“All [our] models are wrong”

It’s Climategate II, with another email dump from the CRU team, and Phil Jones writing that “All [our] models are wrong”

I haven’t read the new dump yet. But the quotes journalists have been pulling out are enough to tell me there are no surprises here.

Well, that is, no surprises if you’ve read my previous posts about error cascades and the sociology of AGW alarmism.

What we’re seeing in these emails is exactly the phenomenon I described; the “team” launched an error cascade that is now hooked into green-shirt political agendas. Peter Thorne: “The science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run”.

Thorne also confirmed what I’ve written about several times on this blog: “Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous.”

That is, the CRU team itself understands that empirical confirmation for greenhouse warming is lacking. The atmosphere is not doing what the AGW models predict. “Basic problem is that all models are wrong”, writes Phil Jones, bluntly, “not got enough middle and low level clouds.”

That’s a fitting epitaph for anthropogenic global warming.

157 thoughts on ““All [our] models are wrong”

  1. Ok, passphrase cracked by end of year: Who wants the over and the under?

  2. Lol. The way you americans can still deny global warming would be funny. If it weren’t so tragic…

  3. @Johnny, try to keep up, it’s AGW now, after such nonsense of several years of record snow in the UK following predictions of snow in the UK becoming a thing of the past.

  4. *sigh* WordPress. Magnet url without wordpress corruption: magnet:?xt=urn:btih:0a5a90a251229dcf810c07401df624edb2d8f659&dn=Climategate+2+%2F+Climategate+II+%2F+FOIA2011+%2F+FOIA+2011&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.openbittorrent.com%3A80&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.publicbt.com%3A80&tr=udp%3A%2F%2Ftracker.ccc.de%3A80

  5. Hard to tell what that means, lacking context; after all, “All models are false, but some are useful.”

    The trouble is that the models aren’t useful enough to predict anything either. Can any of them, given climate conditions as of 1900 (or even 1950, let’s make it easier), generate the observed conditions of 2000? How about predicting next year, or this summer?

  6. >Hard to tell what that means, lacking context; after all, “All models are false, but some are useful.”

    Jones was not making a general philosophical point about models. He was saying something very specific – the AGW models predict cloud formation that isn’t happening.

  7. Looks more like “Climategate I: Director’s Cut” than “Climategate II.” AFAICT there are no more recent emails, just a different selection of emails obtained previously.

  8. Clearly there has been AGW alarmism, and clearly politics is trumping science to some degree. One fear I have is that there really is some AGW, but that the “cry wolf” alarmism will convince many to dismiss the whole thing. There may really be a wolf out there, just not as big or close as the alarmists claim. I’ve heard this position called “luke-warmism,” and it sounds sensible to me.

    One big issue has been covered by Lomborg: the cost-effectiveness of mitigation. If it takes untold trillions of dollars to lower the average temperature 100 years from now by some tiny amount, is it worth it? And might it not make more sense to simply develop technology in the meantime, hoping we can use (e.g.) nanotech to suck carbon out of the atmosphere on a massive scale?

  9. >And might it not make more sense to simply develop technology in the meantime

    Stop with your crazy talk! Solutions that don’t involve more power gathered to the political class are unacceptable to the political class. Global warming must be real and require massive government intervention, because “We have to protect our phoney baloney jobs here, gentlemen!”

  10. I haven’t read the dump either, but just at a first glance it seems to me that the ‘All [our] models are wrong’ quote may well have been misunderstood.

    Anybody who deals with mathematical models knows the adage that ‘All models are wrong, but some of them are useful.’ That is to say that a model, by its nature, is always an approximation and is not the real system it is modelling. I also note that the ‘our’ word in that quote has been inserted, and is not in the original.

    So, it seems likely, or at least very plausible, to me that the author may simply have been expressing this idea, rather than criticising the usefulness of his own specific models.

    That said, I have not read the context or the whole email, so my first impression may well be proven wrong in the light of more information.

  11. The most interesting parts of the emails – both the previous dump and this one – are the instances where the hockey stick team manipulate and intimidate journal editors into conforming to the AGW cant and making it harder for skeptical papers to be published.

    Together with their refusal to cooperate in disclosing data and methodology and their corruption of the peer review process, its pretty obvious that they’ve corrupted the scientific process.

    That alone is outrageous enough. Couple that with the disclosures of their conspiring to attack the skeptics credibility with ad hominem – all while taking millions in undisclosed payments in the case of James Hansen – and I can’t see how the AGW adherents can defend these clowns with any sincerity.

  12. > I haven’t read the dump either, but just at a first glance it seems to me that the ‘All [our] models are wrong’ quote may well have been misunderstood.

    > Anybody who deals with mathematical models knows the adage that ‘All models are wrong, but some of them are useful.’

    The entire section in the dump is “Basic problem is that all models are wrong – not got enough middle and low level clouds.”

    What are you seeing in your “first glance” that supports the proposition that Jones is making a point about all models as opposed to specific models use by the AGW folk?

    > So, it seems likely, or at least very plausible

    Based on what evidence?

    > That said, I have not read the context or the whole email

    In other words, no evidence at all….

  13. I spent a goodly amount of time reviewing the first dump and almost every single initial claim made about them in the press was something taken terribly out of context and designed to grab headlines. I will defer on any decisions about what 2.0 may mean to climate science until they have been reviewed by folks a bit more intellectually rigorous than Andrew Breitbart, thank you.

  14. Jones again “GKSS is just one model and it is a model, so there is no need for it to be
    correct.”

    I wonder if GKSS is http://www.terradaily.com/reports/GKSS_Scientists_Refute_Argument_Of_Climate_Sceptics_999.html

    Scientists at the GKSS Research Centre of Geesthacht and the University of Bern have investigated the frequency of warmer than average years between 1880 and 2006 for the first time. The result: the observed increase of warm years after 1990 is not a statistical accident. The results will now be published in the journal “Geophysical Research Letters”.

    If GKSS is not correct, then it can’t be used to refute anything…..

  15. “I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.”

    “I am not convinced that the “truth” is always worth reaching if it is at the cost of damaged personal relationships”

    ““What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably”

    What should happen to them? They didn’t act in good faith. They lied to get money. They have seriously tarnished the reputation of science.

    Note that they advocated jail and worse for their opponents who they accused of those very things so if the answer is less than that, you get to explain the difference. Your explanation should discuss how you responded to said advocacy by them.

  16. @Andy Freeman

    >In other words, no evidence at all….

    Whoa, easy tiger.

    I was just saying that the quoted ‘All models are wrong’ might have been misinterpreted by the press. Not unreasonable, I think.

    I was abundantly clear that this was just based on my initial reading of that quote and that deeper investigation might prove me wrong.

    I just finished downloading the dump, and I agree that my initial idea probably wasn’t relevant.

    However, it is I think quite difficult to properly understand all these emails in context, so I am surprised that people are coming to conclusions so quickly.

  17. I would also add that science-by-quotation is probably not a great method. We ought to be looking at the scientific evidence rather than quoting emails.

  18. Eric is still looking for emails to provide the smoking gun to prove AGW is, as he puts it, a “fraud”, linked somehow to an international communist conspiracy.

    Yup … Just like Bullwinkle says, “This time for sure!”

    Meanwhile, the rest of sane humanity gets on with their lives and works on solving the problem.

  19. >They have seriously tarnished the reputation of science.

    Fortunately, this doesn’t seem to be true. Yet.

    What may be happening, though, is a cultural learning experience that will be helpful the next time someone tries to gin up a phony environmental panic. I’m on record as predicting the next one will be endocrine disruptors.

  20. > TomM Says:
    > November 23rd, 2011 at 8:24 pm “Meanwhile, the rest of sane humanity gets on with their lives and works on solving the problem.”

    Which problem would that be ?

    It certainly can not be one concerned with the purported trivial point 8 degree C (.8 C) increase in average temperature, since that isn’t much of a problem at all.

    Never mind that there hasn’t been any observed increase at all in temp for the last decade plus. Continental US temps are reportedly dropping as measured by the same bunch of hacks calling themselves climate scientists.

    You perhaps assume that puny humans HAVE an effect first of all, and that those same puny humans can alter that effect at will as well? Some call this hubris.

  21. >Which problem would that be ?

    Silly person, you haven’t surrendered enough autonomy yet! You must learn not merely to fear and obey EnviroBigBrother, but to love EnviroBigBrother. Only when you love, truly love, and become a willing accomplice in the subjugation of others will the real “problem” be solved.

  22. Sorry Senor Raymond, but I have always been the prickly sort who stuck pins in others brightly colored balloons, and never got along on the playground, LOL. Perhaps that is why I ended up database programming, since I always loved forming my own sets. 8D

  23. I’m quite frankly fascinated that so many people who pride themselves on being free thinkers are such conformists. Of course, I’m not the first to notice this. Galbraith’s “The Affluent Society” mercilessly mocked the liberals of his day:

    ‘A “good” liberal or a “true blue” liberal is one who is adequately predictable. This means that he forswears any serious striving towards originality. In both the United States and Britain, in recent times, liberals and their British counterparts of the left have proclaimed themselves in search of new ideas. To proclaim the need for new ideas has served, in some measure, as a substitute for them.’

    TomM is adequately predictable. Questioning and exploring the (many) inconsistencies isn’t predictable at all. Can’t be sane, that.

    Galbraith was wrong about a lot – we have the advantage of looking back over the last 50 years of known history where he had to extrapolate forward. Liberalism used to be intellectually healthy – maybe wrong on many points, but healthy. No more. I get the feeling that he’d be contemptuous of the lack of rigor of today’s liberals.

  24. How the hell does Breitbart get into this discussion? That’s not a serious comment, in8sworld.

  25. >How the hell does Breitbart get into this discussion?

    Tribalism.

    It makes sense that when you realize that for people .like in8sworld, politics is not really about issues but rather a sort of tribal-identification dance. He is probably unable to frame AGW skepticism as anything other than a sort of right-wing ritual fetish, to which good people respond by grimacing in the approved manner at the currently lefty-approved target of the Three-Minute Hate. Which is Breitbart, I guess.

  26. And you could do a lot worse than Breitbart as a filter anyway. He’s a man of proven intelligence and integrity; he may lack subject-matter expertise here, but that’s not very necessary in this case.

  27. @Tom
    > We ought to be looking at the scientific evidence rather than quoting emails.

    Agreed.

    … Except Eric doesn’t *need* to read the published science.

    He already *knows* it to be the fraudulent by-product of the long Gramscian march, tipped into error cascade by sloppy watermelons.

    How does he know this? On what evidence is this hyper-rationalist basing his views?

    **crickets**

  28. > I was just saying that the quoted ‘All models are wrong’ might have been misinterpreted by the press. Not unreasonable, I think.

    That wasn’t the whole quote. The complete sentence was in the last sentence of the 2nd to last paragraph of ESR’s posting….

    How about a cite to “the press” that quoted just that phrase?

  29. > I would also add that science-by-quotation is probably not a great method. We ought to be looking at the scientific evidence rather than quoting emails.

    I’ll bite. What exactly would “scientific evidence” wrt refusal to share data look like? How about omission of data? How about demanding that the “wrong people” and “wrong conclusions” not be published?

    Much of the discussion in those messages is about how to thwart the examination of scientific evidence. What, exactly, constitutes “scientific evidence” wrt said thwarting?

    The messages document political acts. What kind of evidence does TomW find suitable wrt such acts?

    Yes, the messages also document some conclusions about the data, conclusions that are at odds with what the parties said in public.

    TomM thinks that we should ignore what Jones says about his models, models that Jones won’t share. Maybe those models actually do support AGW, but if Jones can’t tease that out of them, what are the odds?

  30. > Except Eric doesn’t *need* to read the published science.

    How about some “scientific evidence” that the published science is reflects what we actually know?

    We have the proponents of said “published science” saying that it doesn’t….

    Note that Aristotle was the “published science” at one time….

  31. >>>They have seriously tarnished the reputation of science.

    > Fortunately, this doesn’t seem to be true. Yet.

    I’d agree if I thought that tarnish was linear, but I think that it’s super-linear, and I suspect that there’s a game-theory reason why it must be.

  32. Yes, I confused Tom and TomW above. However, since my argument doesn’t depend on their identities, the conclusion stands.

  33. It’s easy to prove that “all the [mainstream climate] models are wrong”. Just look at the data, such as this data from impeccable sources:
    http://sciencespeak.com/evidence.pdf

    Those models have a long history of seriously over-estimating air temperatures (the linked data compares Hansen 1988 because of his laughable scenario C, but they are all essentially the same although of course the spatial and temporal resolution is much better now).

    Argo proves they get ocean temperatures wrong, in a very incompatible-with-reality way.

    And the radiosonde data shows that the famed hotspot , responsible for 2/3 of the warming (the amplification part) in the climate models, is missing in reality. That’s what his quote was referring to: “Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous.”

    And the outgoing radiation data shows the models completely misunderstand the feedbacks of heat trapping, being way too aggressive and showing less outgoing radiation when the surface gets warmer (reality is the other way around, unsurprisingly).

    ESR, you have done the best post of ClimateGate2 so far. You picked the two most important quotes, and framed them appropriately, and kept it short.

  34. And the outgoing radiation data shows the models completely misunderstand the feedbacks of heat trapping, being way too aggressive and showing less outgoing radiation when the surface gets warmer (reality is the other way around, unsurprisingly).

    Wait… What? Did they really suggest that heat radiation decreases from a surface when the surface in question gets warmer?
    Unless I misunderstand what you mean (and i wouldn’t be surprised if i do) i’m pretty sure my brain gets experiential evidence to the contrary every time i use my oven.

  35. Yes JonCB, the climate models, due to their overly strong positive feedback (amplification), predict less heat is emitted by the planet when the surface gets warmer, on a weekly or monthly time scale.

    This is based on a guess about water vapor (eg see http://opinion.financialpost.com/2011/04/07/climate-models-go-cold). They assume that as the surface warms there is a certain increase in evaporation from the ocean (data now shows they over-estimated that by a factor of 2 – 3) which increases the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere (apparently it doens’t — it just gets rained out). Water vapor is the main greenhouse gas, so they assume the greenhouse blanket is thicker and more effective, thereby lowering outgoing radiation (heat).

    As the data reported in fig.4 of http://sciencespeak.com/evidence.pdf shows, the opposite is true — a warmer surface results in more heat emitted.

  36. @ Andy Freeman
    > We have the proponents of said “published science” saying that it doesn’t….

    No, we don’t.

    We have (again) conversations stripped of context.

    Editorialising from you, Eric or even David Evans (probably the closest to a relevant (though contrarian) subject-matter author likely to post here)won’t make the words say what you want them to say.

  37. >TomM Says:
    >November 23rd, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    >@Tom
    > We ought to be looking at the scientific evidence rather than quoting emails.

    >Agreed.

    I disagree. There has been more than enough evidence produced to reinforce the conclusion that not only are the purported increases trivial, within natural variability, submerged in data variability / error with larger magnitude, and increases also of greater magnitude have been observed in recent geologic history (Greenland Ice Cores and other proxy info) but ALSO that the EFFECTS of such increases are ALSO trivial. There may well be some effects of CO2 but they have yet to show any significance of note.

    But what hasn’t been properly explored and exposed are the fraudulent data, political, and scientific manipulation of AGW scientists. These hacks have been stealing public money under false pretenses, fabricating evidence, and in general exhibiting CRIMINAL behavior well beyond the norms of typical Science. Since public monies and fraud are involved, it is well past time that folks like Mann do indeed end up at the State Penn rather than Penn State. We can put him in a cell with his compatriot Jerry Sandusky, since they both violated the public trust.

    We need to concentrate on this second effort since the bullcrap aspect of this science is now settled, rofl. [ science is never settled ]

  38. So you now have proof that all published research on AGW is wrong? Or you can at least point out some studies published in Nature and Science which are wrong?

    If you cannot, this is just another attempt to derail the international climate meetings. With, actually, just some coffee table sound bites taken out of context.

    I see the publication of this unverified dump of text as evidence that there really is nothing of substance in there.
    If there really was evidence of a failure of Climate Science, this would not have been dumped on the internet, but it would have been splashed out over all the newspapers in the world.

    Programmers trying to disprove scientific research from behind their keyboard is even less useful as MS Windows users trying to debunk all this “Unix” nonsense without ever trying. If you are too laze to read the primary literature, it is obvious you will never understand what it is all about.

    In legal terms, all your opinion are nothing but “hearsay”. If you want to say something of substance, read the real studies and tell us what is wrong with them.

  39. @Winter

    I think what this latest dump shows that is most interesting is that a number of climate scientists have private doubts which they hesitate to announce publicly (see http://climateaudit.org/2011/11/23/private-expressions-of-uncertainty/ amongst other places). In other words for all the great stuff about “consensus” in private there’s a lot of disagreement. And a surprising amount of agreement with some of the more methematically/statistically literate sceptics (in particular the ‘lukewarmers’ – those who don’t deny that the earth has warmed over the last century or so but do question how much, whether this is abnormal and whether there is clear evidence that it is human caused).

    Related to this we see that it looks like Phil Jones did knowingly evade legal FOIA requests and would therefore be criminally liable if there weren’t a statute of limitations. Moreover it seems clear that the “investigations” into the actions of Jones and Mann were obviously of the whitewash, “see no evil” variety. In other words their claims of exoneration are wildly exaggerated.

    As for papers in Nature that were wrong, I’d say Kerry Emmanuel’s hurricane one appears to be well disproven. The stats behind the hockeystick are also shown to be bogus and that the authors have engaged in numerous attempts to mislead others through the well-known tricks of suppressio veri and suggestio falsi. Is there more?

    FWIW you can search all the emails (old & new) at my website – http://di2.nu/foia/foia.pl

  40. @ Winter

    I will say that some “Programmers trying to disprove scientific research from behind their keyboard” have done more good investigatation into AGW than some scientists behind their keyboards doing good programming, judging from the Harry_Read_Me.txt. ROFL

    You have a serious problem with cognitive dissonance and understanding of science in general Winter. There are ZERO papers proving AGW. Z.E.R.O Nobody around here KNOWS if AGW is wrong or right, fact or fiction. Appeals to authority are not data, facts, nor science.

    Correlation is not causation; supposition does not equal fact; and until those scientists gather up a spare solar system and manage to replicate sufficient experiments with said solar system to test their hypothesis, they have not PROVEN anything whatever. And I say that as a PhD scientist.

    All we have is a lot of hot air. [bad pun]

  41. @BioBob
    > Nobody around here KNOWS if AGW is wrong or right, fact or fiction. Appeals to authority are not data, facts, nor science.

    Sigh. Here we go again.

    Let’s start with the basics. I suggest you could go over to IPCC.ch and start reading the actual science. The AR4 Summary for Policymakers is a decent spot to start.

    > Correlation is not causation

    Dash it all, you’ve revealed a fatal flaw! If only IPCC had thought of that! (Hint: it’s possible that this might indeed have been addressed in the literature.)

  42. @BioBob
    “There are ZERO papers proving AGW. Z.E.R.O Nobody around here KNOWS if AGW is wrong or right, fact or fiction.”

    Then BioBob, you go to Nature, Science or any of the reputable journals, and tell us which climate study is wrong, and where it went wrong.

    That is all there is to debunking scientific errors.

    Relying on journalists quoting other journalists who spoke to a scientist who might have been informed of the matter is not a way to bring such errors to light. Neighter is taking isolated phrases from private emails out of context.

    I stay with my conclusion: If there was any evidence of fraud or error in the emails, that would have been splashed all over the media a year ago.

  43. No, TomM. The place to start is the executive summary of the original IPCC report.

    In it, the committee states that warming has been observed, that climate models indicate that it will continue and become more rapid, and that there are no plausible mechanisms suggested in climate science that would cause that increase. It therefore follows that the activities of humans must be the cause, and the rest follows from that.

    All of that was good science at the time the report was written. Since then, science has moved forward — as it normally does — and the major point of the argument, that there are no plausible natural mechanisms for the observed warming, has now been superceded. The Svensmark hypothesis alone falsifies the statement, and there are others. Note that for the purposes of the argument, it isn’t necessary that other hypotheses be proven. That standard is not set in the report, and the hypothesis that the mechanism is anthropogenic had not been proven at the time and still hasn’t been proven. It’s only acceptable if there are no others.

    Meanwhile, none of the model predictions involving anthropogenic effects, particularly of the “tipping point” hypothesis, have been supported by actual data collected in the field. The models all predict warming in the tropical troposphere; this has not been observed (to put it mildly). The models all predict decreased overall planetary radiation with increased average temperature; the satellite data contradicts that. The models all predict increased cloudiness as the mechanism for heat trapping; the current data are somewhat scattered and contradictory, but do not confirm the prediction in any meaningful way. The models all predict deep-ocean warming; the biggest scientific experiment on the planet short of particle accelerators — the ARGO floats — finds no such effect.

    Furthermore, information has emerged about the models themselves. A commenter above suggests inputting data up to 1950, and requiring the models to predict 2000. Not only are they not able to do that, the situation is actually much worse: if you input all the data and require them to “predict” 1950, the result is wildly wrong.

    The point of calling the emails “climategate” is that they demonstrate that an alliance of the soi-disant scientists in the field with political actors has made a ruthless and generally effective effort to suppress alternate arguments and hypotheses, not by demonstrating good science that disproves those arguments and hypotheses, but by censorship, deprivation of funding, and ad hominem ridicule, while the “scientists” themselves refuse to expose their data and methods of analysis to scrutiny by others. Whatever the underlying truth of warming or not, they and their allies have demonstrated that they shouldn’t be the last people to trust to fix any problems — they aren’t even on the list.

    Regards,
    Ric

  44. @ Ric Locke
    > The place to start is the executive summary of the original IPCC report.

    Well, if you’re in the mood, why not. It might then be instructive to consider the increasing levels of confidence with which (between 1AR and AR4) IPCC expresses conclusions.

    I can give you some more recent links to synthesis reports discussing the current published science if you’re really interested.

    > ad hominem ridicule

    Well, I agree there’s no call for ad hominem ridicule. (Except for young-Earth creationists.)

  45. @TomM –

    It’s very simple, really.

    All the models and all the “science” say that as atmospheric CO2 concentration increases, global mean temperature increases linearly with it.

    The last 10 years have seen the same continuous increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration. Temperatures have remained flat.

    Q.E.D.

  46. Oh, yes, TomM, it is, indeed, instructive to observe the increasing confidence in AR1 through AR4 — especially if one is inclined to seek the nooks and crannies of science, which in many cases question or refute that confidence, and to observe the increasing incidence of flat lies like the inclusion of World Wildlife Federation ideology as “peer-reviewed science”. It’s also of note that the leaked preliminary versions of AR5 back off from that confidence.

    The whole global warming business reduces to a few arguments:

    1) The planet is warmer now than it has been in the past;
    2) The trend is continuous and unique;
    3) The results of continued warming will be disastrous;
    4) Human activity is the cause of the warming;
    5) There are no ameliorative feedbacks that might mitigate the effect.

    It therefore follows that massive intervention into the lives and behaviors of people is necessary to stave off the crisis.

    You are welcome to heap coals of fire upon the heads of people who deny #1 if only recent history (since the early-to-mid-1800s, when thermometers were invented) is admitted. When earlier history is included the matter is much more complex. Every scientific discipline from anthropology to zoology once took the Medieval Warm Period and the following Little Ice Age as givens from which many conclusions were derived. The first major clue that “climate scientists” were not entirely on the up-and-up was the Hockey Stick, which is a lie, a whole lie, and nothing but a lie. Any reconstruction of past temperatures that does not even show a bump in the period 1000AD +/- 200 years is false upon its face, and the subsequent handwaving and expostulation about “local effects” is patent rubbish — especially in the light of public disclosure of communications among “climate scientists” that the MWP and LIA are problems for their theory which must somehow be erased from the record.

    As to #3, I doubt seriously that farmers in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Siberia, or the southern areas of Argentina would agree that a longer growing season consequent upon general warming would be entirely a bad thing, and it is a known fact that plants in the current climate are CO2-limited in their growth, to the point that greenhouse operators routinely employ CO2 generators to increase their yields. The absolute, flat, dogmatic refusal of AGW promoters to even admit that there might be positive effects of warming makes the whole gang look like ideologically-driven idiots. Much more might be said on that point, but let’s move on to the important bits.

    It’s at least curious, and arouses suspicion in my mind (and, I think, Eric’s) that the cited sources of greenhouse gases are exclusively confined to Western industrial societies. Carbon dioxide emitted by slash-and-burn agriculture or the wood, peat, and animal-dung fires of other groups is good virtuous primitive CO2 which causes no problems, as is the equally good and virtuous Socialist carbon dioxide produced by Chinese coal-fired electric generators, whereas the gases my pickup and heaters put out are nasty, evil, capitalist imposition upon the planet. It arouses suspicion because it is neither more nor less than the latest Issue cited by those who have been agitating for a century and a half to gain control of wealth under the pretext of “social justice”, citing something new every time their previous pretext has been shot down. In this category we can also place the enthusiastic response of politicians, who have seized upon the “necessity for massive intervention” as a means of aggrandizing themselves at the expense of the population as a whole. The “climategate” emails show us a claque of individuals anxious to toady to the power-seeking politicians, in the hope of being rewarded as valuable minions when the said politicians achieve their goals.

    There may or may not be general warming; the evidence is much more ambiguous than the proponents are willing to admit, and their eagerness to suppress contradictory data is somewhere between suspicious and damning, as is their unwillingness to expose their data and analyses to general scrutiny. Warming may or may not be a problem; the unwillingness of “warmists” to even admit the possibility that, e.g., moving the Bengladeshi to higher ground might be cheaper than shutting down the entirety of Western industry, makes their arguments look very much like religious belief rather than scientific inquiry. The behavior of the politicians in the matter creates at least the suspicion that the whole thing is a power grab by people I, personally, wouldn’t trust with my bank account data, much less the wealth of the planet. And that’s the real problem. It’s no longer exclusively or even largely a scientific question. It’s a political one, and trusting politicians with power over the minutiae of daily life is a bad bet at best.

    Regards,
    Ric

  47. Oh, yes, TomM, it is, indeed, instructive to observe the increasing confidence in AR1 through AR4 — especially if one is inclined to seek the nooks and crannies of science, which in many cases question or refute that confidence, and to observe the increasing incidence of flat lies like the inclusion of World Wildlife Federation ideology as “peer-reviewed science”. It’s also of note that the leaked preliminary versions of AR5 back off from that confidence.

  48. Good summary, Ric, indeed.
    A very good example how “debunking” outside the scientific mainstream works:
    – Choose an theory that is obviously wrong
    – use your intuition and those of similar minded geniuses to guess, why this theory is supported. Do not look at at published science. Simple Version: They must have uses statistical correlation to proof AGW. Slightly expanded: Rics five points, see above
    – Poke holes in your own strawman. Correlation does not imply causation. See Rics post for his own argumentative autoaggression
    – The strawman has big holes and leaks like a sieve, therefore: scientists must be idiots
    – if your tendency to employ sloppy thinking is even greater than your ideological blinders, save yourself time: you knew all this from the beginning anyway, because something was warmer somewhere (MWP) is identical to other things getting warmer now. Yes Eric, A=A!

    Sadly, all of this is completely understandable. If every Website you read says the hockey stick ist garbage, then it is true. If things make sense, they must be true. The Climategate II mails _are_ convincing, they seem convincing for me, too! This is why it is so important that we humans developed a set of scientific methods to keep this feeling, “being convinced”, in check. And these methods have to be told apart from the children book idea of science, where for example “repeatable laboratory experiments” are the only way of gaining true knowledge (think astronomy…). To internalize these methods takes training, intelligence and, sometimes, the discipline not to jump to the most immediate conclusion. Sometimes seemingly obvious contradictions point to errors in other peoples statements, but sometimes they are just gods way of telling us that there are gaps in our knowledge. Or as my mother used to say: Leave thinking to the horses, they have much bigger heads.

  49. @ Michael Hipp
    > Good summary, Ric.

    Yes, a good summary of the usual contrarian talking points.

    Since you and others here are already convinced that you are all right and the published science is all wrong (or fraudulent or both) it seems almost churlish of me to keep saying otherwise, doesn’t it?

    @ Ric Locke
    > as is their unwillingness to expose their data and analyses to general scrutiny

    You’re joking, surely. The data that Jones et al were pressed to release has been.

    In fact, that reminds me. A few years ago Ken Burnside, Eric and others here launched a project to run their own model using published data sets. I think we’re still waiting to be enlightened with their results.

  50. @TomM
    > Yes, a good summary of the usual contrarian talking points.

    We will note that you have not refuted anything. The fact that you haven’t even tried is telling. We’re just supposed to believe. Read. Memorize. Regurgitate.

  51. @esr

    >Silly person, you haven’t surrendered enough autonomy yet! You must learn not merely to fear and obey EnviroBigBrother, but to love EnviroBigBrother. Only when you love, truly love, and become a willing accomplice in the subjugation of others will the real “problem” be solved.

    As usual, and as with Apple vs. Google and Open vs. Closed, the analysis of any subject must be forced through the lens of a putative Orwellian dystopia where in order to be accepted as a bona-fide member of the underground resistance everything, including facts, evidence, utility and happiness, must be to subordinated to absolute autonomy and freedom from any external power or authority, no matter how benign.

    It is ironic that in slavishly applying this intellectual framework to everything, no matter how poor the fit, you have actually subjugated yourself and your thinking to a totalitarian ideology that has rendered you unable to think freely about anything.

  52. TomM, citing IPCC’s AR4 as authoritative is not effective when the very argument is over how reliable it is. It’s the same as claiming the Bible is the literal word of God because it claims it is.

    Try a non-circluar argument next time.

  53. I see your appeal to authority, Winter, and TomM, and raise you the task to show me ONE paper that shows that the 0.039% CO2 atmospheric component versus the ~ 25 times more abundant and extremely variable water vapor, clouds, solar variability, the remainder of the ~98.6% of the atmosphere, etc etc is the complete and definitive cause of the misnamed greenhouse effect and the purported recent increase in northern hemisphere temperature.

    Good luck ! You won’t find any because nobody actually KNOWs the relative CO2 contribution but ALL conclude it is MUCH LESS THAN THAT OF WATER VAPOR since the system is far too chaotic and complex. We don’t understand all, but I at least, am perfectly happy to wait until we do understand without concluding that we know more than we actually do.

    As a scientist I recognize the limits of scientific knowledge while you refuse to.

  54. As a general note on the models used, note that the factors (temperature, water vapor, cloud cover, and so on) are the same in both weather forecasting and in long range climate models. Except that the weather models are simpler, not least because of shorter cycles and better understood feedback effects. So until next week’s forecast is 90% accurate, no one should have any confidence in decadal forecasts.

  55. @Tony Villiers – Or as my mother used to say: Leave thinking to the horses, they have much bigger heads.

    She sure knew you.

  56. As Deep Throat did not actually say to Woodward (except in the movie, which a number of “respected” journals have confused with actual history), “Follow the money.”

    What money?

    Billions of dollars in “carbon certificates”, including hundreds of millions in outright fraud.

    Billions of dollars in subsidies to “renewable energy” vendors.

    Billions of dollars in power-purchase mandates and preferences to “renewable energy” vendors.

    Billions of dollars in state-backed loans and subsidies to “green technology” companies.

    Hundreds of millions of dollars in state and foundation grants to “green” NGOs for anti-AGW projects and “education”.

    Hundreds of millions of dollars in donations collected by “green” NGOs in response to AGW alarmist propaganda.

    Hundreds of millions of dollars in state and foundation grants to climate scientists working to demonstrate AGW.

    Hundreds of millions of dollars in book sales, speaking fees, and “genius” grants collected by AGW advocates. (James Hansen alone has collected $1.6M.)

    All of this is well documented.

    It proves nothing, except that advocates of AGW have very powerful financial incentives for their advocacy.

    For me, that is reasonable grounds to doubt their objectivity and even their honesty.

    A further point: AGW advocates frequently claim that AGW skeptics are paid shills for fossil-energy companies. But fossil energy is profitable and successful without state preferences and subsidies. Indeed, taxes on fossil energy provide a large amount of government revenue.

    But “green energy”, almost without exception, requires lavish state support to be profitable, and even with such support often fails.

    Which industry needs an army of propagandists?

  57. >Which industry needs an army of propagandists?

    The eco-twits will claim all of them do, especially the oil and chemical industries. Ayn Rand got a lot wrong, but her take on the New Left and their descendants, calling them the “Anti-Industrial Revolution”, was prophetic.

  58. @ BioBob
    > As a scientist I recognize the limits of scientific knowledge while you refuse to.

    Gah.

    @ Jay Maynard
    > TomM, citing IPCC’s AR4 as authoritative is not effective when the very argument is over how reliable it is.

    I can see how that might confuse people. Especially people like Eric who claim that IPCC is wrong without troubling himself to read what it is that IPCC says. Which is sort of the point.

    But you (and Eric and Ric etc) are mistaken … The “argument” is not about how reliable AR4 is or isn’t – the argument is simply about what the science actually says.

    To me, that’s an important first step. You may have a different view.

    (Sidenote: When a criticism of climate science effectively ends with “… And they’re all a bunch of pinko commies anyway” I think it is fair to discount the critic’s impartiality.)

  59. @ Michael Hipp
    > We will note that you have not refuted anything.

    (“We”?)

    I am not a (climate) scientist and am happy to leave the refutations to those who are.

    IPCC is of course a good start.

    If you prefer a more conversational style, realclimate.org is worth a visit. As a matter of fact there’s a decent thread discussing the context for some of the “new” emails that triggered Eric’s post.

  60. In fact, that reminds me. A few years ago Ken Burnside, Eric and others here launched a project to run their own model using published data sets. I think we’re still waiting to be enlightened with their results.

    Three things fouled this up – none of them proof of callumny.

    1) The open source software graciously provided by the University of Colorado proved to be a royal bear to get to compile, let alone run. This, even with a LOT of useful support from people who use it every day, and Eric trying to get it to run on his machine. (This is not my area of domain knowledge, so I delegated to Eric.)
    2) The data sets provided require a lot of domain knowledge to parse. The tiny bit I was able to get a handle on showed a lot of correction factors that, if they were labeled and explained, were not labeled and explained in a way I could figure out with the time I had available. (This was my contribution: Trying to understand the data structure of the data sets provided.)
    3) Eric and I (for different reasons) ran out of time trying to debug someone else’s C++ code and baroque data sets.

    I am an actual skeptic, not an ideologue. I don’t see vast tendrils of Leftist conspiracy in climate science; I also don’t see a lot of wisdom in performing experiments on the planetary atmospheric gas mix on the only habitable planet we have access to.

    I am very much convinced that the climate science clangor and “We Must Shut Down Everything!” and speciesist self-loathing is unproductive.

    My position is very slightly shifted from my initial statement: I am pretty thoroughly convinced that our pre-2002-2003 temperature data is stitched together in ways that make it about as unreliable as an Enron balance sheet. I used to only be slightly convinced of this.

  61. “There may or may not be general warming”

    Yes, there is. When I was a child (in the 1950s), mom insisted on the purchase of a globe for my edification. The booklet that came with it described various regions of the world, and noted that the arctic polar ice was now (ca. 1956) about 40% thinner than it had been 50 years before. Elsewhere, at about the same time, I read that the southern border of the range of white birch trees (which require frozen ground in winter to survive) had been moving northward at a rate of a few miles per year for a long time.

    Today, we observe permafrost in Siberia and Alaska melting, and the growing season in Greenland is weeks longer than it has been. Whether the cause is CO2 emissions is debatable, but whether the earth is warming is not.

    I’ll also note that CO2 is indeed the cause of increasing acidity of the oceans. We really need to address this. If we are going to generate garbage, at least let’s dispose of it properly, not throw it out into the atmosphere. A better thing would be to not generate so much garbage in the first place.

  62. @ Ken Burnside
    > Three things fouled this up – none of them proof of callumny.

    Thanks for the update Ken.

    Maybe not proof of calumny … but possibly an indication that when a climate scientist says that you need to understand the detail in order to produce sensible results they might know what they are talking about.

    > I am pretty thoroughly convinced that our pre-2002-2003 temperature data is stitched together in ways that make it about as unreliable as an Enron balance sheet.

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, but I’m afraid I don’t see how your experience in trying to deal with an actual temperature data set that you’ve confessed to lack the capacity and resources to properly understand) is relevant to your assertion about the quality of the data itself.

    (But bonus points are awarded for your inferential smear of climate scientists as fraudulent and corrupt anyway)

  63. Winter,

    It would seem your world view prevents you from seeing what many others do see, myself included. You seem to want to position the latest FOIA dump as an all or nothing indictment against every aspect of climate science. That strikes me as infantile head-in-the-sand strawman building. I certainly don’t see the dump as proof that all of the CAGW (please recall what that stands for – Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming) is a fraud. Some may, and if you presume to attribute all criticisms of CAGW science to that extreme viewpoint, it simply indicates to me that you are beyond any rational debate on the emails.

    What the original email release indicated to me, and this is further reinforced by the latest dump, is that a small cadre of scientists, activists, political players, and corporate interests have gamed the system to position themselves to advance their agendas and either directly or indirectly achieve personal gain. Not a bad thing in itself, but the methods by which they gamed the system was one or more of the following: illegal, unethical, deceptive, and dishonest.

    Don’t let your core beliefs blind you to the impact of this bad behavior. There’s plenty of good science in Nature, Science, etc., but the actions exposed in the emails reveals that there is plenty of bad science too. This is to be expected in any scientific field, but when presented with material evidence of bad science, the CAGW elite close ranks and refuse to acknowledge any errors or follow the normal process of science.

    The editorial stances of Science, and Nature in particular, suggest that they would rather maintain their narrative than address the real and insidious corruption of climate science that has been perpetuated by the IPCC and its partner organizations.

    It’s funny, you have been a long-standing contributor on Groklaw. The antics of Darl McBride are very similar to those of Michael Mann in the climate science realm. The emails don’t suggest that all of climate science is bad. Climate science’s subsequent disregard of the bad behaviors exposed in those emails suggests that for those ‘scientists’ zealously endorsing the IPCC orthodoxy, the rot may go very deep indeed.

  64. @ Earle Williams
    > … when presented with material evidence of bad science, the CAGW elite close ranks and refuse to acknowledge any errors or follow the normal process of science.

    This statement is and remains demonstrably false, no matter how many times you or your fellow-travelers repeat it.

    > real and insidious corruption of climate science that has been perpetuated by the IPCC and its partner organizations

    The world awaits your revelations of the evidence for this corruption.
    Of course, if you don’t have any evidence, you could just keep shouting “fraud” and stick your fingers in your ears.

  65. I had to laugh when I read TomM’s recommendation that realclimate.org is a reasonable place to obtain enlightenment. Put me in mind of this:

    CAGW Arguer 1: For a good background on the issues by smart people, you should read [ RealClimate | ClimateAudit ]

    CAGW Arguer 2: Ha! [ RealClimate | ClimateAudit ] are a bunch of partisan shills, in the pay of [ big climate | big oil ]! For the real story you should read [ ClimateAudit | RealClimate ]. You just might learn something.

    CAGW Arguer 1: But I’m right, because my comments are snarky and my arguments refer to [ climate scientists | amateur auditors ] who [ are scientific authorities | share their data and code ].

    CAGW Arguer 2: Bah! You’re just another troll, a useful idiot being manipulated by [ fossil fuel interests | mulit-national billion-dollar NGOs ]!

    I find the tribalistic poo-flinging tedious beyond description. I’m gonna go eat some turkey and take a nap. Wake me when the [ Maldives sink | ice age ] starts. For those of you in the [U.S. | rest of the world ] have a [happy Thanksgiving | wonderful weekend ]!

  66. TomM,

    Silly rabbit, you’re apparently incapable of parsing words. Please point to where I a) shouted fraud, or b) stuck my fingers in my ears. I’m pretty sure I did neither, but am more than happy to acknowledge where I’m wrong in that regard.

  67. @ Earle Williams

    At the risk of being accused of snark, I have to confess to some confusion about the parallels you are trying to draw in the comparison of realclimate and climateaudit.

    Leaving aside for a moment the question of what precisely an “amateur auditor” is, you seem to be of the view that, in matters of climate science, the views of climate scientists and “amateur auditors” are of precisely equal weight.

    You may be unsurprised to learn that I disagree.

  68. @ Earl

    Correction noted: /s fraud / corruption.

    (and to be fair you didn’t use allcaps, so “shouting” is also probably a little strong).

    Happy?

  69. TomM, you once again cite IPCC AR4 as an authoritative source on what the science says when that’s the exact subject of dispute. If AR4 is hopelessly biased by corrupt “scientists”, then reading it as an authoritative source of scientific knowledge is not going to be fruitful.

    Let me use words of a syllable or less: I don’t trust IPCC. Pick another source.

  70. TomM, why is the IPCC “a good start” when the process of compiling it has been so corrupted?

  71. @ Jay Maynard

    I appreciate your candor but you are misstating the problem.

    If, like Delingpole, one is content to be an interpreter of interpretations without troubling oneself to actually deal with the published science, ignoring the IPCC is convenient indeed … but doing so reveals one to be a spear carrier, not a truth seeker.

    You are free to “trust” whoever you like – as you seem to have already made up your mind I don’t think there’s much I might say that would change it, is there?

  72. Appeals to authority are not data, facts, nor science.

    And I say that as a PhD scientist.

  73. >interpreter of interpretations without troubling oneself to actually deal with the published science, ignoring the IPCC is convenient indeed

    IPCC is an “interpreter of interpretations”, there is no science directly involved there just the interpretation of scientific claims by and for politicians and bureaucrats. It is more like the ultimate, and in many peoples opinions ultimately biased, review article.

    For a good take on the risks of review articles see:
    Cigarette smoking: an underused tool in high-performance endurance training, and the discussion on Hacker News and on Less Wrong How to prove anything with a review article.

  74. > Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, but I’m afraid I don’t see how your experience in trying to deal with an actual temperature data set that you’ve confessed to lack the capacity and resources to properly understand) is relevant to your assertion about the quality of the data itself.

    The models should be runnable by experts in computation.

    If they aren’t, there’s reasonable doubt that they ever ran.

    Real science can be replicated. The AGW stuff can’t be. In some cases, that’s by design, because the “scientists” won’t share the data. In other cases, they’re simply wrong.

  75. Rich Rostrom, Follow the Money.

    As a prominent skeptic, I can vouch that we skeptics do not get any substantial money from outside sources. (Exxon paid $23m over several years to 2006, none since then, and paid over $100m to alarmist groups in the same time period.) In particular, my wife (runs 4th biggest skeptic site in world, http://joannenova.com.au/) and I get no money from such sources, except speakers fees once or twice a year from groups like Heartland in the order of $1,000. We do it pro bono, on donations, because a giant wrong is being committed, and as part of the largest uprising in science ever.

    The money issue is easy, just list the array of forces.

    Alarmist:
    – UN
    – Western governments
    – Mainstream media
    – Banks
    – NGO’s
    – Leftists
    – Government scientists
    – PR firms
    – Academia.

    Skeptic:
    – Internet
    – Talkback radio
    – Other scientists
    – Amateurs.

    Yet, we skeptics are winning. (Evidence: 1. Western opinion pools moved from about 10% skeptic in 2007 to about 50% now. 2. Alarmist blogs currently despairing since mid 2011 about how they “lost the public debate”. 3. Lack of western government action on emission reduction, except in Australia due to Greens having balance of power. 4. Main alarmist scientists in the last two months now publicly talking about having to make major modifications to their models, though not yet admitting they are wrong.)

    How? Basically the Internet trumps the MSM, it just takes a while. (Also, the climate recently has been more congruent with our message :).)

    There is a precedent. Before the printing press the Church had a monopoly on distributing high-quality information, but then the printing press brought about the reformation and the enlightenment, and the power of the church declined.

    For the last few decades the MSM has had a gatekeeper’s lock on high-quality info, so if they could be convinced to propagate only a certain message then that was “truth”. Obviously the MSM have tried that on the role of CO2 in climate, but cannot keep out the contrary information because the Internet bazaar is routing around their centralized control. Evidence: This data and these photos are clearly highly relevant to the debate, yet have never appeared anywhere in the MSM
    http://sciencespeak.com/evidence.pdf
    http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/corruption/climate-corruption.pdf
    Have you seen them anywhere except the Internet? Are they not from impeccable sources, and highly relevant to the CO2 hypothesis and the climate models?

    They say the Soviet Union was brought down by the photocopier.

    The climate issue has woken vast numbers of people to the trustworthiness of the MSM and government, one is of the first really big effects of the Internet on power in society.

  76. TomM, its been shown that the editors of the IPCC AR4 report broke their own rules regarding whether or not papers qualified for inclusion. The case of the Wahl and Amman paper that purported to “prove” McIntyre and McKitrick wrong being but one example. Why am I supposed to trust people who show a propensity for manipulation, deceit and stonewalling?

  77. @Winter are you aware that the few short-term predictions issued by the warmalists have uniformly failed? In 1988, James Hansen predicted that in 20 years, the West Side Highway would be unusable due to rising ocean levels. this failed.
    the British Met office prominently predicted in 2001 or 2002 that soon, British children would never see snow again. this was followed by severe winter blizzards and snowfalls the last three or four winters.
    Repeated predictions by warmalists of more frequent and stronger hurricanes have failed. the past decade has had much weaker hurricane activity than the 1930s or 1940s.

  78. TomM:

    The data sets from circa 2002-2003 and onward that I got were, for the most part, clearly documented and about a factor of five more complete in terms of data points that were consistently applied for each fortnightly data set. Interestingly enough, these larger, more robust data sets, don’t show as extreme a set of change – in many cases, like the ARGO data, they show a significant cooling trend in the oceans.

    The ones before that date span? No. Not in the least. There were data points for oceanic and land-based temperature points that covered 500 mile radius.

    There were data points that had unexplained correction factors on them.

    The amount of data that could be sourced to a known grid coordinate point, with a reasonable scope of area, and without a correction factor applied was under 15% of the data set.

    So, if 85% of the data has no proven provenance, and has no clear source of documentation on why the adjustments were done…other than “You’re not a climate scientist…you wouldn’t understand!”

    Our plan of action was to do the following:

    1) Get the code to run. Eric literally ran out of time on this. I wish he’d gotten the modeling software running. Given what else is on his plate, I don’t anticipate him having another chance at this before 2013 or 2014.
    2) Load data sets once we understood them. For post 2002-2003 data sets, this proved to be easier than earlier ones.
    3) Unit test the code – check to see if altering a specific parameter (like halving the solar constant) changed the models predictive values, and see if the change in the parameters resulted in a change in the same direction. This allows us to test some of the assumptions.

  79. @All
    When I point to published articles, this is not an appeal to authority, but to study the facts and find the errors that you say are in there. The fact that many of you think this is about authority, is conclusive evidence of a complete and utter misunderstanding of science.

    If you want to show a scientific theory is wrong, you do it by showing the studies it is based on were wrong and it does not “fit” the data. That is done on the published record, ie, the peer reviewed papers.

    If a theory is wrong, the papers that study it must contain errors. If you cannot show where the papers are wrong, empiricism tells us your opposition is wrong, and not the theory. Now the papers do not show any errors beyond the normal level of any type of human endeavor. That is why everyone shouts “fraud”. Because that is the only thing that is left if all the published data and theory is shown to be correct.

    You do not want to scan the published papers in reputed journals because these papers are all correct. They do not contain errors of fact or theory that would support your denial. And, actually, the denialists (not “skeptics”) know, because they have scanned the papers for errors, but simply did not find them and won’t tell us they did. So the denialists come up with fraud or stupidity (aka “error cascades”) to not have to admit the science is right.

    That you think that the scientists have not themselves done everything to find out errors, fraud, and stupidity is another symptom of your ignorance about the scientific practice.

    Conclusion, if you do not read and study the primary literature, you do not understand the science. For programmers, if you do not study the code (or protocol analysis), you do not understand the program.

  80. Winter,

    I’ll make you a deal. You provide me links to the papers that provide the most compelling evidence to you that the IPCC and its reports are correct on CAGW. Let’s say, 10 papers or so. The ones you have read that lead you to the strong convictions you hold. I’m talking underlying science here, not IPCC meta-review. You provide me those papers and I’ll read them, every one. And I will read them with a conscientious effort of maintaining an open mind. Then we can discuss what specific hypotheses and evidence lead you to the conclusion that the IPCC speaks well and true.

    Of course, that’s only half of the deal. I’ll read your papers provided you agree to read my counter-arguments. They may be peer-reviewed papers, internet postings, or (gasp!) leaked emails. I’ll match your submission on a word-for-word basis. You provide me 20,000 words, I provide you 20,00 words. I would expect, nay demand, that you apply an equally conscientious effort to maintaining an open mind. Both of us, while wading through material that seemingly cannot all be true, must continually ask ourselves the question, “What if I’m wrong about this?”

    You up for this? From the stridency of your argument I conclude that you must surely have read much of the underlying material and should be able to name a few of them right off the top of your head.

  81. @ TomM
    >This statement is and remains demonstrably false, …

    Demonstration needed

    And yes, I’m happy to have you acknowledge your gross application of hyperbole and inability to parse my comment. This is a day of Thanksgiving indeed!

    re: Your interpretation of my comment of 6:49 pm, double thanks for reiterating my point!

  82. @ Earle
    > Demonstration needed.
    Identified errors in IPCC publications (like the Himalayan glacier goof) are corrected quickly.

    Enjoy your turkey.

  83. @Earle Williams
    Ah, you want to switch the battlefield. I don’t want to (Sun Tzu already wrote about that)

    You say science does not work. I say it does work and the published record is good. Climate science goes its course as any scientific field does.

    My only point is, that if you say climate science does not work, then you must be able to point out the errors. I cannot prove climate science does work. There simply are too many studies that were done and I am no climate scientist. I cannot prove them all correct.

    However, it is easy to prove climate science does not work: Just point out incorrect studies. If they are all wrong (and they must be all wrong if there is no AGW), that must be easy. Just pick one you (dis-)like from a reputable peer-reviewed journal and point out what is definitely wrong. Two bad studies make your case more compelling. Three even more. And you can pick them out yourself!

    So, this is not about proving whatever is going on with the climate, but about climate science. Read back, whatever I think about AGW, I was only arguing that I believe the science was right and I did not state anything about the content of the publications. And I am not going to lose my job by trying to become a climate scientist.

  84. I think that everything I could say about this matter has already been written better than I ever could:

    Hard Times For Unscientific Blogging
    http://www.science20.com/chatter_box/hard_times_unscientific_blogging-83234

    Scientific blogging means writing about science without doing the readers’ thinking for them. Unscientific blogging means writing any garbage which – it is hoped – will keep readers from feeling the need to switch their brains on. However much scientific evidence there is to demonstrate anything at all, it’s a safe bet that somebody somewhere doesn’t want to believe it, or – for reasons which I can’t begin to fathom – doesn’t want their readers to believe it.

    I bow for the master and leave it at that.

  85. “You say science does not work. I say it does work and the published record is good. Climate science goes its course as any scientific field does.”

    That’s a nice line of thought. But I’m curious: what exactly convinces you that Climate science is a “scientific field”? By scientific field I understand a field with good, demonstrated predictive capabilities, for example physics. Note that “has professors at prominent universities” clearly doesn’t cut it as an argument.

  86. Winter complained of “shift the battlefield” and immediately went on to “(and they must be all wrong if there is no AGW)”. Isn’t “there is no AGW” itself a shift of the “battlefield” (argument) to a straw man? Many IPCC critics, including me — probably, indeed, most IPCC critics — agree that CO2 will probably tend to warm the planet by at least a little bit. The main criticism is of the very large positive feedbacks that would be required to blow up the basic CO2 greenhouse effect into the dominant cause of the warming since 1850, and into an alarmingly large warming in the coming century. (And a closely related criticism, the IPCC’s minimization of complementary non-CO2-emission drivers of climate fluctuations, necessary in order to make the CO2-is-the-key story hold together.)

    Winter also wrote “Just pick one you (dis-)like from a reputable peer-reviewed journal and point out what is definitely wrong.” I think the Mann hockey stick paper featured on the cover of one of the IPCC ARs was almost certainly wrong; I found myself in complete agreement with everything I read of McIntyre’s criticisms of it several years ago.This is a big deal because if the IPCC case for eliminating historical temperature swings (MWP and LIA in particular) falls apart, then that alone strongly indicates that models that don’t incorporate enough natural variability to explain such unforced-by-human-industry must be mistaken, no matter how lovingly they are hand-tuned to hindcast the last 150 years.

    Also, speaking of shifting the battlefield, “just pick one paper that must be wrong” arbitrarily excludes two well-known criticisms of papers dealing with historical climate models.

    Criticism the first: modelling the historical climate record depend on several input factors which are poorly known. (From memory, particulate levels are a particularly significant and hard case.) Naturally enough, different groups have ended up using significantly different estimates of these inputs. (Who the hell can know exactly how many particles of exactly what size were emitted by steam tech in 1912? A significant amount of wild-assed guessing is necessary.) So far, so good — but now, even after using different inputs, the models still manage to hindcast temperature records closely matching the historical time series put together by groups like CRU. This is not so suspicious for any single paper as it is for pairs (or bigger collections) of papers: how is it that a collection of papers that disagree strongly on the size of relevant inputs still arrives at such close agreement in their output? The obvious explanation (overfitting, perhaps massaging the estimates of poorly-historically-known inputs as fudge factors) is a very serious problem. Does anyone have an alternative explanation?

    Criticism the second: the collection of model results chosen by the IPCC (from years-old-memory, more than a dozen models in AR3 I think) all give global temperature zooming alarmingly upward after the 2000ADish date of publication of the IPCC report. In reality, temperature has remained pretty flat since then. Having such a medium-term mismatch of a single model to a bouncy data series would be only somewhat suspicious. But having many supposedly independent groups unanimously give the alarming result which diverges from reality in the same direction is pretty good evidence of something systematically and seriously wrong. E.g., what’s wrong might be politically innocent groupthink, or green alarmist gatekeeping at the publication and grant-issuing level, or some foundational problem common to all models (e.g., something like the solar/cloudnucleation connection turning out to be critical, or fluid dynamic effects on a scale smaller than the practical cell size turning out to be critical).

  87. The best argument against “climate science” being science at all is the complete lack of falsifiability.

    There is literally no evidence you can show a climate scientist that will convince him he is wrong.

    That makes it a religion.

  88. Winter,

    I certainly didn’t say any of what you posted at 9:55 am. You’ve created an argument that is inaccurate, presumably because it is easier for you to tear it down. What is that means of arguing called again?

    Apparently you haven’t read what I wrote yesterday at http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=3954#comment-342465
    That’s fine, I’m a lurker that comments twice a year and I have no expectation that you’ll give me the time of day. If however you wish to engage in a discussion with me, please have the decency to read what I wrote, and respond to what I wrote, not what you think all “deniers” are saying.

    Your declining my offer suggests you haven’t read the science but are convinced it is all correct because the climate science authorities say it is, not because there is compelling evidence you’ve read in the scientific literature. Full stop.

  89. I understand a field with good, demonstrated predictive capabilities, for example physics.

    If you applied this criterion you would have to throw out a large part of modern physics research.

  90. @ Earle Williams

    Registration to participate in Expert Review of the IPCC’s AR5 is currently open to those with relevant scientific expertise. Is this sufficient opportunity for all of the errors you think are there to be corrected?

  91. @ brian (somehow missed this yesterday)
    > The last 10 years have seen the same continuous increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration. Temperatures have remained flat.

    Are you sure that this is the case?

  92. Other than the fact that most of the trend analysis the (your reference’s words) so-called “realists” engage in leaves out the MWP, the little ice age, etc. it shows the same thing – that the last 10 years have not been the same kind of linear climb that previous 10-year periods were.

    It shows up-down-up-down-up-down-flat

    which means that if there IS a relationship between CO2 and global mean temperature, it isn’t a very strong correlation.

    Or it could mean that it’s swamped by some other forcing mechanism. But that would have to be from something huge, around the size of the Sun.

  93. Oh, and TomM – just about everything they show in “Figure 2″ of your reference is not happening.

    Typically when you have to revert to lying to prove your point we call it “fraud”.

  94. “If you applied this criterion you would have to throw out a large part of modern physics research.”

    If modern physics research, of which I know nothing, ends up with the field as a whole losing predictive power, I’d start to worry. But I imagine it”s far from being the case.

  95. @ Brian
    > Typically when you have to revert to lying

    Sigh.

    You said “temperatures have remained flat” [over the last 10 years].

    Even on its own terms that statement is false.

    Usually assertions of that nature are also coupled with a statement that there is no warming trend. Which is also false, as shown at the link provided.

  96. Why argue with idiots? The answer is that my day job involves arguing with really smart people, and at least here on this blog I feel like I can be sure you’re wrong.

    > But I’m curious: what exactly convinces you that Climate science is a “scientific field”? By scientific field I understand a field with good, demonstrated predictive capabilities, for example physics

    Does cosmology have good, demonstrated predictive capabilities? Of course not. Can psychologists predict whether early-life abuse will make a particular individual mentally ill? Can your doctor predict whether this case of pneumonia will let you live or die? Can a psycholinguist predict what the English language will look like in 100 years?

    Science is (obviously) about trying to understand processes and explain them, not predicting their outcomes. Only an engineer would understand ‘scientific field’ in this way.

    >The best argument against “climate science” being science at all is the complete lack of falsifiability.

    As Winter has repeatedly, correctly pointed out, if you could find fault with the data or methodology in just one of the published papers in good reputable peer-reviewed journals, just one, that would begin to falsify the AGW hypothesis. And as Winter points out, again correctly, there should be such flaws in every single published paper if the AGW hypothesis is wrong. You shouldn’t have far to look! Go forth and falsify!

    Of course that means, falsify the data or the models, not the hypothesis. Very few sciences involve directly-falsifiable hypotheses.

    It’s so abundantly clear that none of you denialists have ever published (or perhaps even read) a scientific paper in a peer-reviewed journal. You can’t just make random claims and fit them to made-up data. People who try it get caught. If you think there’s some kind of cabal that protects the interests of big scientific players, consider that Hauser, the leading light of psychology at Harvard, got forced to resign in shame for some (reportedly) minor dodginess with his data.

    Or show me some scientist from the last 70 years who managed to convince everyone of some falsehood with data that later turned out to be fake, and had their fake data confirmed by other independent groups publishing in good journals. If you could show that this had happened at least once…

    The very idea that scores of scientists, junior and senior alike, could get away with publishing bad data on that kind of scale, is completely absurd. It’s exactly in line with the moon landing skeptics’ position, although for all I know some of those people are posting here, too.

  97. > But I’m curious: what exactly convinces you that Climate science is a “scientific field”? By scientific field I understand a field with good, demonstrated predictive capabilities, for example physics

    Does cosmology have good, demonstrated predictive capabilities? Of course not. Can psychologists predict whether early-life abuse will make a particular individual mentally ill? Can your doctor predict whether this case of pneumonia will let you live or die? Can a psycholinguist predict what the English language will look like in 100 years?

    I don’t know too much about cosmology. I’m skeptical about the scientific value of psychology/psycholinguistics, but medicine does tell you what happens when that little needle with anesthesia enters your arm. This is supposed to prove I’m an idiot?

    “As Winter has repeatedly, correctly pointed out, if you could find fault with the data or methodology”

    Climateaudit.org aside, the methodology of constructing models, arguing they describe reality well since they fit the past data and arguing to spend enormous amounts of money based on them _with not that much proven track record_ does sound a bit suspicious, doesn’t it? But I can be wrong here and actually I find the issue interesting – how many papers, say, more than 10 years old in the leading Climate Science journals gave testable predictions that turned out to be true, as opposed to those that didn’t?

    “It’s so abundantly clear that none of you denialists have ever published (or perhaps even read) a scientific paper in a peer-reviewed journal”

    Your anger doesn’t serve your arguments well, especially given certain lack of accuracy.

    “Or show me some scientist from the last 70 years who managed to convince everyone of some falsehood with data that later turned out to be fake”

    You can’t call a model “false”. It is what it is, a mathematical abstraction. You can make a lot of nice math with nice mathematical models and I don’t doubt Climate scientists do. The question is whether their models describe reality well enough to decide to spend quite significant amounts of money.

  98. > The question is whether their models describe reality well enough to decide to spend quite significant amounts of money

    Well, sort of. You are correct to identify that policy issues arise from but are not identical to scientific issues.

    Many contrarians seem to have trouble distinguishing them.

  99. You can’t just make random claims and fit them to made-up data. People who try it get caught.

    Yes, and that’s what’s happened to the IPCC and the Hockey Team. Do try to keep up, will you?

  100. I wonder, has anyone who read this thread changed his or her mind? If yes, because of which information? I’d really like to know this.

  101. Bennett wrote “it’s so abundantly clear that none of you denialists have ever published (or perhaps even read) a scientific paper in a peer-reviewed journal.” While that may be abundantly clear to Bennett, it is incorrect: W. Newman and A. Kuki, J. Chem. Phys. 96, 1409 (1992).

  102. So what if AGW is real? We can’t change much in term of pollutant output without oil price going up so high that it makes solar energy attractive. Putting down a new pollutant tax on the world is going to be harsh and few developing countries are going to accept them.

    The only option is to do what we’re really good at: Adapting to our environment. We conquered pretty much all biome, and even live in space. A little AGW, no matter how harsh, ain’t going to be no problem for humanity.

  103. Another unreferenced falsehood.

    Unreferenced? We have it in the Hockey Team’s own words, in their emails, and their code. They were cooking the books, and doing all they could to suppress dissenting researchers.

    As for the effect of this on science, I would say its effect is nil, because politics isn’t science. Mann, Briffa, Jones, and the rest of these clowns may have been scientists at some point in their careers, but they obviously have not been scientists for quite a few years now.

  104. So what if AGW is real?

    If it’s real, then we will need to sharply roll back the power of governments to interfere in markets, lest they kill millions of people by impeding the measures we would need to take to cope with the effects of warming that Al Gore and his acolytes are predicting.

  105. Tom, are you denying the hockey team’s own words? They haven’t even tried disavowing the leaked information themselves.

  106. Bennett 25 Nov 3:59pm You can’t just make random claims and fit them to made-up data. People who try it get caught.

    And they have been. Four independent ways, check out the four sets of data:

    http://sciencespeak.com/evidence.pdf

    The world’s governments are no longer acting on their warnings, non-western governments have caught on, and the western populations are about half skeptical. Mann is being prosecuted for fraud by one of the state DAs…

    They have been “bending” all the datasets for years. Data is endlessly reprocessed until it fits the theory, or if it cannot be bent enough it is denied.

    Apparently people in the 1960?s and 1970?s were clever enough to get man on the moon, but too stupid to measure the temperature. The clever alarmists have bent the temperature from that period several times in the last 20 years:
    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/10/thank-god-best-project-rescues-us-from-thousands-of-lying-global-thermometers/

  107. > http://sciencespeak.com/evidence.pdf

    David, this document of yours is more reasonable than 95% of the claims up thread and elsewhere on this blog, but it still seems to me you are enormously overstating the case. In the first place, you haven’t ‘caught’ scientists doing something dodgy, you’ve just pointed out areas where their predictions or methodology have turned out to be mistaken. That’s not the same! (Or else nearly every piece of scientific research ever published is fraudulent)

    Any reasonable person would agree that Hansen (and various others) have used models that overstate the badness of AGW, and that it has gradually shown up that things are not as bad as they originally thought. But to go from that to ‘man-made global warming is a scam’ is far too big of a leap.

    ‘All of our models are wrong’, the email purportedly says. Well, yes. All of our physics models are wrong, too. Our theory of gravity is wrong. Lately it seems like the theory of relativity might even be wrong. The model we use to predict next week’s weather is wrong. Not in the broad strokes, but in the details. Scientific progress is the art of making your models a bit more right.

    Sometimes, though, you need to make decisions on results that are pretty hazy using models that are only roughly right. You might prefer to wait a few decades while the models improve and more data is collected, but you are worried you don’t have that kind of time. That’s the situation we’re in with global warming.

    The philosophical problem is like this: it’s the middle of summer. The bureau of meteorology has predicted that it there will be an unseasonable overnight frost in two weeks. But their model isn’t an explanatory one, instead it’s a mathematical fit – a fancy taylor series – to a fairly sparse set of weather station data. Their predictions are usually pretty good, but all they really know for sure is that it will be cold. They’ll have an accurate forecast three days out, but if I wait that long, I won’t have time to bring my tomatoes inside. Should I bring my tomatoes inside now?

    Now, do the scientists sometimes overstate the level of certainty in their predictions to the press? Sure. The same goes for economists and their continuing predictions of global financial collapse, or demographers with their constant predictions of population explosion and famine. Does this mean that everything is in fact ok and we have no reason for action? Not at all.

    If you’ve moved any of your investments to cash or precious metals recently, I might ask why you did that when nobody has proved beyond doubt that the economy is about to go down the tubes.

  108. Pingback: Another Blow To The Global Warming Cash Cow « 36 Chambers – The Legendary Journeys: Execution to the max!

  109. Bennett, yes the world has caught the alarmists doing something dodgy.

    They proposed a theory around 1980, but now we have the data to show the theory is wrong in all the centrally important ways (http://sciencespeak.com/evidence.pdf): the theory greatly overestimates air and ocean temperature increases, gets the sign of outgoing radiation with surface temperature changes backwards, and predicts a non-existent pattern of atmospheric warming that produces the crucial amplification in their theory.

    But for political, sociological, and financial reasons, the government scientists have closed ranks and are very slow to acknowledge this data (they “deny” it, ha ha). Indeed MSM aids and abets them in this, so hardly anyone in the public knows. But the world is finding out gradually anyway, via the Internet.

    Governments have stopped acting on their advice and half public have stopped believing them — they have been “caught”. Eventually this could conceivably continue to the point where some individuals are sued and end up in jail, but I reckon we can say that as a group they have been “caught” already without requiring individually literally caught in jail cells.

    “Go forth and falsify!” you said. I gave you a file referring to impeccable data for four independent falsifications, with sources.

    I agree with your original contention that “You can’t just make random claims and fit them to made-up data. People who try it get caught.” The AGW crowd have essentially did that:
    – they proposed a plausible theory, but the amplification part was backwards
    – now we have the data to prove it.
    The news is leaking out slowly via the Internet, but would have become widely known much earlier if not for the corrupt organizations and MSM suppressing it.

    BTW, if you want obvious examples of corruption, look here
    http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/corruption/climate-corruption.pdf
    In particular, the “Response of the Climate Establishment” to the missing hotspot, on page 35, is scandalous, and covers the deceptive practice that is referred to in esr’s selected quote: “Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous.”

    I believe you have followed false authorities Bennett. I urge you to simply heed the data, not what they say.

  110. > “Go forth and falsify!” you said. I gave you a file referring to impeccable data for four independent falsifications, with sources.

    But you haven’t falsified anything, have you? Nobody’s data was false. You’re still hung up on the model.

  111. >But you haven’t falsified anything, have you?

    Wow. Just wow. And Bennett calls us “denialists”?

  112. Well, maybe this explains the locus of your misunderstanding of the scientific process.

  113. Let me ask you this, just so you have something to think about. Rutherford used his gold-foil scattering experiment to establish the ‘Rutherford model’ of the atom. His data shows that protons fired at gold foil scatter evenly in every direction, implying a spherical, central nucleus.

    The Rutherford model was completely wrong, in elements of its broad interpretation and in many fine details. But it is a good fit for the data from the gold foil experiment. Some years later, further experiments and further data led to its being abandoned in favour of the Bohr model, then the Sommerfield model, and so on.

    Did anyone falsify Rutherford’s data or his experimental methodology? No. Do his data support his model? Yes. Was his model wrong? Yes. You guys seriously need to meditate on this. This is the scientific process at work. This is how we’ve made most of our progress in experimental science.

  114. @esr:
    “What may be happening, though, is a cultural learning experience that will be helpful the next time someone tries to gin up a phony environmental panic. I’m on record as predicting the next one will be endocrine disruptors.”

    Won’t happen.
    1) The biggest endocrine disruptors are food items that vegans and vegetarians live off of.
    2) It mostly harms men which are not a politically protected group.
    3) The scare has been around for a long time and hasn’t really caught any traction, despite some pretty damning evidence of what it does.

  115. @Bennet
    Furthermore, they purposefully falsified their data (as was shown in the first email dump). It was extremely egregious falsification as well.

  116. @ Doc Merlin
    > Furthermore, they purposefully falsified their data (as was shown in the first email dump). It was extremely egregious falsification as well.

    While one might believe this to be true if one read only the editorial commentary of Eric and others, it isn’t.

    Which is why the various inquiries held on this have not found scientific misconduct.

    (Though, yes, there has been criticism of some individual’s approach to FOI requests.)

  117. >Did anyone falsify Rutherford’s data or his experimental methodology?

    No. But Rutherford’s version of atomic theory was nevertheless falsified by later experimental data. That is precisely why it was superseded by the Bohr model, and later the Schrödinger/Dirac formulation of QM.

    Your implied notion of “falsification” is too narrow. While an experiment is only falsified if the experimenter’s technique or reasoning is shown to be faulty, the hypothesis it supports may by falsified by other experiments.

  118. TomM: The investigations were whitewashes. They didn’t even bother asking any of the folks accusing the alarmists of wrongdoing just what they thought was wrong. Thus, they set up strawmen, duly knocked them down, and then all went off for gin and tonics together.

  119. esr: Right, but note that Rutherford is not accused of scientific misconduct or fraud. Quite the reverse, actually! He isn’t even accused of making mistakes, since he moved us quite a lot closer toward the truth. Nonetheless, in your broad sense his work was falsified. And it is this sense in which early climate change science has been falsified.

    Here’s a suggestion: you would do a lot better, I think, to make more of your claim that climate scientists are exaggerating their predictions of catastrophe, partly because there are good grounds for doubt in the scientific results, and partly because they are guilty of overclaim. (In my view, they’re overclaiming with altruistic intentions, but that is neither here nor there). There is a solid, reasoned libertarian case to make, that whatever the motivations of the exaggerators, the effect of their predictions is to drum up support for centralized government and erosion of liberty.

    There is a million miles between that and the various things that you either claim yourself or fail to correct others for saying here: that the AGW hypothesis has been disproved, that the data has been fiddled with, that there has been no warming in the last 10 years, that countervailing research has been suppressed, that the scientists involved are in fact ‘scientists’ in scare-quotes, that there is a vast pro-statist conspiracy of like-minded climatologists, who are controlling the scientific literature and funding bodies as well as the global shadow-government, etc. That is all moon-landing-denial-grade nonsense.

    I draw a parallel to the 9/11 conspiracy theories. There is good reason to think that the historical record is incomplete, and even that parts of it have been deliberately withheld. But far too many of the skeptics go on to make unreasonable claims. I find this extremely lamentable, because justice demands that we have a full picture of that event, but we will never get it now because the movement was completely overtaken by lunatics. True warming skeptics (as opposed to denialists) face the same fate, indeed I think it has already befallen you, no matter how devoutly you believe that your claims are gaining ground in the political mainstream.

    One way or another, we’ll get an extreme reaction to global warming, largely because reasonable skeptics have dropped the ball.

  120. I might add that the entire green movement has fallen foul of the same fate. I am very sympathetic to the basic principles of the green movement: I think animals have rights claims, I think pollution is bad, I think conservation is worthwhile, and I think biodiversity is important in some ways.

    But when someone like me goes to a protest over logging of old-growth rainforest to make toilet tissue, as I have done, I am forced to deal with a group of repellent, fundamentalist religious people. People who oppose any human intervention on the state of nature as running counter to a fundamental moral value. People who propose solutions to environmental problems that would bankrupt all the industry in the world because deep down they think that the industrial revolution (and indeed the agrarian revolution) ought to be rolled back. People who—and I’m not joking or exaggerating, I have observed this—literally hug trees. I can’t be part of a movement like that, even though I think the basic goals are super-important.

  121. >Right, but note that Rutherford is not accused of scientific misconduct or fraud.

    Because there’s no evidence that he fudged his data, nor that he tried to suppress theorists who challenged the Rutherford atom. In both respect this is different from the AGW case.

    >you would do a lot better, I think, to make more of your claim that climate scientists are exaggerating their predictions of catastrophe,

    That would be treating the likes of Hansen and Mann and Jones with a respect they don’t deserve. They have fudged the data and repeatedly been caught doing it. They have worked very hard at suppressing rivals. They have not merely been in error, they have traduced the scientific process.

    Another important difference is that Rutherford’s atomic model wasn’t flogged as the basis of massive public-policy interventions. Because AGW has, the politics of its boosters are a legitimate target of criticism.

    >True warming skeptics (as opposed to denialists) face the same fate,

    That’s not what the polls are telling us.

  122. > Because there’s no evidence that he fudged his data, nor that he tried to suppress theorists who challenged the Rutherford atom.

    None of the evidence in David Evans’ PDF suggests that climate scientists have done this. His evidence only suggests that there are shortcomings in the models. Same goes for your quoted ‘climategate’ email at the top of the page.

    You claim, much more strongly, that proponents of the AGW hypothesis have been shown to be fudging data and suppressing opposing views. But as your commenters have shown you, again and again, the evidence for this is incredibly thin.

    You’re trying to roll together the relatively strong case for weaknesses in the model with the very weak case for scientific misconduct. And then when people object to your strong, unsupported claims, you claim that we’re boneheadedly refusing to acknowledge the (better) evidence in support of weak skepticism. It’s a nice rhetorical trick, but in the end, what’s the point of nice rhetorical tricks?

  123. > The investigations were whitewashes.

    One is forced to wonder how many inquiries would be required (and on what terms) to satisfy you.

  124. I don’t care one bit about temperature measurements, because the time series are too short, and there are microclimatic factors that put some doubt on the validity of the data. However, the extent of ice coverage tells a compelling tale. Global climate is warmer than it has been for the last thousand years, at least. The rate of decline in glaciers and polar ice caps can be measured great precision both timewise and in quantity.

    You have to be extremely ignorant to deny that we are experiencing a global warming. Temperatures are rising and it is a continuing trend.

    There are several possible causes of increase in global temperatures. One of them is CO2 emissions and another is variations in energy output from the sun. They are the major contenders, but there are other, somewhat more far flung options out there. To determine if one theory or the other is more likely, one would have to look at a broad spectrum of evidence. Just looking at the historic data and various models is not enough. It would be interesting to see an overview of all the research in the field, with data on which ones have been found to be bad science or fraud, which ones can be questioned for other reasons and which ones remain.

  125. TomM, we have the emails that reveal active attempts to frustrate FOIA requests, illegal ones. One is forced to wonder why you ignore the results of the inquiries we have had.

  126. Bennett writes: “There is a million miles between that and the various things that you either claim yourself or fail to correct others for saying here: that the AGW hypothesis has been disproved, that the data has been fiddled with, that there has been no warming in the last 10 years, that countervailing research has been suppressed, that the scientists involved are in fact ‘scientists’ in scare-quotes, that there is a vast pro-statist conspiracy of like-minded climatologists, who are controlling the scientific literature and funding bodies as well as the global shadow-government, etc. That is all moon-landing-denial-grade nonsense.

    Did you miss that the BEST study shows no significant warming in the last decade? For that matter, the Climategate emails do show the hockey stick team et al putting pressure on journals to discourage or suppress contradictory papers, and the recent nonsense about Roy Spencer’s Remote Sensing paper do show efforts to control the scientific literature. So your claims that I’ve bolded above are what are nonsense. There is indeed actual evidence there.

    So Bennett, why is it that you write that nonsense? Is it because you don’t actually follow events, but willingly regurgitate whatever Gavin Schmidt writes?

  127. >None of the evidence in David Evans’ PDF suggests that climate scientists have done this.

    There’s plenty of evidence elsewhere, however, links to which have been posted many times on this blog. The evidence for this is not “thin”, and no amount of fancy dancing or rhetorical spin by AGW boosters can make it so.

    I’m on record as rejecting the politically paranoid versions of AGW skepticism, such as James Inhofe’s. I’ve repeatedly said that the evidence points far more at error cascade than conspiracy. But with all that said, there has been a hard core of actual wrongdoing which we must confront – because, all politics aside, science must be cleansed.

    I think we are already past the point where AGW alarmism will do more in the way of significant political damage – the advocates are too discredited now, and the condition of the global economy has made intrusive greenery an increasingly unaffordable luxury anyway. But for what they tried to do to science, Jones and Mann and Hansen and their ilk should at the very minimum suffer public disgrace. As a warning to others in the future who might consider doing likewise.

  128. > So Bennett, why is it that you write that nonsense? Is it because you don’t actually follow events, but willingly regurgitate whatever Gavin Schmidt writes?

    I don’t know who Gavin Schmidt is, sorry.

  129. It is interesting to see a second leak, but not politically useful. The first leak told the (very old) tale of science gone off the rails well enough, and this one feels a bit like schadenfreude. The new emails are mostly redundant evidence of what the primary villains were shown to be doing with the first dump, and not enough time has passed for the white cells of Western civilization to expunge “Mann et al” yet. A watched pot never warms, I suppose. Eventually, it will be wonderful to listen to the sound of the monoculture turning away from this latest pseudo-religion, and physicists scrambling to declare “Me-too” in the race the Denialist Nobel Prize. But, alas, we aren’t there yet. It’s not yet permissible to question AGW, just as it once wasn’t kosher to question the astral coefficients that placed the world at the center of the universe.

    It is very interesting to see that Eric Raymond is a non-sucker in the climate change debate. I guessed that correctly, simply from reading “Cathedral.”

  130. >It is very interesting to see that Eric Raymond is a non-sucker in the climate change debate.

    Junk science, in general, pisses me off a lot. And after several decades of watching sundry medical and evironmental mountains of panic being ginned up out of molehills, I’ve learned that it has a characteristic stench not difficult to detect even in the early stages.

    Hmm. I should probably blog about the warning signs of junk science.

  131. esr wrote:
    >Jones and Mann and Hansen and their ilk should at the very minimum suffer public disgrace.

    Does anyone actually believe that will happen? Will Jones be Pons and Mann be Fleischmann? I doubt it. I think it will (and is) fading away to obscurity, but I think any widespread public acknowledgement that science went off the rails here will never happen.

  132. >Global climate is warmer than it has been for the last thousand years, at least.

    Even this is not so. Go read up on the Medieval Warm Period. One of my early clues that the AGW crowd was full of shit was when they contradicted historical sources I knew quite well indicating that between 950 and 1100 the climate was significantly warmer than now.

    Notably, in that period wine grapes were grown as far north as the lake Malaren area of Sweden. This is barely half a degree south of the Arctic Circle, and indicates even more than it would today – because modern wine grapes have genetic input from cold-hardy North American species that were unknown then. Basically, what this tells us is that arctic Sweden had a climate we would think of today as in the Mediterranean range.

  133. Does cosmology have good, demonstrated predictive capabilities? Of course not.

    Which predictions are you interested in? Kepler’s Law? The existence of the CMB? The existence of black holes? The evolution of stars? The distribution of elements in observed matter?

    Can psychologists predict whether early-life abuse will make a particular individual mentally ill?

    This variety of prediction sits right on the edge between scientific psychology (e.g., demonstration of cognitive biases) and unscientific psychology (e.g., psychoanalysis). Psychologists can make statistical predictions of the effects of abuse, and these are subject to investigation.

    Can your doctor predict whether this case of pneumonia will let you live or die?

    Your doctor can give you an accurate percentage-based prognosis.

    Can a psycholinguist predict what the English language will look like in 100 years?

    Nope, and that area of linguistics is history, not science. A psycholinguist can predict what sorts of language difficulties different brain injuries will cause.

    And lest we get into the weeds of “the IPCC gives probabilities” again, the distinction between science and nonscience is that scientific predictions can be verified by multiple runs. The course of an individual case of pneumonia isn’t predictable, but the statistical distribution of outcomes is. Quantum effects are apparently truly random, but in the aggregate they’re predictable enough that modern civilization is built on their behavior.

  134. > Even this is not so. Go read up on the Medieval Warm Period. One of my early clues that the AGW crowd was full of shit was when they contradicted historical sources I knew quite well

    Oh Lordy, not the MWP again?! One of my early clues that the contrarians are more interested in pursuing a standing political agenda than fact or truth was when they asserted (and kept asserting in the face of contrary evidence) that the evidence for a MWP somehow disproves or discredits either proxy temperature reconstructions or “AGW” as a whole.

    Those who haven’t troubled tHemselves to read what IPCC (for example) has actually said about the MWP (or for that matter the “Little Ice Age”) might be surprised to learn that both phenomena are referred to in all 4 ARs to date.

    See, for example, Chapter 6 of AR4, WG1, Paleoclimate: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter6.pdf

  135. Bennett Says:
    >Science is (obviously) about trying to understand processes and explain them, not predicting their outcomes.

    This is exactly wrong. Science is about understanding process IN ORDER THAT WE CAN predict outcomes. The power of a scientific theory is directly proportional to its ability to predict the future. Telling people how to predict the future is the very basis of the scientific method. (My theory is: do this and this will happen — go try it.)

    But even if that were not true, even if we simply accept science as the navel gazing pointless acquisition of non actionable knowledge, the situation in climate science is different. Climate science has claimed they can predict the future, and in fact has made some dramatic predictions. And they want us to do a lot of things differently because of their predictions. However, they have no demonstrated successes in predicting the future: on the contrary, they seem to continually shy away from making any measurable predictions at all. They make big predictions, but make them in such a way as to make it impossible to objectively measure their success.

    If you go to a psychic she will use techniques like cold reading to make statements about your life that, absent a knowledge of her technique, will lead you to believe she has some special power. She impresses you by knowing how many kids you have, or that you and your grandfather used to go fishing together, or that your mommy didn’t love you. Having built your confidence in her with this false game, she then goes on to make arbitrary predictions about your life, and your mind goes on to find a way to interpret events to make her correct. “You will meet a tall dark stranger, and he will be a vital friend, who will later betray you.” Of course everyone meets tall dark strangers all the time, and all friends betray us in some way at some time, so the victim of the psychic can make the prediction come true should she wish.

    Climate scientists don’t even bother to win our confidence by making small predictions, however, they can certainly help us to reinterpret the random happenings of life in such a way as to make their predictions true. “Record cold snap in New York — Global Warming to blame.” “Unusually warm summer — Global warming to blame.” “Excess hurricane seasons — Global Warming to blame.” “Low Hurricane count this year — Global Warming to blame.” “Earthquake in Oklahoma — Global warming to blame”.

    I’ve never visited a psychic, but I think they cost about $50 a session. Pretty cheap compared to the cost of a carbon tax.

  136. Science is (obviously) about trying to understand processes and explain them, not predicting their outcomes.

    Understanding processes is nice, but it’s a distant second to making reliable predictions. One of the dirty secrets of physics is that we haven’t the slightest idea how particles and forces work; in fact, John Conway and Simon Kochen proved that if free will exists, elementary particles have free will. That doesn’t prevent any sane person from concluding that physics is science.

  137. > If you want to show a scientific theory is wrong, you do it by showing the studies it is based on were wrong and it does not “fit” the data. That is done on the published record, ie, the peer reviewed papers.

    Actually, no. Peer-review assumes that the folks measured what they claimed to have measured. In this case, that doesn’t seem to always be the case. Since they won’t release their data, there’s no way to know for sure.

    Science is fundamentally about prediction. One of the simplest tests is “can the claimed result be replicated”. How many of the AGW results have been replicated? (Note – replication is not the same as “we have data about something else that we claim supports the same theory”.)

    ESR et al tried to replicate some of the results using the same programs and data, and failed….

  138. >ESR et al tried to replicate some of the results using the same programs and data, and failed….

    To be fair, we didn’t get far enough that I consider this a fair knock. Ken Burnside has explained why.

  139. TomM: One inquiry, conducted by scientists and trained investigators demonstrably not on either side of the warming debate, calling for testimony and evidence from the skeptics as well as the AGW proponents – with free, unfettered, total subpoena power to any evidence they ask for. Nothing less will prevent the AGW alarmists from conducting a whitewash.

  140. Bennett, if you are not just copying Gavin Schmidt’s press releases and posts, why is it that you are claiming that things for which we do have objective evidence are “moon landing conspiracies”?

  141. > Bennett, if you are not just copying Gavin Schmidt’s press releases and posts, why is it that you are claiming that things for which we do have objective evidence are “moon landing conspiracies”?

    I’m sorry, I don’t live in the funny little bottle-world that you inhabit, and I don’t know who Gavin Schmidt is. Perhaps he’s making transmissions through the fillings in my teeth, though?

  142. > Hmm. I should probably blog about the warning signs of junk science.

    That would be great. Don’t forget to include the “Global cooling” of the 70’s, or The Population Bomb. Also, you might want to touch on Millennialism, and politics as a God-proxy. I’ve read few comments here that suggest otherwise bright people might still be partying like it’s 1999. Look at this comment:

    [quote]Science is (obviously) about trying to understand processes and explain them, not predicting their outcomes.[/quote]

    The casual inversion of the scientific method would be surreal if the psychosis wasn’t so obvious.

  143. @ Jessica Boxer
    > Climate scientists don’t even bother to win our confidence by making small predictions, however, they can certainly help us to reinterpret the random happenings of life …

    An interesting sidebar.

    I take it you have invented the headlines you’ve recited, perhaps inspired by news media stories?

    I’d be interested to see where climate scientists, and not newspapers, have said the things you purport them to have said.

  144. AFAIK, even if climate sciece was settled we’ve already passed the “tipping point”. So surely our efforts would be better spent developing mitigation strategies rather than trying to hold up an avalanche.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>