Political activism

There’s been a rather lengthy Twitter exchange involving Judith Curry, mostly focusing on whether or not Judith is a political activist. Judith appears to be suggesting that what she does is not political activism, or any form of political advocacy, saying, for example

If one defines political activism as some kind of direct, potentially confrontational, activism in support for, or against, a cause, then this may be true. It would then, however, imply that few are doing so. What most who were engaging with Judith were trying to suggest is that any form of public engagement that could potentially influence policy is a form of activism/advocacy.

Writing a blog about a policy relevant topic, as I do, would certainly seem to qualify. I write this because I think this is an important topic that I wish were better understood and better accepted, so that we could make more informed decisions as to what we should, or should not, do. I don’t have strong views as to what we should do specifically, but I think continuing to simply pump CO2 into the atmosphere is a bad idea and that we should find ways to reduce our emissions, eventually getting them to zero. If pressed as to what we should do more specifically, I would say a carbon tax. I’m not convinced that will be enough by itself, but it would certainly seem to be good way to proceed.

Judith also writes a blog about a policy relevant topic, and – in addition – has testified before the US House of Representatives and has authored a report on climate models for a policy foundation. There were also plenty of other examples provided on Twitter. Yet Judith still seems to object to others describing what she does as a form of political activism.

The problem, though, is not that Judith undertakes a form of political advocacy, it’s that she denies it. There’s nothing wrong with engaging in public discourse about a policy relevant topic. However, doing so while suggesting that what one does is not a form of advocacy implies a completely unrealistic sense of objectivity and lack of bias. Anyone who engages publicly will put their own spin on what they present. Ideally, they do so while also doing their best to place it into the overall context; in principle they should acknowledge if what they present is substantively different from a consensus position, if such a position exists. This, in my view, is the real issue with how Judith engages.

It’s pretty clear that Judith holds a position that is at odds with most other experts in the field and presents information that is not consistent with the available evidence. In fact, from what I’ve seen, a great deal of what Judith presents is based more on her opinions, than on any kind robust scientific analysis. To do this, while claiming to not be engaging in policy advocacy, illustrates either a remarkable lack of awareness, or a willful disingenuousness. There is nothing wrong with political advocacy/activism. What is wrong, in my view, is to publicly present a policy relevant, minority view, while claiming that what you’re doing is not activism/advocacy, especially if you also claim that what others are doing is.

Links:
Gavin Schmidt on advocacy. (Gavin Schmidt giving the AGU Stephen Schneider lecture).
Science and silence. (A post about some of Judith’s comments on advocacy).
The road to hell. (A post about some of Judith’s comments on Research integrity).
Hearing about climate science and the scientific method. (A post about Judith’s testimony to the US Congress).
I also don’t get Judith’s logic. (A post about Judith’s logic with respect to the IPCC attribution statement).

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257 Responses to Political activism

  1. Isn’t there a word to describe someone who criticises others for what they do themselves?

  2. John Hartz says:

    johnrussell40: “Donald Trump.” 🙂

  3. John Hartz says:

    ATTP: Kudos on an excellent essay!

    I’ll chime in some more when I have the time to do so.

  4. Magma says:

    Does my employment at a University in the state of Georgia make it easier for me to challenge the consensus on climate change? Probably. There is at least one person in the Georgia Tech administration that doesn’t like my position on climate change, but in the broader context I would say that it is easier to challenge the AGW consensus from a ‘red’ state. Is it somehow ‘politically’ advantageous for me in the state of Georgia to challenge the AGW consensus? Not in any way that I have been able to figure out. — Judith Curry

    https://judithcurry.com/2015/01/02/georgia-politicians-cool-to-global-warming/

    With respect to the professor emeritus’s output over recent years, there’s a relevant line from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly when Tuco shoots an old enemy who starts monologuing while holding him at gunpoint: “When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.”

    Blogs and Congressional testimony are no substitute for high-impact peer-reviewed research.

  5. The paradox is that while science politicized may be science betrayed, few politicians or lobbyists really understand what they are trying to politicize.

    Meanwhile , all news of climate change in the the great white north’s most political newspaper has been eclipsed by the shocking and horrifying discovery that Canada is colder than Scotland.

  6. Sou says:

    Seems to me that her twitter silliness started with Judith manufacturing herself as the persecuted victim, a tactic often used by deniers after they’ve bullied some scientist or blogger (and one of the signs of conspiracy ideation).

    It would be hard to believe that Judith really lacked such self-awareness as to deny her blatant political activism. On the other hand, she does lack a broad knowledge of climate science, getting her readers to prepare the “climate” presentations she’s asked to give (and sometimes allowing them to correct them).

    It would be a very rare occurrence for Judith to correct any disinformation on her blog in comments or articles (has she ever?), so she’s not in the business of informing people about climate science, either. Not sure why she blogs at all, really. I expect she just likes the attention it gets her, even though any positive feedback is only from disreputable sources (carrying the “any publicity is good publicity” a bit too far.)

  7. Sou,
    IIRC, it started with Sarah Myhre’s article in which she apologised about a tweet she sent our in early 2017, calling Judith Curry a denier. I thought Judith could maybe have at least tried to respond in kind. Didn’t quite work out that way.

  8. James Annan says:

    Seems like she’s more of an inactivist. Which is of course a political stance in itself.

  9. James,
    Yes, there is that. Judith also implied that what she says may interfere with other people’s activism, which she didn’t seem to recognise was, itself, a form of activism.

  10. It is quite common to be blind to doing advocacy. Scientists fairly regularly advocate for more science spending in general of for their field. I also think this would be a good idea, but such a call is not science communication, it is politics, it is comparing apples and oranges. Spending on science does not go elsewhere, or leads to more taxes or more deficit.

    I have tried to make this point in the past and often got the reply that calling for more science spending is not advocacy. If I get a reason, it is most that it is not advocacy because most people agree with them. I guess Judith Curry and her social peers also agree with her ideas. It is still advocacy.

  11. angech says:

    Sou
    “On the other hand, she does lack a broad knowledge of climate science”
    Wiki
    “Judith A. Curry is an American climatologist and former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.”

    some discrepancy surely.
    I know Sou likes to take a broad brush to the denial field but a little bit of decorum would be appreciated.
    It is obvious from a blog 3 or 4 back that Judith is not liked or respected for her views on climate science by the mainstream community, as represented here.
    Perhaps you could rewrite your criticism [your prerogative to criticize] leaving out an unwarranted, fake news shot.

    It is because of her prominence in the scientific field that her actions are seen as so political

  12. RICKA says:

    It all depends on your definition of advocacy (I guess).

    If you review Judith’s written materials, you will find that she doesn’t advocate for keeping carbon emissions below a certain amount, or keeping temperature rise to below a certain amount, or keeping sea level rise below a certain amount. She doesn’t say – stop burning coal.

    I think that is what Judith means when she says she doesn’t consider herself an advocate for energy policy.

    I would say she offers her opinion about the science – that it is more uncertain than perhaps some think and so forth.

    She doesn’t take the science and then offer her opinion on what the science means for suggesting policy to solve global warming (for example).

    Of course, I am putting words into her mouth – so no guarantee that she would agree with my characterization – but this is what I think she means.

    I can certainly understand and agree with her distinction on this.

  13. Rick,
    Except the point that people are making is that if you express public views about a policy relevant topic and if doing so could influence policy, then one is essentially acting as a policy advocate. There is nothing wrong with this, but it seems wrong to do so and claim that it is not a form of advocacy.

  14. dikranmarsupial says:

    angech wrote “I know Sou likes to take a broad brush to the denial field but a little bit of decorum would be appreciated.”

    Some of us have read your comments on other blogs angech, which are sometimes rather lacking in decorum, and are not impressed by hypocrisy.

  15. Sou says:

    I don’t know why angech thinks stating facts lack decorum. Yes, it’s surprising to some of us that a chair of a faculty doesn’t keep up with the breadth of science. It’s understandable for researchers to have a narrow view, focusing on their own area. However if you blog about climate generally or head up a faculty, it probably pays to read about the field more broadly. Might be that the admin duties were too demanding and she didn’t have time. I don’t know the reason.

    In any case, examples are numerous. Remember how years later Judith discovered that humans are likely to have caused all global warming since the 1950s. She hadn’t realised this until someone pointed her to the IPCC report. Even then she couldn’t understand what was written.
    http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2015/01/what-never-occurred-to-judith-curry-and.html

  16. dikranmarsupial says:

    The fact that Prof. Curry can’t see the obvious flaws in Prof. Salby’s arguments shows that she does not have a sound grasp of the carbon cycle. There was no lack of decorum in your post as far as I could see. I should learn just to ignore angech’s attempts to provoke…

  17. John Hartz says:

    angech wrote:

    It is because of her prominence in the scientific field that her actions are seen as so political

    ROFL!

  18. verytallguy says:

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/curry-for-dinner/

    We can in the intervening years add desperately poor ethical choices

    https://judithcurry.com/2015/01/11/charlie-challenging-free-speech/

    and the promotion and support of outright denial on basic scientific knowledge

    https://judithcurry.com/2015/05/06/quantifying-the-anthropogenic-contribution-to-atmospheric-co2/

    Her hijack of #metoo doesn’t seem very surprising.

  19. John Hartz says:

    A little something to take everyone’s mind off of Judith Curry and her angst…

    Want to hear the most cogent scientific, social and political arguments about climate change? Check out Baba Brinkman’s song “Make It Hot.” Brinkman is a Canadian rapper who has garnered fame for his various collections of work, such as The Rap Guide to Religion. He’s become a bit of a phenomenon in the science and policy community, first with The Rap Guide to Evolution and his more recent collection of 24 songs called The Rap Guide to Climate Chaos. He performed what may be his biggest hit, “Make It Hot,” at the COP21 climate meeting in Paris. And I heard him perform that piece last week at the AGU Annual Meeting in New Orleans, a conference of 23,000 earth, climate and space scientists. The audience was spellbound.

    The organizers invited Brinkman, who now lives in New York City, to perform the song at the beginning of a major keynote address for the week. Not knowing what to expect, the audience was a little skeptical when Brinkman appeared—a tall, clean cut, well-dressed, middle-aged man who began by talking about climate, not rapping. But the large crowd became thoroughly enthralled after he got about a minute into the song. That’s because the lyrics are smart. Really smart.

    I’m not the first to write about Brinkman’s work, but this may be the first time you’ve heard about him. Rather than me say more, just read the lyrics for yourself, below. I’ve highlighted a couple lines in particular that struck me. You can also see Brinkman perform the song on YouTube, below.

    Rapper’s Lyrics about Climate Change Are Smart, Opinion by Mark Fischetti, Observations by Scientific American, Dec 27, 2017

  20. JCH says:

    How is the Stadium Wave doing? Any sign of that monster? Is it still looking like the warming hiatus will last another decade?

    She basically threw in with GIRMA.

    Where are the NOAA whistleblowers?

  21. JCH says:

    She doesn’t take the science and then offer her opinion on what the science means for suggesting policy to solve global warming (for example).

    She most definitely does.

  22. Joshua says:

    RICKA –

    It all depends on your definition of advocacy (I guess).

    Ok, let’s try Judith’s definition:

    curryja | August 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    I was invited to write a muller/best related op-ed, not by NYT but one of approx the same impact factor. I decided not to, writing an op-ed is a political act, and I don’t really want to go there, particularly over this issue.

    This was before she wrote op-eds on climate change (not to mention appeared on numerous, high politicized talk shows).

  23. Albatross says:

    Someone on the intertubes (mtobis iirc) made a very astute analogy. Curry is in a position equivalent to an oncologist who claims to not hold a position on tobacco causing lung cancer, repeatedly claims that other (internal) processes cause uncertainties that are exaggerating the link. Curry then publicly frequently berates her colleagues for advocating for people to stop smoking and accuses them of being corrupt and/or political activists. Following this through further, she then is asked to testify before Congress for Republicans who believe that tobacco smoke does not cause cancer. She accepts and testifies that the link between smoking and cancer is very uncertain. When asked by a congressperson if people should be discouraged from smoking or reduce the amount they smoke, she avoids answering the question.

    Curry is then offended when rational and informed people begin to ignore her “opinion”, challenge her unsubstantiated assertions, suspect of her being in denial about the link between smoking and cancer, and an advocate for inaction removing carcinogens from our environment.

    Curry is remarkably SHOCKED (!) by this and doubles (even triples) down before trying every debating trick in the book to dodge, distract and obfuscate. Patient and reasonable people spend hours talking with her on Twitter, only to be led down multiple rabbit holes or be the subject of verbal abuse. It is quite remarkable that she continues to try and maintain such an untenable, bizarre and irresponsible position. So very sad.

  24. Joshua says:

    Hey, can I get one last end blockquote (after “…over this issue) for 2017?

    RICKA –

    She doesn’t take the science and then offer her opinion on what the science means for suggesting policy to solve global warming (for example).

    Sorry, but I call bullshit. She clearly advocates against certain policy options for solving global warming.

  25. Albatross says:

    That Curry claims to be advocating for “integrity” in climate science is laughable. Case in point, when Curry uncritically lauded Salby’s hypothesis (if one could even call it that) on the carbon cycle and claimed how it could “revolutionize AGW science”. Oops.
    Her claim is dubious when she goes out of her way to defend (or ignore) the dishonesty of certain contrarian scientists and/or their attempts to mislead and confuse the public. People here will be able to provide examples. If she is not being disingenuous when making the above claim, the only other option is that she does not understand what integrity encompasses.

  26. RickA says:

    Joshua:

    Could you give me an example of this:

    “She clearly advocates against certain policy options for solving global warming.”

  27. JCH says:

    Joshua – you’re really busy, and you’ll get back to him on that, so RickA, stay tuned!

  28. Joshua says:

    RickA –

    Here, take a look at this:

    https://judithcurry.com/2017/03/25/a-roadmap-for-meeting-paris-emissions-reductions-goals/

    That looks to me like an argument against a specific policy option (drastically reducing emissions).

    It seems I may not be the only one who makes such an interpretation:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/03/27/mitigation-math-is-climate-activism-futile-judith-curry-thinks-so/

  29. Joshua says:

    Of course, perhaps this:

    The feasible responses are going with nuclear power or undertaking a massive R&D effort to develop new emission free energy technologies.

    And this:

    Independent of all this, we can reduce vulnerability from extreme weather events (whether or not they are exacerbated by AGW) and the slow creep of sea level rise.

    Are not exactly advocating against certain policy options, now are they? 🙂

  30. Joshua says:

    JCH –

    ???

  31. Willard says:

    Here, RickA:

    I have previously argued to Kill the IPCC

    https://judithcurry.com/2014/05/27/ipcc-functional-stupidity/

    Does that work for you?

    Please say no.

  32. Bob Loblaw says:

    Having Judith Curry claim that she doesn’t do advocacy on climate change brings back memories of a cartoon seen years ago where two drunks are stumbling down a street in the middle of the night. One says “Hey! Do you know what time it is?”. The other says “I’m not sure, but I know its before midnight.” The first says “How do you know that?” The second says “Well, I told my missus I’d be home before midnight, and I’m not there yet.”

    What Judith Curry does is not advocacy because Judith Curry doesn’t do advocacy – because if it were advocacy she’d be doing advocacy, which she doesn’t do, so it can’t be.

  33. Pat Cassen says:

    John Hatrz –
    Thanks for the link to to Brinkman on carbon pricing. I first saw Brinkman quite a few years ago rapping on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (believe it or not) in a contemporary context – you had to be there – and loved it. This guy is great – and unique.

  34. Joshua says:

    Bob –

    What Judith Curry does is not advocacy because Judith Curry doesn’t do advocacy – because if it were advocacy she’d be doing advocacy, which she doesn’t do, so it can’t be.

    Yup.

  35. Willard says:

    Maybe it’s just a vocabulary thing:

    Advocacy is an activity by an individual or group which aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions. Advocacy can include many activities that a person or organization undertakes including media campaigns, public speaking, commissioning and publishing research or conducting exit poll or the filing of an amicus brief. Lobbying (often by lobby groups) is a form of advocacy where a direct approach is made to legislators on an issue which plays a significant role in modern politics. Research has started to address how advocacy groups in the United States and Canada are using social media to facilitate civic engagement and collective action.

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

    Compare and contrast:

    I have been invited to write several op-eds, mostly based on something I’ve written at Climate Etc., and I have several op-eds published in Wall Street Journal, Financial Post, FoxNews. I have declined numerous invites to write op-eds, largely because I was short of time or didn’t have anything worthwhile to say on the specified topic.

    […]

    I am not an ‘activist’ — I am not vigorously campaigning for anything. My involvement in the policy process is rather passive — I write on the blog about things that interest me or I find important, and I respond to invites for interviews, op-eds, congressional testimony. I have never signed any sort of petition or group statement about climate change.

    https://judithcurry.com/2017/12/28/jcs-unmotivated-reasoning/

    Judy hasn’t signed any sort of petition or group statement, so there.

  36. I was involved in an all-time great ruckus at Climate Etc a few years ago when I ridiculed Curry’s inclusion of Bose-Einstein statistics for water and ice nucleation in her most recent book on cloud physics (“Thermodynamics, Kinetics, and Microphysics of Clouds”, which she co-wrote).

    Anyone that has studied condensed matter physics in any depth would know that Bose-Einstein statistics really can only be used in extremely low temperature settings. After I made the comments, Curry had to drag her co-author to the blog to make excuses why the Bose-Einstein math was included in the book at all. He said “These are just briefly outlined as a subject for further possible verification in the experiment or theory”
    https://judithcurry.com/2014/09/08/vitaly-khvorostyanov-responds/

    Which amounts to suggesting that if someone wants to waste their time experimenting with it, go ahead, it will be your reputation that’s at stake, not theirs. Or shorter: the dog must have put that stuff in the book.

    Curry is a lightweight and she probably had no idea of what was in the book she co-authored. And I really took a beating by all the Curry sycophants for pointing out the misguided physics.

  37. Harry Twinotter says:

    Dr Curry trying to say black is white again. Of course what she does is political advocacy. It is just more of her doubt manufacture.

  38. Steven Mosher says:

    you all fail at rational charitable interpretation.

    Fs for everyone.

    try harder.

  39. Steven,
    What’s your charitable interpretation?

  40. JCH says:

    The engineer of the NOAA whistleblower fiasco gets an F for Integrity.

  41. dikranmarsupial says:

    GEP Box wrote “Statisticians, like artists, have the bad habit of falling in love with their models.”. It isn’t just statisticians that do this, it seems to be fairly common in academia that people have their research agenda and tend to be biased towards it – we are all susceptible to conformation bias. Prof. Curry’s thing seems to be uncertainty, and seems (to me) to magnify the uncertainties and underplay what we do know, even to the extent of looking for uncertainties in the things where our understanding is actually rather solid (e.g. that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic). Overstating the significance of the apparent hiatus is another example (I would still like to see some statistically significant evidence for a change in the rate of warming, something that ISTR that has been requested of Prof. Curry and not been provided) That would be consistent with wanting to take a scientific approach, just that there are problems with the implementation.

    While Prof. Curry may not think that what she is doing is advocacy, I can see why many would disagree (and I am one of them). Rashomon. However what is important is whether the science is right.

    FWIW my greatest complaint would be that she runs a blog that is essentially just pinging the echo chamber. If she actually engaged more in the discussion on her blog (as ATTP does) and addressed some of the incorrect arguments that thrive there, she would be doing rather more for the public debate on climate than she is.

  42. Joshua says:

    I think it is charitable to say that the problem is she’s applying a double standard. There are much less charitable explanations I could come up with.

    Also, if Judith actually addressed the counterarguments, that might engender more charity. But she doesn’t, and she never has (that I’ve seen).

  43. Harry Twinotter says:

    “you all fail at rational charitable interpretation.”

    Nice of you to speak for all of us. I will only speak for myself, and I am not going to be charitable to someone who does not deserve it. I would be more charitable to Dr Curry if there was less blogging about how science and scientists are no good, less tweeting links to climate change denier websites, less misrepresentation of other scientist’s viewpoints and more studies published in the scientific literature.

    If she feels she is right about her position on AGW, she should be able to demonstrate that.

  44. angech says:

    A viewpoint
    “you all fail at rational charitable interpretation.”
    “What’s a charitable interpretation?
    “The problem, though, is not that Judith undertakes a form of political advocacy, it’s that she denies it. There’s nothing wrong with engaging in public discourse about a policy relevant topic. However, doing so while suggesting that what one does is not a form of advocacy implies a completely unrealistic sense of objectivity and lack of bias.”

    The charitable explanation is that Judith does not perceive that she is apolitical advocate.
    Now you can point out that this is naive, unfortunate, intentional or impossible but this does not stop her believing this to be true.

    In her mind she is in the middle of her Italian flag. Neutral, unbiased and deeply concerned about the uncertainties involved. She feels assailed by warmist she and skeptics alike for holding what she sees is a neutral, unbiased umpiring position.

    We have umpires in Australia, no one agrees with them and they get heaps of abuse. Goes with the Territory. Umpires never get any charity.

    Joshua
    “Also, if Judith actually addressed the counterarguments, that might engender more charity.”
    Did you mean the arguments for AGW or the arguments against her arguments, not clear.

    DM “However what is important is whether the science is right.”
    Second that.
    The known unknowns quotation is the biggest problem confronting climate science. The more certain we think we are the more need to recheck the concepts. Just because we know we are right does not mean that we must be right.

  45. jacksmith4tx says:

    There will soon be a new player in the climate change debate – Microsoft “AI For Earth” Project.
    https://cleantechnica.com/2017/12/28/microsoft-ai-earth-project-will-democratize-access-climate-change-data/
    It’s only $50 million to start the program but if Google, Apple and some of the other tech giants get on board the momentum will snowball. I think this will be the beginning of the end of the climate skeptic’s influence on the future of climate policy. A.I. will destroy Curry’s uncertainty monster and will probably reveal climate feedbacks in the biosphere that will affect almost every sector of the global economy.

  46. One can make one’s mind up about Judith Curry’s position just by observing the often nasty and vindictive comments by the crowd of followers who accompany her every utterance in blog, tweet and senate. Does she hold them back or caution them when they overstep the bounds of fact or decency? Does she ‘eck as like.

  47. Joshua says:

    angech –

    Did you mean the arguments for AGW or the arguments against her arguments, not clear.

    I was speaking specifically about counterarguments w/r/t her advocacy.

    The charitable explanation is that Judith does not perceive that she is apolitical advocate.

    I agree that she doesn’t perceive that she is a political advocate – by virtue of applying a double standard. Her advocacy isn’t advocacy (and neither is the advocacy of people that she agrees with about the science), but other people’s advocacy is advocacy (and harmful advocacy, at that).

    This has been the case for years, now. And I agree that is the “charitable” explanation.

  48. John Hartz says:

    Out of curiousity, does anyone happen to know who pays for Judith Curry’s travel expenses when she travels to Washington DC to testify before a Congressional committee? I suspect that Georgia Tech did so when she was gainfully employed there. What about since then?

  49. John Hartz says:

    As we know, one of the most effective ways of communicating is through the use of analogy.

    Here’s a new one that caught my eye. Does it work for you?

    Or, to use an analogy Mr. Trump might appreciate, weather is how much money you have in your pocket today, whereas climate is your net worth. A billionaire who has forgotten his wallet one day is not poor, anymore than a poor person who lands a windfall of several hundred dollars is suddenly rich. What matters is what happens over the long term.

    It’s Cold Outside. Cue the Trump Global Warming Tweet. by Kendra Pierre-Louis, Climate, New York Times, Dec 28, 2017

  50. I like that, but it only works up to a point, John. It breaks down when a poor person wins the national lottery and becomes stinking rich overnight. I guess, short of a massive asteroid hit, the climate can’t change that fast. Then again perhaps that just extends the analogy:-)

  51. “A.I. will destroy Curry’s uncertainty monster and will probably reveal climate feedbacks in the biosphere that will affect almost every sector of the global economy.”

    No doubt that AI techniques such as machine reasoning and data mining will advance climate science knowledge. I presented some of these techniques at the last AGU, and right now am straddling the boundary between using physics and solvers, leaning on the former.

  52. Willard says:

    > The charitable explanation is that Judith does not perceive that she is apolitical advocate.

    The charitable explanation is that Judy’s double standard is a bit silly, Doc.

  53. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    The problem, though, is not that Judith undertakes a form of political advocacy, it’s that she denies it.

    IMO, that is only a part of the bigger problem. IMO, the bigger problem is that she uses an incoherent standard for defining “advocacy” in the name using advocacy as a weapon in the climate wars.

    IMO, advocacy in and of itself is a very important tool in our society. We would be much worse off without it. That doesn’t mean that different kinds of advocacy aren’t counterproductive. I think that some are. One type of advocacy that I think is counterproductive is advocacy that attacks advocacy. Another would be advocacy that systematically ignores or undermines any evidence that contradicts the agenda of the advocates.

    Unfortunately, this anti-advocate form of advocacy seems to be particularly common when discussing scientific issues – because of the ease with which people can believe themselves and other advocates on their side of an issue to be “pure” (e.g., “I’m advocating for scientific integrity”) and above human biases (which, ironically, is scientifically dubious).

  54. angech says:

    Joshua, thanks, that clears up the ambiguity.
    This comment was fantastic.
    ” One type of advocacy that I think is counterproductive is advocacy that attacks advocacy. Another would be advocacy that systematically ignores or undermines any evidence that contradicts the agenda of the advocates.”

    Robbie Burns put it thus
    “O wad some Power the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as ithers see us!
    It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
    An’ foolish notion”

    I cannot even begin to see myself as others here do yet perception written and expressed, must be true. “because of the ease with which people can believe themselves and other advocates on their side of an issue to be “pure”.
    “The charitable explanation is that Judy’s double standard is a bit silly,”.
    Again viewpoint Willard.
    you are being very charitable for a double standard, much more so than others .
    Yet in the alternative world where Judith and others do/can not see a double standard your words would not be taken as charitable per se, only in comparison to the other comments made

  55. John Hartz says:

    As far as I am concerned, Judith Curry is a propagandist. As such, she doesn’t play by the rules. She uses smoke and mirrors to keep her adoring fans enthralled. Slicing and dicing why and how she does what she does is probably not the highest and best use of our time and energy.

  56. Everett F Sargent says:

    Sowing the seeds of doubt. Merchant of doubt. Red team. Doubting Judith. Doubt Is her product. Agnotology. Gaslighting. Demoralization. Apathy. Indifference. FUD. BAU.

    Climate change denial, or global warming denial, is part of the global warming controversy. It involves denial, dismissal, unwarranted doubt or contrarian views contradicting the scientific opinion on climate change, including the extent to which it is caused by humans, its impacts on nature and human society, or the potential of mitigation of global warming by human actions.

    In other words, an advocate of doubt or doubt advocacy, Doubt activism, Policy doubt. Political doubt.

  57. izen says:

    A rational charitable interpretation ?

    Let take JC’s own words;-

    “I am not an ‘activist’ — I am not vigorously campaigning for anything. … Testifying before Congress about my assessment of climate science and how climate science can better interface with the policy process is not political activism. It may however interfere with someone else’s political activism. ”

    I think angtech has it about right with this comment,

    “In her mind she is in the middle of her Italian flag. Neutral, unbiased and deeply concerned about the uncertainties involved. She feels assailed by warmist she and skeptics alike for holding what she sees is a neutral, unbiased umpiring position.”

    Jc occupies the middle ground between the Alarmists and Deniers.
    They openly acknowledge that half, (more or less) of the observed warming could be the result of AGW but retain the neutral scientific position in the face of uncertainty about how reliable the attribution is as a source of policy advice.
    And questions the integrity of the observations and interpretation of the theory because most (97%) of the scientists working in the field do not share JC’s rational, neutral stance.

    Occasionally the position that the GHE is real and will cause an uncertain amount of warming will be re-affirmed to emphasise the neutral position in regard to the Deniers and Dragon-slayers. Granting (im)plausible deniability to accusations of advocating against the mainstream science.

    The problem with this charitable view is the audience response.

    JC’s ‘neutral’ position is used, as in testifying before Congress, by one side to attack the other. This is almost exclusively how her middle way, balanced position is exploited. The uncertainty monster never bites back at the skeptics who are certain that ECS is well below 2C. Or that the 2LoT prevents the air warming the hotter surface, or that the CO2 rise is anthropogenic.

    Confirmation bias and group-think are invoked to doubt the integrity of GISS, NOAA and the IPCC, but not UAH, NIPCC or the GWPF.

    However careful JC is to stay neutral, (the charitable interpretation) it is undermined by the players and spectators who use that self-defined neutrality as a weapon against mainstream science.

    It is as if the self-appointed umpire claimed to be adjudicating in a fair and evenhanded fashion, but was derided and booed by one side, while the supporters of the Red team cheer.

  58. Steven Mosher says:

    Activism used to mean taking action as opposed to speaking or writing. you know tying yourself to a tree or coal plant. and punching a nazi is another example. And acting isnt enough
    since there is performative acting and real action.

    Judith doesnt see herself as an activist because she is passive. She will do an interview when asked, but she doesnt punch hippies and tree huggers. That may be an interesting distinction we dont want to lose.

    her distinction in advocacy is just as simple to spot and articulate if you read carefully. try.

  59. Steven Mosher says:

    advocating a process versus advocating position:

    get out and vote.
    MAGA

  60. Willard says:

    Judy’s Goldilocks stories never get old:

    So, does the Goldilocks Principle provide insights into the climate change debate? I think it does. The middle matters.

    https://judithcurry.com/2012/12/22/the-goldilocks-principle/

    Libertarianism has a history with that narrative.

    Interestingly, Judy opposes libertarianism with populism. It’s the first time I hear that one.

    All this deserves due diligence.

  61. Joshua says:

    Judith doesnt see herself as an activist because she is passive.

    She passively writes op-eds, passively testifies before Congress at the behest of politicians, passively appears on political talk shoes, coordinates with politicians to accuse climate scientists of scientific fraud, and passively writes blog post after blog post arguing against ACO2 mitigation and attacking other climate scientists (only those who argue for litigation).

  62. Joshua says:

    advocating a process versus advocating position:

    If she didn’t advocate a position you might have a point.

  63. Joshua says:

    It’s the first time I hear that one.

    I noticed that also. I guess all those libertarians really didn’t vote for Trump after all.

  64. John Hartz says:

    A report about yet another internet tool being used by the Dark Side to spread its pseudo-science poppycock about manmade climate change. Judith Curry is but a small cog in this immense propaganda machine.

    Groups that reject established climate science can use the search engine’s advertising business to their advantage, gaming the system to find a mass platform for false or misleading claims.

    Type the words “climate change” into Google and you could get an unexpected result: advertisements that call global warming a hoax.

    “Scientists blast climate alarm,” said one that appeared at the top of the search results page during a recent search, pointing to a website, DefyCCC, that asserted: “Nothing has been studied better and found more harmless than anthropogenic CO2 release.”

    How Climate Change Deniers Rise to the Top in Google Searches by Hiroko Tabuchi, Climate, New York Times, Dec 29, 2017

  65. John Hartz says:

    The url for my prior post:

  66. Willard says:

    Hmmm:

    Ross Douthat of The New York Times has called this current “a strain of thought that moves from the standard grassroots conservative view of Washington as an inherently corrupt realm of special interests and self-dealing elites to a broader skepticism of ‘bigness’ in all its forms (corporate as well as governmental).” That skepticism generally takes the form of wanting to roll back corporate power by rolling back state power. But some LibPops are willing to flirt with more active anti-corporate interventions by the state, as long as they’re aimed at undoing the effects of prior interventions. The man most closely identified with the “libertarian populist” tag, for example—Timothy Carney of The Washington Examiner—has endorsed the idea of breaking up the big banks.

    In some quarters, libertarian populism has become not just a rallying cry for opponents of the corporate state but an idea for a new kind of Republican Party, one that, in Carney’s words, “fights against all forms of political privilege.”

    http://reason.com/archives/2013/07/23/three-lessons-for-libertarian-populists

  67. dikranmarsupial says:

    SM wrote “Activism used to mean taking action as opposed to speaking or writing.” and “Judith doesnt see herself as an activist because she is passive. She will do an interview when asked, but she doesnt punch hippies and tree huggers. That may be an interesting distinction we dont want to lose.”

    Prof. Curry wrote “Agreed. I am ‘advocating’ for integrity in scientific research, whereas Mann et al. are advocating for globalization of energy policy, etc.”

    Do Mann et al do more than give interviews or write or speak? Note the et al is vague enough to cover a lot of people.

    I don’t think it is true that Prof. Curry is entirely passive, the blog she runs actively promulgates arguments (e.g. Salby) that go against the mainstream position on the science, and it seems to me that this is not balanced by articles supporting the mainstream position.

    SM wrote “her distinction in advocacy is just as simple to spot and articulate if you read carefully. try.” I don’t think this position is consistent either (at best it is splitting hairs rather arbitrarily).

    However, I don’t think there is much wrong with either of these things. If your scientific research points to global CO2 levels presenting global problems, and you think it would be good to avoid those global problems, then it would be irrational not to advocate for globalization of energy policy (because it needs concerted global coordination to be effective). Similarly, if you think that the uncertainties mean that we should wait and see, then I see no problem advocating for that. The problem is more that the decision making processes don’t always/often use the information provided by advocates rationally.

  68. Steven,

    Judith doesnt see herself as an activist because she is passive. She will do an interview when asked, but she doesnt punch hippies and tree huggers. That may be an interesting distinction we dont want to lose.

    Yes, I know what Judith regards herself as doing. However, what Judith describes sounds an awful lot like what some have described as stealth advocacy (it’s also not, in my view, quite as passive as Judith suggests). I realise that the term “stealth advocacy” is often used to undermine people, but I don’t have any problem with what Judith does (other than disagreeing with what she actually presents) but I do have an issue with the suggestion that it is somehow pure, non-ideological, and not a form of advocacy/activism.

  69. angech says:

    “Do Mann et al do more than give interviews or write or speak?”
    – I believe he also has appeared to testify before congress,
    He also co authored a recent Polar Bear paper,
    He has a history with M Steyn.
    On balance one would say he does do more.
    “The problem is more that the decision making processes don’t always/often use the information provided by advocates rationally.”
    Hitting the nail on the head.

  70. angech,
    People are not suggesting that Judith is advocacting while those like Michael Mann are not. The suggestion is that they are all involved in some form of advocacy.

  71. dikranmarsupial says:

    angech, you are missing the point, which is that SM’s apparent interpretation (I may be missing something) of Prof. Curry’s advocacy/non-advocacy distinction (active vs passive) is at odds with what she actually tweeted, because Prof. Mann is no more “active” than she is in those terms (something more that speaking and writing).

  72. Pingback: Life’s a riot with JA vs JA – wmconnolley: scienceblogs.com/stoat archive

  73. izen says:

    @-dikranmarsupial
    “Prof. Curry’s advocacy/non-advocacy distinction (active vs passive) is at odds with what she actually tweeted, because Prof. Mann is no more “active” than she is in those terms (something more that speaking and writing).”

    The active/passive distinction is not based on what actions they do. It is the role those actions perform.
    JC and Mann may perform exactly the same actions, (op-eds, testimony) but one is a player of Climateball(tm) on the Blue team.
    The other thinks they are a referee.
    But only blows the whistle on perceived fouls by one side.

    (It’s not science but…)

  74. Roger Jones says:

    Starting your own blog and pushing a particular point of view to the point where you are appearing in committee hearings on Capitol Hill is hardly passive. Especially when you haven’t published a lot of specialist material on those subjects. Where is Judith’s paper on the uncertainty monster and the Italian Flag theory of the philosophy of science? Neither would get published in their blogged form because they are demonstrably wrong.

    As someone who has had extensive work on climate uncertainty published and who has been a contributing, lead and convening lead author on the subject for the IPCC, I can state that her expertise rests totally within ‘blog science’. Passive, indeed.

  75. dikranmarsupial says:

    izen, the idea that individual scientists can set themselves up as a referee seems like hubris to me.

    I think there is a large element of “Rashomon” going on here. Prof. Curry clearly isn’t a referee as she is as active in the partisan squabbling as anyone else (I stopped following her on twitter after a tweet about it being easy to score points off the opposing team – not the best attitude for a referee ;o). We are all subject to the Rashomon efffect (and other cognitive biases), viewing yourself as a neutral referee seems like a recipe for maximising it.

  76. lerpo says:

    Judith: “This slower rate of warming—relative to climate model projections—means there is less urgency to phase out greenhouse gas emissions now, and more time to find ways to decarbonize the economy affordably.”https://judithcurry.com/2014/10/09/my-op-ed-in-the-wall-street-journal-is-now-online/

    Maybe it is not activism for scientists to advocate policy changes in op-eds. In that case James Hanson may be the only activist/scientist. I doubt Judith would be happy excluding Michael Mann from the label.

  77. Joshua says:

    Activism isn’t activism unless you are advocating for a specific policy. Civil rights activists don’t exist and never have:

    https://www.biography.com/people/groups/activists-civil-rights-activists

  78. Joshua says:

    Anti-corruption activists don’t exist. Never have:

    https://www.thefamouspeople.com/anti-corruption-activists.php

    The only reason that (corruption? ) activists think that anti-activists exist is because non-activist anti-corruption activists get in the way of (corruption?) activists

    Btw, this was quite good:

    Engaging in the policy process does not imply advocacy for public policies.

    https://judithcurry.com/2017/12/28/jcs-unmotivated-reasoning/#comment-863582

  79. Joshua says:

    In other news, Bob Mueller is conducting a fair witch hunt.

  80. It is because of her prominence in the scientific field that her actions are seen as so political
    Judith Curry is regarded by scientists as “Political” because she is political. Many people have explained why this is so in posts subsequent to yours.
    And I’d be careful about claiming that Curry is scientifically prominent. Curry’s actual scientific output is modest by comparison to many (if not most) who have held the levels of positions that she’s had, and of the work on which she’s listed as an author most of the hard grunt seems to have been done by her co-authors:
    http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2015/11/turned-not-tossed-judith-curry-denier.html?showComment=1448891582466#c7939917151036014467
    I could probably revisit those graphs and include her 2016-17 work, but as the tail end of her output was modest the overall implications remain unchanged.

    It is obvious from a blog 3 or 4 back that Judith is not liked or respected for her views on climate science by the mainstream community, as represented here.

    It’s not about whether Curry is “liked”, and I suspect that in the vast majority of cases of scientific opinion there is no thought at all of ‘liking’ or ‘disliking’, because most scientists don’t even know Curry. ‘Liking’ is therefore irrelevant.
    On the other hand she has definitely earned disrespect from many scientists because of the manner in which she has been selective in presenting (and in not properly presenting – subtlely different) scientific data, and in how she uses her scientific credentials to promote personal opinion separate from scientifically-supported data. Curry has a particularly conspicuous habit of distorting the relevance/irrelveance of issues that she presents, which is all the more egregious in light of the fact that one of her shticks was to be an honest broker.
    Curry has only herself to blame for having a throat cut by the keen edge of Ockham’s parsimony, petulantly pointing at others even as blood drips from the blade on her fingers.
    There’s one point though with which I partially agree – Sou would have been more accurate to have said that Curry “…does [not evince] a broad knowledge of climate science.” This better describes the nature of Curry’s participation in the discipline. Of course, it’s all the more damning of her for the fact that she apparently should (and does?) have expertise/informed understanding in this discipline, but that that expertise is not reflected in her commentary on the subject.

  81. Joshua says:

    Thus was good, one of my favorites, in fact :

    I find nothing at all wrong with Ted Cruz’s statements about climate change that I have cited above. In fact, I think they reflect some actual nuance of understanding of the climate change issue.

    I REALLY object to President Obama’s ‘denier’ hunt, and insistence on the 97% scientific consensus in support of his policies. The extreme scientization of the political debate by President Obama is absolutely pernicious to academic freedom and and is hampering scientific progress in understanding this complex problem.

    So Judith registers her disapproval of scienticizing the politics by weighing in on politicians’ positions on the science along with giving congressional testimony on the science at the behest of politicians.

  82. Judith Curry’s list of warning signs of ideological commitment is borrowed from the Discovery Institute, and her link announces her sympathy for Intelligent Design.

    What has this to do with climate policy ? A great deal when Dominionist climate denial opinion leader Reverend Calvin Beisner ThD. is a reguar feature of Heartland ‘International Climate Conferences’,- it was he who delivered Roy Spencer’s awaed as ‘Evangelical Climate Scientist of the Year ‘, and it is disturbing that so many of Perry & Pruitts hires share his sectarian views.

    It is likewise hard to credence Curry’s objectivity when she declares :
    “I get my information on current events in politics from realclearpolitics.com, and from twitter.
    I find RealClearPolitics to be nonpartisan, providing links to articles from a range of different perspectives”

    As to her hermeneutic explanation of all this, it’s Greek to me.

  83. Joshua says:

    I have asked Judith numerous times to weigh in on the following comment from Roy Spencer (she has always declined to respond):

    “I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government.”

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/07/fundanomics-the-free-market-simplified/#comment-17613

    Roy’s follow-up note not withstanding, it is hard for me to see (recognizing that arguing from incredulity is a fallacy) how Roy’s orientation would not closely correspond with Judith’s portrayal of an activist-scientist who is scienticizing the politics (maybe someone more charitable can fill me in).

    I think that Roy’s statement does not present some kind of outlier view from most, publicly active “skeptic” scientists. Surely, there is plenty of evidence linking political ideology to the climate wars, and libertarian/limited government rhetoric and ideology to the “skeptic”camp more specifically.

    Indeed, Roy’s statement me to be a fair characterization of Judith’s engagement in the public debate over climate change related policy development: she sees her role as a scientist is to guide politicians so as to prevent governmental overreach in response to the risks posed by ongoing ACO2 emissions.

    In rather complete contrast to Judith’s definition of irresponsible advocacy, I think that her very public engagement in the public discussion over climate change policy development, linked to a systematic lack of accountability for the overlay of her engagement within the larger politicized framework, very much fits a definition of irresponsible advocacy (or perhaps “stealth advocacy if you’re inclined to use an vaguely-defined and debatable term).

    IMO, publicly engaging in the public debate about climate change policy, given the unavoidably politicized (and polarized) nature of that debate, cannot meaningfully be divorced from the political context. This is especially true of high profile figures such as Judith.

    Doing so, IMO, necessarily requires the invention an application of a double standard (e. g. “My involvement isn’t political, they’re involvement is fundamentally political” ). It requires relying on self-serving/self-sealing definitions such as Judith’s definition of “advocacy” and “activism,” (which functionally serve a political agenda) .

    I welcome a response from any “skeptic” who would like to explain the flaws in my perspective.

  84. izen says:

    @-“The extreme scientization of the political debate by President Obama is absolutely pernicious to academic freedom and and is hampering scientific progress in understanding this complex problem.”

    Politicisation of the science, or at least commercial and ideological interference is pernicious to academic freedom and and is hampering scientific progress. (examples abound, especially in medicine)

    I struggle to imagine what extreme scientization of political debate would entail. Or why this reversal of the usual direction would be damaging to either the science or the politics.

    Perhaps this is a failure of insight on my part. The Trump administration has apparently detected this danger, and is countering it first in the health field by recommending that;-
    “Science based”
    and
    “Evidence based”
    should be phrases avoided in documents.
    Presumably this will protect acedemic freedom and enhance scientific progress.
    (sarc/off?)

  85. Steven Mosher says:

    “I don’t think it is true that Prof. Curry is entirely passive, the blog she runs actively promulgates arguments (e.g. Salby) that go against the mainstream position on the science, and it seems to me that this is not balanced by articles supporting the mainstream position.”

    You and Joshua are missing the distinction. The distinction is action versus talk. The other word judith uses is vigorous.
    I don’t know about you but I Certainly recall folks arguing that talk is not enough. We have to do something. Take action. And folk who take action are called activists. We shouldn’t lose the distinction between Hanson who takes action and Gleick who took action and ATTP who merely talks. Judith shifts the line a bit to include vigorous talking, seeking out the opportunity to promote Specific policies as a form of activism. Not everyone can tie themselves to coal plants or forge documents. The alternative is to call all talking and writing and speaking activism. The question of her consistency or perfection in maintaining inactivism is secondary.

    As for salby. Judith sees herself as advocating a process. Vote!
    Rather than a candidate. Vote Trump!. A useful distinction. Now personally this annoyed the hell out of me when we met in LIsbon. She sees the process as an end in itself. If position X Has not had a chance to speak, then let them speak. I can see the point of this but at some point you have to complete the process and say X is wrong.

    For grins I will say this. I am the strongest advocate and activist for Climate change policy.

    DO Something now.!!!!

    There I’ve paid my debt.

  86. Steven Mosher says:

    “tarting your own blog and pushing a particular point of view to the point where you are appearing in committee hearings on Capitol Hill is hardly passive. ”

    It’s hardly activist. Again if I told you I was an activist because I ran a blog or because I tweeted about climage change you could fairly point to Hansen and say…no steve…THAT is activism.

    Then again I rather like the fact that merely blogging and tweeting makes me a climate activist. And here I thought it would involve some sacrifice and wearing a black mask and punching nazi.

    Do something.

    And people thought lukewarmers adovocated delay

  87. Pingback: 2017: A year in review | …and Then There's Physics

  88. Steven Mosher says:

    “Indeed, Roy’s statement me to be a fair characterization of Judith’s engagement in the public debate over climate change related policy development: she sees her role as a scientist is to guide politicians so as to prevent governmental overreach in response to the risks posed by ongoing ACO2 emissions.”

    No. She hints at her position in this piece and it’s not anti government. She has in the past referred to her preferred model. Adaptive governance. Basically local control and action. She wants to prevent federal or world government overreach and seems to advocate for local action.

  89. dikranmarsupial says:

    SM “The distinction is action versus talk.” I don’t think many scientists do more than talk, so I don’t think the distinction is meaningful. What do Mann et al DO that Prof. Curry doesn’t?

    “The other word judith uses is vigorous.”

    so it is a matter of degree rather than substance? Where is the threshold? If it is partly a matter of the vigorousness of the talk, then talk-v-action clearly isn’t the distinction.

    ” Judith shifts the line a bit to include vigorous talking”

    Prof Curry is pretty vigorous by most standards, e.g. running a blog, testifying before congress, writing reports etc. Again the distinction is meaningless (pr at least arbitrary).

    “As for salby. Judith sees herself as advocating a process. Vote!”

    That process isn’t science though (Prof. Curry says she is “I am ‘advocating’ for integrity in scientific research” – well me also!). Science is decided by examining the arguments and the evidence, and where there are flaws *acknowledging* them and revising the argument if you can and abandoning them if you can’t. There are obvious fundamental flaws in Salby’s arguments, and they have been pointed out to Prof. Curry, yet they still get promulgated repeatedly. As I said above, my main criticism of Prof. Curry is that she doesn’t engage with criticism of the science on her blog (at least not in the case of Salby, which is pretty much my only experience of trying).

    ” X Has not had a chance to speak, then let them speak”

    Prof. Salby has had a chance to speak. He can submit his papers to peer review, just like other scientists, and address the reviewers comments, just like other scientists.

  90. Steven,
    Clearly there are different degrees of advocacy/activism. Doing research and publishing a paper would – in my view – maybe not even qualify as advocacy. Talking about it publicly might, especially if that also involves highlighting the policy relevance. Writing a blog about a policy relevant topic would seem to be a form of activism, but might depend on what one promotes on the blog. The issue is not so much whether or not it is advocacy/activism but the claim that it is not. Given that Judith writes a blog about a policy relevant topic, writes op-ed, gives testimony in front of the US congress, it would seem rather unrealistic to claim that this is all done in some kind of pefectly objective/unbiased manner and hence does not qualify as advocacy/activism.

  91. Willard says:

    Just like ClimateBall aggressivity, activism can’t be passive.

  92. dikranmarsupial says:

    FWIW googling the definition of “activist”

    activist aktɪvɪst noun
    noun: activist; plural noun: activists

    1.a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change.
    “police arrested three activists”

    adjective

    adjective: activist
    1. campaigning to bring about political or social change.
    “activist groups around the world are organizing solidarity events”

    No specific mention of doing rather than talking/writing. The OED probably has more definitions, but I don’t have access to it at the present time. If “organising solidarity events” counts as action, then so does travelling to give testimony to congress IMHO.

  93. John Hartz says:

    As indicated in the article cited below, court cases about climate change are spreading like wildfire throughout the world. In this context, perhaps climate scientists would do well to eschew overt political activism in order to avoid the appearance of political bias when called upon to serve as expert witnesses.

    FACTBOX-On the boil: five climate lawsuits to watch in 2018 by Sebastien Malo & Sophie Hares, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Dec 28, 2017

  94. Ragnaar says:

    Working from a page at gatech, these appear to be some of her students:

    http://www.whoi.edu/main/occi/director-staff

    https://staff.ucar.edu/users/haggerty

    https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/people/janet.intrieri/

    https://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/news/researchernews/snapshot_ealston.html

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/staff/mholland/

    They are cherry picked. As to whether she has knowledge issues, there are many aspects of a subject. While there are specialized experts in a field that will snipe at them, one with personnel skills can rise to a position of respect and responsibility. I imagine a responsibility to the field, the University and the students and climate scientists of the future.

    I could focus on Mann, Schmidt or Karl. Life is too short and we are here to do good.

  95. Steven Mosher says:

    Dk.
    The first one to go to the dictionary loses.
    They simply don’t settle definitional questions because the question. .Is the dictionary correct? is an open one. It is also why we use the term ” dictionary definition.” Dictionaries are compiled by people who cannot be aware of all the nuance of terms. That said, you can be sure that in the usa the activists were not arrested for merely speaking. Finally,.since anything in your book seems to count as activism I am actively thinking about climate policy. Therefore I am an activist.

  96. izen says:

    @-SM
    “Not everyone can tie themselves to coal plants or forge documents. The alternative is to call all talking and writing and speaking activism.”

    I doubt it will be any comfort to the journalists, religious leaders and political campaigners that have been imprisoned around the world to know that (as long as they just wrote, spoke and talked,) by this definition they are not ‘activists’.

    Not all talking and writing and speaking is activism.
    Not all talking and writing and speaking is advocacy.
    Either for or against something.

    It is the use that speaking, talking and writing is put to by others. Unfortunately the individual does not get to decide how to define their actions without reference to the way those actions influence the audience they have attracted.

    If the issue you talk, speak and blog about gathers little attention, (like the claim the Sun is a hollow iron sphere or the Earth is fixed) then there is no way your efforts can be described as activism or even advocacy.

    But if, because of your perceived status and what you write, you get invited by political/ideological partisans to speak at conferences, lobby groups and even deliberations by the government, then you are an active player, an advocate for or against some issue under political dispute.

    Not all talking and writing and speaking is activism, but if it gets you an audience who exploits those efforts to support or oppose a controversial issue then culpability for the results is unavoidable.
    However passive or neutral the writer/speaker may claim to be.

    For any disputed issue where the mainstream scientific consensus is doubted(verb?) for political or economic reasons, (AIDS, Vaccines, Evolution, CFCs, organo-phosphates…) there seems to exist scientists with enough credibility and academic authority who will provide fodder for the opponents and deniers of the social or policy implications of the established knowledge base. The scientist outliars always emerge.

    As for Federal and World government over-reach…
    Given the well mixed nature of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere the appropriate ‘local’ level of governance to address this is Global.

  97. angech says:

    Roger Jones
    As someone who has had extensive work on climate uncertainty published and who has been a contributing, lead and convening lead author on the subject for the IPCC, I can state that her expertise rests totally within ‘blog science’. Passive, indeed.
    pushing a particular point of view to the point where you are appearing in committee hearings on Capitol Hill is hardly passive.

    I would consider appearing at Capitol Hill for her Climate credentials shows that many people respect her scientific expertise.
    Roy Spencer and Roger Pielke jun as well.
    Her viewpoint remains passive, not activist no warming, not activist warming is a given.
    Still I understand your being upset at her not understanding your messages when so much could be at stake.

  98. dikranmarsupial says:

    “The first one to go to the dictionary loses.”

    yawn. transparent rhetoric to avoid having to accept that “activism” doesn’t imply physical action above speaking or writing (which are both actions). Sure redefine terms to suit you, but don’t expect it to be accepted. The idea that dictionaries are not reasonable means of finding the meanings of words is ridiculous.

    ” Finally,.since anything in your book seems to count as activism I am actively thinking about climate policy. Therefore I am an activist.”

    misrepresentation. I said no such thing. *thinking” obviously doesn’t fit within the dictionary definition as you can’t campaign just by thinking.

    Its a shame that blog discussions always seem to end up with this kind of nonsense.

  99. Steven,

    Finally,.since anything in your book seems to count as activism I am actively thinking about climate policy. Therefore I am an activist.

    Not everything, obviously. All that is really being suggested is that if what one does has societal/political implications, then one should be willing to acknowledge that. Seems reasonable, to me, and isn’t intended to suggest that there is anything wrong with this. If anything, I think this is a good thing; people should feel free to engage publicly about a policy relevant topic. What they should – in my view – avoid is suggesting that what they’re doing is somehow pure, objective, and unbiased, while what others are doing is not.

  100. KeefeAndAmanda says:

    It might be relevant to know that earlier this year, Curry got involved in the Mann defamation case – against Mann.

    Judith Curry Is In With The Koch Brothers
    http://gregladen.com/blog/2017/01/25/judith-curry-is-in-with-the-koch-brothers/

    Whatever happened to Michael Mann’s defamation suit? (2017 edition)
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/10/28/whatever-happened-to-michael-manns-defamation-suit-2017-edition/

    Here’s the Curry amicus, obtained via a link highlighted as “several amicus briefs” in the above WP article:

    https://cei.org/sites/default/files/2017.01.25%20Br.%20of%20Amicus%20Dr.%20Judith%20A.%20Curry%20Nos.%2014-cv-101%2014-cv-126%20%28D.C.%29_1.pdf

    One of the sections has the title, “The court should not allow Dr Mann to use lawsuits as another weapon to harass and silence his critics.”

    It seems to me that since “political” means “relating to government”, “political activism” or “political advocacy” should include the activity of using the judicial branch (not just the legislative branch) of government via court filings to try to get a legally binding result that can have all kinds of public policy impacts. If the courts allow defamation of scientists by science deniers – which is what Curry essentially argues, then think of the implications as to what this would do to public policy debates and then what kinds of effects this would ultimately have on public policy. Political activism or advocacy does not have to be overt or direct to be what it is. It can be more subtle such as taking the form of laying certain legal foundations for more overt or direct forms of activism or advocacy one would like to see.

  101. You are between a rock and a hard place when you need to claim that your personal definition is more impartial than that of a dictionary.

  102. Joshua says:

    Her viewpoint remains passive,…

    So now it’s not her actions that make her “passive,” but her “viewpoint” that makes her “passive” (by virtue of it being towards the middle of some arbitrarily drawn range).

    It doesn’t matter that she’s engaged in actions she, herself called inherently political. It doesn’t matter the she makes self-sealing distinctions like she’s not an activist because she isn’t advocating for a specific policy outcome (not a distinction anyone can point to as existing anywhere else). Her direct linkages with politicians becomes irrelevant. “she’s passive,” no “her viewpoint is passive.”. Let’s go ad absurdum – “i can’t be responsible for any political ramifications for everything I do.” yadda, yadda, yadda

    It’s remarkable the nonsense people throw out as rationalizations once personalities get involved. Personality politics trumps everything in polarized context, as we see with Donald (I could shoot someone on 5th Avenue) Trump.

    Rather like “Thank you for your concerns, ” I think we should just thank Steven and angech and RickA for their steadfast loyalty. It’s an admirable quality, if you think about it.

  103. Joshua says:

    Political activism or advocacy does not have to be overt or direct to be what it is.

    But her advocacy is both overt AND direct. She testifies for fucking Congress, writes op-eds, appears on political talk shows, and writes a high profile blog, for God’s sake. It would be hard to be mire overt and direct.

    Frank Rich would be proud of this exercise in framing.

  104. Joshua says:

    As a fan of irony…

    I love that Judith suggests that we judge her climate change advocacy by assessing her (ostensibly neutral) politics even as she decries the linkage of science to politics (so that she can divorce her public engagement on climate change from its political implications) .

    So we shouldn’t link science to politics through evil activism, but we should de-politicize *her* science-related political activity based on her politics.

    It’s a work of art.

  105. Mal Adapted says:

    Smokin’ Steven Mosher:

    Is the dictionary correct? is an open one. It is also why we use the term ” dictionary definition.” Dictionaries are compiled by people who cannot be aware of all the nuance of terms.

    I agree with this in principle. OTOH, calling a sheep’s tail a leg doesn’t make it one.

    Victor Venema:

    You are between a rock and a hard place when you need to claim that your personal definition is more impartial than that of a dictionary.

    If you have an idiosyncratic definition in mind for a term, you’re obliged to spell all your nuances out. Nor are you allowed to assert ownership of common terms. Deacon Dodgson had your number 150 years ago.

  106. dikranmarsupial says:

    The meaning of words also depends on the audience as well as the speaker. If you use a word in accordance with (one of) it’s dictionary definition(s), then it is highly likely that a general audience will understand you. If you decide a word carries some particular nuance that is not very evident in dictionary definitions and is not clearly consistent with the context, then it is likely that your intended meaning will not be understood, apart from by an audience that is familiar with your peculiar usages. Communication involves both the speaker and the audience.

    Of course this language game language game was a good opportunity to avoid my more substantive argument. Even if we accept SMs interpretation of Prof. Curry’s nuance (it is not unreasonable that it is what she meant), it still isn’t consistent with Prof. Curry not being an activist (see my previous comment).

  107. Magma says:

    @ KeefeAndAmanda

    Thanks for bringing up the amicus curiae brief by (or on behalf of) Judith Curry. I’d missed Greg Laden’s original posting of that. It would be interesting to learn if Curry was compensated for her efforts here; it seems unlikely that she worked pro bono and paid for counsel out of pocket.

    Recall that this lawsuit is at heart a simple case of alleged defamation. Mark Steyn and others alleged in print that Michael Mann engaged in scientific misconduct and fraud, issues that can be fatal to a scientist’s reputation and career. As far as Curry’s brief, forget about lukewarmism; some of her comments (listed below, in order) put her squarely in the denier camp. (Mann’s dismissal of Curry’s career research contributions as “meager” must have stung.)

    Selected excerpts from non-activist JC’s amicus curiae brief
    • [Mann’s] tactics to silence debate over the science of global warming
    • Mann has transgressed scientific norms and offended First Amendment principles
    • Mann engages in the debate often to silence rather than to illuminate
    • Dr. Mann’s behavior toward his critics, both in this litigation and toward Dr. Curry… demonstrate the weakness of his belief in his own position
    • Mann violated this norm by helping Dr. Phil Jones — a colleague of Dr. Mann’s who was likewise implicated in the climate research scandals emanating from the University of East Anglia — destroy emails and other data to avoid their publication via the Freedom of Information Act
    • the infamous Hockey Stick graph and efforts to “hide the decline” in the temperature record that created problems for Dr. Mann’s position on global warming
    • accusations of data cherry picking and flawed statistical analyses and interpretations [on the part of Mann] seem to be justified
    • it seems like Mann spends half his day suing people for defaming him, and then the other half of his day defaming others on twitter
    • Michael Mann does not seem to understand the difference between criticizing a scientific argument versus smearing a scientist

  108. Willard says:

    > You are between a rock and a hard place when you need to claim that your personal definition is more impartial than that of a dictionary.

    That’s a false dichotomy. There are many other ways to get at meanings than short descriptions from online dictionaries. Meanings are set by usage, dictionaries simply collect those usages. Many usages escape abridged dictionaries: technical concepts, popular expressions, etc. There are more considerations, but that ought to be enough for now.

    Think about it. If we accept that dictionaries are the final arbiters of the proper usage of word, scientists misuse acidification since at least the 70s. If we accept appeals to dictionary as decisive, we need to accept the Auditor’s quotes of “trick,” “bogus,” “sham,” “totem,” “professional,” “plagiarism,” etc.

    At best a dictionary can help build a case by providing some kind of family resemblance, e.g.:

    Shub,

    > Where does Ryan imply any motive on Steig’s part, as you suggest now?

    Actually, he did right there:

    It was quite a bit more than a casual mention.

    Here is the Wordnet definition of “casual”:

    # S: (adj) casual, insouciant, nonchalant (marked by blithe unconcern)
    “an ability to interest casual students”; “showed a casual disregard
    for cold weather”; “an utterly insouciant financial policy”; “an
    elegantly insouciant manner”; “drove his car with nonchalant abandon”;
    “was polite in a teasing nonchalant manner”
    # S: (adj) casual (without or seeming to be without plan or method;
    offhand) “a casual remark”; “information collected by casual methods
    and in their spare time”
    # S: (adj) casual, everyday, daily (appropriate for ordinary or
    routine occasions) “casual clothes”; “everyday clothes”
    # S: (adj) casual, chance (occurring or appearing or singled out by
    chance) “seek help from casual passers-by”; “a casual meeting”; “a
    chance occurrence”
    # S: (adj) casual, cursory, passing, perfunctory (hasty and without
    attention to detail; not thorough) “a casual (or cursory) inspection
    failed to reveal the house’s structural flaws”; “a passing glance”;
    “perfunctory courtesy”
    # S: (adj) casual, occasional (occurring from time to time) “casual
    employment”; “a casual correspondence with a former teacher”; “an
    occasional worker”
    # S: (adj) fooling, casual (characterized by a feeling of
    irresponsibility) “a broken back is nothing to be casual about; it is
    no fooling matter”
    # S: (adj) free-and-easy, casual (natural and unstudied) “using their
    Christian names in a casual way”; “lectured in a free-and-easy style”
    # S: (adj) casual, effortless (not showing effort or strain) “a
    difficult feat performed with casual mastery”; “careless grace”

    http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=casual

    https://climateaudit.org/2011/02/11/ryan-odonnell-responds/#comment-254843

    So my suggestion, as hinted above, is to present relevant examples that show contexts in which “activism” includes Judy’s passive aggressions of the IPCC.

  109. Willard says:

    Vintage 2017-07-09:

    There is an opportunity to steer the proposed red team exercise in a useful direction.

    https://judithcurry.com/2017/07/09/framing-the-challenge-for-the-climate-red-team/

  110. dikranmarsupial says:

    I don’t think SM claimed that his/Curry’s definition was more impartial, rather than that they were necessarily incomplete (I would agree, but possibly only negligibly so). Dictionaries do provide a reasonable indication of the meanings of words that a general audience is likely to perceive, I don’t think anyone considers them to be absolutely definitive.

  111. Willard says:

    On the 2017-04-09, Judy quoted the definition of bullying in the updated AGU Ethics Policy:

    Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse,intimidate, or aggressively dominate others in the professional environment that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.

    https://judithcurry.com/2017/04/09/bullying-as-scientific-misconduct/

    On the 2017-12-07, a senior researcher victim bullies a junior researcher because the latter uses the D word while missing the obvious mention of the best word around: “contrarian.”

    Can someone passively “call out” someone else?

  112. Magma says:

    @ willard

    It seems more than fair to describe that as bullying. After all, Judith Curry is only the president of a private consulting firm, emeritus professor, and former university department chair who has been repeatedly invited to provide Wall Street Journal op-eds and Republican-friendly testimony to Congressional committees whereas Sarah Myhre is a 35-year old single parent and postdoctoral fellow.

    Curry never stood a chance.

  113. Willard says:

    On the 2017-02-04, Judy passively relates how the JohnB episode came to be:

    In the meantime, David Rose contacted me about a month ago, saying he would be in Atlanta covering a story about a person unjustly imprisoned [link]. He had an extra day in Atlanta, and wanted to get together. I told him I wasn’t in Atlanta, but put him in contact with John Bates. David Rose and his editor were excited about what John had to say.

    I have to wonder how this would have played out if we had issued a press release in the U.S., or if this story was given to pretty much any U.S. journalist working for the mainstream media. Under the Obama administration, I suspect that it would have been very difficult for this story to get any traction. Under [teh Donald] administration, I have every confidence that this will be investigated (but still not sure how the MSM will react).

    Well, it will be interesting to see how this story evolves, and most importantly, what policies can be put in place to prevent something like this from happening again.

    https://judithcurry.com/2017/02/04/climate-scientists-versus-climate-data/

    So, Judy passively:

    – puts in contact DavidR with JohnB about a story that gets Daily Mail editors excited;
    – has to wonder how a press release in the US would have played out;
    – worked out on the happenstance of that US press release;
    – suspects that an investigation would have occured were that US press release released;
    – pretends to eat popcorn during the whole episode;
    – reminds her audience of hypothetical policies that can be put in place.

    That’s a lot of passive ClimateBall moves right there.

    This beats any kind of definition game any day.

  114. Steven Mosher says:

    so it” is a matter of degree rather than substance? Where is the threshold? If it is partly a matter of the vigorousness of the talk, then talk-v-action clearly isn’t the distinction.”

    You need to understand what the core distinction is. There is no clear threshold..Like porn in that way. But actions judith would not take that mann would: signing petitions…she’s big against that. Lawsuits. Seeking out speaking opportunity. Promotion of specific solutions.

    Doubt the line she is trying to draw. .but first understand it in the full historical conext of what we used to mean by activism.

  115. Steven Mosher says:

    “aggressively dominate ”

    Haha… ask dikran to define a bright line there.
    What’s the dictionary say..who decides.

    Same problem. Different ox.

  116. Steven Mosher says:

    Can you passively call some one out?
    Yes.
    Or not. Doxing swatting calling out…it’s all the same..

  117. Steven,
    I think it’s quite difficult to precisely define what type of activism/advocacy someone is undertaking. The point is more to do with the claim that Judith is not undertaking any, than trying to define precisely what it is. Again, this is not a criticsm of someone undertaking advocacy (I think it’s perfectly fine to do so). This is more to do with that someone can comment publicly (in many different forums) about a policy relevant topic and yet still claim to be not politically active. I think that they can’t; it’s probably impossible to actually do so.

  118. Steven,

    Can you passively call some one out?

    Isn’t this kind of the point? In the same way that one can passively call someone out, one can also passively advocate for, or against, policies.

  119. dikranmarsupial says:

    SM wrote “You need to understand what the core distinction is. There is no clear threshold.”

    yes, that was rather my point. If it is a matter of vigour then there is no clear demarcation between being an activist and not being an activist, so Prof. Curry’s claim not to be an activist on the bounds of a difference in vigour would be, at best, arbitrary.

    “But actions judith would not take that mann would: signing petitions”

    I hate to tell you this, but signing a petition is just writing (“Activism used to mean taking action as opposed to speaking or writing. “) and pretty passive at that, it is merely endorsing a statement made by somebody else (“Judith doesnt see herself as an activist because she is passive”).

    “Lawsuits.”

    If a scientist considers themselves to have been defamed, then I don’t see why taking legal action makes them an activist. Arguing that the Hockey Stick was flawed would be scientific criticism, saying that it is fraudulent is not. I don’t see why scientists should not have the same legal defence against defamation than anybody else. Note again, this is passive, it is a step taken in response to someone elses action.

    “Seeking out speaking opportunity.”

    See my comments about Rashomon. Hard to think of any successful academic that doesn’t seek out speaking opportunities, and she runs a blog, which is (i) creating her own speaking opportunity and (ii) broadcasting her position which is likely to attract the attention of those wishing to promulgate a similar view.

    “Promotion of specific solutions.”

    Like getting rid of the IPCC? Again this seems like splitting hairs to me. Arguing that there are too many uncertainties to know what to do is promoting a specific solution (wait and see).

  120. Willard says:

    > first understand it in the full historical conext

    Good idea.

    On 2013-09-20, Judy passively concedes having stepped up her activism:

    I agreed to this [op-ed in Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian] one for several reasons. First, an opportunity to write a 2000 word op-ed in a venue that I greatly respect [i.e. Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian] is a rare opportunity. Second, I was asked to write about the science and issues at the climate science-policy interface, which I regard as of the utmost importance.

    Yes, I have stepped up my ‘activism’ regarding advocacy for integrity in climate research. The world needs a heavy dose of this as we prepare to receive the IPCC’s report.

    https://judithcurry.com/2013/09/20/the-ipccs-inconvenient-truth/#comment-383527

    Either Judy is passively backtracking from her passive acceptance of the meaning of “activism” more than four years ago, or something else.

    Lots of theories.

  121. dikranmarsupial says:

    “Haha… ask dikran to define a bright line there.
    What’s the dictionary say..who decides.”

    sorry, that is just blatant trolling.

  122. Vinny Burgoo says:

    1. Activism is lobbying in short trousers.

    2. There are two types of activist. Fluffy activists lobby by dressing up as polar bears or publishing a lot of waffle about message-framing. Spiky activists lobby by lobbing stuff.

    3. Social scientists say that activism can provide an affectual form of sociation that turns upon the emotional experience of closeness among divs who might not be able find it elsewhere. See #1, above.

    HTH.

    And HNY!

  123. Joshua says:

    Thanks for that linky, Willard. Ah, good times.

    Yes Judith is an advocate. And yes you might see her advocacy as the same as Hansen’s advocacy for taxes. but it should strike you a bit odd that Judith tries to stick to expertise when advocating: natural variation, the arctic and scientific integrity. The others Im sure have something to say about integrity. crickets

    Now who might have said that?

    Anyway, I guess now we can argue about the definition of “expertise?” or perhaps “stick to?” Or maybe “try?”

    Anyone have a dictionary?

  124. Joshua says:


    I was asked to write about
    the science and issues at the climate science-policy interface,

    Something our mystery comment writer forgot to mention when he described Judith’s areas of expertise.

    Btw, how does one become an “expert” on “scientific integrity?” What has Judith done to acquire that credential?

  125. Joshua says:

    This is good, from Judith:

    Nope, most are either advocated for their preferred scientific conclusions, or worse yet for specific public policies…

    So I guess Judith has dropped “advocating for preferred scientific conclusions” from her definition of advocacy. Funny how that happens, eh?

    Because, you know, one might argue that testifying at the behest of politicians that there was a pause in global warming might be construed by some (ignorant as they might be) as equivalent to advocating for a preferred scientific conclusions.

  126. Joshua says:

    I’m actually feeling sad that some people are buying this crap that Judith is peddling.

  127. Joshua says:

    But actions judith would not take that mann would:…

    Advocating for preferred scientific conclusions?

    Too funny.

  128. BBD says:

    I’m actually feeling sad that some people are buying this crap that Judith is peddling.

    You are not alone.

  129. Steven Mosher says:

    ““Haha… ask dikran to define a bright line there.
    What’s the dictionary say..who decides.”

    sorry, that is just blatant trolling.”

    Now we get to define trolling.

    Look the point is rather simple.

    1. Judith is trying to define a certain category of behavior.
    2. If you want to do a Good job of criticizing that definition, then the first thing to do
    is to try to make the best sense of it you can. A dictionary will not help you. Now
    in math and logic and the “harder” sciences there on on occassion accepted definitions.
    In Life outside these things there is not. My favorite example is Labov on cups, glasses and mugs.
    If you are not familair with this, then you should just stop talking about definitions. It would
    be like me talking about cloud microphysics. You should just stop because you have no training
    expertise or education in the problems surrounding defintions. Start here
    http://www.skilja.de/2012/classification-and-context/
    3. There are two separte questions:
    A) What is the defintion or category she is trying to define. What are the main features
    she is trying to pull out? are some hard ( bright) and others continuous (soft)
    B) Does She Classify herself correctly or not?

    It seems to me that everyone here has focused on 3B. Does she classify herself correctly?
    or is she some sort of hypocrit? or is her defintion confused beccause she is confused?
    Of course this being the internet and climate ball everyone focuses on her and her behavior. She kinda brought that on herself, but folks are still responsible. Its not like she forced you to
    say stupid things about defintions or try to settle a contextual matter by doing the 5th grade move of going to the dictionary. Sheesh.

    Personally I would start with 3A: what is the category she is really trying to pick out.

    Once you have some clarity on that, then you can move on to 3B

    BUT

    if you start with 3B ( how well does she exemplify the category she tries to pick out) then you
    are left with the problem of what to when she fails to perfectly embody the thing the she is defining.
    Is that a problem with her? or the definition? or both

    The best way to clarify what she means by the categorization, is thus to ask her.

    With most writing we suffer from the problem of limited data. There are only so many texts.
    But she is there. You can ask her, ‘what about X? what about Y?

  130. Steven Mosher says:

    “> first understand it in the full historical conext

    Good idea.”

    I should have been more clear. Wind the tape back to the 60s.

  131. Steven Mosher says:

    “yes, that was rather my point. If it is a matter of vigour then there is no clear demarcation between being an activist and not being an activist, so Prof. Curry’s claim not to be an activist on the bounds of a difference in vigour would be, at best, arbitrary.”

    The lack of a clear boundary or bright line does not entail that there is no boundary or that it is Arbitary. Thats just dumb on your part. There will always be fuzzy boundaries. I’d use the case of Porn again, but I think you dont want to have an honest discussion of the issue or a technically informed one. Part of drawing the boundary is having the precise discussion we are having. And further you may draw the boundary differently than I do. That doesnt make either of our drawing arbitary. We dont just randomly select a cutoff.

  132. BBD says:

    Steven

    Defence of the indefensible always fails. Time to move on. You’ve done it before.

    Happy New Year.

  133. Steven,
    I would argue that you can’t really prove that what one does is not a form of advocacy (well, unless one does absolutely nothing). I would also argue that one doesn’t get to define one’s own character/position. Politicians, of course, try to do it all the time, but in reality it’s determined more by how others judge your actions than by how you try to define it yourself. Maybe the latter is the key point. Judith shouldn’t really care whether or not others regard what she does as a form of activism/advocacy; just be comfortable with what you choose to do.

    Anyway, it’s New Year’s eve here, so maybe we can try to keep this pleasant and all have a good evening.

  134. Steven Mosher says:

    ““But actions judith would not take that mann would: signing petitions”

    I hate to tell you this, but signing a petition is just writing (“Activism used to mean taking action as opposed to speaking or writing. “) and pretty passive at that, it is merely endorsing a statement made by somebody else (“Judith doesnt see herself as an activist because she is passive”).”

    I used to think that (its just writing) until I asked Judith why she opposed making these kind of cooridnated statements. Her reason was it was more than just writing. It was deciding to join with others.
    The joining with others she thought exlcuded other people and “presured” them to conform.

    See. The differnce between you and me is that when I didnt understand why she objected to something, I didnt argue or whip out a dictionary like a 5th grader, . I asked her why. I asked for more reasons. In the end I understood that she had a big soft spot for excluded voices. A soft spot for people who had been left out of groups.
    I thought a little about what it must have been like to be a woman in science back in the day.
    I thought her concerns for outsiders was bit too much. But decided it wasnt worth the fight. I disagree with her. Hell she’s got me moderated. But I get where she is coming from.
    I dint find that in the dictionary, perahps you can, spock.

  135. Steven Mosher says:

    “Maybe the latter is the key point. Judith shouldn’t really care whether or not others regard what she does as a form of activism/advocacy; just be comfortable with what you choose to do.”

    yes using herself as an example makes it really hard to see exactly what she is getting at because she definitely appears to act in ways that cross the boundary she is trying to make.

    At some point she is going to have to admit that she hasnt followed her own rulz.

  136. BBD says:

    At some point she is going to have to admit that she hasnt followed her own rulz.

    Well done, Steven. Now would be a good time to abandon the sinking ship.

  137. Joshua says:

    At some point she is going to have to admit that she hasnt followed her own rule.

    Nope. That will never happen. She will merely create new definitions whoever necessary. It’s an infinite loop.

  138. dikranmarsupial says:

    SM wrote: “The joining with others she thought exlcuded other people and “presured” them to conform.”

    personally I think that is a slightly odd view to take. I think that joining with others tends to be a rather positive thing to do, and if someone presents me with a petition that I don’t agree with I decline. However that STILL doesn’t make signing a petition “activism”, it is something Prof. Curry apparently doesn’t like and she is fully entitled to her view on that (I also agree with the implied point later on about gender in STEM subjects).

    “See. The differnce between you and me is that when I didnt understand why she objected to something, I didnt argue or whip out a dictionary like a 5th grader, ”

    ah, the ad-hominems again. The reason I looked in a dictionary is to check that my own understanding of activism was reasonable and to see if the meaning you were suggesting had some currency (the distinction you suggest is plausible as being what she meant, but at the same time unlikely to be the meaning a general audience will pick up – IMHO). It is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. If someone wants to explain a distinction, then using terms in an idiosyncratic manner is probably a bad thing to do.

    “. In the end I understood that she had a big soft spot for excluded voices. ”

    Yes, that is fairly obvious from her blog. A actually agree that making sure people have the opportunity to be heard. However, as a scientist, you still have to assess the arguments according to their value and where there are fundamental flaws acknowledge them. Note my criticism about Salby is not that she gave him a platform, but that she would not acknowledge the flaws and carried on promulgating incorrect arguments once they had been pointed out, without acknowledging them.

    “But I get where she is coming from.”

    Don’t be so sure that you are the only one. It isn’t actually all that uncommon in academia.

    “I dint find that in the dictionary, perahps you can, spock.”

    It is ironic that you follow an assertion of your empathy with a cheap (and inaccurate) cariacature (not for the first time).

    “yes using herself as an example makes it really hard to see exactly what she is getting at because she definitely appears to act in ways that cross the boundary she is trying to make.”

    yes, that was pretty much what I was saying.

  139. izen says:

    It isn’t (primarily) about Judith.

    Anymore than it was ‘about’ SusanC with the polar bears.

    They are important components, and their willingness to blog, talk or write amicus briefs is necessary for the advocacy, activism or whatever you want to label it to occur.

    But the much more important part is that Murdoch’s paper wanted her contribution. As did the GOP senators and the GWPF.

    It is the social impact and political use OTHERS derive from her actions that defines her role, not quibbles about definitions.

  140. Ragnaar says:

    Steven Mosher

    said something. Take the Boston Matrix. The divisions between quadrants are arbitrary. Yet it has a use. We could be arguing that that matrix has no value. She said I am this. And then we said, technically you are not. She might have said, in a matrix with 3 dimensions like a cube, I occupy this sub cube. And we could pursue this until it we have exactly nailed it down.

    I am a libertarian, and if anyone cared, they could prove I am not. I could say I am a CPA and everything I do in that regard is unimpeachable. Nope.

  141. Ken Fabian says:

    Judy Curry seems to be trying to give the impression of her advocacy being a higher, more noble kind – advocating for higher quality climate science by criticising and rejecting current mainstream climate science. That is, we should support the kinds of climate science that gives “better” results – as far as I can see “better” is any that reject the conclusion that we will be in deep trouble if we keep on burning fossil fuels without constraint.

  142. izen says:

    I made this for xmass, but I guess it is still appropriate…

  143. dikranmarsupial says:

    ATTP wrote “Anyway, it’s New Year’s eve here, so maybe we can try to keep this pleasant and all have a good evening.”

    Good point. Feel free to delete my last post. Better to end the year on a more positive note.

    “Judith shouldn’t really care whether or not others regard what she does as a form of activism/advocacy; just be comfortable with what you choose to do.”

    I fully agree. It would be nice for all scientists to be able to do what they do without feeling pressured or excluded, or being labelled, or being accused of fraud or their motivations being questioned, or having their privacy intruded upon or being harassed.

    Happy new year!

  144. Steven Mosher says:

    heard a fascinating talk on NPR which raised this issue
    I may have to get his book

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attribution_bias#Attribution_theory

  145. Everett F Sargent says:

    So who gets to define scientific integrity? Judge Judith. Sad. Loser. Such a non sequitur to begin with in the 1st place. Who exactly isn’t for scientific integrity? Oh wait, I know at least one ‘so called’ person, Donald Trump!

    https://www.aaas.org/page/scientific-integrity
    https://www.ucsusa.org/our-work/center-science-and-democracy/promoting-scientific-integrity#.WknejrenFOQ
    https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/administration/eop/ostp/library/scientificintegrity
    https://www.epa.gov/osa/basic-information-about-scientific-integrity
    https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/si/index.jsp
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_Integrity_in_Policymaking

    Judge Judith sez …

    “The only things that I have advocated for are issues related to the integrity of the process of scientific research and its assessment. I have not advocated for specific policy outcomes related to climate change.”

    That last sentence should read …

    “I have strongly advocated for no specific policy outcomes related to climate change.”

  146. Greg Robie says:

    …a [less] uncharitable – more rational – interpretation (and inclusive of the Warm Regards #MeToo podcast/Curry/Myhre thing this ATTP post [selectively?] focuses on:

    A recent blog post of Judith’s (and attempt to preserve her brand) is titled “JC’s (un)motivated reasoning”. In that post she articulates the framework of her homeostasis and, thereby, identifies where she can best look for how her iteration of motivated reasoning hides in blind spots; allude her significant intellect. This assertion is based on this argument: to the degree any human psyche has matured past the ‘terrible twos’, it has entered a lifelong journey into the unconscious self-delusions that are motivated reasoning’s hallmark.

    That asserted, I am not sure the dots can be connected between what I have observed in some of the snarky comment threads this blog has been the host to, and what it is like to live with the worst of this behavior as a “normalized” professional decorum, but it is there to see in Judith’s experience (if one wants to look for it). And, since the Twitter storm this post critiques a part of it that concerned political advocacy, and thereby avoided the genesis of the framework of the conflict that generated that storm (the #MeToo related interactions between Curry and Myhre concerning what constitutes effective strategy relative to the male abuse of females within scientific academia), is she – & are they – in good company when it comes to remaining in denial of otherwise trusted motivated reasoning … as I said, the dots may not be connectable. But if any ATTP regular just felt dissed, you got it. 😉

    Concerning this critique of the political advocacy, Judith has given the “Why” regarding ongoing critique of such not being heard/acknowledged by her. Her experience of homeostasis has led her to be socially liberal, fiscally conservative, and leaning toward libertarianism. The first two labels suggest she integrates two of the emotive needs of human psychology quite rationally: for her, compassion is constrained by capacity. Liberals do tend to value compassion (Judith expresses this as “health and prosperity for all; abundant, secure and clean energy for all; healthy ecosystems and . . . world peace”) while turning a blind eye to the shadow side of how the means of such ‘compassion’ is affected (via the systemic irresponsibility and injustice of our globalized economic meme; trickle down charity[?]) – i.e., effectedNOT!). In this nation, with our blue/red divide, the conservative tends to differently limit the definition of responsibility by trusting and championing a race to the bottom and collapse. Such is systemic within limited liability law enabled CapitalismFail with its Anthropocene and abrupt climate change. This is where Judith gets tripped up by motivated reasoning concerning her self-identification as a fiscal conservative. The conservative in this culture is stuck within a different iteration of the same oxymoron as the liberal regarding values. In the fiscal conservative’s case, what is conserved, a perceived “power over”, is, systemically, delusional.

    The trusted motivated reasoning entangling her conservatism seems to be born of (& feed into) her stated predilection to lean toward libertarianism. I am sure an argument can be made that affecting the role of a fellow traveler exempts one from being an ideologue, but I wouldn’t want to try to rationally defend such an argument. Regardless, the identified populous – libertarian continuum is delusional; a social convention that hides motivated reasoning in plain sight. In a globalized economic paradigm, an “I” is the gestalt of our “We” regardless of how this economic interdependency is personally perceived.

    So, being abused as a woman, as Judith describes in her “Girls rule(s)” post, would tend to reinforce any tendency one might have to act independently and alone; to lean toward libertarianism. In her case, doesn’t the misogamy of the patriarchal culture into which she immersed herself make such a reasoned choice? Why not limit herself, as she is now doing even if, at first, such also could seem like a focusing on bridge building; as astute political action: acknowledging and emphasizing areas of known/former uncertainty. Her experience of being twice trashed would tend to lead to me to lean toward such an adaptation. Especially if ones values included “. . . world peace.”

    As I read her sage advice to Sarah I can infer that her iteration of Freeman Dyson’s anal championing of uncertainty could be imagined to be more politically mature; less concerned with winning and more concerned with moving through a “wicked mess” together. To me this would likely seem important for a person who has been denied a safe workplace and kept busy creating one for others in spite of this. Doesn’t it embody the best of what the female gender brings to every table? Isn’t it something that roosters are challenged to get?

    Perceptions of socially safe spaces are indicative of, and are a positive feedback regarding human tribalism. I observe that iterations of socialized motivated reasoning constitute key elements in defining such shared senses of safety and homeostasis. Dunned penned, and Simon and Garfunkel’s “I Am A Rock” poetically railed against, this truism: no man is an island. Doesn’t Judith’s self-report of her walking-the-talk of her rules suggests that, once again, women are [relatively] exceptional? By raising this rhetorical question I am not diminishing the value of the best of the crowing corrective oneupmanship that is a hallmark of the ATTP comment thread, but when it is less than its best, it’s effects quite the rumble … & such rumbling-as- fun is gender-biased.

    As the saying goes, nobody is perfect.

    Judith reveals an imperfection when she defines the intersection of science and policy as a problem that is a “wicked mess”. Any veracity of this perception withstanding, such is not the same as saying it is an impossible problem. Doesn’t the collapse of every human endeavor at civilization constitute data that affirms, and simply so, quite the opposite? Societies which have created problems that are experienced as too messy to fix, in fact have resolved that problem: history is repeated and the society implodes.

    Regardless, what a difference a generation makes (not in the #MeToo abuse, but in the [exceptional] responses to it)! The “Girls rule(s)” blog post is a window into the life of a human being rising above abuse and being the difference she wants to see in the world. I am not sure how one can have the self-esteem in the midst of structural abuse, effect such professionalism, and not also be predilected to be insular to criticism, irrespective of its merits. Such is motivated reasoning’s function in the human psyche: resolve conflicts within the limits that ones trusted feelings prescribe.

    Enter Dr. Myhre (whom I’ve Cc:d). A generation younger, in her version of Curry’s three types of women, the lady is replaced. Ball-busting anger – no – womanly rage, is front and center in her replacement. Concerning how this can play out, Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler will not be lady-fied, silenced, nor choose to ‘win’ by shooting herself (i.e., leaving scientific academia). To the degree ‘power’ cannot give up power without a fight is perceived as true/all that can be imagined, this incoming generation has the womanly rage to win the “power-over”. The crones of the Boomer generation are perceived as toothless and dismissed, while the codgers of this generation need to look in the boxes in their attics for their old jockstrap and cup! 😉

    The ‘power’ we males would have been wise to transform when we were in ascendancy will, instead, shift (& grow stronger). This is likely because the Machiavellian argument that the ends justify the means was reasoned when Western society was in its ascendancy and moving from mysticism to reason. The rise of the irresponsible globalized culture (neoliberal mysticism) of CapitalismFail marks the close of the Age of Reason. As much as it may feel rational for society’s raging women, Machiavelli reasoning does not apply in this transition. In a culture that would be rational, imagined ends are not justified. The means are the ends. But watch, true to our history and our Orwellian dance of twice fooled fools, the h[e]rsory of 2nd Wave Feminism is leading the dance this time. So prepare to follow/die … as long as the piper for the pas de deux remains the same.

    A safe space, when it is rational in its construct, is an example of how motivated reasoning functions as a savior. When that safe space is framed by irrational thinking, such as with CapitalismFail, motivated reasoning becomes a sycophant. Because motivated reasoning functions as both a savior and a sycophant … and we cannot not do it … it strikes me that Judith has unconsciously shared what her iteration of it is: a trust in her brilliance and comfort in being socially isolated as the smartest person in the climate/energy room … or guys, what keeps you engaged with her is both her brilliance AND a need to one up her. It ain’t gonna happen [that way]! Dr. Myhre et al are, in true patriarchal fashion, going to war without a plan for the ‘peace’ that follows war. I wonderNOT where this ‘ wisdom’ to deconstruct first was learned!

    So Judith (if you see this), as my one tweet in the Christmas storm pointed out, Twitter’s who-to-follow algorithm says all that needs to be said. Juday, Juday, Juday, you are in bad, bad company. In all probability concerning this algorithm’s opinion is because that ‘bad company’ spins and uses what you say as an appeal to authority … and they, and/or their financiers, are not sword fighters. If you wonder why you so outclass the others you find yourself joined with, consider that you are the [exploited and abused] smart face (& sword fighter) of these six-gun toting ideologues; that no amount of doubling down on an inner Freeman Dyson regarding uncertainty will provide absolution for whom you are a fellow traveler of in this total war we’ve effected with our GREED-as-go[]d. And so (& not just Judith), it is likely that only an awakening from the delusion of the populous – libertarian continuum can transform the challenges the #MeToo movement bring to the table of science.

    Dr. Myhre, #FeelDif. Or, is what was thought to be an attack by Judith, instead a gift concerning a common – if such isn’t uniform – ground between women. As a post-feminist male (with four decades of contemplative practice under my belt), I fear there is little I can authentically communicate that is not already heard differently than intended. So please continue to labor with Dr. Curry. Do this not only for the sake of women scientists, but for the souls of male scientists as well.

    In the 1980s I heard a historical play read about the struggle for universal suffrage. In it Elizabeth Cady Stanton was credited with prophetically observing, one hundred years earlier, that women were going to win the battle but loose the war. Was she right? And, regardless, is the rage of females, which can be argued was critical for breaching the final defenses of the patriarch in the fight for universal suffrage, wisely being set free again? What weight might Stanton’s insight be afforded as the war rages on? Does an insight for this time lie in the paradox that is framed by the perceived conflicting understandings and strategies for transforming society?

    Personally, I hear men as deafening silent and, as a consequence, missing in the action that men need to do among men for transforming what social power is. At the end of the historical play about universal suffrage, the story of the casting of the last vote that resulted in the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment was told. The affirmative vote that broke a tie (& otherwise sealed the Amendment’s defeat) was made by a man who was personally against the amendment, but was persuaded by his mother to switch his vote. Perhaps, when it comes to doing what ‘might’ be wise, do men need to be told what to do? (The reason for the ‘might’ is that for me, and contemplating Stanton’s insight, I’m considering this question: has including women’s way of knowing within a political construct structured for male sensibilities constituted a battle won and a war lost? For society to fully benefit from the gift of the woman’s way of knowing, will the womanly rage being called forth, accomplish this? Or, this corollary phrased differently: to what degree is such rage just ball-busting with lipstick? Like you, Sarah, I value good questions. I hope some of these I’ve shared are found to have value.

    So, back to this blog post and my less uncharitable approach. It is based on the presupposition that nobody is right when everybody is wrong; that it is highly probable that the way “forward” is straight into the contradictions born of motivated reasoning … with the fervent shared prayer that such will lead to the experience of paradox. Isn’t valuing “The Other” integral to having that prayer answered and awakening from our [differently shared] delusions and motivated reasoning; to seeing power as nature defines it: that which nurtures life?

    =)
    Greg

  147. izen says:

    Shorter Greg:

    Judith is motivated by social liberalism, (good) fiscal conservatism, (delusional) and the impact of working in a misogynistic parochial power structure (bad).
    Because ‘Gender politics’ she favours the importance of the individual over the collective and has fallen into the bad company of the bad companies of failed Capitalism.
    Her motivated reasoning may be flawed, but was driven by the best of intentions to make a safe space for the outsider faced with coercive group think.
    WE are all guilty of motivated reasoning, if only we could admit our flaws, life would be better.

    ————-

    For anyone who did not find it TL;DR, they are now presumably much better informed about the subjective dispositional nature behind Judiths behaviour.
    And Gender politics.

    I still contend that the attribution of her political activism is situational, not a matter of disposition.
    Or gender politics.

    She would be an unheard voice in the wilderness of the web unless there was a well financed demand for her ‘product’.

    Part of teh ‘CapitalismFail’ that has enabled a massive increase in population over the last two centuries, most of whom live well above the poverty level that 90% of human lives before capitalism suffered, are reacting to the financial threat of stranded assets.

  148. Joshua says:

    Her motivated reasoning may be flawed, but was driven by the best of intentions

    Most people’s motivated reasoning is driven by the best of intentions, IMO. That does’t make it less biased or flawed.

    A common misconception, IMO, regarding motivated reasoning is the belief that if someone’s politics is more “neutral” (or at least, is presented as such), they are less likely to have “motivation” bias their reasoning.

    IMO, Judith has clear “motivations” w/r/t the politics of climate change policy development.

    That suggests to me that, just like anyone else, she is vulberable towards selective filtering of information so as to confirm biases. Simply arguing, by assertion, that she is exempted from such biases, or that she is “(un)motivated,” doesn’t work, in my book. In fact, IMO, when a person dons a blanket of immunity for being “motivated,” it is more often than not a sign of them failing to address their motivations head on.

    IMO, one sign that someone effectively approaches controlling their “motivations” is to engage in good faith discussion with those who are in disagreement. IMO, one sign that someone doesn’t effectively approach controlling their “motivations” is when they engage defensively (e.g., focusing extensively on their being called a “denier”), and aggressively (i.e., calling people “alarmists”).

    Those identity-associated behaviors (name-calling) suggest, IMO, that someone is engaged with the science through an identity filter. IMO, a good rule of thumb is to consider that when evaluating people’s perspective on climate change, the overall pattern that seems to appear s that their beliefs tell you more about who they are, then what they know. Of course, just because the rule of thumb works more generally doesn’t mean that it can be applied for everyone.

    But, IMO, in order to distance oneself from that general rule, then one should avoid things such as inventring self-sealing identity definitions, and using those definitions to denigrate others and elevate oneself.

  149. dikranmarsupial says:

    I really don’t know what to think about that.

  150. Chris Colose has given the best response so far.

  151. dikranmarsupial says:

    Just to be clear, it is Prof. Curry’s reply and her reply to a subsequent question

    That I find hard to understand. The GCMs used by the IPCC are complex systems with multiple chaotic components, so if our understanding of the physics suggests that internal climate variability was significant for centennial scale climate projection, we would see it in the models. The idea that the “IPCC consensus crowd” are only looking at energy balance models seems a misrepresentation.

  152. dikranmarsupial says:

    ATTP indeed. You can have systems with chaotic behaviour, but with stable and predictable statistical properties (a double pendulum being one example – add an electromagnet to one side to include some external forcing).

  153. dikranmarsupial says:

    Also the effects of internal climate variability are there in the spread of the model runs, which is an integral part of an ensemble projection.

  154. The double pendulum is a good example, which can lock into a stable period-doubled cycle. Lord Rayleigh noticed this first in 1880 and since that time, hydrologists have developed equations (Mathieu equations) that reproduce the period doubled sloshing in tanks of liquid.

    With current GCMs, the results routinely show a period doubling of the annual cycle, leading to a biennial cycle in temperatures. So this is not chaotic at all, just a bifurcation due to the nonlinear aspects of the fluid dynamics.

    So what’s missing from the models is the other gravitational forcing due to the lunar orbit. What I have found is that the monthly and fortnightly lunar periods interact with the biennial cycle to produce the quasiperiodic behavior of ENSO. Solve the Navier-Stokes equations along the equator and introduce the precise lunar orbit and it will reproduce the ENSO time-series quite effectively.

    Curry thinks this is a “wicked” problem because she listens to what Anastonios Tsonis has fed her over the years. Tsonis tries to fit everything into a chaotic frame because that’s his academic specialty. Curry goes along with it because that fits in her Uncertainty Monster frame. So it’s basically to much framing and not enough dogged research into the mechanisms on their part.

    The upper chart is a training run on the inverted SOI time series between 1880-190, and the lower is a cross-validated projection:

  155. izen says:

    The paper JC cites is interesting.

    There is actually greater discrepancy between the different (coral/sediment) proxy records of local SST variation than between proxy records and models. Until the proxies are adjusted.

    Models reproduce local variation well out to century timescales.

    The explanation advanced for the failure of models to match the greater variation in local SST proxies at longer (>1000yrs) timescales is that climate sensitivity is higher than estimated from models, perhaps because of changes in the ice – fresh water – local rainfall, hydrological cycle.

    This seems to be another iteration of the counter-intuitive argument that AGW is not going to be as bad as the consensus implies because ‘Natural Variation’ (high climate sensitivity?) could be causing a much larger, and worse, climate change from internal chaos.

  156. Willard says:

    > I should have been more clear. Wind the tape back to the 60s.

    Again, a good idea:

    (J1) Activists are hippies.
    (J2) Judy is not a hippie.
    (J3) Therefore Judy’s not an activist.

    Spot the affirmation of the consequent.

    Observing that one does not simply speak truth to power and pretend not to be a Mordor activist should be more than enough to put this ClimateBall genre (there are countless episodes since Judy’s inception ca 2009-2010) to rest. Her latest “but I’m passive” only amounts to special pleading.

    The idea that since Judy “doesn’t take it to the street,” therefore she’s not an activist, is countered by the observation that Judy has direct channels into Lamar’s offices and Rupert’s editorial boards. Of course she “doesn’t take it to the street” – she has access to more powerful megaphones than that to promote her INTEGRITY ™ brand.

    Searching for “speaking truth to power” should convince anyone of Judy’s activism. Here’s a random example by GaryM, who hears her message loud and clear:

    You are truly speaking truth to power more now by far than when you were part of the consensus, speaking false certainty on behalf of power, to the people. You should not run from the label of advocate, but be proud of it. because what you are advocating, regardless of its ideological roots, is excellent.

    https://judithcurry.com/2014/08/04/is-the-road-to-scientific-hell-paved-with-good-moral-intentions/#comment-614828

    ***

    We can predict what will come next: Judy acknowledging that she’s an activist, but that she’s not an advocate. We can also predict that after a few rounds of ClimateBall, Judy will acknowledge that she may be an advocate, but not a policy advocate, or something along these lines. All this has been rehearsed over and over again before.

    ClimateBall ™ – billions upon billions of recursive special pleading.

  157. dikranmarsupial says:

    izen, the paper is probably a bit beyond me, but even the abstract says that it suggests there is a problem with the models, the proxy observations or both. I would suspect it is a bit of both (it usually is), but Prof. Curry presents it is demonstrating a problem with the models only.

    The thing I find troubling is that she appears to have misrepresented those she disagrees with and appears unwilling to admit it:

    (sorry if the tweet links don’t embed properly, not sure quite how it works)

  158. JCH says:

    Hippies spit on Vietnam veterans in airports that, oddly, were not built until around the time that Rambo came out.

    Happer is all hung up on the hippies who occupied his physics building.

    Hippies are bad. Bjorn Stevens is a good guy.

  159. The end of the paper does say:

    One possible reconciliation for model−data discrepancies in variability is for the models to have insufficient internal variability. For instance, ocean−atmosphere coupling may be too weak (37), or the energy cascade from the mesoscale to larger spatial scales (38) may be insufficient. …….

    Another means of model−data reconciliation is through greater natural external forcing. For example, regional SST variance is roughly doubled at multidecadal and centennial timescales
    in the GISS-E2-R ensemble of simulations (39) when using larger-magnitude volcanic forcing estimates (40) relative to smaller ones (41) (SI Appendix, Fig. S7). As another example,
    regional SST variability is twice as large at centennial and millennial timescales during early Holocene portions of the TraCE21ka experiment (42) when ice melt contributes significant
    amounts of freshwater, compared with late Holocene variability when ice melt is set to zero.

    So, it could be that models underestimate internal variability, but it could also be that there is more changes in natural external forcings in the observations than in the models. If the latter, then that would not necessarily imply any real issues with the detection and attribution studies.

  160. dikranmarsupial says:

    ATTP that isn’t really apparent from Prof. Curry’s tweet:

  161. Willard says:

    > Chris Colose has given the best response so far.

    It’s good, but IsaacH’s response was even better:

    DR. HELD: …..Some of the questions that came through in your background document I thought were a little off, if I can be frank —

    DR. KOONIN: That’s fine. We are not experts.

    DR. HELD: — in the sense that they don’t conform to my picture of how the climate system works. So, I have my null hypotheses. And I have been doing this for over 30 years, so I have developed a lot of hypotheses. Some of them turn out to be wrong. I don’t like this argument from complexity saying oh, it’s a chaotic system. There is all sorts — you can get a nonlinear system to do nything you want. That just doesn’t tell me anything. But whenever I look at the forced response of the climate system, it looks linear to me. And what is the best example we have of forced responses? The seasonal cycle. Seasonal cycles are remarkably linear-looking.

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/steve-koonin-and-the-small-percentage-fallacy/

  162. BBD says:

    @dikran

    Sorry, late to the party so this is just an aside:

    ATTP indeed. You can have systems with chaotic behaviour, but with stable and predictable statistical properties (a double pendulum being one example – add an electromagnet to one side to include some external forcing).

    How about the Pleistocene glacial cycle? In the sense that the repeated and radical climate shift between glacial and interglacial never triggered any chaotic runaway crazy stuff (sorry for the tech talk).

  163. izen says:

    @-” Current warming fails detection analysis if the assumed internal variability is much too small.”

    If unforced internal variability is capable of causing the current warming, the our climate is far more uncertain than the ‘IPCC crowd’ assume. It is far MORE alarming if despite several thousand years of apparent stability the current warming is attributable to natural noise. Only an unwarranted assumption of uniformitarianism, or an ‘inevitable’ regression to the mean, avoids the prospect that such internal variation could be far larger and more damaging than AGW.

    The idea that the current warming and the CO2 rise are just coincidental, not causally linked, implies a much more labile climate than the historical record would indicate.
    And no energy-balance argument against even larger climate excursions from both natural and anthro forcings on TOP of this large magnitude unforced noise.

  164. Willard says:

    Again, Isaac Held for the win:

    If you are saying it’s mostly internal variability, you are talking about a very low-sensitivity system compared to the consensus picture, which means that we are talking about, say observed warming.

    So, you would have a huge outgassing of heat from the ocean because that’s what you mean by “low-sensitivity model.” For the same warming, you get a huge output of energy trying to restore that.

    And for the same forcing, I am assuming the forcing estimate is not uncontroversial. You have heat coming out of the ocean. That’s the bottom line. We don’t see that.

    http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/upload/climate-seminar-transcript.pdf

  165. izen says:

    @-” Current warming fails detection analysis if the assumed internal variability is much too small.”

    If it was true that (unknown/undetected) internal variability could be responsible for 50% of the current observed warming, because Uncertainty.
    Then it could be responsible for 50% cooling. Instead of ~10% cooling that the IPCC consensus crowd estimate.

    In that case, the eventual reduction in such a natural influence would double the projected AGW warming, not half it.

  166. I talked to the lead author at the AGU and the evidence suggests that there is very little low-frequency variability in coral proxy records. It is all at the scale of 10 years or less in period.
    He did all the work of merging different sets of data. Too many of the researchers reporting on proxies worked on small time intervals

    “Do our reconstructions of ENSO have too much low-frequency variability”
    https://agu.confex.com/agu/fm17/meetingapp.cgi/Paper/289964

  167. This is what I don’t understand about Held’s contention that “But whenever I look at the forced response of the climate system, it looks linear to me. And what is the best example we have of forced responses? The seasonal cycle. Seasonal cycles are remarkably linear-looking.”

    I think that may be true of the solar insolation part, but the forced response in the ocean shows the period-doubling as in the double pendulum.

    Here are the results of a GCM showing this effect:on a simulated NINO34 in trying to understand long-term proxy records. Note the strong spectral peak center precisely at 2 years. In practice, modern day records do not show this 2 year peak, but multiple split peaks as pairs of satellite side-bands centered at 2 years, which corresponds to the other forcing which occurs

  168. Ragnaar says:

    Once again we have:

    Libertarian economics is wrong.
    Conservative economics is wrong but more so.
    Capitalism is quite interwoven with the above and material to society’s shortcomings.

    And the answer is:

    I think you’re right about society failing and leading to there being more libertarians. Why be unhappy without better ideas? What is the correct action in the face of our political clown show? People and institutions will let me down. So be independent. Take you own path and don’t listen to your detractors and majority views or sleepwalking major political parties.

    Somewhere in this whole deal is women being let down not just by Republicans. Now the question of loyalty to the Democratic Party, to that very institution that made you promises that were rarely delivered on and then you found that you weren’t done fighting even then. And even so, there were others like the truly poor and the climate to save. So if you think you could save yourself. I am not to sure about that. But you can have hope and patience and can you spare $100 to help ensure our good works continue?

  169. Joshua says:

    We can predict what will come next: Judy acknowledging that she’s an activist, but that she’s not an advocate. We can also predict that after a few rounds of ClimateBall, Judy will acknowledge that she may be an advocate, but not a policy advocate, or something along these lines.

    I predict that neither will happen. Too much of her shtick depends on denigrating “activists.” It is enough to invent self-sealing definitions, IMO. She has no reason to change her tactic.

  170. JCH says:

    Tonight at CargoCult Etc. the stadium wave is marching on! And there is a link to a story about the scientist who got the lead out. A scientist Scott Pruitt would have steamrolled into oblivion. The delusion runs deep.

  171. Willard says:

    > She has no reason to change her tactic.

    Nothing needs to change. Vintage 2013:

    JC advice to scientist-advocates: take some time to understand the pitfalls of advocacy, learn about the policy process, and make sure you understand what is considered responsible advocacy.

    https://judithcurry.com/2013/08/06/irresponsible-advocacy-by-scientists/

  172. Willard says:

    Two years later, effectiveness is added to the mix:

    The failures of climate advocacy – particularly in the US – are motivating reflection on responsible and effective advocacy.

    https://judithcurry.com/2013/12/22/rethinking-climate-advocacy/

    With a cameo appearance of “but Schneider,” it goes without saying.

  173. Willard says:

    Another random hit, this time from 2012:

    It is interesting to apply the criteria presented her to numerous scientists involved in the public debate. Who would you categorize as an advocate?

    https://judithcurry.com/2012/09/11/refocusing-the-debate-about-advocacy/

    You’ll never guess the Denizens’ responses.

  174. Willard says:

    That random hit was the jackpot. The previous post shows that Judy wasn’t sold on advocacy:

    In the previous post on this topic Activate (?) your science, I addressed problems associated with integrity in science. This article clearly lays out the problems with advocacy by scientists in public policy debates.

    To those who think better ‘communication’ is the key to action in the climate change debate, with scientists as activist/communicators, I hope that they will realize the damage done to their policy agenda (not to mention the science) by this strategy.

    https://judithcurry.com/2012/09/10/too-much-advocacy/

  175. Ragnaar says:

    “To those who think better ‘communication’ is the key to action in the climate change debate, with scientists as activist/communicators, I hope that they will realize the damage done to their policy agenda (not to mention the science) by this strategy.”

    Given our current handle on the 2 C target or Republicans being climate cretins, what’s wrong? We’ve set the problem up and now let’s have solutions. I’ll don my climate hero costume and advocate except I am an accountant and no one will listen. But they’ll listen to real climate scientists. But then we do a study and climate heroes just make the Republicans more intransigent.

    So we have a kind of Hippocratic oath of advocacy referring to the above quote. Do no harm. Where is the harm on betting the farm like Germany has on wind? Then there’s deployment of half the solution and betting a miracle from the future for storage of intermittent supplies. And the belief in a great leap forward pig iron production in backyards as in 100s of thousands of mini-utlities. I’d rather advocate for oil as I can find a lot of buyers.

  176. angech says:

    It seems a bit rich to win either way.
    If ECS is high we all fry.
    If it is low we all fry.
    What say we do have a cyclical bound within which high variability and low ECS coexist and we do not fry?
    Clouds could do it.
    After all we have not fried to date with either high ECS or high variability for 2 billion years.
    Life that is, not humans.

  177. angech,
    I think you’re missing the point. The issue is that Judith is arguing that models might be underestimating internally-driven variability and, consequently, is leading to stronger attribution statements than is justified. The problem, though, is that if internally-driven variability is higher than the models suggests, then that would indicate an even higher climate sensitivity, not lower.

  178. paulski0 says:

    Judith Curry: ‘Because the ‘energy balance’ IPCC consensus crowd regards chaos, internal variability as noise and not relevant to 20th century attribution or 21st century predictions.’

    This is perhaps pushing things back in the direction of discussing hypocrisy and incoherence, but anyway, Judith’s arguments along these lines would be easier to accept at face value were she not co-author on a paper which estimated climate sensitivity using a simple energy balance model which assumes absolute constant linearity between idealised forcing and response. A degree of predictability and linearity of response which goes far beyond that suggested by mainstream climate science. And her public testimony concerning climate sensitivity has been strongly weighted towards such energy balance estimates despite her strong dismissal in other contexts of ‘energy balance’ approaches.

    In her December 2015 testimony to Congress she also highlighted Bjorn Stevens’ paper on aerosol forcing magnitude to the exclusion of all others despite the fact that Stevens’ result fundamentally assumes a limited potential for internal variability influence on climate, even more limited than suggested by the IPCC attribution calculations.

  179. dikranmarsupial says:

    It is also somewhat incoherent to advocate for integrity in scientific research and then misrepresent the position of those you disagree with, in the same twitter conversation. AFAICS this is just what Prof. Curry did when she said that the “IPCC consensus crowd” (rather partisan) regards internal climate variability as not relevant in their projections, which as I pointed out, clearly is not the case.

    angech wrote:

    “It seems a bit rich to win either way.
    If ECS is high we all fry.
    If it is low we all fry.”

    I don’t think anybody is saying that.

  180. Andrew Dodds says:

    angech –

    We haven’t fried, but we have had periods such as the late Cretaceous where temperatures around 10-15 degrees higher than today, with sea levels around 200m (yes, 200M, 600 feet) higher, and warm conditions to both poles.

    Imposing such conditions on current human civilization would end it, obviously.

  181. verytallguy says:

    After all we have not fried to date with either high ECS or high variability for 2 billion years.
    Life that is, not humans.

    Angech, if your threshold for action is that all life on earth should be extinguished, then you don’t need to worry about climate change, asteroid strikes, nuclear war, or any conceivable threat whatsoever.

    I would suggest your threshold should be somewhat lower.

  182. JCH says:

    Bjorn Stevens is listed as a coauthor on the upcoming Dessler paper (2.4 to 4.4.) So in Professor Curry speak, that’s one white hat (good) and one black hat (bad). There is a younger scientist who has to keep his mouth shut to keep his family fed. The black helicopters have been seen dispersing enforcers at Max Planck. Solid skepticism built on a solid foundation of abject paranoia is the best kind.

  183. Magma says:

    @ Andrew Dodds

    The extreme mid to late Cretaceous sea levels were likely caused by tectonic factors (widespread rifting with relatively limited collisional tectonics, extensive warm, thin young ocean lithosphere and mid-ocean ridges) as well as the lack of high-latitude ice sheets and thermosteric effect of warm oceans.

    But yes, those conditions would be dire for human civilization as we know it.

  184. BBD says:

    @Magma

    There – you see – it wasn’t CO2.

    [idiot smiley here]

  185. JCH says:

    Surprises, National Research Council, 2002:

    Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises looks at the current scientific evidence and theoretical understanding to describe what is currently known about abrupt climate change, including patterns and magnitudes, mechanisms, and probability of occurrence. It identifies critical knowledge gaps concerning the potential for future abrupt changes, including those aspects of change most important to society and economies, and outlines a research strategy to close those gaps.

    What gets ignored is the study that spawned the discussions of abrupt climate change was about the rapid warming that essentially ended the Younger Dryas. The cooling that started the Younger Dryas was not mentioned as an example of abrupt climate change because it took place over a longer period of time. Today that cooling period is about all that gets discussed as as an example of abrupt climate change. Because surprise cooling is all that is allowed by these folks.

  186. angech says:

    “angech,I think you’re missing the point. The issue is that Judith is arguing that models might be underestimating internally-driven variability and, consequently, is leading to stronger attribution statements than is justified. The problem, though, is that if internally-driven variability is higher than the models suggests, then that would indicate an even higher climate sensitivity, not lower”

    “If ECS is high we all fry.If it is low we all fry. I don’t think anybody is saying that.”

    The statements feel like it though. It is a point I am missing so we will have to accept that “angech does not get it”.
    I have seen this argument numerous times as a corollary, that is that either there is no internal variability to worry about [low IV] hence all heating is due to high ECS, but if IV is high then ECS is even higher.
    there is no room to consider a lower end ECS either way and it feels wrong.

  187. angech,
    Okay, but we have increasing surface temperatures, and increasing ocean heat content, and we have ice that is melting. Virtually all parts of the climate system are accruing energy. So, the question is really can you have a physically plausible that is consistent with the observations but in which climate sensitivity is low, but internal variability is high. The answer, I think, is no.

  188. Joshua says:

    angech –

    …. but stating and showing neutrality

    How does Judith show neutrality?

    The fact that you are willing and able to stand up for scientific integrity…

    How does she stand up for scientific integrity?

  189. Greg Robie says:

    That us an important question, but to the degree 2°C is an economic number, not a scientific one, is anyone standing up for science? (Or my attempt to expand on the point that the existence of motivated reasoning as a neurological adaptation of our species – which we cannot exist without – tends to make far too many ‘conflicts’ a nobody-is-right-when-everybody-is-[differently]-wrong thing.)

    In the case of winner-takes-all oneupmanship of the male conversational style, the way paradoxical way forward is both counterintuitive and no ‘fun’!

    Instructive irony? Revisit johnrussell40’s initial comment in this post’s comment section. Is the word, motivated reasoning? 😉

  190. verytallguy says:

    there is no room to consider a lower end ECS either way and it feels wrong.

    Alas, the laws off physics care not one jot for feelings, yours or anyone else’s.

    And yes, it does make a low ECS unlikely. That’s exactly what researchers in the field think.

  191. Joshua says:

    With respect to the rhetoric of certain ” (un)motivated” saviors of public trust in scientists (by virtue of those saviors’ valiant self-sacrifice in speaking truth to the power of the “activist-scientist” instead community), it seems that perhaps envisioning that rhetoric as the last line of defense of “scientific integrity” might just reflect a tad of alarmism (or, dare say, confirmation bias?)

    A very strong majority of Americans (81%) cannot name a living scientist, more than two-thirds (67%) cannot name an institution, company or organization where medical or health research is conducted, and less than a quarter (21%) know that medical research is conducted in all 50 states.

    https://m.phys.org/news/2018-01-americans-attitudes-science-high-confidence.html

  192. JCH says:

    there is no room to consider a lower end ECS either way and it feels wrong.

    The only way internal variability can cause both a global MWP that is theoretically warmer than today and a frigid Little Ice Age is for the climate to be highly sensitive radiative perturbations. What other way is there to climb to the top of the mountain and the bottom of the valley than physics?

    Magic? Gawd? Flubber?

    The way I see it, some place on earth would have to get astoundingly hot, and some place else astoundingly cold, at the same time, to ratchet the surface of the earth to those extremes.

  193. Joshua says:

    Oh, right. This too:

    More than half of Americans agree that scientists should play a major role in shaping public policy in many areas, not only in medical and health research, but also in education (58%), infrastructure (55%) and national defense (51%). The public overwhelmingly (82%) considers scientists trustworthy spokespersons for science, far above elected officials and the media. This level of trust includes an expectation that scientists will be the primary messengers for scientific issues, even those with policy implications.

    Seems to me that the rhetoricoabout protecting “scientific integrity” is mostly a just-so story that “skeptics,” among others, tell themselves to advance their identity-protective/identity-defensive agenda.

    But I’m open to evidence of otherwise. Funny, that Judith and her army of white nights don’t present evidence to justify their alarm about the “public crises” in science that results from those integrity deficient “activist-scientists.”

    Prolly just a coincidence.

  194. paulski0 says:

    angech,

    …that is that either there is no internal variability to worry about [low IV] hence all heating is due to high ECS, but if IV is high then ECS is even higher.

    I think the fundamental point to make here is that the degree of attribution to human causation doesn’t have much bearing on magnitude of climate sensitivity given the current state of knowledge. As shown by simple energy balance studies, which assume near 100% human attribution, there are a wide range of sensitivities which could produce the observed warming because the forcing is not precisely known. A typical range produced by such studies would be something like 1-4.5K for “ECS”. Whether that ECS is 1K or 4.5K the amount attributed to human causation in these studies is exactly the same.

  195. BBD says:

    Are we not a little way past the point now where 1K is considered a plausible lower bound? I was under the (strong) impression that an ECS below 2K is very unlikely.

  196. Steven Mosher says:

    “> I should have been more clear. Wind the tape back to the 60s.

    Again, a good idea:

    (J1) Activists are hippies.
    (J2) Judy is not a hippie.
    (J3) Therefore Judy’s not an activist.

    Spot the affirmation of the consequent.”

    Wrong Tape.

    1. Judith Grew up in the 60s
    2. In The 60s Activist referred to People who, you know, took action as opposed to
    mreley “thinking” or writing.
    3. A good place to start in trying to understand Judith would be to start with
    a definition of activist that comports with this Speaking/Acting difference.

    This is just standard stuff and it baffles me that people dont get it. I mean you’re like linguistic
    denialists. But I’ll agree for the sake of argument. Activist has never meant and could never mean
    a person who takes action ( protests, marches, signs petitions, does sit ins, acts out,
    ties themselves to trees, monkey wrenches ) we never used the term to distinguish those who
    go beyond merely using their freedom of expression from those who marched, got arrested and went to jail for the cause.

    I get it. Judith is the other, maybe close to us on certain beliefs, but she has crossed the line
    more and more, so basically evil, lending aid and comfort. Any argument will do, in fact we dont even need an argument. Why bother. Its a fight. Attack on all fronts, take no prisoners. The last thing we need is a discussion about whether or not activism and advocacy — however defined–can lead to an erosion of trust, because every word you speak is advocating something and everything you do counts as activism. Since the person raising these issues is an imperfect human we can just focus on that and avoid the real discussion all day long.

  197. verytallguy says:

    whether or not activism and advocacy — however defined–can lead to an erosion of trust

    This works both ways.

    Ethically, how can a scientist whose research reveals a significant threat, ethically *not* advocate action to counter it, or at the least, seek to educate on the nature of the threat, which would in itself destroy trust. . After all, we routinely see climate scientists attending international conferences accused of hypocrisy for their carbon footprints.

    Seems to me there’s a “damned if they, damned if they don’t” to advocacy by climate scientists.

  198. Willard says:

    > In The 60s Activist referred to People who, you know, took action as opposed to
    mreley “thinking” or writing.

    As I said, hippies. The very tape I laid out. Easy enough to understand.

    Calling out people online, keeping open backchannels with Rupert’s right-wing media empire and with Lamar’s oil-funded offices can’t be portrayed as merely “thinking” or writing anymore.

    Judy’s quite actively doing the little things so that Hulme’s Doctrine obtains: she’s the INTEGRITY ™ champion for the Contrarian Matrix.

    Which means I won our bet a little while ago, BTW.

  199. Steven Mosher says:

    “We can predict what will come next: Judy acknowledging that she’s an activist, but that she’s not an advocate. We can also predict that after a few rounds of ClimateBall, Judy will acknowledge that she may be an advocate, but not a policy advocate, or something along these lines. All this has been rehearsed over and over again before.”

    As I said many times I’d rather start by seeing is she has defined something that is cogent
    RATHER THAN
    examing her behavior to see if she actually follows the guidelines.

    A: I’m A christian
    B: Whats that mean.
    A: It means you do things like care for the poor.
    B: I saw you kick a poor guy in the teeth, youre not a christian

    Faced with that there are of course many moves:

    A) Ya, I’m not perfect, but it doesnt change the definition of Christain
    A) He flashed me for chrissakes, there are exceptions
    A) I’m a hypocrit and liar and special pleader, but it doesnt change my definition

    And she has already argued that she is an advocate (VOTE)
    rather than a policy advocate ( VOTE TRUMP)

    That’s an interesting distinction that nobody wants to discuss, because the order of the day is a ritual beating.

  200. Joshua says:

    3. A good place to start in trying to understand Judith would be to start with
    a definition of activist that comports with this Speaking/Acting difference.

    A good way to understand Judith is that her definition of “activist” results from her “motivated reasoning,” so as to confirm a bias and advance her own partisan climate change agenda.

    I would argue that Judith’s definition has nothing particularly to do with when she grew up (i.e., many who grew up during the same period have a completely different definition than the one she made up to elevate her own ideological status and denigrate that of others).

    Just-so evolution stories (of definitions of “activist”) are just so.

  201. Steven Mosher says:

    “As I said, hippies. The very tape I laid out. Easy enough to understand.”

    Err no.

    Hippies were not activists. They smoked pot, dropped acid and rolled in the mud.
    Activists blew shit up

  202. Steven Mosher says:

    Hippy activist is not redundant.

  203. Joshua says:

    The last thing we need is a discussion about whether or not activism and advocacy — however defined–can lead to an erosion of trust,..

    Perhaps such a discussion is worthwhile it isn’t merely an exercise in motivated reasoning. The first step towards controlling for such an exercise, perhaps, is to make your arguments evidence-based.

  204. BBD says:

    The last thing we need is a discussion about whether or not activism and advocacy — however defined–can lead to an erosion of trust, because every word you speak is advocating something and everything you do counts as activism. Since the person raising these issues is an imperfect human we can just focus on that and avoid the real discussion all day long.

    Ah. The ‘real discussion’. That would be the one where you (and I do mean you, Steven) carefully invent a picture in which ‘noble cause corruption’ and advocacy ‘erode trust’ in climate science. You are most transparent at times, in your advocacy for climate scientists to STFU.

  205. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    Mosher:

    A good place to start in trying to understand Judith would be to start with…

    Good God.
    Steven Mosher has been coaching the ignorant rabble through his own personal program of Judith Curry Studies for years now. Don’t he ever get tired of hand-waving at hand-waving?

    If Curry cannot make herself understood, too bad, so sad. Her loss, not anyone else’s.

    Here’s Curry’s most-current:

    Scientific scepticism about AGW was alive and well prior to 1995; took a nose-dive following publication of the Second Assessment Report, and then was was dealt what was hoped to be a fatal blow by the Third Assessment Report and the promotion of the Hockey Stick.

    A rather flimsy edifice for a convincing, highly-confident attribution of recent warming to humans.

    Yeah, flimsy edifice. House of cards. Castle built on sand.

    Reading Curry’s pronouncements on scepticism is rather like reading Steven Mosher’s pronouncements on Curry.

  206. Magma says:

    After all, we routinely see climate scientists attending international conferences accused of hypocrisy for their carbon footprints.
    Seems to me there’s a “damned if they, damned if they don’t” to advocacy by climate scientists. — verytallguy

    Positions for climate skeptics of the “we don’t affect climate but if we do so what?” school

    A. Climate scientists travelling to international conferences are complete hypocrites who should be mocked and ignored.
    B. Climate scientists refusing to travel to international conferences are crazed fanatics who would put us back in the Dark Ages and who should be mocked and ignored.
    C. There is no C.

  207. Willard says:

    > Hippies were not activists.

    Not all “hippies” were hippies either. Neither the hippies punched via good ol’ hippie punching are always hippies. Hippies is a good prototype for whoever Freedom Fighters punch.

    Language is a social art.

  208. angech says:

    Joshua says:
    “The last thing we need is a discussion about whether or not activism and advocacy — however defined–can lead to an erosion of trust,”. ” Perhaps such a discussion is worthwhile it isn’t merely an exercise in motivated reasoning. The first step towards controlling for such an exercise, perhaps, is to make your arguments evidence-based.”

    The first step might be trust.
    A bit like those Japanese games.
    First step often the last.

    “After all, we routinely see climate scientists attending international conferences accused of hypocrisy for their carbon footprints.
    Seems to me there’s a “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” to advocacy by climate scientists.”

    Advocacy is flying to conferences?
    Surely not.
    Advocacy is what you do at said conferences.
    Hypocrisy ?
    Perhaps if it is settled science.
    No more hypocritical than driving a car or using electricity and products made from use of electricity. Over rated issue really. It is where we go from here that matters.

  209. izen says:

    @-SM
    “And she has already argued that she is an advocate (VOTE)
    rather than a policy advocate ( VOTE TRUMP)
    That’s an interesting distinction that nobody wants to discuss, because the order of the day is a ritual beating.”

    I think it has already been covered.
    What ever JC may argue she is doing, the actual use and effect of here actions is defined by the company she keeps.

    Claiming the IPCC should be abolished because it is engages in coercive group-think may be defined by JC as protecting the integrity of science.
    But Lamar, Murdoch and the Heritage foundation are not concerned with scientific integrity, only with anything that supports an ABC conclusion that absolves fossil fuel commodification from culpability for environmental damage.

    JC looks like the Kenneth Mundt or Dr Valberg (from the tobacco wars) of climate change. Perhaps sincere, but used by others.

  210. Greg Robie says:

    To what degree does the “Being wicked” post focus on the wrong problem relative to this post and its comment thread relative to motivated reasoning? Didn’t Izen’s editing of my first comment in this thread narrow the points and audiences I targeted to such that it made sense in this post’s context: the “ritual beating” power-over thing regarding a perception of JC’s affect?

    In my experience, if the problem being debated is a symptom, rather than #TheProblem, perceived conflicts easily become “wicked”, in a political sense; unsolvable within the perceive constraints that inform such perceptions.

    As I suggested before, and the unfolding exponential rate of species extinction indicates, the collapse of our irrationally trusted economic meme, in conjunction with a functional, if not actual, extinction of our species within our Anthropocene resolves the “wicked” problem rather elegantly … in terms of simplicity.

    So, as a though exercise, and concerning a more unifying statement of #TheProblem in the context of power defined as power-with, any [un]motivated reasoning thoughts on this one:

    The globalized economic meme is not serving humanity well.

    !END

    sNAILmALEnotHAIL …but pace’n myself

    https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCeDkezgoyyZAlN7nW1tlfeA

    life is for learning so all my failures must mean that I’m wicked smart

    >

  211. Joshua says:

    angech +

    The first step might be trust.
    A bit like those Japanese games.

    So in the absence of evidence that “advocate scientists” are creating a “crisis” in public trust in science, and in the face of evidence that’s not what is happening, I should just “trust” Judith when she says that’s what’s happening?

  212. izen says:

    @-Greg Robie
    “The globalized economic meme is not serving humanity well.”

    Since the globalised economic meme, along with industrialisation, took off the global population has increased from ~1 billion to ~7.5 billion. It is unclear that more people is a bad thing.

    Most of that population increase are living a far superior quality of life, (food shelter sanitation) than 90% of the 1 billion before global trade and industry enable that population growth.

    Educational levels are far higher amoung this expanded population than they ever were when fuedalism and theocracy were the dominant form of governance.

    Capitalism is far more accommodating to innovation, because it might have a financial benefit, than more conservative social systems. Although there is always a problem with established business opposing innovations that might replace them.

    Opponents of the global Capitalist meme can always point to the harms it causes, and bemoan the displacement of ‘traditional’ forms of society. But it is very difficult to find any historical example of a social order OTHER than global trade that confers the obvious benefits.

    Alternatives just have not managed to come close. Compare the Hanseatic league with the Spanish empire ~1500.

  213. John Hartz says:

    izen: According to a recent survey, 97% of the species inhabiting the Earth’s biosphere do not believe that the increase in the hmo sapiens population from 1 billion to 7.5 billion was a positive step forward.

  214. izen says:

    @-John Hartz
    “According to a recent survey, 97% of the species inhabiting the Earth’s biosphere…”

    Around 90% of the species inhabiting the biosphere are bacteria and single-celled plants.
    Most of the rest are beetles.

    I suspect the 3% in favour were domesticated animals and plants. Rice, wheat and pigs would be rare without human intervention.

  215. Greg Robie says:

    =) Izen! But…

    & my bias comes from interring corpses for about 15 years and this data:

    1. all were dead.
    2. none took any of the material “obvious [personal?] benefits” with them (though, on average, each had taken longer to not do so; to squander any health benefits globalized industrial afforded them).
    3. none left the planet more sustainable for life than they found it (or maybe knowing more and more about less and less until one knows everything about nothing isn’t really an education that makes one sapient?)

    So now, and seriously:

    It sounds like the possibility that CapitalismFail fails us, as a more unifying framing of #TheProblem around which scientific progress can be advocated and advanced concerning anthropogenic behavior fails the blink test; that as a framework for interfacing with JC’s affect, a tried and trusted power-over approach, is our as-good-as-it-gets; that the 1°C scientific guardrail should have yielded to the economic 2°C target that science has since been funded to justify; that a carbon tax should be advocated for with respect to the Paris Agreement framing in spite of the fact that one of the few ‘it is agreed’ of that document locks in carbon offsets trading with no cap, and limits the role science will play to vetting the efficacy of these offsets. Is this correct? If so is there more?

    While I stop, wait, and listen:

    The embedded poem got moderated as a comment here at ATTP relative to another post. This inspired me to turn it into this collage concerning the problems/”opportunities” called, in German (2007 word of the year), klimakatastrophe (so, thx Willard!). If the Greeks could figure out that humanity’s positive characteristics were in short supply in the Bronze Age, does a trust in power as power-over, not power-with, continue to, thanks to motivated reasoning, use a [trusted] thinking that creates a problem to imagine a[n untrustworthy] solution?

  216. Ragnaar says:

    It’s been brought up about Curry’s recent early attribution comments.

    Bad advocate – Good advocate

    Using science to push policy when the science isn’t there to support the goals.

    Pointing out the weak connection between the science and the goals.

    Which is advocating for being smart.

    Here’s one run for one person on Google Scholar:

    https://judithcurry.com/2018/01/03/manufacturing-consensus-the-early-history-of-the-ipcc/#comment-864068

    I am maintaining until someone can get through to me that the IPCC’s TCR does not reconcile with their attribution. Confidence for attribution is much higher than for the TCR. A story of this is what we did, with relatively limited knowledge of what happens.

  217. Ragnaar,

    I am maintaining until someone can get through to me that the IPCC’s TCR does not reconcile with their attribution.

    I don’t follow. I think the TCR range (1K to 2.5K) is consistent with it being extremely likely that more than 50% of the observed warming since 1950 was anthropogenic.

  218. Ragnaar says:

    aTTP:

    “…transient climate response (TCR) which is estimated with high confidence (8 out of 10) to be likely (>66%) between 1°C and 2.5°C and extremely unlikely to be greater than 3°C.”

    Attribution is best explained by Schmidt with his bell curve plot at about 110%. Which shows 95% of the area between .75 and 1.50 or 75% to 150% slightly rounded by me. With 95% confidence.

    The TCR’s range is relatively bigger and its confidence level lower. What is confusing is 8 of 10 and 66%. Multiply the two for 53%. What is also confusing is clearness of the confidence percentages in AR4 that were lost in some cases with AR5.

    I concede that recently the two overlap. It is harder for me to concede that what we know can be less certain than what we did.

  219. Ragnaar,
    If you think in terms of the TCR then I think you would also need to incorporate the uncertainties in the forcing, which may then reconcile the TCR and attribution statement.

  220. Ragnaar,
    For example if the likely range (66%) for TCR is 1K to 2.5K and the change in anthropogenic forcing since 1950 is 1.3W/m^2 to 2.1W/m^2, then that would give an extremely likely range of anthropogenic warming since 1950 of 0.35K to 1.4K. Certainly consistent with it being extremely likely that more than 50% since 1950 is anthropogenic.

  221. Ragnaar says:

    310 ppm to 400 ppm increase of 30%

    (1 to 2.5) X 30% with 66% confidence

    0.30 C to 0.75 C – What we get

    What we got using GISS 1950 to 2013 – 0.8 C

    From 0.30 to 0.40 is possible and the 1/6 of the distribution on the left is in play too as that’s less than 0.30.

    So when we say that 0.30 might be what we get and it might be less with 1/6 of the population being less than 0.30.

    Everything less than 0.30 invalidates their attribution statement and added to that is the percentage associated with the range 0.30 – 0.39. But it doesn’t invalidate to the extent the 95% confidence level has 2.5% in the low tail. So if we spitball this, change, 0.30 – 0.39 to 0.30 – 0.35.

    It may well be, that I still don’t understand what the TCR is.

    Assume I am a policymaker and want to know, This leads to This. Doubling of CO2 gives us what on this certain time frame. Give me an idea of how these economic calculations work. What is the key driving number? I want a number to base decisions on.

    Numbers in play are attribution, TCR and ECS. Of what value are such numbers? To the extent you can apply them to policy and a step further, to the extent they are applied. I had a numbers that said gays should be able to marry. Heck of lot that good that did for the 70s, 80s, 90s and so on. I have numbers that say the fossil fuel combustion has material external costs. Until they are applied… I think attribution is difficult to apply. Load the program, where to input attribution?

  222. izen says:

    @-ragnaar
    “Numbers in play are attribution, TCR and ECS. Of what value are such numbers? ”

    TCR and ECS are reified metrics derived from climate modelling. They are of limited value in any policy debate beyond enabling the argument that the worst effects of climate change wont be globally evident until after you are dead. This may be less convincing when local effects (hurricanes, droughts and extreme winter storms) are topical issues.

    Attribution, as with other damage from products (tobbaco, asbestos, Lead, CFCs, DDT…) is always disputed and lobby groups attempt to cast doubt on any scientific result.

    But the problem is always that there are unequivical observations, OHC, sea level rise, ice mass balance, (cancer rates, O3 depletion) that are beyond explanation except by a known phyisical causation. The radiative transfer properties of CO2 for climate change and O3 destruction by halogen catalysts or the carcinogenic chemistry of tobbaco smoke.

    Casting doubt on the attribution always involves looking for procedural quibbles about the uncertainty, or speculating on alternative causation.

    The observed warming requires explanation, you concede 0.8C, and presumably the associated OHC and all the consilient observations.
    We have a physical explanation for 110% of this rise in the enhanced GHE.

    If uncertainty in the forcings could be ~30% then then the attribution could range from 70% CO2 – plus 30% unknown forcing; or 130% CO2 and 30% negative unicorns.

    Policy in response to such attribution, judging by past examples, will be minimal until economic interests have exhausted all attempts to obfuscate, cast doubt and dispute the science.

  223. I wonder how Prof. Curry would view the “March for Science”, political activism (they are trying to influence policy)? Who are they excluding?

    I don’t think it is possible to cleanly divide between campaigning for evidence based policy making (scientific integrity in politics?) in general and campaigning for particular policies in areas where the policy making clearly isn’t evidence based (e.g. withdrawing from the Paris agreement). Clearly some of those taking part in the march clearly had specific scientific questions in mind, climate change being quite prominent.

  224. Ragnaar,
    I think you need to consider the actual change in forcing, not simply the percentage change in atmospheric CO2. Remember that the response is logarithmic and goes as

    \Delta F = 5.35 \ln \left( \dfrac{C}{C_o}\right),

    where \Delta F is the change in forcing, C is the new atmospheric concentration, and C_o is the original concentration. So, for your numbers

    \Delta F = 5.35 \ln \left( \dfrac{400}{310} \right) = 1.4 W/m^2.

    The TCR is the change in temperature due to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 and which occurs at the point in time when CO2 has doubled. A doubling of CO2 produces a change in forcing of F_{2xCO2} = 3.7W/m^2. So, if you know the change in forcing, then the temperature change will be

    \Delta T = \dfrac{\Delta F}{F_{2xCO2}} TCR.

    So, for a TCR range of 1K to 2.5K, that suggests a temperature change (since 1950) of 0.37K to 0.95K. However, you have to be careful as to what this range really is, because there is also an uncertainty in the change in forcing.

  225. Greg Robie says:

    =) Izen! But… (& assuming that retrospective report card was humor)

    & my bias comes from interring corpses for about 15 years and this data:

    1. all were dead. 2. none took any of the material “obvious [personal?] benefits” with them (though, on average, each had taken longer to not do so; to squander any health benefits a globalized Industrial Age afforded them). 3. none left the planet more sustainable for life than they found it (…or maybe knowing more and more about less and less until one knows everything about nothing isn’t really an education that makes one sapient?)

    So now, and if serious:

    It sounds like the possibility that CapitalismFail fails us, as a more unifying framing of #TheProblem around which scientific progress can be advocated and advanced concerning anthropogenic behavior, fails the blink test; that as a framework for interfacing with JC’s affect, a tried and trusted power-over approach, is our as-good-as-it-gets; that the 1°C scientific guardrail should have yielded to the economic 2°C target that science has since been funded to justify; that a carbon tax should be advocated for with respect to the Paris Agreement framing in spite of the fact that one of the few ‘it is agreed’ of that document locks in carbon offsets trading with no cap, and limits the role science will play to vetting the efficacy of these offsets. Is this correct? If so, is there more?

    While I stop, wait, and listen:

    The embedded poem got moderated as a comment here at ATTP relative to another post. This inspired me to turn it into this collage concerning the problems/”opportunities” called, in German (2007 word of the year), klimakatastrophe (so, thx Willard!). If the Greeks could figure out that humanity’s positive characteristics were in short supply by the Bronze Age, does a trust in GREED-as-go[]d power as power-over, not power-with, continue to, thanks to motivated reasoning, use a [trusted] thinking that is not too street-smart, and creates a problem, to imagine a[n untrustworthy] solution?

    !END

    sNAILmALEnotHAIL …but pace’n myself

    https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCeDkezgoyyZAlN7nW1tlfeA

    life is for learning so all my failures must mean that I’m wicked smart

    >

  226. Ragnaar says:

    “Attribution, as with other damage from products (tobacco, asbestos, Lead, CFCs, DDT…) is always disputed and lobby groups attempt to cast doubt on any scientific result.”

    Which is to follow the path of plaintiff’s attorneys where ‘science’ is used to punish big business. A judge and a jury arbitrate the science. And peers are not other scientists but normal people listening to lawyers. Then attribution is about money and blame. A means to an end. Pick up this science, and hit a corporation with it.

    With further reflection of numbers that are applied:

    Facebook algorithms

    Your W-2

    The price of gasoline

    Interest rates

    Sales tax collections

    The corporate tax rate

    The math that stabilizes a Falcon rocket in the first 60 seconds of flight.

    I’d say there are many examples of numbers being applied to policy and influencing actions. I’d suggest climate science has a big pile of numbers, over there, that few understand. They are all mushed together to communicate, something needs to be done. If the numbers obtained coherency, they might guide rational policies. The similar Charney argument should illustrate the failure to reach coherency.

    Coherent numbers can drive profitable energy exploration, extraction and use. Numbers that are fuzzy and weak and include feelings of guilt and retribution may have limited value.

  227. Ragnaar says:

    aTTP:

    It’s logarithmic. And I can only go to the numbers are about 25% more.

    You:

    .37 to .95

    Me:

    .30 to .75

    And this narrows my argument. Leaving about the 1/6 of the distribution below ½ of the GISS number of 0.8 C since about 1950.

    I am reading that the IPCC’s TCR allows for as low as 0.37 C in this time frame encompassing 66% of the distribution.

    My argument is now, there is a 1/6th chance their definition of TCR is inconsistent with their attribution. This is because about 1/6th of the distribution falls below 0.37 C which is about half of what we got. This is supposed to mean, that half of the warming could have been natural if the TCR is as low as to have caused only 0.37 C of warming. (GISS shows about 0.80 since 1950.)

    Somehow my brain wants to attack their attribution that has 95% confidence with this 1/6th. I consider both statements banner statements for policymakers. So I don’t see a 95% confidence level when the other statement has a 1/6th of making the 95% confident statement wrong.

    We’ve all seen the Schmidt attribution distribution. Overlay the TCR distribution on that. I don’t have the knowledge to do that.

    Let’s put on the tinfoil hat. The TCR has resisted refinement (AR4 to AR5 is noted) and is the harder science. Attribution has not resisted refinement as much and is the softer science. So we have 2 kinds of scientists. Harder and softer ones. Perhaps it is this alleged split between the 2 types that is playing out. And attacks on attribution may be more nuanced and possibly appeal to the harder scientists.

  228. izen says:

    @-Greg Robie
    “But… (& assuming that retrospective report card was humor)”

    I try and avoid humour about trivial matters. As a key component of sentience it should be reserved for serious issues.

    @-“3. none left the planet more sustainable for life than they found it”

    That rather depends on the definitions of ‘sustainable’ and ‘life’.
    In the long view, major extinction events are followed by massive increases in biological diversity. Perhaps this is despite, rather than because of extinction events; that there is an inherent trend for biological systems to gain complexity and diversity.

    @-“…that a carbon tax should be advocated for with respect to the Paris Agreement framing in spite of the fact that one of the few ‘it is agreed’ of that document locks in carbon offsets trading with no cap…”

    ?
    I struggle to parse this paragraph.
    Personally I would regard the Paris agreement as political ‘Greenwash’. Carbon tax, or trading offsets have failed in the past to alter tobacco and sugar consumption when similar methods have been applied. I suspect it would have been an ineffective method of reducing CFCs compared to the global agreement of a ban.
    The recent agreement by the major players to avoid fishing in the Arctic is a much more positive sign that there is a global acknowledgement that adaption is required, even if mitigation is still opposed.

    @-“If the Greeks could figure out that humanity’s positive characteristics were in short supply by the Bronze Age,…”

    Icarus may have been youthfully foolish, that, not pride caused his downfall. But Daedalus escaped.
    Prometheus was a parent of the Greek gods (a Titan) not human. As with all the other thieves of Fire in human mythology, the act is portrayed as a way to benefit and advance human capability, not greed.
    The reframing of these stories as metaphors of hubris is a later imposition by the European Romantics. Possibly as a reaction to the enlightenment and the transition from deontology.

    I think the hipster fashion for rejecting global trade or ‘CapitalismFail’ is glib, unbalanced and evidence of motivated reasoning.
    To paraphrase Churchill, Global capitalism is the worst form of human social organisation.
    Except for all the others we have tried.

    It is inevitable that the organisation of human society will change over time in a contingent manner. It is very different now to what it was a few generations ago. It is unreasonable to expect it to remain static. But impossible to foresee what those changes will be,
    BY all means push for change and improvement, but not at the expense of discarding the neonate with the washing fluid.

  229. izen says:

    @-ragnaar
    “The TCR has resisted refinement (AR4 to AR5 is noted) and is the harder science. Attribution has not resisted refinement as much and is the softer science.”

    You have this reversed.
    Attribution is the more certain knowledge, the TCR is ‘soft’ and still open to dispute.
    Like the ‘actress’ and the Bishop, we know there is a cost, but can still argue about how much.

  230. Steven Mosher says:

    From the doctor who briefed Congress on trumps craziness..

    “First, I do not reach out to legislators, and I don’t advocate for particular political outcomes. Those are the basics of being an expert consultant. “

  231. Joshua says:

    I don’t advocate for particular political outcomes.

    That may be true for the good doctor. It isn’t true for Judith. Was that your point?

  232. Greg Robie says:

    2X =) izen. My daughter-in-law calls such humor “Dad jokes”. I think such humor’s use is [potentialIly] wise.

    Staying serious though, I hear a request for clarification regarding the efficacy of advocating for a carbon tax in the context of Paris. On a 5th try & among the comments of the “Being wicked” post, there’s a rest-of-the-story of which the relevant :

    “My read of Section III, paragraph 38, subsection (f) of the Paris Agreement is that it ports the cap and trade with offsets of Kyoto into the Paris Agreement. Furthermore, the language in Article 6 describes offsets for cap and trade in everything but name. In addition, my read of the framing of support for “non-market” approaches to mitigation and adaptation is such that this to is to be vetted within the construct of the mechanism of Cap & Trade w/ Offsets. (Section III, paragraph 40 & 41; Article 6, paragraphs 8 & 9). The guidelines for this are to be based on the recommendations of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice. Incorporating this work into the COP framework brought into force under the Paris Agreement is explicit: “The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement shall adopt rules, modalities and procedures for the mechanism referred to in paragraph 4 of this Article at its first session.” (Section III, paragraph 40; Article 6, paragraph 7). Only the unanticipated ‘early’ ratification of the Agreement had this first session remaining open. This business of finalizing the details/rules for a cap & trade with offsets and no cap is [all but] inevitable.”

    In term of the physics – as I’ve come to understand how things are framed and interact – I concur with you regarding the greenwash label for Paris … though I find it more interesting to look at it as brilliant game theory implementation for Wall Street/The Square Mile/CapitalismFail. In addition, within the construct of Paris, the thinking leading to an advocacy of either approach as a mechanism that will have scientific significance is structured to fail; is motivated reasoning. And, if I’m reading correctly, Paris precludes the carbon tax – except on a national level. With globalized financial markets, the sovereignty is lost for doing national stuff that bets against the Fed.

    Since my intent, regarding my use of the term CapitalismFail, is to [preponderantly unsuccessfully] provoke a conversation about it as our trusted and functional religion, I’d ask that you consider my use as something other than “glib”. But I do appreciate the motivated reasoning critique. I know I do it, I know I am challenged to know when I’m doing it, and I need the perspective of others to have the simplest shot at seeing my shadow side.

    With this as context, and given the argument made for CapitalismFail in both this comment and the previous, I feel like I just saw a repurposed ClimateBall bounce by. 😉 If not, then motivated reasoning … but it is important to have a shared definition of sustainable.

    In the power-as-power-with RedPillReal, humanity’s extinction is all but impertinent. Such is a tough sell for those who religiously valve an extra decade or three on this third rock from the sun over the viability of this rock as a place to hide with our shortage of positive characteristics (mythology blame this deficit on E, who, in turn got hooked up with Pandora who in tern, was created clever and complex enough to get men to accept that they are always wrong…whether they are around to say so or not! 😉

    sNAILmALEnotHAIL …but pace’n myself https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCeDkezgoyyZAlN7nW1tlfeA

    life is for learning so all my failures must mean that I’m wicked smart

    >

  233. Ragnaar says:

    izen:

    A causes B of warming is the TCR.

    What caused B(total) (all of the warming)? A number of things including A.

    I am saying the uncertainties related to A must transfer into B(total) at least as much as A’s weight versus B’s weight.

    We could work in the other direction from the more certain attribution to the less certain TCR. This assumes the two must reconcile with some margins of error.

  234. Steven Mosher says:

    the point is obvious.
    im not discussing judith.
    go back and read harder

  235. BBD says:

    Ragnaar

    Modern warming is *all* anthropogenic and mainly CO2. Nothing else changed anywhere NEAR enough to account for the observed warming.

  236. BBD says:

    teven

    the point is obvious.
    im not discussing judith.
    go back and read harder

    No, it isn’t. Perhaps you could muster up the good grace to unpack your remarks when asked nicely?

  237. John Hartz says:

    Ragnaar: For more details about the validity of BBD’s statement, Modern warming is *all* anthropogenic and mainly CO2., see:

    Analysis: Why scientists think 100% of global warming is due to humans by Zeke Hausfather, Carbon Brief, Dec 13, 2017

  238. Ragnaar says:

    My argument is not that we haven’t caused 110% of the warming. It’s reconciling the TCR with the attribution. From the attribution link:

    https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-why-scientists-think-100-of-global-warming-is-due-to-humans

    GHG for only1 sigma is about 0.55 to 1.65 C. The OA is also given a wide range. And then the Orange seems to be attribution that some how narrows the sigma range from these two broad ranges. The two broad ranges has climate accountants adding stuff up and assigning error bounds to those. Then summing everything to the bottom line and presto, the error bounds tighten up. I don’t get it.

    Let me try this. Your revenues are from X to 3X. Your expenses are from Y to 3Y. Your net income is X to 3X minus Y to 3Y and this is Z.

    Z has a range of from 0.95 Z to 1.05Z. And I am 95% confident of that.

    I see a broader range for quite material things. And I see these broad ranges going away for now reason that I don’t understand.

  239. BBD says:

    Sigh.

    Modern warming is *all* anthropogenic and mainly CO2. Nothing else changed anywhere NEAR enough to account for the observed warming.

    Where’s the evidence for an alternative forcing sufficient to account for observed warming. NOWHERE is where. All the evidence – not some, not most, *all* of it – points squarely at >100% anthro attribution. Arguing against this isn’t scepticism, it is denialism.

  240. verytallguy says:

    Ragnaar,

    I agree with you; it is confusing.

    I had an interaction with Gavin Schmidt at real climate on the same point. It may help you.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/08/ipcc-attribution-statements-redux-a-response-to-judith-curry/comment-page-2/#comment-589707

    That was back in the day when people still held out hope of Judith making sense on technical issues.

  241. Maybe I misunderstood Ragnaar’s question. I think I also tried to explain it here. The relevant bit is this

    If we consider the anthropogenic contributions only, then it is possible that they could provide much more warming than is observed. However, when the natural/internal variability contributions are also considered, it seems unlikely – if this were the case – that these could provide sufficient cooling to then match the observed warming. Similarly, considering anthropogenic contributions only, it is possible that they could have produced much less warming than is observed. It is, however, unlikely that the natural/internal variability contribution could then provide sufficient warming to explain the observed warming. Hence, by combining all the possible contributions, one can constrain the anthropogenic influence much more tightly than if one were to consider the anthropogenic contribution alone.

  242. Ragnaar says:

    GHG +- OA = ANT

    (0.9 +- 0.5) – (0.2 +- 0.3) = ANT

    (0.9 +- 0.5) – (0.2 +- 0.3) = 0.7 +- 0.1

    Since we have GHG and OA we can better constrain. Why is that?

    Here’s what I think is going on:
    Observations are nailed to ANT and ANT steals that 95% confidence level. We can adjust both GHG and OA to get back to where we started which is ANT.

    Working this direction answers the question, What happened (attribution)? And then constructs what happens (GHG and OA) to agree with that.

    When this is done, changing GHG must change OA to stay at 0.7 +- 0.1. Which is to say, whatever GHG is we know what OA is in this specific case. So if GHG is up 25%, OA lowers by a proportional amount. So attribution is now usable to describe the relationship between two things. Or backwards, the relationship between two things defines attribution.

    So while both GHG and OA have broad 1 sigma ranges, whatever they really are is tied tightly by this attribution number.

    How do we know that since about 1950, most other things cancel each other out and the explanation is some combination of these not constrained enough things? Because it can be nothing else. We have no other explanation, and in that case we have our 95% confidence interval.

  243. Ragnaar,
    I’m not really following your argument, but I think the reason that the overall ANT distribution has a narrower range than the GHG and OA ranges is because it depends on the anthropogenic AND the natural influences, and this allows us to constrain the overall anthropogenic contribution more tightly than if we used only GHG and OA.

  244. Ragnaar says:

    I don’t seem to having much luck with this. Let’s say this:
    (0.9 +- 0.5) – (0.2 +- 0.3) = 0.7 +- 0.1
    is a fair way to describe things. The question is, Is it true? And then what math explains how it can be true?

  245. Ragnaar,
    I don’t think that is the correct way to do the error analysis.

  246. izen says:

    @-ragnaar
    “Let’s say this:
    (0.9 +- 0.5) – (0.2 +- 0.3) = 0.7 +- 0.1
    is a fair way to describe things. ”

    You STILL have things reversed.
    The observations are the most well constrained, so
    0.7 +-0.1 is the ‘known’ part.

    The influence of CO2 is less wel constrained so,
    Obs(0.7 +- 0.1) = CO2(0.9+-0.2?)

    Natural variation, (Nv) is the least well defined so,
    Obs(0.7 +- 0.1) = CO2(0.9+-0.2?) + Nv(0 +-0.3??)

    Do you see how the observations constrain both the uncertainty and the possible contribution of CO2 and internal variation to the observations ?

  247. Ragnaar says:

    “Observed temperatures are shown in black, while the sum of human forcings is shown in orange.- Zeke

    (0.9 +- 0.5) – (0.2 +- 0.3) = 0.7 +- 0.1

    The sum. I do think I have the direction correct. It goes from left to right. While reversing the direction does make things more agreeable.

    I think it relies on, It couldn’t be anything else when the main driver is (0.9 +- 0.5).

    It couldn’t be anything else, is not math. So the math is not working for me as two poorly constrained inputs cannot show a more constrained result.

    Now has Zeke misstated things?

    https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-why-scientists-think-100-of-global-warming-is-due-to-humans

    The orange bar is the sum with a small range.

    0.7 +- 0.1 is the sum of: (0.9 +- 0.5) – (0.2 +- 0.3)

    I think if we had to answer, we’d say no. Has to be, is not math. When there are material uncertainties such as (0.9 +- 0.5), I don’t like, has to be.

  248. izen says:

    @-ragnaar
    “I do think I have the direction correct. It goes from left to right. While reversing the direction does make things more agreeable.”

    The direction you read it is not the issue, if you were jewish you would read it from right to left.
    And the diagram you link reads from top to bottom.

    The point is that the OBSERVATIONS, (0.7+-0.1) have the smallest error range, that constrains the possible contributions from the other factors even if the uncertainty for those factors is greater. That is not the ‘agreeable’ way to read it, it is the mathematically correct way to understand it.

    Consider that this is the general understanding shared by ‘everyone’ who has some understanding of this issue. That you are finding it difficult to grasp might be a cognitive defect or motivated reasoning.
    Or both.

  249. Ragnaar says:

    0.7 +- 0.1 is the sum of: (0.9 +- 0.5) – (0.2 +- 0.3)

    a) True but I can’t explain it because while there is addition, but this 5th degree math and it’s pretty complicated

    b) False

    c) It’s not math, but it looks like it, but I can explain why it’s not math

    d) The math of the TS10 is something else but I don’t have that math for you today

    e) It’s math combined with something behind a black curtain

    f) It’s math combined with something not behind a black curtain and here it is

    I think there is truth to what you said in that TS10 reads from top to bottom.
    We know OBS
    Here is GHG
    Our answer is ANT
    So OA is this

    The flaw in the above, Our answer is ANT. Being our answer means it’s a sum, or it’s not a sum or it’s kind of a sum. Or finally, sum in this case lacks the traditional meaning.

    So as I tried to described above, ANT seems to be the relationship between GHG and OA while being our contribution.

  250. BBD says:

    Maybe the RC discussion will help, Ragnaar (my bold):

    The error bars cover the ‘likely’ range (33-66%), so are close to being ±1 standard deviation (except for the observations (5-95%), which is closer to ±2 standard deviations). It is easy enough to see that the ‘ANT’ row (the combination from all anthropogenic forcings) is around 0.7 ± 0.1ºC, and the OBS are 0.65 ± 0.06ºC. If you work that through (assuming normal distributions for the uncertainties), it implies that the probability of the ANT trend being less than half the OBS trend is less than 0.02% – much less than the stated 5% level. The difference is that the less confident statement also takes into account structural uncertainties about the methodology, models and data. Similarly, the best estimate of the ratio of ANT to OBS has a 2 sd range between 0.8 and 1.4 (peak at 1.08). Consistent with this are the rows for natural forcing and internal variability – neither are significantly different to zero in the mean, and the uncertainties are too small for them to explain the observed trend with any confidence. Note that the ANT vs. NAT comparison is independent of the GHG or OA comparisons; the error bars for ANT do not derive from combining the GHG and OA results.

    A subsequent article discusses Judith Curry’s misinterpretation of the AR5 attribution.

  251. Ragnaar says:

    “…the error bars for ANT do not derive from combining the GHG and OA results.”

    “The raw material are the model hindcasts of the historical period – using all forcings, just the natural ones, just the anthropogenic ones and various variations on that theme.”

    The error bars for ANT do derive from doing something, probably the above, the GHG and OA results. How can you have a result not including what GHG and OA do? How can you have results and not use them to drive? GHG and OA do this. What they do will not drive the attribution. Instead we pick unicorns to drive.

    If you go back to the rebuttal, where is the math explaining that since ANT’s error bars do not result from GHG and OA’s error bars, they derive from this. Schmidt points to something over there and doesn’t explain it.

    “Observed temperatures are shown in black, while the sum of human forcings is shown in orange.- Zeke

    I still maintain that a sum of two things with broad error bars cannot result in a number with error bars as low as in this case.

    What can happen is that that a thing with narrow error bars can be broken into two things with broad errors bars. The simplest explanation is the best one.

  252. BBD says:

    I still maintain that a sum of two things with broad error bars cannot result in a number with error bars as low as in this case.

    Then you need to read the thread again.

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