Same ol’ same ol’

Richard Tol first came to my attention when he publicly criticised the consensus project. For reasons quite hard to understand, he tried very, very, very, hard to get his commentary published, eventually succeeding.

At the same time, it became quite clear that there were a number of errors in one of Richard’s papers on the economic effects of climate change. Richard Tol submitted a correction to his paper, suggesting that it was Gremlins wot made him do it. The significance of this was discussed by Andrew Gelman (who suggested that maybe Richard Tol should try harder) and by Grant McDermott. It now appears that the IPCC has changed the wording in one of its recent reports as a result of these errors/corrections.

If, however, you read Richard Tol’s response to this, it appears that his critics are all wrong and that it is all some kind of left-wing conspiracy. At this point I’m probably supposed to make some comment about Richard’s behaviour, but I really can’t be bothered. As Joshua would say, it’s just the same ol’ same ol’. It would probably be nice if people engaged constructively with their critics, but I guess there’s no rules to say that you have to and – I guess – if you don’t trust your critics then I suspect that you won’t feel that any engagement would be of benefit.

I’ll also note that Judith Curry has responded in a similar fashion to those critical of her Wall Street Journal Op-Ed. So, all-in-all, just another couple of episodes in the never-ending game of ClimateBallTM.

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123 Responses to Same ol’ same ol’

  1. jsam says:

    There is a conspiracy! Theirs. Who funds the Global Warmers’ Protection Fund?
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/dark-money-funds-climate-change-denial-effort/

  2. Harry Twinotter says:

    Richard Tol’s response is an example of “poisoning the well” rhetoric isn’t it?

  3. jsam, many of them you do not have to pay, many would pay for the privilege. The ones that will enjoy the consequences. Who will suffer most? That used to be hard work. Not everyone shares liberal ethics.

  4. anoilman says:

    Evidently fame isn’t all its made out to be. 🙂

    You know… its not that these people (Tol, Curry, Watts, et al) disagree. Its that they disagree with everything, and argue against everything. That suggests that there is something more at work than a mere a technical discussion. Likely the source of the confusion is the source of the question.

    Question: “Why does everyone disagree with me?”
    Answer: “Because you’re wrong.”

  5. In case Richard Tol comes by: did you already find time to find the 300 articles from your mathematical limbo? Without them people might be tempted to think that your article on the climate consensus is wrong.

    #FreeTheTol300

  6. anoilman says:

    Victor Venema: I offered $1000 of my own cash to Richard Tol for them, and he refuses to collect. I guess his dog ate that homework too.

    #FreeTheTol300

  7. Andrew Dodds says:

    AOM –

    This whole ‘argue against everything’ strategy is something I’ve seen before from creationists. It’s a classic ‘tell’ of a pseudo scientist. No alternative theory offered, just endless disagreement with everything, claiming victory when the opponent gets tired of it.

  8. corey says:

    Now that Professor VeryBadYear has been invoked, one wonders if a certain furry familiar will appear to warm-up the crowd for his master’s arrival.

  9. Pingback: The Climate Change Debate Thread - Page 4425

  10. I return to the actual issue discussed. I really cannot believe that anyone can tell (with or without the support of all research done on this) whether the present average temperature (or the temperature at some moment before the recent warming) is better or worse than a slightly lower or higher temperature. As long as the change in the average is relatively small compared to the annual variability of local temperatures the change can go equally well in either direction. The sign of the derivative is unknown, but it seems likely that the derivative is small at present and has been small for the latest 100 years.

    Based on that it’s possible that little more warming will be beneficial on global level, and it’s about as likely that it will be detrimental. It’s very likely (or virtually certain) that accelerating warming will get detrimental at some point, but estimating that point is also difficult. That detrimental effects will be larger, and ultimately overwhelming, is due to the delays of adaptation of the natural ecosystems and human societies. A wide range of stable temperatures of the Earth could support life and human societies at a level comparable to the present, but the period of transition may cause huge losses.

  11. Joseph says:

    It seems to me that having a relatively stable climate is always preferable to an unstable climate An unstable climate would more likely to lead to unpredictable changes that.humans or other species may not be able adapt to. I don’t think the uncertainty is really a reassurance in this case.

  12. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Relatively stable climate: equatorial (where people are mostly poor). Relatively unstable: temperate (where people are mostly rich).

    Next!

  13. Vinny,
    I think you’re confusing climate and weather. A climate that varies a lot of the course of a year, can still be regarded as stable if the variation is broadly consistent over decade/century timescales.

  14. Pekka Pirilä, it is not always the annual variability that is relevant. For heat waves, a shorter period would be appropriate, for wild life and plants I would guess year to centuries, for ecosystems decades to multiple centuries, for sea level rise millennia.

    The longer the time spans, the smaller the natural variability and the more important the currently still small temperature increase is.

  15. OPatrick says:

    As long as the change in the average is relatively small compared to the annual variability of local temperatures the change can go equally well in either direction.

    This surprises me from Pekka. Had I seen it from a usual ‘sceptic’ I would assume it was a simple misunderstanding, or a deliberate misleading. But am I wrong to think that this is a dubious position?

    At a very simplistic level of understanding I would have said that:
    1) Any change from the usual bounds of patterns of weather would be, on balance, a negative thing, at least assuming that the rate of change is faster than the adaptability of the human- and eco-systems and that the change is not readily predictable
    2) Even if in some cases the changes may be positive, on a global scale the likelihood is that more of the changes will be negative than positive as adaption has a cost associated with it
    3) Even if the costs for many individual areas may be almost indiscernible and overwhelmed by other factors, globally the costs could still be significant

  16. BBD says:

    Sometimes, it’s not what Pekka says, just the way that he says it.

  17. BBD says:

    To be clear, this is not an antagonistic response to Pekka’s comment, which concludes, dryly:

    A wide range of stable temperatures of the Earth could support life and human societies at a level comparable to the present, but the period of transition may cause huge losses.

  18. Victor,
    What I have in mind that changes in climate have both negative and positive effects. For small enough changes the effects are close to linear. As long as that’s true, the sign of the net effects is unknown. The question is, where the nonlinearities get important as the nonlinear effects are probably mostly negative. As effects are local (even when the same effect occurs at many places), I would expect that local variability is a reasonable point of comparison. Nonlinearities may be significant well below the level of natural variability, but natural variability can be used to set the scale even in that case.

    Over long periods even a small permanent change in temperature may have effects that grow gradually for long. Sea level might be an example. Adaptation helps, however, greatly in reducing the losses from slowly growing changes.

  19. anoilman says:

    Pekka Pirilä: Tol’s original paper discussed the ‘benefits’ of small positive temperature differences. He got a small benefit… by ignoring pretty much any negative effects.

    In any case I’m not so much worried about the small stuff. I’m concerned about the big stuff and how fast its occurring.

  20. Tom Curtis says:

    Pekka @8:02 AM, I agree with all that you say with one caveat. As temperatures rise, conditions become more favourable for cold blooded creatures and less favourable for warm blooded creatures. Further, they become more favourable for small creatures and less favourable for large creatures (such as humans, sheep, cattle, and most other domestic animals, which are all large relative to the vast majority of mammalian species). In short, they become more favourable for human pests and parasites, and less favourable for humans. That means there is a point where permanent increase of temperatures relative to current values will have a permanent detrimental effect, ie, that the harm will not only come from the rate of change.

    Further, and this is particularly a concern of the tropics, there is also when periods of sustained (multiple week) wet bulb temperatures greater than 35 C will become frequent events. At that point it becomes physiological impossible for humans and the majority of our domestic animals to survive without explicit technological intervention such as air conditioners. Given that we cannot plausibly air condition entire pastures, the tropics will at that point become seasonally uninhabitable.

    The actual points for these thresholds is large, and uncertain. Greater than +5 C for the first, and greater than +10 C for the second. They do, however, exist and are within plausible ranges of warming for this century (in the first case) and next century (for the second). I think adaption only strategies for dealing with climate change are precluded by these thresholds.

  21. Tom Curtis says:

    anoilman, while Tol excluded some harmful effects (due to insufficient data to model accurately), he did not do so in an obviously biased way. His positive effect for small increases is an outlier but not transparently in error. There is a very reasonable (I would say dead accurate) criticism of all IAMs that they simply ignore, or understate, the larger negative impacts from increased temperatures, but those negative impacts kick in at much higher temperature increases than Tol’s positive estimate.

    Here is the revised estimates for the IPCC:

    IMO, the low estimated loss at 5.5 C increase is far more dubious than Tol’s positive value at 1 C. Further, Tol’s high estimate for low increase has the effect of making the best fit curve parabolic with very steep losses at high temperatures. Excluding the outlier at 3.25 C increase, and the 5.5 C value, that results in a far steeper loss curve at high temperatures than would be the case without Tol’s figure, so that the effect of Tol’s figure is to increase the estimated damages from unmitigated climate change. Absent Tol’s figure, the best fit curve would be linear for a much reduced estimate of damages for unmitigated climate change. Such linear expectation is, IMO, absurd due to the considerations discussed in my comment immediately prior to this one.

    Of interest to this discussion is Tol’s latest paper that concludes that (in Tol’s summary on his blog), “…the impacts of climate change do not deviate from zero, in a statistically significant way, until about 3 K warming”. Given the current state of IAMs, that is probably correct. As can be seen in fig 4, the effect of the uncertainty which makes the lower increases not statistically significant is a much greater estimated damages at higher temperatures (Fig 4). Uncertainty is not our friend, but it does exist.

  22. Eli Rabett says:

    Pretty much what Tom Curtis said. Pekka, if you look at everything EXCEPT Tol 2002, the effects are small for 1-2 C, but start going noticeably negative above 2C. Tol 2002 bends the curve in an obvious and polemical way and of course, Tol will never let go of it.

  23. Michael says:

    “Tol’s original paper discussed the ‘benefits’ of small positive temperature differences. He got a small benefit… by ignoring pretty much any negative effects.” – anoilman

    ….and projecting some very dubious health benefits from a misunderstanding / misrepresentaton of some rather old, and quite small, studies looking at the relationship between death rates and temps.

  24. Tom Curtis says:

    Michael, I may well be wrong about this, but my understanding was that he got a positive health benefit by noting a real health benefit from warming in temperate and subarctic climates, but heavily discounting the real health harms in tropical and sub-tropical climates based on the distribution of GDP per capita. That is, the net health effect of warming is negative, but those who suffer most count for less so that’s OK.

  25. OPatrick says:

    So it looks like I was wrong to be dubious – seems that Richard Tol has so effectively convinced me recently he is arguing in bad faith that everything he says, even if said by someone else, appears necessarily dubious.

    Two caveats/questions though:

    In the phrase Pekka used “As long as the change in the average is relatively small compared to the annual variability of local temperatures” what are the bounds of ‘relatively’?

    Focusing on (small, even locally) temperature change misses the impacts from other changes associated with shifts of weather patterns. Are we not likely already seeing how a small average temperature change can result in significant changes in some extreme events that aren’t directly proportionate to the, relatively small, temperature change?

  26. Michael says:

    Tom,

    Not really.

    Deviations from average temp conditions tend to be associated with an increase in death rates. In the small studies Tol looked at, they show a slightly asymmetrical response – colder giving a sharper rise in deaths than warmer.

    But…. the studies were from temperate regions.

    Does the same effect apply in Mumbai??? – cooler conditions resulting in more deaths than warmer?. Highly dubious, but Tol assumed so and extrapolated to the entire world, to get some significant health benefits to warming.

  27. BBD wrote

    Sometimes, it’s not what Pekka says, just the way that he says it.

    That may be the case, or looking from my side, it’s perhaps, how my writings are read. I don’t always emphasize, what the readers would like me to emphasize. In the above I criticized the idea of anyone making claims on the sign of small effects, be it Tol or someone, who makes opposite claims (if no-one admits making such opposite claims, then the target is only Tol).

    I hope that regular readers of my comments start gradually to understand that, when I comment explicitly only on one detail, then I don’t imply anything about issues, I’m not commenting explicitly on. Try to avoid reading between the lines, in most cases there’s nothing there. It’s not uncommon at all that I comment on a detail in the way that weakens justification for my wider views, and I may do that without telling about my wider views.

    My comments are sometimes attacked making statements that I could largely agree with, as I leave (by purpose or because this just is my way of writing) it to the readers to put the detail into the wider context.

    I have mentioned that at some point the nonlinear effects kick in and that such effects tend to be predominantly negative. I do think that estimating the point where the damages start to rise rapidly is very difficult, and that the published estimates are highly uncertain, but the effect is virtually certain within the possible range of warming.

  28. Pekka,

    In the above I criticized the idea of anyone making claims on the sign of small effects, be it Tol or someone, who makes opposite claims (if no-one admits making such opposite claims, then the target is only Tol).

    In a sense this is why I find this interesting. It seems clear that the effects are small for small amount of future warming. Originally Tol’s analysis suggested small positive. Now it might suggest small negative, but it’s not wildly different. I can see, though, why the IPCC changed the wording and that claiming it would be positive is now not correct. It would have seemed quite easy to deal with this in a manner that appeared balanced and sensible, instead of suggesting that what the critics are saying is false and that it is some kind of Guardian-lead, left-wing conspiracy.

  29. ATTP,
    Based of what I understand on the idea of IPCC reports, they should tell about the results of published papers. The papers should also tell, what their methods produce – if not to tell, what’s the truth then to help in understanding the methods and inputs used in the analysis.

    The problem of this controversy is a bit similar to that some may have with my comments. IPCC reports tell also details that are not essential for final conclusions. It should be clear from the reports that the small effects of uncertain sign are not what’s relevant for policy decisions. Policy decisions must be based on estimated risks (and mitigation potential) at higher levels of warming. Thus it should not really matter much, what’s said on the sign of the small effects in the limited number of analyses, but the nature of the climate change controversy is such that irrelevancies are picked up and made to loud arguments in public discussion. Both sides do that.

    When the problem is not in the science, but in the way science is used, those who are unhappy with the situation should concentrate on the step, where the errors are done.

  30. Pekka,

    Thus it should not really matter much, what’s said on the sign of the small effects in the limited number of analyses, but the nature of the climate change controversy is such that irrelevancies are picked up and made to loud arguments in public discussion.

    Indeed, that’s certainly true. Maybe it’s my bias, but the tone is not the same on both sides. There’s only one Delingpole, for example.

  31. I don’t claim that the error is of equal magnitude on both sides – even excluding columnists and bloggers of The Telegraph, who are in their own category on many other issues as well.

  32. Pekka Pirilä: “The question is, where the nonlinearities get important as the nonlinear effects are probably mostly negative.”

    Could you explain why you think that there is an difference between linear and nonlinear processes or do you mean linear and nonlinear responses? Are you thinking of exponential growth or also about saturating nonlinear responses?

    I would expect that whatever difference you see in that, the differences in variability at the different temporal averaging scales, still determines whether a climatic changes is large or small relative to the variability. Thus the change we see is already large for sea level rise and melting glaciers and not yet large for annual plants (although for plants you would also have to consider spatial averaging scales, because if the weather is too bad in a certain region, it would have to remigrate to the region from somewhere else).

  33. OPatrick says:

    I stand guilty as charged – my reading was clearly coloured by ‘sceptic’ arguments, where valid points are distorted beyond all recognition. Although whilst I agree fully with this:

    It should be clear from the reports that the small effects of uncertain sign are not what’s relevant for policy decisions. Policy decisions must be based on estimated risks (and mitigation potential) at higher levels of warming.

    I do still think that it is important when communicating to be aware at all times of how words will be interpreted by people who want to distort them. A brief acknowledgement of the above point should perhaps always be added to a discussion to reduce the inevitable ‘warming could be good’ arguments.

    Having said all of which I still have questions about the “equally” part of this statement:

    As long as the change in the average is relatively small compared to the annual variability of local temperatures the change can go equally well in either direction.

  34. Rob Nicholls says:

    ATTP, your post is aptly titled. Unsurprisingly Dr Curry appears not to have followed through what I think are the implications of the estimates of TCR and ECS in Lewis and Curry’s recent paper, and has not started calling for urgent measures to decarbonize the global economy and prevent the substantial risk of dangerous climate change that I think is highlighted in that paper.

    However, I’m still shocked by Curry’s op-ed (I know I shouldn’t be). This particular statement from Curry is breathtaking: “If climate sensitivity is low, then future warming will be substantially lower, and it may be several generations before we reach what the U.N. considers a dangerous level, even with high emissions.” I’m an unqualified layperson, but I think this gives the false impression that we’ve got time on our hands. (I think it essentially says “leave it to future generations to worry about”). I don’t think we can assume that once we have, by our inaction, played our part in pushing the world towards a doubling, triping or quadrupling of atmospeheric CO2 concentrations, that future generations will actually be able to bring those concentrations down to a safe level again within a useful timescale and prevent dangerous warming, even if climate sensitivity is (happily) at the low end of the feasible range.

    Curry also says “the evidence is growing that we can chop off the fat tail of previous high sensitivity estimates.” Admittedly this particular quote from Curry is ambiguous, and perhaps she means estimates of an ECS 10 degrees C are extremely unlikely or something, but I think it will be read by many as meaning that the IPCC’s “likely” range for ECS extends too high.

    I do wonder sometimes whether the uncertainty monster eats anything other than specially selected cherries, particularly when I see Curry dismissing palaeoclimate with a comment such as “Yes lets use dubious paleo estimates to falsify estimates from the relatively reliable instrumental record, and also lets forget that climate sensitivity is state dependent.” I would guess that there are lots of uncertainties around palaeoclimate estimates but I personally wouldn’t want to gamble the future well-being of humanity and the biosphere on the assumption that these estimates, (and the estimates of the best climate models ever developed) are wrong.

  35. Rob,
    Yes, there are a number of issues – in my opinion – with Judith’s Op-Ed. One thing that struck me was that in this post, Judith says

    As for moi, I engage and get involved in policy discussions but do not advocate, putting me further towards the (new) Issue Analyst box than is Tamsin.

    while in the O-Ed, Judith says,

    This slower rate of warming—relative to climate model projections—means there is less urgency to phase out greenhouse gas emissions now, and more time to find ways to decarbonize the economy affordably. It also allows us the flexibility to revise our policies as further information becomes available.

    If that isn’t advocacy, I don’t know what is. To be clear, I have no issue with scientists advocating. I just wish that they wouldn’t pretend that they don’t when they clearly do.

    As you say, Judith’s paleo comment was rather odd. Also, the chopping off the fat tail is also a little unfortunate for a number of reasons (IMO). Firstly, even the lower estimates allow for high climate sensitivities. Reducing the chance of a high sensitivity by a factor of a few isn’t that comforting. Also, we know that these estimates (Lewis & Curry) have not considered newer temperature datasets and OHC estimates that would increase their estimated sensitivity. Also, as Steve Bloom would point out, none of these consider slow feedbacks or consider the possibility of low-probability, high-risk outcomes. I think Judith’s argument that we have more time and can do things more slowly is weak. Of course, if we do have more time, that would certainly be good, but banking on that would seem naive.

  36. Victor,

    Linear responses are those, whose size is given by multiplying the derivative at starting point by the size of the influencing factor.

    At optimum the linear effects must add to zero. I do not believe that there are valid arguments for telling on which side of the optimum we are. Both the nature and the societies are not likely to be severely influenced by changes essentially smaller than the natural variability. Some regions are certainly more sensitive than others, but that’s not likely to change the overall picture.

  37. “Linear responses are those, whose size is given by multiplying the derivative at starting point by the size of the influencing factor.”

    I had guessed so. My question was why it matters to you. Also if sea level rise were linear, my country of birth would disappear in the floods. I am kinda hoping that humanity will solve the climate problem and the rate of rising will nonlinearly decrease and even start to reverse.

    “Both the nature and the societies are not likely to be severely influenced by changes essentially smaller than the natural variability.”

    Fully agree. But I would add that the temporal (and spatial) scale on which you determine the “natural variability” is important because that determines its magnitude. There is nothing special about annual variability at the point scale, which you used above as sole measure of variability. It will depend on the process you are interested in what the right temporal and spatial (averaging) scale is.

  38. Andrew Dodds says:

    It’s an interesting question – if we were building civilization from scratch and had a choice of paleoclimates to use, which one would be best (Note: at full equlibrium, so time for things like soil development)?

    Start with late-precambrian snowball-earth. Probably not the best, what with the ‘Virtually no ice-free land’ problem.

    Glacial conditions (cf. Last Glacial Maximum, 15k years ago. ) – More interesting. We lose some land in the north to ice sheets, but gain land nearer the equator (Indonesia and the GOM, amongst other places. ) Seasonality may be more enhanced – which could be good for agriculture. As Vinny noted above, highly seasonal countries have the advantage of winter killing off crop pests, allowing for more reliable agriculture, which mey in turn have led to earlier industrial revolution. Possibly drier conditions with a slower hydrodynamic cycle – but a less variable cycle, assuming the weather volatility-temperature relationship exists.

    Current Conditions: Well, look around..

    Pliocene moderately warm conditions: +20m of sea level loses a fair chunk of productive land which may be compensated by more northerly growing. season. However – as we see today, there could be more problems with extreme events and blocking patterns making life less comfortable, and a band at the equator that would get very unpleasant to try to live in. And if there is lower seasonality, then issues like crop pest survival come up again.

    Cretaceous Hothouse: +150m (up to) sea level. Most of what we’d call ‘productive land’ would be under the sea – about a third of the current continents. Combine this with low seasonality and agriculture would be restricted. You’d also get some very, very serious hurricanes. On the other hand, you can burn as many fossil fuels as you like, it’s hard to shift the climate much warmer.. except for:

    PETM-style thermal runaway: Is actually touching the point at which Hypercanes form. This would be bad. We are also talking things like ocean anoxic events, with possible H2S emission episodes. Imagine a Hypercane with 500mph winds stirring up clouds of highly toxic hydrogen sulphide in it’s wake.. even the Tols of the world may concede a slight negative economic impact.

  39. BBD says:

    ATTP says:

    There’s only one Delingpole, for example.

    And let us all be appropriately thankful for that.

  40. dana1981 says:

    Regarding Tol and the IPCC figure, I think Andrew Gelman made the most relevant points. Gremlins and Tol error aside, the graph itself is just not useful. For starters, it treats all climate economics research over the past ~15 years equally. Most of the ‘beneficial warming’ papers were published more than a decade ago, and yet they’re treated with equal weight as papers published within the last few years. To me that implies that climate economists haven’t learned anything and the field hasn’t advanced in the past 15 years, if estimates from 2002 are given equal weight to estimates published in 2014.

    On top of that, the chart just takes the best estimates from a bunch of papers (many published by the same few economists) and doesn’t consider any of the differences in methodologies, uncertainty ranges, etc. The flaws in IAMs are glossed over as well, of course.

    We all know that Tol loves nothing more than to try and find errors in others’ work (inventing them when he can’t find any), and can’t admit his own (many) mistakes are ever significant. But to me the more important point here is that the graph itself is not useful, even when corrected for Tol’s Gremlins.

  41. Dana,
    Yes, Andrew Gelman’s critique was very interesting. IIRC, he also suggested that really Tol should have calculated the loss/benefit at different temperatures using the same models and them produced a family of curves, rather than fitting a curve through a set of data points that are not necessarily suitable for use in that way.

  42. Steve Bloom says:

    “not necessarily”

    That’s necessarily over-generous IMO.

  43. Two quick points:

    1) To clear up some confusion that I see in the above comments: The damage estimates are not outputs from IAMs. They are rather inputs to IAMs taken from other models or statistical analyses. (That is not to say that there isn’t some circularity here, as I believe that some of these other models rely on assumptions drawn from IAMs…)

    2) Richard Tol has just published a paper which uses non-parametric methods to estimate the damage curve of warming. (i.e. As opposed to making any assumptions about linearity or parabolicity, etc.) I discussed this in one of the updates to my post that Anders links to. I remain baffled as to how or why we would expect to find significant/meaningful results when applying non-parametric methods to such a small sample… Particularly when we have no underlying data generating function (let alone the means of discerning the validity of outliers). It just seems an elaborate exercise to generate statistical nonsense.

  44. Mal Adapted says:

    jsam:

    There is a conspiracy! Theirs. Who funds the Global Warmers’ Protection Fund?

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/dark-money-funds-climate-change-denial-effort/

    Yep, that article refers to Institutionalizing Delay: foundation funding and the creation of U.S. climate change counter-movement organizations, which Fernando Leanme and Michael2 have dismissed as conspiracist ideation here. It’s gotten a lot of attention because it’s so well researched and documented, and because it’s published in a relatively-high-impact refereed venue. That’s made it a hard target for deniers to discredit, but it hasn’t stopped them from trying.

  45. John Mashey says:

    Mal:
    you might also try Study Details Dark Money Flowing to Climate Science Denial which also has the supplementary materials and large versions of some of the figures.

  46. austrartsua says:

    Dear ATTP. You are failing miserably at your website’s purported task to “keep things civil”. You may very well be right that R. Toll and J. Curry said some things they shouldn’t have. I have no idea. If this is the case, just ignore them! Getting into these bitter back and forths does nothing to convince anybody of anything. Take the high rode. Stick to the facts. Argue your case. Leave the emotion out of it. Emotion will never help you win this debate. And these sorts of posts do nothing to change anyone’s mind.
    Cheers,

  47. Dear austratsua,
    I don’t need a lecture from you about how to keep things civil. Do you really know what the word “civil” means? Do you also understand the words “Trying” and the words “sometimes failing”?

  48. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    Pekka and Tom C make sense.

    Wotts just repeats earlier confusion between data corrections (which have no impact, really), new data (which have a large effect), data that have been challenged and corrected (which all show negative impacts) and data that have not been challenged (which include the estimates of positive impacts).

    Grant: I told you before. It makes a lot more if you start reading non-parametric methods in the 19th century rather than in the 20th.

  49. Richard,

    Wotts just repeats earlier confusion between data corrections (which have no impact, really), new data (which have a large effect), data that have been challenged and corrected (which all show negative impacts) and data that have not been challenged (which include the estimates of positive impacts).

    I don’t think said I said any such thing. Richard just illustrates his expertise at making strawman arguments.

  50. Andrew Dodds says:

    Richard S.J. Tol –

    I’m not sure the paper (2009) even makes sense. How would a change of 2% of GDP even manifest? This is, after all, a problem with a time dimension; any benefits from increased CO2/Temperature (Increased plant growth, health, whatever..) would appear to be fairly near term – indeed, for plant growth already baked in. Whereas issues from sea level rise, changing circulation patterns, desertification, greater hydrologic cycle, ocean acidification will take longer to show up.

    So it would make far more sense to try and derive GDP- with warming vs a nominal baseline over time.

  51. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    Andrew: These are comparative statics.

    For the dynamics, see Fankhauser and Tol (2005, REE).

  52. Willard says:

    > data corrections (which have no impact, really),

    For instance:

    This seems like a huge difference, changing the interpretation of everything, but it’s not discussed at all in the correction note.

    http://andrewgelman.com/2014/05/27/whole-fleet-gremlins-looking-carefully-richard-tols-twice-corrected-paper-economic-effects-climate-change/

    Related:

    http://www.econjobrumors.com/topic/richard-tol-vs-andrew-gelman

  53. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    Willard: With all due respect to Gelman’s earlier work, but he is completely and totally wrong there.

  54. Tom Curtis says:

    Willard, with respect to Gelman, the change under discussion in your quote is a change in the temperature baseline. Other than eliminating the convenience that there is 0% change in GDP for 0 C by definition, it is largely irrelevant. Rather, by definition, there is 0% change in GDP at approx 0.7 K, with a measure of uncertainty due to the uncertainty in the difference in temperature between the pre-industrial and the original baseline.

    With the change of baseline, it does make sense to introduce studies (if they exist) of the economic gain for the temperature rise from the pre-industrial to now (if any). It is widely assumed that, at least up to the 1960s, that increase in temperature represented a positive gain. I do not know if that has been shown, but if it has been, including the estimates would better constrain the shape of the the damage curve.

  55. Willard says:

    Richard, Tom,

    With all due respect, I think the “there” in question is Jonasson’s, not Gelman’s. That “today” had to be replaced with “preindustrial times”, even if minor, might have required some clarification. A paper is not a drive-by comment on a blog where you can allow yourself to say “Gelman is wrong” without justification, and right after having bitched against the blog curator.

    Gelman’s own points are made just a bit below:

    The short story that the problems with Tol’s analysis go beyond a simple miscoding of some data points.

    http://andrewgelman.com/2014/05/27/whole-fleet-gremlins-looking-carefully-richard-tols-twice-corrected-paper-economic-effects-climate-change/

  56. jsam says:

    Life is full of ironies.

    Here we have an economist who maintains any errors he made were insignificant and do not substantively change his conclusions. And yet that very same Gremlinologist criticises other papers even though his criticisms, even if valid, do not substantively change the conclusion.

    Kharma?

  57. anoilman says:

    jsam: Pseudo Karma.

  58. jsam says:

    We know a song about that, don’t we children? An economist gets his just rewards.

  59. Mal Adapted says:

    John Mashey:

    Mal:
    you might also try Study Details Dark Money Flowing to Climate Science Denial which also has the supplementary materials and large versions of some of the figures.

    Indeed John, I have, and was thinking of it as I referred to the “lot of attention” Brulle’s article has gotten 8^)!

  60. anoilman says:

    jsam: I liked how Dana described Tol’s summation:
    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/same-ol-same-ol/#comment-34981

    Tol’s approach sounds like the Fox news approach to Global Warming. “It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.”
    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2010/12/15/foxleaks-fox-boss-ordered-staff-to-cast-doubt-o/174317

    By not attempting to evaluate which paper or method is better it doesn’t help. Why not grab a paper from the 1970s for that matter? Is Tol enlightening us, or endarkening us?

    Meanwhile GWPF, is laying down a heavy FUD of War in its PR campaign.

  61. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    Willard:
    Gelman argues two things, that I should have analysed the data differently (apparently unaware that I did that, even after that had been pointed out to him) and that I should have analysed different data (apparently unaware that that data does not exist, even after that had been pointed out to him). He also uses a bizarre definition of outliers (as standing out against the prior rather than against the likelihood), disregards that specification tests give different results on different samples, misreads Nelson, and confuses levels and first derivatives.

  62. Richard,
    IIRC, Gelman was suggesting that you could take the various models and produce estimates for a range of different temperatures (i.e., generate the different data, even though it doesn’t exist at the moment). This might require some effort, but wouldn’t seem to be impossible.

  63. Andrew Dodds says:

    ‘comparative statics.’

    Doesn’t really mean anything, can you elaborate?

  64. Steve Bloom says:

    Endarkening, definitely.

    There’s nothing wrong with being wrong as such, except when you’ve made a gigantic public spectacle of yourself in the process even while attempting to smear your colleagues. If he were a physical scientist rather than an economist, this would be career-ending. This from Paul Krugman is enlightening about a certain economists, and applies neatly to Tol when you realize the repeatedly discredited proposition he’s devoted to is nothing more than his own public reputation.

    Derp indeed.

  65. Steve Bloom says:

    Anders, given the extant critiques of IAMs by Stern and others, I don’t think that would fix anything.

  66. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    Wotts
    That’s indeed one of Gelman’s suggestions. The problem is that for each curve, you observe only one point. And you know it goes through the origin. So the recommendation just falls flat.

  67. Richard,
    Sorry, that doesn’t really make sense. It surely must be possible to estimate the damage/loss at a range of temperatures for each model. Are you suggesting otherwise?

  68. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    Wotts
    In my universe, two points fit a straight line.

    You, with Gelman, start from the assumption that there is additional data out there, a third or fourth data point. I’d be much obliged if you could uncover such data.

  69. Richard,

    You, with Gelman, start from the assumption that there is additional data out there, a third or fourth data point. I’d be much obliged if you could uncover such data.

    No, I – like Gelman I think – start from the assumption that if a model can estimate damages at a temperature change of 1 degree, it could also do so for temperatures of 0.5 degrees, 1.5 degrees, 2 degrees, 2.5 degrees, ….. Therefore, the model could be used to estimate how the damages would vary with temperature. One could then do so for all the different models included in your analysis. I accept that the data is not out there. The suggestion is that you go and get the models, you rerun the models, and you generate the data. As I think I may have said in an earlier comment, this may not be easy, but it presumably isn’t impossible.

  70. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    Wotts
    You again posit the existence of data.

    Rerunning the models is trivial, but it does not generate additional information. Models are just mappings from one domain to another.

  71. Richard,
    So, what you’re suggesting is that a single model can only estimate the economic impact of climate change for a single change in temperature. Really? That seems a bit pathetic? Or are you suggesting that to get the model to provide an estimate at a different temperature you’d have to actually do something to the model. To be clear, I wasn’t suggesting that you simply rerun the model exactly as it would have been run before since that would presumably give you the same result. I was suggesting that you take that model and use it to give an estimate at a different temperature.

  72. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    Wotts
    That is exactly right. The primary estimates are comparative statics for a single point.

  73. Tom Curtis says:

    Richard, if what you are saying is correct, why are not all papers based on IAMs dismissed as too inconsequential to be worthy of publication. I can imagine how the climate change community (or AGW skeptics) would react to a supposed climate model that could only predict the climate for a given year. The proper reaction is, why are you wasting research funding on so transparently an inadequate model.

  74. Tom Curtis says:

    Following on from my previous, if what Richard claims is true, why do we get outputs from DICE like this:

  75. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    Tom
    The shape of the curve is based on conjecture and regularity conditions. There is no data behind.

  76. Richard,
    I’m kind of with Tom here, if you’re suggesting that a typical IAM produces a single number for a single amount of warming, it’s hard to see the value. I struggle to even see how you can really call that a model. It sounds more like just a calculation. What about uncertainties. I think this also brings us to another point made by Gelman. If each point is simply a separate calculation, then it’s not clear that considering them as a set of data points that represent some kind of range is correct. You’d need to show that the different results are a reasonable representation of the range of possible outcomes, rather than simply a set of completely different calculations that produce completely different answers.

    Of course, one can look at the results and conclude that a small amount of future warming will do little damage and that the damage will increase as the warming increases. No great surprises there, though.

  77. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    Wotts
    IAMs do not estimate impacts; they assume impacts and assess the logical implications of these assumptions.

  78. Marlowe Johnson says:

    ” I struggle to even see how you can really call that a model. It sounds more like just a calculation.”

    Bingo.

  79. Richard,
    Okay, yes, I remember discussing this before. I still don’t think that that changes the point though. If you’re saying that each calculation can only produce an estimate for a single amount of warming, that still seems a little odd. Additionally, there’s the point that I think Gelman was making about whether or not the type of analysis you’re doing is actually appropriate given that the data points may not be a fair reflection of the possible range of damages.

  80. anoilman says:

    I would assume the expert is the guy locating/producing data. Not the guy doing the power point presentation about all kinds of data sources.

  81. AnOilMan, metastudies can be very useful (disclaimer, I am just working on one :o) )

    However, if the methods and assumptions of the various studies are so different, I am not sure whether it is very informative to simply draw a line through the results of these studies. Could easily be enormously wrong.

  82. Steve Bloom says:

    What I find most interesting about this business, and I suppose we’ll never really know, is how Tol was able to browbeat his IPCC colleagues into including such shaky material to begin with (although subsequently he made sure to give them cause to be sorry about that). But maybe that’s reflective of a larger problem that in turn resulted in the very public trashing of the IAMs. Going forward, if indeed there is increased funding to try to fix them, will the funders be smart enough to exclude Tol?

  83. anoilman says:

    Victor: I am intentionally being a knob. And its not directed at you. 🙂

    I think its important to consider some degree of understanding your evidence. i.e. weighing its quality. I guess in many respects we take for granted that people do that.

    What are you writing a meta study on?

  84. I am comparing the homogenized temperatures of national weather services with the (homogenized) temperatures of the global datasets. National weather services often have more stations (a higher station density means that the difference time series between the nearest neighbors have less noise and that you can see non-climatic changes more accurately) and they know the history of their stations better. The best examples of these can thus be used to see how good the global homogenization works. Thus I am piggy-bagging on the hard labor put in by the groups that produced these datasets. Results later.

  85. Tom Curtis says:

    But Victor, if the national records show warming, they must be wrong. Every “true skeptic”™ knows that.

  86. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    Wotts
    Odd but true.

    Goalposts: Both the JEP and CompEc papers go out of their way trying to widen the confidence bounds without losing empirical support. If we follow the Gelman / Ward / McDermott suggestions, bounds would narrow considerably.

  87. Richard,

    Odd but true.

    Okay, but that doesn’t do much to convince me that they have much value.

    If we follow the Gelman / Ward / McDermott suggestions, bounds would narrow considerably.

    I’m not sure I see how this follows. I don’t actually remember them making any specific suggestions other than “are you sure you’re doing this properly”. Also, IIRC, Gelman made a perfectly valid point about the nature of the method and the data points. What you’re doing would typically require that the data points represent some reasonable representation of the range. A standard way of doing this would be to consider a single model/calculation and to vary the parameters or assumptions for which there is uncertainty. This would then produce a suite of data points that could be analysed as you’ve done.

    As I understand it, the data points you’re using are each independent calculations and are each intended to be best estimates. It’s therefore not clear that the spread of data points is actually a fair representation of the possible range of values. If each is a best estimate from a single calculation, why would one assume that the more extreme values are less likely than those in the middle?

  88. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    Wotts
    Read the papers. They’re about finding the widest confidence interval that can be supported by the data. https://ideas.repec.org/p/sus/susewp/6413.html

  89. Richard,
    I understand that. My point – as you probably worked out but won’t actually address – is that it’s not obvious that the data is suitable for such an analysis. Having said that, given the numbers and the uncertainties, it probably doesn’t really matter since there’s probably little we could say definitively other than, a small amount of warming will have little effect, the damage will grow with increasing warming, and we can say very little – if anything – about the impact of more than 3 degrees.

  90. Tom Curtis says: “But Victor, if the national records show warming, they must be wrong. Every “true skeptic”™ knows that.”

    If it fits, then at least the circle of the biggest conspiracy on Earth widens further. To a group of people that just want to have the best possible quality data for their country. A group that mostly does not work on global climatology, doing a job that will always be needed, whether the climate is changing or not (locally non-climatic changes can be quite large, much larger than the small correction it produces on a global level).

  91. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    Wotts
    Ivory tower nonsense. In the real world, you work with the data you have. You don’t wait for the data that might be.

  92. Richard,

    Ivory tower nonsense. In the real world, you work with the data you have. You don’t wait for the data that might be.

    Oh, I tend to agree. That doesn’t mean, though, that you don’t question the validity of the method. Notice that in my last comment I acknowledged that it probably doesn’t matter. It’s also why I find the whole witchhunt against Michael Mann so ridiculous. In that case, however, you probably disagree as the you work with the data you have, not the data you want is – presumably – only valid when you agree with the result. Otherwise, it’s fraud (and don’t pretend that you haven’t done exactly this yourself).

  93. Willard says:

    > Gelman argues two things, that I should have analysed the data differently (apparently unaware that I did that, even after that had been pointed out to him) and that I should have analysed different data (apparently unaware that that data does not exist, even after that had been pointed out to him).

    Gelman’s unawareness in your story made me go back and read what Gelman said. I’m quite sure he argued for more than two things. Perhaps unaware that it was his first point you dodged it in your response. The first point was that after correcting your 2009 paper, “only one estimate (yours) points to initial benefits (unless you want to count the one study that projects tiny 0.0% and 0.1% effects)”. Do you recall which study it was? Yours.This is one point you need to acknowledge. Is that true, Richard, or is Gelman unaware of something?

    This leads Gelman to say that the “if you aggregate them all, the overall effect is positive today” claim in the popular press quite moot. In fact, he says that “if the paper had not had the errors, it wouldn’t have supported that claim”. Perhaps you have no responsibility over what is said by “the popular press”, but I think you are in contact with Matt Ridley. In fact, I’m quite sure you are.

    Here’s a quote from Ridley’s article:

    There are many likely effects of climate change: positive and negative, economic and ecological, humanitarian and financial. And if you aggregate them all, the overall effect is positive today — and likely to stay positive until around 2080.

    That everything gets sunk in the end does brushes off what Ridley is saying.

    Do you recall your reply to Andy? Here:

    I agree that the wording could be clearer. The numerical result is from one paper, but ascribed to another.

    One sentence. One that doesn’t even acknowledge that Ridley’s claim is wrong. Why is that, Richard, is it another case of Gelman’s unawareness? You have to admit that “the wording could be clearer” contrasts with Gelman’s conclusion:

    The point is, when you correct the data, the statement no longer holds. What you have is only one study—yours—with a forecast of seriously positive outcomes. That completely changes the implications, in particular the claim in the news article that “this is the current consensus. If you wish to accept the consensus on temperature models, then you should accept the consensus on economic benefit.”

    http://andrewgelman.com/2014/05/27/whole-fleet-gremlins-looking-carefully-richard-tols-twice-corrected-paper-economic-effects-climate-change/#comment-167688

    Where’s the consensus on economic benefit, Richard?

    ***

    We have yet to go through the motions until we reach the last comment in that thread at Andy’s, Richard. You know, the one where he says:

    Your habit of brushing aside criticisms is unseemly. You’re the one who reported a -2.5 as a +2.5, she’s the one who directly pointed to the +2.5 number as “there must be a mistake”—and she was absolutely right! At the time, you apparently were so sure of yourself that you didn’t even think of checking the number in your paper. Then, years later, you still refuse to recognize you made a mistake by not checking at the time. This indicates:

    1. A stubborn refusal on your part to even consider you could have made an error;

    2. A lack of command of the literature on which you are considered an expert (at no point did you yourself notice something fishy about the +2.5);

    3. A continuing pattern to dismiss valid criticism, a pattern that is continuing today.

    Put these together and I guess there’s no surprise that your paper contained so many errors—indeed, an amazing number of errors for an empirical paper with only 14 data points.

    Perhaps a future correction notice will appear. I think you would describe this as speculation, but there seem to be additional errors that need to be corrected, indeed each time you add a correction, more questions arise.

    Andy raises one last question, to which you have failed to respond.

    ***

    I’m starting to think that your bravado rests on the sad fact that people don’t read, Richard.

  94. Eli Rabett says:

    Richard, you appear to have difficulty understanding the difference between Ivory Towers and the Potemkin Villages that you have erected. Quite frankly there is not a single result of yours that can withstand a bullshit test as Gelman and others have pointed out.

  95. Richard,

    Grant: I told you before. It makes a lot more if you start reading non-parametric methods in the 19th century rather than in the 20th.

    You were vague then and you’re being vague now. I’ve since shown your comment to a number of colleagues (all capable econometricians) and none of them can make sense of it either. Consider this an invitation to make a pedagogical contribution: Please elaborate.

    Both the JEP and CompEc papers go out of their way trying to widen the confidence bounds without losing empirical support. If we follow the Gelman / Ward / McDermott suggestions, bounds would narrow considerably.

    I don’t see how my “suggestion”, if you can even call it that, equates to a narrowing of confidence bounds. Indeed, my fundamental points are the role of functional form in a data poor world, and the impact of large uncertainties and large confidence intervals. This is clear from both posts on my blog that touch on your paper. In those parts where I do ignore confidence intervals, I specifically emphasise that I am simply following Ridley’s lead for comparison, but make it clear that this is “not a particularly sound strategy from a statistical perspective”. (I also note that my confidence intervals are calculated using different methods. However, I’ll add another comment to the post to make sure there is no ambiguity.)

    Recall that Ridley’s uncertainty glossing over is one of the key reasons this debate kicked off in the first place.

    While we’re on the subject, a lingering and unresolved question from the Gelman thread: What is the relative starting point of the x-axis? Ridley specifically claimed that it only refers to warming from the present day in his article. However, everyone now seems to interpreted it as warming since the industrial revolution. Which is correct?

  96. Eli Rabett says:

    Grant, the frightening thing about IAMs is they calculate differential damages (this is especially explicitly stated by Chris Field). It is idiotic, and yes, the starting date fluctuates with need.

  97. The final act is just perfect, Grant:

    ACT 1: A group of 16 self-proclaimed climate skeptics write an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, “No need to panic about global warming”.

    ACT 2: William Nordhaus, professor at Yale University and one of the founding fathers of climate change economics, pens a widely cited essay in response, “Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong.” Among other things, Nordhaus takes umbrage with the fact that these skeptics have bungled his own research in trying to argue that climate change is not cause for concern.

    ACT 3: Enter Bob Murphy, who comes to defend the honour of the original skeptics in his article, “What Nordhaus Gets Wrong”.

    FINAL ACT: Stickman Grant McDermott sweeps in from the shadows to set right the wrongs of the blogging world. Order is restored, women swoon and the sound of childrens’ laughter fills the air. Murphy curses and retreats to his secret lair, vowing revenge.

    http://stickmanscorral.blogspot.no/2012/05/nope-nordhaus-is-still-mostly-right.html

    But remember that in a never ending audit, there is no real final act.

  98. Steve Bloom says:

    “…there is no real final act.”

    Unless, as we can see in the comments to that post, the audience simply departs. (A very limited value of “final,” albeit.)

  99. (I also note that my confidence intervals are calculated using different methods. However, I’ll add another comment to the post to make sure there is no ambiguity.)

    Okay. I instead decided to update the figures in my blog post. They now utilise the same method for calculating the confidence intervals as in the original Tol (2009) article and corrigendum. This is simply to avoid any confusion about what I was implying. The substantive points of the post are, of course, unchanged.

  100. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    Wotts
    I have never said much about Mann’s work, and particularly avoided the topic of his choice of data. I don’t recall saying much about his choice of methods either. I guess you’re mixing up Mann and Rahmstorff, but also in the latter case my concern was with the method — ignoring measurement error, prewhitening — rather than with the choice of data.

  101. Richard,
    Actually, I was meaning that you’re quite comfortable throwing around accusations/suggestions of fraud or associating with those who do so. I don’t know if you’ve actually specifically done so, but the company you seem quite comfortable keeping are masters at doing so both explicitly and implicitly. I just find it interesting that some errors are just mistakes or don’t matter, while others are indications of fraud and misconduct. My preference would be that we avoided the latter. Of course, that would be the norm if people were actually interested in gaining a genuine understanding of a topic, rather than undermining inconvenient results. This is something that you’ve tried very hard to do with Cook et al. You can try to convince yourself and others that your goal was simply to correct shoddy work. That, in my opinion, is complete and utter nonsense, especially given the quality of your comment on Cook et al. that appears to find 300 non-existent abstracts.

  102. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    Wotts
    I rarely use the word “fraud” and have never applied it to Mann, Rahmstorf or Cook.

  103. Richard,
    Okay, you never use the word fraud. You, however, seem perfectly comfortable associating with those who do and even chose to link to the blog – in a comment on another post – of someone who had explicitly accused Cook of fraud.

  104. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    Wotts
    I also link to Cook’s paper. A link does not imply endorsement.

  105. A fair point. Although you did link to the other blog despite me pointing out that I thought the views so absurd that I’d rather not name the person nor link to their blog. Although, that may have been more to annoy me than actually endorse what the other person said 🙂

  106. Eli,

    I’m not quite sure what you mean by differential damages. Could you elaborate?

  107. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    Wotts
    Duarte, like Cook, is a PhD candidate in psychology. Duarte, unlike Cook, paid attention at methods class.

  108. Well, since you’re mentioning his name, Duarte appears to be an extremely ranty PhD student who thinks that accusing others in his field of fraud is an appropriate way to behave. He also, like you it seems, thinks this somehow makes him an idealist rather than simply an [Mod : redacted]. He also seems to – like you I think – not understand the difference between a consensus study and an attribution study, and seems to – like you it seems – criticise things without reading them properly, or trying to understand them. I can see why you like him 🙂

    #FreeTheTol300

  109. jsam says:

    Richard’s used that “paid attention” line before. See, I pay attention. Unfortunately, paying attention is not enough. Intriguing how Richard brings no evidence for his snark. Perhaps his gremlin ate it.

    Duarte writes much and says little. And his crowd goes wild. The echo is intense. Willard does well, but he’s drowned out by the cries of fraud. And “fraud” is mentioned seven times in the post. http://www.donotlink.com/c7xq

  110. Richard S.J. Tol says:

    jsam: Cook’s paper would fail in an exam on survey design or data analysis — as document here http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421514002821

  111. Willard says:

    > I have never said much about Mann’s work […]

    Mann’s work, yes. Mann’s other stuff, well:

  112. KR says:

    Richard Tol October 24, 2014 at 5:58 pm – You _might_ have had a point or two regarding Cook et al, if your linked re-analysis was worth anything.

    But it isn’t. As shown in http://www.skepticalscience.com/docs/Cook_2014_Reply_Tol.pdf, or by the other 24 documented errors you left in over reviewer objections at multiple publications – http://www.skepticalscience.com/docs/24_errors.pdf

    I find myself in agreement with Gelman – your paper wasn’t worth printing, and it’s quality is a very poor comment on your work.

  113. KR says:

    Richard Tol – My apologies on the last post, I mistakenly (typing in a hurry) conflated Gelman’s comments on your economics papers with your attempts to criticize Cook et al. Those are independent, except for the author in question.

    Regardless, your Cook et al analysis was utter nonsense – the absence of the 300 rejection papers that your (mis)analysis requires provides an argumentum ad absurdum demonstration of that. Which is documented in the two links I provided.

  114. Richard,
    What everyone else has said. What absolute nonsense. As I may have said before (but I’ll say it again more slowly this time – okay, maybe try reading it slowly. It isn’t complicated). Cook et al. was a survey of some abstracts, not a survey of some people. The people were simply used to determine a rating for each abstract. If you want to show that there is a problem you should go and rate some abstracts.

    Seriously, Richard, your paper is embarrassingly bad. At best it simply illustrates what was already acknowledged in the paper. As it stands, it appears that you, a ranty PhD student from Arizona, and Christopher Monckton are suitable companions. Why don’t you actually observe the abstracts to see if their wave functions collapse to actually produce the 300 reject abstracts you claim should exist.

    #FreeTheTol300

  115. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Wotts*, the Cook et al classification scheme was rubbish so there’s no point in rating any more abstracts with it.

    ===
    * I can’t speak for RSJT but I’m not using that name in an attempt to remind you of your (shameful?) Watts heritage. It’s just the name I first used for you. Plus I don’t think Anders fits you very well. (The only Anders I’ve known was a Swedish spy.)

  116. Vinny,
    We’ve discussed this before and, IIRC, you misunderstood the difference between a forcing and a feedback. What would be interesting would be for someone to re-rate some abstracts with a simple scheme that was essentially mostly (more than 50% since 1950) humans, humans contribute less than 50%, and no position with respect to AGW. Then compare that with the Cook et al. ratings.

  117. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Wotts, we have, your IIRC is wrong, but I don’t want to go through it again.

  118. Okay, I’ll change it to “you appeared to confuse feedbacks and forcings” 🙂

  119. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Wotts, not me. You’re thinking of someone else.

  120. I’m pretty sure I’m thinking of you, but maybe my memory of the incident is wrong. I’ll leave it at that 🙂

  121. Steve Bloom says:

    Who controls the Nobel Prize in physics, Vinny? Just sayin’.

  122. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Modesty forbids, Steve.

    (But yeah, it’s me.)

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