Category Archives: Business

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.

Guaranteed Student Loans

How they killed the American dream for millions.

I consider it criminal, ethically. Get the damn government out of it.

[Early afternoon update]

“Millennials are the most educated generation in American history, but many college graduates have tens of thousands of dollars in debt to go along with their degrees.”

They are not (necessarily) “educated.” Many, perhaps most, of them are merely credentialed.

Another SLS Slip

And NASA (as in Gerst) isn’t happy with GAO’s (accurate) “unnecessarily negative” criticism of its and Boeing’s performance.

[Noon update]

Muilenburg responds with typical BS:

“The first rocket is now about 80% assembled, and we’re going through the detailed system integration,” he said. “These are very complex, sophisticated machines, so the technology itself is a challenge. I think it’s manageable. It’s work we know how to do. But it’s tough, challenging work, and we have to do it in a way that ensures safety in the end.”

Muilenburg said having consistent political and funding support for such a big space project was at least as challenging.

“We’ve seen that to date on the Space Launch System,” he said. “If we’re going to get back to the moon by 2024, we can do that, but we can’t if we don’t have stable, consistent support and funding. So the political and funding side of this, I would say, is actually the greater risk.”

The notion that SLS hasn’t had “consistent political support and funding” is beyond mendacious.

Brexit, And The UK’s Future

An explainer:

More Conservatives voted Leave than Labourites, but Labour represents the most passionately pro-Remain constituencies in the country and the most passionately pro-Leave ones. This means both parties have taken to destroying themselves internally rather than dealing with the vote’s implications.

The Tories are more culpable because they formed government during this period. They stuck with Theresa May, a leader who lacks every leadership quality apart from perseverance and who managed to lose a 20 per cent poll lead against an antediluvian Marxist after calling a completely unnecessary general election. This election produced a hung parliament and forced May’s Tories into a confidence and supply arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a Northern Irish outfit that is, to put it mildly, full of strange characters.

…In days gone by, superannuated elites refusing to accept defeat on existential questions of this type finished up with their heads on pikes. Democracy put a stop to that by doing what democracy does best: facilitating the peaceful and orderly transfer of power. But democracy means you elect a new parliament, not a new people. That, in truth, is the only deal that matters.

Link via Iain Murray, with whom I had lunch last week in DC, and who personally knows Boris Johnson, and most of the other candidates. When I noted that Theresa May has probably been the worst PM since Neville Chamberlain, he replied, “Since Lord North.”