Climate “Scientists”

Thoughts from Judith Curry on motivated reasoning:

…how did I end up taking a different path and ending up in a different place than say Michael Mann, Katherine Hayhoe, or whoever?

First, as a female scientist of my generation, I wasn’t really entrained into the ‘power’ community surrounding climate science, although in the 2000’s I was named to some National Academy and other advisory committees. So my career path wasn’t invested in this kind of ‘power’ climb to influence climate science or public policy. I wasn’t editor of any journals, a lead author for the IPCC, etc. I was more interested in doing my own research. When I went to Georgia Tech in 2002, my main objective was in building a faculty and mentoring them and developing a good educational, professional and personal environment for students. So my career objectives were not really tied up in the ‘AGW enterprise.’

My generation of scientists (60+) have mostly identified as atmospheric scientists (meteorologists), oceanographers, geologists, geographers. By contrast, younger scientists (particularly those receiving Ph.D. since 2000) studying any topic related to climate pretty much have their careers defined by the AGW enterprise. As a percentage, I suspect that a far lower number of 60+ climate scientists are activists (and are more ‘skeptical’), relative to a large percentage of under 50’s (who don’t seem skeptical at all). Somebody outa do a survey.

Second, politically I’m an independent with libertarian leanings, and I have never been particularly aligned with environmental movement (while I highly value clean air and water and species diversity, the environmental movement seems motivated by other issues). I simply don’t have the soul of an ‘activist.’

Third, since my days as a graduate student I have had an abiding interest in philosophy and the social sciences, particularly as related to science.

Fourth, I care more about whether my publications will stand the test of time and contribute to deep understanding, than I care about the ‘wow’ factor, which I regard as transient and leading to nothing but trouble (e.g. Webster et al. 2005).

Fifth, at this stage of my life I can afford to buck the ‘system.’ 20 years ago, when I had a mortgage payment and college tuition to pay, there is no way I would have put myself out on such a controversial limb. There is only so much personal and professional integrity that you can afford, if your job might be at stake.

So that summarizes my personal journey, over the past 14 years, to fight against my own personal biases. Through Climate Etc. I provide resources that I hope others can use to think about, understand and challenge their own biases. Apparently trying to fight against bias in climate science gets you labeled as a ‘denier’, ‘anti-science,’ ‘serial climate disinformer.’ There seems to be no end to the perversions of ‘motivated’ climate science.

Tell me about it.

49 thoughts on “Climate “Scientists””

  1. Everyone thinks their own reasoning is sound, rational and that it’s always the other guy who’s been fooled by biases from their personal history, financial enticements, the foolishness of youth, the arrogance of age etc. etc.

    The only solid defense we have against such human biases, biases we rarely recognize in ourselves, is the scientific method with its emphasis on testability and the challenge of scientific review. The personal opinions of scientists including the above spiel haven’t gone through that system and so should be ignored. Whatever the faults claimed about the peer review process it’s so far better than the alternatives that there are no alternatives.

    So if we ignore all the personal opinions and stick to the peer reviewed literature, the weight of evidence is that anthropogenic GHG forcings are now dominant over natural forcings and that as a result we will see continued warming, the loss of Arctic sea ice, rising sea levels, and greater climate variability (in terms of heat waves and tropical like heavy downpours in the temperate zones) becoming more common.
    I’m not making the call as to whether that all equates to “catastrophic”.

    Obviously there are other claims of catastrophe made that as of now are not supported by peer reviewed literature, if you want to stick to the boring science such claims should not be conflated with the peer reviewed literature. I don’t think anyone who conflates such claims with the real science should be taken seriously in terms of the scientific side of the discussion on AGW.

    So narrowing the discussion down to the material that’s worth something, we have very little peer reviewed material from a tiny number of not retired scientist skeptics amongst the massive amounts of peer reviewed material that the IPCC uses to base its conclusions on.

    1. I get it. You would like to believe that entire fields of science are immune to becoming institutionally corrupt. I would like to believe that too, but the evidence says otherwise. “Peer review” is a meaningless concept when both the journal editors and the assigned reviewers all share an ideological imperative that supercedes their alleged commitment to scientific objectivity.

      That is especially true when this uniformity has been achieved through ruthless and merciless persecution of any dissent from the approved narrative line on the part of past – now ousted – journal editors. Analogous to what Stalin said about votes, “peer review” in which a self-interested and ideologically ruthless clique defines who “peers” are does not yield useful science.

      The fact of the matter is that what passes for “climate science” these days is not so much a separate discipline as an intersection graph of other, older disciplines. Among such disciplines are statistics and computer science. Some of the most valuable “peer review” of climate science work product has been conducted outside of the formal – and now thoroughly corrupt – “peer review” process by people who happen to be expert in these two component fields. It is thanks to them we know about the serial statistical malpractice behind Michael Mann’s fraudulent “hockey stick” graph and the software engineering horrorshows that are climate “models.”

      As with political liberty, unfortunately, the price of valid science is also eternal vigilance. It’s a lot less work to simply accept the voice of authority – that’s what the climate fraudsters count on. Fortunately, there are still those who can distinguish excrement from shoe polish and will say which is which in public.

      1. Fortunately, there are still those who can distinguish excrement from shoe polish and will say which is which in public.

        And for which I now have a case that is going before the Supreme Court (I hope — at least we’ve requested it, along with many other media organizations, while Mann remains amiciless).

      2. There is no coherent science on offer that refutes the mainstream science, papers can easily be published in open access journals, the perennial problem that “skeptics” have is that papers they back are consistently found to be loaded with errors. If there were solid papers out there refuting the mainstream assessment I’ve yet to come across them. Those I’ve seen have been rubbish.

        Mann’s graph has been vindicated by another 20 years of research, but you wouldn’t know that because the blogs you use as your sources are about politics not science.

        “. . there are still those who can distinguish excrement from shoe polish and will say which is which in public.”

        That’s the sort of self-righteous bluster I come across when I come across the opinions of Flat Earthers and other conspiracy theory nutters, all noise no substance.

        1. It’s easy to win the argument when your side controls the definitions, such as of “coherent” science — until the other side challenges those definitions with, you know, observable facts.

          1. The only “sides” are people who stick to the science and the people who think science should be determined by their political preferences, the latter is divided into various subgroups.

        2. I’m sure the 20 years of research validated Mann’s “science”, but the measured data certainly didn’t. Remember the decline they had to hide, along with the pause that went on for so long that students were driving to college in temperatures that were cooler than when they were born?

          How is it that the past keeps cooling with almost each new data set release? Climate scientists even boldly describe their algorithms for automatically cooling past temperature records, and other climate scientists don’t call them on such obvious nonsense for being in gross violation of the laws of physics, since present events can’t possibly affect the past. A large asteroid could shatter the Earth into small pieces and it would have absolutely no effect on the temperature in Kansas in 1933, but the need to maintain government funding apparently does, blissfully changing it by more than the temperature rise they’re insisting will kill us all.

          Truth isn’t necessarily the goal of science, but truth is its singular instrument, and climate science threw it right out the window because it was inconvenient to the narrative. They have been airbrushing history in ways that would make Stalin blush. Any field that would do that has absolutely no connection to real science, no matter how spotless their lab coats are.

          1. “I’m sure the 20 years of research validated Mann’s “science”, but the measured data certainly didn’t. ”

            It does, using many proxies.

            “How is it that the past keeps cooling with almost each new data set release?”

            No, how the skeptics report only on those that cool the past, lots and lots of blogs claiming what you say others claiming the opposite. If you find some actual science on it let me know.
            https://skepticalscience.com/how-data-adjustments-affect-temp-records.html

            “Climate scientists even boldly describe their algorithms for automatically cooling past temperature records, and other climate scientists don’t call them on such obvious nonsense for being in gross violation of the laws of physics, since present events can’t possibly affect the past.”

            You understand that adjustments are made when the time of day the readings are made changes, when stations, change to different sites?

            “Truth isn’t necessarily the goal of science, but truth is its singular instrument, and climate science threw it right out the window because it was inconvenient to the narrative.”

            There’s your problem, a belief that it’s all about politics and money, suddenly the scientists aren’t really interested in science anymore, they’re all part of a huge conspiracy, and you only realize how nuts the flat earthers are (who also need a huge conspiracy to justify their convictions) when you’re not one of them.

          2. You understand that adjustments are made when the time of day the readings are made changes, when stations, change to different sites?

            So moving a site, which is done in the present, somehow sends ripples back in time to change prior temperatures? Please explain how that works. Changing past recorded data to make the narrative work is never valid in science. Ever.

            If a discontinuity exists in a data set, then it exists. To make it otherwise is to have someone tossing out the actual data and substituting their own preferred version of reality. Smoothing things over isn’t good science, nor is averaging and average of an average to remove the signal and substitute a flat line, so that the unsmoothed recent data looks alarming in comparison. Mann did that, as did climate science as a whole.

            This is because they’re climate change deniers. In their worldview, God made the climate a veritable Garden of Eden, with perfect temperatures from creation up until man discovered the sin of fossil fuels, after which things went straight to hell because of our sins. We ignored God’s commandment to live in harmony with nature, and the high priests of climate are going to see to it that we repent and change our ways.

            To support their Eden nonsense, they have to hide the fact that the climate actually bounces all over the place on almost all time scales, and never reaches stability because we’re on a wobbling planet in an elliptical orbit around a chaotic star.

            So, going back to temperature adjustments, what they’re doing is invalid because the instrumental record is naturally a sawtooth.

            A remote site is chosen, untouched by any urbanization or even the presence of a nice stone walkway to the Stevenson screen. Over time human construction starts to intrude, soil slowly builds up around the station’s legs (bringing it closer to ground level), and the recorded temperatures start to drift up. So they move the station to a more remote location. The upward trend was real, though caused by human development. The downward jump is just as real, a response to the problems created by the upward trend. The downward jump has to be left as part of the data or the data becomes garbage.

            But that’s not what they do. Because discontinuities that keep the data valid is inconvenient to their religious views, they splice two upward trends together and get rid of the discontinuity. They don’t just do that once, they do it over and over again, so often that they wrote special code so computers will do it automatically. You might as well stick the data in a blender and hit “puree”.

            Your lawn is an example of a sawtooth waveform. The grass grows all week and then you mow it. The grass height in September is the same as the grass height in March, getting a constant buzz cut to keep it looking nice. They’re removing all the downward discontinuities from mowing and trying to tell the city council that your grass is three feet high and your property should be condemned, presenting a beautiful graph to prove it. Like the official temperature records, that graph would be garbage.

            Human population numbers are also often a sawtooth. We have babies at some nearly constant rate, one that varies slowly based on social changes. And then we have plagues, famines, and wars that sometimes make a huge and sudden downward discontinuity.

            Undoubtedly there are demographers who would find that inconvenient. If they acted like climate scientists, they’d splice the discontinuities out of the population curves and eliminate the bad years of Stalin’s purges, Mao’s leap forward, Vietnam, Pol Pot, or the world wars.

            But if they did that, they’d have to drastically reduce earlier census numbers so that the right end of the population graph agrees with the latest census numbers, creating a situation in which their “scientific” data shows that twice as many people were casting votes in an election a few centuries ago as were alive at the time.

            Climate alarmists would be perfectly fine with that, because they’re perfectly fine with the same invalid techniques being applied to temperature records.

            They prefer politically expedient garbage to truth.

        3. There is no coherent science on offer that refutes the mainstream science

          Well, the chemtrail huffers that believe in the impending climate apocalypse, who claim to rely on the scientific method, never have a good reason that their “science” was wrong so often other than an appeal to morality. Ultimately, the belief of AGW apocalypse can’t be evaluated by the scientific method and the people who use the concept as a crutch forget it exists to act as a check and balance to the human foibles exhibited by the AGW apocalypse believers.

    2. So if we ignore all the personal opinions and stick to the peer reviewed literature, the weight of evidence is that anthropogenic GHG…

      There’s a problem with that. Where is the “science” part they’re supposedly reviewing? Most of the “science” is extrapolations from non-validated computer models that can’t replicate past climates, have a course resolution, often don’t even obey the laws of Newtonian local physics, and omit many key relations to simplify computational complexity.

      The peer review in such a system is the same as the kind of peer review you might have for the Theological Transactions of the Journal of Jesus published by the Hard Shell Baptist Institute of Topeka Kansas. Even if the authors and reviewers are in 100% agreement on all the literature, does it mean anything at all?

      Science makes predictions that are falsifiable, but so far no known climate phenomenon could even theoretically falsify their AGCC hypothesis. Whether we broil or freeze, suffer droughts or floods, have hurricanes or no bad weather at all, get buried in snow or never see snow again, it’s all taken as proof of the correctness of climate change alarmism. They could just say every weather event or slow temperature trend is proof of Allah’s will and it would be just as scientific.

      1. “Most of the “science” is extrapolations from non-validated computer models that can’t replicate past climates, have a course resolution, often don’t even obey the laws of Newtonian local physics, and omit many key relations to simplify computational complexity.”

        Utter BS, the science is based on observation; measurements and climate history using proxies where necessary. The models are used to project forward from a date, if the projections are wrong the models are discarded or have to be modified, models also need to make accurate hind-casts to be of value. The claim that the science is based on models is rubbish promoted for political ends.

        “Science makes predictions that are falsifiable, but so far no known climate phenomenon could even theoretically falsify their AGCC hypothesis.”

        Now you’re confusing the populist crap with the science, the IPCC doesn’t predict we’re all gonna die in 12 years, it expects the sort of changes I mention above, things like continued warming, the continued loss of Arctic sea ice, rising sea levels by about a meter in the next 80 years and greater climate variability (in terms of heat waves and tropical like heavy downpours in the temperate zones) becoming more common.

        “Science makes predictions that are falsifiable, but so far no known climate phenomenon could even theoretically falsify their AGCC hypothesis.”

        BS, explain the rising temperatures over the last century by some forcing other than an enhanced GH effect, it was supposed to be the sun, but solar output has been stable since 1960 and is now declining, but temperatures and sea levels continue to rise, ice continues to melt, stratospheric cooling exists. Not one magical or non-magical skeptic theory exists that explains what has been observed and can be explained by the enhanced GH effect.

        1. All of the 1997 IPCC models predicted warming by 2017. None predicted the “pause”. All of the IPCC’s models are invalidated.

          If they knew what they were doing there would be one model, or a handful of competing models. Not 90.

          It’s rubbish.

          1. That’s how science progresses, I’m surprised to believe it’s cut and dried and that there should be some sort of monopoly.

        2. Utter BS, the science is based on observation; measurements and climate history using proxies where necessary.

          They pick either measurements or proxies, depending on which one can be massaged to agree with the narrative. “Hide the decline” refers to the trick about the proxies Mann was using for past temperatures, which showed dramatic 20th century cooling. Either we’d cooled and the thermometer records were somehow completely wrong, or the proxies they relied on didn’t measure temperature. So they hid one line under another line so nobody would notice that the claims were unsupportable.

          Trees are horrible proxies for temperature, but it would take a bigger blog to enumerate all the ways they are poor proxies, from survivor bias to how they shift their growth from root to trunk to leaves to track changes in the rate of relative environmental shift of water, nutrients, and sunlight. The syrup industry (big syrup) knows more about how trees respond to seasonal conditions than climatologists do.

          But that’s not enough, so past temperature measurements, dutifully recorded with a pen on paper, are thrown right out the window. That is routinely done in climate science throughout the West. “If the data doesn’t match the theory, change the data!” That’s a religion, or something fit for an episode of “Ancient Aliens”, not science

          1. “They pick either measurements or proxies, depending on which one can be massaged to agree with the narrative.”

            No, they prefer measurements where they exist and have to rely on proxies where there are no measurements.

            ” “Hide the decline” refers to the trick about the proxies Mann was using for past temperatures, which showed dramatic 20th century cooling. Either we’d cooled and the thermometer records were somehow completely wrong, or the proxies they relied on didn’t measure temperature. So they hid one line under another line so nobody would notice that the claims were unsupportable.”

            So they tried did the temperature reconstruction without the bristlecone data, using only the other proxies that had been used in the reconstruction, the result was the same, then many other people in different groups used other data sets as they became available over the next 20 years and their work also showed the slow decline in temperature since the MWP followed by the rapid rise in temperature in the 20th century. Is that really in dispute, are there really nutters out there that think the hockeystick graph is a misrepresentation? How would you prefer the graph of NH temperatures to look? Would you like to see a steep decline in temperature through to the start of the 20th century and then stable temperatures? Fine, get your crayons out and draw whatever you want, then go wave it around and get it published if that what makes you happy.

        3. if the projections are wrong the models are discarded or have to be modified

          How can a field be wrong so many times and yet people still have blind faith in everything they say? How can the field make corrections when they attack anyone who points out faults and blind spots?

          AGW apocalypse believers portray themselves as such enlightened human beings but are driven by humanity’s most primitive impulses. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with it, but it would be great if they were self aware enough to comprehend it.

          1. “AGW apocalypse believers portray themselves as such enlightened human beings but are driven by humanity’s most primitive impulses. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with it, but it would be great if they were self aware enough to comprehend it.”

            Ever tried to critically self analyze yourself, your own biases and motivations? You’re just following your own ideological nose and the preferences of your own ideological peer group, I’m not, I’m forever hauling them over the coals on such matters.

          2. And there’s the problem. You’re hauling them over the coals because you think they’re non-believers. You’re part of a cult.

            We’re the people who don’t care about your climate god. We’re happy living anywhere from Singapore, smack dab on the equator, to Point Barrow Alaska, depending on what the job offer is.

            You’re wound up in the impending doom of your apocalypse that will destroy all of humanity, and we rate it as about as import as the growing accumulation of dryer lint.

            Who is more likely to be objective, the person who doesn’t care a bit or the person whose entire worldview is wrapped up in end-times eschatology?

          3. You’re wound up in the impending doom of your apocalypse that will destroy all of humanity, and we rate it as about as import as the growing accumulation of dryer lint.

            Who is more likely to be objective, the person who doesn’t care a bit or the person whose entire worldview is wrapped up in end-times eschatology?

            Classic projection, I don’t claim impending doom, I don’t claim catastrophe, all I claim is that the scientific process is sound and that it’s the people with political motivations that keep distorting what the science says, that there are two main ideological camps: Those that exaggerate what the science tells us for political reasons, and those that grossly understate what the science tells us for political reasons. You certainly belong in the latter camp and you talking yourself into believing that I’ve said or implied things that I have not said or implied and do not believe proves it. You demonstrate that because you’re so emotionally attached to the subject you’re incapable of even objectively looking at what I’ve said, let alone rationally tackling the far more complex issues of the AGW topic.

          4. Andrew, we don’t have a political motivation, other than not having a bunch of religious wackos wreck the world economy and condemn billions of poor people to another century of endemic poverty by denying them affordable energy, all because of a ridiculous apocalyptic fantasy about the end times.

            Warmer temperatures and more CO2 make the planet thrive, just as in the Eemian or in the millions of years prior to the current ice-box Earth.

            The idea that there is a singular ideal planetary temperature is juvenile because the planet can’t have just one temperature. Some places must be far below the “ideal” temperature and some places must be above it, and outside the tropics the temperature varies dramatically throughout the year, sometimes changing by 100 F in 24 hours. But suppose there is an ideal temperature. In the polar or temperature regions it would occur during the summer, when everything is growing like gangbusters. Since summer temperatures are far above a year’s average temperature, math would indicate that the average temperature is way too low, the opposite of what we’re being warned about.

            In Greenland, during the Eemian, temperatures were 4 C to 12 C warmer than present. That would be so much nicer than the current frigid climate.

            Likewise, if human induced warming is so disastrous, how come all the alarmist liberals keep moving into big cities, places which have the highest amounts of human induced warming of anyplace on the entire planet? Obviously their whole belief system is a lie, because when we create a place that fits their very definition of the climatological hell of the future, they rush to pay wildly overpriced rent just to live there.

          5. “. . . other than not having a bunch of religious wackos wreck the world economy and condemn billions of poor people to another century of endemic poverty by denying them affordable energy, all because of a ridiculous apocalyptic fantasy about the end times.”

            So you do have a political motivation. And don’t forget the bit about it’s all a globalist plot to take over the world.

            And then you go on to say “Warmer temperatures and more CO2 make the planet thrive . . .”

            So we are increasing temperatures?? But it’s a good thing?

            Seems you don’t have any coherent position, the warming is faked on the one hand (or at least exaggerated) and it’s all a good thing on the other.

            My position: The science is sound and we are warming the planet, slow warming I think will likely have benefits that outweigh liabilities, but fast warming? Gets us into uncertainties, I can’t make a call because I don’t know, even the experts don’t know or claim to know with any certainty. But you know?

            SLR is certainly happening, sea ice has certainly been declining, a warmer atmosphere is certainly carrying more water vapor, seems that we are seeing more tropical like down pours in the temperate zones, there does appear to be an increase in the frequency of Arctic air moving south over North America and warmer air coming in to replace it from further East.
            But there is greening and increased rainfall, if it doesn’t come all at once, is usually a good thing

          6. We’re very slightly warming the planet, but not nearly as much as I’d wish. Avoiding the next glacial period should remain very high on our to do list, because when it hits, northern Europe, Canada, and the northern US are going to get erased. That’s a thousand times more devastating than a slight increase in the rate of sea level rise.

            As for that sea level rise, we can set the rate to pretty much anything we want just by running water pumps above the arctic circle, powered by a year or two of new Chinese coal plant construction. I’ve frequently priced such a program based on market electricity prices, and it comes out cheaper than what we spend just to study climate change.

            Building such a simple pump system would solve the sea level concerns, but that’s the absolute last thing an apocalyptic religious cult would stand for. Preaching about the end times is how they put bodies in the pews and fill up the collection plates, and they need that money to pay for all the private jets that fly them from Berkeley to Davos so they can keep on preaching about Earth-destroying CO2.

            As they say, I’ll believe the CO2 threat is real when the evangelists act like it’s real, instead of chartering huge corporate jets to fly them between their beachfront villas and their inland mansions with gas-heated outdoor swimming pools.

            .

          7. “We’re very slightly warming the planet,”
            Does that mean at a rate less than that shown by the 4 data sets, if so could you provide a link to a data set that you think is more accurate?

            http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1880/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1880/offset:0.1/plot/uah6/from:1880/offset:0.4/plot/uah6-land/from:1880/offset:0.4

            “As for that sea level rise, we can set the rate to pretty much anything we want just by running water pumps above the arctic circle, powered by a year or two of new Chinese coal plant construction.”
            I’m sorry, is that a joke? If not where do you plan to pump the water to?

            Religion starts where the science ends. You think the left has a monopoly on taking the science and misrepresenting it for the dissemination of their religion?

            From potholer54 (whom I rate highly due to his persistence in revealing all the nonsense being propagated).
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdnZ1l5TxJk
            [13:34]

          8. Ever tried to critically self analyze yourself, your own biases and motivations?

            Yes.

            You’re just following your own ideological nose and the preferences of your own ideological peer group, I’m not,

            I certainly am following my ideology, which is one of questioning and independent study. I think my views are apart from many here, even if they do intersect in some ways.

            I hate to break it to you but when it comes to AGW alarmism, what is happening is not science. Step back and take a look at it from a broader perspective rather than limiting yourself to what people tell you the limits are.

    3. “we will see continued warming, the loss of Arctic sea ice, rising sea levels, and greater climate variability (in terms of heat waves and tropical like heavy downpours in the temperate zones) becoming more common.”

      Yet the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth was… drum roll please…. over 100 years ago.

      Oh, except the Global Warmers are trying to ‘adjust’ that away. As they’ve done all over the world to turn multiple long-term cooling trends into warming trends.

      Here’s an idea: if ‘climate science’ is actual science, how about giving us a prediction that will falsify it if that prediction is proven false? We’ve seen plenty over the years, and yet somehow they just get ignored; probably because ‘climate scientists’ continually predict completely the opposite of each other, so no matter what the weather does, it can be PROVEN to be due to evil CO2.

      1. It’s likely that temperatures during the Holocene have been warmer than today, and if there was no explanation for those warmer temperatures, if the reasons for those warmer temperatures was inexplicable it would be a problem to attribute the current warming to an enhanced GH effect without an explanation for those warmer times, but there are forcings that explain those the warmer times of the Holocene.

        “Oh, except the Global Warmers are trying to ‘adjust’ that away.”

        Yeah, that’s right Edward, it’s all a big global conspiracy., just like the Moon landings etc. /sarc.

        “Here’s an idea: if ‘climate science’ is actual science, how about giving us a prediction that will falsify it if that prediction is proven false? We’ve seen plenty over the years,”

        Great, name them.

        1. I think you missed the terrific example offered by Ed M earlier in this thread: “All of the 1997 IPCC models predicted warming by 2017. None predicted the “pause”. All of the IPCC’s models are invalidated.” How should one reconcile the fairly significant difference in observed temperatures against those predictions? I think it is fair to say that the models behind the predictions were incomplete

          Climate science has been thoroughly co-opted by politics, which has replaced standard scientific methods with funding based on how well you can support a particular narrative. I continue to support the use of federal tax dollars on climate modeling and improved observational capabilities, but something has to change in an effort to restore political influence to a more balanced role. Falsifiable hypotheses, red team/blue team exercises, etc. would be great components in that effort.

          1. There’s noise, there’s alway uncertainty around the trend, and “the pause was nothing more than a cherry pick of a period in which there was a strong El Nino at the start and a period of La Nina at the end, take into account the effect of wind pushing warm and cold surface water across the Pacific and there was no pause.

            Climate science remains sound, what’s happening and always happens is that people with ideologies find the science saying something they don’t like and then doing what political animals always do, they form packs and do politics. Political humans are very mailable when it comes to politics, on the right and left it’s the most political that are leading the charge against the scientists, most of the scientists just aren’t that political, nothing like how those motivated by ideology want to portray them, to the scientists status comes if they can prove the consensus wrong.

        2. During other interglacials, known as climate optimums, the Earth had no ice caps or smaller ones than we do today. It is called natural variability. We should all be skeptical of natural variability being spun as an emergency that demands tyrannical control over other people by people who think they are specially endowed.

          1. “During other interglacials, known as climate optimums, the Earth had no ice caps or smaller ones than we do today.”

            Just wrong, the Greenland and Antarctic icecaps have been in existence continuously for millions of years.

          2. Yes, and during the Eemian, the previous interglacial, the northwest Greenland ice sheet got about 400 meters thinner and was hundreds of meters lower than today. Sea levels rose so much that Scandinavia was an island.

            Greenland also had monitor lizards back then, the Thames had hippos, oak trees grew in Finland, and palm trees were growing in Canada. Forests grew far north of the arctic circle, in places that today are just vast expanses of tundra. Life was thriving everywhere.

            Then the glaciers hit again, and once people got used to them, cro magnon climate scientists convinced everyone that if the ice sheets retreated everyone would die, so nobody was allowed to industrialize for 70,000 years, leaving us frozen in the stone age.

          3. “Yes, and during the Eemian, the previous interglacial, the northwest Greenland ice sheet got about 400 meters thinner and was hundreds of meters lower than today. Sea levels rose so much that Scandinavia was an island.”
            So? We know the Milankovitch cycles exist, we know during the peak of the interglacial periods high latitude isolation is higher than later on during the interglacial as it is today, your comment says nothing that disagrees with the mainstream position.

            “Greenland also had monitor lizards back then,” Greenland has lizards today.

            “Thames had hippos,” Europe once had lions, it wasn’t due to it being warmer.
            “oak trees grew in Finland,”
            Oak trees grow in Finland today, far fewer though because most were cut down to build ships.

            ” and palm trees were growing in Canada.”
            Palm trees grow in Canada today.

            ” Forests grew far north of the arctic circle, in places that today are just vast expanses of tundra. Life was thriving everywhere.”
            Forests grow far north of the Arctic circle today and England has far less trees than it did in the Eemian, would that be due to climate or sailing ships and agriculture?

            Not saying that northern latitudes weren’t warmer at times during the Eamian than they are now, they probably were – when the Earth’s tilt was slightly greater, when ocean currents pushed more heat furthur north.

          4. OK, here is where I ignore what Andrew_W said and bring up a point that people should consider and might actually help Andrew_W in future conversations.

            When we look at the fossil record over millions of years, we also have to take into account plate tectonics. The land where it is today, probably wasn’t at the same location on Earth when the fossils were laid down.

            Just something to consider. Central Washington University has some excellent geology videos on YouTube that deal specifically with Washington but the big picture lessons are applicable other places. Be careful searching them out. You might find that you watch twenty hours of them when you only intended to watch a couple.

            But to bring it back to what Andrew_W said about checking my bias, I always bring up the story about the megafloods after the last period of glaciation and how J Harlen Bretz was treated by “science”. History is littered with similar examples and anyone who thinks “science” is some kind of priesthood that stands aside and is immune from their humanity needs to rethink things a little.

            Heck, just look at how people who acknowledge that the climate changes but don’t buy into everything that alarmists say are treated.

    4. Ah yes, the common debate tactics of appealing to authority and the masses. Way to cover your bases, Andrew. I’ll just note Curry suggested appealing to the test of time.

      I’ll also note that some have made a cottage industry of developing literal nonsense studies and getting them peer reviewed and approved in mainstream journals. It has happened so often, I don’t have time to link the number of instances over the past 3 decades. I’ll just note this subheading from a Guardian article: “New Zealand professor asked to present his work at US event on nuclear physics despite it containing gibberish all through the copy”.

    5. So if we ignore all the personal opinions and stick to the peer reviewed literature

      Nice appeal to authority.

      Climate science is a field that is young and unproven. No one should be putting much faith in it, especially when the climate always changes and what we are experiencing is well within natural variation. Another reason to be skeptical is that at every single stage it is made up with imperfection that can’t be corrected for, humans. It is quite obvious that there is far more to this than just “science” or the science of climate anyway. Human foibles have an enormous impact on the belief system.

      1. “Nice appeal to authority.”

        It’s not an appeal to authority because I’m not picking an authority, I’m picking a methodology. I choose the scientific process over political motivations when it comes to scientific issues.

        1. No, the appeal is to the authority of those who work in a field. The process as you describe it is highly flawed.

          Much like Curry is attacked for saying the uncertainty is greater than the climate science community realizes, you ignore the flaws inherent in “science” and attack people who point them out. It would be better to acknowledge the flaws just as it would be better for climate scientists to acknowledge the uncertainty and to also stop the age old personal viciousness that permeates the sciences.

          I think it is even worse now do to societal changes and the way many scientists view reality, which creates huge blind spots similar to how we know things exist that we cannot see, like different light spectrum, but it takes knowledge to bypass our human limitations. Another good example is frame rates.

          There are evolutionary quirks at play here and that makes climate apocalypse so appealing as a belief system.

    6. Funny how so many people can talk a great sciency game and completely miss the basics. There’s all this emphasis on procedure. But they miss the big question. Where’s the evidence supporting their arguments?

      The only solid defense we have against such human biases, biases we rarely recognize in ourselves, is the scientific method with its emphasis on testability and the challenge of scientific review.

      I already can think of two other solid defenses, markets and judicial inquiry.

      So if we ignore all the personal opinions and stick to the peer reviewed literature, the weight of evidence is that anthropogenic GHG forcings are now dominant over natural forcings and that as a result we will see continued warming, the loss of Arctic sea ice, rising sea levels, and greater climate variability (in terms of heat waves and tropical like heavy downpours in the temperate zones) becoming more common.
      I’m not making the call as to whether that all equates to “catastrophic”.

      I grant that there’s some skeptics here and in the literature who don’t even agree with that limited claim, but so what? You’re not addressing the fundamental problem, namely that there’s a large number of people absolutely certain about catastrophic climate change and really expensive and unreliable methods for dealing with that, but who don’t have good reason for the certainty of their beliefs.

  2. Okay, so I am sure it is fun beating up on Andrew, but “it wastes your time and annoys the pig.” Perhaps we are missing the more crucial aspect of her comments.

    I am somewhat disturbed by Curry’s description of the generational aspects of the divide, the over sixties and the under fifties. Will there be enough left to speak after we have left this vale of tears? Who will challenge the beliefs of “all right-thinking people” in a few decades?

    Maybe it is not all that bad. People tend to become less communitarian as they age and some of the young and brainwashed will break their training over the years. The question is, how many?

    Of course, if enough scientists, engineers, researchers, and other professional thinkers respond to Rand’s plea for “faster please,” maybe we will be around for further decades and not shoved into philosophical corner as old people, albeit correctly, often are. We will need to project reason and not bitterness.

    1. I saw that too and can say I see a similar situation in engineering. However, I don’t think it is as new a phenomenon as either Curry or myself are experiencing. Rather, we have reached the age to have enough experience to look back and realize how few people really are fully competent. To make my point, here is a link to Ayn Rand’s Howard Roark making the same point from a novel 75 years old. It’s an unfortunate reality made fortunate that some, like Curry, persist otherwise.

      Andrews argument is collectivism. We should appeal to the mass of journals that have told him whom to believe or not believe. Judith Curry is asking for reasoning and admitting that she lacked integrity when she could not afford to have it. She also admits that she is now free to voice her independent thought that she’s always had. That’s another aspect that comes from age, less dependence on the collective and therefore more freedom.

    2. Watch the documentary of the future on it, Highlander 2. That is the best encapsulation of climate science and how it is used to control people.

      The history of the sciences shows that the human side is quite vicious and that changing a paradigm is a brutal process. Changes in climate science will be even harder because of the belief structures of the adherents. It isn’t just a matter of being wrong on some technical issue. It is a matter of being wrong on a core part of how the group identifies and their views on reality.

  3. I think an opening paragraph that applies to this topic as well as the Oberlin College fiasco that the article is actually about:
    Our political and media cultures are suffering the effects of too many opinion-havers and too few fact-finders. This can make it difficult to figure out what is going on in a story and to distinguish fact from partisan or ideological bias, especially when those biases flatter our own
    https://quillette.com/2019/06/20/ideology-and-facts-collide-at-oberlin-college/

    1. It’s a good article, Andrew. You should read it all, such as this paragraph;

      “During the trial, Gibson’s attorneys sought to establish the complicity of Raimondo and other school administrators in the November 2016 protests. But they also wanted to explore the degree to which their behavior had been motivated by spite and personal ill will. To this end, they provided the jury with multiple examples of what they described as “personal beliefs overshadowing professional responsibility.”

  4. If you look up “noble cause corruption” on Wikipedia you’ll see examples provided in areas such as law enforcement and business. Now finally we can science to the list.

    1. Science has always had that problem, to varying degrees, especially in the soft sciences like psychology or anthropology. Climate Science could be termed “modern phrenology”, where people in lab coats see evil in every bump and dimple on the global weather map.

      But it also has a lot in common with a religious priesthood, in terms of self-selection for membership. As Judith Curry noted, back in the early days nobody was a “climate scientist”. They were geologists, paleontologists, meteorologists, tropical storm experts, and the like. But the coming-ice-age scare, the claims about a nuclear winter, and Earth Day activism birthed what in essence was a religion that had dire warnings about sin and offered a path to redemption. Adherents majored in environmental studies, and climate change became an important field. Funding flowed, and noble cause corruption took hold.

      As science, climate change should rate as only slightly more interesting than plate tectonics or the mating habits of bark beetles, since it’s akin to meteorology without any actual weather events. But saving the planet, now that’s sexy and exciting. That gets you on the cover of Newsweek and paid corporate jet trips all over the world.

      But like any fundamentally religious endeavor, such as Bible Studies, the people who major in it are largely true believers before they take the first class. Their work output will be heavily biased toward establishing the truth of the propositions to which they have chosen to devote their lives.

      Pointing to the existence of their consensus as an indicator of scientific truth, and especially pointing out how that consensus is vastly different from the opinions of the population as a whole, does not necessarily add any weight to their claims. You could point out equal unanimity in the basic conclusions of Baptist Bible scholars. If what they believe about salvation was really, absolutely, verifiably true, shouldn’t their field have proportional numbers of Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and atheists, who have just as much reason to seek truth as Baptists do?

      So does the field act like a science or a religion? As a first pass, if the Earth’s climate changes, half the people should benefit and half should be harmed, guessing that half the people lived in places that are already too hot and half live in places that are already too cold. A quick glance at the planet will show this is not the case, since the tropics thrive and the poles are wastelands virtually devoid of life, so that a large majority of changes on a warming planet should be benefits. There’s a good reason everyone vacations in the tropics, if they can afford it, such that almost any tiny island in the Caribbean gets more annual tourists than the entire Arctic.

      So if the field were scientifically sound, the debates within it should often be whether a particular change is going to be good or bad. We see virtually none of that. Almost all changes are considered bad, to everyone, everywhere, and the debate is over whether they’re catastrophically bad or only horribly bad.

      So it looks like they’re not studying climate for the sake of understanding the climate, but as a proxy for something else. We observe that their papers are written as dire warnings about the potential consequences, and they constantly and publicly demand that we change our ways and obey their wise council, and provide more research funding, or we’re all doomed.

      Hrm… They warn of the coming punishments for sin, greed, and gluttony, demand that we repent, and that we give them lots of money. Where have we heard that message before?

      And what has all the attention and funding produced over the past decades? The IPCC’s range of estimates of future global temperatures is just as wide as the back of the envelope estimates Arrhenius gave well over a century ago. The answer is always going to be “bad, potentially catastrophic, and we’ll learn more if only we had a whole lot more money.” Well, the Bible college isn’t going to change their narrative or their message no matter how many billions you give them, because it’s not that kind of science. It’s an evangelical endeavor meant to save people’s souls and bring them all to see “the truth”. All the climate change funding is just for producing more pamphlets preaching the gospels, and that core mission can’t change.

      1. Science has always had that problem, to varying degrees, especially in the soft sciences like psychology or anthropology.

        Ironically, these are the two fields that best explain what is going on with AGW alarmism.

  5. If you have any integrity and you find your chosen field requires you to compromise it, you find something else to do. Otherwise you never had any integrity.
    I don’t have a lot of time for Judith Curry. It wasn’t all that long ago she was calling people deniers.

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