The curious incident of Judith Curry with the fringe

I had started writing my post to debunk the utter canard that the IPCC’s and media’s treatment of uncertainty have left the public with an overestimation of projected climate impacts on our current emissions path.

But then came her latest jaw dropper:

The people slagging off on McIntyre, Watts et al. have probably spent no time over at their blogs or made an effort to get to know them personally and understand what makes them tick.   Or to talk to the scientific skeptics like Christy, Michaels.  Or talk to the libertarian think tanks, like CATO and CEI.  Well, i’ve made that effort, and therefore I think I know alot more about the what the “deniers” are really like than the people accusing me of naivete, who have drawn premature conclusions because somebody found some sort of obscure link to an oil company.

That isn’t true of me or many commenters here or many science bloggers, who have wasted countless hours on those thoroughly debunked and discredited blogs.  Indeed, that’s why they are debunked and discredited.  And here’s CEI’s “obscure” link to oil.

What is shocking is that she asserts she has spent a lot of time over at WattUp and yet still wrote the following in her unconstructive February essay, “On the Credibility of Climate Research, Part II:  Towards Rebuilding Trust”:

And finally, the blogosphere can be a very powerful tool for increasing the credibility of climate research.  “Dueling blogs”  (e.g. versus and versus can actually enhance public trust in the science as they see both sides of the arguments being discussed.

Huh?  You may not agree with everything I write, but at least it is grounded in the actual scientific literature.  Watts posts whatever anti-scientific nonsense he can get his hands on, as just about everyone in the science blogosphere has shown (see Wattergate: Tamino debunks “just plain wrong” Anthony Watts).

He is a hard-core disinformer (see FoxNews, WattsUpWithThat push falsehood-filled Daily Mail article on global cooling that utterly misquotes, misrepresents work of Mojib Latif and NSIDC).  He reprints utter bunk (see “here“).

Not content to simply dispute the science with disinformation, he attacks climate scientists.  Watts said last year that NASA’s James Hansen is “no longer a scientist.”  Watts routinely smears all climate scientists, approvingly reprinting anti-science manifestos that claim global warming “is the biggest whopper ever sold to the public in the history of humankind” “” see here.  He also smeared NSIDC director Mark Serreze.

I rarely “duel” with Watts, since he’s not making a serious effort to understand and report on the science.  He is making a serious effort to spread disinformation and confusion.  I confess I gave up trying to understand what makes such a person “tick” — same for Christy, Michaels, and the disinformers at Cato and CEI.

As Scott Mandia, Professor of Physical Sciences commented on CP:

McI[ntyre] and Watts operate their blogs with the notion that climate scientists are liars and cheats at worst or misguided group-thinking incompetents at best.

Dr. Curry is setting science back and hurting her reputation by including those two.

In spite of spending time on his blog, Curry apparently believes WattsUpWithThat is somehow contributing to increasing the credibility of climate research.  In fact, Watts ain’t interested in science and balked at the biggest chance he had to do so (see Watts not to love: New study finds the poor weather stations tend to have a slight COOL bias, not a warm one).

As for Curry, as recently as October 2007, she was going out of her way to debunk Bjorn Lomborg on the pages of the Washington Post, while endorsing “Making the transition to cleaner fuels,” in order to make a “big dent in carbon emissions” noting “the rationale for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide is to reduce the risk of the possibility of catastrophic outcomes.”

These day Curry spends her time demonizing the much-exonerated Michael Mann, repeating the long-discredited attacks on the much-vindicated Hockey Stick, praising the well-debunked Wegman report (repeatedly asserting the falsehood that it is an NRC report), and actually criticizing a blogger for failing to include WUWT in his blogroll.

So yes, I think I and everyone else has the right to be puzzled by what Judith Curry writes today (see “Beef with Curry” and “My response to Dr. Judith Curry’s unconstructive essay“).

She has personalized the entire debate by insisting on dividing scientists and others into tribes — with me, according to her, apparently in a very different tribe than her.

Some people are “warmists” (undefined), some are “lukewarmers” (undefined), some are “moderate warmers” (her, self-identified, essentially undefined), some are “deniers” (undefined), some are “affirmists” (undefined, except that, like “deniers” they “describe someone that isn’t open to changing their mind based on evidence” — which applies to not a single “warmist” scientist I know).

When William Connolley asks of her, “I’m a bit confused by what JC’s actual views on climate change are. Not the politics or that, but the actual state of the science,” she replies:

I find the main text of the WG1 Report to be an accurate assessment of the science.  The problem that I have with the WG1 Report is the summary narratives (executive summary, summary for policy makers) where all this is integrated and summarized.  My main issue with the WG1 report is that I think that many of confidence levels are too high: there is inadequate scientific uncertainty analysis, and lack of accounting for known unknowns and unknown unknowns.   I have substantial issues with the WG2 report and the impacts.

So what does all this add up to?  A moderate warmist that sees very large uncertainty with regards to hypothesized catastrophic impacts

Of course this “adds up to” undefined meaninglessness, since she doesn’t spell out what the “hypothesized catastrophic impacts” are or what emissions scenario she is talking about.  Like many people who don’t define their terms or spell out what they believe the science says happens under business-as-usual emissions, she conflates uncertainty in the climate’s sensitivity with uncertainty about how much we’re going to emit.

You see, I’m also a moderate warmist that sees very large uncertainty with regards to hypothesized catastrophic impacts — if we act quickly to limit emissions and stay below 450 ppm.  But WG1 doesn’t really leave much doubt that if we, say, listened to the people like Anthony Watts — or other disinformers, like those at CATO and CEI who keep asserting the whole damn thing is a hoax (or might actually be good for us) — then we are headed to very high concentrations (and yes catastrophic impacts) with high probability [see U.S. media largely ignores latest warning from climate scientists: “Recent observations confirm “¦ the worst-case IPCC scenario trajectories (or even worse) are being realised” “” 1000 ppm].

Doing nothing sharply reduces the uncertainty of hypothesized catastrophic impacts (see here).

Curry says things like, “If I say members of the climate consensus or establishment, that would almost leave out Romm and Hansen, since both go beyond the IPCC consensus in some ways.”  But wait — I thought people should be open to changing their mind on evidence.  And the overwhelming majority of studies published since the IPCC are more dire than the IPCC — sea level rise being the most obvious case.

Indeed, in a AAAS presentation this year, William R. Freudenburg of UC Santa Barbara discussed his research on “the Asymmetry of Scientific Challenge“:

New scientific findings are found to be more than twenty times as likely to indicate that global climate disruption is “worse than previously expected,” rather than “not as bad as previously expected”

So by Curry’s logic, anyone who doesn’t believe that climate impacts on the business-as-usual emissions path will be worse than the IPCC projected is either an affirmist or a denier.

And that is why failing to define one’s terms makes debate all but meaningless.

I believe her views on hurricanes have evolved.  After much discussion with her trying to understand the hurricane issue while I was writing my book, she gave me this projection in late 2006:

On our current warming trend, four super hurricanes — category 4 or stronger — a year in the North Atlantic is likely to become the norm 20 years from now.

Now that is pretty friggin’ alarming, don’t you think?

If her views have evolved based on newer science, that’s fine.  But then she can’t criticize others for evolving their views based on the science.

She tells Kloor in a second interview:

So should Joe Romm be puzzled by this?  Probably, but I think part of his puzzlement arises from assuming that I and all “warmist” climate researchers share his policy objectives.  People really find it hard to believe that I don’t have a policy agenda about climate change/energy (believe me, Roger Pielke Jr has tried very hard to smoke me out as a “stealth advocate”).  Yes, I want clean green energy, economic development and “world peace”.  I have no idea how much climate change should be weighted in these kinds of policy decisions.  I lack the knowledge, wisdom and hubris to think that anything I say or do should be of any consequence to climate/carbon/energy policy.

That’s nonsense.  And she should know it.

I spent a lot of time with her giving joint talks in Florida. She made clear again and again she was not an energy policy expert and didn’t want to talk about energy policy.  But, again, she never defines what “policy” is, so like many of her statements, this one is all but meaningless.

When asked if our current understanding of climate sensitivity means “we should aim to keep CO2 well below 550 ppmv,” she writes in the comments of Kloor’s second post:

No. There is the whole issue of what constitutes “dangerous” climate change. Which is a value laden issue.

I for one do not have any confidence in setting a CO2 limit with two significant figures, given the uncertainties described in 1-3. This takes us into a policy arena, which is where I am drawing the line in this discussion.

That’s her excuse — she can’t set a CO2 limit with two significant figures?  OK, Dr. Curry, I’ll settle for a CO2 limit with one significant figure.

Some people objected when I said she was in the McIntyre and WattsUpWithThat “tribe.”  But I was using the term tribe the way she seems to.  It does not mean people who share the same scientific and/or policy views.  After all, she lumps me in with Hansen — and while I have far too much respect for Hansen to ever claim to be in his “tribe,” it is widely known that I do not share his scientific and/or policy views.  She has also lumped me in with RealClimate, and again, I don’t share all of their views on the science — and they tend to avoid policy entirely.

No, tribes are determined by whose faults you gloss over. That seems to be Curry’s point about the IPCC.  And THAT is why I wrote, “She has joined the WUWT and McIntyre tribe.

That is why I titled this “The curious incident of Judith Curry with the fringe” (along with the fact that I’m a fan of the musical Oklahoma).  As the Sherlock Holmes story goes:

“Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

“To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”

“The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

“That was the curious incident,” remarked Sherlock Holmes.

If you read her Discover interview or her “On the Credibility of Climate Research, Part II:  Towards Rebuilding Trust” paper, what’s curious is that among her incessant attacks on Mann, Jones, IPCC scientists and the like she has nothing negative whatsoever to say about McIntyre and Watts.

That’s the sense she’s in their tribe.  When the most people are listening, she just can’t find fault in them.  Now we know it’s because she spends so much time with them trying to understand what makes them tick.


47 Responses to The curious incident of Judith Curry with the fringe

  1. prokaryote says:

    Related to unknown climate change effects and how some slowly become more evident.

    June 28, 2006
    Some earthquakes may be linked to climate change

    23 September, 2009
    Climate change may trigger earthquakes and volcanoes

    April 21, 2010
    A warming world could trigger earthquakes, landslides and volcanoes

    .. the evidence “supports a robust link between changing climatic conditions and a broad portfolio of potentially hazardous geological and geomorphological processes.” Although some have speculated that such processes are already under way [..]

  2. Joe,

    You hit the nail on the head especially with the statement: what’s curious is that among her incessant attacks on Mann, Jones, IPCC scientists and the like she has nothing negative whatsoever to say about McIntyre and Watts.

    I think she may look back on this year and realize that she stepped up to the plate in an important playoff game without having practiced at the batting cage and without studying the scouting reports of the other team. A sure recipe for a strikeout.

  3. Leif says:

    The recent revelations about the hierarchy of Goldman Sachs efforts to sell “sh***y” paper to old ladies, and defended by the GOP, should give all some insight into the butt smoke from the intrenched fossil fuel power brokers. Goldman’s elite had no qualms at all taking money from old ladies knowing full well that their actions would leave trusting soles penniless within months. The fossil industry has the same disdain for the average American, in fact world citizen, as demonstrated time and again by their greed and disrespect for earths life support systems. These power brokers are all cut from the same cloth and care not about the destiny of humanity. It is past time to practice the antonym of the Golden Rule and treat them as they are treating us.

    Humanity First, Status Quo, NO!

  4. there is the whole issue of what constitutes “dangerous” climate change. Which is a value laden issue.

    Ok, now that I’ve stopped screaming at my computer and wiped enough spit of the screen that I can see what I am typing …

    Dr. Curry appears to be regurgitationg a particularly noxious form of relativism that suggests that values have no basis in objective reality. Granted, while some values might conflict and possibly not admit of an easy resolution (I really love tapioca pudding, but I ought to take more care of my waistline) there are other things that — by any meaningful definition of the word “objective” — are uncontroversially objectively wrong. Genocide is an obvious example; I would add female genital mutilation to that list.

    I would also add, “destroying the climate around and within which every last scintilla of human civilization has been defined and embedded.”

    But we are to believe that because such “little” things involve values we must decline to take a stand?


  5. Leif says:

    EPA confirms that the Climate is changing.

    Nice to be out of purgatory, thank you Joe.

  6. substanti8 says:

    Outstanding work, Joe.  I continue to appreciate all the information you provide here.

    “I lack the knowledge, wisdom and hubris to think that anything I say or do should be of any consequence to climate/carbon/energy policy.”
    – Judith Curry

    The implication of her comment is that it is “hubris” to think that our voices matter in a public policy debate – no matter how much knowledge we possess or how much wisdom we have gained.  (Judging by the context, I think it’s also a backhanded insult at Joe.)  That’s a profound charge to make, and it’s one that demands greater explanation (perhaps with a caveat about social scale) – rather than as an irresponsibly off-the-cuff remark at the conclusion of an “interview” by a sympathetic stenographer.

    My impression is that Judith Curry is not a skeptic, but a cynic.

    She also seems to like the iconoclast limelight, which is a common trait among her tribe.

    Territory folks should stick together
    Territory folks should all be pals

    [JR: Nice “Oklahoma” quote.]

  7. Sou says:

    It looks to me as if ‘what this adds up to’ is a position by Curry that CO2 is causing an ‘uncertain’ amount of warming, so there is no need for any action to reduce emissions. The scientists and scientific organisations are corrupt but deniers are blameless – or if they carry some blame it is all the fault of the scientists.

    Whether that is her position or not, she has put herself out on a limb and I agree that the limb will break sooner or later.

    (If I have misread her, I hope she will clarify.)

  8. MarkB says:

    “April 26th, 2010 at 6:59 am
    Steven Sullivan, re Watts and McIntyre. First, I do not know Watts at all, and do not follow his blog all that closely, so I have no comments about him.”

    which seems to contradict the notion that she has spent time over there and getting to know Watts and other “deniers” personally, something needed before one has the right to “slag” on someone, right? Or not…

    “The behavior of Jones and Mann created the McIntyre “monster.” McIntyre was trying to work with those guys (also Caspar Ammann), but they blew him off. ”

    this is after she writes:

    “I’ve met Mike Mann once, and we have exchanged a few emails.”

    She doesn’t know Mann, and I can speculate she probably doesn’t know Jones (or Ammann or others), and is simply parrotting the McIntyre narrative. Why doesn’t she take the time to get to know these scientists, as she adamantly declares she has done with the “deniers”? I find this to be a rather strange double standard.

    So when Joe wrote of Curry being in the Watts/McIntyre “tribe”, I understood what he was talking about:

    “No, tribes are determined by whose faults you gloss over. “

  9. There is so much science available to review. Not just in the journals, but also in the myriad of press releases compiled by Science Daily There is SO MUCH freely available from SO MANY source that Curry comes across as a provincial gossip, a wall-flower in an isolated and narrow world.

    To be kind, the conclusions of climate destabilization are so colossal, so huge and disruptive, that they are hard to look at directly. The tipping points are so ruthless, anyone can be expected to deny and ignore the science – just for the sake of sanity. Speaking out so frankly is just a way of cementing denial and trying to build support for a community based on rejecting science and selective denial.

  10. sod says:

    i was simply shocked when i read that paragraph.

    The people slagging off on McIntyre, Watts et al. have probably spent no time over at their blogs or made an effort to get to know them personally and understand what makes them tick. Or to talk to the scientific skeptics like Christy, Michaels. Or talk to the libertarian think tanks, like CATO and CEI. Well, i’ve made that effort, and therefore I think I know alot more about the what the “deniers” are really like than the people accusing me of naivete, who have drawn premature conclusions because somebody found some sort of obscure link to an oil company.

    i actually was just about to post a comment on the naivety accusation against her. i don t think that naivety is an important factor in the explanation of what she does.
    i think that Curry is clever enough to understand the consequences of her actions. she does realize, how her words are spun and used by denialists.

    that she posted that incredibly naive comment above right in that moment, really puzzled me.

    how can she accuse scientists of “tribalism”, and make comments like this about CEI and CATO? those institutions are the living embodiment of tribalism!

  11. Dano says:

    Wow. What happened to her? Did she blow a gasket?



  12. Wonhyo says:

    I think Judith Curry has gone into an emotionally-driven denial mode after making the intellectual realization of just how far along climate change is. It may be emotionally more acceptable, in her mind, to deny or obfuscate the reality of climate change, than to acknowledge it. Denial is the first reaction to emotional trauma, right? The question is, where does she go from here? Will she remain stuck in denial, or will she eventually acknowledge the full implications of climate change?

    We may think Curry is crazy, but that’s relative. Consider the goal of 450 ppm, or 350 ppm, or 17% CO2 emissions reductions (from 2005 levels) by 2020 (Waxman-Markey target), or 14% reductions (Obama’s target). Anybody who thinks these target levels, target reductions, or target dates are sufficient to meaningfully mitigate climate change is also in denial.

    I think we will see more previously level-headed climate scientists switch into denial mode as they realize how severe and immediate climate change is. Add to that how far behind public understanding and public policy is in dealing with climate change, and one can start to understand the appeal of denial.

    I say bring it on. The sooner we enter the denial stage, the sooner we will get out of it (those of us who do) and progress toward the acknowledgement stage. Once we fully acknowledge climate change, we will not settle for climate policies that are “politically acceptable”. Instead, we will start with goals and deadlines that will have a realistic impact: net-zero emissions in five years instead of 10. If we are in full acknowledgement, we will start from there, then negotiate for even deeper cuts, sooner.

  13. Ryan T says:

    I really wonder what future generations will think as they look back on all the busy talk, and the credibility being afforded to dedicated contrarian non-climatologists. And does Curry think it’s hubris at this point for policy to be informed by the cumulative body of evidence? If so, how long do we wait, given inertial lag in the climate system and society? Would she and people like Watts agree on the answer?

  14. substanti8 says:

    Here is the page from AR4 WG1 with the Global Mean Responses from Different Scenarios.  Figure 10.26 shows six scenarios, two of which appear to be variants of “business as usual” (A2 and A1Fl).  From the second-to-last paragraph:

    “For the A2 emission scenario, the temperature change projections with the SCM span a ±1 standard deviation range of about 1.8°C, from 3.0°C to 4.8°C above 1980 to 2000 levels in 2100….  For the higher carbon cycle feedback settings, the upper bound of the ±1 standard deviation range increases to 5.2°C … and for the higher-emission scenario A1FI, [the range is] 3.4°C to 6.1°C.”

    And as noted by Joe Romm, these IPCC projections deliberately excluded some major positive feedback loops – such as ice sheet dynamic disintegration (which seems to be already occurring) or methane release from widespread melting of the Arctic permafrost (which has also already begun, as shown in this video).

    The IPCC also provided a “synthesis of the uncertainty in global temperature increase” on this page.  It looks substantial to me, but I’m not a climate scientist.

  15. Heraclitus says:

    A small point, but I don’t feel very generous towards Judith Curry, so I’ll bring it up. 550 suggests a lower degree of precision than 2sf – if it were 540 then that would be an obvious assumption, but for 550 it is more likely that the figure has been rounded correct to the nearest 50 (about 4 times more likely than rounding correct to the nearest 10 by my reckoning).

    I have found reading Curry’s narrative exasperating. In many ways I want to believe what she is saying, but she is making it very difficult to do so. A total failure to criticise even the most obviously invalid ‘sceptic’ comments leaves me questioning her motives. She is not doing very well at building trust.

  16. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    Why should I get to know someone who lies, cherry picks and misrepresents legitimate science. We are so close to; no chance for humanity, yet they want to delay.

    To delay is to ensure our doom. Green skies are a coming.

    If you are a warmer what am I?

  17. DavidCOG says:


    Slightly off-topic: do you have a system for cross-linking all the information you provide? Or do you just have an excellent memory?!

    If I could reproduce half the content in my notes at will, as you seem to, I’d be dangerous!

    [JR: I have a good memory — I did write all this stuff. I also use my search engine a lot.]

  18. barry says:

    I’m not interested in psychoanalysing Judith Curry, but I’ve spent some time in the trenches at WUWT and discussing with Watts, and find it incredible she can give what passes for science over there any credit whatsoever. McIntyre at least co-wrote a couple of papers and spotted an error in the GISS US record, but the thrust of his ‘auditing’ is plain as day. He drops items when they don’t pan out and keeps trying to revive cold cases, all to try to discredit mainstream science, not advance it. The CRU FOI-storm he initiated is the most obvious indication of his intellectual turpitude. Did he contact the Met Offices? (Not a rhetorical question – I don’t know)

    I think it’s a naive hope that more discourse between the skeptic and mainstream tribes will give confidence to the science. It’s been ongoing for many years now, and it seems to me that the result has been to confuse the issue. It’s too much to hope that mainstreamers would eschew any snark considering what’s been dealt by the skeptics – you’d have to be superhuman to bite your tongue that hard and not bloody it – but I can’t help thinking that engaging the discourse at this level shifts the game in their favour.

  19. My take is that she is trying to bridge the gap between climate scientists and “the other side” but does not understand that the “other side” has no intention of changing their minds regardless of how much transparency the IPCC process has. “Lack of transparency in the IPCC” is just a smokescreen to divert the conversation away from dealing with the problems of global warming.

    She also cannot seem to get her head around the fact that people are refusing to accept the scientific consensus because of the economic implications of doing so. If fixing the problem cost one cent, I doubt there would be anybody opposing the science.

    I think she is very confused but now that she is going down the road she thinks she cannot turn back – even though she is driving with the lights off toward that bridge is out sign. (Sorry, metaphors and bad puns are in my DNA so it cannot be helped.)

    Scott A. Mandia, Professor of Physical Sciences
    Selden, NY
    My Global Warming Blog

  20. Shub says:

    “…why failing to define one’s terms makes debate all but meaningless.”

    Since when did you start quoting Ayn Rand? :)

  21. Lore says:

    Maybe Curry just has a bad case of the Stockholm Syndrome?

  22. You gentleman give Curry far too much credit. She was never any kind of intellectual heavyweight. [snip] In either event, as a woman, I find myself deeply embarrassed by her.

    I hope, Joe, that you will not give her much more space here. She is just one more Climate Denial Machine puppet propped up to sidetrack us and waste our time that could be so much better spent on bringing to the public the truth about the likes of Koch, Schlumberger, Blankenship, Michaels, and companies like ExxonMobil, Chevron, Halliburton.

    She is meant to be a distraction, as they all have been. She’s their latest and greatest. The best tactic is to show her up for the joke she is. No need to criticize her “emotions,” just point up her lack of evidentiary thinking.

    p.s. Dano, you seem surprised. You are trained in critical analysis. Look deeper. She can’t even spell or punctuate for crying out loud.

    [JR: I do think we should try to keep this as civil as possible given her desire to divide people into tribe and personalize things by going after Jones and Mann. Let’s try to be more civil than, say, Peter Webster, with whom she is very close, on this blog — here and here.]

  23. marcus says:

    she has jumped the shark, and no mistake.

  24. Jeffrey Davis says:

    Curry assured McIntyre et alia that she was “no Gavin Schmidt.”

    No worries about that possibility over here either.

  25. catman306 says:

    If you’ve spent any time in Atlanta, you know that Georgia Tech is just a short walk from Fox News.

  26. davey says:

    Fox News is headquartered in New York. CNN is in Atlanta.

  27. Well, ok, Joe, but I have seen this tale repeated over and over again.

    Much time is wasted while this ilk is given the benefit of the doubt, and all sort of speculation goes on as to “what on earth were they thinking?” and going down other such blind alleys.

    The more her name appears in the press or blogs, the greater credence she is given, even though what she says is pure rubbish. You know this is how it works, and you know that the deniers take full advantage of this unfortunate fact.

    For once, just call it like it is — the Climate Denial Machine in action.

  28. re: FoxNews and CNN

    is there really any difference anymore?

  29. Robert Brulle says:

    Dr. Curry has no expertise in, nor has she published a single paper on media coverage and climate change. The literature on media coverage of climate change shows that it 1) underestimates and downplays the risks of climate change, and 2) unduly emphasizes the extreme outlier views of the climate deniers. For those of you interested in the academic literature on the topic, go to Google Scholar and google Boykoff. Perhaps Dr. Curry could review this literature before she makes any more unscientific statements.

  30. Speaking of media coverage take a look at this little analysis I did titled: Climategate Coverage: Unfair & Unbalanced. Coverage on the accusations dwarfed the coverage on the exonerations.

  31. caveta emptor says:

    “I may be the antichrist…. but at least I’m no Gavin Schmidt”

  32. sod says:

    Bart has pointed out this gem:

    And all this assumes that the 20th century global temperature record is reliable, which surely should be questioned in view of the lack of transparency of the CRU dataset and questions raised by the emails.

    Judith is losing that tiny bit of remaining credibility fast. really really fast.

  33. I’ve seen scientists constantly make good-faith efforts at dealing with their critics, only to find out that the most vocal critics will NEVER be satisfied with the answers they receive. Too many critics are coming from a place of ideological fervor, not a real wish to engage on the substance.

    -Aaron Huertas
    Press Secretary
    Union of Concerned Scientists

  34. Dano says:

    Psychoanalyzing someone we have never met surely is mental stroking. Nonetheless, it was seemingly apparent several years ago that Curry appeared to seem to want to reach across the aisle and appear to wish to dialogue with people who were in denial.

    There comes a time when one must realize when something is a lost cause and move on. Such behavior as exhibited above seems to be from someone who has not learned that lesson.

    Which is key for all of us. These people are best ignored so important work can go on. Acknowledging denialists is not important. It is a waste of time. It is a lost cause. Time to move on.



  35. lgcarey says:

    Please note the asymmetry here – the reason that Curry is getting such coverage is that she is a “mainstream” scientist who is (for whatever reasons) advancing positions associated with the septics. If, say, Christy or Spencer changed their views toward the mainstream, would there be anything like this much comment? Didn’t think so. It’s still all about Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, and Curry is just the latest sideshow in the Carnival of Delay, whether she knows it or not. Please stop watching this train wreck and email your Senators now.

  36. DreamQuestor says:

    Mr. Romm,

    The next time you have an opportunity to speak with Judith Curry, would you mind asking her a simple question: If she knew that her personal physician had a documented history of deceit and fraud (and, in fact, does not even have a medical degree), would she still seek his or her advice?

  37. MapleLeaf says:

    Dr. Romm,

    An excellent summary, you really hit the nail on the head and elucidated nicely what is going on here. Well done and thanks. this is really a very sad state of affairs.

    Scott Mandia @2, well said.

  38. MarkB says:

    Annan points out some key statements.

    Curried leftovers…

    I noted something similar here:

    Now we can say that she’s digging a bigger hole every day all we want, but her rhetoric appeals to thousands of frothy-mouthed deniers, and she’s getting plenty of positive attention. My hope is that such positive attention doesn’t re-inforce this sort of behavior. She seems to be have been sucked into the irrational (but perhaps appealing to some) world of the denialosphere and has lost her bearings in the process.

  39. Ron Broberg says:

    sod says @ 32:

    And all this assumes that the 20th century global temperature record is reliable, which surely should be questioned in view of the lack of transparency of the CRU dataset and questions raised by the emails.

    Judith is losing that tiny bit of remaining credibility fast. really really fast.

    I keep waiting for her to say something substantial. Maybe she feels that her self-appointed role as a ‘bridge’ or ‘middle-man’ or ‘broker’ precludes it. Maybe vague charges of a lack of integrity and recycled innuendos of fraud aimed at just one side of the debate is all she’s got.

    I find myself less and less interested.

    What makes a man turn neutral? Lust for gold? Power? Or were you just born with a heart full of neutrality?
    – Captain Zapp Brannigan

    See Also:

  40. catman306 says:

    Davey: Yes, Fox News is headquartered in NYC. The original WFOX-TV is the origin of Fox News and is located:

    Waga-TV Fox 5: News Dept.
    1551 Briarcliff Rd NE, Atlanta, GA‎ – (404) 898-0100‎

    Fox News Channel‎-
    260 14th Street Northwest, Atlanta, GA‎ – (404) 685-2280‎
    Just down the street from Georgia Tech.

  41. Aaron Lewis says:

    JC is wrong. This site is not “warmist.” I am a warmist! I think the IPCC AR4 understated several impacts of global warming by at least one and possible two orders of magnitude. That is the real warmist attitude.

    In contrast, JR is a nice conservative realist and he runs a respectable blog that promotes the consensus science — that is stuff that can be proved because it has been seen.

    Unfortunately, global warming is going places none of us have seen, and respectable climate scientists tend to distrust theory that they have not confirmed with observations. I on the other hand trust the physics of Feynman.

  42. David B. Benson says:

    Ok, here is a decent estimate of the transient response for the last 13 decades: 2.28 K when normalized to 2xCO2. The assumptions and calculations are in
    but doing the calculation the IPCC AR4 way gives 2.3 K.

    So that figure can be taken as a lower bound on equilibrium climate sensitivity, what happens if CO2 concentrations are maintained at any given level for a long time.

  43. David B. Benson says:

    I don’t know how I managed to write but doing the calculation the IPCC AR4 way gives 2.3 K. What I meant was just using the beginning and ending lnCO2 and temperatures gives about 2.3 K for 2xCO2.

  44. 2 degrees of separation says:

    Dr. Curry seems to have made her wrong turn into Wattsland as a result of the CRU email idiocy, taking at face value what was plainly beyond belief. She was hardly alone; Dr. Curry took the same flying leap off the cliff of premature conclusions as did George Monbiot and many others who also should have known better. She appears to share with Monbiot another common human failing, that of not being able to climb back down gracefully. No way to turn around without losing face. Thus Curry’s committed herself to an untenable course not because of hubris but instead plain old pride.

    Pride is an expensive thing.

  45. Not to be tribal or anything, but perhaps Dr. Curry should spend a little more mingling at creationist & ID websites & blogs, too. After all, dogmatic deniers can be helpful & participatory to the acceptance of evolutionary sciences as well, can’t they?

    “No compromise of the science is required, only a recognition of the actual point being discussed. Where scientists are often handicapped is that they don’t recognized the depth of the denial on the other side, and that their opponents really are happily butting their heads against the rock hard foundation of the science.”

    How to win friends and crush your enemies into the dust

  46. substanti8 says:

    Aaron Lewis wrote:

    “I think the IPCC AR4 understated several impacts of global warming by at least one and possible two orders of magnitude.  That is the real ‘warmist’ attitude.

    In contrast, JR is a nice conservative realist and he runs a respectable blog that promotes the consensus science — that is stuff that can be proved because it has been seen.”

    I agree!  Joe Romm provides readers with plenty of evidence for considerable alarm and action beyond the IPCC recommendations, but the policy positions he advocates in Congress are quite moderate by comparison.  Judith Curry’s reaction to his role in the debate is complete nonsense.

  47. mike roddy says:

    Tenney is right about Curry, and I don’t see anything wrong with expressing this in blunt language.