We can never “know” anything

Judith Curry has waded into the consensus discussion by highlighting a post written by two people I’ve never heard of and – from what I can find – have no actual expertise in this topic whatsoever. Apparently the key point is that

….. the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the earth’s warming is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for global warming.

Huh? Yup, you read that right. Apparently the idea is that as the level of agreement increases, our willingness to consider – or fund – alternative ideas decreases, and we actually start encouraging others to avoid considering these alternatives. Therefore we restrict our ability to increase our knowledge. Drawing this conclusion doesn’t require any actual evidence that we are discouraging the investigation of alternatives. Also, that we might have already elminated most alternatives does not seem to be an option.

I keep writing, and then deleting, a discussion about this. This is because it is such nonsense, actually discussing it further seems to be giving it way too much credence. If you’ve wondered why I haven’t mentioned Judith Curry’s blog recently, this is a good illustration of why. If Judith is going to promote this crap, there’s not really much point in even reading her blog, let alone wasting any time writing about what she promotes. I think I shall endeavour to continue in that vein.

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373 Responses to We can never “know” anything

  1. jsam says:

    Judith is a budding Brexiteer in the Redwood, Gove and Lawson mode.

    It’s all a liberal conspiracy.

  2. And just as Lawson is promoting Brexit while living in France, Judith is promoting the idea that we can’t know anything after having spent a career in science.

  3. Phil says:

    ….. the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the earth’s warming is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for global warming.

    So this means that as more and more commentators agree with them BTL at Judith’s then the more wrong the original article becomes ?

  4. John Hartz says:

    Question of the Day:

    Will Climate denier drones swarm this thread to defend Curry?

  5. Phil,
    So, if all those who disagreed with Judith stopped commenting on her posts, she’d have to admit that she’s wrong?

    JH,
    I doubt it.

  6. jsam says:

    “Will Climate denier drones swarm this thread to defend Curry?”

    If they did, would that not prove climate change is real? All this negative logic is very confusing.

  7. markbofill says:

    I say this, it was tempting for a few minutes. Maybe two or three.
    Silly argument to make. Fun and wacky perspective, definitely unusual, but.
    Not really.

  8. markbofill says:

    denier drones, huh. 😉 I’ll just swarm off and find somebody else to sting.

  9. jsam,
    As far as I can tell, if 50% of the commenters agree with my post, and 50% disagree, that will be the level of agreement that optimises knowability; or I’m just confused too.

    Mark,
    No names were mentioned 😉

  10. markbofill says:

    It’s all good Anders, the term doesn’t upset me. As G.R.R. Martin explained, Tyrion’s an Imp, John Snow’s a bastard; it follows to embrace that I’m a denier. If you armor yourself in it people can’t effectively beat you up with it. It seems to work surprisingly well for advice out of a piece of fiction.
    I’ve long gotten used to joking about it, it didn’t occur to me that it might not ‘read’ very clearly that I don’t take it seriously.
    Sorry.

  11. guthrie says:

    Obviously the people who wrote that rubbish don’t know any history of science either; every successful theory has had some holdouts and people who think it wrong all their lives.

  12. verytallguy says:

    Judith (who I believe does indeed hale from Lucca) feels forsaken by her scientific colleagues and is behaving as Lear predicted:


    There was a Young Lady of Lucca,
    Whose lovers completely forsook her;
    She ran up a tree,
    And said, ‘Fiddle-de-dee!’
    Which embarassed the people of Lucca.

  13. Willard says:

    > Will [contrarians] swarm this thread to defend Curry?

    Does it mean you’re volunteering to respond to them if they do, JH?

    Please realize that your provocations can become a burden to otters.

  14. Yvan Dutil says:

    Following this logic, the number one does not exist because people agree on its value?

  15. Magma says:

    If Judith is going to promote this crap, there’s not really much point in even reading her blog

    Way ahead of you there, ATTP. No worries, the route to the exit is well-marked.

  16. John Hartz says:

    Willard: Perhaps when you become a grandparent, you will better understand my antipathy toward those who choose to reside in Deniersville.

    Furthermoe, ATTP’s OP will create the kerfullfle in Deniesrsville, not my remarks.

  17. WMC,
    Well, these ideas do have a habit of coming around again.

  18. I should add, that the article that Judith highights isn’t actually new; March 2013, I think.

  19. Judith would be an interesting contestant on the quiz show Pointless.

  20. izen says:

    The argument is a little more subtle than simply that a consensus indicates a lack of evidence for global warming.

    That is the (unwarranted) conclusion.

    The argument made in support is that scientific theories can be graded for ‘knowlability’ Or the degree to which the predictions of a theory can be certain. If the evidence is strong then a consensus is legitimate. If the evidence is merely indicative, a correlation with wide uncertainties, BUT there is a strong consensus then that indicates a socio-political driver of the degree of agreement rather than the result of evidential verification.

    This of course epistemological nonsense.

    It is also a hypothesis about goup belief that applies rather more directly to Curry than to the climate mainstream.
    The certainty that AGW might be less than 50% of the observed change, and further changes may be small and/or benign is a denier consensus that is especially weak on evidence and knowability. Which makes holding such views even more likely to be motivated by socio-political non-scientific reasons. according to the Dumberg logic.

  21. Willard says:

    Joshua for the win:

    Is this a Poe?

    After arguing that there isn’t a strong prevalence of shared opinion among climate experts, and arguing that evaluating whether there is a “consensus” is anti-science, and arguing that whether there is a “consensus” is irrelevant (even though everyone regularly uses the heuristic of evaluating expert opinion to help with decision-making), and arguing that the research findings of a high prevalence of shared opinion are so flawed that they prrove that scientific findings that there is a risk of dangerous climate change from BAU is a hoax, now we get “skeptics” saying that we know that climate scientists are wrong because they have such a high prevalence of shared opinions?

    C’mon….it’s a Poe, right?

    https://judithcurry.com/2016/04/17/the-paradox-of-the-climate-change-consensus/#comment-778753

  22. Willard says:

    Perhaps when you’ll take responsibility for what you’re doing, JH, you’ll understand how annoying is your two-step “let’s ignore them but let’s provoke them” fox-trot.

    You should pay to make these comments, for they become work for otters.

  23. anoilman says:

    Well, if we want to reopen all kinds of discussions… what about slavery, and child labor. Reintroducing Child Labor would reduce our energy concerns and be a great boon to industry! Slavery… I mean wow… industry would love this! Free (ish) labor, and lets not forget that slavers look after their property while Capitalists externalize.

  24. John Hartz says:

    anoilman: The Repbulican Party of Texas will debate a secession resolution at its upcoming state convention. There are also fringe organizations in the U.S. who favor slavery.

  25. izen says:

    @-“C’mon….it’s a Poe, right?”

    Given that one of the authors is known to have stood for political office as a US senate representative on the Republican ticket and that is known to require the innate absence or complete suppression of all ironic sensibilities it is certainly not a Poe.

  26. Francis says:

    At age 49, in order to qualify to take the Patent Office bar exam, I had to take two semesters of intro-level college chemistry.

    The professor did not tell me that agreement among scientists as to the principles being discussed were “evidence of a lack of evidence for” chemistry. I’m shocked I tell you, just shocked.

    The greater the consensus the greater the evidence for the lack of evidence of the underlying theory? How wonderful. Are these two also available as expert witnesses in criminal trials?

  27. Michael Hauber says:

    Climate change is either true. Or it is false. Therefore it is 50/50 chance of being true. Therefore we do know something after all. Or we at least know more than Judith, however little that may be….

  28. This sentence in the original ‘Brumberg’ article, containing a string of common ‘denial’ themes, says it all :

    Thus, questions about observational biases in the location of temperature stations, changes in the earth’s albedo, the cooling effect of dust particles, shifting ocean cycles, fluctuating solar activity, correlation v. causation of historical warm periods and carbon dioxide, catastrophic model failure caused by chaotic interactions, and innumerable other theories—most of which are presumably wrong—are never properly mooted in the public debate.

    The basis of the Brumberg ‘theory’ is the erroneous belief that scientists are ignoring evidence and just following one another in an act of blind faith. Which pretty much describes the modus operandi of the ‘skeptics’.

    In other words, it’s projection.

  29. whimcycle says:

    (JC just makes this kind of reaction so easy. Is this merely provocation on her behalf?)

  30. whimcycle says:

    (Thanks for that, Willard. I just learned that term today while reading this post from James Annan from twenty aught ten. You reliably provided the money shot. 🙂 )

  31. anoilman says:

    How crazy is it for someone to claim there’s no empirical evidence for physics? I mean, that statement goes up to 11, right?

    Besides its not like we can measure Green House gasses from orbit…. Unless you work in oil and gas, then we suddenly know what we’re doing, and can measure energy absorbed in Parts Per Billion;
    http://www.ghgsat.com/

    Its not like we can measure ocean heat content, right? That military stuff must all be theory right?
    https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

    Sorry, but I’m an engineer, and saying we don’t know what we’re doing is b*t sh*t crazy. Got error margins, a little unknown.. sure. Outright wrong? Crazy talk.

  32. Willard says:

    Something interesting may still come out of this new ClimateBall episode:

    I’m not sure the authors’ argument can be reduced to an appeal to incredulity, but there’s some incredulity going on.

  33. Nick says:

    “In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the earth’s warming is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for global warming”

    That’s from the article. The only people who could write that would be those who are deeply ignorant of observational knowledge. Curry is making an appeal to incredulity based on an article in which the authors appeal to their own ignorance.

  34. Joshua says:

    ==> Is this merely provocation on her behalf?

    I think of it more as red meat.

  35. Joshua says:

    The “Denizens” get really ugly if they aren’t fed regularly.

  36. Joshua says:

    Look at the “presidential election” discussion threads. Judith is busy with a bunch of stuff and she knows that readership will drop if there aren’t regularly posts (actually, comment rates have dropped fairly substantially over the past couple of years). It is very interesting, IMO, that the explicitly political threads get so many more comments per post than the other threads (for the most part). Other directly political threads also have a relatively high comment rate.

    Must be coincidence.

  37. For what it’s worth:

    There’s somethin’ happenin’ here
    What it is ain’t exactly clear
    There’s a woman with a blog over there
    Tellin’ us we got to beware

    I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
    Everybody look what’s going down

    There’s battle lines being drawn
    Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong…..

    A well-thought response is more effort than it’s worth. Say goodnight, Judith.

  38. verytallguy says:

    Joshua,

    Look at the “presidential election” discussion threads.

    In a target rich environment, this nevertheless ranks amongst the very worst advice ever posted on a climate blog.

  39. Maybe this Judith Curry has neither expertise in this topic as the two people hosted by her. The Judith Curry’s blog is perhaps just a thing for her name to be found in better position by web search engines ?

  40. Andrew Dodds says:

    anoilman –

    Under slavery, owners have to provide housing and food for the slaves, not out of niceness but because slaves cost money. It’s cheaper to pay people so little that they can’t afford to live and hope that the government picks up the pieces (whilst demonising people for being poor). Slavery is practically socialism as far as these guys are concerned.

    And personally, I keep maintaining that the Earth is flat and supported by turtles because if I don’t, then by the logic of JC, all the evidence of the Earth being a sphere will vanish in a puff of logic and, amongst other things, all those airliners currently in transit will be in trouble, never mind GPS systems. It’s practically a public service.

  41. Dikran Marsupial says:

    “Apparently the idea is that as the level of agreement increases, our willingness to consider – or fund – alternative ideas decreases, and we actually start encouraging others to avoid considering these alternatives.”

    An obvious counter example being the CLOUD project at CERN (which IIRC recieved funds of about 12Mecu), which was set up to investigate Svensmark’s cosmic ray theory (although he seems to have dropped out of the project). It ended up doing some useful work, but didn’t support Svensmark’s theory. I read Svensmarks’ book, the chilling clouds, and he describes the funding he has received as a scientist, and his dissatisfaction with it. His research was funded rather better than mine!

    The problem with most climate skeptic hypotheses that stops them from getting funded appears to be that in most cases they are obviously (to most) incorrect (e.g. Salby “wow!”). This isn’t too surprising, paradigms are not easily overturned, and to overturn them, you generally need a new theory that has obvious merit, is internally consistent, and has some evidential support. Of course we could have a policy to give lots of money to Galileo’s, but that would be a waste of taxpayers money as the vast majority of them would turn out to be wrong (the advantage of CLOUD was that it had benefits beyond Svensmarks’ theory).

  42. izen says:

    The theory of stellar evolution provides an interesting example of a contemporaneous and similar scientific development of understanding that can be subjected to the Dumberg analysis.

    It is based on observations of a pattern of stellar types that is then explained as a change over time dependent on the starting mass. This theory is based on complex mathematical modelling of radiative transfer and convection in a turbulent fluid to get an ‘energy equilibrium between gravitational collapse and fusion energy.
    None of this can be tested in the lab, except as small scale low magnitude aspects removed from the real context of Teratonnes of fusing hydrogen with charge flows and magnetic effects.
    The observations are proxy indicators with corrections applied for known factors like Doppler shift and dust/gas absorption. But may also be affected by dark matter in unknown ways. The assumptions aboutlithium content indicating the birth age of stars is rooted in big-bang theory so dependent on the certainty of that theory.

    So the widespread strong consensus on stellar evolution when it is impossible to verify the theory by direct observation of experiment would indicate for the Dumberg brothers a lack of evidence and a socio-political reason for the strong consensus.

    But stellar evolution is a theory that developed over the last decades with a strong consensus because of the concordance of the observations, however uncertain, with the underlying theory about the physical processes. A development of mathematical modelling of energy transport in an absorbing, convecting and thermalising turbulent fluid under a gravitational pressure gradient made sense of the pattern of stellar sizes, ages and brightness observations.

    It is perhaps because the possibility of many confounding variables could falsify the theory that observations that are in accordance with the underlying mathematical analysis of the key processes confer greater credibility.

    There is a matter of historical development involved as well. Both stellar evolution and AGW were theories which were initially put forward with scant and uncertain data. Improvements in technology enabled improvements in observations that served to validate the theory predictions, and refine the accuracy of the theory.

    Of course if the theory of main sequence stellar evolution had resulted in the conclusion that there was a real risk of a solar flare instability developing in the Sun unless human consumption of fossil fuels was drastically reduced perhaps we would see much more stellar evolution ‘skepticism’ amd epistemological doubt being banded about than the field is presently subject too.

    (so just what is this dark energy/mass and how does it impact all that cosmology…?)

  43. Tim Roberts says:

    Judith, I used to think that maybe you were a scientist. Now I even doubt that. Any scientist will tell you that we do not “know” anything. We just have the best possible models that explain what we see and measure (yes, even in basic high school Newtonian Physics). To extrapolate “we don’t know” to denial of climate research exposes you as a non-scientist at best and an abuser of your position as a “scientist” at worst.
    Any respect that I had for you has gone (not that there was much).

  44. angech says:

    “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”
    “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
    “How crazy is it for someone to claim there’s no empirical evidence for physics? I mean, that statement goes up to 11, right?”
    Um no, see string theory empirical evidence as one example.
    Most physicists would say the evidence we have works for day to day stuff but is useless at the level of real understanding.
    The idea behind the article is known to us all as the story “The Emperor has no clothes”.
    where a consensus was plainly wrong.
    Religion is a similar story to some.
    Many things are seemingly apparent, obvious and true and in consensus.
    A powerful consensus can however, at times, admittedly few, be a sign that things might not be hunky dory.
    The amount of vehemence attached to a consensus is a red flag.
    As in does anyone really get upset when they meet a flat earther, really?
    But there would be a lot of upset if we met a denier, right?

  45. verytallguy says:

    Angech

    The amount of vehemence attached to a consensus is a red flag.
    As in does anyone really get upset when they meet a flat earther, really?
    But there would be a lot of upset if we met a denier, right?

    The vehemence is related to the harm.

    People get pretty vehement when presented, for example, by a homeopath against the medical consensus peddling malaria remedies which put vulnerable people at risk for profit.

    Flat earthers are harmless, not so climate change deniers.

    The red flag is the sheer nonsense Curry is prepared to promote; literally nothing appears to be too stupid, just so long as it is against the mainstream of AGW theory. She seems to have dispensed with all critical faculties.

  46. angech,

    where a consensus was plainly wrong.

    That past ideas for which there was a strong consensus turned out to be wrong, does not mean that there wasn’t a period when a strong consensus existed. It also doesn’t mean that the existence of a strong consensus suggests that the idea will turn out to be wrong – in some major way. Also, that some idea could turn out to be wrong in future, does not mean that we should ignore our current understanding when making decisions, on the off chance that in future it will turn out to be wrong.

  47. Marco says:

    Angech probably believes evolution is a hoax, too. Just look at the response from scientists when religious people once again push “teach the controversy” in schools! Red flag!

    VTG rightly points out that flat earthers are harmless, whereas homeopaths may not be, but one also needs to remember that the former are a so small group that they have absolutely no exposure. There was a brief moment of entertainment when some American rapper threw out some tweets claiming the world was flat, but that’s it. Homeopaths are much more numerous and there is even direct financial support for their treatments from insurance agencies. There is, in my opinion, way too little pushback against homeopaths, but I am aware of some doctors who consider homeopathy complete nonsense, but accept it because there is a clear placebo effect – they just don’t want to mislead their patients giving them a placebo while claiming it was something that would work against the ailment. At least homeopaths generally really believe they are helping people…

  48. angech says:

    If and when 97% of people accept AGW causing 100% of all global warming as a verifiable fact
    the 3% of non acceptors will not matter. If the facts are that provable the consensus will develop whether one works at it or not.
    At that point deniers will be “harmless”.
    I defend the right of people to have views that do not agree with my own, that is the essence of civilization even if it leads to the destruction of civilization.

  49. angech,

    I defend the right of people to have views that do not agree with my own, that is the essence of civilization even if it leads to the destruction of civilization.

    Of course, but I don’t know why you think that is all that relevant to the illustration of the existence of a consensus. There’s no requirement to agree with it. However, there is some quite compelling evidence that – at the moment – there is a strong consensus amongst experts about the basics of AGW.

  50. @angech wrote: “I defend the right of people to have views that do not agree with my own, that is the essence of civilization even if it leads to the destruction of civilization.”

    I’m sure we’d all agree with that. However where we don’t seem to agree is over your apparent belief that people peddling crap have the right not to be challenged.

  51. izen says:

    @-“I defend the right of people to have views that do not agree with my own, that is the essence of civilization even if it leads to the destruction of civilization.”

    Defending the right of people to have views is a good liberal principle with which we can all agree… but it does not lead to the destruction of civilisation.
    It is the actions taken because of those views that have the potential to lead to destruction.

    DAESH obviously have views, and act upon them that actively seek the destruction of civilisation.
    Anti-Vaxxers act upon views that are not intended to lead to destruction, but by exercising the right to act on their ‘views’ they undermine the established effectiveness of herd immunity and endanger many more than just themselves and the children they inflict their views upon.

    self-defence against the first group, but tolerance for the second set of views, may not be entirely ethically consistent.

  52. Andrew Dodds says:

    angech –

    But can you defend people having differing views when

    (a) These views are demonstrably false, or at the least unbounded by evidence.
    (b) These views are used to try and drive public policy in harmful directions for profit and
    (c) The people holding these views have no interest in further learning on the subject.

    Would you defend the right of the local crack dealer to stand at the school gates and harangue the kids with slightly glossed-over details of how wonderful the ‘crack lifestyle’ is?

  53. markbofill says:

    Andrew Dodds,
    .
    Question wasn’t directed to me, and seems we’re wandering off topic. No hard feelings if a moderator takes exception to my noting this and proceeding anyway.
    .
    Yup, I defend people having differing views when they are absolutely, obviously wrong, when their views are odious and despicable, and the people holding the views are the very scum of the earth.
    .
    Oh how righteous sounding, innit? How grand! I think I ought to pat myself on the back and award myself a pompous medal! No it’s not. It’s a PITA. You’re right, as a result you have to tolerate the crack dealers and the rest of the scum, and you’re right, they cause direct measurable harm. But there are things you have to tolerate if you want a free society, and tolerating the abject stupidity of morons like me falls under that umbrella, in my view. I think the benefits outweigh the damages.
    .
    Legal disclaimers, actual mileage may vary. Void where prohibited included but not limited to Fire in a crowded theater, slander, false testimony in court, many will enter few will win.
    .

  54. Mark,
    I think the distinction was between defending people who hold views that are potentially damaging, and defending their right to hold those views. The latter (with some exceptions that you note) is what I would regard as a fundamental part of a free society. The former is not. I can defend someone’s right to hold a certain view, while still attacking (metaphorically) the view that they hold.

  55. markbofill says:

    Anders,

    Oh. I see. Sorry I misunderstood. Thanks for clarifying.

  56. wheelism says:

    (“[F]alse testimony…” – check. Still, I see JC as an exhibitionist for whom public misinforbation and FUD waxing provide attention and comfort.)

  57. James Annan says:

    Does Curry still exist? How tedious for her.

  58. I had rather forgotten myself, but someone managed to make me aware of her post about how the existence of a consensus is somehow evidence for a small level of knowability??????

  59. Willard says:

    > The amount of vehemence attached to a consensus is a red flag.

    Raise concerns in your chambers daily, daily go peddle them into otters’. Observe vehemence; throw red flags.

    The auditing sciences can fulfill contrarian fantasies.

  60. The ‘skeptics’ seem to have a real problem understanding what a ‘consensus’ is. They appear to think it’s manufactured and that scientists whose work has become part of it—like joining a political movement—have to toe the party line or get thrown out.

    The reality is that a consensus just occurs; rather like a group of birds flying together becomes a ‘flock’ or several whales seen together becomes a ‘school’. A scientist can agree with the consensus on one subject and develop his own theory on another. What’s more, what constitutes the consensus on a subject is forever changing as new evidence modifies it, either incrementally or in quantum leaps. It thus evolves over time until indeed it might contradict what it was originally deemed to be the consensus. And given that modifying the consensus carries great kudos for scientists, they constantly work to challenge the whole or elements of it. And whether they’re successful or not, the consensus is strengthened.

    So what the ‘skeptics’ need to do is find the hard evidence to support their contentions and convince scientists of the merit of the new theory they come up with. And you know what? That will be the new ‘consensus’. Though by the definition of the Brumbergs, it seems that “will be evidence of a lack of evidence”.

  61. James Annan says:

    Ok, I just had a look at the post. I’d call it drivel, but that would be unfair on drivel.

  62. This is some homeopathy-grade logic over here.

  63. wheelism says:

    (Suggesting that at least SOME flat-earthers are Elio-centric. 🙂 )

  64. John Hartz says:

    ATTP:

    If Judith is going to promote this crap, there’s not really much point in even reading her blog, let alone wasting any time writing about what she promotes. I think I shall endeavour to continue in that vein.

    May we hold your feet to the fire on this quasi-promise?

  65. Morbeau says:

    I’ll see your measly 97% consensus and raise you $115 million annually:

    Oil Giants Spend $115 Million A Year To Oppose Climate Policy

  66. nonesuch says:

    There must be a term for the (self-contradictory) idea that we cannot discern truth. Yes, it’s a type of nihilism, but surely there’s a more specific term? “Anempistemy”, perhaps?

  67. nonesuch says:

    Hmm, that should say “anepistemy”. Whence came that extra “m”?

  68. anoilman says:

    angech: So… my take home message from you was that super string theory isn’t verified.

    This is where my teenage daughter holds up her hands like this, and says “Whatever.”;

  69. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    nonesuch says:

    There must be a term for the (self-contradictory) idea that we cannot discern truth. Yes, it’s a type of nihilism, but surely there’s a more specific term?

    Self-Terminating Unquestioning Promotion of Information Deficiency.

    or

    STUPID.

  70. John Hartz says:

    Somewhat off-topic, but triggered by John Russell’s comment above…

    Global warming attribution studies consistently find humans are responsible for all global warming over the past six decades

    is the tease-line for:

    Study: humans have caused all the global warming since 1950 by Dana Nuccitelli, Climate Consensus – the 97%, The Guardian, Apr 19, 2016

    Do the attribution studies that “consistently find humans are responsible for all global warming over the past six decades” constitute a consensus, or do they constitute a body of scientific evidence?

    I believe the set of studies are a body of scientific evidence accepted by a significant majority of climate scientists. Whether or not the majority of climate scientists accepting this set of evidence represent a consensus is entirely dependent on how the word consensus is defined.

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  72. John Hartz says:

    Now that Curry and her “nonsense” post have been thoroughly flogged, I suggest we turn our attention to something a tad more challenging such as…

    Boulder, Colo. — IMAGINE a future in which humanity’s accumulated wisdom about Earth — our vast experience with weather trends, fish spawning and migration patterns, plant pollination and much more — turns increasingly obsolete. As each decade passes, knowledge of Earth’s past becomes progressively less effective as a guide to the future. Civilization enters a dark age in its practical understanding of our planet.

    A New Dark Age Looms, Op-ed by William B Gail, New York Times, Apr 18, 2016

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/19/opinion/a-new-dark-age-looms.html?_r=0

    Perhaps Curry’s “nonsense” post is a metaphor tor the looming Dark Age.

  73. John Hartz says:

    PS: William B. Gail is a founder of the Global Weather Corporation, a past president of the American Meteorological Society and the author of “Climate Conundrums: What the Climate Debate Reveals About Us.”

  74. Joshua says:

    ===> May we hold your feet to the fire on this quasi-promise?

    Better yet, can we put some money in it? I’ll even give you odds, Anders.

  75. John Hartz says:

    Joshua: Given ATTP’s past behaviour, I’d say the chance that he will totally ignore Judith Curry and her blog posts in the future is somewhere around 1%. 🙂

  76. anoilman says:

    What do experts know anyways?

  77. Joshua says:

    In all fairness, trying to ignore posts like judith’s last one is a herculean task.

  78. izen says:

    @- anoilman Re:- picture

    got to love the three targeted levels of public communication on that poster.

    At the top the simple information that this is high voltage and a danger. the recipient is expected to have enough knowledge to understand what risks and behaviour this requires in response.

    below, the warning for the ‘moderately informed’ with a brief description of the required caution to be observed in regard to this risk.

    Lastly, a very big notice that does not even mention the source of the danger, but using simple words attempts to coerce behaviour by appealing to the emotional fear of pain and mortality rather than any acquired knowledge of the nature of the risk.

  79. izen says:

    @- John Hartz
    “Joshua: Given ATTP’s past behaviour, I’d say the chance that he will totally ignore Judith Curry and her blog posts in the future is somewhere around 1%. :)”

    I suspect there is a greater than 97% consensus that ATTP will succumb to engaging with a Curry post when this latest exercise in fatuousness is rendered merely whimsical by some new outrage against rationality, logic or historical reality.

    Given her expressed interest in ‘Science of Coercion’ C,Simpson’ I would predict that in about a month she might declare that ALL climate science since the late 1940s has been a carefully engineered construct directed by government policy on funding and establishing academic specialities, to form a field of study that was inherently constrained to ONLY be able to detect AGW. That the consensus is not the result of group-think or deliberate hoax/fraud, but the inevitable result of a body of research initiated and shaped by elements within governance that intended to have one subject, climate change and one result – anthropogenic.

    Evidence for this, and the success of the program to design a scientific discipline to produce a desired result will be the emergence of the IPCC. the final stage in establishing a global governance system to frame the issue with a ‘tame’ scientific body of ‘knowledge’ for validation.

    (I stopped watching Curry some time ago, it is quite possible that she has already done this of course…:-)

  80. izen says:

    At the risk of labouring the point and monopolising the thread…
    the poster from anoilman relates to climate change communication.

    the first top notice is the sober scientist who reports there is dangerous hig (voltage)rate of AGW. thew recpient is assumed to know why it is dangerous, rapid temperature and sea level rise can cause significant damage to agricultural ecologies and coastal infrastructure. the cause, burning fossil fuels, is also assumed to be implicit knowledge so no description of the actions to be taken in response to this risk are required.

    the second notice is from the activist scientistpromoting a policy response. It is directed at those willing to defer to established authority.. That there is a danger is stated, but not explained. The reason for the danger is again specified as a high rate of AGW. the cause is not explicitly mentioned, but the required response to the risk, emission reductions is detailed.

    The bottom large notice is of course the alarmist. Waving a copy of a ‘hockey stick’ graph at people and yelling “you are all going to die…”

    That the target audience for the top notice might find the bottom notice ridiculously overblown and that the audience for the bottom warning find the top notice unhelpfully obscure by assuming knowledge only held by a small elite, does not invalidate the appropriateness of either approach for its respective target audience.
    Neither extreme finds the consensus messaging a relevant argument. that only works for those that defer to authority.

  81. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    “Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus.”

    “There are still people in my party who believe in consensus politics. I regard them as Quislings, as traitors… I mean it.”

    “To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.”

    – Margaret Thatcher, politician, the ‘Iron Lady’ of British politics.

    Judith Curry: the Ironic Lady of climate polity.

  82. anoilman says:

    izen, Yes, but how do they know it will hurt the whole time while you’re dying? 🙂 It must therefore all be wrong.

  83. John Hartz says:

    anoilman:

    izen, Yes, but how do they know it will hurt the whole time while you’re dying?

    By communicating with the dead.

  84. izen says:

    @-“Yes, but how do they know it will hurt the whole time while you’re dying? :-)”

    There are those that claim that the first few volts might actually be beneficial…

  85. anoilman says:

    izen, Is it volts or current? Never can tell I guess. Must be safe!

  86. John Hartz says:

    Speaking of betting lines…

    Bill Nye Challenges Climate Change Denier With $20,000 Bet by Chris D’Angelo, Huffington Post, Apr 19, 2016

  87. Nathan Tetlaw says:

    Wow , they make claims and then Curry says: ‘This essay provides an important insight in the K/C ratio — the ratio of knowability to consensus.’

    The K/C ratio is just something they made up… Where’s the evidence for it?
    It’s great that something un-proven, becomes proof that the proven is wrong.

  88. Andrew Dodds,

    Would you defend the right of the local crack dealer to stand at the school gates and harangue the kids with slightly glossed-over details of how wonderful the ‘crack lifestyle’ is?

    No, but I would defend the right of a consenting adult to use crack themselves. Preferrably taxed well enough to pay for the rehab.

  89. lorcanbonda says:

    I hesitate to post here as this blog seems to be a place to pan Judith Curry with progressively humorless intellectual put downs rather than try to understand what she has to say. The opening quote works as her introduction, but it completely misrepresents what the Brumberg’s have to say. A better representation is this:

    “…as a question becomes more complex and less testable, we would expect an increasing level of disagreement and a lessening of the consensus. On such topics, independent minds can—and should—differ.”

    For instance, the Brumberg’s article says, “There is little disagreement, for example, about the sum of one plus one or the average distance of the earth from the sun.” That’s because these are easily testable and verifiable using modern technology. It’s the same with many scientific disciplines, such as basic chemistry. Nothing in their article implies that there should not be broad consensus on these scientific ‘theories’.

    It’s an opportunity for self-reflection on the state of climate science where the science seems more interested in strengthening the consensus rather than advance the science. However, in a blog that seems enjoys mocking another scientist rather than understand her perspective, I don’t see a lot of room for self-reflection.

  90. Willard says:

    lorcanbonda,

    The beauty of Judy’s copy-pastes is that, according to her, they don’t count as something she “has to say.” She’s not saying anything, really. It’s more subtle than that.

    Appealing to Brumberg’s idea falters as soon as you try to track down the “topics” which are supposed to be “complex” and “less testable”: the consensus on AGW and, by extension, AGW itself. That there’s a consensus on AGW is undisputed, if we believe what Richie already admitted:

    The consensus is of course in the high nineties. No one ever said it was not.

    That there’s a consensus on that consensus should be consensual too, pace Richie. Considering Richie’s persistence in admitting what the minimum justified disingenuousness warrants, I think it’s safe to dismiss Judy’s transposition of the Brumberg’s idea to the ClimateBall episode du jour.

    As always, thank you for your concerns about AT’s.

  91. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    lorcanbonda says:

    …this blog seems to be a place to pan Judith Curry with progressively humorless intellectual put downs rather than try to understand what she has to say.

    No one here is having any great difficulty understanding what Judith Curry ‘has to say’.
    Rather, the fact is that the thesis that she is promulgating is transparently stupid.

    Curry confuses consensus with coercion, uncertainty with ignorance, and the privilege of being respected for speaking with the right to free speech.

    Perhaps you could wander over to Climate Etc and tell Dr Curry all about self-reflection.


    However, in a blog that seems enjoys mocking another scientist rather than understand her perspective, I don’t see a lot of room for self-reflection.

    If self-reflection were called for every time Judith Curry posted something vacuous, everyone reading her blog would turn into a practicing solipsist.

  92. verytallguy says:

    Humourless lorcan?

    Cmon, we had Lear up thread!

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/we-can-never-know-anything/#comment-76602

    You’re right mind, laughing at Curry’s blog is the best response.

  93. whimcycle says:

    (And she Fiddle-de-dee’d while it burned.)

  94. Joshua says:

    Lorcanbonda –

    ==> “…as a question becomes more complex and less testable, we would expect an increasing level of disagreement and a lessening of the consensus. On such topics, independent minds can—and should—differ.”

    Surely, you can think of many examples that don’t fit with that rule of thumb. The problem is that there there seems to be little “introspection” in how the authors (and Judith) suggest that the pattern can be observed. They are applying the rule in such a way that fits their preconceived perspective in climate change. Is it your view that it is only by coincidence?

    This reminds me of the selective culling by “skeptics” of examples of when the “consensus” was wrong….without, apparently, even considering those examples in proportion to the number of times that the “consensus” was right.

  95. Joshua says:

    Lorcanbonda-

    Consider, also, that for years we have alternately heard that in fact there is no overriding consensus among experts about climate change and that virtually all skeptics accept that the GHE is real and presents real risks and as such are part of the ‘consensus” ….. from the same folks who are lined up to agree with the argument that we know that the “consensus” is wrong because it is so massively uniform.

  96. wheelism says:

    (Apologies for flashing my sock puppet earlier- Califarian Festival of Lights and all. [SM says hi.] If I can successfully go back in time in the next few hours, I’ll say [willan on-say] “Elio-centrists,” and yesterday I’ll kick [willan on-kick] Delingpole in his bleached non-ClimateBalls.)

  97. Michael 2 says:

    John Hartz says: “Will Climate denier drones swarm this thread to defend Curry?”

    What a strange question. When has there ever been a swarm of deniers here? Is such a thing permitted? How about never and not?

    ATTP’s defenders are here. Curry’s defenders are there.

    At any rate, I don’t agree with the conclusion offered: “the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the earth’s warming is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for global warming”

    No, it is a caution regarding the probability of groupthink or collusion; neither of which proves truth or falsity of what the group believes but it suggests to me that the topic may not meet the rigorous challenge required of induction. The core group of believers is few in number and remarkably aligned as to culture and language. Such a thing can be highly productive because of willing cooperation but it is inherently vulnerable to groupthink. Where I work similar phenomena exist — small groups of age and culture related persons become very exclusive and guarded, sharing knowledge among themselves but it becomes a singularity; nothing goes in and nothing comes out (more or less).

  98. Marco says:

    “The core group of believers is few in number and remarkably aligned as to culture and language. ”

    Evidence for this statement is sorely lacking. Unsurprisingly, it should be said.

  99. John Hartz says:

    Michael 2:

    Do you understand the the overwhelming body of scientific evidence about manmade cklimate change as compiled by the IPPC and other national scientific bodies from numerous countries has been generated over decades by thousands of scientists from throughout the world?

  100. Eli Rabett says:

    Now some, not Eli to be sure, might point out that bunnies can have a strong consensus on computers without a complete understanding of the complex circuit diagram

  101. Willard says:

    > No, it is a caution regarding the probability of groupthink or collusion; neither of which proves truth or falsity of what the group believes but it suggests to me that the topic may not meet the rigorous challenge required of induction

    Where you say caution, the authors say evidence. They don’t say anything about proof.

    Are you sure you disagree with their argument? It seems you just repeated it using the usual “but Groupthink” meme.

  102. Kevin O'Neill says:

    The core group of believers is few in number and remarkably aligned as to culture and language.”

    This is obviously true. Name a climate scientist, any of them throughout history: Arrhenius, Callendar, Revelle, Manabe, Wetherald, Hansen, Sato, Zhang, Schmidt, Mann, etc, etc. All are Earthlings and speak a human dialect. Does anyone really question this? Not a Martian or Venusian among them. I’m glad this has been pointed out.

  103. Michael 2 says:

    Marco writes: “Evidence for this statement is sorely lacking. Unsurprisingly, it should be said.”

    Yes. Evidence of a group is proportional to the size of the group (IMO). Hence, small group = small (little) evidence. I suggest that a paper whose citations are largely to the co-authors thereof implies the existence of a small group. Large groups can also exist of course; the topic of this discussion is whether a large group is actually focused on meaningful research with the theory being “probably not”. The large group consists of believers of the small group actually doing meaningful research. Actual researchers are likely not in any particular group. Keith Briffa isn’t a “group”, he’s a one and that’s a good thing to be; admittedly a lonely number 🙂

    John Hartz says: “Do you understand the the overwhelming body of scientific evidence about manmade climate change as compiled by the IPPC and other national scientific bodies from numerous countries has been generated over decades by thousands of scientists from throughout the world?”

    Some of your clauses are more likely than others. But yes, climate science is built upon a large number of research efforts over a long time.

  104. markbofill says:

    Joshua,

    This reminds me of the selective culling by “skeptics” of examples of when the “consensus” was wrong….without, apparently, even considering those examples in proportion to the number of times that the “consensus” was right.

    .
    :> Why is it we still talk about David bringing down Goliath thousands of years later? Maybe part of it is that it almost never happens. Either we as a species are overwhelmingly wrong about just about everything, or most of our ‘consensus’ understanding is basically correct.
    .
    Generally speaking, Goliath flattens David well over 97% of the time.

  105. Mark,

    Generally speaking, Goliath flattens David well over 97% of the time.

    Isn’t that essentially the point?

  106. mwgrant says:

    anoilman wrote:

    This is where my teenage daughter holds up her hands like this, and says “Whatever.”

    Whatever.

  107. markbofill says:

    ATTP,

    Sure. Did you think I disputed it? Just because I’m a contrarian doesn’t mean we’ve got to disagree about everything. At least, it doesn’t in my book. (I guess there are some who do (disagree on principle with everything) on my side. I try not to be one of them.)

  108. Mark,
    I wasn’t sure. Thanks for clarifying.

  109. markbofill says:

    Anders/ATTP – do you have a preferred mode of address? (before you suggest it, no, I’m not calling you Captain-oh-my-Captain or God Emperor, neither one forget it. :p) I never know how to address you.

  110. Willard says:

    A similar argument to the Bramberg’s:

    (1) A consensus that is correct is very popular.

    (2) AGW is not very popular

    (3) AGW is a hoax.

    https://judithcurry.com/2015/06/25/scientists-speaking-with-one-voice-panacea-or-pathology/#comment-713024

    Once upon a time, Judy considered if a consensus was the symptom of a pathology.

  111. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    Eli Rabett says:

    Now some, not Eli to be sure, might point out that bunnies can have a strong consensus on computers without a complete understanding of the complex circuit diagram

    Binary thinking has never been more popular.

  112. Willard says:

    > Did you think I disputed it?

    Come on, MarkB. Everyone roots for Davids. You portray your opponent as the big guy who punches down. It’s even a trope in our dynamic duo’s booklet. To create a similar effect, you could also have said that Galileo was part of the 3% of his time.

    I hope that this comment is clear enough. Say hi to Lucia.

  113. Mark,
    I don’t have really have a preference. Ideally not too insulting, but I’m even getting used to that 🙂

    I think Joshua calls me Anders, Willard calls me AT, others call me aTTP; take your pick.

  114. markbofill says:

    Willard,
    .
    I hope that this comment is clear enough.

    .
    Just barely. I’m not half as clever as I’d like to be, and I never seem to be more keenly aware of that as when I’m trying to follow what you’re saying. I hope that you don’t take offense at this, I didn’t intend any.

    I wish I was clever enough for the insinuation that my side is the ‘David’ side to have been on purpose, that’s not bad actually.

    Thanks Willard.

  115. BBD says:

    markbofill

    Sure. Did you think I disputed it? Just because I’m a contrarian doesn’t mean we’ve got to disagree about everything. At least, it doesn’t in my book.

    So the ~97% scientific consensus is correct and we agree that we can know stuff and stuff that we know includes the unlikelihood of lukewarm Davids hitting the mark (as it were).

    It’s a sort of Cheshire Cat contrarianism, where all that’s left is the smirk.

  116. markbofill says:

    BBD,
    .
    Back to this I see. Why is it smirking Cheshire Cat contrarianism to note that oftentimes direct discussions on the points of disagreement between consensarians and contrarians lead to the discussion stopping? Put plainly, I fail to see why it’s so awful to see what common ground we might have, rather than mindlessly battling over things we know we disagree about.
    .
    If you like smashing contrarians, go smash contrarians and their feeble fallacies. The web is full of guys who will be happy to do that with you. Why does it specifically have to be me?

  117. John Hartz says:

    ATTP: Do you prefer to be addressed as the Grand Poobah, or the Big Kahauna?

  118. Willard says:

    > Why does it specifically have to be me?

    You’re David, MarkB. That’s what Goliaths do. It’s in their nature.

    To answer your question: first, because the common ground has been explored as often as the feeble fallacies; second, because it could be and has been used to peddle in lukewarm concerns. Adding a middle man between David and Goliath would make the story sound funny.

    People get defensive, sometimes to a point where nothing makes sense. It’s normal. Except for my comments – their meaninglessness is intrinsic.

    There are other reasons, e.g. it’s easier to smash. Ask Richie.

  119. John Hartz says:

    Michael 2:

    Some of your clauses are more likely than others.

    Please elaborate.

  120. Marco says:

    “the topic of this discussion is whether a large group is actually focused on meaningful research with the theory being “probably not”. ”

    Actually, your *hypothesis* was “not”, now changed to “probably not”, and no attempt at falsifying that hypothesis follows. See Kevin O’Neill’s comment for that (with just *some* names mentioned).

  121. markbofill says:

    Willard, BBD,

    I congratulate you! You’ve stymied me. I’ll tuck my tail between my legs and scurry off now.

  122. It’s come to my attention that some people actually think that the Brumberg & Brumberg article was actually quite clever and insightful. I think that the reason is that it is difficult to overcome a strong consensus. However, this isn’t what Brumberg & Brumber suggested; they essentially asserted that a strong consensus implies a low level of knowability. It is clear that it is difficult to overcome a strong consensus, but this is an important part of normal science. If a large number of relevant experts think that the evidence overwhelmingly supports a particular position, it’s going to take something quite special to overcome that. It’s essentially how it is meant to be. Trying to overcome a consensus position that has developed over many years using many lines of evidence is not going to be easy and should not be easy.

    In fact, there was a tweet today that highlighted part of an essay, that seems relevant

  123. Willard says:

    > You’ve stymied me.

    ClimateBall ™ – Billions Upon Billons of Defensive Moves.

  124. Willard says:

    > they essentially asserted that a strong consensus implies a low level of knowability.

    About something uncertain only, AT.

    What Gavin identified as an argument from incredulity might very well be a question-begging argument:

    (1) AGW is uncertain.
    (2) There’s a consensus on AGW.
    (3) (2) shows a poor K/C ratio.

    One advantage of this K/C ratio is that it replaces what Judy considered a pathology.

  125. I see, so they also asserted that it is uncertain, despite the strong consensus, and hence the existence of a consensus implies a low level of knowability.

  126. Willard says:

    > they also asserted that it is uncertain

    Only indirectly. Read their essay again. It’s splendid.

  127. Michael 2 says:

    John Hartz asks “Please elaborate.”

    The word “overwhelming” first came to my mind but I had decided to not clutter my reply with tangents. You can be overwhelmed while I am not (or vice versa); thus it is not a property of evidence, but rather a property of the beholder. But that’s a linguistic bit of trivia that does not speak to the topic at hand.

  128. Yes, I did. I guess this is the relevant bit

    But as a question becomes more complex and less testable, we would expect an increasing level of disagreement and a lessening of the consensus. On such topics, independent minds can—and should—differ.

    I assume that they’re implying that this applies to climate science. An alternative interpretation is that they find it more complex and less testable, but that those who’ve worked in this scientific field for many years do not.

  129. Willard says:

    John Kennedy’s take:

    https://diagrammonkey.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/the-non-paradox-of-consensus/

    Via PaulM at Judy’s.

    Here’s to one good reason to read contrarians, MarkB!

  130. John Hartz says:

    Markbofill wrote:

    Sure. Did you think I disputed it? Just because I’m a contrarian doesn’t mean we’ve got to disagree about everything. At least, it doesn’t in my book. (I guess there are some who do (disagree on principle with everything) on my side. I try not to be one of them.)

    The overwhelming body of scientific evidence about manmade climate change is not a smorgasboard!

  131. Willard says:

    > An alternative interpretation is that they find it more complex and less testable, but that those who’ve worked in this scientific field for many years do not.

    Hence question-begging.

    John Kennedy’s post reminds me of the moment Appolo comes down and liberates Orestes from his torment.

  132. Michael 2 says:

    John Hartz “Big Kahauna?”

    Kahuna; a Hawaiian expert or shaman/wizard. It is rather highly regarded.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kahuna

  133. Michael 2 says:

    “If you like smashing contrarians, go smash contrarians and their feeble fallacies.”

    It helps to go where they may be found.

  134. John Kennedy put a great deal more effort in than I did.

  135. Willard says:

    > John Kennedy put a great deal more effort in than I did.

    How Goliath of you.

  136. Willard says:

    One of the soldiers in the army of Davids:

  137. izen says:

    @-Michael 2
    “The core group of believers is few in number and remarkably aligned as to culture and language. Such a thing can be highly productive because of willing cooperation but it is inherently vulnerable to groupthink.”

    That is not the case with the core physics and chemistry of AGW. As otters have pointed out it spans over a century, several fields and scientists from every continent. Except Antarctica.

    Replacing ‘believers’ with deniers might have improved the accuracy.

  138. Joseph says:

    No, it is a caution regarding the probability of groupthink or collusion; neither of which proves truth or falsity of what the group believes but it suggests to me that the topic may not meet the rigorous challenge required of induction. The core group of believers is few in number and remarkably aligned as to culture and language. Such a thing can be highly productive because of willing cooperation but it is inherently vulnerable to groupthink.

    Why do you say the core group of believers is few in number? And wouldn’t that mean that “skeptics” are more susceptible to groupthink or collusion because they are fewer in number? In fact I have found that many of the most prominent “skeptic” scientists are associated with a few number of think tanks.

  139. John Hartz says:

    ATTP: I sure would like to read Tom Curtis’s take on Curry’s “nonsense” blog post. Perhaps you could invite him to post a comment or two.

  140. Windchaser says:

    And here I was coming to post a link to Kennedy’s analysis, and I found Willard already beat me to it. What I said there dovetails nicely with this:

    I assume that they’re implying that this applies to climate science. An alternative interpretation is that they find it more complex and less testable, but that those who’ve worked in this scientific field for many years do not.

    In reality, the fact that the Brumberg’s think that the ACC hypothesis isn’t knowable indicates that they’ve misunderstood the evidence, rather than their claim, that weak evidence points to low knowability. Just look at the hash they made of the evidence they did look at, for instance.

    I’ll wager they haven’t spent more than a lick of time in the actual scientific literature on the subject. And how are you supposed to judge knowability without that?

  141. Eli Rabett says:

    As somebunny by the name of Damon Runyon was rumored to have twittered

    The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.

  142. Willard says:

    > And how are you supposed to judge knowability without that?

    By reading Judy’s, where you can read today that the deniers should be the ones who say the D word, because Godwin:

    https://judithcurry.com/2016/04/21/the-denialism-frame/

  143. Michael 2 says:

    Willard writes “Where you say caution, the authors say evidence. They don’t say anything about proof.”

    I am unclear at this point which authors you have in mind. I use “caution” to signify a hesitation to embrace a claim or consensus; I hear the words and store them, but tend not to repeat stories I hear under “caution” for lack of proof and I don’t want to simply be a repeater or sycophant.

    “Are you sure you disagree with their arguments?”

    I expressed a doubt as to a conclusion. The arguments are pretty good, such as I’ve seen anyway. Good arguments possess and use good logic. You can still feed garbage into a good argument and get processed garbage out; but a bad argument is just stupid, there’s no telling what you are going to get out never mind what (if anything) went in.

    Let us consider the opening paragraph of Brumberg:

    “Because it would be nigh impossible for anyone to verify all they take as true, most individuals arrive at their worldview by following the beliefs of others (experts)….There must be a sufficient number of others who did arrive (and continue to arrive) at the same conclusion through independent verification and testing.”

    I agree with the above argument. All discoveries exist absent prior discovery on that particular thing; there cannot be a consensus for the first discovery. Once a thing is discovered, then a consensus can form as other people confirm the discovery.

    But in the case of a “low knowability” thing, there cannot be independent discoveries; there can only be repetition of the first discovery. A billion Christians believe, more or less, that Mary discovered Jesus’ tomb empty. But that’s one witness’ story repeated a billion times and does not make it more (or less) true. The billion is irrelevant in the context of the truth of a claim. It is a huge consensus, but do you believe it? Probably not on the assumption that believers in global warming catastrophe are mostly atheists. It is not clear why but that’s a topic for a different page.

    Independence is crucial and circularity does not help.

    “It seems you just repeated it using the usual but Groupthink meme.”

    Groupthink is a reasonable description of a low-knowability consensus but is a force that maintains the consensus, not the force that creates it in the first place.

    Interestingly, it probably requires a consensus of opinion to establish knowability in the first place. How can the knowability of a thing be known before it is known?

    So it seems that the “knowability” of climate science has its own consensus. If you believe climate science is knowable, then its consensus is rational. If you believe the knowability is low, then the high consensus indicates something else.

    So what is it really? Well that’s a matter of opinion I think. It is certainly complex and it may be more knowable among a very small number of persons; but to billions of humans it is as knowable as the virgin birth or The Force.

  144. Michael 2 says:

    Joseph wrote “Why do you say the core group of believers is few in number?”

    I suspect any regular reader here can name half this core group from memory. There’s two categories: The scientific branch (Phil Jones, Michael Mann, Keith Briffa and so on) and the social/politcial branch nearly all of whom were listed as co-authors in Cook 2016 Consensus of Consensuses. I salute John Cook and Stephen Lewandowsky for brilliant work. The core of the core is just two persons and look what they have moved.

    But that’s normal. Thomas Edison is known (*) for incandescent illumination. Most of the great inventions of all time are identified with a specific person clear back to Archimedes.

    * but not his many employees.

    Everyone else on Earth must turn to one of these two groups as their SOA; Source of Authority.

    “And wouldn’t that mean that skeptics are more susceptible to groupthink or collusion because they are fewer in number?”

    Number is irrelevant. The Catholic consensus is a billion people and its groupthink is carefully guarded and enforced. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-21443313

    What is relevant is shared goals or vision; enhanced by shared culture and language.

    “In fact I have found that many of the most prominent skeptic scientists are associated with a few number of think tanks.”

    Agreed. Prominent anything achieves prominence through such mechanisms. The non-skeptics are nearly universally associated with universities (and also the British Crown).

    Reviewing the core group of initial believers; this group that has not themselves done primary research but are much better at using that primary research to move masses (of people), it is not clear to me why they do what they do. That is *my* primary research, to understand how society goes from one man’s discovery to widespread social utility. Its predecessors include religion for in its day, religion *was* science and science was religion. Discovering a thing, such as germ theory, was essentially always by one person although he operated often in a collaborate and sometimes competitive environment.

    So how did the 12 apostles manage to convince a billion people? Well, they didn’t. Without the Romans it would probably not have amounted to much. The trick is to convert the power such as emperor Constantine. After that the sheep follow (or die).

    Without Al Gore, a political scientist and former Vice President of the United States, where would all this be? It might still be your hobby, maybe not. Without the Democratic Party of the United States seizing upon this thing for its own purposes, where would it be? Everywhere on Earth the advocacy of global warming mitigation is left-wing because it supports their political purposes. Science supports politics, not the other way round. In extreme instances science isn’t even at the table (Lysenkoism).

    Man’s flight and walking on the moon; was there a political motivation? Indeed there was. I’m delighted that it was done, and for the many people involved in getting there it was a goal of highest nobility. But the millions of dollars came out of taxpayer earnings and that made it political. JF Kennedy may have just wanted to go to the moon but it had to be a race against the Russians. I don’t know his mind, or yours, or that of our host ATTP. There is only what people do to sometimes suggest a clue as to why it is done.

  145. Canman says:

    The argument is well illustrated by this graphic:

    I don’t know how rigorous or robust it is or even if it is correct, but it does appear to be making a cogent case.

    Curry states in the post:

    There is genuine scientific consensus on the following points:

    > global temperatures have increased overall since 1880
    > humans are contributing to a rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations
    > CO2 emits and absorbs infrared radiation

    For the most consequential issues, there remains considerable debate:

    > whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes
    > how much the planet will warm in the 21st century
    > whether warming is ‘dangerous’
    > whether radically reducing CO2 emissions will improve the climate and human well being

    While “knowability” is probably something that can’t be quantified, is there anybody who would argue that it is not less for the five latter points than the three former?

  146. BBD says:

    I don’t know how rigorous or robust it is or even if it is correct, but it does appear to be making a cogent case.

    Um, I don’t think you’ve thought this through.

  147. John Hartz says:

    Cannam wrote:

    While “knowability” is probably something that can’t be quantified, is there anybody who would argue that it is not less for the five latter points than the three former?

    It all depends on how the word debate is defined and where it occurs.

  148. Michael 2 says:

    Izen writes “That is not the case with the core physics and chemistry of AGW. As otters have pointed out it spans over a century, several fields and scientists from every continent. Except Antarctica.

    Agreed but not directly relevant to my point. These bits were assembled by someone into “global warming is real, human caused, and dangerous.” A mantra, a point of agreement or disagreement. It may be that more than one person arrived at this formulation, but only one is the One True Source of this claim as revealed by his small circle of dedicated believers (acolytes, advocates, apostles).

    Sometimes a similar formulation attracts a different core group and then you have competition, such as in the United States over who and what is a “Tea Party”.

    The number of inner core believers is limited to the physical ability of this small group to actually meet the person that sourced their belief and he will almost certainly be charismatic inducing fear and possibility of redemption.

    As to that person’s belief; maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t; there’s not usually a way to tell.

    The small group or cohort of interest to me right here and now is led by John Cook. Nearly the entire cohort is listed on Consensus of Consensuses. It is aligned on language (English) and culture (British Commonwealth) and thus presumably has inherited ideas of hegemony and superiority (the sun never sets on the British Empire).

    “The Marxist theory of cultural hegemony, associated particularly with Antonio Gramsci, is the idea that the ruling class can manipulate the value system and mores of a society, so that their view becomes the world view (Weltanschauung)”

  149. I don’t know how rigorous or robust it is or even if it is correct, but it does appear to be making a cogent case.

    I’m pretty confident that it’s neither rigorous nor robust.

  150. > whether radically reducing CO2 emissions will improve the climate and human well being

    Curry doesn’t even grasp this simple point.
    No, Judith, if you stop smoking it’s not going to make you more healthy, it’s just going to keep you from getting sicker and possibly keep you from dying of cancer.

    Radically reducing CO2 emissions ain’t gonna undo what we already done.

  151. Radically reducing CO2 emissions ain’t gonna undo what we already done.

    Yup, that seems to be a key point that many don’t get. There isn’t really a viable way – at the moment at least – to undo what we’ve done.

  152. wheelism says:

    (“Radically reducing CO2 emissions ain’t gonna undo what we already done.” An answer JC would gleefully feed to the Deniazens, demonstrating [IMO] how keen her grasp actually is, and helping to explain [if not excuse] my vitriol.)

  153. > While “knowability” is probably something that can’t be quantified, is there anybody who would argue that it is not less for the five latter points than the three former?

    Is there a stronger consensus on the latter five points (assuming they’re well-defined) than the three former?

    If not, then there’s no cogent case in the K/C ratio argument.

  154. The only example I can think of that might be related to what the Brumbergs are suggesting is Dark Matter. There’s a general consensus that some other kind of matter (non-Baryonic) must be present in the universe, otherwise it’s very hard to explain various observations (rotation rates in galaxies, for example). However, we don’t know what it is. The current view is that it is probably some kind of Weakly Interacting Massive Particle (WIMP). So, there is a consensus, but little actual knowledge. However, there are still people working on alternative forms of gravity instead of Dark Matter. However, it’s difficult for these to explain the Bullet Cluster and – I think – the perturbations in the Cosmic Microwave Background. There are direct searches for Dark Matter particles that are ruling out various regions of parameter space.

    So, there might be a reasonably strong consensus and no “knowledge”, but it’s pretty clear that viable alternatives are not being ruled out.

  155. Joshua says:

    Mark Bofill –

    ==> Why is it we still talk about David bringing down Goliath thousands of years later? Maybe part of it is that it almost never happens.

    Man bites dog…the exception that proves the rule..,,

  156. John Mashey says:

    Rob:
    Right idea, but not quite. Quitting does reduce the probability of some problems, and actually has some rapid health improvements.

    Context: smoking:disease linkage is no better proven than human:climate change.

    I just happen to keep PDFs of Surgeon General reports handy, for example 2014 full report. See Total Smoking-Attributable Mortality, 1965–2014, PDF pp.676, Table 12.15,
    Smoking-attributable mortality,a total and by gender, United States, 1965–2014
    Totals 1965-2014
    5,004,000 Lung cancer
    1,583,000 other cancers
    6,587,000 total cancer (A)

    4,892,000 Coronary heart disease
    2,895,000 other cardiovascular disease
    7,787,000 Total CVD (B)

    3,804,000 Total pulmonary disease (emphysema, COPD, etc) (C)

    Note that (A) kills less than (B), but got more attention in court cases, because it was much easier to prove it was the smoking that did it.

    But these have different effect patterns, and curiously, somewhat correspond to climate examples.

    (A) is generally caused by the tars in smoke, and continued exposure raises the probability of getting it … so, quitting will lower chance of getting it, but not as far as never-smoker.

    (C) is different: the tars kill alveoli in the lungs and they never recover, the damage is done.
    COPD has no cure.

    (B) is substantially caused by the effects of nicotine on blood vessels. While it is very hard to beat nicotine addiction, if someone can quit, they quickly (month or two) lower the probability of CVD. This has even been shown for secondhand smoke, where nearby communities had different rules. Anyway, the bad news is that it’s hard to stop, but the good news is that it gets rapid health improvements.

    (A) is like extreme events, and you may be able to repair damage, maybe.
    (C) is a bit like CO2 in the atmosphere, it takes a long time to go away
    (B) is a bit like CH4, if you could stop emitting, benefits are rapid, since flow, not stock.

  157. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    However, this isn’t what Brumberg & Brumber suggested; they essentially asserted that a strong consensus implies a low level of knowability.

    That isn’t quite how I read their argument (as I think Willard was pointing out….I often have the same difficulty that Mark has in interpreting Willard)…as I think that they’re saying that a low level of knowability makes a strong consensus inherently fallacious.

    I don’t think that arguing that a low level of knowability makes a consensus suspect is entirely unjustifiable….nor do I reject what Michael 2 said above: “No, it is a caution regarding the probability of groupthink or collusion;…” as being unreasonable.

    The problem I have with the argument is, what I consider to be, a complete lack of control/scientific approach to interrogating their own biases w/r/t the conditions of their thought experiment. They don’t give a comprehensive treatment to understanding/defining uncertainty, or consensus more generally, or what the consensus means in this context, etc. It looks like to me like little other than an exercise in confirmation bias.

    I have seen similar from Judith many times, such as when she decries a “crisis” in public trust in climate science, or use of a “bullshit meter” or the identification of motivated reasoning, or noble cause corruption or the law of unintended consequences or the problem with identity-defensive/agressive behavior (e.g., whining about being called a denier while comparing “alarmists” to Islamic terrorists or concern about the “chilling” effect on free speech from legal investigations…….blah, blah, blah, sameoameo, sameosameo, sameosame…..

  158. Joshua says:

    Mark Bofill –

    FWIW, I did not interpret what you wrote in the same manner as (it appears) did others here.

  159. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    While “knowability” is probably something that can’t be quantified, is there anybody who would argue that it is not less for the five latter points than the three former?

    If “knowability” can’t be quantified, then the word “less” has no referent.

    Furthermore, if “expected veracity” is lowered due to the consensus making it more difficult for new information to surface, then it might be very difficult to form a consensus concerning a knowable metric by which to measure “expected veracity”.

  160. Joshua,

    That isn’t quite how I read their argument (as I think Willard was pointing out….I often have the same difficulty that Mark has in interpreting Willard)

    Well, yes, I think they were assuming that they were dealing with a something that is inherently uncertain. As you say, though, they provided no indication as to how one would determine if a particular issue was uncertain.

  161. WIMPs are legions. WIMPs never forget. Expect WIMPs.

    It would exemplify the Brumbergs’ point IFF you can show that the consensus on WIMPs sucked out the wind of all those other hypotheses we could think of instead.

    It’d be nice to see how the K/C deals with an infinity of possible alternative hypotheses.

  162. Michael 2 says:

    Joshua “a complete lack of control/scientific approach to interrogating their own biases w/r/t the conditions of their thought experiment.”

    I have provided at least a minimal scenario to explore this very thing. Knowability is not usually a property of a thing or claim; it is a limitation on the beholder. Willard mentions WIMPs which probably means Weakly Interacting Massive Particle, “dark matter” in other words. A person with sufficient background will decide that this theory is “knowable” but not yet known; a person without adequate background has absolutely no idea whether it is knowable and that is better than deciding a thing is NOT knowable while still lacking that background.

    The concept of chaos suggests that it is possible in some cases to “know” that a thing is not “knowable” if it exhibits properties of chaos (or nearly so within the powers of human observation).

    I have no doubt that climate is deterministic and knowable to Deep Think, but not so much to anyone else.

  163. Michael 2 says:

    ATTP writes “So, there might be a reasonably strong consensus and no knowledge, but it’s pretty clear that viable alternatives are not being ruled out.”

    If changes in global power structure and world economics hinged on WIMP’s science would be swept aside, in case it mattered at all, in announcements and rebuttals of WIMPs.

    Now this is a good example of believing a thing is knowable; with my own eyes I’ve seen the detectors in the Tower Soudan iron mine in Minnesota — well, a display copy of it anyway. The actual detectors are kept very near absolute zero and are microscopic superconducting fuses. The idea is that a WIMP will raise the temperature slightly out of the superconducting region, the tiny fuse will suddenly obtain some resistance and a fairly high electrical current will then vaporize the fuse producing a detection.

    So I consider it “knowable” but, as you say, presently unknown.

  164. Ethan Allen says:

    Canman,

    You do understand a flawed premise? In this case a false dilemma.

    Knowability is on the x-axis (as the independent variable) and consensus is the dependent variable on the y-axis.

    There is only ever one graph, consensus versus knowledge.

    No knowledge or low knowledge leads to beliefs, so that consensus is wide and arbitrary on the y-axis (nonsensus, many nodes, e. g. religion, economics, social sciences). As knowledge increases the consensus function collapses to one (or more competing) theories. We do have one theory at present, thus one node on the RHS.

    We have a theory which suggests we have a problem. We are studying that problem. In a situation where logic prevails, one would expect that we would want to solve this problem. Or not (see beliefs and ideologies which tend to be illogical and drive us to the LHS).

  165. izen says:

    @-Canman
    “While “knowability” is probably something that can’t be quantified, is there anybody who would argue that it is not less for the five latter points than the three former? ”

    Perhaps ‘knowability’ could at least be estimated for the various points by looking at the degree of consensus that is held about them.
    “> global temperatures have increased overall since 1880 ”
    Has a much greater consensus than.
    “> whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes”
    Which has a stronger consensus than,
    “> how much the planet will warm in the 21st century”
    Because each is subject to the uncertainty in the previous stage.
    That uncertainty encompasses things being twice as bad if it encompasses warming being beneficial.

    It is much easier to measure how much and how well we know something than to identify those aspects of a subject that are uncertain or intrinsically knowledgeable. While the consensus may be a good first approximation of the degree of knowability, there are better measures. Peter Jacob mentioned this work –
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3163460/
    In a previous thread as a much more sophisticated way of measuring the degree of contention and agreement within a field of research. The consideration of historical contingency is crucial. How a consensus develops is a factor in the knowability of a theory. A hundred years of eliminating all the alternatives and refining the key measurements tends to indicate that more is known than for a more recent, and perhaps less knowable subject like WIMPS/dark energy.

    We “KNOW” stuff because of Consilience with other stuff we know, which over time has evolved from a description to an explanation and often utile application.
    Perhaps ‘knowability’ could at least be estimated for the various points by looking at the degree of consensus that is held about them.
    “> global temperatures have increased overall since 1880 ”
    Has a much greater consensus than.
    “> whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes”
    Which has a stronger consensus than,
    “> how much the planet will warm in the 21st century”
    Because each is subject to the uncertainty in the previous stage.
    That uncertainty encompasses things being twice as bad if it encompasses warming being beneficial.

    It is much easier to measure how much and how well we know something than to identify those aspects of a subject that are uncertain or intrinsically knowledgeable. While the consensus may be a good first approximation of the degree of knowability, there are better measures. Peter Jacob mentioned this work –
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3163460/
    In a previous thread as a much more sophisticated way of measuring the degree of contention and agreement within a field of research. The consideration of historical contingency is crucial. How a consensus develops is a factor in the knowability of a theory. A hundred years of eliminating all the alternatives and refining the key measurements tends to indicate that more is known than for a more recent, and perhaps less knowable subject like WIMPS/dark energy.

    We “KNOW” stuff because of Consilience with other stuff we know, which over time has evolved from a description to an explanation and often utile application.

  166. izen says:

    Woops, seem to have a double paste going on …
    delete after the sentence –
    We “KNOW” stuff because of Consilience with other stuff we know, which over time has evolved from a description to an explanation and often utile application.

  167. Ethan Allen says:

    I would also very kindly suggest that “expected veracity” is a code word for truthiness …

    “Truthiness is a quality characterizing a “truth” that a person making an argument or assertion claims to know intuitively “from the gut” or because it “feels right” without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truthiness

  168. anoilman says:

    There’s only one thing that can be counted on… Canman will deny anything physics related. He’s one of those free market zealots. Anti regulation, anti solar, anti pretty much everything. He is pro pollution, and loves his oil.

    I wonder what side of the Dunning Kruger scale will most likely fall for his little graph. I might add, there’s considerable actual quantifiable research on Dunning Kruger. Not so much for Judith’s made up factoid.

  169. matt says:

    Michael – “I suspect any regular reader here can name half this core group from memory. ”

    So you named three – Mann, Phil Jones, Briffa. Who are the others in this “core group”? How many are there?

  170. matt says:

    “…scientists from every continent. Except Antarctica.”

    One day there will be climate scientists from Antarctica. If only we could conquer the penguins.

  171. Marco says:

    matt, Michael 2 doesn’t even realise how funny (and at the same time “unfunny”) it is that he mentions Keith Briffa and Phil Jones – to not laugh even harder (and sarcastically) for mentioning the authors on Cook et al 2016.

    I think his comment shows he’s been spending much time on some of the pseudoskeptic blogs, where the Serengeti strategy is quite well developed. Had he done so on some of the German blogs, he for sure would have mentioned Rahmstorf and Schellnhuber (and if he had been frequenting there for decades, Hans Oeschger would have shown up, too). If he’d been on Swedish blogs, Bert Bolin likely would have showed up on his list. A bit of reading on Canadian blogs, and he’d mention Andrew Weaver. In Italy he’d probably encounter the name of Filippo Giorgi.

  172. Dikran Marsupial says:

    Michael2 wrote “I suspect any regular reader here can name half this core group from memory. There’s two categories: The scientific branch (Phil Jones, Michael Mann, Keith Briffa and so on) “

    I suspect this is more an indication that Michael2 is not very familiar with the scientific literature. If there is a core group, it is a group of thousands, rather than a few. I suspect that the names that regular readers will find most familiar will merely be those most often targeted by skeptic blogs.

  173. John Hartz says:

    Michael 2: You wrote:

    Without Al Gore, a political scientist and former Vice President of the United States, where would all this be? It might still be your hobby, maybe not. Without the Democratic Party of the United States seizing upon this thing for its own purposes, where would it be? Everywhere on Earth the advocacy of global warming mitigation is left-wing because it supports their political purposes. Science supports politics, not the other way round. In extreme instances science isn’t even at the table (Lysenkoism).

    Please explain what you mean by “this” and “this thing”.

  174. John Hartz says:

    Michael 2: For your edification…

    Nearly two decades before Al Gore raised awareness of climate change, Margaret Thatcher was calling for an international scientific body to investigate the issue.

    How Margaret Thatcher led the way on climate change by John Dee, ABC News, Apr 9, 2013

  175. Joshua says:

    I think Willard does a pretty nice job of wrapping the problem up with a bow:

    ==> Is there a stronger consensus on the latter five points (assuming they’re well-defined) than the three former?

    This is such an obvious problem, that is not even (apparently) considered by the authors, that it’s hard to take their application of the underlying thesis seriously.

    Yes, less “knowability” would make a “consensus” more suspect. Yes, a “consensus” could signal group think. Yes, an international organization investigating the global impact of aCO2 emissions could signal a risk of tyrannical ‘one world government ” …..yes, government funding for research into climate change could mean a tax-stealing gravy train rooted in ripping off the public to line the pockets of liberal academics…yes, adjustments to temperature records could be a mechanism for fraud….yes, people being called deniers could be one manifestation of a Lysenkoist McCarthyism….yes, immigrants crossing the border could signal that Obama is a Muslim African anti-Christ who hates America.

  176. Joshua says:

    Michael 2 –

    ==> Knowability is not usually a property of a thing or claim; it is a limitation on the beholder.

    Seems to me like yet another obvious problem with the authors’ application of their thesis.

    IMO, determining the degree of “knowability” of a thing or claim seems (almost always?) inherently subjective. The authors completely fail to address that counter-argument. And what’s interesting is that we could read Judith’s post and so many comments from”skeptics” without any apparent recognition of what, I consider, to be the first law of skepticism:examination for the influence of one’s own biases.

  177. After saying I wouldn’t comment on John Kennedy’s post (because of who was already there) I got bored 🙂 and posted the following. It’s still in moderation, but I think it’s relevant to what Joshua has just said

    Here is something for those who think this is a good essay, to ponder. The basic premise appears to be that there is a relationship between “knowability” and “consensus” – low “knowability” is associated with a low level of consensus; high “knowability” is associated with a high level of consense. Therefore a high level of consensus about a topic for which there is low “knowability” is indicative of some kind of issue.

    Okay, but if a large fraction of relevant experts agree about a particular topic, who gets to decide that it is a topic about which there is a low “knowability”. It’s hard to imagine all those experts who agree, doing so if they also accept that it’s a topic about which there is low “knowability”.

  178. Joshua says:

    BTW, IMO, failing to even consider the effects of one’s own biases while promoting arguments in a politicized and polarized context is what comprises irresponsible advocacy. That kind of post from Judith is why I think that her concern about the mixture of science and advocacy has a hollow ring to it.

  179. That kind of post from Judith is why I think that her concern about the mixture of science and advocacy has a hollow ring to it.

    Indeed. A great deal of the rhetoric associated with “irresponsible advocacy” comes across as attempts to get others to stop advocating for things with which they disagree.

  180. semyorka says:

    Cod philosophy of the undergraduate drunken night out variety. All scientific knowledge is held provisionally. However we can have relatively high degrees of certainty that the phenomena being observed and their behaviors have sufficient reality to base our civilisation on. We do know “know” why some quantum effects happen but our computers are dependent on them.

    The University of Edinburgh produces a course on the Philosophy of Science on Coursera.
    https://www.coursera.org/learn/philosophy/

    Worth checking out for those interested.

  181. Marco says:

    “Everywhere on Earth the advocacy of global warming mitigation is left-wing”

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/polp.12122/abstract

    Also, the earth must apparently be overwhelmingly left-wing:
    https://www.afp.com/en/news/15/leaders-record-turnout-un-signing-paris-climate-deal

    Perhaps more likely, for someone on the far right side of the political spectrum the vast majority of people are “left-wing”.

  182. Willard says:

    I thought Hansen and Emanuel were Republicans.

    RINOs, I suspect.

  183. Dikran Marsupial says:

    IIRC Margaret Thatcher was also moderately right wing.

  184. Joshua says:

    Advocacy of climate “skepticism” is right-wing.

  185. Willard says:

    Perhaps it’d be more fruitful to speak of good ol’ complexity instead of knowability. Even then it’d be hard to predict that some problems deem complex are really that complex after all:

    A theoretical computer scientist has presented an algorithm that is being hailed as a breakthrough in mapping the obscure terrain of complexity theory, which explores how hard computational problems are to solve. Last month, László Babai, of the University of Chicago, announced that he had come up with a new algorithm for the “graph isomorphism” problem, one of the most tantalizing mysteries in computer science. The new algorithm appears to be vastly more efficient than the previous best algorithm, which had held the record for more than 30 years. His paper became available today on the scientific preprint site arxiv.org, and he has also submitted it to the Association for Computing Machinery’s 48th Symposium on Theory of Computing.

    https://www.quantamagazine.org/20151214-graph-isomorphism-algorithm/

    It is not even known if that problem belongs to P or to NP.

    ***

    There’s an “unknowability” stance regarding consciousness, incidentally:

    New mysterianism—or commonly just mysterianism—is a philosophical position proposing that the hard problem of consciousness cannot be resolved by humans. The unresolvable problem is how to explain the existence of qualia (individual instances of subjective, conscious experience).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_mysterianism

    This research field is replete with counterfactuals.

  186. anoilman says:

    On a far more relevant note… the record temperatures last year and this year will finally bring global warming deniers era of “It hasn’t warmed since 1998”. Yup, they’ve partied like its 1999 all the way till 2015.

    Sadly another era ended yesterday with the death of Prince, and on that note, here’s Prince and “Lets Party like its 1999”;

  187. wheelism says:

    (RINOs and DINOs and Princes! Oh my!
    This is what it sounds like…)

  188. Canman says:

    Ethan Allen:

    Knowability is on the x-axis (as the independent variable) and consensus is the dependent variable on the y-axis.

    There is only ever one graph, consensus versus knowledge.

    What are you talking about? The dependent variable on the x-axis is “level of consensus”! And I see two graphs! One is for the case of low knowability and the other is for high knowability. They are stylized, illustrative charts and are not meant to be rigorously empirical results like, … saying there “is only ever one graph”. If you disagree with the case that is made, you should make a case against it. I don’t think these two charts are any worse than the “Consensus versus Expertise” Chart that Brandon Shollenberger recently destroyed.

    Oilman, I think whatever you’re smoking is affecting your coherence.

    I honestly think that you people are only dismissing these charts because they are being used on Judith Curry’s blog. If someone on your side found a use for them, you would be praising them.

  189. I don’t think these two charts are any worse than the “Consensus versus Expertise” Chart that Brandon Shollenberger recently destroyed.

    Don’t be silly. He did no such thing. I know he will probably claim that he has, and that you will probably agree. That doesn’t make it true.

  190. Willard says:

    > If you disagree with the case that is made, you should make a case against it.

    If you’re looking for a case against it, perhaps you should look for the arguments leveled so far against it.

    ***

    > I don’t think these two charts are any worse than the […]

    Look, a cooking squirrel!

  191. Joshua says:

    Canman –

    I think you have it backwards.

    Not to speak for anyone else, but I’m dismissing Judith’s blog because she promotes posts like the one in question without much apparent critical analysis.

  192. Willard says:

    FWIW, I’m not dismissing Judy’s, for I can find stuff there I would find elsewhere with more difficulty. Had Windchased read Judy’s, he may have had beaten me to the Kennedy’s scoop.

    Besides, the ghosts of ClimateBall ™ might eternally be thankful for Judy’s concerns.

  193. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

    Who decides what the knowability of a certain subject is?

    And in relation to climate change what is known and what isn’t known?

    I would have thought everything we know is known and everything that is not known is unknown. 🙂 Therefore what do AGW sceptics consider to be the unknowns?

    M2,
    Is my wife in the “core group”? She is actively publishing in climate science journals so why not. I will ask her tonight if she is part of the “big think”. I will also suggest her next paper overturns the last century of climate research then she can win a Nobel Prize and I can retire early.

  194. Russell says:

    Willard says: April 22, 2016 at 3:03 pm
    I thought Hansen and Emanuel were Republicans.
    RINOs, I suspect.

    Nobody ever accused UNEP of being right wing, or John Cook either

  195. BBD says:

    [Chill, please. -W]

  196. anoilman says:

    [Canman]: “I honestly think that you people are only dismissing these charts because they are being used on Judith Curry’s blog. If someone on your side found a use for them, you would be praising them.”

    No.. Your ‘charts’ are of a curve, and its derivative, from an unknown data source. I would not recommend planning the future of human kind on that kind of spacious intellect. There is no basis in reality for the claims being made, the critical part of logic you are missing.

    Good luck and keep trying hard!

  197. Willard says:

    Nobody ever found that right-wing contrarians were right half of the time, which makes collaboration a bit fruitless:

  198. Canman says:

    No.. Your ‘charts’ are of a curve, and its derivative, from an unknown data source.

    They’re meant as qualitative propositions, not rigorous derivations. They’re arguing that a high consensus over something that is unknowable lowers the veracity of this consensus, and not only that, may suppress a diversity of views.

  199. BBD says:

    may suppress a diversity of views.

    When there is a diversity of physics, then you can have a diversity of views (on CC).

  200. BBD says:

    oilman

    spacious intellect –> specious nonsense?

    It’s more cogent.

  201. Canman says:

    You can have a diversity of views on parts of physics that are unknown.

  202. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    ….may suppress a diversity of views.

    There is a very strong consensus among astronomers that stars are made mostly of ionized hydrogen / helium. Yet no one has ever visited a star to confirm this – and no one has ever even seen a hydrogen or helium atom.

    I’d be very interested to hear about the “diversity of views” that are being suppressed on this subject.

    Are stars possibly made of cake?

  203. BBD says:

    You can have a diversity of views on parts of physics that are unknown.

    The Very Rev has already nailed this, but I will add that the radiative properties of CO2 are well known.

  204. Canman says:

    The radiative properties of CO2 molecules are well known and no one is disputing them (except perhaps D. Co#on and a few other fringe figures). The behavior of the entire climate system is not completely known and may be unknowable.

  205. BBD says:

    The behavior of the entire climate system is not completely known and may be unknowable.

    We know more than enough to know that it will warm up as CO2 forcing increases. Climate agnosia is denial in a mask.

  206. Kevin O'Neill says:

    Canman – two people put together a couple of ‘stylized charts’ several years ago. They give no clue as to how they made the charts. They appear to be *notions* of how truth, consensus, and ‘knowability’ are mathematically related.

    There is no citation of any references (other than a few isolated, tangential quotes from historical figures, i.e., Ronald Reagan, Seneca the Younger).

    There is no data.

    There is no math.

    Just two made up charts.

    Can you imagine if a climate scientist wrote a paper with temperature charts based on no literature, no prior work, with no data, and no methodology? Would any of us take it seriously?

    I could argue against many of the specific points in B&B’s little treatise (though the copyright is owned by Iconoclast LLC ?!?). Why bother? It’s meaningless drivel. The 5 minutes I’ve wasted writing this comment are 5 minutes more than it’s worth.

  207. John Hartz says:

    Like the TV series Seinfeld and the comedy routines of Abbott and Costello, the focus of the OP and most of the comments posted on this thread is all about nothing.

  208. Michael Lloyd says:

    Canman

    Worth a read is Asimov’s essay on the Relativity of Wrong

    http://chem.tufts.edu/answersinscience/relativityofwrong.htm

  209. anoilman says:

    [Canman] says: “qualitative propositions”: Right.. That means… put it in the garbage, right next to my Michael Jackson glove.

    Let me know if anyone of merit works on this spacious bit of logic… it would be interesting if it were in any way valid or true. But its not. In the mean time, perhaps I’ll contemplate it when I’m extremely inebriated.

    On a more important topic with merit is anyone listening to their old copies of Prince songs? Such a loss.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_Rain_%28album%29

  210. wheelism says:

    (Watt’s on third.)

  211. wheelism says:

    (D’oh. Watts: Second base.
    George was the catcher, and put Bette Midler in hospital.)

  212. Willard says:

    > They’re arguing that a high consensus over something that is unknowable lowers the veracity of this consensus, and not only that, may suppress a diversity of views.

    To argue that regarding AGW, they need to presume that AGW is unknowable. Otherwise they can’t expect a low veracity on the consensus. Which is why the argument begs the important question. That point has been raised earlier, which means that Canman’s challenge “you should make a case against it” has already been met.

    If that’s not enough, there’s always John Kennedy’s analysis.

    ***

    The authors might as well have argued the converse – since the consensus on AGW has a low expectation of veracity, AGW is unknowable.That would lead to a mysterian argument against AGW. There is at least some merit in the idea that disagreement indicates some kind of indeterminacy.

    An alternative idea is that dissention indicates that people are people and that research programs take time to cease and desist. Persistence is a virtue shared by many Gremlins. The persistence of that dissention can hit a fixed point when there’s a promotion system to sustain it.

    We may always have ClimateBall ™ players to suggest that the 3% lose most of the time. Wonder why?

  213. John Hartz says:

    I encourage ATTP to post OPs about the spiritual and ethical dimensions of mitigating and adapting to manmade climate change. Here’s an example of such a discussion…

    We scientists are eyewitnesses to the changes occurring in our world. Every month, it seems, a new record is being broken: whether for global temperature, Greenland ice melt, hurricane intensification, heavy rainfall, or devastating heat waves.

    Our science can clearly document how climate is changing. It can meticulously examine all relevant forcings to show that– for the first time ever – humans are the primary drivers of this change. And science can quantify the implications of our choices, providing valuable input into resilient public policy and sound decision-making in a time of rapid change. But science cannot tell us the right decision to make.

    Which global target will avoid “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”? For some, the impacts are already dangerous; for others, the danger is still far in the future. What’s the best way to achieve such a target? Some argue carrots and incentives, others taxes and sticks. And on a personal level, should I fly to that conference, or stay home? Or at what point do I leave behind the massive footprint of my U.S. lifestyle, to adopt a more simple, sustainable life elsewhere?

    In the real world, it’s rare that science can isolate the correct response. More often, we make our tough decisions informed, we hope, by the data and facts in our heads; but ultimately guided by where our values lie, in our hearts. And for religious people around the world, what’s in our hearts often has a great deal to do with our faith.

    That’s why, for Faith Climate Action Week, four of us from four very different faith traditions have asked ourselves:

    “As a scientist and a person of faith, why does climate change matter to me?”

    Action on climate change needs our hearts and heads: uniting our faith and science by Katharine Hayhoe, Asma Mahdi, Ed Maurer, and Vaishali Naik, AGU Blogosphere, Apr 22, 2016

    Katharine Hayhoe is an associate professor and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. Her work focuses on quantifying the impacts of climate change at the local to regional scale. Asma Mahdi is an environmental activist and former board director for Green Muslims, a faith-based environmental nonprofit. She currently works for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on one of the biggest threats that faces the ocean today — marine debris. Ed Maurer is a professor of civil engineering at Santa Clara University. His recent work is related to analyzing hydrologic impacts of climate change. Vaishali Naik is a physical scientist at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. Her research focuses on gaining a better understanding of the connections between atmospheric composition and climate, and how these are influenced by natural and human activities.

  214. John Hartz says:

    PS – Appended to the article I cited in my prior post is the following note:

    For more on the intersection and interconnection of faith, science, and climate change, see the Rev. Sally Bingham’s Eos opinion piece on Science and Faith Working Together on Climate Change.

  215. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    Persistence is a virtue shared by many Gremlins. The persistence of that dissention can hit a fixed point when there’s a promotion system to sustain it.

    Neurologically, the persistence of dessention is caused by dissidence retention…
    https://archive.is/86t6l#selection-441.21-441.41

  216. wheelism says:

    Eli: The Schultz Gambit (a fascist debasement of the Socratic Paradox) was recently circumvented through successful application of the Paltrow Principle (in a laboratory, of course).

  217. Ethan Allen says:

    There was a time when JC was less uncertain …
    Global Climate Change: Science & Impacts
    https://smartech.gatech.edu/bitstream/handle/1853/27098/presentation.pdf
    (dated 2/6/2009)

    I came across that one in researching this JC statement …

    “A substantial majority of the individuals responding to the ‘expert’ surveys have not contributed to the primary literature on detection and attribution and have not conducted an independent assessment of this issue. Instead they have arrived at their conclusion based on the second-order evidence that a ‘consensus’ exists.”

    The Uncertainty Monster must of bitten JC rather badly, or ate all of her homework, as I do not consider JC to be any sort of SME in the area of detection and attribution analysis as say by pertinent references in Chapter 10 of IPCC AR5 WG1 …
    Detection and Attribution of Climate Change: from Global to Regional
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter10_FINAL.pdf

    I do think that JC has ~3 papers that are IMHO rather very peripheral to the actual doing or conducting of formal detection and attribution analyses. I would also very much disagree with the 2nd sentence in the above quote, with respect to climate scientists 1st hand direct knowledge bases.

  218. izen says:

    @-Michael 2
    “These bits (the core physics and chemistry of AGW) were assembled by someone into “global warming is real, human caused, and dangerous.” A mantra, a point of agreement or disagreement. It may be that more than one person arrived at this formulation, but only one is the One True Source of this claim as revealed by his small circle of dedicated believers (acolytes, advocates, apostles).”

    The ‘Great Man’ theory of how new ideas and ideologies gain credibility in general society may have some validity.
    I think it is much less important in deciding how we know stuff in science.
    The history of AGW is of a theory surviving strong counter-arguments, (CO2 absoption overlaps water vapour and is saturated; ocean chemistry stabilises the atmospheric concerntration) and making verified predictions. A cooling stratosphere and changes to the outgoing energy spectrum.

    The scientific consensus was not the result of Al Gore.

    We “KNOW” stuff because of Consilience with other stuff we know, which over time has evolved from a description to an explanation and often a utile application.

    @-“The Marxist theory of cultural hegemony, associated particularly with Antonio Gramsci, is the idea that the ruling class can manipulate the value system and mores of a society, so that their view becomes the world view (Weltanschauung)”

    This comes dangerously close to the relativism of knowledge that the ‘post-modern science’ Ravetz and Hulme school of social theory promote. It has nothing to do with the epistemology of how we can KNOW stuff in science. It probably isn’t too helpful in knowing anything about the evolution of society either.

    I would also dispute that the theory of cultural hegemony is particularly Marxist. It more accurately derives from Authoritarian concepts of society. Post-War social theory was directed towards finding HOW the ruling class could manipulate the value system and mores of society to keep out the communists. Gramsci seems to have uncritically adopted that assumption. Its roots may be deeper. Hobbesian Monarchism assumes that the ruling class, led by a charismatic benign leader, SHOULD manipulate the value system and mores of a society, so that their view becomes the world view.

    None of this is relevant to the assessment of the veracity of knowledge derived from scientific research. The theory of main sequence stellar evolution is experimentally untestable and is a narrative explanation combining the description, the observations that can be made, with the physics and chemistry that we already know. Knowledge that evolved from a previous process of explaining observations.

    The explanations are selected by consilience and utility.

  219. Michael 2 says:

    Willard “Nobody ever found that right-wing contrarians were…”

    7 billion people on Earth. Chances that one of them concluded what you propose they did not is at least 1/(7e9).

    But I’m just being contrarian.

  220. Willard says:

    Andy’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, JH.

  221. Michael 2 says:

    Hyperactive Hydrologist asks “Who decides what the knowability of a certain subject is?”

    You do for you, I do for me. If I lack the mathematical skill to read formulas then for me that subject is unknowable while for you it might be difficult to comprehend that others will never comprehend what you comprehend.

    But I assume the essay under discussion assumes that some topics are inherently less knowable, or knowable to fewer people which means unknowable to more. A consensus among people that cannot know reveals a force other than accepting a thing on its merits.

    And in relation to climate change what is known and what isn’t known?

    Your question is poorly phrased. Things do not know themselves. People know things. What one person knows is not what another person knows. Your words suggest the existence of knowledge independent of Person, namely, Dogma. Things presumed to just be, things that are, things that are used to decide who is proper and who is not.

    If I were to write, in relation to God, what is known and what is not? The question is absurd for it lacks any kind of context. But if I were in the Vatican, now suddenly you have context and the question becomes “What is contained in the Catechism about God; what ought I to know, what is claimed by authorities to be known?”

    So “What is known” implies “by whom”. At first it is a “cloud” of facts relatively unrelated. They start to cluster. It could turn into a planet, a star; or it could turn into Skeptical Science as it becomes nucleated by a particle capable of attracting other particles to itself.

    So what is that particle in this context? I do not yet know.

    “I would have thought everything we know is known and everything that is not known is unknown.:) Therefore what do AGW sceptics consider to be the unknowns?”

    Thank you for writing “would have” instead of “would of”! Anyway, I do not speak for AGW skeptics but as for me, I don’t know what is unknown but I am cautious to accept the first explanation that comes along for anything. Climate models are obviously deficient therefore so are their underlying theories or parameters. Precise and believable explanations for LIA and MWP and Roman Optimum seem to be lacking.

    So, the Consensus could be correct, but I withhold my final stamp of approval because of this uncertainty. Then again, I am an “INTP” and I might die before I become certain of the sun rising tomorrow so don’t worry about it too much.

    “M2, Is my wife in the core group?

    I have no idea. These groups, which the Boy Scouts call “natural gangs”, tend to number no more than 12 persons. They are on first-name basis with each other and socially connected.

    Several core groups exist. The one that matters authored the 97 percent meme.

    “She is actively publishing in climate science journals so why not.”

    Publishing is almost irrelevant, so is science journal. What matters is whether you are socially connected hence biased toward your cohort; circling the wagons so to speak to defend the group. There will be a leader and he decides who is in and who is out.

    “I will ask her tonight if she is part of the big think”

    I referenced Douglas Adam’s “Deep Think”. The answer to the question was considered so complicated that the Earth itself was used as a computer and given 6 million years to come up with the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. Literate persons here will remember that the answer is “Forty two”.

    That may be the complexity of climate. The modeling system *is* the Earth.

  222. John Hartz says:

    Willard: You wrote:
    Andy’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, JH.
    You betcha! (Borowitz hails from Minnesota.))

  223. izen says:

    @-Canman
    “The radiative properties of CO2 molecules are well known and no one is disputing them …. The behavior of the entire climate system is not completely known and may be unknowable.”

    There are rather more intermediate steps between a CO2 molecule and the entire climate system.

    The radiative properties of an atmosphere are well known, the HITRANS database can give you the radiative properties of a range of atmospheric compositions depths and pressures. The maths that enables those calculations was ported from solar physics which first grappled with the problem of radiative transfer in a turbulent convecting fluid.

    While knowledge of the ENTIRE system almost certainly is intrinsically unknowable, that does not prevent the range of behavior that it can exhibit being well defined. One clear result from paleoclimate studies is that stasis in response to a change in the energy balance is NOT an option. While the exact trajectory of the future climate is uncertain, the magnitude and rate of change imposed on the entire climate system by the emission of CO2 makes it certain that the future climate will be significantly different from anything experienced during the rise of human civilisation over the last 7000 years.

  224. John Hartz says:

    ATTP: As documented in this in-depth article, Katherine Hayoe has set a rather high bar of activism for her peers to emulate. Perhaps this topic could be the focus of a future OP.

    Texas Tech’s Katharine Hayhoe is one of the most respected experts on global warming in the country. She’s also an evangelical Christian who is trying to connect with the very people who most doubt her research. Too bad the temperature keeps rising.

    Unfriendly Climate by Sonja Smith, Texas Monthly, May 2016 edition

  225. izen says:

    @- John Hartz
    Activism is only ClimateBall if it fails to advocate for a specific policy/economic change.

  226. lerpo says:

    Katharine Hayhoe won me over by her response to and Austin city councilor here:

  227. lerpo,
    It is a great response. Of course, most will ignore Katharine’s suggestion to read the great website Skeptical Science.

  228. wheelism says:

    “Climate models are obviously deficient therefore so are their underlying theories or parameters. Precise and believable explanations for LIA and MWP and Roman Optimum seem to be lacking.”

    (And here are the pearls [wash off the blood, wash off the rum].)

  229. Michael 2 says:

    ATTP wrote “Of course, most will ignore Katharine’s suggestion to read the great website Skeptical Science.”

    It has its followers. What I would consider great is a website that was filled with digestible information and not conspicuous advocacy. I have not found such a thing although Science of Doom leans in a pleasing and useful direction. “Without the hot air” is pretty good. It isn’t about the science but targets what everyone is dancing around anyway; policy.

    http://www.withouthotair.com/

    At times I feel like citing WUWT but I know this crowd won’t go there, so if useful I simply cite the source (or one step closer to it) which is better anyway. You can do that too. Nothing originates on SkS, so cite the source and it is more likely to be viewed (IMO).

  230. wheelism says:

    (Er…and Deep Thought was the computer that gave the answer. Earth was designed to reveal the question.)

  231. anoilman says:

    One of the things I find funny with the denial community is that one of the biggest areas of research over the last 30 years has been Paleo data. One would think that in the last 30 years with all this massive research, we would have found data that contradicts what we understand from our models of the global climate system. Yet they haven’t found any contradictions.

    Obviously thousands of global Paleo Scientists of all different nations are getting brain waves from Al Gore or something.

    lerpo: Excellent video.

  232. BBD says:

    M2

    It [Skeptical Science] has its followers. What I would consider great is a website that was filled with digestible information and not conspicuous advocacy.

    What are you on about? SkS *is* filled with digestible information and not conspicuous advocacy. When you say stuff like this, all it does is call attention to the profundity of your denialism.

  233. anoilman says:

    M2 you’re a self professed libertarian and therefore;
    https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2014/aug/29/libertarian-ideology-natural-enemy-science

    And no… I don’t see a difference between Science Of Doom, Without Hot Air, Skeptical Science or even this place. I’ve used them all to debunk garbage from global warming denial twerps. Of course, none of those places them are delivering paid industry advertising.

    SOD’s work on Renewables is a very excellent read, mainly because he’s pretty pessimistic and distrusting like any reasonable scientist.
    https://scienceofdoom.com/2015/07/30/renewable-energy-i/
    Cost of a 99.9% reliable Renewable Grid with a peer reviewed paper;
    https://scienceofdoom.com/2015/10/20/renewables-xiv-minimized-cost-of-99-9-renewable-study/
    And how do two different regions compare?
    https://scienceofdoom.com/2015/12/17/renewables-xvi-jp-morgan-advises/

    By the way, is Judith still on contract for off shore oil rigs? I wonder what her deliverables are. Willy’s deliverables were never mentioned in public which is why getting caught later on made him look bad.

  234. I don’t really get why M2 thinks Skeptical Science is advocating a conspiracy.

  235. Willard says:

    > I don’t really get why M2 thinks Skeptical Science is advocating a conspiracy.

    Me neither, but as long as it results in peddling “but SkS,” anything works fine.

    If you target M2’s motivations, you give him a reason to speak for them, which may not be that interesting.

  236. John Hartz says:

    wheelism: You posted:

    “Climate models are obviously deficient therefore so are their underlying theories or parameters. Precise and believable explanations for LIA and MWP and Roman Optimum seem to be lacking.”

    Where the heck did this quote come from and who said it?

  237. Michael 2 says:

    (Er…and Deep Thought was the computer that gave the answer. Earth was designed to reveal the question.)

    Thank you. I sit corrected!

  238. Michael 2 says:

    John Hartz asks “Where the heck did this quote come from and who said it?”

    It came from me and I wrote it. I do not claim exclusive rights to these words nor do I claim to be the very first ever to write that way.

    I believe it likely that in the next ten years a believable explanation, a consensus will arise on the exact mechanism of the MWP and so on. After that I expect climate models (once adequately tuned) will track observations more closely. Until then not so much. YMMV.

  239. BBD says:

    There was no ‘MWP’ in the sense of a global, synchronous warm event as warm as or warmer than the present. So this is just more nonsense. And we’ve been through this, you and I, before.

  240. Canman says:

    Izen:

    While knowledge of the ENTIRE system almost certainly is intrinsically unknowable, that does not prevent the range of behavior that it can exhibit being well defined.

    While I would agree with that statement, IMO (admittedly amateur and based mostly on my evaluation of the personalities of the various climate scientists) this range of behavior has not been defined.

  241. anoilman says:

    Canman: Actually there’s too much for any one person to know. Its no different than anything else we have out there. Aircraft Carriers come to mind. You could shoot through the manuals in 1 million years, but you still won’t know the science behind it.

  242. matt says:

    Michael,

    Ppl have asked for evidence for your beliefs. Can you point me to one of your comments where you have provided evidence?

    You have lots of opinions

    “The core group of believers is few in number and remarkably aligned as to culture and language.”

    “I suspect any regular reader here can name half this core group from memory. ”

    “The core of the core is just two persons and look what they have moved.”

    “The small group or cohort of interest to me right here and now is led by John Cook. Nearly the entire cohort is listed on Consensus of Consensuses. It is aligned on language (English) and culture (British Commonwealth) and thus presumably has inherited ideas of hegemony and superiority (the sun never sets on the British Empire).”

    “Reviewing the core group of initial believers; this group that has not themselves done primary research but are much better at using that primary research to move masses (of people), it is not clear to me why they do what they do. That is *my* primary research, to understand how society goes from one man’s discovery to widespread social utility.”

    Can you please point us to some evidence, perhaps your primary research?

    Long live the Queen,
    Matt from Oz

  243. John Hartz says:

    matt:

    I do believe that michael2 is practicing the fine art of slogannering in many of his posts. His rigid adherence to his political idealogy, i,e., libertarianism, will not let him do othewise.

    Having said that, thanks for challenging him to produce evidence. I doubt that he will be able to do so.

  244. Canman says:

    Anoilman links to a Guardian piece entitled Libertarian ideology is the natural enemy of science. I would just like to note that Jonathan Haidt has said on several occasions that libertarians are the smartest, clearest thinking, most rational people out there.

  245. wheelism says:

    (And they smell SO nice!)

  246. John Hartz says:

    Michael 2: You stated:

    Climate models are obviously deficient therefore so are their underlying theories or parameters. Precise and believable explanations for LIA and MWP and Roman Optimum seem to be lacking.

    What are the sources for this claim? How do you know it to be accurate?

  247. John Hartz says:

    Michael 2: Do you understand that GCMs can only simulate the beahaviour of the Earth’s climate system, and not replicate it?

  248. BBD says:

    Canman

    Libertarian / ‘free’ market ideology is strongly correlated with rejection of climate science. So we have clear evidence that libertarians are not ‘the smartest, clearest thinking, most rational people out there’. Rather the opposite, in fact.

  249. John Mashey says:

    JH:
    Michael 2 clearly hasn’t read the papers mentioned in The Early Anthropocene Hypothesis: An Update.

    Between those, the plague discussions elsewhere, and the recent Sigl, et al paper on volcanoes and the PAGES2K work … the last few thousand years is pretty understandable.

  250. Michael 2 says:

    John Hartz “Michael 2: Do you understand that GCMs can only simulate the beahaviour of the Earth’s climate system, and not replicate it?”

    Yes. The “M” of GCM is an important clue. Actually replicating Earth climate would require another Earth and all of its forcings so that you could change just one thing and then compare it with this Earth (or two others and not play with one we occupy until it is more certain a procedure will work).

    This is why I invoked Douglas Adams to make it clear (obviously I was too subtle) that I recognize that actually replicating climate systems requires an entire planet (and its sun, etc).

  251. wheelism says:

    (Did You Know?: Slartibartfast was originally named “Fjord Perfect.”)

  252. BBD says:

    Which returns us to the fact that GCMs (though forever a work in progress) are good enough approximations of the climate system to be useful.

    Can we talk about something else now?

  253. BBD says:

    @ John

    Thanks for Sigl et al. You have a knack of coming up with the good stuff 🙂

  254. Canman says:

    BBD

    I don’t think a correlation with rejection of (I think suspicion or skepticism might be a better word) climate science (a very politicized science still in it’s infancy) is a very good yard stick for smartness, clear thought or rationality.

  255. Michael 2 says:

    matt “Can you please point us to some evidence, perhaps your primary research?”

    Yes and no. I will state it. Pointing to others is your game. Smallness of evidence is evidence of smallness. Where is the list of ten thousand climate scientists that agree with CAGW? There isn’t one. What there is is a short list, 72 papers and approximately that many names if I remember right, of CAGW scientists identified by John Cook and team.

    But they aren’t necessarily the prime movers. You and I, right here right now, are participating on the blog of one of the core group of advocates. How large is this group? About a dozen. The super raters of John Cook — how many? About a dozen.

    How many people are needed to prove the existence of gravity? One.

    How many people make policy for the United States? About a dozen — the “whips” in legislature and el presidente and some power brokers.

    The world? About the same.

    This fascination with huge consensus isn’t necessary. It’s peripheral.

  256. BBD says:

    climate science (a very politicized science still in it’s infancy)

    Classic denialist cant.

  257. wheelism says:

    (Canman can cant, can’t he?)

  258. John Hartz says:

    Canman: From your perspective, was all of the science that underpinned the Manahattan Project “politiczed science”?

  259. BBD says:

    @ wheelism

    🙂

  260. wheelism says:

    “Where is the list of ten thousand climate scientists that agree with CAGW? There isn’t one. What there is is a short list, 72 papers and approximately that many names if I remember right, of CAGW scientists identified by John Cook and team.”

    This is FANTASTIC.

  261. This is FANTASTIC.

    I think it qualifies as not even wrong.

  262. wheelism says:

    “Smallness of evidence is evidence of smallness…this obsession with a huge consensus isn’t necessary.”

    Sometimes a consensus is just a consensus.

  263. anoilman says:

    Michael 2: Where is the list of ten thousand climate scientists that agree with CAGW? There isn’t one.

    Well, if you really want to find the papers and scientists you could go looking for them. In the past when you’ve said something like that, it was blatantly obvious that you didn’t look and didn’t bother checking. (Did you actually read the Science of Doom website that you recommended? He talks about papers in the 100k range.) Never the less…

    I recommend you start with Thomas Cronin’s Paleoclimates;
    http://www.amazon.com/Paleoclimates-Understanding-Climate-Change-Present/dp/0231144946

    It directly references 3500-4500 papers skimming the majority of the Paleo science out there. If you weren’t a straight A chemistry student in university, you’ll probably find it tough going. Anyways, from that one book you should be able to add another 20,000 papers or so in supporting material and science. Not that you’re actually interested.

    For the basic physics I recommend Dennis Hartmann’s Global Physical Climatology;
    http://www.amazon.com/Global-Physical-Climatology-International-Geophysics/dp/0123285305

    If you weren’t a straight A in university physics and math, you will find this tough going, and I might add, the math is watered down from the original papers but it gives you a good overview in 380 pages.

  264. Michael 2 says:

    Anoilman wrote “If you weren’t a straight A chemistry student in university, you’ll probably find it tough going.”

    Agreed. I will study what I can of the recommended reading. This relates to the topic of the page (surprise) that the knowability of a thing depends quite a lot on the reader’s education.

    A source I have found useful in the past is “AGW Observer”
    https://agwobserver.wordpress.com/

  265. > Well, if you really want to find the papers and scientists you could go looking for them.

    “Them” being scientists who agree about M2’s contrarian meme?

    Please leave “but CAGW” to him.

  266. Canman says:

    John Hartz

    I would say the science behind the Manhattan Project was not politicized. They were all trying to make it work. The politics was about how or whether to use it. I think it was the same for the H-bomb. I think for Reagan’s Star Wars project, it did get politicized. Doves thought it wouldn’t work while hawks thought it would.

  267. John Hartz says:

    Canman:

    You response to my question about the science underpinning the Manhattan project tells me that you have a rather shallow understanding of the distinction between science, the development of weapons systems, and politics. I’ll elaborate further when I have the time to do so.

  268. Joshua says:

    ==> Where is the list of ten thousand climate scientists that agree with CAGW? There isn’t one.

    Did you read Judith’s post that inspired this thread?

  269. wheelism says:

    (“This relates to the topic of the page (surprise) that the knowability of a thing depends quite a lot on the reader’s education.”

    Interesting – that wasn’t my takeaway at all. Then again, I WAS hitting the Klein bottle pretty hard.)

  270. Michael 2 says:

    Joshua wrote “==> Where is the list of ten thousand climate scientists that agree with CAGW? There isn’t one. Did you read Judith’s post that inspired this thread?”

    No. Does she identify by name all ten thousand climatologists working on settled science, 97 percent of whom agree that global warming is real, human caused, and dangerous? Now you have aroused my curiosity; I shall go look at Judith’s post. I too should be a climatologist if the governments of the world are willing to hire them all to work on the same problem!

    I’ll return and report in a followup once I’ve seen Judith’s post.

  271. snarkrates says:

    Canman: “…climate science (a very politicized science still in it’s infancy)…”

    Uh, dude, climate science is about a century older than relativity or quantum mechanics. It is older than the theory of evolution. It is older than electromagnetism, statistical mechanics. It is older than Germany, Italy and Greece (as modern nation states). It is older than several branches of mathematics. You want to maybe rethink that? Or shall we conclude that it isn’t all libertarians who aren’t very smart, just you and Mikey?

  272. anoilman says:

    snarkrates: John Hartz: I always like to come back to the fact that much of the data they question is military data. If its fudged… all allied navies are worthless.

    According to them, these don’t work;
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-submarine_warfare_carrier
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarines_in_the_United_States_Navy
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Navy_Submarine_Service
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upholder/Victoria-class_submarine
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Barracuda-class_submarine
    etc… the list goes on. Enemies are clearly in on faking this data too because they also build submarines that don’t work.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Soviet_and_Russian_submarine_classes

    To hunt subs or for our subs to hide we use the Levitus database. This Levitus;
    https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

    Instead of thanking the men of the armed forces for their efforts, they invent weak conspiracy theories blaming them for faking data and committing treason. For? Al Gore is it?

    Wasn’t it Curry pointing fingers at NOAA recently? Nice.

  273. John Hartz says:

    anoilman: You wrote:

    I always like to come back to the fact that much of the data they question is military data.

    Whose/which statement triggered your reponse?

  274. Michael 2 says:

    Replying to Joshua.

    I have read Judith’s article which is mostly commentary on Brumberg (as is this thread). I do not see a list of ten thousand climate scientists but the relevant comment seems to be this:

    Judith Curry: “I think the Brumbergs are correct to conclude:”

    Brumbergs: “In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the [causes of the] earth’s warming is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for [human caused] global warming.”

    As I have already written, I consider Brumberg’s conclusion unsupported and thus JC’s support of it similarly unwarranted.

    An exceedingly high consensus can mean either of two very different things — it can mean that the consensus is correct and properly understands a relatively simple thing (the value of “G” for instance) that can be experimentally verified by nearly anyone that wishes to do so; or a social consensus that exists, and is maintained, by forces other than experimental science.

    The fact of the consensus does not inform whether its claims are correct or incorrect.

    Y’all seem to want it both ways. A consensus exists on the existence of God; but I suspect not many here are convinced by that consensus. It might be sufficient for you to look at it if there was anything to see.

    A consensus exists on anthropogenic global warming; but many (not here) are not convinced. It might be sufficient for them to investigate and become convinced if there was anything to see!

    So you see, right here on this page, people have chosen to subscribe to one consensus but not another; in both cases there is very little to see, very little experimental science and rather a lot of speculation and Pascal Wagering. Dare you ignore the possibility that global warming is potentially a catastrophe? Dare you ignore the possibility of a vengeful or rewarding God?

    These belief systems appear to be rival. People that believe AGW tend not to believe God, people that believe in God tend not to believe in AGW.

    I have no idea why this is the case. It may be that the human belief system can only attach to one thing at a time; the religious expression of this is “no man can serve two masters”. As it happens I serve many (boss, wife, nation, church, dog, cat) but only one master in any particular realm.

  275. snarkrates says:

    Anoilman, I keep coming back to the fact they Mikey and Canman just make shit up–no evidence, no logic, no coherence, just whatever is convenient to their argument and they can type out without laughing themselves to death. What happened to the all the intelligent libertarians–or are they simply calling themselves something else now that “libertarian” has been appropriated to mean “Republicans who smoke dope”?

  276. wheelism says:

    (“Does [JC] identify by name all ten thousand climatologists working on settled science, 97 percent of whom agree that global warming is real, human caused, and dangerous? Now you have aroused my curiosity; I shall go look at Judith’s post. I too should be a climatologist if the governments of the world are willing to hire them all to work on the same problem!”

    Do the French have a term for petulance-in-retreat?)

  277. Bwana_mrefu says:

    According to Matt Ridley the real problem is that a massive conspiracy is suppressing the TRUTH:

    http://www.thegwpf.com/matt-ridley-climate-change-lobby-wants-to-kill-free-speech/

    This is desperate stuff. The only problem being that it i published in today’s Times as a op ed piece. So heterodox views don’t seem to be too suppressed, do they?

  278. It is pretty desperate stuff. The irony of claiming that others are trying to suppress free speech while he attempts to deligitimise what they’ve said is presumably lost on Matt “free speech is fine as long as noone criticises me” Ridley.

  279. John Hartz says:

    Michael2: Do you understand that the consenus about the science of manmade global warming is among climate scientists? You could probably get 97% agreement about the existence of God if you surveyed theologans. Public opinion about either climate science or theology has no bearing on the respective bodies of evidence for either case.

  280. Michael 2 says:

    snarkrates wrote “shall we conclude that it isn’t all libertarians who aren’t very smart, just you and Mikey?”

    Strange that you seek assistance making a decision of this kind. But since you asked, yes, it isn’t all libertarians that aren’t very smart (which with the negatives removed becomes “some libertarians are smart”). I am smart. Prove otherwise 😉

  281. John Hartz says:

    wheelism: There are thousands of scientists from throughout the world who have and continue to contribute to the ever-growing body of evidence about manmade climate change. The majority of these scientists are not “climate scientists” per se. That’s an important fact to keep in mind when discussing these matters.

  282. Okay, maybe we can avoid a discussion about who is smart and who isn’t.

  283. Michael 2 says:

    anoilman “I always like to come back to the fact that much of the data they question is military data. If its fudged… all allied navies are worthless.”

    That’s a bit “binary” in your thinking but it is what it is. And what it is is certainly fudged in some areas, but probably not temperature measurements. And I mean random number fudged using a pseudo-random function on a pocket calculator.

    But finding submarines is highly competitive, and you cannot do that without accurate speed-of-sound-in-water calculation, and you cannot do that without accurate BT measurements. So it is likely that the BT measurements were carefully recorded. Not necessarily accurate and the transcription is “eyeball” on a graph. But thousands of them were deployed during the Cold War so the aggregate accuracy is probably pretty good.

  284. Michael 2 says:

    John Hartz wrote “You could probably get 97% agreement about the existence of God if you surveyed theologans. Public opinion about either climate science or theology has no bearing on the respective bodies of evidence for either case.”

    It is mildly frustrating at times when you lay out my case better than I have yet you seem not to realize the implications.

    You are exactly correct, public opinion has no bearing on the respective bodies of evidence; and respective bodies of evidence has no bearing on public opinion (not much, anyway).

    The public simply has not got the training necessary to realize, or believe, that variations in oxygen isotope (*) as you go down into an Antarctic glacier tell you anything about ancient global climate.

    * Used as an example of one of many things a person needs to know and believe before the whole package can be known and believed.

    Theologians believe in God for the simple reason that the definition is crafted to explain what is visible. Everything is evidence of God. Ultimately it is a tautology, it is like saying everything is evidence of everything, and if you said that, a preacher is like to shout for joy.

    So it is with climate change. Everything is evidence of climate change — wet, dry; hot, cold.

    But underneath both of these tautologies exist something dangerous or wonderful; a thing that really ought to be known and knowable, adapted to where not controllable.

    It is human nature to control the environment, and that mostly means other people, and not for their advantage but yours. It is thus also human nature to resist being controlled by other people while you exert your own controls. 7 billion humans are trying to control you, take your resources and your breeding opportunities. They form temporary alliances: corporations, nations; and use those alliances to gain advantage and disadvantage competition.

    Nations are paying billions of dollars for climate science. Do you suppose for an instant that it is all out of curiosity?

  285. wheelism says:

    (JH – I was quoting M2 again.)

  286. anoilman says:

    John Hartz: snarkrates: Its all just a jumble of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot with these guys, its nothing new. In my case… I have personal experience with this data, and its old applied engineering, not some new theory.

    No M2 that’s not how that data is used. Its used to generate a reconstruction of the ocean temperature salinity profile anywhere on the earth. That profile is not strictly historical… it projects forward based on trends in the data sets. It also makes seasonal adjustments.

    The navy generates a trend for each location. These trends are well understood and their error bars are known. They’d have to be unless you wanted to call ‘time out’ in a war, and ask to run a BT line before hiding on the guy you wanted to sink.

    I was unaware of the ‘fudge’ algorithm you referred to. Is it anything like the ‘fix it all up then’ algorithm? I was once asked to make one of those so I asked more questions. 🙂

    Perhaps you think of background noise and sea life as a fudge factor… that’s in the database as well.

  287. Joshua says:

    Anders…. Instead of pulling my other comment out of moderation, could you post this one instead (I cleaned up some major problems with the previous one).

    M2 –

    ==> No. Does she identify by name all ten thousand climatologists working on settled science, 97 percent of whom agree that global warming is real, human caused, and dangerous?

    I wasn’t intending for my comment to be taken so literally. My point was towards the general frame, where “skeptics” as a group simultaneously say that there is no overwhelming “consensus” or, that there is no meaningful meaning for the term “consensus” or, that whether or not there is a “consensus” is irrelevant or, that considering whether or not there is a “consensus” is antithetical to the scientific method or, now, added to that list, the overwhelming uniformity of a “consensus” in the context of an issue that is inherently very complex shows that “consensus” must be wrong.

    As such, it wasn’t so much a comment directed to what you had written, but to how your comment fits together within the more general “skeptical” frame to present a logically incoherent and impossible standard.

    ==> As I have already written, I consider Brumberg’s conclusion unsupported and thus JC’s support of it similarly unwarranted.

    Apologies, I missed that earlier. As such, my observation about the aggregate logical gamesmanship among “skeptics” is off the mark. You aren’t responsible for the arguments of other “skeptics” or their failure to present logically coherent arguments (or even raise objections to arguments that are logically incoherent with their own).

    ==> Y’all seem to want it both ways.

    Hmmm. So turn about is fair play?

    ==> A consensus exists on the existence of God; but I suspect not many here are convinced by that consensus.

    Analogies are problematic, IMO, when they only function they serve is a rhetorical device (as opposed to an illustrative tool).

    ==> A consensus exists on the existence of God; but I suspect not many here are convinced by that consensus. It might be sufficient for you to look at it if there was anything to see.

    A consensus exists on anthropogenic global warming; but many (not here) are not convinced. It might be sufficient for them to investigate and become convinced if there was anything to see!

    So you see, right here on this page, people have chosen to subscribe to one consensus but not another …

    There are major problems with that analogy. For example, I am not “convinced” by virtue of the “consensus” on global warming, and thus there’s no reason why I should be “convinced” by a consensus on the existence of God. And of course, being “convinced” by a “consensus” among non-scientists about the existence of God is a very different matter than being “convinced” by a “consensus” among technically trained and experienced scientists on an a question of science. In fact, if there were a “consensus” among technically trained and experienced scientists regarding the question of whether God exists (based on a matter of scientific evidence), then I might very well revisit my own beliefs about the existence of God.

    ==> So you see, right here on this page, people have chosen to subscribe to one consensus but not another;

    So your argument fails on two major counts, at least. The first is that you’re assuming that I (or others) are “convinced” by the existence of a “consensus.” That is an incorrect assumption. Second, by reasonable extension of the implications of your argument, people should be convinced by a technically- and evidence-based “consensus” about the existence of God, but in fact no such “consensus” exists.

    ==> These belief systems appear to be rival.

    Only as you view your analogy. And in this case, IMO, your analogy is not useful – again, except as a rhetorical device, and one that I think is rather weak.

    ==> People that believe AGW tend not to believe God, people that believe in God tend not to believe in AGW.

    I have no idea why this is the case.

    I can think of quite a few reasons why that might be the case, but certainly one of those reasons is that belief in those two issues is virtually diametrically opposed w/r/t the scientific evidence that exists in support of the contrasted beliefs.

    ==> It may be that the human belief system can only attach to one thing at a time; the religious expression of this is “no man can serve two masters”.

    That might be another reason, but I certainly see no reason to assume that there is only one reason.

  288. John Hartz says:

    wheelism: When you quote someone, it is extremely helpful to everyone that you specify who it is. In addition, many commenters, myself included, put quotes in tialics in order to visually differentiate that text from what the commenter is stating.

  289. wheelism says:

    JH: Will do. Thank you.

  290. Michael 2 says:

    anoilman “I was unaware of the ‘fudge’ algorithm you referred to.”

    Details of the performance of inertial navigation systems was at the time, and maybe still, classified so I’m reluctant to provide details but the difference between actual performance and reported performance was fairly substantial.

    “Perhaps you think of background noise and sea life as a fudge factor… that’s in the database as well.”

    Slightly OT but I love watching the comedy movie “Up Periscope” in that context. Anyway, submarine hunting uses FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) and has a long integration time that easily separates out ambient noises. That was more than 30 years ago and I doubt the listening stations are now in operation. Certainly the P3’s are all-but-gone.

  291. Canman says:

    Snarkrates,

    About saying that climate science is a “politicized science still in it’s infancy”. I may have been hasty saying that it is in its infancy. There are certainly a lot of things that have been discovered, like the ice ages, but it is far from being mature and is clearly politicized.

  292. Canman,
    That a particular scientific area is policy relevant does not make it politicised.

  293. BBD says:

    canman

    Again with the rubbish about climate science. Climate science is about physics. As ATTP says, while it is policy relevant, that is not the same as its being politicised.

    The politics comes in when right wingers make politically-motivated attacks on the science because they don’t like the policy implications.

    Just like you are doing repeatedly on this thread, in fact.

  294. snarkrates says:

    Canman,
    Have you ever been to a scientific conference? Do you have any idea how scientists interact? Do you think that they sit around debating the political consequences of the results in their poster?

    Dude, what color is the sky on your planet?

  295. John Hartz says:

    Canman stated:

    About saying that climate science is a “politicized science still in it’s infancy”. I may have been hasty saying that it is in its infancy. There are certainly a lot of things that have been discovered, like the ice ages, but it is far from being mature and is clearly politicized.

    What a pile of pure unadulterated poppycock!

  296. John Hartz says:

    Michael2: You assert:

    Nations are paying billions of dollars for climate science. Do you suppose for an instant that it is all out of curiosity?

    Please document the source(s) of your “billions of dollars” assertion.

    In addition, please provide your working definition of “climate science.”

  297. John Hartz says:

    VTG:

    “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him take a drink.”

  298. John Hartz says:

    Michael 2: You assert:

    These belief systems appear to be rival. People that believe AGW tend not to believe God, people that believe in God tend not to believe in AGW.

    Please document the source(s) of this assertion.

    Also, does your assertion apply to the enitre population of the Earth, or just the population of the U.S.?

  299. verytallguy says:

    “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him take a drink.”

    Ah, the hippocentric theory of climate science.

  300. Michael 2 says:

    Joshua writes: “For example, I am not convinced by virtue of the consensus on global warming, and thus there’s no reason why I should be convinced by a consensus on the existence of God.”

    Welcome to the world of Independents. If everyone ran off a cliff, would you? Probably not; you might check to see if they are running *from* something.

    But many people are persuaded solely by consensus and the 97 percent meme targets that sizeable crowd; it worked very well on my brother but he always was vulnerable to the herd. The cosmetics industry and nearly all commercial advertising rests upon triggering your herd instincts and of them, “shame” seems to be the most powerful motivator. (*) About 60 percent of all commercial advertising is designed to shame or ridicule, and you see quite a bit of the same strategy right here. That it simply doesn’t work on some people is alien to the practitioners of the strategy who simply try harder to ridicule when it didn’t work the first time.

    Even though such sheep aren’t the majority, they are a “bloc” of voters where independent minded people are not organized to anything. That makes this bloc a powerful minority. When I write about cabals or inner circles, it’s not about scientists doing science, it is about the movers of sheep, the purveyors of shame and guilt.

    Cigarettes come to mind; why would anyone still smoke cigarettes? It’s expensive and stupid; and yet millions of teenagers (including my own) feel like they must smoke cigarettes because it’s “cool”.

    Leadership in the US Navy is in part oriented to breaking new leaders out of sheep following mode but I was never in in that mode. I obeyed orders scrupulously, but where not ordered I was free to think for myself. I and three other men were told to march around in a big refrigerator box, that is to say, the box contained us as we marched around the room. The chiefs left the room. I hopped out of the box. The other three stayed in the box saying, “They didn’t say we could get out!” and I said, “Neither did they command we remain in the box. I choose out.”

    We went through several such exercises and despite everyone having been in the Navy for 10 to 15 years, they others were so conditioned to unquestioning obedience they were unable to transition to thinking for themselves even where the opportunity clearly existed to do so.

    I realized that leadership isn’t so much a behavior as it is a state of mind.

    * Resource: “Buyology” where the author reports on FMRI studies of advertising effectiveness with interesting forays into lying.

  301. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    Infancy?
    Far from being mature?
    Pffft.

    https://www.aip.org/history/climate/summary.htm

    from

    https://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.htm

    It is also might be telling that virtually no one takes issue with climate science in the Pentagon, or in the CDC, or in the major insurance corporations, or in departments of city planning, or in offices of resource management, etc.

    Personally, I work with some fairly smart people in oceanography, remote sensing, atmospheric science, astrophysics, biology, epidemiology, and in military and industrial research. Most of those folks are… alarmed. Not because they are liberal and gullible (most are, I think, neither) – but because they understand the science of climate science.

    Human actions have set things in motion that cannot be stopped.
    The last times that the Earth saw rapid climate change such as we are measuring now was during mass extinction events. Think about that for a moment.


    Nations are paying billions of dollars for climate science.

    It is well they should, since climate change will cost trillions of dollars.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/sep/26/climate-change-damaging-global-economy


    These belief systems appear to be rival. People that believe AGW tend not to believe God, people that believe in God tend not to believe in AGW.

    Belief systems are for kids.
    The laws of physics do not care about politics, religious beliefs, or tribal affiliations.

  302. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    Curry is a climate scientist

    Actually, according to her corporate bio, she only plays one on the internet.


    …Her current focus [is] on managing the translation of cutting-edge research to forecast products that support the mitigation of weather and climate risk for public and private sector decision makers.

    http://www.cfanclimate.net/#!management-team/pd25i

  303. Joshua says:

    M2 –

    ==> But many people are persuaded solely by consensus and the 97 percent meme targets that sizeable crowd;

    Stated as fact…but I disagree. I would argue that relatively few people are “convinced” by “consensus-messaging,” the efforts of “consensus-messengers” notwithstanding. Rather, I think that the larger effect of “consensus-messaging” is to reinforce ideological orientation.

    ==> The cosmetics industry and nearly all commercial advertising rests upon triggering your herd instincts and of them, “shame” seems to be the most powerful motivator. (*) About 60 percent of all commercial advertising is designed to shame or ridicule, and you see quite a bit of the same strategy right here.

    You are assuming, and stating as fact, that you can generalize from dynamics in largely non-polarized and non-politicized context to one that is highly polarized and politicized. Such a generalization seems dubious to me. Concluding that “many people” form their views on climate change based on a “because advertising” frame, should have a requirement for substantial supporting evidence, IMO.

  304. Joshua says:

    Geez. One of these days I’ll post a comment w/o formatting problems.

  305. wheelism says:

    M2: “About 60 percent of all commercial advertising is designed to shame or ridicule, and you see quite a bit of the same strategy right here.”

    Shameful, ridiculous comments beget shame and ridicule.

  306. pbjamm says:

    M2> “Theologians believe in God for the simple reason that the definition is crafted to explain what is visible. Everything is evidence of God. Ultimately it is a tautology, it is like saying everything is evidence of everything, and if you said that, a preacher is like to shout for joy.
    So it is with climate change. Everything is evidence of climate change — wet, dry; hot, cold.”

    I think this is the core of the issue here. How do you convince someone with evidence when they think that the evidence is fabricated? if they have taken such an unscientific position it is hard to science them out of it.

  307. Willard says:

    > Shameful, ridiculous comments beget shame and ridicule.

    You Made Me Do It.

    Not abiding by AT’s earlier request begets the trash bin.

    Thank you for your concerns.

  308. wheelism says:

    🙂 Indeed, and apologies.

  309. Joshua says:

    pbjamm –

    ==> How do you convince someone with evidence when they think that the evidence is fabricated?

    How do you convince someone with evidence when they think that the evidence that contradicts their beliefs (and I would say ideological identification) is fabricated (whereas the evidence that supports their beliefs is considered valid and, perhaps more importantly, they use a filter to interpret evidence such that its validity/invalidity is contingent on how it lines up in terms of ideological orientation)?

  310. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    Everything is evidence of God. Ultimately it is a tautology, it is like saying everything is evidence of everything, and if you said that, a preacher is like to shout for joy.
    So it is with climate change. Everything is evidence of climate change — wet, dry; hot, cold.

    Everything is evidence of God.
    Everything is evidence of climate change.
    Therefore, God is climate change and climate change is God.

    Amen.

  311. John Hartz says:

    The reasearch summarized in this article indicates that the consensus argument is undermined when it is presented to people who have been exposed to “balanced” reporting. Given the signigficant number of people in the U.S. who exclusively watch Fox News and/or read the Wall Street Journal, this explains why “consensus messaging” does not resonnate well with conservatives and triggers their ire.

    We’re Easily Confused About What Experts Really Think, New Research Shows by Carol Linnit, DeSmog Canada, Apr 25, 2016

  312. John Hartz says:

    Here’s the url for the article that I referenced in my prior post. I thought I had embedded into the title, but there must have been a glitch in my coding.

    http://www.desmog.ca/2016/04/25/we-re-easily-confused-about-what-experts-really-think-new-research-shows

  313. John Hartz says:

    The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse:

    Now I know why you crafted your user name.

    When are you going to pass the collection plate? 🙂

  314. anoilman says:

    M2: So awesome!

    So… the military doesn’t have access to military data on inertial navigation systems… hmm… Cool… Secret secrets are always the best kind.

    Most of the adjustments made to old XBT data were adjustments based on velocity, and how that related to actual depth based on experiments\comparisons between old and new XBTs.

    The new tech 30 years ago was Beam Forming and wavelets… you know, multiple sonabuoys on a line and the like.

    But more importantly, what kind of FFT do you use for in band noise I wonder? Let me know, cause I’m pretty sure the entire planet is listening for your answer to that one that one. If you could just tell me I could revolutionize all industries today. You’d certainly save me a lot of time.

    Anyways, you say the military didn’t mess with the temperature data, and we know ocean heat it the bulk of the energy on the planet, so… we have a serious problem on our hands.
    https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

  315. Michael 2 says:

    John Hartz asks “Please document the source(s) of your billions of dollars assertion.”

    Many sources exist but this is a good summary:

    [http]://www.gao.gov/key_issues/climate_change_funding_management/issue_summary

    “Federal funding for climate change research, technology, international assistance, and adaptation has increased from $2.4 billion in 1993 to $11.6 billion in 2014, with an additional $26.1 billion for climate change programs and activities provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009”

    Other reports exist that break it down into categories of varying particularity.

    “In addition, please provide your working definition of climate science.”

    All branches of science engaged in studying global warming including present and past changes of climate and their causes. It is a bit fuzzy around the edges because many of these studies would be taking place anyway, sediment studies, coral reef studies, with or without the world’s interest in global warming. So it is pretty easy to hitch your wagon to the global warming horse, obtain government funds and call it “climate science”.

  316. Michael 2 says:

    John Hartz asks “Please document the source(s) of this assertion.”

    http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/22/religion-and-views-on-climate-and-energy-issues/

    “Also, does your assertion apply to the enitre population of the Earth, or just the population of the U.S.?”

    I believe Pew surveys residents of the United States.

    Studies of this kind are vulnerable to self-selection bias.

    “When it comes to people’s beliefs about climate change, it is the religiously unaffiliated, not those who identify with a religious tradition, who are particularly likely to say the Earth is warming due to human activity.”

    Democrats strongly accept AGW, atheists strongly prefer Democrats. One reasonably concludes therefore that the majority of AGW advocates are going to be Democrats and Atheists.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/8/13/1119562/-Why-Do-Atheists-Vote-Democrat

  317. anoilman says:

    On subject… apparently stingrays don’t know where they are;
    http://www.desmog.ca/2016/04/26/shocking-migratory-changes-bring-electric-rays-canada-s-pacific

    Perhaps they are all male and really just need to roll down their windows and ask for directions.

  318. John Hartz says:

    Here’s another example of how the broadcast media in the US impacts the public perception of what scientists are telling us about manamde climate change and its impacts…

    CNN aired almost five times as much oil industry advertising as climate change-related coverage in the one-week periods following the announcements that 2015 was the hottest year on record and February 2016 was the most abnormally hot month on record. Specifically, CNN aired 23.5 minutes of American Petroleum Institute ads during its morning, afternoon, and primetime coverage over those two weeks, compared to just five minutes of coverage about climate change or the temperature records. That disparity does not even account for dozens of Koch Industries ads that also ran on CNN, which were not energy-focused but did serve to boost the image of the oil billionaire Koch brothers’ primary corporation.

    Following Temperature Record Announcements, Oil Industry Ads Outpaced Climate-Related Coverage By Almost 5-To-1 by Kevin Kalhoefer, Media Matters, Apr 25, 2016

  319. Eli Rabett says:

    Somewhere up above a piece of standard issue blather was inserted by M2

    How many people are needed to prove the existence of gravity? One.

    Well actually thousands. One person (like maybe Newton) might have come up with a theoretical description, but a) he needed centuries of careful observation of the planets that somebunny put into a bunch of books b) more observations of kinematics (e.g. Gallileo) c) Kepler had a point there which was useful and d) afterwards the idea had to be tested by still others and, oh yeas e) general relativity had a point to be made about gravity and today LIGO

    So yeah, a consistent consensus that there was this this thing called gravity and what the basis for it was took centuries and thousands. Some of them even had day jobs.

  320. John Hartz says:

    Michael2: You state:

    Democrats strongly accept AGW, atheists strongly prefer Democrats. One reasonably concludes therefore that the majority of AGW advocates are going to be Democrats and Atheists.

    Are you aware that the majority of adults in the U.S do not affiliate with either the Deomocratic or Republican/Tea Party parties?

  321. John Hartz says:

    Michael2: Let’s review the state of US public opinion re climate change as measured by Gallup…

    Polling firm Gallup, which has been tracking public sentiment on the topic annually since 1997, found that 41% of US adults feel warming will pose a “serious threat” to them during their lifetimes. This is the highest level recorded by Gallup, a 4% increase on 2015.

    A total of 64% of those polled said they worried about global warming a “great deal” or a “fair amount”, the highest level of recorded concern since 2008. Just 36% of Americans said they did not fret about it, or only worried a little.

    The results show a solidifying belief that changes in the climate are under way, with 59% of people thinking so. A record 65% of Americans said global warming was down to greenhouse gases released by human activity – a 10% leap on last year.

    Just 31% said the warming was due to natural causes, the lowest level of such skepticism in 15 years. The March polling involved more than 1,000 adults in all 50 states.

    ‘A tipping point’: record number of Americans see global warming as threat by Oliver Milman, Guardian, Mar 18, 2016

    Are you asserting that the 64% of those polled who said they worried about global warming a “great deal” or a “fair amount” are either Democrats or athiests?

  322. Windchaser says:

    Democrats strongly accept AGW, atheists strongly prefer Democrats. One reasonably concludes therefore that the majority of AGW advocates are going to be Democrats and Atheists.

    Maybe off-topic, but this isn’t a sound argument. “The majority of AGW advocates are Democrats” doesn’t follow from “Democrats strongly accept AGW”, any more than “most mammals are dogs” would follow from “all dogs are mammals”.

    The same categorical error also applies to your statement about atheists, and in fact, only 8% of the US population identifies as agnostic or atheist, which is far less than the ~50-60% of Americans who accept AGW.

    Your logic is backwards. “All dogs are mammals” does not imply “most mammals are dogs”. And so, “most atheists accept AGW” does not imply “most AGW-acceptors are atheists”.

  323. Michael 2 says:

    John Hartz asks “Are you aware that the majority of adults in the U.S do not affiliate with either the Deomocratic or Republican/Tea Party parties?”

    No, I am not aware of this.

  324. Michael 2 says:

    John Hartz asks: “Are you asserting that the 64% of those polled who said they worried about global warming a great deal or a fair amount are either Democrats or athiests?”

    No; had I intended to assert that, then that is what I would have asserted. Still, it portrays the essence of my assertion and answers your demand for a source. You can now argue with Pew if there is more to be argued on that topic or you can conduct a mini-survey right here; who among the regular readers and responders is (1) leftwing (whatever it is called in your nation), (2) atheist (and if interested, identify passive or active).

    I’ll propose a Lewandowsky: We all know the answers already; it needs only to be quantified, should anyone care to do so.

    Anoilman: August 27, 2014 at 1:51 am “I don’t know about the rest of the folks here but I’m atheist.”

    deminthon says: February 12, 2015 at 12:30 am “I think truth claims about the existence of God are incoherent.”

    Brandon Gates says: February 12, 2015 at 2:22 am “I think truth claims about the existence of God are incoherent. I agree with that.”

    Richard says: August 28, 2015 at 10:16 am “and I’m an atheist”

    Rachel M says: April 10, 2015 at 12:49 pm “I had a secular upbringing (both my parents are atheist)” Implied atheism; but I also had a secular upbringing and am theist (rather than not atheist which is redundant)

    victorpetri says: August 9, 2014 at 11:42 pm “I am an atheist and consider myself very progressive.”

    Turbulent Eddie says: December 10, 2015 at 9:31 pm “Besides, I thought god’s plan was to hang out in the garden with naked vegetarians.” Implicit endorsement.

  325. wheelism says:

    “Over the past two years, turbulent eddies have not increased at all – actually, they show a slight drop. Should we not be told that this is much better than expected?”

  326. John Hartz says:

    Michael2: For your edification:

    Former U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres has credited faith groups for helping to advance the Paris Climate Agreement by supporting “holistic, equitable, but above all, ambitious climate action.”

    Now, faith leaders are going one step further, calling for immediate ratification of the landmark international accord to curb global climate change.

    250 Faith Leaders Demand Nations Ratify Paris Climate Deal by Jeremy Deaton & Jack Jenkins, Climate Progress, Apr 18, 2016

  327. anoilman says:

    M2: I’m very closed to the idea of religion. This is because its the basis for an awful lot of conflict. I made that decision as a kid because I saw the harm is was causing in South Africa. When asked, the local whites would often refer to the bible.

    A more important question might be why non atheists disdain science despite the fact that their very lives depend on science.

    Not sure if this is important to you, but Turbulent Eddie used to call himself Lucifer. So that garden reference makes a lot more sense in that context.

  328. James Denton says:

    Anecdotally, I am a Christian, theologically trained, main-line protestant pastor who is also politically progressive, science believing, and truly alarmed by AGW. I graduated from seminary in 2015 – NO ONE in my school was a climate change denier and almost all were Democrats. Most of my clergy colleagues know that AGW is real, they believe in evolution, and accept science.

    I have no statistics to offer, but I suspect that it isn’t so much a belief in a deity/deities that correlates with denial of AGW so much as a particular ideology that also aligns itself with religion and co-opts that religion for its own ends. (That would be how people became convinced that Ronald Reagan was more Christian than Jimmy Carter)

    Still there are even examples of right wing, evangelicals who recognize and seek to address climate change. For example:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Sleeth_%28Christian_environmentalist%29
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelical_environmentalism
    and of course Katherine Hayhoe.

    And from my own main-line “camp,” in the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church:

    “The whole earth is God’s good creation and as such has inherent value. We are aware that the current utilization of energy resources threatens this creation at its very foundation. As members of The United Methodist Church we are committed to approaching creation, energy production, and especially creation’s resources in a responsible, careful and economic way. We call upon all to take measures to save energy. Everybody should adapt his or her lifestyle to the average consumption of energy that respects the limits of the planet earth. We encourage persons to limit CO2 emissions toward the goal of one tonne per person annually. We strongly advocate for the priority of the development of renewable energies. The deposits of carbon, oil, and gas resources are limited and their continuous utilization accelerates global warming. The use of nuclear power is no solution for avoiding CO2 emissions. Nuclear power plants are vulnerable, unsafe, and potential health risks. A safe, permanent storage of nuclear waste cannot be guaranteed. It is therefore not responsible to future generations to operate them. The production of agricultural fuels and the use of biomass plants rank lower than the provision of safe food supplies and the continued existence for small farming businesses. ” From: http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/the-natural-world

  329. James,
    Thanks. I was really intending this to diverge into a discussion about the relationship between religion and acceptance of AGW, but your comment is very interesting.

  330. There’s the Pope’s Laudato Si, and I haven’t time to look it up, but an Islamic authority turned out a similar effort, which if you remove the god names and specific prayers, is a beautiful read. I spent a lot of time trying to fit in with religion, having been raised without, and in the end it all rolled up and went away, but it doesn’t work to attack a central part of many people’s lives.

    I can confirm that the Christians I consorted with were progressive activists and worked to understand and help people. I was shocked to finally meet the other kind, bossy, judgemental, and controlling. It’s all too easy to exploit something you can’t get a hold of.

    The Curry strangeness is useful, since unskeptical “skeptics” like to cite her as a credentialed authority.

  331. anoilman,

    I’m very closed to the idea of religion. This is because its the basis for an awful lot of conflict.

    I’m very closed to the idea of human beings. This is because they are the basis for an awful lot of conflict.

    Sorry man, couldn’t help that. Some days I miss trolling atheists just for the lulz.

    [scampers away whistling]

  332. Michael 2,

    I’ll propose a Lewandowsky: We all know the answers already; it needs only to be quantified, should anyone care to do so.

    That was wickedly droll, it made my day. Let’s take a poll. In your own words, how would you describe Dr. Lewandowsky?

    1) A political scientist masquerading as a social psychologist.
    2) A peer-reviewed propagandist.
    3) Both.
    4) No, there are no other options, we’re asking the questions here, your answer is (3).

    We all know my answer already: I’ve been reading too much WUWT again.

  333. John Hartz says:

    Michael2:

    For your edification:

    “Our survey finds that most American Christians believe global warming is happening and support policies that can help reduce it,” said lead-researcher Anthony Leiserowitz, PhD. “We also find that most believe ‘God expects people to be good stewards of nature, which is not only here for human use.’”

    The survey also found that majorities of Catholics, Protestants, and evangelicals say it is important to them personally to care for future generations of people (82%, 82%, and 86% respectively), the natural environment (76% of each group), and the world’s poor (67%, 63%, and 77%). Over half also think reducing global warming will help future generations of people (67%, 60%, and 55%).

    “Most American Christians think that reducing global warming today will help our descendants tomorrow,” said Ed Maibach, PhD, a lead researcher of the study. “Caring for future generations of people, as well as caring for the natural environment and the world’s poor today, are strongly held personal values for most American Christians. It appears that recent comments on the immorality of climate denial by the US Episcopal Church, and the Pope’s support for climate action are likely to be well received by many within the American Christian community.”

    Majorities of American Catholics, Protestants, and Evangelicals Support Policies to Reduce Global Warming by Anthony Leiserowitz, Geoff Feinberg & Seth Rosenthal, Yale Program on Climate Communications, Apr 1, 2015

  334. Michael 2 says:

    anoilman wrote “A more important question might be why non atheists disdain science”

    I speculate that for them it simply doesn’t exist. It doesn’t rise to the level of disdain.

    Where I went to high school American football was the pinnacle of scholastic achievement. In the nether regions of the school existed the geeks and nerds doing “science”. That was my corner and relatively unpopulated. I won First Place in the regional mathematics contest with a raw score slightly less than half the answers correct. I was awful, but less awful than everyone else.

    But there’s a bit of Scottish engineer in me that won’t be suppressed so I educate myself regularly. As such I am a generalist; the only one I know among my friends and family. I have some specialist friends — chemist, geologists and mathematician — but no generalist that can tie it all together.

    The result is I am irrelevant to those that ignore science and not quite an apprentice to all of the specialists; but that allows me to move among them and learn interesting things while mostly being ignored.

  335. anoilman says:

    Brandon Gates:

  336. Michael 2 says:

    Windchaser, on re-reading my post I see that you are correct; I have my logic backwards. That’s embarrassing. An atheist is likely to be a Democrat, but a Democrat is not necessarily going to be an atheist, as far more Democrats exist than all atheists.

    The interesting discussions since then reveal a substantial difference in the kind of theist encountered among Democrats vs Republicans and it is that difference that plays into AGW belief claims. I have a doubt that millions of people understand and believe AGW because of their personal knowledge of benthic oxygen isotopes but because the way the left wing goes at religion is that it *is* social justice and AGW is perceived, and portrayed, as social injustice.

  337. BBD says:

    I think it’s AGW *denial* that is viewed by some as a social injustice, M2.

  338. BBD says:

    Also, M2, I’m heartily sick of all this ‘AGW is a religion’ crap that deniers are so fond of. AGW is physics. Non-expert acceptance of very strong scientific consensus on AGW is a rational act. It’s what most people do rather than trying to understand the science directly.

    By the same reasoning, denying the scientific consensus is an irrational act.

  339. John Hartz says:

    Michael2: You are smart enough to know that you cannot climb out of the hole you are in unless you stop digging.

  340. Michael 2 says:

    John Hartz writes “Michael2: You are smart enough to know that you cannot climb out of the hole you are in unless you stop digging.”

    Seeing that you are down in here with me, perhaps I am just an ant lion. Let’s see you escape. 🙂

  341. John Hartz says:

    Michael2 For your edification:

    A large percentage of Americans (71%) said it was important to reach an agreement to limit global warming and 43% said reaching an agreement was very or extremely important. Majorities of both Democrats (85%) and Republicans (64%) said an agreement was important. In contrast, only 3% of Democrats and 24% of Republicans said reaching an agreement in Paris was “not at all” important.

    Americans Support the Paris Climate Agreement Signing this Earth Day by Lea Lupkin, Yale Program on Climate Communication, Apr 21, 2016

  342. John Hartz says:

    Michael2:

    For your edification:

    The number of conservative voters who believe in climate change has almost doubled in the past two years, according to a new poll that attributes the rise in part to a lessening hostility toward the issue by Republican leaders.

    Forty-seven percent of conservatives now say the climate is changing, a leap of 19 points since the midterm elections of 2014, according to the survey released yesterday by Yale and George Mason universities. The poll did not ask respondents whether climate change is caused by people.

    The jump accounts for the single biggest change among all voting groups, and it could symbolize a softening among conservatives on an issue that has sharply divided the political parties, according to Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

    Many More Republicans Now Believe in Climate Change by Evan Lehmann, ClimateWire/Scientific American, Apr 27, 2016

  343. John Hartz says:

    Michael2: You really should do your homework prior to waxing eloquently on a given topic such as US public opinion about climate change.

  344. anoilman,

    You made me flinch. Backatcha, bro.

  345. BBD,

    By the same reasoning, denying the scientific consensus is an irrational act.

    You’re such a “science has been wrong before” denier. Seek help.

  346. John Hartz says:

    Michael2: Here’s an example of the how real world is more complex and nuanced than you apparently perceive it to be…

    On behalf of the 900,000 supporters of EEN’s work, our staff, and our Board, I want to thank Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and his colleagues, Senators Kirk (R-IL), Ayotte (R-NH), Portman (R-OH), and Collins (R-ME), for the introduction on the Senate floor of a statement affirming that climate change is real and that “human activity contributes to climate change.”

    The statement recognizes that: (1) climate impacts are already hurting people; (2) Congress must act to reduce climate pollution and support clean tech R&D, and; (3) the U.S. should be a world leader in overcoming climate change.

    These affirmations are all that is needed to set our country on a bold course of overcoming climate change by creating sustainable prosperity powered by clean energy. It is time to set aside what has been holding our country back – partisanship, misguided ideology, fear of change, and simple greed – and embrace a cleaner and healthier future.

    We pledge our support to Senator Graham and his Republican colleagues as they lead us towards this bolder course and brighter future.

    Republican Senators Doing God’s Work by Providing Leadership on Climate Change, Statement by Rev. Mitch Hescox, Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN), Apr 26, 2016

  347. John Hartz says:

    anoilman & Michael2:

    I pose this question to you because you both are knowledgable about the behaviour of the world’s ocean sytem.

    The research results summarized in the following article scare the bejesus out of me. What’s your reaction?

    It May Soon Be Too Late to Save the Seas by Jeff Nesbit, Climate Nexus/US News & World Report, Apr 27, 2016

  348. Windchaser says:

    Michael2:

    I have a doubt that millions of people understand and believe AGW because of their personal knowledge of benthic oxygen isotopes but because the way the left wing goes at religion is that it *is* social justice and AGW is perceived, and portrayed, as social injustice.

    I wouldn’t go that far, but yes, most people’s believe or disbelieve science because of their social ingroup or culture, rather than being educated and critically analyzing the claim for themselves. There just isn’t enough time in the day for anyone to understand and analyze everything.

    Of course, it’s also part of the culture of some groups to go with what the scientists say on a subject. It’s either that, or go the “scientists are wrong because of groupthink/conspiracy/etc” route.

  349. Canman says:

    ATTP:

    That a particular scientific area is policy relevant does not make it politicised.

    I can see with my own eyes that it is politicized. I see the way Judith Curry, Roger Peilke Jr. or anyone else who doesn’t tow the line gets vilified. I hear about people who risk their jobs if they speak out. I watch Patrick Michaels’ video:

    Sounds pretty compelling to me. If you can refute anything in it, please do.

  350. canman,
    You want me to watch a video by a scientist in a think tank as evidence that this area is politicised?

  351. Windchaser says:

    I can see with my own eyes that it is politicized. I see the way Judith Curry, Roger Peilke Jr. or anyone else who doesn’t tow the line gets vilified.

    Well, if you present bad work or bad reasoning, you’re going to get criticized for it. That’s not politics; it’s just science. This is what Lindzen and Curry and Spencer are mostly criticized for.

    Actual practicing scientists out there have no problem with contrary views or skeptical viewpoints. Climate science is working just like other scientific fields: contrary views are fine so long as you have evidence to back them up. Here’s an example, a first-person account from someone bringing conflicting evidence:

    http://variable-variability.blogspot.com/2015/01/how-climatology-treats-sceptics.html

    But this apolitical “just show me the data” mindset is how the science works. I would agree that climate science is certainly politicized in the media or in Washington. But that doesn’t affect the quality of the science. The politicization is basically a divergence between those who accept good science and good methods versus those who don’t.

  352. Windchaser says:

    Aside from Victor Venema’s own experiences there, he’s also included anecdotes from other climate scientists.

    “Eric Steig strongly criticized the IPPC, his experience (archive):”

    I was highly critical of IPCC AR4 Chapter 6, so much so that the [mitigation skeptical] Heartland Institute repeatedly quotes me as evidence that the IPCC is flawed. Indeed, I have been unable to find any other review as critical as mine. I know “because they told me” that my reviews annoyed many of my colleagues, including some of my RC colleagues, but I have felt no pressure or backlash whatsover from it. Indeed, one of the Chapter 6 lead authors said “Eric, your criticism was really harsh, but helpful “thank you!”

    “So who are these brilliant young scientists whose careers have been destroyed by the supposed tyranny of the IPCC? Examples?”

    James Annan later writes:

    Well, I don’t think I got quite such a rapturous response as Eric did, with my attempts to improve the AR4 drafts, but I certainly didn’t get trampled and discredited either [which Judith Curry evidently wrongly claims the IPCC does] – merely made to feel mildly unwelcome, which I find tends to happen when I criticise people outside the IPCC too. But they did change the report in various ways. While I’m not an unalloyed fan of the IPCC process, my experience is not what she [Judith Curry] describes it as. So make that two anecdotes

    So no, most good scientists don’t really mind when you bring logical, well-evidenced arguments that they’re wrong. But they have to be good arguments.

    And that’s perfectly in line with my experiences in my own field (materials science). As far as I can see, climate science is working just as well as other physical science fields. And is just as political.

  353. Windchaser,
    Thanks. Those are my impressions too. Scientists are human, and just like most humans, don’t like being criticised. However, I’ve never encountered someone who has suffered in some way because they made fair, but harsh, criticisms. That’s not to say that everyone responds perfectly every time, but ultimately people typically take criticism on board and make reasonable corrections.

    Okay, I should be a little careful here. Science isn’t perfect, and nor are scientists. There may well be cases where people have suffered because someone senior has objected to something they’ve said or done. However, I’ve never seen this directly, and I have seen nothing to make me think that climate science is somehow different to other areas of science.

  354. Windchaser says:

    Right. People are generally fair in response to solid, well-reasoned criticism, particularly in science where criticism is nothing personal and you’ve been subjected to it every day since the start of graduate school. Criticism and questioning of your work is just part of how the scientific world functions: your work is going to be questioned, sometimes harshly. So to the best of your ability, you focus on the facts and arguments, and you ignore the emotional noise. You focus on putting out good work.

    That’s what I see in STEM fields in general, particularly in graduate school and academia. And it doesn’t appear to be any different in climate science.

  355. anoilman says:

    John Hartz: I seriously resent being lumped in the same boat as M2. He doesn’t know anything about oceans. He has read a remedial about them over the last few years, but that’s it.

    Its been a while, but most of the oceanographers I know say that there are serious problems coming for the oceans. Pollution, acidification, sea level rise, all are severe, but frankly these issues are under most countries radars. I can ask my old boss… he was in charge of them for Canada. All of them.

  356. anoilman says:

    Anders… I think I mentioned that Canman is just a PR mouth piece. Its pretty much all he’s capable of saying or referring to. Its party line verbatim all the way with him. He’s got a great video on why solar doesn’t work done by an anti solar mouth piece.

  357. John Hartz says:

    anoilman: My apologies. It is clear from your posts that your knowledge of oceanography is far superior top that of Michael2’s. If I recall correctly, his knowledge comes from the time he served in the Navy.

  358. anoilman says:

    John… no problem… and no.. M2 didn’t do anything like this. He looked it up after I started talking about this 2 years ago. He’s learned a microscopic bit more over the last year near as I can tell.

    If you check M2 has essentially a technician level of education (2 year diploma.. maybe), and he says he spent 14 years configuring CISCO routers.

    And no… I don’t know that much, I just know why the data was gathered in the first place, and how its used. NOAA and the US Navy have a very close relationship. When deniers claim they are faking it I gotta wonder how loose the screw is. It would require treasonous collusion between all allied navies, and their civilian counterparts (in Canada that’s Environment Canada) to perpetuate bad data. It makes zero sense.

    Its been a while since I worked with the Navy. These days I work in oil and gas.

  359. Canman says:

    [But Trentberth. -W]

  360. Canman says:

    [But Trentberth. -W]

  361. Marco says:

    “I see the way Judith Curry, Roger Peilke [sic] Jr. or anyone else who doesn’t tow the line gets vilified”

    You see they get criticised, and because they say stuff you like, you describe this criticism as “vilified”.

    In the meantime, I will just say out loud what I have considered for a long time already: you are just a conspiracy nutter. Your positive endorsement of Cwon14’s comments (“the political fraud motivations behind the AGW movement”) provides ample evidence of that, in particular combined with your other comments here.

    Admit it, Canman, you believe there is a vast conspiracy of climate scientists.

  362. anoilman says:

    Canman: What kind of response is that? I asked you for something resembling credible evidence, and you come back with someone elses’ baseless accusations. Your lack evidence is clear… he’s not shrill, and he’s not an activist. He’s also an eminent scientist, and a respected expert.

    Thanks for backing me up.

    Consensus is everything and everywhere. We all know this. You yourself know this. You yourself abide by them all the time. Its how the world works, and in this case the definition is even more narrow because you can’t argue with physics.

    You have peaked my curiosity though… Do you truly think, that satellites fly with magical thinking and ‘Loyalty Oaths’? Or is it only satellites that measure GHG energy absorption from orbit that you consider suspect? Where exactly is this ‘loyalty oath’ line anyways? Is the Loyalty Oath line a concern for the forestry industry I wonder?

  363. Canman says:

    [Mod: Sorry, but I’m not really interested in these discussions about why we can’t have a debate and why it’s all the fault of one side etc, etc, etc.]

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