? Read back what you just wrote.

  132. Keith, political parties commission their OWN opinion polls. Whether or not newspapers also do is not relevant because the politicians don’t rely on anyone else’s for their own analysis. If the Republicans want to know how bad things REALLY are, the last place they’ll turn to is a poll commissioned by the Democrats. If they’re seeking veracity they’ll construct their poll accordingly.. and you can be sure that the actual results of that poll WILL NEVER see the light of newsprint.

  133. Keith Kloor says:

    Simon, I don’t know what you’re going on about. Do politicians over-rely on polls? Sure. The media loves to write about them, too, everything from straw polls to national surveys.

    Polls are what they are: snapshots, nothing more. But there is a cumulative  (and useful) value to them, that helps one gauge where general public attitudes trend on various issues, be they in politics or science.

    I’m not sure why that is seen as suspect by you and others on this thread.

  134. Keith Kloor says:

    Simon (133):

    I’m not going to get into a back and forth with you over polls, but suffice to say that there are independent polling organizations (that often partner with news organizations)–which exist to serve a purpose beyond that provided by internal pollsters for politicians.

  135. Fine, Keith, no problem. But I’m left wondering (not asking) how you believe you can reason which of these polls you can trust to have been conducted scientifically and which pseudo-scientifically. Or whether the susceptibility to conflation between the two even gives pause before relaying their results. Journalistically, I mean.

  136. StuartR says:

    @Keith Kloor
    “I’m not sure why that is seen as suspect by you and others on this thread.”

    I can give you my answer.

    From the Guardian quote above:

    “Asked if climate change was a current or imminent threat, 83% of Britons agreed, with just 14% saying global warming poses no threat.”

    The “83% of Britons agreed” figure there is not reflected in the actual data of their poll that is why I think it wrong not just suspect.
    I am not sure what we are supposed to “accumulate” from polls presented to us like that.
    In my case I accumulate a negative opinion of polls.

  137. Barry Woods says:

    yes

    I spent two weeks waiting for it to apaper on the BBC (harrabin had one web page that vanished as soon as it appereard.

    When it did, it focused on the trick, and got mike hulme, and those in the emails to explain it..

    NO MENTION at all from the BBC, at deleting emails and data in the face of FOI request..

    EVEN GEORGE MONBIOT called out on that one..

    Yet the BBC who must have known about the FOI, and the public do understand about scientists making data available, the fact that they had to be challenged to with FOI request, would make the public suspicious,

    The BBC choose NOT to tell the general public, and just attempted to ‘spin’ the ‘trick’

    Nearly a year and a half later, Curry ‘mentions ‘hide the decline’ and look what happens.

    and George was on record as having never as feeling so alone, about speaking about the issue…Journos (I thought all) love FOI it is a tool of their trade..especially folowing the MP’s expenses scandal in the UK.

  138. Tom,

    You wrote: “Have Bart or Robert Grumbine draw up a list of tenets of mainstream climate change. Judith will sign off happily on all of them, unless one of them is praising The Hockey Team.”

    I used to think that as well, but it’s clearly not the case (anymore). See e.g. her pronouncements on natural vs anthropogenic causation or her disagreement with how climate sensitivity has been defined for decades. She seems to assign equal plausibility to everything being natural variability as being radiatively forced. That is far from mainstream.

  139. More importantly than that it;s far from mainstream is that there’s no evidence for her position (which is probably why she doesn’t offer any).

  140. Dean says:

    @118 Hilary,
     
    I’m a programmer by trade, and when we need to do something that is not obvious, we search around and find somebody else who did the same thing and shares their trick. This trick actually does what we need it to do, it isn’t fake or false or a lie, but it is called a trick, simply because the methodology was not obvious. Tricks of the trade. So I have no difficulty understanding the language.
     
    The language in the NRC review means just what it says. They have criticisms and they have different levels of confidence in the conclusions. Compare that language with what you see in the critical blogs. I said that there are fair criticisms and the NRC report includes some. If you prefer the language of Curry et al, that’s your call. I’ll go with the National Academy any day. I understand what a trick is and I think I comprehend their language as well.

  141. kdk33 says:

    Dean,

    You correctly understand the meaning of trick:  it did what was intended, and had been done by another before.

    You seem to be ignoring it’s purpose:  to HIDE.

    Hide: to conceal from sight; prevent from being seen or discovered.

  142. Dean says:

    PS to Hilary – If you prefer the language of Roger Pielke, Jr, you might note this quote from him regarding the NRC review:
    “My reading of the summary of the report and parts of the text is that the NAS has rendered a near-complete vindication for the work of Mann et al.”
     
    from his blog archive at http://cstpr.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/000859quick_reaction_to_th.html
     

  143. gravityloss says:

    Kloor wrote: “He [Revkin] said he didn’t want Dot Earth to be a “comfort zone””“that there were plenty of those type of env/climate-related blogs. Instead he saw it as a “discomfort zone.” ”
    I guess there are medical blogs handling homeopathy, astronomy blogs on the moon hoax etc that sit firmly in the discomfort zone as well, which make experts very frustrated and mislead the public.
    Why is climate reporting different, so that peddling nonsense half of the time is seen as a honourable thing to do?

  144. James Evans says:

    Oops. Sorry I should have labelled the above link. It’s a new survey “of 2200 voters throughout five Western states (Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming)”, which indicates that 51% of people in those states are sceptical. There are some quite interesting breakdowns of who voted what.

  145. AMac says:

    A thought on paleoclimate reconstructions — not to threadjack, but get back to the question of the credibility of the climate-science mainstream and its claims.

    At #116, Peter D. Tillman linked to Zeke’s “spaghetti graph,” showing northern hemisphere temperature reconstructions ~200 AD to 2000 AD, done by Loehle, Mann, Moberg, and Ljungqvist (et als). Link.

    Here’s my three take-aways, on first glance.

    * The seven plotted recons largely agree with one another for most of the 1800 years.  Except Mann08 CPS (blue) is lower (700 to 900), and Loehle (red) is higher (400 to 1000).  Pretty good overall consistency!

    * The uncertainties of the recons (gray shades) are +/- ~0.5 C. That’s pretty modest:  thus, these reconstructors have a pretty good grasp on the climate of the past.

    * The record of the past few decades shows temperatures shooting upwards.  The rate is faster than anywhere else in the record, and the temperatures that have already been reached are unprecedented.

    Having looked into some of the underlying issues for 18 months, I would qualify the above three points as follows.

    * Mann08 CPS and Mann08 EIV are meaningless prior to ~1700 (i.e. for almost the entire period shown), since they depend for their “skill” on uncalibratable, upside-down Tiljander. Loehle is on record as doing his ’08 recon to show that these methods can’t reliably show temperature history. Ljungqvist10 was also a methods paper that made no effort to quality-control proxies.  All of the recons Zeke shows used many data series in common.

    * In my opinion, the biggest problem with paleo recons is how their authors think of their uncertainties.  Authors show one source of error, calculate it, then conflate it with all possible sources of errors.  My guess is that the grey-shaded areas should be four to ten times as broad as Zeke has them.

    * The instrumental record (~1880 – present) quite clearly shows a pronounced rise in average global temperature (Zeke’s careful posts at Lucia’s Blackboard have convinced me; “skeptics” should take an open-minded look!).  Is this rise steeper than other rises of the past two millenia?  Can’t say — proxy-recon methods don’t retain such fine-grained information, meaning that rises and declines can appear to be more gradual than they actually were.  Is the current temperature at an unprecedented level?  Again, can’t say.  The actual total uncertainties of the reconstructed history are, I think, too broad.
     
    What’s the net effect of these observations?  For me, it has been to think, “I’m just a scientifically-literate person peeking in from the outside.  If I can see these (and other) problems, why haven’t they being energetically discussed within the field, ever since the first proxy-based reconstruction hit the newsstands?”  On credibility:  “If this is the best that Specialists and Advocates can manage, how much can I trust their conclusions in other, more policy-relevant areas?

  146. Keith Kloor says:

    A quick glance at the WUWT write up yielded this, too:

    “Voters are solidly in support of the EPA requiring reductions in carbon emissions from sources like power plants, cars and factories in an effort to reduce global warming. Our past research would lead us to conclude that voters see auxiliary benefits to addressing carbon emissions and a broader benefit to air quality from such a policy.”

    Now, I suppose if you wanted to take issue with the phrasing of the question that got you this result, you could also take issue with the same question that led to the WUWT headline for its post.

  147. Eli Rabett says:

    Well AMac, Susan Solomon is certainly having her Martin Niemoller moment, which is the problem with your taxonomy
     
    First they came for Mike Mann
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t Mike Mann, and besides, he is shrill

    Then they came for Phil Jones
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t Phil Jones, and besides he should have paid more attention to those abusive FOIA requests

    Then they came for Gavin Schmidt
    and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t Gavin Schmidt, and besides he was too outspoken on Real Clmate

    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left to speak out for me.

  148. Stu says:

    Keith above-
     
    I’m confused about some of these political groupings here. Who or what are ‘conservative democrats’?
     
    A long time ago now, I was in a club, on drugs- and there was a political discussion happening, where one of my friends defined himself as politically ‘left of left field’. I agreed that I was as well- but for me at the time I thought that meant psychedelic. 😉
     
     

  149. Stu says:

    Sorry, left wing, not left field.

  150. AMac says:

    @ Eli #149 —

    Cryptic.  Non sequitor.

    I’d suggest “say what you mean and mean what you say.”

  151. Marlowe Johnson says:

    @152
    I believe Eli is refering to Inhofe’s press release summarized by Revkin, and the subsequent muckracking by the usual suspects.

  152. AMac says:

    Thanks, Marlowe (#153).  While an interesting development, how is Eli’s #149 on Susan Solomon a response to my #147, which discusses Zeke’s picture of paleo recons?  Perhaps I am slow, but it still seems to be a non sequitor.

  153. Keith Kloor says:

    Okay, since people are insistent on talking about this hide the decline episode, let me ask a question of Judith, cause I know she keeps up over here–:)

    If this is such a clear cut case of dishonesty and malfeasance, why now? It should have been just as clear six months ago or one year ago, since no new information is being presented. Why all of a sudden has she formed such a strong opinion about this? Or has she felt this way for a while and only just expressed it?

    If nothing being discussed now about Hide the Decline is new or revelatory (to all sides), I’m curious what led Judith to suddenly question the motives of some some her colleagues, going so far as to accuse them of dishonesty.

  154. thingsbreak says:

    Keith,
     
    Her “BEST” colleague (Muller) made a YouTube video, wherein he conflated a 1999 WMO graph with the primary scientific literature. Hope that helps.

  155. Marlowe Johnson says:

    @Amac
     
    Without speaking for the Rabett (he indeed can be cryptic), the point I think he is trying to make is this:
     
    The term ‘activist’ is perjorative in climate blogspeak.
     
    Talking publicly about one’s area of expertise does not make one an activist; at least as far as teh term is commonly understood.
     
    Your taxonomy blurs the distinction between folks like Hansen (who is an advocate, since he goes around the globe urging policies to reduce emissions) and others who are defending their work and/or simply communicating science to the public (e.g. Mann, Jones, Steig, Dessler, etc.) but DO NOT ADVOCATE in favour of any specific policy to address the issue.  I realize I risk the wrath of the RPJR gods saying this, but there it is…
     
    Now wrt Susan Solomon, you’re presumably going to see her defend herself in the media (and perhaps in the blogosphere) — in which case she becomes an ‘activist’ by your definition, when in reality she really belongs in the larger group of scientists who are just focusing on their work…

  156. thingsbreak says:

    5th attempt:
     
    @148 kkloor:
    Voters are solidly in support of the EPA requiring reductions in carbon emissions from sources like power plants, cars and factories in an effort to reduce global warming
     
    I think a useful addition to that story (not the WUWT post itself), is this post from the Economist’s DIA blog:
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/02/environmental_regulation
     
    It appears as though Americans, due to their pathological aversion to “taxes”, are willing to pay a stupidity (or to be less crass, an inefficiency) tax in ameliorating the problem.

    And as many of us have pointed out, we’re now in the bizarre position where advocating staunchly market-based, capitalist solutions to the problem result in accusations of crypto-c0mmun:sm, which perversely will eventually result in command-control government intervention. In other words, the real c0mm:es are cheering on the Jeff Ids, Jimmy Inhofes, and Chamber of Commerce efforts to prevent carbon pricing legislation.

    [It was in the spam folder, like the four previous ones. Next time, let me know sooner.//KK]]

  157. willard says:

    Non sequitur, with a u, for Cicero’s sake!

    [Willard, you are king of the cryptic. Eli can only bow down to you.//KK]

  158. MikeN says:

    Zeke, start with Mann 08, the EIV and CPS versions.  Those suffer from their own methodology problems, arguably more severe than Mann 98.

  159. AMac says:

    Marlowe @ #158, thanks again.  You’d have no way of knowing, but I tried to avoid pejoratives in #3 and following remarks. (No commenter prior to Eli @ #149 flagged “Activist” as offensive.)   Perhaps I should have used the less-wieldy neologism CSWDTWAIIs (Climate scientists who discuss their work and its implications).

    Willard @ #159, now I have learned something.  u.

  160. Tom Fuller says:

    Keith, if not now, when? Judith has been trying to engage with The Hockey Team as well as others. You and I both have seen her posting and asking questions.

    It’s not wrong to deliberate on a question. It’s not wrong either to come to a decision on it.

    She didn’t rush to judgement, that’s for sure. What would people have said if she’d come out with salvoes against The Hockey Team six months ago?

  161. Keith Kloor says:

    “What would people have said if she’d come out with salvoes against The Hockey Team six months ago?”

    I would have the same question then: what is prompting it?

    You also say: “It’s not wrong to deliberate on a question. It’s not wrong either to come to a decision on it.”

    Nor is it wrong to ask what prompted that decision.

    I’m surprised you seem surprised by this line of questioning, as you have previously considered yourself a member of the media. This is exactly the kind of question that journalists ask routinely, every day.

  162. thingsbreak says:

    @163 Tom Fuller:
     
    Curry has a bad habit of regurgitating claims made by others that she hasn’t fully vetted that tend to be skewed or have little if any basis in reality, e.g. Pat Michaels “black listing”, claims made in the Montford book, claims about tuning climate models, etc. I could go on.
     
    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Curry has decided “weigh in” now, after joining Muller on BEST and presumably hearing his “take” on things. That seems sort of implicit in her initial post.

  163. Tom Fuller says:

    Keith, I’m not surprised by your question. I’m offering a possible answer while waiting for Judith to correct me…

  164. Tom Fuller says:

    Yes, thingsbreak, Curry is not only an idiot but like all women she has to wait and have her opinion handed to her.
    We get it. You don’t like what she writes.

  165. thingsbreak says:

    Tom, you should consider asking for wholesale rates on all that straw you’re using.
     
    Cheers!

  166. Tom Fuller says:

    As opposed to the rigorously ethical and honest argumentation you employ? Spare me.

  167. Keith Kloor says:

    Over at her site, Judith approvingly flagged a comment made in this thread that may serve as an answer to my question.

  168. Tom Fuller says:

    The issue being, of course, the issue. By which I mean we’re spending quite a bit of time here trying to get inside Curry’s head when perhaps we might spend it more profitably on looking at whether or not her assessment is correct.

  169. thingsbreak says:

    @169 Tom Fuller:
    As opposed to the rigorously ethical and honest argumentation you employ?
     
    I’ll try to keep this out of the muck as best I can. Let’s review the bidding. I said:
    Curry has a bad habit of regurgitating claims made by others that she hasn’t fully vetted that tend to be skewed or have little if any basis in reality, e.g. Pat Michaels “black listing”, claims made in the Montford book, claims about tuning climate models, etc. I could go on.

    I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Curry has decided “weigh in” now, after joining Muller on BEST and presumably hearing his “take” on things. That seems sort of implicit in her initial post.
     
    For the first part of my statement. you might disagree that this is a “bad habit”, I will stipulate that that’s my value judgment. That she has done so repeatedly is not a question of opinion, it’s something she has explicitly admitted on several of the occasions I mentioned.
     
    The second part was speculation, admittedly so. I fail to see how you think it amounts to “unethical, dishonest argumentation” much less justifies the bile spouted in @167. A less generous person, not I mind you, would view @167 as an attempt to poison the well and derail the line of conversation initiated by Keith.
     
    In any event, I’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not the abhorrent views you attributed falsely to me are worth apologizing over. I certainly don’t want such an apology, although it might be in your best interest to make one, from a character if not credibility stand point.
     
    That said, I’m finished with this little contretemps and am returning to Keith’s question.
     
    @170 kkloor:
    a comment made in this thread that may serve as an answer to my question.
     
    Keith, that doesn’t answer your question any more than Tom’s earlier attempt did, about specifically why this at this time. The Muller video she posted was from October of 2010. The only things that have changed about the circumstances under discussion are further exoneration of people investigated and further paleoclimatic reconstructions supporting the general “hockey stick” shape of past vs. present temps.
     
    Oh, and Curry joining Muller at BEST.

  170. Marlowe Johnson says:

    Tom,
    Since you appear to have enough time to spam multiple comment threads, may I suggest you read the TBI report in its entirety?
     
    @Amac,
    CSWDTWAIIs is a bit of a mouthful, but more accurate IMO. Let me expand a little on why I’d suggest ‘activist’ is seen as perjorative when applied to a group of scientists.  Dictionary.com defintion of activist:

    ““noun
    1.
    an especially active, vigorous advocate of a cause, especially a political cause.

    For most people, being labelled an activist is neither here nor there.  For a scientist, however, such a label carries with it the implicit idea that they are no longer objective about their work. This, by the way, is why I suspect many scientists (most visibly those in the RC crowd) take issue with RPJr.

  171. Tom Fuller says:

    thingsbreak, why don’t you journey over to Judith’s site and ask her?

  172. Tom Fuller says:

    Meanwhile, what Curry said is that public opinion of climate science is in tatters. I personally think she misspoke or is in error. I think public opinion is largely indifferent.

    However, I think the opinion of that smaller class of people with a real interest in the subject is deteriorating rapidly, although ‘tatters’ might still be a bit strong. I think some voices that are quite credible are being heard in opposition to the consensus, despite the efforts of the Climate Change Rancid Reaction Force to deligitimize them.

    To wit, here speaketh Freeman Dyson on climate science:
    “First, the computer models are very good at solving the equations of fluid dynamics but very bad at describing the real world. The real world is full of things like clouds and vegetation and soil and dust which the models describe very poorly. Second, we do not know whether the recent changes in climate are on balance doing more harm than good. The strongest warming is in cold places like Greenland. More people die from cold in winter than die from heat in summer. Third, there are many other causes of climate change besides human activities, as we know from studying the past. Fourth, the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is strongly coupled with other carbon reservoirs in the biosphere, vegetation and top-soil, which are as large or larger. It is misleading to consider only the atmosphere and ocean, as the climate models do, and ignore the other reservoirs. Fifth, the biological effects of CO2 in the atmosphere are beneficial, both to food crops and to natural vegetation. The biological effects are better known and probably more important than the climatic effects. Sixth, summing up the other five reasons, the climate of the earth is an immensely complicated system and nobody is close to understanding it.”
    “¦”Among my friends, I do not find much of a consensus. Most of us are sceptical and do not pretend to be experts. My impression is that the experts are deluded because they have been studying the details of climate models for 30 years and they come to believe the models are real. After 30 years they lose the ability to think outside the models. And it is normal for experts in a narrow area to think alike and develop a settled dogma. The dogma is sometimes right and sometimes wrong. In astronomy this happens all the time, and it is great fun to see new observations that prove the old dogmas wrong.
    Unfortunately things are different in climate science because the arguments have become heavily politicised. To say that the dogmas are wrong has become politically incorrect. As a result, the media generally exaggerate the degree of consensus and also exaggerate the importance of the questions.”
    “¦”I am saying that all predictions concerning climate are highly uncertain. On the other hand, the remedies proposed by the experts are enormously costly and damaging, especially to China and other developing countries. On a smaller scale, we have seen great harm done to poor people around the world by the conversion of maize from a food crop to an energy crop. This harm resulted directly from the political alliance between American farmers and global-warming politicians. Unfortunately the global warming hysteria, as I see it, is driven by politics more than by science. If it happens that I am wrong and the climate experts are right, it is still true that the remedies are far worse than the disease that they claim to cure.”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/letters-to-a-heretic-an-email-conversation-with-climate-change-sceptic-professor-freeman-dyso-2224912.html

    Ooooh, but he’s…old…. he’s…. old….

  173. Tom Fuller says:

    Marlowe, since you consider my contributions as spam, why would you want me to read anything? So I could respond to your earlier nonsense and give you another chance to call it spam? I believe this is known as a logical disconnect, something frequently encountered when dealing with the acolytes of a beleaguered movement…

  174. willard says:

    Keith,
     
    Thank you for the compliment.
     
    I should have said that I was referring to #152 and #155.
     
    But let’s not forget the Main Message: Susan Solomon.

  175. Keith Kloor says:

    Tom (171)

    My post looks critically at Judith’s claim that the public reputation of climate is in tatters.

    Do you have any good evidence (beyond the passionate sentiments expressed in climate blogs) for this?

    Beyond that, I’m also interested in what led Judith to her current position on the what Hide the Decline means. I don’t see that as trying to get into her head.

  176. Tom Fuller says:

    Keith, I actually have a partial response in moderation, due to a link. I’ll revise and extend what I’ve written there.

    There’s a prima facie case that using two data streams to construct the Hockey Stick is really wrong, even if the result approximates the truth.

    This was explored in length shortly after its publication. The scientific and ethical issue is that the shaft of the Hockey Stick is falsely represented because the blade is taken from different data. It is very possible that the past 1,000 years of temperatures in  now way resembles what is shown in the Hockey Stick.

    However, this issue takes time to explore, especially given the difficulties in getting the actual data used and reconstructing the mathematical operations employed.

    It is my opinion that it takes time to understand the issues. I think a scientist trying to give the benefit of the doubt to those who published the Hockey Stick would wait longer than we impetuous bloggers before taking a step that is akin to one lawyer accusing another of malpractice in front of a judge and jury.

    I will bet even money that some of Curry’s colleagues are asking her why she didn’t wait longer.

  177. Eli Rabett says:

    So allow this lil ol bunny to figure it out.  Tom “Darth Discussion Distractor” Fuller gets free run, but Keith insists that Eli is a destructive hare and has to be on permanent secret moderation.  Amusing.  Is Keith in mortal dread that Eli would say a nice word about Joe Romm?

  178. RE #179, Fuller, Apples & oranges in the kockey stick graphs (real temps vs reconstructions).
    “This was explored in length shortly after its publication.”
    Maybe so, but certainly not resolved, and the practice continues. Zeke’s comments (or a pointer to a technical discussion elsewhere) would be welcome.
     
    TIA, Pete Tillman
     
     

  179. Re: What J. Curry is up to re “Hide the Decline”
    “I have struggled for 15 months to understand where this group of scientists is coming from and what has caused this problem, I have written several essays. They blame deniers, and say trust us we’re the experts, the science is fine.  There is a fundamental failure to recognize the existence of the problem.

    I am not seeing any hope of the scientists supporting the IPCC consensus to conduct the necessary self policing… ”
     
    Her entire summary is well-worth reading:
    http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/24/hiding-the-decline-part-iii/

  180. Steven Sullivan says:

    #116 “But, more importantly, the proxy reconstructions and the instrumental record are fundamentally different: apples and oranges. The thermometers record actual temperature; the proxies record, well, various best guesses of past temperatures.”
     
    Wow, REALLY?  I did not know that.  (I thought a ‘proxy’ was
    a kind of Girl Scout cookie)
     

  181. thingsbreak says:

    @174 Tom Fuller:
    why don’t you journey over to Judith’s site and ask her?
     
    Done.
     
    While I was over there, I also noticed her paraphrase of Kevin Trenberth’s comments to AMS didn’t quite match my recollection of his written remarks.

  182. Tom Fuller says:

    Have you ever visited the Girl Scout website and wondered what kind of cookies they put in your PC? Crumby joke, I know.

  183. Tom Fuller says:

    thingsbreak, not that you’re aptly named or anything, but as you put your comment in with 1,339 others on the first part of a four part series, I hope you don’t take umbrage if she fails to notice your question. Next time you might make it on a slightly more active thread.

  184. Steven Sullivan says:

    #163 Fuller “Keith, if not now, when? Judith has been trying to engage with The Hockey Team as well as others. You and I both have seen her posting and asking questions. ”
     
    Seems to be a recent development.  IIRC Curry was on record months ago — during her coming out on the blogs — as being bored with RC (too much agreement there with mainstream, don’t you know); that’s why she started hanging out with the howler monkeys.  Then she got spanked a few times when she *did* post her now patented waffle to RC, and her posting to RC since has been rare to nonexistent.
     
     
     

  185. Steven Sullivan says:

    #165 thingsbreak
    “Curry has a bad habit of regurgitating claims made by others that she hasn’t fully vetted that tend to be skewed or have little if any basis in reality, e.g. Pat Michaels “black listing”, claims made in the Montford book, claims about tuning climate models, etc. I could go on.”
     
    “Interesting!  Thanks!”
     
    (Curry-watchers will get the joke ;>)
     
     
     

  186. Tom Fuller says:

    Translation of #186: Judith did not limit her conversations to Real Climate, so the Real Climateers subjected her to their usual tirades and tantrums when she did appear, which of course made her so much more likely to return.

    But that gives you the excuse to trash her again, of course.

  187. Blair says:

    The issue is not the general public as they, quite rightly, show interest in the subject only when it intrudes on their daily lives, typically in the form of regressive tax regimes or relocation of resources. So the results of general polls mean very little unless the polls are linked to specific policy decisions.
    The concern of the policy makers and frankly the people on this board has to be the informed minority within the public who are starting to show doubt. The informed minority are the folks who are showing up at council meetings and at town hall meetings, they are the opinion makers in their local communities and the go-to people for the local press. These are people like the environmental studies professor at the community college who the local reporters phone so they can add local colour to the national story. The informed minority is made up of professionals, like myself, who work in an environment structured around discipline committees and ethics boards. As I noted in a previous posting, climate scientists have, until a year ago, managed to keep their dirty laundry out of sight. Unfortunately, we got a peek at this laundry and have not seen any evidence of efforts to clean the laundry in public. We are professionals in our public lives and don’t trust policy coming out of people whose ethics we can’t trust. I laugh when I see complaints be people on these boards that the skeptics seem to be made up of retired engineers etc.. These are the people you lose when you try to pull a fast one by using incomplete research or slip-shod science to make major policy decisions.  Major public policy can be killed at the local level when decision-makers get significant pushback. Until climate science can clean up its act the pushback is going to be seen and it will be coming from the informed minority.

  188. Steven Sullivan says:

    So, based on the CAS post she highlighted , this is JC’s rationale for her most recent ‘coming out’?
    “Judith was sincerely trying to help, by offering a dignified road back to what she saw as honest science. But climate science is not ready yet, and Judith, I think, is losing patience. She is starting to wonder if the sceptics were right all along ““ wondering if perhaps there is more wrong than she thought. In that sense, the sceptics are simply winning the argument.”
     
    Seriously??   How laughably pompous of her, if so.
     
     

  189. Steven Sullivan says:

    #188Fuller
    “Translation of #186: Judith did not limit her conversations to Real Climate, so the Real Climateers subjected her to their usual tirades and tantrums when she did appear, which of course made her so much more likely to return.”
     
    Interesting translator you’ve got there, TF.  I think it needs calibration against reality.
     
    Leaving aside the extremely questionable view that  RC responses to JC were ‘tirades and tantrums’,  I kinda think they were spankings not so much because  JC ‘did not limit’ her convos to RC, nor even due to *where* she chose to conduct other convos (though that didn’t help her cause) , but more the weirdness of what she *actually typed*.
     
     
     
     

  190. Tom Fuller says:

    She is pompous because a commenter on another weblog characterised her actions as quoted.

    Hmm.

  191. PDA says:

    I laugh when I see complaints be people on these boards that the skeptics seem to be made up of retired engineers etc.
     
    Well, I haven’t seen “complaints” about it, though I and others have noted that a fair percentage of the people claiming “engineer” status seem to have the kinds of problems with literacy and numeracy that would tend to make it difficult for one to pass a PE exam. Remember the ancient adage: On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog.
    I guess I have to thank McIntyre for making engineering cool again, though.
     
     

  192. Steven Sullivan says:

    173: Marlowe
    “@Amac,
    CSWDTWAIIs is a bit of a mouthful, but more accurate IMO.”
     
    Give him a break.  Amac’s use of ‘activist’ rather than the more accurate CSWDTWAII is just him simplifying the complexity of the data somewhat, for nonsspecialists, to get the main point across more clearly.
     
    (Congressional investigation of Amac to follow.)

  193. Steven Sullivan says:

    #192Fuller:”She is pompous because a commenter on another weblog characterised her actions as quoted.”
     
    Unless I misunderstood, KK took her linking to Nullius’ post as being effectively her ‘answer’ to his question of, “why now”?
     
    So yes, if KK’s right, and if that’s her answer, I’m laughing at her pomposity.
     
    I get how you, especially, might not recognize it as such.
     

  194. Marlowe Johnson says:

    well played sir.

  195. Tom Fuller says:

    Yes, trashing a scientist is such good sport. Why, other people have criticized the Sainted Gavin and Beatified Phil and Mann–it must be open season on Curry. Tis Pity She’s a Whore, of course…

  196. Tom Fuller says:

    So she’s pompous because Keith Kloor may have linked to Nullius in Verba’s comment thinking it might have represented Curry’s thinking.

    Why don’t you just get a gun and put her out of her misery?

  197. Steven Sullivan says:

    “I laugh when I see complaints be people on these boards that the skeptics seem to be made up of retired engineers etc.”
     
    I’m guessing you’ve never hung out on evolution ‘debate’ sites , where ‘engineers’ who act like they understand evolutionary biology (and its fundamental errors) better than the EB’s themselves, are like June bugs on a rose bush.
     
    It’s practically a cliche… ‘I’m an engineer, not a [scientific speciality here], but it seems to me there’s a big problem…”
     

  198. Keith Kloor says:

    Okay, folks, maybe this thread is past its prime. Before it degenerates further, maybe a time-out break for the feel good Yogi Berra/Ron Guidry story I posted on today?

  199. Steven Sullivan says:

    #198Fuller: it looks like you used your *translator* on this sentence I wrote:
    “So yes, if KK’s right, and if that’s her answer, I’m laughing at her pomposity.”
     
    I suggest again that you get it calibrated, or stop using it altogether. It doesn’t seem to recognize the word ‘if’.
     

  200. Steven Sullivan says:

    OK, I’m off to read about Yogi!
     

  201. Tom Fuller says:

    Nobody goes there. It’s too crowded.

  202. thingsbreak says:

    @167, @186, @192, @198 Tom Fuller:
     
    I’d like to again request that you stop putting your words into other people’s mouths. It makes polite discourse all but impossible.

  203. huxley says:

    Keith Kloor weighs in on this dispute and infers the public sees no problem. Please provide counter evidence to Kloor’s assertion;
    Going to Kloor’s claim about credibility in the US, I see that he supports it with a quote from Science Daily which ultimately refers to a Yale paper, Climategate, Public Opinion, and the Loss of Trust, which is not nearly so sanguine. The first line of the abstract:

    Nationally representative surveys conducted in 2008 and 2009 found significant declines in Americans’ climate change beliefs, risk perceptions, and trust in scientists.

    The credibility of climate science might not be in tatters, but it isn’t healthy and it’s not improving. IMO climate change advocates are whistling past the graveyard on this via selective use of statistics.

  204. willard says:

    Here is the penultimate sentence from the abstract of the working paper cited by huxley in #205:
     
    > The loss of trust in scientists, however, was primarily among individuals with a strongly individualistic worldview or politically conservative ideology.
     
    Here is the last sentence from the abstract of the working paper cited by huxley in #205:
     
     
    > Nonetheless, Americans overall continue to trust scientists more than other sources of information about global warming.

  205. GIRMA says:

    The credibility of climate science is “in tatters,” because its chief advocates used unscientific method to tell their story as described in a video presentation by Professor Richard Muller (Physics). The text is by me.

    CLIMATEGATE
    Video presentation by Prof Richard Muller
    Director of the Berkeley Earth Project
    http://bit.ly/eGzSuJ

    What about the Climategate?
    The scientists have now been exonerated, acquitted, not guilty.
    They did get a wrist slap.
    They deceived the public, and they deceived other scientists, but they did nothing that was immoral, illegal, or anything like that.
    What did they do to deceive the public?
    This is in the report. This is in the review, not the charts.

    But these are the data as they published it on the cover of the World Meteorological Organization magazine:

    Plot 1. http://bit.ly/fmHLX3
    These are the data that many of my fellow scientists at Berkeley used.
    They say, hello, you know the public may not understand graphs, but I do.
    Look at this. Here is the temperature for the last thousand years going all over the place. It is not actually temperature but they actually measured tree rings, corals, that is a proxy for temperature; goes all over the place.
    Look what happened recently: Zoom! That is clear and incontrovertible. The public may not understand this so I have to now lend my prestige to this. I am a professor of Physics and I will now go and tell people global warming is clear and incontrovertible because I have seen the actual data [Plot 1], and it is. Unfortunately, a lot of my colleagues have behaved in this way.

    In their paper, if you dig into it, they said they did something with the data from 1961 onwards. They removed it and replaced it with temperature data. So some of the people who read these papers asked to see the data; they refused to send it to them, the original raw data. They used the Freedom Of Information Act. The freedom of information act officer, on the advice of the scientist, would not release the data.

    Then the data came out. They weren’t hacked like a lot of people say. Most people who know this business believe they were leaked by one of the member of the team who was really upset with them.

    So I now can show you what the data that they refuse to release, the original data before they did anything. What they did was, and there is a quote. A quote came out on the emails, these leaked emails that said, let’s use Mike’s trick “Hide The Decline.” That is the word. Let us use Mike’s trick “Hide The Decline.” Mike is Michael Mann, he said, “trick” just means mathematical trick. That is all. Now, my response is, I am not worried about the word trick. I am worried about the decline. What do you mean hide the decline?

    Let me show you this. Now we have the data. Now it has been released. This is what it is.

    Plot 2. http://bit.ly/hmBIcs
    That is the raw data, as any Berkeley scientist would have published it. It would have said, okay, we have had the medieval warming, ice age, and now we have global warming. And there is some disagreement, but this disagreement is all over the place and that just shows the technique is not completely reliable.

    What they did is, they took the data from 1961 onwards, this peak, and erased it. What is the justification for erasing it? The fact that it went down. And we know the temperature is going up. Therefore, it was unreliable. Is this unreliable [pre instrument data]? No. How do we know? We don’t know, but [hand waving]. This [post 1961 unreliability] is probably some human effect. The justification would not have survived pear-review in any journal that I am willing to publish it. But they had it well hidden and they erased that and they replaced it with temperature going up.

    Let me show you how cleverly this was done. Get back to this plot [Plot 1]. There it is. They added the same temperature data to three different plots giving the illusion that there are three different sets going up. And they smoothed it, because temperature changes smoothly. If they had not smoothed it, you might have noticed, wait a minute, what is the change going right there? Why is it abruptly different? You don’t notice that because it is smooth. Smoothing is legitimate in their mind, because temperature change is not discontinuous.

    So that is what they did, and what is the result in my mind? Quite frankly, as a scientist, I now have a list of people whose paper I wouldn’t read any more. You are not allowed to do this in science. This is not up to our standards.
    I get infuriated with colleagues of mine who say, “well you know it is a human field, you make mistakes.” When I showed them this, they say, “no, that is not acceptable.”

    Now, here is part of the problem. The temperature I showed you before, this one.

    Plot 3: http://bit.ly/ewYmxR

    Of the three groups I picked the one I trusted the most. Which group was this? Ya, the group that hide the decline.
    Jim Hansen predicts things ahead of time. We have a group here that feels it is legitimate to hide things. This is why I am leading a study to redo all this in a wholly transparent way.

  206. Tom Fuller says:

    Huxley, thanks for the link. In fact it says that the percentage of Americans who were ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ sure that global warming was happening dropped from 71% to 59%, and the number who said humans caused global warming dropped from 57% to 47%. The study found a 9% drop in trust in science.

    Not a bad two-years worth of work on the part of The Hockey Team and their supporters, although I’m sure they will blame the (nonexistent) media coverage of the skeptic argument for their woes.

    In keeping with the title of this post, they can’t give it away on 7th Avenue…

  207. While I believe that people more or less such as “Blair” describes in #50 probably exist, the position is a little too pat and convenient. I see no compelling reason to believe that Blair is who Blair claims until Blair offers a full name to go with the claimed credentials.
     

  208. Tom Fuller says:

    Yes, Tobis, of course we should doubt who Blair is. Just like Eli Rabett, thingsbreak, dhogaza, etc. The difference being you don’t appreciate Blair’s writing, so he’s the dog on the intertubes.

    Blair! Please justify your existence before commenting. Otherwise we have every right to pretend you didn’t say anything.

  209. GIRMA says:

    Building Bridge
    My suggestion is to use any change in global mean temperature pattern to test man-made global warming until the uncertainty regarding climate sensitivity is reduced or removed.
    For the global mean temperature data of hadcrut & gistemp, I have developed the following pattern:
    http://bit.ly/emAwAu
    Clearly, the above data shows a cyclic pattern.
    My suggestion is, if the global warming trend for the period from 2000 to 2030, when plotted in the above chart, gives similar pattern ( decreasing temperature) as the periods from 1880 to 1910 or 1940 to 1970, then the effect of human emission of CO2 is negligible. However, if the pattern is different, then human emission affects global mean temperature. I believe, the scientific community must come up with some validation that is clearly stated in advance and independently verified in order to reduce the number of skeptics.
    In the climategate emails given below, there is evidence for global warming at the end of the 19th century and in the 1940s.

    The verification period, the biggest “miss” was an apparently very warm year in the late 19th century that we did not get right at all. This makes criticisms of the “antis” difficult to respond to (they have not yet risen to this level of sophistication, but they are “on the scent”).

    http://bit.ly/ggpyM1

    I’ve chosen 0.15 here deliberately. This still leaves an ocean blip, and i think one needs to have some form of ocean blip to explain the land blip (via either some common forcing, or ocean forcing land, or vice versa, or all of these). When you look at other blips, the land blips are 1.5 to 2 times (roughly) the ocean blips “” higher sensitivity plus thermal inertia effects. My 0.15 adjustment leaves things consistent with this, so you can see where I am coming from.

    http://bit.ly/8SPNry

  210. coniston says:

    Goodness, 204 blog comments and very little scientific discussion of Hide the Decline. Some very readable commentary though.

    As I come here only 3-4 times a month, I don’t know if you have discussed the use of the term denier or not, but it is repellent in the exact same way as the n-word. Neither word has ANY relationship with reality (100% of the people I know do not deny climate change in fact in 7 years of reading I don’t think I have come across one comment which says the climate doesn’t change).  However both words have repellent connotations. (I needn’t rehash them). But I cannot take seriously anyone who uses denier, any more than I could someone who used the n-word. Hope you can understand this point of view.

  211. Blair says:

    Tobis and Tom,

    Fair enough, here we go, I’m a regular lurker and only sometime commenter by the name of Blair King. I am a Professional Chemist and Professional Biologist and am registered as an R.P.Bio and PChem. in the Province of British Columbia, Canada (both easily verifiable with a search of the appropriate web sites). I earned my PhD in Environmental Studies and Chemistry from the University of Victoria where I was lucky enough to take a graduate course partially taught by Dr. Andrew Weaver (a man I respect and admire take that as you will) and spent many hours drinking coffee with his and other graduate students from the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences and took the opportunity to get educated about the science behind,  limitations of, and theories supporting the models being used to make these critical policy decisions.
    My research was in QA/QC systems and the use of scientific information in environmental decision-making. I developed tools to establish the reliability of information being stored in the early environmental information management systems now used by our provincial and federal governments to archive the data collected by government scientists. A decade ago I moved into the private sector where I now work as an environmental consultant in the field of contaminated sites.

    I suppose now that I’ve gone this far I will add this text and a bit more info to Dr. Curry’s “Denizens” section so I can send people there when they doubt my existence.

    Best regards

  212. NewYorkJ says:

    Note the blaring WUWT headling.

    “Western voters mostly skeptical of global warming”.

    This is a nice example of how he consistently spins.  When you dig down into the reference, the poll only covers 5 western states, none of which include any on the west coast, including Watts’ state of residence, where voters overwhelmingly voted to support implementation of their climate mitigation law.  The 5 states included vary from moderate to hardcore conservative.  And as Keith noted, the support for EPA regulation is very strong, surprisingly a majority in Wyoming.

    Not surprising was that when broken down by news source, Fox News viewers were the only ones “skeptical” on balance, and the result was overwhelming.  Given their tendency to lie on this issue (note an example I cited earlier: “including one with a reference to a plan to “hide the decline” in temperatures.””), that’s not a surprise, although one could argue causation here, Fox News merely being a reflection of the ideologues that demand certain material from them.

  213. Lewis Deane says:

    I’m not going to argue with those opinion poles except to say this – no one I know has ever been asked. Assuming that most of these poles are conducted by telephone who are they asking? It seems to us a middle class game, a bit like a Gaddafi pole?

  214. NewYorkJ says:

    I would be very interested in seeing something that shows the divergence issue is only a modern problem.

    “Has this phenomenon happened before? In other words, can we rely on tree-ring growth as a proxy for temperature? Briffa 1998 shows that tree-ring width and density show close agreement with temperature back to 1880. To examine earlier periods, one study split a network of tree sites into northern and southern groups (Cook 2004). While the northern group showed significant divergence after the 1960s, the southern group was consistent with recent warming trends. This has been a general trend with the divergence problem – trees from high northern latitudes show divergence while low latitude trees show little to no divergence. The important result from Cook 2004 was that before the 1960s, the groups tracked each other reasonably well back to the Medieval Warm Period. Thus, the study suggests that the current divergence problem is unique over the past thousand years and is restricted to recent decades. ”

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hockey-stick-divergence-problem.html

  215. Lewis Deane says:

    That is to say, all I can get, from various locations in England, and listening rather than asking, is that most people don’t feel that ‘global warming’ is real, or, if it is, is important.

  216. NewYorkJ says:

    I recall before the 2008 election, a large number of McCain supporters were fairly to very confident in victory.  They ignored the polls because their media sources told them most polls are liberal and fixed, and besides, Drudge was very selectively presenting polls up until the final day indicating a tight race.  It was tie because one poll in ten every few days happened to show a tie was within the MoE.  Some other polls indicated that voters saw McCain as more experienced, which surely was an indicator of who would win.

    Others were confident Obama would lose in part because most of the people they talked to or congregated with were supporting McCain – a representative sample of the population in their mind.  Obama was sinking, and the reason he was going to lose was because of his bad behavior (which included hanging out with terrorists, attending a radical church, supporting socialism, spreading the wealth), was a radical closet Muslim, was a way too inexperienced celebrity, was unpatriotic, and was an elitist.  That was their narrative.  They may or may not have believed it sincerely, but they badly wanted others to believe it.  Repeated accusations are often  effective substitutes for truth.

    One could see similar behavior (although to a lesser extent) with some Kerry supporters in 2004, but to be fair, that race was considerably closer down the stretch, and there wasn’t the same extent of fanaticism and blindness observed in the 2008 election.

    The nonsense Judith Curry and the contrarian crowd engages in is quite similar to the silliness surrounding political election seasons.  Judith claims climate science credibility is in “tatters” among the public.  Many polls indicate no change among public opinion.  Some polls indicates a modest shift skepticism, mainly among the political right, but none support her “tatters” claim.  Perhaps her supporters have found a poll or two that indicates some skepticism – at best indirectly supporting something remotely resembling her claim.  In doing so, they implicitly omits all other polls from analysis that don’t support their claims – a type of omission they pretend to decry with regards to scientific research.  They also don’t believe the other polls, because the people they hang out with tend to be more skeptical on balance.

    The next ridiculous logical leap is to use the selective poll to assert that the reason for any move towards skepticism is because of bad presentation of data from bad-behaving scientists, not the least of which is a graph from 12 years ago that few had ever seen, until some individuals dug it up in hopes of hurting public credibility of science.

    Just as fanatical McCain supporters were confident Obama was going to lose (based on very selective and biased readings) and knew that it was because of all of his bad behavior, Judith Curry and company “know” that climate science credibility is lost among the public, and they have their own illogical narrative as to why.

  217. kdk33 says:

    Those americans, so very supportive of action on climate – take my carbon, please – just sent packing the very politicians inclined to actually do that of which they are so desirous, and replaced them with the other set of politicians who promised, most adamantly, to do nothing of the sort.

    Surely there’s a computer model somwhere verifying this claimed public support, so the decline indicated by the emperical election data is most likely flawed.  Or maybe it’s just more “climate science” – you know: a trick; to hide; the decline.

    Time will tell.

  218. @Dean 141 & 143

    Thanks for your replies.  But I note that you have omitted mention of any reason that one should accept your characterization of the NRC report:

    “The NRC found most of the conclusions to be plausible”

    The text I quoted demonstrated that only one of the conclusions was found to be “plausible” – and the NRC’s assessment of the other claims went downhill from there.

    But I’d be very interested in knowing how you get from “one” to “most”, bearing in mind the following from the transcript of the subsequent Barton hearings:

    “Chairman Barton: Dr. North, do you dispute the conclusions or the methodology of Dr. Wegman’s report?

    “Dr. North [Chair of the NRC review panel]: No, we don’t. We don’t disagree with their criticism.  In fact, pretty much the same thing is said in our report. But again, just because the claims are made, doesn’t mean they are false.”

    A somewhat curious turn of phrase in that last sentence, eh?!  Surely a less misleading – if not more colloquial – expression would be “just because the claims are made, doesn’t mean they are true”.

    As for your pointer to RP Jr’s observations … they were a “quick reaction” given without benefit of reading the entire report.  It might interest you to know that last May, during the course of a rather heated discussion on the characterization of the Nature trick, RP Jr declared that it was “Face-saving fudge, not fraud”.

    http://hro001.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/defining-deceit-is-fudging-fraudulent/

  219. Brandon Shollenberger says:

    I hope I will be forgiven for posting a comment on hockeysticks.  So many other comments have been made on the subject, it doesn’t seem too inappropriate for me to make one of my own.  Primarily, this is in response to Zeke Hausfather’s comments in this thread (such as 33, 36, 64 and 86), but it should be useful for anyone interested in the subject.  In his comment at 36, Zeke says “numerous other folks have come to broadly similar conclusions.”  For examples, he mentioned Ljungqvist, Moberg, Esper, D’Arrigo, Rutherford and Hegerl.  For the sake of brevity, I’m just going to discuss three of these names.

    Moberg clearly is referring to Moberg et al 2005.  There are a large number of issues I could raise with this paper, but I don’t think people are that interested in methodological problems.  Instead, I’ll only consider the data used.  For high-frequency data, the paper only used tree ring data, some of which is from bristlecones.  Of their low-frequency data, their hockeystick derives almost entirely from two of their eleven series.  Neither of these series is calibrated to temperature.

    D’Arrigo can only be referring to D’Arrigo et al 2006.  Before I discuss it, I can’t refrain from mentioning one of the most amazing things to arise from the hockeystick debates.  In a presentation for an NAS panel, D’Arrigo informed the panel you have to pick cherries if you want to make cherry pie.  This is an apt remark as D’Arrigo’s hockeystick depends on using cherry picked data.  Specifically, the Polar Urals series used by D’Arrigo ignored updated data and instead added a new site (Yamal) to its mix.  That difference is the source of the hockeystick.

    Esper has been involved in a number of papers, but I assume Zeke is referring to Esper et al 2002.  This paper used 14 series.  Only a few affected the MWP/modern period temperature comparison.  Most were foxtail series.  For those less familiar with the terminology, foxtail and bristlecones are generally referred to collectively as “bristlecones.”  As a matter of irony, this paper did not use the Yamal update of the Polar Ural series.  Because of the elevated MWP in the version Esper used, two foxtail series are required to get a hockeystick instead of just one (or none if the Yamal version had been used instead).

    So what do we see in each of these hockeysticks?  Each one depends on a small selection of data.  Worse yet, in each case, there is reason to question that data.  That is the true problem of the hockeystick.  Saying Mann’s original paper had “significant flaws” overlooks this point.  His paper did have many significant flaws, but ultimately, the main issue is his hockeystick depended entirely upon a small amount of tree ring data.  As Amac alludes to in his comment at 147, this problem crops up again in Mann’s 2008 paper.  Zeke’s comments regarding “broadly similar conclusions” ignore the fact these conclusions are all based on the same thing.
    Put bluntly, the hockeystick exists only by relying extensively upon questionable data which is not supported by the bulk of data available.

  220. Ron Broberg says:

    Kloor: I would have the same question then: what is prompting it
    I remind you of a 10 second elevator speech.
     

  221. Lewis Deane says:

    NewYorkJ,
     
    There’s a lot of counter examples to that, quite a few here, and McCain and his cohorts self-delusion has been pretty well analysed to death, so I wouldn’t insist on this visa vie polls.

  222. Lewis Deane says:

    Actually, to put it stronger, not only is the statistical methodology of Polling companies often suspect but, among my community, there held in absolute contempt as self-fulfilling propaganda exercises. Sampling, in statistics, as everyone knows, is a very delicate issue. Many of these companies now use (‘economic’), lazy methods, such as on-line questionnaires, ‘street sampling’ or, the worst one, cold calling. As I say, most people I know would prefer not to bother and are especially excluded by the type of questions asked. Hence, such polls are possibly self selecting? To repeat, I know no one, among my extensive number of aquaintences, who has been polled on any subject, never mind ‘climate science’ or, a completely different question, climate scientists or scientists.

  223. Lazar says:

    Girma #207,
     
    Richard Muller’s claim that data for the ‘decline’ was closed source, subjected to FOIA, and released in the emails strikes me as incorrect. The post-1960 segment of Briffa et al. 2001 was in the paper itself, and the decline is openly discussed in prior and subsequent work prior to the email hack. I don’t recall anything about FOIA requests for ‘the decline’ nor release of such data with the emails, I’ve asked Mosher about this… waiting for a reply.
     
    Muller gives me the impression of not being on the ball.

  224. Lazar says:

    ‘The trick’ is a bit of misleading PR silliness. It is absolutely irrelevant to scientific understanding. It has received more than ample media attention. The public were not particularly concerned, and soon forgot. Nullius and Judith are claiming that the public didn’t understand what ‘the trick’ was, even though ‘the trick’ is trivial and obvious. Nullius and Judith are claiming that calamity is just around the corner, and the public will soon really really understand ‘the trick’. I don’t think those claims are at all convincing. In fact they seem like ‘alarmist’ hyperbole.

  225. Barry Woods says:

    Home many politicians just saw the garph and were convinced..

    would they have been convibce otherwise..

  226. Lazar says:

    Keith is a fair guy, and the above is a fair post.
    My problem with Judith’s work is not her tone… and some of her critics also go over the top.
    It is not her refusal to admit even inconsequential errors.
    It is not her unwillingness to take ownership of her claims.
    My problem is that after eight months there is no beef. Eight months of, as Judith puts it, tens of thousands of words on ‘but natural variability’, ‘but overconfidence’, ‘but climategate’, ‘but suppression of dissent’, and ‘but public trust’.
    Scientists are astonished
    “and finally, literally out of nowhere, concluded that therefore they had underestimated the magnitude of decadal variability and that their detection and attribution results were unsound! Really, I’m not making this up, it was actually how it happened. These latter topics were first introduced on her concluding slide and there was no hint of supporting argument.”
    Too little that can be nailed down, too few claims that can be checked, too much that falls into the category of ‘not even wrong’. Her supporters seem to think that this is not problematic. Scientists may disagree.

  227. James Evans says:

    Here’s my tuppence worth:
    I agree that the reputation of climate scientists isn’t in tatters amongst the general population, because the vast majority of the population really aren’t that interested as far as I can see. For most people, the major contact that they have with the idea of global warming is from the endless stories in the news that attribute anything and everything to global warming. This has become a background noise that people are very used to. And most people will simply assume that it is true. Why would they doubt the experts? If I look to see what’s going to be on Channel 4 later, and the expert guide tells me that ‘Friends’ will be on, then I assume that that’s correct. (Particularly as Channel 4 seems to have ‘Friends’ on an endless loop.) If the news tells me that the Prime Minister has made a speach about Libya, I assume that that is true. And I assume that the reporter will give me a reasonably accurate description of the speach. I don’t bother to independently verify most things. I trust the experts. I’d say most of us trust the experts most of the time. Otherwise we’d be exhausted, and deeply paranoid.
    So I’m not remotely surprised that most opinion polls show that most people believe that there is a major human contribution to global warming. I’m not surprised when polls show that most people trust climate science. I’m actually quite surprised when I hear of polls that don’t show that.
    And I’d like to give just a few anecdotal comments from my own personal experience.
    I work as a gardener in quite a well known garden. There’s a team of about a dozen of us. We’re all very ‘right on’. We knit our own yoghurt, and all that sort of thing. And we love (and care for) our own little corner of the natural world. When I first started to become interested in global warming, I had the occasional chat about it in the mess room. I found that I was the only one who was developing any strong opinions on the subject. I was certainly the only one who had looked into the subject. Before my interest in global warming started, if you had done a survey of attitudes among the garden team, I’m sure you would have found that we were all vaguely supportive of the AGW idea. Since then the vast majority of the team have continued to show little to no interest. Only two people have really engaged with the subject. One chap was sufficiently interested to go and check things out for himself. He is now mildly sceptical. Another chap voiced a very interesting opinion: “I don’t care whether warming is actually happening or not – I just rather like the fact that the whole globe is joining together to tackle an environmental issue. Whether the particular issue is valid or not isn’t the point – it’s a good direction to be heading in.” (This last December, on our annual walk to a local hostelry for a bit of turkey/tofu, this same chap proudly pointed out the terracing in the hillside above the village that he had grown up in. Archaeologists think the terraces were made by the Romans, for vinyards. I pointed out that it must have been reasonably warm back then. He laughed, and agreed.)
    Recently another gardener has joined the team who shares my scepticism. But it remains an issue that we very rarely talk bout as a group.

  228. @ Lewis, horrific isn’t it, how pervasive this pseudo-science is? Keith sees that Judith Curry has taken up Beddington’s challenge to call out pseudo-science for what it is. He completely ignores that she calls out the pseudo-scientific “hide the decline”, and ignores the very noteworthy fact that the only defence (if it can be described that way) mounted by Gavin and Mann depended on blatant misdirection, and yet the only thing he homes in on is one word – “tatters” – which he refutes with… yep.. pseudo-science.
     
    Pseudo-science is endemic to scientific enviralarmism. It is based on it, is entirely dependent on it for its justification and is absolutely nothing without it.

  229. Lewis Deane says:

    And, Keith Kloor, it might have been, on Judith’s part, a kind of ‘gut’, none evidenced based feeling, that climate scientists and their science is less trusted now, but surely, among the ‘cognoscenti’ at least, isn’t this something more than anecdotal? The Republicans in the US were very much ‘on board’ 10 years ago, for all the grunts about Bush? Look at McCain? Despite the ‘mad’ deputy?

  230. The question in the American Lung Association poll regarding carbon dioxide is prefaced by describing CO2 as an air pollutant. Streuth. “Now let me read you some specific air pollution standards the EPA is proposing. For each one, please tell me whether you favor or oppose the EPA updating these standards.”


    Looking through this survey, it is a classic example of actively leading respondents. Some of the prefaces to questions are epics.

  231. Lewis Deane says:

    You may be right, Simon, but I think Keith put out a good challenge. Ie for those of ‘us’ who ‘wish’ that the tide is turning, is it, in fact, doing so?

  232. Lewis Deane says:

    When Lazar says ‘scientists’, what he means, of course, are his favourite bloggers. I don’t blame him – he is no worse (nor no better) than many others, on both sides?

  233. Shub says:

    Tom in #13. – Very true.
     
    Simon, about KK’s climategate credit taking.
    I remember clearly in the earlier months after Climategate. KK insisted repeatedly that Climategate was an event of no consequence, was not very important etc. Even his answer indicates this – journalists picked up on the IPCC errors, rather than the failings of individual scientists and the institutional failure that followed as a consequence.
     
    And about the “public support” to climate action: It is the same public if you ask them about the greenhouse effect next, are likely to say that the hole in the ozone layer is letting all in heat come in. I am pretty sure that Judith Curry spoke of this public in whose eyes climate science’s opinion lies in tatters. I am also sure it is the same public who is unwilling to pay more than 700 bucks a year to pay for the ‘support’ they have allegedly lent to the climate cause – a.k.a the iron law of climate policy. Let us also not forget another iron law  – once you’d make them pay, the same public would expect ‘bang for their buck’ for every penny they’ve shelled out. ‘Hey I am paying my global warming tax. Where is the cooling?’. I am sure the same public would be considered very knowledgeable in their unshakeably positive opinion of climate science then.

  234. JD Ohio says:

    I think this Gallup poll is relevant.  http://www.gallup.com/poll/126560/americans-global-warming-concerns-continue-drop.aspx

    “48% of Americans now believe that the seriousness of global warming is generally exaggerated, up from 41% in 2009 and 31% in 1997, when Gallup first asked the question.”
     
    JD

  235. Eli Rabett says:

    MT, (#211) and Blair (#215) and that’s why Eli is a bunny.
     
    Frankly, the Rabett is more interested in what people write than whom they claim they are.  While people have good and bad (hi Shrub) reasons for donning aliases (not the difference to sock poppets) once done they can’t claim any particular expertise, but they can demonstrate expertise.  YMMV

  236. Lazar says:

    Lewis Deane,
     
    “what he means, of course, are his favourite bloggers”
     
    What I mean, of course, is that you can’t read my mind.
     
    Tx

  237. willard says:

    If we could read Lazar’s mind,
    What a tale his thoughts could tell,
    Raising from the dead and all.

  238. Let’s suppose for a moment that this whole climate debacle is, to all intents and purposes, a war. I regard Judith’s exploration/exposé of the pseudo-science of “hide the decline” as the wartime equivalent of an exposé of verifiable breaches in the Geneva convention during the Iraq war. Keith, meanwhile, thinks that the more important thing to focus on is whether Judith is wrong and should be admonished for declaring that a particular side is losing the war.
     
    I disagree fundamentally with Keith here. I don’t know if Keith is actively attempting to deflect focus from breaches of the rules of engagement or whether he really does believe that what is MORE interesting is who’s winning in the polls. Either way, fundamentally, I really do think Keith has his priorities bass ackwards.

  239. kdk33 says:

    I really do think Keith has his priorities bass ackwards.

    Nahh, his priority is readers, and yours was comment #241 :-).

    Lookit, the war to do something is far from over, but in 2010 BHO was elected on a platform containing a plank:  to heal the planet (ie decarbonize).  In 2012, his agenda was soundly, (roundly, mightily, awfully, insert superlative here) rejected.  Forget polls, if that isn’t a lost battle, pray tell what is?

    He’s now attempting a beauracratic end run; we’ll see how that goes.

    And mine is comment #242 (unless someone slipped in while I was typing).

  240. kdk33 says:

    hmmm, that would be 2008 and 2010 – woops.

  241. Dean says:

    @221 Hilary,
     
    I never said that Roger Pielke agreed with the Hockey Stick, I said that he sees the NRC review as supporting it. I only pointed this out because you had mentioned that you liked his blog. Yes, it was a quick reading by him – has he said anything else about it since or are you assuming he changed his mind?
     
    I have seen other mainstream reviews of the NRC review since then and they said essentially the same thing. You are treating standard scientific language as meaning something other than what it does, which is a standard problem in translating scientific studies and reports to the public realm.
     
    For example: “But again, just because the claims are made, doesn’t mean they are false.” and “just because the claims are made, doesn’t mean they are true”. Both of these mean essentially the same thing and both are true about the research. The first is a response to those are are highly critical, which is why it was used in the context it was used in.
     
    Attempting to reconstruct historic temperature records is a difficult challenge, and as I said, there are valid criticisms and concerns. Both the NRC and Wegman have mentioned some. The problem is that none of these concerns raise to the level of the vitriol you see on the critical blogosphere when it comes to this research, where the authors of the Hockey Stick are regularly accused of being charlatans, of their methods as being proven false, etc, etc. None of that is true. There are valid criticisms and there are valid reasons to think that their conclusions may not be true. If all you are claiming is that the NRC had criticisms, fine. But those criticisms simply do not justify either the status of evil that the HS has developed on WUWT and the Air Vent, nor the persecution of Michael Mann by conservative politicians and the cheerleading of it by many on the blogosphere.
     
    The hockey stick is a typical example of challenging science that awaits final evaluation at some point in the future. That’s how science works. It isn’t the word of God and it isn’t hocus pocus. It is an attempt to do a very difficult task, and only time will allow us a more concrete evaluation than can be made now.

  242. Keith Kloor says:

    Simon (241)

    I like to challenge assumptions. (BTW, this post is not about hide the decline.)

    Earlier this week, I devoted considerable time to jousting with the side that insists the press is failing miserably to convey what they consider the “story of the century.”  That side is deeply resistant to acknowlege the evidence that deflates this meme. They have their reasons.

    More recently I’ve put up this post that challenges a popular meme on your side–one we see repeated often at Climate Depot and WUWT–that climate science is like some wounded animal that can’t stanch its bleeding from climategate.

    I don’t see any evidence for that meme beyond the assertions made by Judith and many on this thread.

    If I was to write another post that included discussion of these two false memes, I would probably ask how is that so many who claim allegiance to science-based information have no problem relying on gut feelings, anecdotal experiences, etc, to draw conclusions that are not backed up by data.

  243. anon says:

    @Simon:

    “I disagree fundamentally with Keith here. I don’t know if Keith is actively attempting to deflect focus from breaches of the rules of engagement or whether he really does believe that what is MORE interesting is who’s winning in the polls. Either way, fundamentally, I really do think Keith has his priorities bass ackwards.”

    This is because Keith, like so many other reporters, fundamentally do not understand the science or the scientific method — and so they focus on the horse race.

    This is similar to how agnorant reporters like Keith’s colleagues will not focus on any sort of issue in society, or proposed project, or campaign issue, because that would be hard and taxing and keep them from their gin and tonics at the reporters club, but instead, focus on the horse race.

    If you listen carefully, you can hear the speed in which Keith’s eyes glaze over. Slower than a hummingbird’s wings, faster than cheese melting in a hot pan.

  244. anon says:

    “Earlier this week, I devoted considerable time to jousting with the side that insists the press is failing miserably to convey what they consider the “story of the century.””

    I think both sides are saying that.

    In fact, with almost any issue in the press, everyone on all sides says the press does a crappy job.

    The press defends itself with the old fallacy: “If I piss of both sides I must be right.”


    Miyagi: [sighs] Daniel-san, must talk.
    [they both kneel]
    Miyagi: Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later
    [makes squish gesture]
    Miyagi: get squish just like grape. Here, karate, same thing. Either you karate do “yes” or karate do “no.” You karate do “guess so,”
    [makes squish gesture] “

  245. ivp0 says:

    FWIW I think Judith Curry is right and Gavin and the gang at RC are largely becoming irrelevant in the search for understanding the complexities of climate change.

  246. anon: “This is because Keith, like so many other reporters, fundamentally do not understand the science or the scientific method “” and so they focus on the horse race.”
     
    What you say makes sense, yet I can’t accept willingly that it can be true. I cannot imagine that Keith is so unconcerned by fundamentally obvious ethical transgressions.
     
    It’s possible that Keith (along with countless climate scientists, it transpires) is more wedded to the goal than the process – that they believe that the ends justify the means, and that it’s necessary to ignore the fact that at least one key vehicle of the enviralarmist message is in fact pseudo-science. Or worse, that they genuinely perceive no problem with it.
     
    Climatology certainly is the story of the century. It will go down in history as the moment we discovered that science was infiltrated and usurped by pseudo-science.
     

  247. Steven Sullivan says:

    #248 “FWIW I think Judith Curry is right and Gavin and the gang at RC are largely becoming irrelevant in the search for understanding the complexities of climate change.”
     
    Interesting.  Actual scientists doing and publishing actual research on the complexities of climate are becoming ‘irrelevant’ in the face of bloggy typing a la Curry.
     
    Be careful what you wish for, #248.
     

  248. Steven Sullivan says:

    #246 anon: “This is similar to how [i]gnorant reporters like Keith’s colleagues will not focus on any sort of issue in society, or proposed project, or campaign issue, because that would be hard and taxing and keep them from their gin and tonics at the reporters club, but instead, focus on the horse race.”
     
    While I kinda agree with the sentiment — the tendency to focus on the horse race rather than substance, in political or science reporting, is *very* irritating — I had to LOL at the antique imagery of  ‘gin and tonics at the reporter’s club’!
     
    (though it also made me want to have a g&t)
     
     
     
     
     

  249. Lewis Deane says:

    I would also like to point out, that whether or not the public has any confidence in the ‘climate science’, they are given no choice, here in the UK , as regards it’s political outcome, since all sides are agreed on Sterns punitive and nonsensical rubbish and have voted on it, with only one, I repeat one MP voting against (no abstentions).

  250. Eli Rabett says:

    Stern was an optimist.  Cassandra is always right.  Louis Deane is simply whistling past the graveyard

  251. Lewis Deane says:

    Louis Deane is simply whistling past the graveyard
    He (or she?) sounds like a poet:

    <!– @page { margin: 2cm } H3 { margin-bottom: 0.11cm } H3.western { font-family: “Arial”, sans-serif; font-size: 12pt; font-weight: normal } H3.cjk { font-family: “DejaVu Sans”; font-size: 12pt; font-weight: normal } H3.ctl { font-family: “DejaVu Sans”; font-size: 12pt; font-weight: normal } P { margin-bottom: 0.21cm } –>
    The Way
    “˜The way out is vior the door:
    how come nobody knows this?’
    Confucius, The Analects
     
    Neither to go far nor to come home
    Is the point, they say:
    To stay that distant fixation found
    In their farmers fields
    There to scare the crows. Others,
    Across the years, from family
    To friends, may beg benediction,
    Proper words to confirm
    What their presumptions will always presume,
    But you that timid daring
    Which says there is a way but I cannot find it
    As the parameter of a town
    Beyond which the road leads past the graveyard
    But never past fear.

  252. Lewis Deane says:

    Sorry, Keith, that came out all garbled, possibly due to ‘copy and paste’ of a Word document. If you could delete the previous, here is my post:
     
    To Eli,
    Louis Deane is simply whistling past the graveyard
    He (or she?) sounds like a poet:

    The Way

    “˜The way out is vior the door:
    how come nobody knows this?’
    Confucius, The Analects

    Neither to go far nor to come home
    Is the point, they say:
    To stay that distant fixation found
    In their farmers fields
    There to scare the crows. Others,
    Across the years, from family
    To friends, may beg benediction,
    Proper words to confirm
    What their presumptions will always presume,
    But you that timid daring
    Which says there is a way but I cannot find it
    As the parameter of a town
    Beyond which the road leads past the graveyard
    But never past fear.

  253. Blair says:

    Keith (#245),
    Dan Gardner has written a fascinating book called “Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear” in which he looks at risk research and pretty much answers your question, although the manner in which you pose the questions makes it likely that you have already read the book as he also describes the relationship between “gut” and “brain”.
    As Mr. Gardner points out, in response to uncertainty and potential risk gut will always dictate an initial response to new data. The response will be a “conservative” one (not political but rather least risky in the short term where change is considered a risk). The only way for brain to override gut is if brain has enough information to “convince” the person to ignore gut. At least for some of us the data that we would use to convince gut that it is wrong has been tainted by the actions of a very small number of researchers. Until we know what data is reliable and what isn’t the job of convincing gut that shifting our entire economic base is necessary will be necessarily challenging. The best way to address the problem is to ensure that reliable and fully documented data is available to allow brain to override gut’s initial response.

  254. Blair says:

    Eli (#238),

    I agree that what one writes is more important that who that person is. The reason I uncloaked was that unlike some I do not have a long series of posts on this board to establish my credibility and some people on the board appear to be less forgiving than others about that.

    On a different topic, my apologies to all for the “style definitions” on the last post, my attempt to spell-check had unexpected consequences.

  255. Tom Fuller says:

    Stern is useless. And Cassandra indeed might be right, depending on the quantity of dark matter in the universe.
    Stop entropy now!
    Stern made his predictions based on a population of 15 billion in 2100. And he had much better predictions in front of him when he did so. He suppressed the discount rate and inflated the population totals so he could come out with his own private scare story, which sadly he felt compelled to publish without labeling it science fiction.

  256. Richard K says:

    Polls? What, when, who and all important, what questions were asked and how were they phraised? Who funded the polls? Dr. Curry is calling out all those who are hiding out behind a curtain of Truth but are afraid of what is really behind the curtain. She should be praised.

  257. Hmm..I would think the people hiding out behind a curtain of Truth already know what’s really behind the curtain.
     
    But that’s just me and my silly yen for *logical metaphors*.
     
     
     
     

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