71 thoughts on “Consensus Enforcement In Climate”

  1. There are two layers to the AGW SCIENCE debate, the science amateurs with their two usually extreme perspectives, whose opinions on the science aren’t worth shit, and the scientist who’re active in the research in the field, who, from Spencer through to Mann, are comparatively centrist, accept that AGW is a real thing and significant.
    Of the people that Curry mentions I recognized the names of only 6 of “the ‘real’ scientists”, but of over 30 of the contrarians (excluding the professional media people). So yes, I agree that the science amateurs get too much coverage in discussion on the science (amateurs on both sides including Gore and the Swedish teenager) leaving the public poorly informed on the actual science.
    It’s reached the point that if it’s not an in context word for word quote from a peer reviewed paper it’s probably crap.
    This media reliance on the noisy amateurs seems most prevalent in the US with its current extreme left – right public and media divide with the media more interested in feeding their audience the crap they want rather than informing them.

    1. It’s reached the point that if it’s not an in context word for word quote from a peer reviewed paper it’s probably crap

      Whereas all to often even if it is a word for word quote from a peer reviewed paper it’s probably also crap. So far their predictions have been less accurate than a chicken pooping on a football field.

      1. When I was at FAA, we had paid a contractor to do some environmental research on the impact of one of our license applicants flights from a specific launch site. A “scientist” in their employ used the opportunity to do a bogus analysis of the impact on global warming, and published it loudly at at time that was critical for the license applicant. Using wildly inflated launch rates and propellant usage, and eyeballing a picture on the internet of one of the engines firing to estimate the optical density of the plume, this “scientist” concatenated a number of computer programs whose internal workings were completely unknown to him (some were classified beyond his clearance level) to produce an “estimate” of global warming that was drastic. The eyeball estimate of the plume optical density was the one and only “data” point he used. The paper’s conclusion was apocalyptic, and an appeal for $6 million more to do further modeling. It was libelous, and could have caused severe harm to the license applicant.

        Incensed, we got he and his boss on the phone. I pointed out the fact that one of the computer programs he supposedly used could never provide useful data because no one had ever successfully modeled the phenomenon involved. I further pointed out that the calculated combustion efficiency of this computer program would have resulted in far too low a specific impulse for the engine to have been useful to anyone.

        His response to that was “Do you have a peer-reviewed paper you can cite?” How many rocket propulsion people here would need to point to a peer-reviewed paper to know what kind of combustion efficiency is required for what Isp? In fact, I had computed it myself with a NASA standard thermochemical code, but that was overkill on my part. I’ve done this stuff for a living for 40 years.

        I pointed out the statistics on the Saturn V, which produced far more “black carbon” (his particular bugaboo) in a shorter period of time than he used in his “analysis.” I told him to go back and look at the effect of climate that had. To which he responded “If you don’t like the way I do science, say so,” to which I responded “I haven’t seen you do any yet, so I can’t.”

        We demanded – and I believe got – our money back. But this company still stood behind their “scientist’s” work.

        That’s my one and only professional encounter with this kind of thing. I hope I never have another.

        1. I’m really tempted to dig through the literature and come up with a formula for ISP of a LOX/RP-1 engine versus what would be emitted in a Florida wildfire, in kg RP-1 per burned acre of land.

          I have a friend who burns non-indigenous plants for Hillsborough county (Tampa) whose team probably torches 5,000 acres a year. He’s shut down I-75 more than once due to smoke. I’m curious about whether he’s emitted more black carbon than all rocket launches in history, combined.

          But that would get pretty involved.

          1. Actually, right after that phone conversation, I remember sending a colleague an e-mail with a picture of a tire fire I had found on the interwebs. It turns out that this particular fire had already put three orders of magnitude more “black carbon” into the atmosphere than our contracted pseudo-scientist had made up. Climate change? Zip.

      1. My use of the terms “the ‘real’ scientists” and “contrarians” were labels in the Nature paper that Curry used, and I used in turn.
        I separate the “amateurs” at climate science from “the scientist who’re active in the research in the field”, I would have thought that distinction self evident with not much of a grey area.

        1. @Andrew_W


          Refuses to define “science.”

          What is a “scientist” vs “amateur”? (Repeating my question, “What makes a person, a ‘scientist”? Because you also refused to answer).

          The Crimestop is strong in this one, or, Andrew_W simply doesn’t know what science is or what a scientist does.

          1. Xopher Halftongue
            Science is a system for building our understanding of the natural world using testable theories.

            I’ve already explained that someone not actively involved in research in a particular field of science is, as far as I’m concerned, an amateur in that field. An amateur is someone not paid to do a job (though they may be paid to comment on the abilities of those who are professionals in a field, being paid to comment doesn’t make them expert).

          2. @Andrew_W

            “Paid to do a job”

            That’s a “scientist”?

            The Astrologers in Ancient Babylon were “paid to do a job.” Who determines what a “scientist” is?

          3. Xopher Halftongue
            “The Astrologers in Ancient Babylon were “paid to do a job.” ”
            Yes, they were professional astrologers.

            “Who determines what a “scientist” is?”
            I’d go with their employers and peers, I’ve not claimed that there’s an easy objective definition of “scientist”.
            I came across a guy recently, qualified as a mining engineer, who labeled himself a “climate scientist” on the basis (and only on the basis) that he designed a system that burns stray methane before it could escape the mine into the atmosphere – though he doesn’t believe GHG’s cause an atmospheric GHE. I’d call him an engineer, but as I said, he likes to call himself a “climate scientist” (and engineer, and expert in many other things)

          4. As far as I can recall, Albert Einstein wasn’t being paid by anyone to do his work leading to the Year of Miracles – his publication in 1905 of the papers on the photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, special relativity, and mass-energy equivalence. So he must have been an amateur, and thus those four papers can be dismissed out of hand.

    2. Yes. We should leave science to the High Priests Of Science, because they are the only ones who are able to make observations about the world.

      And we wonder why fewer and fewer people take science seriously.

      ‘Global Warming’ has done more damage to science as an institution than…. well, anything I can think of.

      1. I’ve not suggested scientists work should be unchallenged by non-scientists, but those making claims that the scientists are wrong should be subject to similar scrutiny – that too often isn’t happening, in the “right” wing media in the US contrarians usually get a free pass from that media, their claims going unchallenged.

  2. Andrew, you do remember that your “comparatively centrist” Michael Mann has sued our host for defamation because he expressed a First Amendment-protected opinion?

    Your definition of “comparatively centrist” seems to be non-standard.

  3. He was accused of scientific fraud, why shouldn’t he sue if he believes he was libeled? Our host’s defense to date, as I understand it, is trying to avoid the case being heard and arguing that as an alleged public figure it is legal to say things about Mann that would be libelous if said about someone not a public figure.

    1. To clarify, I did not accuse him of “scientific fraud”; I accused Penn State of whitewashing misbehavior of one of its stars.

      My defense to date is that he is a public figure, and extremely unlikely to win his case in court, as there was no malice, and that the case should have been dismissed under the First Amendment and DC’s Anti-SLAPP laws. That is the law in the United States, and in the District of Columbia. If this case was a kid, it would be old enough to enter second grade, except it would be too effing stupid. It wouldn’t have made it out of diapers.

    2. @Andrew_W

      Michael Mann reminds me of the fraudulent astronomerettes who tried to stop Starlink, but didn’t know a damn thing about orbital mechanics or how Hall Thrusters changed orbits.

        1. @Andrew_W

          This post is quite relevant to this discussion (credentialed phonies). Michael S. Kelley provided a detailed encounter with such a credentialed phony, and it’s telling that you also refused to respond to his post.

          1. Michael S. Kelley recounted his personal experience, I guess you must be one of those shallow people that buys into woke and fascist identity politics – the belief that all people in a huge diverse group can be tarred with the same brush, if they’re not on your side they’re all the same.

    3. Gee Andrew, I would think if you were going to bring up the Mann libel case as an example of a scientist being libeled; you’d make sure to get the basic facts of the case right so as to not misrepresent the defendant.

      By the way Andrew, what is your definition of a scientist? I’m asking for a friend.

      1. Leland.
        Our host accused Mann (in relation to his work as a scientist) of “deceptions”, claimed that Mann had “molested and tortured data” of “data manipulation” and that “Mann has become the posterboy of the corrupt and disgraced climate science echo chamber.” and that “We saw what the university administration was willing to do to cover up heinous crimes, and even let them continue, rather than expose them.”
        When I said “scientific fraud” I was not claiming to be quoting our host, I don’t think any reasonable and objective person would dispute that the words our host used could reasonably be summarized with the words I used.

        1. I am a reasonable person (oh, this is fun, I guess two can play this game!), and whether or not that was “reasonably summarized with the words” that I used is nonsense, but it would be up to a jury, who would also find it ridiculous. Except, under American law, it would, and should, never go to a jury. This is what the legal battle has been about for seven years now.

          1. objective
            (of a person or their judgement) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.

          2. It’s your opinion that accusing Mann of “deceptions”, “molested and tortured data”, “data manipulation” (in the context I think reasonable to assume you meant unethical “data manipulation” though that context seems to have gone waay over Leland’s head), and that “Mann has become the posterboy of the corrupt and disgraced climate science echo chamber.” all in his role as a scientist does not equate to accusing him of scientific fraud, I disagree, that’s my opinion, but I don’t have a vested interest in the case. I really don’t care what the outcome is, I’d have preferred the situation never arose for your sake and Mann’s (mostly for your sake, I respect you on a personal level even though you occasionally go totally troppo) either way no skin off my nose.

          3. Of course it is my opinion. That is what the lawsuit is about. Mann wants to claim that it’s not my opinion, but a false statement of fact, on which a jury can rule, and that I should have known that because I read the reports that “exonerated” him, and that therefore I have a reckless disregard for the truth.

            That is an absurd interpretation of the anti-SLAPP and libel law, and every single journalistic organization that has filed an amici (and there have been dozens, including the ACLU) agree. He has not a single amicus. As Mark Steyn says, Mann is amiciless.

          4. Hang on, you’ve just telescoped two issues together.
            1. Do the words you used constitute an accusation of scientific fraud. (I think yes, you think no).
            2. Does that accusation constitute and opinion or a false statement of fact (you say opinion, Mann says false statement of fact, I haven’t given my opinion on that in this discussion).

          5. Whether or not the words I used constitutes an accusation of scientific fraud has zero legal relevance to the case, so it doesn’t matter what you think about it. Unfortunately, many Americans are as ignorant of libel law as you are.

        2. He was accused of scientific fraud, why shouldn’t he sue if he believes he was libeled?

          Who then accused Mann of scientific fraud? You? Rand did not. Yet you, Andrew, clearly said that Mann was accused of scientific fraud. Who made that accusation. You keep mentioning the blog host, which is Rand. I reasonable draw the conclusion that you are telling us that Rand accused Mann of scientific fraud. I’m also willing to accept that it is you, Andrew, making the accusation that Mann is a scientific fraud.

          You published this false statement on Rand’s blog, so it looks like libel to me. I’d say Rand is less a public figure than Mann. I’m pretty sure Rand has the right to sue you. He doesn’t have to, and he is welcome to think you were speaking offhand about a subject for which you are ill informed and just believe to know what did or didn’t happen.

          In short, it could just be an opinion that you believe to be making about a public figure. And if I was you, and I received a summons to talk about this at a later date in front of a magistrate; I’d start with that argument.

          1. Oh, it could also be that I wrote the above to get you, Andrew; to shut-up and quit saying mean, hurtful and ugly things about Rand. The threat of a summons and such just being a weapon to get you to reconsider your right to free speech.

            Anyway, it is your freedom and pocketbook; so you make the call.

          2. The first 5 definitions of I came across:
            “a person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities.”

            “In law, fraud is intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive a victim of a legal right.”

            “an act of deceiving or misrepresenting”

            “Fraud is a deliberately deceitful activity in order to gain an advantage or generate a profit.”

            “Fraud is an intentionally deceptive action designed to provide the perpetrator with an unlawful gain or to deny a right to a victim.”

            Those definitions fit well with Rand’s accusations against Mann.
            I’ve no doubt that Rand’s lawyers would have made it clear to Rand that he should insist that his accusation that Mann engaged in “deception” and “data manipulation” etc. did not qualify as an accusation of scientific fraud.

            I’ll go with the definitions of deception and fraud as defined in the English language.

          3. George; I’m not sure.

            I just thought a guy that built a data model that looked at “Noisy data” and developed a means to order the data and plot a regressive curve was, you know, manipulating data. Heck, there is a whole software language called R for doing what is termed as “Data Science” at its purpose is to manipulate data for analysis. So it seems to me that Mann, whose famous for his data model, was manipulating data with his model.

            Yet Andrew is now acting putting scare quotes around “data manipulation” like its a bad thing and Rand was accusing Mann of performing data manipulation. I would consider such a statement to be accurate to what Mann was doing. I would take any suggestion that Mann wasn’t manipulating data as fraudulent.

            We could argue about how well Mann’s model manipulated the data to predict describe past events and predict future events; but at the core of the subject is the manipulation of data within a model. Andrew seems to be making a suggestion that Mann wasn’t actually performing this type of work or that Rand acknowledging such work is somehow inappropriate.

        3. Pertinent to the original post: Rand Simberg failed to make the list. My condolences, Mr Simberg. And congratulations to Dr Michael Mann, who has so far, seemingly, successfully used lawfare to chill at least one voice in the scientific debate.

          On the other hand, Wm. Brigges DID get listed. I’ve commented on his (statistics-oriented) site.

          Note that the methodology of the Nature paper compares how many publications are picked up by other media. In Brigg’s case, media CRITICIZING him were calculated as if they AMPLIFIED his “contrarianism”.


          So, they had data. And they applied their algorithm TO their data. But they applied it in the fashion exactly “upside down” from the intended and published usage of the original authors.

          This must be [ in my personal opinion, not to get Mr Simberg into any more trouble ] about the most dramatic and obvious torture of data since the Nobel Prize winning Master of the Tree Ring Circus Michael ” Sandusky ” the Man himself analyzed the Tiljander sediment climate/temperature proxies.

          Doing models and averages without any research into what the original numbers mean or doing any thinking about what sorts of numbers actually represent the situation they intend to model. There is a word for this kind of operator — but I don’t believe that word is “scientist”.

  4. In my experience a lot of scientists could make good livings as used car salesmen. Many are about as honest. Once a whore, always a whore.

    1. I don’t necessarily disagree, but they are just humans and prone to all the flaws other humans have. Sometimes these flaws are magnified by their education and ideological background, or lack thereof.

  5. “A key finding of this research concerns the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). The researchers report ‘southward mean positions of ITCZ during the early Medieval Warm Period and the Current Warm Period in the central Indo-Pacific.’ This seems to contradict claims, repeated recently, that the MWP was confined to northern parts of the European and American continents, or at least was not global. But the ITCZ is a global phenomenon, which in turn suggests any recent warming (CWP) could have similar origins to the MWP – surely a somewhat inconvenient proposition for man-made greenhouse gas theorists. Remember this Climategate story – ‘We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period’? ”

    Probably Chinese are going to become more and more influential in the topic of climate

    1. It’s all irrelevant, anyway.

      The reality is that CO2 levels have been dropping for about quarter of a billion years, and would have dropped so low in a couple of million years that life would be unable to survive here. Earth desperately needs a much higher level of CO2 if life is going to survive until the increasing heat from an ageing sun makes the planet uninhabitable.

      The threat from CO2 is not from having too much of it… it’s from having far too little. Earth is not so magic ‘Gaia’ goddess that keeps the planet in a perfect equilibrium if only humans weren’t around; it’s an unstable system that would soon have killed all life if we weren’t around to return some of the stored CO2 into the atmosphere.

      Anyone demanding that we reduce CO2 emissions is demanding that we murder all life on Earth.

      1. I agree that CO2 of less than 280ppm is not what we want, but I wouldn’t want them to rapidly rise above ~500ppm either, the rate of change would be disruptive, under BAU we’re headed for 800ppm + by the end of this century.

          1. The observed trend line from surface temperature measurements (as opposed to the computer models) puts the trend line at about 1.5C after 100 years from what I’ve seen or roughly .1C per decade and has remained roughly linear whilst CO2 has doubled in that interval.

          2. “Play with endpoints much?.”
            I haven’t played with endpoints at all, the shape of the graph would be the same if I chopped the near 140 year period into 20 year or 30 year points or just 2 periods of 70 years, no matter how I chopped it the result would be the same: slow warming early on, faster warming most recently. It’s clearly not a linear warming trend but an accelerating warming trend.

          3. @David Spain

            There’s no legitimate discussion with Andrew_W because he refuses to define “science.” You might as well debate the finer points of Astrology and Numerology with him.

          4. Andrew_W writes: The last time CO2 concentrations were at 6000 ppm was during the late Ordovician (450 million years ago), solar output was 4% lower then.

            What proxy(ies) are you using to determine solar output was 4% lower?

          5. David Spain, you’re probably right to be suspicious of the 4% figure, it’s derived from models of stellar evolution and no doubt the astrophysicists that came up with their theories on stellar evolution are in on the great global warming conspiracy.

        1. Why?

          Before the CO2 level started to decline, it was over 2000ppm, and I believe it had previously been as high as 6000ppm. There’s nothing particularly worrying about 500ppm, or even 800ppm, except to computer models.

          The only proven relationship between temperature and CO2 levels is that, on a timescale of centuries to thousands of years, CO2 levels go up after temperatures rise, because the oceans can’t hold as much CO2 when the water is warmer. Over the lifespan of the Earth, there’s no correlation between the two. They both go up and down and rarely at anything like the same time.

          1. Evidently you didn’t read my comment very carefully, I said:
            ” I wouldn’t want them to rapidly rise above ~500ppm either, the rate of change would be disruptive”.

          2. The last time CO2 concentrations were at 6000 ppm was during the late Ordovician (450 million years ago), solar output was 4% lower then. We haven’t come close to enhancing the GHE to a point at which the warming would be the equivalent of a 4% brighter Sun.

          3. @Edward M. Grant

            You might as well debate palm reading techniques with Andrew_W because he flat out refuses to define “science.”

          4. Sorry for the repost. The original went to the wrong reply thread and is out of sequence. Hope this helps:

            Andrew_W writes: The last time CO2 concentrations were at 6000 ppm was during the late Ordovician (450 million years ago), solar output was 4% lower then.

            I’ve heard the continents arranged as Pangaea used as a reason for ice ages at 4000ppm CO2 concentrations but this is the first time I have heard about lower solar output. What proxy[ies] are you using to determine solar output was 4% lower and over what time period?

            Also I’m not being “contrarian” I am genuinely curious! Can you cite a reference?

  6. Apparently (as has been noted over at Climate Etc.) it is not necessary for one to be alive to be listed as a “contrarian”. I note the late, great John Coleman, co-founder of The Weather Channel, made it onto the list in the top quartile, right after Ross McKitrick at #42. Many others have noted others listed among the deceased…


  7. Having fun poking the troll with sticks, are we? He clearly doesn’t know what the scientific method is as he refuses to tell after being asked numerous times. Best to ignore.

      1. Andrew_W said: “Science is a system for building our understanding of the natural world using testable theories.”

        So, will you concede that Steve McIntyre who posted, tested, published and archived all the results, programs, and formulas regarding his famous “Starbucks Hypothesis” is doing “Science”?

        Are you even AWARE of The Starbucks Hypothesis, and its significance?

        Is there any “climate scientist” who has even ATTEMPTED to refute the Starbucks Hypothesis?

        1. I don’t need to “concede” that M&M was “real science”, I’ve never disputed that M&M were correct in the limited areas of levels of confidence in Mann et al’s first paleo-climate reconstruction as described in the NAS report that investigated the whole issue, nor did Mann dispute the NAS report.

          I’ve no interest in the “Starbucks hypothesis”, if McIntyre wants to go out and update the tree-ring records good for him. I’ve no idea why he needs to make a big song and dance about the fact that other scientists have better things to do with their time.
          If he’s capable and he thinks it’s important he should just get on with it and do the job, rather than proclaiming that he knows best how other scientists should spend their research time and money.

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