Hockey Stick fight at the RC Corral

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"Hockey Stick fight at the RC Corral"

Schmidt to Curry: “In future I will simply assume you are a conduit for untrue statements rather than their originator.”

UPDATE:  Judith Curry comments below — including this new puzzler.  I reply.  Feel free to do the same.

As a general rule for scientists, one shouldn’t hitch one’s wagon to long-debunked purveyors of disinformation.  Because then you might end up circling the wagons with the wrong … tribe (see “The curious incident of Judith Curry with the fringe“).

I’m on a plane today, so I commend to you an outstanding Real Climate post, “The Montford Delusion,” by Tamino — and the stunning comments section.  NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt and Tamino are in the role of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and company.  Judith Curry (and Peter Webster) have apparently thrown in with the Clantons.  Like all analogies, this one isn’t perfect, but I’m afraid the outcome is pretty much the same.

Tamino deconstructs and eviscerates A. W. Montford’s book The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science.

These days Curry, Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, spends a lot of 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 a National Research Council report), and actually criticizing a blogger for failing to include WattsUpWithThat in his blogroll (see here and “Beef with Curry” and “My response to Dr. Judith Curry’s unconstructive essay“).

Judith Curry shows up on RC to make a couple of brief comments and then a long one, which RC replies to [in italics].  The discussion is a bit technical in parts (though most points/aconyms are covered in the original post), but worth repeating for the final blaze of gunfire at the very end:

Although I am very busy at the moment trying to complete a paper before leaving on travel, my original drive-by is admittedly insufficient, so I am taking a few moments to clarify the weaknesses in Tamino’s review. Note, this is off the top of my head, I don’t have the HSI book with me.

First, Montford’s book clarifies three weaknesses in the paleoreconstructions, from MBH 98/99 through Mann et al 08. These include problems with tree rings, the centered PCA analysis, and the R2 issue.

[Response: Really? This is it? The PCA analysis is completely moot as has been shown in the literature Wahl and Amman (2007) and von Storch et al (2005) and above. And you think this is a big issue in 2010? Please. The 'R2' issue similarly - the NAS Chapter 9 deals with the issues there very clearly. The basic point is that when you get to the relatively sparse networks further back, the reconstructions don't have fidelity at the year-to-year variability. If that is something you care about (i.e. whether 1237 was warmer or cooler than 1238), then you are out of luck. If instead you are interested in whether the 13th Century was cooler than the 12th C, it's not the right metric to be using. And finally, 'tree rings'? A whole community is just dismissed in your mind? The community that actually pioneered community-wide data sharing in climate science? A community moreover in which the literature has openly dealt with the many issues that arise in dealing with the nature of trees and tree rings - they are the 'problem'? Again, really?

The points are even more bizarre when you actually look at the latest work that shows that reconstructions without tree rings or off-centre PCA give good reconstructions back centuries and that they aren't grossly different to the ones using tree rings. What more do you want? - gavin]

The tree ring issue is admittedly murky, but unless the dendro community becomes more objective in its analysis, tree rings will become irrelevant. The centered PCA and R2 issues are much more straightforward. The centered PCA is bad statistics, and just because no single significance test is objectively the best in all circumstances does not mean that you can cherry pick significance tests until you find one you like and ignore R2.

[Response: This is simply insulting. You have absolutely no evidence that this was the case. The RE/CE statistics are perfectly fine at describing what the authors thought were relevant and have a long history in that field (Fritts, 1976) and as we have seen the PCA issue is moot. The idea that people went looking for 'bad statistics' to fix their results is without merit whatsoever. Please withdraw that claim.]

The key points of Montford’s book that Tamino ignores are:
1.    The high level of confidence ascribed to the hockey stick inferences in the IPCC TAR, based upon two very recent papers (MBH) that, while provocative and innovative, used new methods and found results that were counter to the prevailing views. Plus the iconic status that the hockey stick achieved in the TAR and Al Gore’s movie.

[Response: You are misreading the IPCC reports. The relevant claims in the SPM and Chapter 2 in TAR were that 'the increase in temperature in the 20th century is likely to have been the largest of any century during the past 1,000 years. It is also likely that, in the Northern Hemisphere, the 1990s was the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year'. "Likely" in TAR speak was 66%-90% chance, thus better than 2 in 3, but not as good as 9 in 10. Your characterisation of 'prevailing views' is simply wrong - the paleo community had long been aware that the medieval period had been very heterogenous (Hughes and Diaz 1994 for instance) and that the peaks did not line up in different records. 'Likely' was the appropriate distinction for the 20th C warming being greater than any century-scale warming in 1000 years, since there wasn't (and isn't) any evidence to the contrary and plenty in support. The only issue that one could reasonably have is the statement about 1998 or the 1990s. Those claims were based on the fact that 1998 was by far the warmest year in the warmest decade in the instrumental record, but without direct evidence that other very warm years in perhaps not quite as warm decades did not match or exceed it. Thus I would have been happier if that part of the statement had been downgraded to 'more likely than not'.

In AR4, the relevant statement was: Average Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the second half of the 20th century were very likely higher than during any other 50-year period in the last 500 years and likely the highest in at least the past 1,300 years.. Thus the statement for the last 500 years has been strengthened (which is appropriate given the increase in multiple lines of evidence for that period), and the longer term statement has been lengthened to 1300 years at the same level of confidence as before. Again a reasonable and supportable position. The differences are in the characterisation of the 20C rate of warming, and mainly the highlighting of a specific year in a millennial context. Instead, there is Eleven of the last twelve years (1995-2006) rank among the 12 warmest years in the instrumental record of global surface temperature (since 1850), indicating a move towards a (correct) realisation that the relative warmth of individual years are harder to assess. In toto, I do not see this as a significant downgrading of the conclusions - you may disagree, but this is not the stuff of conspiracy theories.

In terms of 'iconic' status, showing the results in the SPM seems fair enough, but MBH are not to blame for how images get used or discussed in the media. At all times when the authors themselves were interviewed I have yet to see any statements that were not justified. And as for the AIT, the hockey stick only got a brief mention, and that was by mistake (he used the wrong panel from a Lonnie Thompson paper). This is irrelevant.]

2.    The extreme difficulties that Steve McIntyre had in reproducing the MBH results. Any argument that defends these difficulties by saying that Steve McIntyre is incompetent or lacking in persistence is just plain counter to the evidence that Montford provides. Science needs to be reproducible. Period. And authors need to provide all of the data and metadata needed to reproduce the results, not just draft or incomplete datasets

[Response: Science is reproducible and this science was. Mann et al did not generate the underlying data themselves, they got it from public archives and from asking colleagues - and that was made public when the previously unpublished work was published. Wahl and Ammann replicated the code (as did McIntyre). There were minor errors in the data listing at Nature, but that was fixed when it was pointed out. Scientists are not obligated to hand-hold people trying to reproduce their results, especially when they have already gone public with a farrago of misstatements in non-peer-reviewed papers (try actually reading MM2003). However, you are making a big error in characterising the culture that existed in 1998. I guarantee I will not find complete public archives for every climate paper that appeared in Nature that year - are none of those papers 'science'? Nonsense. Replication is not about repetition- it's about finding new ways to address the same problem. Two ice cores are better than two teams measuring the same one.]

3.    The NAS North et al. report found that the MBH conclusions and “likely” and “very likely” conclusions in the IPCC TAR report were unsupported at that those confidence levels. How the hockey team interpreted the North NAS report as vindicating MBH, seems strange indeed.

[Response: This is simply not true. There are no 'very likely' conclusions in the relevant sections of TAR (I quoted them above). The only thing they pointed out was in regards to the relative warmth of 1998 and the 1990s in the millennial context which I agree with. They did state with a 'high level of confidence that global mean surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period during the preceding four centuries' - this is equivalent to the strengthening of the statements made in AR4 concerning the last 500 years. They went on to say that the 'committee finds it plausible that the Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium' - and in further questions, clarified that plausible was equivalent to 'likely' in IPCC-speak (i.e. less confidence than the statement about the last 500 years). The statement about 1998 and the 1990s was that "Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that "the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium" because the uncertainties inherent in temperature reconstructions for individual years and decades are larger than those for longer time periods and because not all of the available proxies record temperature information on such short timescales" which is true enough. Of course, now it is likely that the 2000s were the warmest decade.]

4.    A direct consequence of the North NAS report is that the conclusions in the IPCC AR4 essentially retracted much of what was in the IPCC TAR regarding the paleo reconstructions. This is the only instance that I know of where the IPCC has reduced a confidence level or simply left out a conclusion that was in a previous IPCC report. This is discussed in the CRU emails.

[Response: Again, this is not true. AR4 did in no way 'essentially retract' much of what said in TAR - for anything substantial concerning the nature of late 20th C warmth the conclusions both in the NAS report and the AR4 report strengthened the TAR conclusions (see the statements above). Perhaps you think that the 'essential' thing is the position of 1998 as the single warmest year? Well, in that case I strongly disagree, this is not 'essential' in anything very much. Much more important in actually understanding the climate are the relations between forcings and responses both globally and spatially over this period, and none of that relies on rankings of individual years. And as for IPCC changing conclusions this has happened many times - Lindzen used to point to statements about upper tropospheric water vapour for instance that became less confident from the 1990, 1995 and 2001 reports, similarly uncertainty in aerosol indirect effects has clearly grown over time. ]

5.    Even with this drawback in the AR4 conclusions and confidence level, somehow what was left was judged to hinge on the unpublished Wahl/Amman papers, one of which was having difficulty surviving peer review in GRL for a period of several years, and was finally pushed through quickly by Steve Schneider in Climate Change. IPCC deadlines were violated, and peer review in the context of the papers publication in Climate Change was a joke (all of this is described in the CRU emails). So all of these shenanigans to get these papers into the IPCC, papers that some have judged to have more methodological problems than the original MBH papers, have seriously degraded trust in the IPCC consensus, once this was illuminated in the CRU emails.

[Response: This is nonsense. The conclusions in the Wahl and Amman papers, and their published code had been public since 2005 so there was no doubt about their results. Steve Schneider was exceptional in many ways, but his journal is not the speediest in terms of turnaround of manuscripts. Weird editorial decisions with respect to the responses to the MM05 GRL paper also did not help. But the authors of the IPCC chapter knew full well that the their statement in the first draft about MM05 was not right - there weren't any unanswered questions about the impact of PCA centering on the results of MBH98. The WA07 paper was accepted in time for this to be cited (and it was an IPCC-wide decision to decide on the cutoffs, not Keith Briffa's) and it was (no IPCC deadlines were violated). If it hadn't been it would not have been the end of the world and I don't see how anything subsequently would have changed. McIntyre has had 5 years to write a comment or a new paper on the subject and he hasn't. As for Briffa talking to Wahl during the final drafting stage, I see nothing problematic with that in the slightest. The idea put forward by McIntyre and Montford that IPCC authors are supposed to sit in purdah while writing the reports has absolutely no basis in fact or in practice. Many people were talked to and many people made suggestions where their expertise was required. The fact is that the AR4 statements in the final version were more correct than in the first draft and that is something people should be happy about.]

6.    The dependence of the various proxy reconstructions used in the AR4 on essentially the same datasets is described, it is difficult to judge these reconstructions as independent.

[Response: Long well-resolved paleo records are rare - I doubt that is a surprise to anyone. Should people not use what has been published to get the best characterisation of past climate change? Methods can be independent though, and since your earlier comments seem to revolve around methods, I don't quite get what point you are making.]

7.    The Mann et al. 2008, which purports to address all the issues raised by MM and produce a range of different reconstructions using different methodologies, still do not include a single reconstruction that is free of questioned tree rings and centered PCA.

[Response: Absolutely untrue in all respects. No, really, have you even read these papers? There is no PCA data reduction step used in that paper at all. And this figure shows the difference between reconstructions without any tree ring data (dark and light blue) compared to the full reconstruction (black). (This is a modified figure from the SI in Mann et al (2008) to show the impact of removing 7 questionable proxies and tree ring data together). In addition, there are many papers that deal with issues raised by MM - Huybers (2005), von Storch et al, (2005), Rutherford et al (2005), Wahl and Amman (2007), Amman and Wahl (2007), Berger (2006) etc.

Judith, I implore you to do some work for yourself instead of just repeating things you read in blogs. (Hint, not everything on the Internet is reliable). ]

8.    The divergence problem is clearly explained, including how the graphs in the IPCC report were misleading, and how the splicing of the historical records with the paleo records is misleading. I.e., the trick to hide the decline. Why should we have confidence in paleoproxies that show a temperate decrease in recent decades, in contrast to historical measurements?

[Response: The divergence problem is well known. And I absolutely disagree that the IPCC graphs are 'misleading'. How perchance were you misled? The picture on the 1999 WMO report cover has nothing to do with IPCC, and frankly was completely unknown until November last year. Yet an incomplete caption on a report that no-one knew about is the biggest scandal in climate science? Get real. I'm with Muir Russell on this one. There is nothing wrong per se in splicing records together to get a continuous series - for instance I have just done the exact same thing in creating a series of solar forcing functions for climate model runs - but these things should be clearly explained. The divergence issue is predominantly an issue for the tree ring density measurements (Briffa et al), and while there is some reason to think that is a unique phenomena, it remains unresolved. So, feel free to ignore the Briffa et al curve if you want. This is not a general issue and doesn't affect the MBH and Mann et al 2008 conclusions at all. ]

9.    Finally, Montford asks the question as to why the scientists and the IPCC promoted the hockey stick at such a high confidence level so prematurely, and why such extraordinary efforts were made to defend it when it arguably isn’t a critical piece of the climate puzzle, rather than to learn from outside statisticians and do a credible error analysis on the data and the inferences.

[Response: Oh please. Why didn't the first multi-proxy paper deal with all issues and try all methodologies and come to all the conclusions? Because that is not the way science works. People try new things, issues arise, issues are dealt with and a more sophisticated understanding emerges. Some data is used, more data is gathered and more complete pictures arise. No single paper is ever perfect - and I'm sure if any of your papers (or mine for that matter) got the attention that has been payed to MBH98 there'd be all sorts of potential issues as well. But you are again overstating the conclusions of those early papers, and there have been no extraordinary efforts to defend them. It is quite the contrary, there have been many and multiple extraordinary attempts to discredit them (unless you think Congressional review is 'ordinary'). No-one is against efforts to learn from outside statisticians, that is just a strawman. People are against politically-driven hack jobs purporting to be analyses but that don't even bother to work out what the consequences of any different choices might be. All of the data in Mann et al (2008) is online, as is all the code - where are the outside statisticians who are clamouring to have their ideas heard? They are welcome to try and do a better job.]

I’ve probably missed a few things, but those are the key points raised in the book that have stuck with me. I’ve tried to follow the debate by reading the journal articles and posts at both RC and CA. I was very frustrated in trying to sort all this out. Montford’s book sorted everything out into coherent, well argued and well documented arguments. There is a certain element of spin, so I wanted to see what RC had to say about all this. On the RC side, we have the outdated Dummies Guide to the Hockey Stick and Tamino’s review, plus the snarky replies to serious posters that include statistician Jean S. You need to do better than this to counter Montford’s book. Failing to do so will just push more people into the Montford/McIntyre corner of the ring. And how and why this issue has become so contentious and stayed so contentious is a serious issue in the field of climate science.

[Response: The reason this has become 'contentious' has nothing to do the MBH and everything to do with people not wanting climate change to be a problem. Icons that arise for whatever reason attract iconoclasts. Noise in the blogosphere does not correlate to seriousness in climate science. As your comments make abundantly clear, you have very little knowledge on this issue and have done no independent investigation of the wild claims being made. Yet the more smoke there is, the more you appear to want to blame MBH for the fire. A 'certain amount of spin'? Seeing conspiracies everywhere you look is not 'spin', it is paranoia. Real scientific controversies get resolved in the literature for the people who actually care about getting things right. For those that don't, continued repetition of long debunked talking points seems to be their only tactic. I, for one, am pretty tired of that and heartily bored of pointing them out.

The fact of the matter is that we are far beyond the point where people need to either s*** or get off the pot. Continuing to whine about what selection rules were used in a PCA analysis 12 years ago without coming up with any constructive alternative, continuing to complain about a centering convention that makes no difference whatsoever, continuing to moan about error analyses being inadequate without doing a single stitch of work to improve them... enough, already! Science moves forward because people do actual work. Nothing happens when people just sit in a room and [edit] complain about the state the world. The people who are actually publishing in this field are doing all of the things you seem to think are being ignored, while the people whose work you are reading are doing nothing but complain about how they are being ignored. I’m very confident about which group will make the most progress in future. – gavin]

That would be all tragic enough, but Curry then offers this final misfire:

Gavin, the post I made in #167 was a summary of Montford’s book as closely as I can remember it, sort of a review. I did not particularly bring in my personal opinions into this, other than the framing of montford’s points. So asking me to retract a point made in a book in a review of that book is, well, pointless. your attempt to rebut my points are full of logical fallacies and arguing at points i didn’t make. As a result, Montford’s theses look even more convincing. Once you’e in a hole, you can try to climb out or keep digging. Well keep digging, Gavin. My final words: read the book.

[Response: Thanks for passing by. In future I will simply assume you are a conduit for untrue statements rather than their originator. And if we are offering advice, might I suggest that you actually engage your critical faculties before demanding that others waste their time rebutting nonsense. I, for one, have much better things to do. - gavin]

Unbelievable, really.

Many CP regulars commented at RC and I hope they will elaborate on their points in the comments here.

[And yes, I'm aware someone else notable jumped the shark in the RC comments.  I'll address that Monday.]

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264 Responses to Hockey Stick fight at the RC Corral

  1. mike roddy says:

    This was one of the best Realclimate threads ever, and thanks for alerting Climate Progress readers. Gavin may be the best ever at debunking faux claims about climate science, and he doesn’t care who he’s addressing or where the facts lead. Your reproduction of the Curry/Schmidt “debate” above says it all. Wow!

    Plenty of great comments, too. Gavin got everybody fired up, as you do so often here.

    We all have a pretty good idea about what motivates Michaels and McIntyre, but Curry’s strange behavior is creating private guessing games among some of us commenters. Maybe we should just leave it alone, and let her disastrous attempt at interpreting climate science per McIntyre, Montford, Michaels, and the rest of them stand alone as her awful legacy.

  2. Prokaryotes says:

    “Unbelievable, really.”, I second that. The survival of the species is at risk and you have such incompetence around.

  3. Ani says:

    It all started with the excellent post by Tamino. Where he finds the time to do these things is amazing.I assume he worked with others at RC and my hat is off to all of them. Taminos post should be required reading by all politicians.

  4. Doug Bostrom says:

    Saunter into the the O.K. Corral in full view of the townspeople, whip out the pistol, pull the trigger and a little tattered flag with “Bang!” written on it emerges from the barrel, bouncing on the end of a rusty spring. The “oops” moment.

    I thought I had a case to illustrate how that could not have been the real Judith Curry, invested some time writing a post on RC describing the data behind my hypothesis, which included the incautious use of what for scientists are serious fighting words implying deception as opposed to error, employing the term “Hockey Team,” and simply committing such embarrassingly elementary errors in a public forum as though no ego or reputation were at stake. I concluded with an unqualified remark that I didn’t believe Curry was the author. I was assured that in fact it is the real Judith Curry.

    One of the strangest things I’ve seen in the few years I’ve been following this topic, stranger even than Steven Goddard, my previous standard for impervious and oblivious public self-embarrassment. Here the stakes are larger by a long mile.

  5. Dana says:

    Kudos to Schmidt for not pulling any punches. Curry has just become a mouthpiece for McIntyre and friends. Several times I’ve noticed she just seems to echo exactly what these denialists say without first verifying its veracity (or more accurately, lack thereof).

    To be blunt, she doesn’t behave as a scientist should. And then she has the audacity to criticize climate scientists who actually know what they’re talking about.

  6. John Mason says:

    Indeed – that comment thread was impressive! Another 1-0 in the favour of fact vs. opinion! Tamino’s piece is also excellent – what would be useful would be a summary for non-mathematical/statistician members of the public. It is they who, critically, need to grasp the situation for what it is. When the public are screaming out for something to be done, that’s often when something does get done.

    Someone (here, passim or at RC) suggested Curry’s recent behaviour might be a classic denial reaction to seeing how bad climate destabilisation could become. It’s possible I guess – been there with oil depletion myself, though not for long – to any geologist such things as “finite mineral resources” can be filed under “the bleedin’ obvious”. My denial with Peak Oil lasted a few minutes at most before I moved on to start weighing up whether it would be around now or in 10 years or whatever – I suggest we’ll suss that out if we climb out of recession a little further & demand starts to grow big time, in terms of regular crude.

    The thing I’m left with in the case of Judith Curry’s behaviour is one question. Why? I can understand people with no relevant background opining that climate change is (***add any popular denialist argument in here***), but her background makes her statements all the more bizarre. Perhaps, indeed, the other commentator alluded to above had it about right? Either way, the word “sceptic” is inappropriate when everything “the political opposition” utters is accepted without open question whilst everything that comes from published climate science is nit-picked apart to the 11th degree. That is not, was not and never will be scepticism. It’s one of the most abused words in the English language right now.

    Cheers – John

    Cheers – John

  7. Esop says:

    At first I thought someone was posing as Curry, in order to discredit her even more, but Gavin confirmed it really was her.
    Simply amazing.

  8. The Wonderer says:

    I found Tamino’s post and the entire thread informative and fascinating as always, but also somewhat depressing. Smackdowns, while satisfying to some may not always be the best in the end. I wonder if something more personal than public wouldn’t be more helpful towards bridging the divide. I wondered the same thing when Ray got into it with his across campus “Freakonomics” colleague. A polite one on one and a good dinner could go a long way in some cases. Also, I think the opposition may be more adept at this, especially with the press.

  9. sod says:

    Judith Curry has changed teams long ago.

    i think a good example can be seen in this post, by Keith Kloor:

    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. Well, if any medical researcher who got funds or otherwise engaged with pharmaceuticals was demonized like those linked even in some obscure way with an oil company, well medical research would come to a screeching halt.

    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/04/27/curry-the-backstory/

    completely absurd.

  10. chek says:

    Apart from her by now well documented ineptness when challenged on any points of substance (see RC and CAS blogs recently) Prof. Curry’s naivete is alarming.

    It’s as if she is unaware that big bisiness always gives
    $10 to the Democrats (or Friends of the Earth or whatever)
    while donating $90 to the Republicans (or the think tanks/Foundations/Institutes or whatever) to ensure they are always on the winning side come what may.

    Their preference however is obvious (to all except Judith Curry it seems).

  11. David B. Benson says:

    Gobsmaked!

  12. BB says:

    It’s too bad that Mcintyre has been posting on his own site (CA) about this topic, rather than actually joining in the comments fray…I suppose in in the end, it’s all about generating traffic..?

  13. fj2 says:

    Pretty amazing how much time and energy is wasted with stuff only confusing issues and delaying effective action.

    The science tells us that we are in an emergency that must be addressed immediately.

    Initially, a small highly skilled and capable team must be assembled and tasked to act on this daunting crisis with leads like US Department of Energy Secretary Chu and US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

    Anything less indicates a serious problem with governance of the United States.

  14. chek says:

    BB@12

    McIntyre is staying out of it for the very good reason that he’d be what is colloquially known as “slaughtered” in a direct intervention with all his so-called “credibility” gone.

    Much better to slink, around the sidelines and let the odd expendable like “JeanS” and sock “Thinking Scientist” take the heat and live to invent another piece of mendacity to fight with another day.

  15. David B. Benson says:

    chek@14 — Yup.

  16. Heraclitus says:

    I’ve long assumed that Judith Curry has bravely gone undercover as a mole. Thought it best not to say this earlier in case suspicions were aroused. However, surely now the time has come for you to come out Judy. It cannot be right for an intelligent, sane woman to be forced to act this way, no matter what insights you might be gaining – they cannot be worth the pain. I admire your tenacity, but call it a day.

  17. Judith Curry says:

    And while your at it, don’t miss McIntyre’s response at
    http://climateaudit.org/2010/07/25/the-team-defends-paleo-phrenology/

  18. Prokaryotes says:

    Don’t feed the trolls.

  19. Judith Curry says:

    Joe, what I’ve done is something very old fashioned in this postnormal, tribalistic environment. I’ve read nearly all of the major journal articles on the topic. I’ve read the North and Wegman reports. I’ve read most of the recent, relevant posts on RC, climateaudit, and Klimazweibel. And I’ve read Montford’s book. I’ve weighed the evidence on both sides. I thought that it was important for the RC side to rebut Montford’s book, since frankly the balance of evidence is tilting to the other side. Tamino’s review, which had very little to do with what is actually written in the book, and Gavin’s defense, are very weak. Tell Mike Mann that tamino and gavin did not do him any favors with that thread on RC. And that they need to raise the level of their game, because the other side certainly has.

    So if any of you have actually read as much as I have on this topic including Montford’s book and the climateaudit threads particularly McIntyre’s most recent post, well then we might have something to talk about. Otherwise, we can just sit back and all be entertained by tribalistic wardances.

    [JR: Judy, you invented the "tribal" notion, joined the tribe of the proven disinformers -- as I said before, "tribes are determined by whose faults you gloss over," -- repeated stuff they say as if it were well-verified, peer-reviewed science as opposed to the long-debunked BS it is, and, for the record, I seriously doubt that you have read more of the scientific literature on climate science (or talked to more climate scientists) than Mann, Tamino, Gavin, or me, for that matter.

    But anybody can read. It's clear that what you did read, didn't take. Not only isn't the "balance of evidence tilting to the other side," (as if there were sides at all, as opposed to scientific understanding and everything else!) it isn't even sitting on its ass. The balance of scientific evidence and the overwhelming majority of the literature in the past 3 years have move hard in the direction of the climate situation being much more dire than laid out in the FAR (and, incidentally, in support of the Hockey Stick).

    Mike Mann doesn't need any "favors." He has the evidence and the scientific literature and two Penn State exonerations and the "Supreme Court" of science (the NAS) backing him up. I just can't find a scientist who isn't scratching their head about why you keep beating this dead horse. Reality and science have moved on, Judy.

    The person who isn't doing themselves any favors with that thread on RC is you. The clearest evidence that the tribal metaphor really only applies to you is your inability to see that.

    Here's an idea. Find three scientists you trust who aren't in any of your hypothetical tribes (and who aren't relatives) and ask them to review everything you've written on the Internet this year and all the responses in the science blogosphere. If two out of three of them -- heck if even one of them -- thinks you are advancing the cause of science ... well, keep beating that horse.]

  20. Ian Forrester says:

    Judith Curry, what you are doing is an insult to science and scientists everywhere. You have one of two choices, either resign your position which oversees honest science or get back on the track of truthfulness and honesty.

    Science deserves better than what you and your associates at climatefraudit and whatswrongwithwatt et al. are serving up to pollute uneducated minds.

    Please do us all a favour and stop your descent in pseudo and junk science.

  21. DavidCOG says:

    Superb. Gavin Schmidt is superb.

    I particularly liked this reaction:

    > I am gobsmacked by the audacity of Judith Curry’s #185.

    > First, in #74 she claims that Tamino’s review has “numerous factual errors and misrepresentations, failure to address many of the main points of the book”. And then when her attempt to back up this statement in #168 is torn to shreds by Gavin she resorts to claiming that these weren’t “particularly” her “personal opinions”, but were just a framing of Montford’s points.

    > What a wimpy, pathetic backdown. Sorry to be so blunt, Judith, but when you make a claim that Tamino’s review has “numerous factual errors and misrepresentations” it behooves you to actually list the errors and defend your point of view. Don’t just make vague allegations and run away when challenged.

    > Unless you return and clarify your accusations, your credibility in the debate has now reached zero.

  22. DavidCOG says:

    Judith Curry says: And while your at it, don’t miss McIntyre’s response at…

    No, thanks – I prefer to get my climate science and commentary from honest, credible sources. It seems to help in not becoming misinformed.

  23. Former Skeptic says:

    Judith:

    A simple but very relevant question or two.

    How many peer-reviewed papers has McIntyre published on paleoclimate over the past 5 years?

    I know of grad students that you oversee in your school who are more productive in terms of climate research than McI. You would dismiss them from GaTech if they adopted the McI approach to research.

    So why do you give him so much credibility?

  24. Matto says:

    Ian Forrester@19

    Hit the nail on the head here my friend. Judith has no business taking such a ludicrous position and should at the very least resign or at the very least publish a full retraction of her bizarre commentary of the past few months. Taking a position contrary to the consensus(or in my opinion, even mingling with those who do) is tantamount to treason against humanity and the earth as a whole. Shameful. Schmidt/Romm 2012!

  25. The Wonderer says:

    One thing I missed the first time reading through Curry’s “detailed” critique, was that it was largely a misdirection. Her initial comment accused Tamino of “numerous factual errors and misrepresentations…” Yet her “detailed” response does not detail any of his supposed factual errors or misrepresentations. TW’s grade for that comment: D-

    Regarding Revkin’s comment, I am curious if there is really a move afoot to make e-mails per se on University computers subject to release under broad FOI Act requests, as he indicates. If so, I’ve missed it. Such a ruling would likely have a tremendous impact, reaching far beyond climate research.

  26. Jeff Green says:

    If you go to the link that I have provided there are several reconstructions that seem to reach the same conclusion that MBH have. Why not argue about their methods also?

    So again you are picking a fight on a blog of all things in an area not of your strength. You aren’t really qualified to write a critique as far as I can tell in a professional science manner. It possibly would take you several years to pull it off.

    What are you doing here?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1000_Year_Temperature_Comparison.png

    Why not go through the professional channels?

    Gavin has to respond professionally accurate on his own postings or his own professional scientists will call him on it. If you are proven that a lot of your statements are inaccurate as he says, will you publicly retract your statements?

    That is the professional manner in which things are handled.

    Are you going to follow this important tribal protocol?

  27. Doug Bostrom says:

    So if any of you have actually read as much as I have on this topic including Montford’s book and the climateaudit threads particularly McIntyre’s most recent post…

    Dr. Curry, please, step back for a second, distance yourself and think hard about what it means that you’re making such a recommendation.

    You’re hanging out at and even promoting a site where the proprietor spends seemingly endless time rummaging through ancient emails, speculating on what plots against him might be teased from between the lines he’s been allowed to see by whomever appropriated and then heavily redacted the original source materials. McIntyre has constructed an entire fantasy world around this topic, it’s simply bizarre and here you are citing his blog as something on a par with the likes of mainstream science?

    You’ve even taken to using the language of these people, with their sophomoric tags such as “The Hockey Team.” This is a form of creeping mental rot of which I don’t think you’re aware, though it’s showing in a painfully obvious way in writings such as your interaction with Dr. Schmidt at RealClimate.

    These people such as McIntyre are happy to see you in their camp because credibility is something sorely lacking on the deep fringe, it’s been completely exhausted by a proclivity for constant baseless assertions of fraud, malfeasance and corruption. The same bunch you’re promoting have claimed that nearly all fields of scientific inquiry related to investigation of climate change are part of some vast conspiracy and folks were ceasing to listen to them. Now they’re burning your credibility, feeding on your career.

    You should know as well as anybody that if you’re gulled into making careless accusations such as your implication that Mann engaged in deceptive “cherry-picking” of methods as opposed to committing errors your reputation will irretrievably suffer when it’s discovered you’ve made a mistake. There will be no way for you to retract those words; you may be able to say “I was wrong, I apologize” but your name will remain besmirched, associated with the climate science equivalent of Lysenko or Velikovsky. The same thing happened to the McIntyre crowd before but now they’ve found fresh blood, yours, and they’re reinvigorating their hopeless argument by climbing on your back.

    Give it all a careful thought, you really ought to. Perhaps start by wondering whether the fossil emails you feel are so important depend the ambiguity created by massive redaction. The CRU emails appear to be what lured you into this mess but ask yourself, why are you not permitted to see the whole collection? McIntyre himself has ended up looking like a fool by following the email trail down the rabbit hole, finding an imaginary world of conspiracies down in the darkness carefully cultivated preserved by whomever purloined the files. Instead of fighting with Gavin Schmidt perhaps you ought to ask him the favor of providing the context you’re not allowed to see by those who performed the unilateral appropriation.

    One more thought to help you think about the company you’re falling into. If whomever who took the emails was benign, a concerned whistleblower, why was their next moves to first redact and thereby spin the files then hack into RealClimate’s server and attempt to insert the incomplete and ambiguous record they created there? Why wasn’t it sent to Wikileaks in its entirety, for instance?

  28. richard pauli says:

    What a wonderful exchange! The tactic is obfuscation discussion. Never has there been such scientific logorrhoea since Lucky’s speech in Samuel Becket’s “Waiting for Godot”:

    “Given the existence as uttered forth in the public works of Puncher and Wattmann of a personal God quaquaquaqua with white beard quaquaquaqua outside time without extension who from the heights of divine apathia divine athambia divine aphasia loves us dearly with some exceptions for reasons unknown but time will tell and suffers like the divine Miranda with those who for reasons unknown but time will tell are plunged in torment plunged in fire whose fire flames if that continues and who can doubt it will fire the firmament that is to say blast hell to heaven so blue still and calm so calm with a calm which even though intermittent is better than nothing but not so fast…”

    from: http://classes.colgate.edu/dhoffmann/fsem018/texts/Waiting%20Interpr/luckyspeech.htm

    Lucky’s speech is theater of the absurd drama; Curry’s science of misdirection belongs in the drama department. Ours is an epic existentialist conflict and the flaw is cognitive dissonance that grows stronger with the heat.

  29. Ed says:

    Any professor who references McIntyre’s site cannot be taken seriously….you should be ashamed of yourself Mrs. Curry. However, considering you haven’t first authored any serious articles in the realm of climate science in several years, your strange ineptness on the topic is no surprise.

  30. MapleLeaf says:

    I was sitting in a colleague’s office a few weeks ago and perusing their library while they stepped out for a minute. My eyes happened upon a book (Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences)that Dr. Curry co-authored with Holton in 2002….and the first thing that came to mind was how the once mighty have fallen– that was after reading some of the dumbfounding comments she made at a blog called Collide-a-scape. My colleagues and I, who are in the same field of science as Curry, are genuinely perplexed as to the reason for her bizarre behavior of late.

    I honestly doubt whether Dr. Curry has read and/or understood the latest papers by Mann and others on this subject (papers published as recently as 2009). Because had she done so, she would realize the err of her ways, not to mention those of McIntyre and Montford. Curry should read Mann et al. (2008) and Mann et al. (2009). And yes Dr. Curry we know that M&M (McIntyre and McKitrick, both of whom have, or have had, close ties to right-wing think tanks such as The Fraser Institute, heartland Institute and CEI) wrote a comment on the 2008 PNAS paper by Mann et al. (2008), so please be sure to also read Mann et al’s response to the “critique” of M&M.

    I encourage readers here to look at the final figure in Tamino’s excellent debunking of Montford (an accountant who took it upon himself to make some money from the hacked emails) at RealClimate–which actually means debunking McI, again. Readers here should also read comment 302 at RealClimate by Tamino (who, unlike McIntyre, Montford or Curry is in fact a statistician by training).

    I find he asymmetry of Curry’s “skepticism” mind boggling– she accepts claims made by dubious non-scientists at face value, but has nothing but suspicion of the real scientists. For example, it does not seem to trouble Curry that McIntyre denies the existence of teleconnections.

    The scientific literature has shown that reputable scientists Mann et al. have continued to advance paleo climate science since 1998, not Curry’s juvenile tribe who are all still stuck in 1998.

    Dr. Curry seems to be have developed a propensity of late to make baseless accusations about climate scientists and scientists (read comment #221 at RealClimate). I find thew whole Curry debacle depressing– especially because it is entirely her own doing. She should be ashamed. We can only hope that she comes to her senses, and soon.

  31. MapleLeaf says:

    As for Andy Revkin completely missing the ball over at RealClimate on the Tamino story…..sigh. It seems that the real story was completely lost on him. When is Revkin (and the media in general) going to take McIntyre to task for wasting everyone’s time, money and lives? Not to mention taking McIntyre et al. to task for their disingenuous ways, repeated attacks on climate science and scientists, their distortion, and dissemination of misinformation on an incredibly serious problem?

    There used to be good journalists out there once upon a time– journalists who said it how it is, who sought the truth at any cost, who exposed the real wrongs (again at any cost). What on Earth happened?

    What is truly sad is that I know that Revkin can do better than he has been doing on the climate file.

  32. The Wonderer says:

    In the interest of “raising the level of the game,” I have some recommendations and suggestions:

    1. “…if any of you have actually read as much as I have on this topic … then we might have something to talk about.” Remove this barrier to dialogue. Refusing to acknowledge someone who hasn’t read your required reading list is more cultish than tribalistic.
    2. I noticed a subtle change from Tamino hasn’t addressed the main points (RC Comment) to “Tamino’s review, which had very little to do with what is actually written in the book…” Please be very specific on what issues Tamino attributes to the book that aren’t in the book.
    3. “…and Gavin’s defense, are very weak.” Which specific responses of Gavin’s are “weak”? Why? Which specific points were missed in Gavin’s response?

    By being specific and keeping to the technical points, a more productive dialogue can ensue, and then other tangential issues such as who has read what, and the usual resume wars become much less important.

  33. Ryan T says:

    I’d like Judith to please name three researchers who’ve published in the reviewed literature (preferably in the past decade) on temperature reconstruction who thinks the Montford material has merit, and changes the conclusions reached by Mann and others. Or does she think she’s the only scientist on Earth who isn’t prone to their “tribalism”? If she can’t answer, I can’t help but wonder what the scientific basis is for her views, and what her motivations are in holding up views of the contrarian tribe.

  34. MapleLeaf says:

    The Wonderer at 30.

    I agree. This is science, a paper is not a stand-alone piece of work it is most often preceded by years, even decades of work. Also, science progresses. Many of the issues raised by Montford are moot, because the science has continued to advanced since 1998 etc. That is why it is imperative for Curry to be up to speed on the latest literature, but not only that, she needs to grasp the nuances of what is at play here. Going by her comments she has failed on both counts.

    Mann et al. 2008, for example, is required reading for anyone wading into this debate because it is very relevant to the story. Moreover, there is nothing “tribalistic” on science about keeping abreast of the latest science.

  35. MapleLeaf says:

    Curry says, “we can just sit back and all be entertained by tribalistic wardances.”

    The only “tribalistic war dances” going on here are by you and your newly adopted clan Dr. Curry. I really do take exception to your insistence of using the term “tribe” that you invented– it is juvenile, and if anything, has only driven a wider wedge between to groups already at odds with each other. Then again, perhaps I should congratulate you, b/c perhaps that was your very intention from the outset?

  36. John Mashey says:

    re: #19 Dr. Curry
    Since you mentioned the North & Wegman Reports, can you give us a comparison of credibility between the two?

    (I understand that plagiarism cannot be discussed. How about the rest?)

  37. MapleLeaf says:

    My reference to McIntyre and teleconnections above (that comment is in moderation right now)may have been too vague. So here is a clarification.

    McIntyre claims teleconnections are voodoo science. Yet, here is a paper by Dr. Curry (from her very own web site) in which she and her co-authors cite and discuss two teleconnections (AO and PNA).

    http://curry.eas.gatech.edu/currydoc/Lynch_BAMS85.pdf

    So it is very odd that Curry continues to defend, support McIntyre and take his word over that of real, practicing climate scientists. As others have noted, I too sense some serious cognitive dissonance going on here by Curry.

  38. Doug Bostrom says:

    John Mashey says: July 26, 2010 at 2:29 am

    (I understand that plagiarism cannot be discussed. How about the rest?)

    I’m afraid I’ve lost the plot. Is plagiarism part of the tribal thing we’re supposed to tolerate, like a a fart in an elevator?

  39. anonymous says:

    Financial troubles have previously lead to crimes, is the ‘emeritus’-phenomenon, where previously respected Doctors abandon their own research and actively take part in misrepresenting their former collagues’ work part of this. Like, “I’m a doctor and a civil person so I only lie to get along, whearas those who are not civil do crimes and crime is definable by law – if we can change the law so the lie and the untruth is the only correct way to speak and prove things correct, we can prison the truth-sayers and continue our lies?”, is Judith Curry afraid of some legal issues, why does she endorse lies?

  40. Charles says:

    Judith, I’m not a scientist so I’m not really concerned about “sides” or “tribes” or “teams.” I just want to know what the science tells us. If the “other side” has “raised its game,” let’s see it in the peer-reviewed journals. Can you point me to it, please? I’ll be thrilled if “the team” is wrong and AGW is not nearly as bad as we fear it might be. Is that what you are suggesting?

    So far your replies appear to be confined to arguments from authority. If you really feel the work of Steve McIntyre et al. represent advances in climate science, that’s great, but can you point to their peer reviewed literature you feel is relevant and can you point to others in the climate science community who share your views about the importance of McIntyre’s work? Thanks.

  41. This is fascinating stuff !
    I’m just an outsider and live not in USA, but makes me wonder how can certain Judith Curry be involved with a position of a “Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology” (and presumably still be on a pay-roll) when she’s so blatent and profane in the face of extremely serious and tragic disruption of global climate. It is not that you live in Russia or Iran where honest scinece is persecuted or do you by now ? (; Just hilarious!

    We’re doing the same to our planet that Nazi’s were doing to millions of Judiths and Ivans and other Vacslavs in concentration camps. 50 years later humanity is quite certain on which side they are on.

    We simply do not have that much time now to decide about ocean acidification etc. or do we, dear usanians?

  42. Prokaryotes says:

    Climate panel a ‘cynical delaying tactic’ http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/07/23/2962993.htm

  43. Prokaryotes says:

    WhatsUpWithIt Irresponsibly Posts Blacklist of Eminent Physicists http://denialdepot.blogspot.com/2010/07/newsflash-whatsupwithit-irresponsibly.html

  44. Turboblocke says:

    I posted this on RC earlier:
    Judith Curry seems to have picked her side in the debate: http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/06/21/the-climate-experts/#comment-8457

    see comment 28 by James G
    JamesG Says:
    June 22nd, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Well if you believe that the establishment is always correct then you may be happy to see this, which will be further confirmation of your herdlike tendency. If your experience though is of the harsh history that science largely progresses by maverick truth-seekers challenging the establishment (and on the way suffering many insults from them) then you are less impressed. Or is malaria really from bad air, are cauliflower ears really a sign of insanity, is the atom like a plum pudding and is the universe a steady state after all, etc, etc.

    Now when they compare the predictions of this compliant herd with actual reality and note that not once (so far) have any of them been proven correct with any theories that warming is other than benign or beneficial, then that’s real science, ie the comparison of hypothesis with real data. This effort is more like a show of hands of people being asked the question, “do you want to be among the winners or losers? choose wisely..because the winners get funded and the losers vilified”. I don’t think it’s a new low…it’s the same scenario that’s been played out many times throughout the inglorious history of various scientific establishments. We like to look back and laugh and say “how could they be so closed-minded, thank heaven we’ve moved on”. Except that we didn’t.

    I had seriously hoped that the idea that a consensus represented anything other than unimaginative groupthink had crashed and burned with the absolute failure of the academic economics establishment to predict this financial crash. Alas….

    And look how Curry reacts:
    Judith Curry Says:
    June 22nd, 2010 at 7:24 am

    JamesG #28 very well said!

  45. toby says:

    I find it hard to uderstand where Judith Curry is coming from. She seems to have started out with some idea of forming a “bridge” between “communities” (better word than “tribes”).

    It all seems to have ended up in a mass-flogging of a long dead horse.

    At this stage I no longer feel guilty at not understanding the fuss over hockey sticks, PCA, Briffa, and so on … if I want to understand paleoclimate reconstruction, I will go to the latest scientific literature and take it from there.

  46. JasonW says:

    #34: Sorry, but Godwin alert! Comparisons to 1930s Germany are almost always misjudged and inappropriate.

  47. _Flin_ says:

    “the balance of evidence is tilting to the other side”

    So alarming rise in Ocean heat content; record temperatures in the first 6 months of the year, the last 4 months all being new monthly global records; record ice melting in the Arctic; record winter precipitation on the US east coast (as predicted); Tenessee under water after 2 days of precipitation with the amount of months; flash floods in France after 2 days of precipitation with the amount of months; 1000s dead or missing in China after floods; German nuclear plants partially shutting down due to rivers being too warm; Rhode Island being flooded; 42 dead at Madeira flooding; Flooding in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Serbia; Coffee planters warning that their harvest is down 33%;

    All in 2010. And its not even August. Well, something is missing. Oh yeah, the fires. Oh no, we had them in Australia already this year (And Greece usually starts burning around mid-August, California starts to burn around end of July, so it’s too soon for that)

    And you say “the balance of evidence is tilting to the other side”. Maybe reading more newspapers and less blogs of people who haven’t released more than 1 peer reviewed article in the last 10 years (and have been debunked time and time again) might be beneficial.

  48. #19 Judith Curry

    “I’ve weighed the evidence on both sides.”

    I think your scale is broken.

    Besides the your argument being a red herring in the larger context, you are willingly supporting the denialist meme at the expense of science.

    Adding to the confusion is pretty serious considering what is at stake. It’s your future too. How much do you want to pay for corn or wheat? Do you mind the increasing possibility that you may not be able to retire due to inflation pressures?

    We know the models are wrong (and always will be).

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/models-can-be-wrong

    That’s not the point. You need to get your scale checked ASAP.


    A Climate Minute: The Natural CycleThe Greenhouse EffectHistory of Climate ScienceArctic Ice Melt

    ‘Fee & Dividend’ Our best chance for a better future – climatelobby.com
    Learn the Issue & Sign the Petition

  49. Colorado Bob says:

    _Flin_

    Another observed event :

    A heat wave searing the Baltic region has warmed the usually frigid waters of the Baltic Sea to temperatures usually seen in more tropical climes, experts said Friday.

    http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Heat_wave_warms_frigid_Baltic_Sea_waters_999.html

  50. Judith Curry says:

    Consensus on a scientific issue is established as science evolves through the following successive stages (Funtowicz and Ravetz, 1990):
    1. no opinion with no peer acceptance;
    2. an embryonic field attracting low acceptance by peers;
    3. competing schools of thought, with medium peer acceptance;
    4. a dominant school of thought accepted by all but rebels;
    5. an established theory accepted by all but cranks.

    At the time of the TAR, MBH reflected an embryonic field (level 2). There was very little justification for any kind of consensus statements with “likely” and “very likely”, even by the standards of IPCC’s guidelines. By the time of AR4, the field had arguably matured to level 3, a more established field with competing schools of thought. The conflict that has ensued over the high confidence levels in the IPCC conclusions and the attempts to establish a premature consensus is described by Montford’s book.

    The response of a rational person considering the evidence from both sides (which is a necessity for level 3 science) is to weigh evidence from both sides and make both sides aware of arguments from the other side and emphasize the need for refuting arguments from the other side in justify your thesis.

    The response of an irrational person is to declare level 2 or level 3 science as “settled science”, “a fact on par with the theory of infrared radiative transfer of gases.”

    [JR: Judith, I have asked you many times to please define your terms. What "high confidence levels in the IPCC conclusions" are you objecting to? Seriously. There must be a bunch of them for you to go on and on about this. Name 5 in the AR4 (the fourth assessment). And I'm not talking about nitpicks in the full reports that nobody reads. They need to be in the Summary for Policymakers to represent some serious overstatement to the public of climate science. It'd be nice if they were on the scale of the understatement in the AR4 of, say, plausible ranges for sea level rise this century or the potential role of positive carbon-cycles feedbacks.

    Also, it is impossible to tell from this comment whether you are just talking about MBH -- a relatively tiny piece of the puzzle which has exceedingly little to do with any of the major conclusions of the AR4 (and which makes your extended comment puzzling to say the least) -- or whether you are actually talking about the major conclusions of the AR4, in which case your comment is simply a fringe view.

    On the latter point, the recent National Academy of Sciences report concluded, "A strong, credible body of scientific evidence shows that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural systems…. Some scientific conclusions or theories have been so thoroughly examined and tested, and supported by so many independent observations and results, that their likelihood of subsequently being found to be wrong is vanishingly small. Such conclusions and theories are then regarded as settled facts. This is the case for the conclusions that the Earth system is warming and that much of this warming is very likely due to human activities."

    The NAS is exceedingly staid and conservative scientific organization. If you disagree with their conclusions, then you're gonna have to explain that in some detail or just retract your comment.]

  51. Colorado Bob says:

    Observed event -

    The mercury rose as high as 38.1 C in Tajimi, Gifu Prefecture, followed by 37.9 C in the Sakuma area of Shizuoka Prefecture and Okayama. The highest temperatures on record for July were logged in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, at 37.7 C and Kyotanabe, Kyoto Prefecture at 37.3 C.

    Meanwhile, some areas experienced thunder showers due to atmospheric instability caused by sinking cold air, including in Ishioka, Ibaraki Prefecture, where a record 86.5 millimeters of rain fell in the space of one hour in the evening, according to the agency.

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/22-dead-14-injured-in-water-mountain-accidents-as-heat-wave-continues

  52. Colorado Bob says:

    ” Get ready little lady , hell is coming to breakfast ”

    Lone Watie

  53. Chris says:

    Judith – I would argue that, given the delineation of stages you posted, climate science is between a 4 and a 5. The only thing preventing it from being a “5″ is the presence of a very vocal minority which gets a lot of press but comparatively little respect via peer reviewed studies or like. I think that the dissenters like to view themselves as rebels (level 4), but those in the majority view like to view the dissenters as cranks (level 5). This leads, naturally, to the type of discourse we’ve seen here and at RC – where the majority, who have the weight of evidence on their side, are using it like a weapon (a damn good one) against the minority, whose weapons don’t have nearly the same power but they may not know it.

    And, as an aside, I agree with the poster who called out the “Godwin Alert”. I think that those of us who agree that AGW is very real and very alarming would do well to at least keep our discourse more respectful than, say, Christopher Monckton or Glenn Beck.

  54. Daniel "The Yooper" Bailey says:

    In her comment currently at number 40, Judith Curry waxes authoritative on the accepted definition of the word “consensus” in science.

    Quote:

    “At the time of the TAR, MBH reflected an embryonic field (level 2). There was very little justification for any kind of consensus statements with “likely” and “very likely”, even by the standards of IPCC’s guidelines. By the time of AR4, the field had arguably matured to level 3, a more established field with competing schools of thought. The conflict that has ensued over the high confidence levels in the IPCC conclusions and the attempts to establish a premature consensus is described by Montford’s book.

    The response of a rational person considering the evidence from both sides (which is a necessity for level 3 science) is to weigh evidence from both sides and make both sides aware of arguments from the other side and emphasize the need for refuting arguments from the other side in justify your thesis.

    The response of an irrational person is to declare level 2 or level 3 science as “settled science”, “a fact on par with the theory of infrared radiative transfer of gases.””
    End Quote

    At no point does Judith establish where she thinks the current level of scientific understanding of the theory of anthropogenic climate change stands.

    The response of this rational personal, having weighed the evidence of science, as reflected in the foundational literature, the positions statements of EVERY major scientific body including the latest from the NAS (which was unequivocal) and that of the “other” tribe (which consists of old debunked and rebunked memes, smoke, mirrors, distortions, lies, slander and innuendo) is that the only question left remaining is whether the current consensus is at 4.5 or 5.

    The question of whether you, Judith, have read the foundational literature and the the current statements of consensus of EVERY major scientific body including that of the NAS (and understood them) you have answered already. It is obvious you have not.

    Instead of choosing to be a participant in the advancement of climate science, you have chosen to join Tribe Crank in it’s guerrilla warfare on science. Their only purpose is to sow seeds of doubt in the minds of the uneducated in order to delay action on the reduction of usage of fossil fuels (1 billion US dollars in profit per day by the Oil companies alone).

    Tribe Crank, aka Tribe Big Oil (formerly Tribe Tobacco), welcomes your abandonment of your former scientific impartiality and your commitment to science. Your judgment and your conscience you have checked at the altar of anti-science.

    An honest scientist/person could still recover from the train wreck we have just witnessed. Do you have it in you?

    Daniel “The Yooper” Bailey

  55. Judith Curry says:

    At the time of the TAR, MBH reflected an embryonic field (level 2). There was very little justification for any kind of consensus statements with “likely” and “very likely”, even by the standards of IPCC’s guidelines. By the time of AR4, the field had arguably matured to level 3, a more established field with competing schools of thought. The conflict that has ensued over the high confidence levels in the IPCC conclusions and the attempts to establish a premature consensus is described by Montford’s book.

    Your reference to “MBH” (Mann Bradley Hughes 1998) is curious…. that is a 1998 paper; not a specific proposition for which the IPCC give confidence levels at all. The methods of that paper have been criticized and improved since then, and the major results still hold good — and it would be better for you to be explicit about what proposition it is which has a supposedly inflated confidence level.

    You’ve screwed this up before, it seems.

    As as I can see, the confidence levels ACTUALLY ascribed are not to papers, but to specific propositions; and in most cases the confidence level given, if anything, is conservative. If you think there is an exception, indicate specifically which proposition you mean.

    This is important, because in the RC thread you did briefly try to be more substantive, but seemed to get it incorrect yourself. That discussion was robust and substantive. The relevant point from the RC thread was numbered “3″. It reads:

    3. The NAS North et al. report found that the MBH conclusions and “likely” and “very likely” conclusions in the IPCC TAR report were unsupported at that those confidence levels. How the hockey team interpreted the North NAS report as vindicating MBH, seems strange indeed.

    [Response: This is simply not true. There are no 'very likely' conclusions in the relevant sections of TAR (I quoted them above). The only thing they pointed out was in regards to the relative warmth of 1998 and the 1990s in the millennial context which I agree with. They did state with a 'high level of confidence that global mean surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period during the preceding four centuries' - this is equivalent to the strengthening of the statements made in AR4 concerning the last 500 years. They went on to say that the 'committee finds it plausible that the Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium' - and in further questions, clarified that plausible was equivalent to 'likely' in IPCC-speak (i.e. less confidence than the statement about the last 500 years). The statement about 1998 and the 1990s was that "Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that “the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium” because the uncertainties inherent in temperature reconstructions for individual years and decades are larger than those for longer time periods and because not all of the available proxies record temperature information on such short timescales" which is true enough. Of course, now it is likely that the 2000s were the warmest decade.]

    It was your response to this which left me gob smacked and persuaded me that you are out of your depth and parroting nonsense. You said then:

    Gavin, the post I made in #167 was a summary of Montford’s book as closely as I can remember it, sort of a review. I did not particularly bring in my personal opinions into this, other than the framing of montford’s points. So asking me to retract a point made in a book in a review of that book is, well, pointless. your attempt to rebut my points are full of logical fallacies and arguing at points i didn’t make. As a result, Montford’s theses look even more convincing. Once you’e in a hole, you can try to climb out or keep digging. Well keep digging, Gavin. My final words: read the book.

    If you can’t do better than that, then you have nothing.

  56. Colorado Bob says:

    Observed event -
    Dry conditions leave isle farms parched

    The National Weather Service said 2010 is bringing the worst drought on record for ranchers and farmers in some parts of the state, including Kau.

    “If they don’t have more rainfall at a higher rate in the second half, it could be the driest year on record,” said Kevin Kodama, senior hydrologist for the National Weather Service in Honolulu.

    http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/hawaiinews/20100726_Dry_conditions_leave_isle_farms_parched.html
    ———–
    Note the that this is event is falling into that meme we’ve seen over and over this year. ” driest year on record, hottest day on record, wettest day on record, wettest month on record, ….. etc., etc., etc.

    And not just in localized areas, but over broad reaches of the globe .

    ” Warning signs

    One of the common warning signs of an impending tipping point is when a system takes longer to recover to equilibrium after it is disturbed. Most systems exist in temporarily stable states of equilibrium. If the system is perturbed by some force and pushed in a new direction, it usually moves back toward equilibrium quickly. But if the system is approaching a tipping point, it tends to take longer to recover its balance. …………. When a drastic transition approaches, conditions fluctuate between greater extremes, and the fluctuations take longer to pass. ”

    http://www.livescience.com/environment/090902-change-signals.html

  57. #50 Judith Curry

    Excellent point on the acceptance progression.

    I would argue that much of the science as entered either ‘the dominant school of thought is already accepted by all but the rebels’, and/or ‘established theory accepted by all but cranks’, whom you seem to have joined.

    Simply put you now claim that there is an argument over the fundamental science still. For your current position to hold up you need to show that The Greenhouse Effect is not in category 5.

    - And/or hat humans have not enhanced the greenhouse effect with increased atmospheric concentrations of GHG’s

    - And/or that GHG’s do not block long-wave infrared

    - And/or that there are as yet unknown mechanisms that are causing the warming trend that is now notable in the analysis (A new straw-man perhaps).

    - Specifically, please refute Mheel and the attribution work with evidence.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/attribution

    Strawman arguments do not count in science. You will actually need evidence.

    So in the spirit of following your logic. Please present evidence that shows that human caused global warming is not occurring based on relevant factors mentioned. And while you are at it, demonstrate a viable mechanism that matches the current estimated radiative forcing and its observed effects. For without a mechanism, you really don’t have much of anything to explain current warming, do you?

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/forcing-levels

    I anxiously await your evidence that the scientific understanding of the above are not in cat. 4-5.


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  58. sod says:

    Judith is wrong, as she has been so often lately.

    the most simply point to check, is her point 7 of her post on RC:

    7. The Mann et al. 2008, which purports to address all the issues raised by MM and produce a range of different reconstructions using different methodologies, still do not include a single reconstruction that is free of questioned tree rings and centered PCA.

    [Response: Absolutely untrue in all respects. No, really, have you even read these papers? There is no PCA data reduction step used in that paper at all. And this figure shows the difference between reconstructions without any tree ring data (dark and light blue) compared to the full reconstruction (black). (This is a modified figure from the SI in Mann et al (2008) to show the impact of removing 7 questionable proxies and tree ring data together). In addition, there are many papers that deal with issues raised by MM - Huybers (2005), von Storch et al, (2005), Rutherford et al (2005), Wahl and Amman (2007), Amman and Wahl (2007), Berger (2006) etc.

    Judith, I implore you to do some work for yourself instead of just repeating things you read in blogs. (Hint, not everything on the Internet is reliable). ]

    the paper can be found here:

    https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~wsoon/Mannetal08-PNAS-d/Mannetal08-Sep2-PNAS-2008-Mann-0805721105.pdf

    Judith has failed to defend her claim. but everyone can read the paper. (hattip to jo abbess, who cited this part on the RC discussion:

    “It is intriguing to note that the removal of tree-ring data from the proxy dataset yields less, rather than greater, peak cooling during the 16th–19th centuries for both CPS and EIV methods…contradicting the claim…that tree-ring data are prone to yielding a warm-biased ‘‘Little Ice Age’’ relative to reconstructions using other high-resolution climate proxy indicators.”

  59. _Flin_ says:

    “The response of a rational person considering the evidence from both sides is to weigh evidence from both sides and make both sides aware of arguments from the other side and emphasize the need for refuting arguments from the other side in justify your thesis”

    It is pretty hard to be aware of “arguments from the other side” when all these arguments are only readable at WUWT, Climateaudit or live at the Heartland Conference. If there were this overabundance of peer reviewed papers showing that indeed the arctic ice is not melting, CO2 levels are constant, Ocean heat is not rising, temperature is not rising, glaciers are not melting, flora isn’t changing it’s blossoming date, fauna doesn’t change it’s habitat, etc., then one could really argue that it is necessary to see which theory is true.

    The problems are
    1. There is no competing theory. There are just hundreds of hot air pumping red faces, saying “it’s all a hoax because of a) b) and c)” with a good probability that a, b and c directly contradict each other (like saying “it’s the sun” and then “there is no warming” in the next sentence). Most of the the hoax reasons have been refuted and debunked time and time again, wasting valuable time. See Skepticalscience.com
    2. AGW is “an established theory accepted by all but cranks”. Because 97% of the people publishing in the field are convinced that it is true, have proven time and time again in thousands of papers that it is true (or at least very likely). In a multiple of different fields, from glaciology to oceanographics, from biology to chemistry, from geophysics to paleoclimatology. And with an overabundance of different tools, be them ARGO buoys, GRACE gravity measurements, temperature proxies, ice cores, sea cores, satellite altimetry, treerings, ocean salinity, CO2 measurements, carbon isotope ratios or infrared light measurements from sapce. All of the major Academies of Science are convinced it is true.

    The only ones not convinced that it is true are the cranks. And they don’t deliver science. Just some blathering of false statements with their noses any stack of dirty laundry they can possibly find.

    3. How can the view back in time at the situation in 1998 bring any insight? Why is anyone talking about MBH1998 anyway, instead of MBH2008?

    and last but not least

    4. Where are the peer reviewed papers of the “other side”? Oh, in “Energy and Environment”? Who would have thought…

  60. Colorado Bob says:

    Muscovites struggled to breathe on Monday when the city woke up to thick smog from fires that blanketed Red Square, as a heatwave that has ruined crops and broken temperature records surges on with no end in sight.

    http://www.capetimes.co.za/?fSectionId=&fArticleId=nw20100726084203813C126222

    ” But if the system is approaching a tipping point, it tends to take longer to recover its balance. ………… “

  61. dhogaza says:

    Joe, what I’ve done is something very old fashioned in this postnormal, tribalistic environment

    If anyone’s being post-normalist, it’s Judy Curry.

    Curry, here’s news to you: there’s a lot of bright people around the ‘net reading what you write, and we’re not fooled.

    Repetitive credibility seppuku. It’s sad watching you perform the ritual.

  62. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Jason at 34 -

    I wish you were right that comparisons of climate destabilization with nazi atrocities were inappropriate – sadly you are dead wrong. Both intensifying floods and droughts are already affecting food production, under the present observed warming that is timelagged from ~330ppmv of CO2 in ~1975.

    Currently 10 million face death by famine in Chad & Niger alone.

    We’ll see the impacts of the greater warming from 350ppmv in around 12 years time. (McKibben should address this).

    Then we’ll see the massive impacts from the present 390ppmv in about 2045. (“massive” : 390ppmv, being 60 higher than the 330ppmv of 1975, that was itself 50 higher than the pre-industrial 280ppmv, represents more than a doubling of airborne anthro-CO2 since ’75).

    The propagandists of delay, such as this ex-scientist Curry, are engaged in promoting a genocide, for profit, just as vile as ever the nazi’s achieved, but potentially on a scale orders of magnitude greater.

    Only in America are these propagandists indulged – elsewhere their efforts are mostly fruitless as they are soundly dismissed by politicians, as well as by the scientific community. Hence the major EU nations have recently agreed on the need to increase the EU’s GHG cut by 2020 off 1990 from 20% to 30%. This will in turn trigger the rise of the UK target from 34% to 42%, and will do so under a coalition government of conservatives and liberal-democrats.

    Given that a major facet of the propagandists’ intent is to soak up the time of activists who would otherwise be more effectively engaged, I really doubt that this Curry woman warrants as much of peoples’ time as she’s had to date. If she wants to go whoring – rather ineptly – for the fossil fuel lobby that’s her affair, and no doubt experts like Gavin S & Joe R will rightly expose her mendacity.

    The critical role for ordinary people, that has perhaps been partly obscured by the drudgery of rebutting propagandists, is surely that of pressuring US politicians to fulfil their vital duty of regularly endorsing and publicly promoting the findings of climate science, as it is agreed by all of the world’s national academies of science.

    Regards,

    Lewis

  63. dhogaza says:

    I’ve read nearly all of the major journal articles on the topic.

    And it’s obvious she hasn’t read Mann ’08, because if she had (or, less charitably if she has, comprehended it), she would realize that point #7 in her regurgitation of Montford’s claims is objectively a false statement, and there’s nothing “tribal” or “post-normal” in pointing out that Montford’s flat-out lying.

  64. Mike (another one) says:

    Dear Dr Curry, I decided to follow up on what you said and had a look at the temperature reconstructions in the AR4.

    12 different reconstructions were used, all supported the “hockey stick”. Your “competing schools of thought” would therefore appear to be the Paleo community on one hand and Steve McIntyre on the other?

    I also fail to understand this obsessing over the earliest papers in this field. I can nit-pick and find minor problems with many of the papers I read, but my major interest is whether the basic conclusions are sound and whether it can be replicated. The hockey stick clearly passes these tests.

    Lastly, if Steve McIntyre has new data or information he believes shows that he is correct he should do what scientists do and publish in a respectable journal. That’s how science progresses. Otherwise your “competing schools of thought” becomes peer reviewed science vs “blog science” and I know which one of those I trust.

  65. adelady says:

    As the northern hemisphere holiday season is upon us, perhaps now would be a good time for all academics to find a couple of weeks breathing space. A big pile of good books, a few days for quiet reflection away from the hurly burly of blogs and other excitements. Who knows?

    If Dr Curry does the same, might she find a way back from her recent detour away from academic rigour? It’s worth a try.

  66. AnnieNomNomNom says:

    I think this comment of Judith’s is related solely to the MBH work:

    “The response of an irrational person is to declare level 2 or level 3 science as “settled science”, “a fact on par with the theory of infrared radiative transfer of gases.”

    Perhaps she can show where it has been declared as she claims. Or is it just another strawman?

    My gast has been well and truly flabbered in the last 24 hours. Who do I sue for the cost of a replacement?

    [JR: As I point out, if her comment is merely about MBH, it just doesn't make any sense.]

  67. sod says:

    Joe, what I’ve done is something very old fashioned in this postnormal, tribalistic environment.

    in her fight against tribalism, Judith Curry decided to completely endorse a book with the title:

    The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science

    things do not get more postnormal than that!

  68. Wit'sEnd says:

    Speaking of tribes, from the tribe of females – I find it deeply humiliating, embarrassing, and depressing that one of the few women – so rarely represented in the hard sciences – has chosen to debase herself in such an unprofessional manner.

    Stop, please, Dr. Curry.

  69. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    John P Reisman at 55 -

    If items 1 to 3 you list above are not disputed, then beside:

    “And/or that there are as yet unknown mechanisms that are causing the warming trend that is now notable in the analysis”

    there is a further item logically required:

    “and what is the mechanism which has prevented items 1 to 3 from causing the observed warming ?”

    Regards,

    Lewis

  70. The gods are full of avarice, aren’t they?

    Just when the contrarians are having to distance themselves from the totally off the rails Potty Peer Monckton, they are handed the gift of Judith Curry.

    The Climate Denial Machine is going to bring her forward at every possible opportunity, make no mistake about it.

    A published scientist with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, no less.

    Her comments demonstrate a self-delusion so severe that one can only assume that some cognitive capabilities are on the decline.

    We can only wait and watch to learn if these are finally reduced to the level of those of Roy Spencer.

    In the meantime, I strongly suggest DNFTT because the Climate Denial Machine is gonna love it every time she gets press.

  71. #69 Lewis Cleverdon

    Good point. Some years ago, I mentioned something similar on RealClimate. If I recall, it went a bit like this: If there is some other mechanism that explains the warming, then one must then ask why we are not experiencing double the effect. Since the physics are sound on the greenhouse effect itself, including the atmospheric concentrations of increased GHG’s and global warming potential calculations have reasonably constrained error bars.

    If there is another mechanism accounting for current warming then we should be warming twice as fast. I’m not including industrial aerosol arguments in this consideration though. I guess we can be thankful that we still pollute with aerosols.

    Of course, the straw-man that Judith has put up also then needs additional strawmen to explain the other hidden mechanism(s) that would then support the primary unknown mechanism(s) and so on, and so on, et cetera, et cetera. . .

    Heck, one could create an entirely new climate discipline with this idea. I know, let’s call in ‘Climate Phrenology’, start a new institute, and make Steve McIntyre (ClimateAudit) the President of it.


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  72. Magnus W says:

    “[And yes, I'm aware someone else notable jumped the shark in the RC comments. I'll address that Monday.]”

    Missed it… so where?

  73. homunq says:

    Wow.

    The “tribalistic wardances” comment, combined with the “progression of science” comment, paints a sad picture. This isn’t about the reality of AGW at all; Curry is flushing her reputation down the drain based on her opinion that people deserve more respect for nitpicking past scientific results. Dr. Curry, for a moment, let’s suppose that everything you say is true. Suppose McIntyre and Monckton are absolutely right that 10 or 12 years ago, some confidence levels were exaggerated; and that the field today is still being unaccountably rude to their bunch. There are a few pieces of evidence consistent with this theory.

    Now suppose, on the other hand, that everybody else here is right; that one main reason people are rehashing the confidence levels on results long since confirmed is in the service of an agenda which puts short-term profits and political tribalism over the long-term productivity of the planet. There is, in fact, a tidal wave of evidence that this is true.

    Insofar as these two suppositions are inconsistent, it is clear which one fits the facts. And insofar as they aren’t, it is clear which one is more significant.

  74. Colorado Bob says:

    Tenny -
    I believe PepsiCo is hiring :

    WASHINGTON – PepsiCo Inc. spent $1.2 million in the second quarter to lobby the federal government on childhood obesity, climate change and other matters, according to a recent disclosure report.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100726/ap_on_bi_ge/us_pepsico_lobbying

  75. re: ColoradoBob

    And your point is?

  76. Peter Mizla says:

    #62

    I see a time lag in regards to CO2 levels-I was under the impression there was none. Can someone here clear this up.

  77. AnnieNomNomNom says:

    “[JR: As I point out, if her comment is merely about MBH, it just doesn't make any sense.]”

    Reading it again, I think she is mainly focusing on paleoclimatology (or even just the dendro area). The ‘embryonic field’ part is most telling. It also fits with McI’s recent attempt to associate the field with ‘phrenology’.

    And I’m not sure making sense is a barrier at the moment. All rather wyrd.

  78. Sorry, Bob, I sort of see what you are getting at. Time will tell.

  79. caerbannog says:

    In the RC comments (#302), tamino posted a nice little followup that explains very nicely in layman-friendly terms why the “Mann’s PCA method mines noise for hockey-sticks” claim is completely bogus. It confirms exactly what I’ve been telling friends/co-workers for years — it’s not just the shape of the hockey stick that’s important; size matters, too!! Mann = **big** hockey stick. McIntyre = **miniature** hockey stick.

    (Begin Tamino comment)

    I’m hardly the last word on this (!) but by my calculations yes, you can get a hockey-stick shape in the first PC by applying short-centered PCA to red noise. Actually there’s a tendency to get a “step-function”-like shape, but many would still call that a hockey stick. It even seems to me that PC#1 of short-centered red noise is likely to be hockey-stick shaped (especially if one calls step changes a hockey stick).

    BUT — and this is a big one — how strong that PC#1 is likely to be (how much of the variance it accounts for) depends on the autocorrelation we impose on the red noise; the whiter the noise the weaker is PC#1. Yet even when I “jack up” the autocorrelation to ridiculously high values, the hockey-stick-shaped PC#1 still doesn’t come close to matching the strength of PC#1 from the MBH98 analysis of the NoAmer ITRDB proxies. By this criterion, the hockey-stick PC#1 for NoAmer ITRDB in MBH98 is demonstrably NOT from “mining” that pattern from red noise.

  80. Charles says:

    I’m not willing to give up on Dr. Curry. She may have some good points we all need to hear. But I wish she would publish something more substantive about all this, preferably in the peer reviewed literature, but if not there then in a blog, if it must be. I’d trust her more than, say, Montford, because she is a climate scientist, and I still have a good deal of respect for her work. I’m still not clear on the entire thrust of her arguments, so that’s what I’d like to see. I don’t think the sort of “drive by” postings she has been engaged in the last few days are that helpful.

    Please, Dr. Curry, can you give us all something rather substantive? If you just feel that Steve McIntyre’s work represents your position, can you state that a bit more clearly? Also, is it just the validity and reliability of the paleo work you are concerned about, or is your concern about climate science more broadly based? Sorry, but it’s just not clear to me.

    I’m sorry to see you’ve given up on RC. I would like to see a substantive back-and-forth between you and Gavin and, better yet, the other scientists there, as well.

  81. mike roddy says:

    Tenney, #70, your notion that Dr. Curry is suffering from cognitive decline is the charitable interpretation, and I hope it’s correct.

    It looks to me like the oil companies went out and got themselves a climate scientist. Lindzen and Spencer’s work has become so easily debunked that it’s become a ritual. It was brilliant to find a legitimate climate scientist who wouldn’t bother to actually do reviewable science on the subject, but would lean on… McIntyre? Montford? Tribes? It’s a little hard for actual scientists to go there.

    I have no evidence for this opinion, of course, but the oil companies have proved that they can hire a Senator or a foreign head of state if they feel like it (Cheney was only #2 here), and provide armed resources to support them. Subverting the scientific process is not a big deal at all, especially compared to their normal business plan of destroying bodies of water and heating up the earth.

    I don’t want to argue this point, because it’s just a casual and unsupported opinion, but alternative explanations are not easy to find.

  82. John Mashey says:

    re: #38 Doug
    Dr. Curry wrote at Collide-a-Scape, 04/26/10:
    “On comment regarding my comments on Wegman (not the Wegman report per se). The whole host of issues surrounding whether or not he is biased, the plaigarism accusation, and whatever else, are issues that I have not investigated in any detail (and don’t intend to). So my comments on this should not receive any undue consideration; they were made when i thought my mention of the Wegman Report was going to be hijacked by the plaigarism issue being raised at deepclimate. This is last word on that subject, and request that Keith not allow any more comments on this topic of plaigarism.”

    So, she has made a clear statement that she won’t discuss that, so I wanted to be clear that I wasn’t pursuing that issue, but was hoping for other general comparisons between the 2 reports she mentioned.

  83. NeilT says:

    “168.Although I am very busy at the moment trying to complete a paper before leaving on travel”

    Personally, were I peer reveiwing that paper, I’d have do do a first pass “sanity” test then I’d spend an awful lot of time checking every single fact and conclusion in it…… It might take a few decades to get out of review…..

    There is a point here which is going missing.

    The way to deal with all of the above is simple.

    “Judy I thik you are wrong” and then pull the first 10 things that come into your mind out of the hat and KEEP ON REPEATING THEM no matter what the answer is until the whole argument goes up in a ball of smoke from the hot air.

    I know, I know, it’s stooping to the level of the opposition and you are quality scientists who don’t do that sort of thing. But it gets the job done! And right now the point, as clearly eludicated above, is that we are talking about lives; not whether one part of a scientific paper can be nitpicked to death a thousand times.

    People were dying in Pakistan of the heat this year. Let’s put that statement in perspective. These people were born with constant 120 deg heat for long periods of time. Their whole makeup and way of life is bound to the heat, drought and monsoon. Yet now they’re dying of it.

    What happens when it’s our turn? When our land turns to dust and 6 years rain comes in two days?

    We are used to a certain level of comfort. Cucumbers in the middle of winter; which vanished when the flights over the EU were shut down (well in the EU anyway). What happens when we are thown into a world where our food won’t grow and we can’t just “buy” it from somewhere else because their food won’t grow either.

    It’s not just about some money and discomfort. It’s about survivial.

    Those who champion self delusionists like Monckton are endangering the survival of our children. Surely THAT should drive any and every means to defeat the likes of Monckton and McI??

  84. Judith Curry says:

    Its revealing that people at RC and here seem so puzzled by what i am writing and why. I am making no attempt to take sides regarding the scientific arguments in this particular debate (gavin schmidt shouldn’t either, he doesn’t know enough about this particular topic). I am trying to remind people how science is supposed to be done and how we should assess justification for a thesis, something that too many people in the blogosphere and sadly the scientists forget in this highly politicized environment.

    A thesis should not be considered justified until substantial efforts have been made to challenge the thesis and then rebut the challenges. It is logically absurd to claim that an embryonic thesis has been justified. This requires time for challenges to be mounted. The slow cycle of peer reviewed journal publications and comments and rebuttals is too slow given the alleged urgency of policy decisions and the 6 year cycle of the IPCC reports, hence much of the more salient discussion of controversial and important issues is increasingly being conducted in the blogosphere. I have challenged the RC group to rebut these critques, which if done effectively should bolster their thesis regarding the paleoreconstructions.

    The journal peer review process does not guarantee the “correctness” of a publication. Further, on this particular topic the journal peer review process is perceived as somewhat of a joke, with supporting evidence for this in the CRU emails and further evidence provided in Montford’s book. That said, there are plenty of publications that critique the papers by Mann and others on this topic, including papers by Loehle, Zorita, Huybers, McKittrick and McIntyre, and most recently Smerdon et al. that is discussed at Klimazweibel
    http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/2010/07/mistake-with-consequences.html. And none of these papers discuss what to my mind is the elephant in the room: the issue of grossly inadequate sampling in this attempt to produce a global or even hemispheric average.

    [JR: That link already contains a response by the authors explaining why the critique is not consequential and should have been handled differently. If you have a scientific critique that will stand the light of day, either post it on your website or, better, try to get it published. Until then, you are just hand waving -- or, rather, finger waving.]

    So this field is quite immature. DIscussion in the blogosphere could in principle speed up the maturity of the field beyond what the peer reviewed literature can accommodate if there is serious discussion about the issues, such as calibration and assessment of the individual proxies, error analysis, significance testing, and the sampling issue. Retorts such as tamino’s and gavin’s on the RC thread do nothing to move this along.

    [JR: Since you don't spell out any quantitative critique but merely seem to repeat long debunked or inconsequential attacks, which you then defend by saying, you aren't taking sides you're just passing along the disinformation -- it is you who are doing nothing to move this along. Publish something, already. Given the stuff that is getting through peer review these days by people trying to bend over backwards not to be seen by you and your adopted tribe as stifling dissent, I'm sure it wouldn't be that hard -- though it would be harder than just repeating what the disinformers have to say.]

    No matter how hard a group of scientists attempts to impose a premature consensus or declare the debate to be over, science will eventually work this out. I predict (and hope) that the AR5 will result in a further backtracking of the confidence levels on this subject relative to AR4 (to a more realistic assessment of the individual proxies and a focus on regional temperature change), in the same manner that confidence levels in AR4 pulled back from the AR3. This is the only topic in the IPCC reports where confidence levels are in the conclusions are diminishing with time. This should all give us pause, since a continued pull back in confidence on this subject reduces the credibility of the IPCC.

    [JR: RealClimate thoroughly debunked this statement (see above post). It is bewildering you continue to repeat it without responding to that debunking with direct quotes that would defend your assertion.

    Your final sentence makes no sense whatsoever. You are basically saying that people should do what you say, but if they do, that would reduce the credibility of the IPCC. The job of the AR4 and arguably the entire scientific community is to weigh the accumulating research and evidence in order to state at any given time their best understanding of the science. How exactly would a more refined and nuanced statement based on the latest science reduce the credibility of the IPCC? In any case, CP readers should compare Judy's comment here with RC's thorough evisceration above. If she has a plausible reply, she has had plenty of time to reformulate it, but has chosen not to.]

    There is nothing to be gained by declaring a premature consensus on a scientific topic, other than momentary political advantage. Science is the loser, and policy makers will start discounting scientific information in their decision making. A more thorough and honest accounting of uncertainties is required.

    [JR: Judy, you have taken sides, as I and others have noted many times, by virtue of who you choose to criticize again and again (in spite of lots of scientific evidence and exonerations to the contrary) and whose multiple errors and falsehoods you ignore over and over again (in spite of lots of scientific evidence and multiple debunkings to the contrary).

    Also, you also refuse to define any of your terms, no matter how many times you are asked, which allows your criticisms to be embraced by the disinformers as trashing the entire AR4. Please identify where in the AR4 "a group of scientists attempts to impose a premature consensus or declare the debate to be over."

    Once again, your comment seemed to start out focusing only on the Hockey Stick and paleoreconstructions, but then comes your "There is nothing to be gained by declaring a premature consensus on a scientific topic, other than momentary political advantage. Science is the loser, and policy makers will start discounting scientific information in their decision making." Again, that makes no sense in regards paleoreconstructions.

    Since you refuse to specify where the AR4 summaries declare a premature consensus on this or any other topic, I can only assume you can't. And that means your entire argument is nothing but finger-waving BS.]

  85. Re: comments #81 and #83

    Dear Mike,

    Please note the quote in comment #83 of Curry’s beginning sentence of her comment #168 at Real Climate.

    “168. Although I am very busy at the moment trying to complete a paper before leaving on travel…”

    This is truly an appalling opening statement. It demonstrates two things.

    1. a complete lack of professionalism. Who makes such excuses in their professional life? Who prefaces an academic discussion with such tripe?

    2. her apparently complete lack of cognizance of how her public persona would be perceived — this approaches delusion.

    And let us not forget how she condescendingly tells Dr. Gavin Schmidt to “keep digging” in her RC comment #185, as if she were in any way, shape or form at his level.

    She’s gone on walkabout in McIntyre’s parallel universe, no doubt gliding along on the arm of the smarmy P. Michaels.

  86. Judith Curry says:

    Charles, #80, thank you for your sincere and reasonable post (I haven’t seen too many of these lately at this site or at RC). The climate system is exceedingly complex. While much solid science underlies our current understanding, there is a great deal of ignorance about the climate system and our efforts to characterize uncertainty including our ignorance has been inadequate. The basic theory of how more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will lead to warmer temperatures is very well understood (those questioning this can be called cranks). However there is much about natural variability where our level of understanding must be categorized as low. Hence it is difficult to unambiguously interpret the causes of 20th century climate change, and also to predict future climate change. The main point I have been trying to make for the past several years in the blogosphere is that our understanding and characterization of the uncertainties surrounding climate change is inadequate. I am currently completing a journal article on this subject, which i expect to submit for publication in a few weeks.

    The upshot of this inadequate characterization of uncertainty is that our current projections of 21st climate change erroneously anchor to a range that is too narrow. So uncertainty is a two edged sword here; the impacts might be less than we anticipate, or much worse. A key failure of the current IPCC strategy is inadequate attention to characterizing the plausible worst case scenario (Joe: put this in a headline, probably the only statement of mine in the past year that you will probably like). How this issue should be addressed is also covered in the new paper i am working on. I share Steve Schneider’s concern regarding uncertainty, but I disagree with his efforts to try to produce PDFs; the uncertainties are too large to justify this and they would only result in creating information where none exists.

    [JR: Well, the range is pretty big, actually, but what's misleading is that the lower end of the range is mostly due to low emissions scenarios. The do-nothing strategy, which is the one advanced by the people you tend to quote, make multiple catastrophic outcomes highly likely. I completely concur with the latest Dutch report (and you here) that the IPCC has failed to characterize the plausible worst-case scenario, which you know I tried to do in Hell and High Water. That scenario would tend to overwhelm most cost-benefit analyses, as Weitzman showed.]

    So if you think I am nuts, well I am not, I am attempting to think deeply and broadly about how we can increase the robustness of the science and how it assessed, and how this uncertain information can be best utilized in a robust decision making framework. A key element is improved characterization of uncertainty and ignorance, and a strategy of justification for scientific arguments that includes an important role for skepticsm. On the surface, this strategy would seem to interfere with the climate establishment’s linear technocratic model of reducing scientific uncertainties so that the knowledge forms the basis for political consensus and a science driven policy. However, when the uncertainties are large with many of them irreducible, a different strategy is needed; the weakening of the political consensus is evidence that the linear technocratic model is no longer working. So its time for new ideas, and I’m trying to develop some.

    Stay tuned.

  87. Tenney says:

    “168. Although I am very busy at the moment trying to complete a paper before leaving on travel…”

    This is truly an appalling opening statement. It demonstrates two things.

    Huh? There’s nothing wrong with that opening at all, in any context. Certainly it is fine in in a blog conversation — including a technical one related to topics in which you have a professional interest — as a perfectly normal preface to note other demands on your time that may limit what you can make available. Let’s stick to substance.

    Cheers — DQ

  88. Oh brother!

    “this strategy would seem to interfere with the climate establishment’s linear technocratic model of reducing scientific uncertainties so that the knowledge forms the basis for political consensus and a science driven policy”

    the climate establishment’s linear technocratic model

    Care to define the above, Dr. Curry?

    [JR: Don't hold your breath!]

  89. Ian Forrester says:

    JC said:

    So its time for new ideas, and I’m trying to develop some.

    Well Judith, you wont find them at climatefraudit, wattswrongwithwatt and Bishop Pill. They have been spouting the same denier untruths for far too long now. Time to get back to the library and read “real” science again.

  90. Gee, DQ, I’m kinda picky like that.

    It was merely the first of many lame excuses she gave.

  91. Rob Honeycutt says:

    I’m really curious about this notion of “tribalism” that Dr. Curry is putting forth.

    Is this anything like previous times of tribalism in science? Like…

    Theory of Evolution

    Theory of Relativity

    Big Bang Theory

    Theory of Quantum Mechanics

    Theory of Plate Tectonics

    When Dr. Curry talks about tribalism what I immediately see is that she is describing exactly the highest levels of scientific consensus that she, herself, presented here (Funtowicz and Ravetz, 1990) from the perspective of the losing side of the debate. I would venture to guess that each of these now accepted theories had holdouts that viewed the prevailing consensus as “tribalism.”

    Using this metaphor only serves to describe what it feels like for anyone to be on the losing team.

  92. SecularAnimist says:

    Judith Curry wrote: “… the weakening of the political consensus is evidence that the linear technocratic model is no longer working …”

    Rubbish.

    The weakening of the political consensus is evidence that the fossil fuel corporations’ generation-long campaign of deceit, denial and obstruction is working very well.

    Their bought-and-paid-for cranks and liars who falsely characterize themselves as “skeptics” continue to deceive and confuse the public with pseudoscience — which is exactly what you are doing whether you know it or not.

    And their bought-and-paid-for stooges in the Senate continue to stonewall ANY action to reduce GHG emissions.

    Judith Curry wrote: “So its time for new ideas, and I’m trying to develop some.”

    Developing new ideas? Please. All you seem to be doing is promoting the bogus, and in some cases deliberately dishonest and deceptive, “ideas” of cranks, frauds and stooges — and what is perhaps worse, trying to legitimize their baseless, malicious and slanderous attacks on legitimate climate scientists.

    Your content-free blather about “ignorance and uncertainty” could easily have been copied-and-pasted from propaganda that questioned the carcinogenicity of tobacco smoke in the 1960s, and has about as much merit.

    It’s obvious that you are playing on the tendency of climate scientists to give respect and patience to someone they perceive as a colleague.

    Be assured that members of the general public, such as myself, have no inclination to offer utterly unwarranted and undeserved respect or patience to someone who is, objectively speaking, helping to perpetuate the GHG emissions that threaten the survival of human civilization.

  93. dhogaza says:

    So if you think I am nuts, well I am not, I am attempting to think deeply and broadly about how we can increase the robustness of the science and how it assessed, and how this uncertain information can be best utilized in a robust decision making framework

    You’re not being dinged because of your professional work, Ms. Curry.

    Your being dinged because of your unprofessional endorsement and repeating of known lies falsely accusing fellow scientists of being guilty of scientific misconduct.

    And, yes, you’re nuts for doing so. Credibility suppuku.

  94. Mark says:

    Joe,

    The link in your top post re: new puzzler takes me to a WordPress login. Is that just me?

  95. re: #80

    “Charles” writes:

    “I’m sorry to see you’ve given up on RC. I would like to see a substantive back-and-forth between you and Gavin and, better yet, the other scientists there, as well.”

    Oh yeah, I’ll bet you would, Charles — because that is what this is all about — the creation of Curry as the latest tool of the Climate Denial Machine.

  96. Dana says:

    Here’s my problem with Dr. Curry. She states “I’ve weighed the evidence on both sides….So if any of you have actually read as much as I have on this topic…well then we might have something to talk about.”

    Yet it’s quite clear she has not ‘weighed the evidence on both sides’, because in her response to Tamino’s article, Dr. Curry stated,

    “7. The Mann et al. 2008, which purports to address all the issues raised by MM and produce a range of different reconstructions using different methodologies, still do not include a single reconstruction that is free of questioned tree rings and centered PCA.”

    If she had bothered to read even just the abstract of Mann et al. 2008, she would have known this statement is false.

    “Recent warmth appears anomalous for at least the past 1,300 years whether or not tree-ring data are used. If tree-ring data are used, the conclusion can be extended to at least the past 1,700 years, but with additional strong caveats.”
    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/36/13252.full.pdf+html

    And as Gavin noted in response, “There is no PCA data reduction step used in that paper at all.”

    Dr. Curry’s response to Dr. Schmidt’s demolishing of her arguments is basically to say “Montford said it, not me” and then to claim victory – “the balance of evidence is tilting to the other side.”

    How can a scientist possibly make a series of false statements, see them completely demolished, fail to respond to the demolishing, and then claim the ‘balance of evidence is tilting to her side’? This sort of denial is precisely why those on her “side” are labeled “deniers.” Dr. Curry seems to be completely divorced from reality.

  97. dhogaza says:

    At the time of the TAR, MBH reflected an embryonic field (level 2). There was very little justification for any kind of consensus statements with “likely” and “very likely”,

    Judith has been told twice that “very likely” doesn’t appear in the TAR, and yet she repeats the falsehood here.

    Why, Judy? Why do you act like an outright denialist?

    Credibility seppuku … keep it up.

  98. dhogaza says:

    I am making no attempt to take sides regarding the scientific arguments in this particular debate

    Bullshit.

  99. AnnieNomNomNom says:

    JC:

    “No matter how hard a group of scientists attempts to impose a premature consensus or declare the debate to be over, science will eventually work this out. I predict (and hope) that the AR5 will result in a further backtracking of the confidence levels on this subject relative to AR4 (to a more realistic assessment of the individual proxies and a focus on regional temperature change), in the same manner that confidence levels in AR4 pulled back from the AR3. This is the only topic in the IPCC reports where confidence levels are in the conclusions are diminishing with time. This should all give us pause, since a continued pull back in confidence on this subject reduces the credibility of the IPCC.”

    TAR:

    “New analyses of proxy data for the Northern Hemisphere indicate that the increase in temperature in the 20th century is likely to have been the largest of any century during the past 1,000 years. It is also likely that, in the Northern Hemisphere, the 1990s was the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year (Figure 1b). Because less data are available, less is known about annual averages prior to 1,000 years before present and for conditions prevailing in most of the Southern Hemisphere prior to 1861.”

    AR4

    “Average Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the second half of the 20th century were very likely higher than during any other 50-year period in the last 500 years and likely the highest in at least the past 1,300 years. Some recent studies indicate greater variability in Northern Hemisphere temperatures than suggested in the TAR, particularly finding that cooler periods existed in the 12th to 14th, 17th and 19th centuries. Warmer periods prior to the 20th century are within the uncertainty range given in the TAR.”

    ???

  100. Doug Bostrom says:

    More of #86, please, that’s -so- much better than “hockey teams” and “shenanigans.” Sounds like professional opinion.

    Earlier Dr. Curry reproduces the following scale:

    “Consensus on a scientific issue is established as science evolves through the following successive stages (Funtowicz and Ravetz, 1990):
    1. no opinion with no peer acceptance;
    2. an embryonic field attracting low acceptance by peers;
    3. competing schools of thought, with medium peer acceptance;
    4. a dominant school of thought accepted by all but rebels;
    5. an established theory accepted by all but cranks. “

    There’s the “standard model” and very good it seems. What’s missing in Dr. Curry’s example as it is instantiated in climate change research is a feature unique to scientific inquiries unwittingly and accidentally colliding with powerful, entrenched commercial interests. There we may see the insertion of what might be termed stages 2.5 or 3.5, where concerted effort is devoted to inserting intentionally erroneous or misleading noise into the process of knowledge refinement. Those extra, unusual steps are where folks such as McIntyre with his scanty contributions can slow progress to a crawl, prolonging disagreement in a way not intended to make sure all bricks are solid but instead simply to extend the success of interests motivated not by curiosity but by business models. This business of MBH98 is an excellent example; preliminary work from 12 years ago is still being discussed and highlighted as though it were the state-of-the-art, which it of course is not.

    Freeze research at the point it had attained in the late 20th century and of course we’re going to have a hard time making decisions because we’ll be dealing with fossilized uncertainties, artfully mired in the past for no good reason connected with science.

    I do still believe Dr. Curry is a recent arrival to the reality of this situation as it’s playing out outside of academia, has no idea just how distorted this process has become, how much the struggle over public policy has backed up into and polluted the progress of research driving that policy struggle. Friction is the friend of those vending anachronisms and so we have our Cuccinelli burning the time of researchers with litigation, our Wegmans synthesizing fake objections which nonetheless must be dealt with using time and money better spent elsewhere. There is after all a tiny constituency here with stakes worth literally trillions of dollars at risk, something that Funtowicz and Ravetz did not account for.

  101. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Peter Mizla at 76 -

    perhaps the best description of the timelags would be found by asking at Real Climate, but as far as I was taught, there is a timelag of 30 to 40 years between GHGs’ release and their observed warming effects.

    This is due primarily to the oceans across 7/8ths of the planet acting as a heat sink for that period. Once they’ve warmed the relevant amount, this function ends and those emissions’ warming impacts then become observable in the atmosphere.

    That said, in the early ’90s on a university research project into “The Migration of Rainfall,” we found that over a 30-year period a band across Sub-Saharan Africa lost over 25% of its vital wet-season rains (culminating in the Band-Aid famine), with a 96.4% R2-adjusted correlation to the track of global temperature 27 years earlier. In parallel, rainfall increased in a high latitudes band around the northern hemisphere, but with a 43-year timelagged correlation with global temperature change at a little over 92% R2-adj. The correlation between the two rainfall changes was, if I remember rightly, a little over 91%, and the sole manipulation made was to smooth the absolute temperature data to a rolling 11-year average before converting to anomaly data in order to mute any noise of the sunspot cycle.

    For all I was an undergrad at the time, I was confident enough of the findings to accept an invitation to deliver them at a side meeting of delegates at COP 5 in Geneva, since we had an utterly scrupulous (and fierce) Greek Doctor of Statistics as tutor, who’d given the report an A+.

    All of which is to say that “a 30 to 40-year timelag” seems an unfortunately vague approximation of the timelagged impacts we will face.

    Hope this helps,

    Regards,

    Lewis

  102. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Peter -

    Sorry, line 4, para 3 should read :

    “R2-adjusted inverse correlation to the track of global temperature 27 years earlier.”

    Regards,

    Lewis

  103. Peter Mizla says:

    Lewis 101

    thanks for shedding some light on the time lag question I have- and responding.

    I have read many different theories on this, and am looking for as solid an answer as empirically possible.

    If today we are seeing a world at 360ppm (assuming a 30 year lag) then we are beyond the 350 point where ice melt begins at the poles- again this is not for certain.

    I have read elsewhere the CO2 time lag is virtually non existent.

  104. Matto says:

    “168. Although I am very busy at the moment trying to complete a paper before leaving on travel…”

    Travel on the payroll of Big Oil I bet. Looks like the denialist disinformation campaign of anti-science has a new frontwoman. Truly sad.

  105. _Flin_ says:

    This business (or should it be called obsession) about MBH98 reminds me of Hesse’s “Glass Bead Game”, where all that is done by the scholars is to circle around known theorems and art and combine them in ever new ways.
    There is only one other obsession that is coming close (well, not really), and that is WUWT’s urban heat island effect.
    But all that nitpicking doesn’t prevent one animal race from becoming extinct, or offering solutions on how we can drive our cars around, how to mitigate climate change or raise our chances to adapt to it.

    That’s where I really prefer Klimazwiebel to climateaudit or WUWT, because there is no personal crusade. And if someone like Richard Tol says there that the 80% target or the 2 degree C target is bogus due to nonexistent alternative energy solutions, he at least has a point.

    Citing WUWT, however, really leads to one being quite questionable, because WUWT mixes science with fiction (or delusion?) way too often.

  106. John Mason says:

    Doug Bostrom (#100 ATM) – excellently put.

    Going back up-thread a moment, Judith Curry posted:

    “I’ve weighed the evidence on both sides. I thought that it was important for the RC side to rebut Montford’s book, since frankly the balance of evidence is tilting to the other side.”

    I, for one, would like to see a clear and concise definition from Judith as to what (and who) constitute these so-called sides.

    From where I am looking the sides comprise a)an academic community of climate scientists who research and publish on a wide range of climatological topics and b) a politically-motivated largely non-academic community who often crudely attempt to pick apart a relatively small percentage of the total science in the apparent belief that any slight success will cast the whole lot into oblivion.

    Now, would you agree with that analysis, Judith? Yes or no, and if not, why?

    A second question, if I may. It concerns this “balance of evidence”. What is your clear and concise definition of “evidence”, please?

    I’ll give you mine. Evidence is, within the area under discussion – science – data that are obtained via observation of aspects of the natural world, be they field or lab-based.

    In everyday terms, though, evidence includes whatever is used to test the truth of an assertion – thus evidence given in a courtroom trial is not necessarily empirical.

    But in science, we’re not trying to sue someone for damages because we think they run our favourite cat over and in that cause trying to use every scrap of circumstantial material in order to win our case. Surely you can see the difference, and therefore your citation of material published in a book cannot count as “evidence” in truly scientific terms, so why cite it so?

    Over to you, I guess….

    Cheers – John

  107. Hank Roberts says:

    > “linear technocratic model”

    2 Google results:

    Ozone and Climate: Scientific Consensus and Leadership
    Science, Technology & Human Values January 2006 31: 73-101
    http://sth.sagepub.com/content/31/1/73.abstract
    by R Grundmann – 2006
    Abstract

    This article compares the cases of ozone layer protection and climate change…. scientific consensus is not necessary to achieve ambitious political goals. However, the architects of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change operated under such assumptions…. ambitious political regulations in the ozone case were agreed under scientific uncertainty, whereas the negotiations on climate change were much more modest albeit based on a large scientific consensus….

    RSD FOR RSSIP WORKSHOP
    RECONCILING THE SUPPLY OF AND DEMAND FOR
    RESEARCH IN THE SCIENCE OF SCIENCE AND INNOVATION POLICY
    12-14 MAY 2009 | OSLO, NORWAY

    … “the linear-technocratic model of policy-making” (Grundmann, 2006; Jasanoff and. Martello, 2004) in which science and policy are two separate …

    “… Problem 1: Unfortunate Economistic Thinking from the Most Unlikely Source.

    It is entirely understandable, though no less unfortunate, that Sarewitz and Pielke (hereafter S&P)2 frame their paper in terms of “demand and supply.” Arguably, one of the significant problems in thinking about science outcomes and science policy is the difficulty of moving beyond economic models and concepts….
    … Even in the case of studies of the supply and demand of scientists, the focus is not on some ideal number of scientists required by the public interest but rather the number than can and should be supported in jobs produced by the market….”
    http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/rsd_for_rssip/RSD_for_RSSIP_program.pdf

    —-

    I suggest that the “linear technocratic model” notion is something the ‘ibbertarians think is evil and top-down, and that what they’d rather see is a market-based science.

    Don’t laugh. You’ve been warned:

    “… take neoliberal theorists like Hayek at their word when they state that the Market is the superior information processor par excellence. The theoretical impetus behind the rise of the natural science think tanks is the belief that science progresses when everyone can buy the type of science they like, dispensing with whatever the academic disciplines say is mainstream or discredited science.”
    http://www.ssrc.org/workspace/images/crm/new_publication_3/%7Beee91c8f-ac35-de11-afac-001cc477ec70%7D.pdf

    ——-
    But perhaps you should ask a political scientist WTF.

  108. anonymous says:

    “However there is much about natural variability where our level of understanding must be categorized as low.”, says this ‘natural scientist’ and I’m wondering doesn’t she quantify any claim? Maybe it’s a remnant from her hurricane hunter years since these fast swirls of moving air are categorized.

  109. Hank Roberts says:

    Oh, speaking of that, look a bit further into that link and you’ll find more of the same:

    “… the accuracy of climate predictions is limited by fundamental, irreducible uncertainties. For climate prediction, uncertainties can arise from limitations in knowledge….
    An explosion of uncertainty arises when a climate change impact assessment aims to inform national and local adaptation decisions, because uncertainties accumulate ….”

    You can guess who wrote that, I expect, and where the argument’s headed.

  110. Hank, you are a jewel. Thank you!

  111. MapleLeaf says:

    Dr. Curry,

    This thread is about you parroting Montford’s distortions and falsehoods. You now seem to be trying to shift the goal posts rather than stepping up to the plate and addressing the very valid critique of statements originally made by you at RC.

    Are you going to please finally concede that Montford (i.e., McIntyre) is wrong rather than trying to detract and obfuscate to save face? Conceding you made a mistake and apologizing is the right thing to do and would go along way in redeeming what little of your credibility is left.

    You say, “I am making no attempt to take sides regarding the scientific arguments in this particular debate”.

    and

    “I am making no attempt to take sides regarding the scientific arguments in this particular debate.”

    Nonsense, you are fooling no-one Dr. Curry with this ambiguous game of yours. Comments you make in cyberspace on there for everyone to read and you can’t ignore them. For example, you are the one talking about “tribes” for goodness’ sakes– that term by its very definition refers to “sides”. And by parroting Montford and McIntyre’s falsehoods you are creating the impression of a debate where in fact none exists and are also blindly taking sides. One would have to be incredibly naive to buy your claim that you are not taking sides.

    You also say, “…the weakening of the political consensus is evidence that the linear technocratic model is no longer working…”

    With respect, you are now talking jibberish. Can you even define what you stated? And what does that have to do with you being called on parroting falsehoods fabricated by McIntyre and Montford? It doesn’t, you are trying to move the goal posts and arguing straw men.

    You say, “Retorts such as tamino’s and gavin’s on the RC thread do nothing to move this along.

    So climate scientists should just take the lies and falsehoods in the public domain on this important matter lying down and let them go unchallenged? Sorry, it is heartening to see Gavin et al. being more aggressive towards McIntyre et al’s perpetual distortion and rhetoric. And just how on this good earth do you think Montford’s diatribe is helping “move this along” or McIntyre continually feeding the skeptics fodder?

    One last question. Are you also going to take McIntyre to task for his ridiculous statements about teleconnections? Please demonstrate that your skepticism is not completely asymmetrical.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions.

  112. MapleLeaf says:

    Hank @109,

    “You can guess who wrote that, I expect, and where the argument’s headed.”

    Pielke Jnr…..Wow. Thanks for digging.

    Doug has made some excellent points as does Dana @96.

  113. John Mason says:

    The military would disagree with the need for absolute certainty. They’d plan for the remote possibility of an enemy invasion, and have something immediately ready-to-go at the first hint of trouble, rather than wait until the invaders are busy establishing a beach-head before wondering what to do.

    Best-guess (= brilliant strategy) has won most major battles through history, and waiting for more proof has no doubt lost rather a lot!

    Cheers – John

  114. Doug Bostrom says:

    Thank you for those informative links, Hank. Regarding the emphasis on uncertainty, makes me think “paleo-Luntz.” Economics seems always on the knife-edge of dropping into the abyss of ideology.

    John Mason noted and expressed something important. Funtowicz and Ravetz were (presumably) formulating their epistemology from the perspective of “sides” comprised of different scientific camps. In this present case we have a comparatively vanishingly small academic camp representing one of the “competing schools of thought”, a “side” massively under-performing in terms of producing published science of sufficient heft as to produce a weighty countervailing argument to the dominant school of thought. Clearly there is a much more conspicuous “side” composed of pundits, think-tanks with ideological agendas and other interested parties not primarily or even remotely concerned with scientific progress.

    A careful person with a lifetime invested in promoting knowledge will take great care to distinguish which of the two latter, related camps are worth effort, deserve defending, compel the risking of a hard-earned and worthy reputation. Such a person will take great care to be sure their activities do not accidentally become subsumed and part of the interest group not concerned with promoting scientific progress.

  115. _Flin_ says:

    Economic models all nice and well, but discounting damages that occur in 150 years to their discounted cash flow in 2010 is rather pointless.
    Add to that uncertainty and it goes all wrong. Leave out catastrophic scenarios, and you are left with nothing and can easily say “naaah, we can do this, no problem, action is to costly.”

    What’s wrong about Grundmann stating that policy decisions have to be taken under uncertainty? Isn’t that what postnormal science is all about? Big problems, uncertainty, but necessary decisions?
    If there is a mayor in a coastal village, he wants to know whether he has to build the levee one foot higher or 1 yard.

    Bad thing is, though, that US politics think that there is no need for a higher levee at all. Well, at least all politics except for the DOD.

  116. Doug Bostrom says:

    Further to Funtowicz and Ravetz, it strikes me that there is are not even the minimum of two “schools of thought” at play in the scientific community w/regard to climate change.

    There seems to be one major group exhibiting a reasonably coherent system of interlocking processes predicting a suite of effects and apparently able to rely on observations sufficient to suggest confirmation of prediction, while on the other hand there is a fragmented assortment of mostly domain-isolated researchers positing often mutually exclusive or collectively incoherent alternatives to the dominant school. Are there any signs of the latter collection of researchers coalescing to produce a systematic replacement for the former group?

  117. #84 Judith

    “A thesis should not be considered justified until substantial efforts have been made to challenge the thesis and then rebut the challenges. It is logically absurd to claim that an embryonic thesis has been justified.”

    First, can you be clear? Which paper are you arguing about? MBH 98, 99 or Huybers (2005), von Storch et al, (2005), Rutherford et al (2005), Wahl and Amman (2007), Amman and Wahl (2007), Berger (2006) etc. as Gavin pointed out? Or do you have a specific issue with Mann et al 2008?

    If you have a specific issue, that has not already been addressed, then by all means, write it and submit it to the peer review process. I think Mike would be very happy to see you improve on his work. That’s the way science really does work. Everyone takes a hit for the team and the science improves.

    As to the 6 year cycle of the IPCC reports, well that is not where the science is done, is it. The IPCC is a collector of data and a system of assessment to fulfill a charter to give reports. The science is done in the peer review process and the peer response.

    You know peer review is no guarantee, but peer response cleans that up. McKitrick and McIntyre got a paper through peer review, but when that was analyzed, it was found that their corrections really did not change the conclusions.

    So while it is helpful to continually improve on method, and I have no argument about that, it remains, if you are still having a problem with MBH 98, then you are barking up the wrong tree, as many issues have already been dealt with.

    Have you read the papers that are in the peer response chain on the original Mann work?

    “Retorts such as tamino’s and gavin’s on the RC thread do nothing to move this along.”

    As Joe has pointed out, make your argument. Make it public, or better yet, do what you know is best, which is what you recommend, and submit it to the process. But make your case. Thus far, as far as I can see, you have not.

    “. . .since a continued pull back in confidence on this subject reduces the credibility of the IPCC.”

    Continuing to repeat something does not make it true. Check your sources for your claims (although already refuted) and please provide the page numbers for the IPCC statements you are referring to with the specific argument.

    “There is nothing to be gained by declaring a premature consensus on a scientific topic”

    Which topic? The fact that we are warming and it’s human caused, or MBH98?

    Science really is the loser if you don’t start getting specific about what your are claiming and providing evidence.

    “A more thorough and honest accounting of uncertainties is required.”

    As always, but that is science, isn’t it.

    Provide specificity, it’s your only hope now. You’ve gotten some mud on you by cohorting with McIntyre on CA. It’s about the company he keeps. It’s not that he has not helped either though (though probably not for the same motives you would have re GISS data). But your are playing on a roulette wheel when you should be hanging with the academics. He came form the oil industry, he worked with McKitrick to try to allegedly undermine the climate science by inference and association through argument and insinuation.

    Think about it.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/ross-mckitrick


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  118. #86 Judith Curry

    I have to say two things here. I like this post of yours, but you have to realize that you have repeated memes that are false and pretty much have come from the shadow generators, not the science.

    Sure it’s complex, but there has been a detectable signal above the noise

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/attribution

    that is pretty darn clear and no one really needs MBH98 to see that. It is, now, old science, and while dendrology is relatively young, it is not invaluable.

    So, yes there is natural variability and yes the error bars can be reduced and I’m glad you are working on a new paper that will help.

    As to the IPCC, it is a conservative process. And you are not the only one that has a problem with that. Think about it this way. To get relative consensus, you need to get a large group to agree. The natural tendency of that process is to not agree on the worst case scenario but the less worse, where it is easier to agree.

    No one is saying science should not be skeptical, in fact that’s one of the best parts of science that makes it work so well and increases confidence, the fact that it is inherently skeptical. I will look forward to your next paper then.


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  119. dhogaza says:

    “Pielke Jnr…..Wow. Thanks for digging.”

    Yeah, wow. And Hank Roberts deserves some sort of Google Mining Lifetime Achievement Award for his efforts over the years …

  120. Mark Shapiro says:

    Doug Bostrom @ 100 -

    Excellent. Thank you.

    Judith Curry -

    Now that you’ve read Montford, could your next book be Oreskes and Conway’s “Merchants of Doubt”? It is long, but useful, and bears directly on your questions and uncertainties.

  121. Arthur Smith says:

    Magnus W (#72) – I believe Romm is talking about Andy Revkin, comment #38 at Real Climate. That was a real doozy.

  122. Michael W says:

    “The job of the AR4 and arguably the entire scientific community is to weigh the accumulating research and evidence in order to state at any given time their best understanding of the science.”

    “I completely concur with the latest Dutch report (and you here) that the IPCC has failed to characterize the plausible worst-case scenario, which you know I tried to do in Hell and High Water.”

    Joe, I have a hard time determining if you support the IPCC’s conclusions or not.

    [JR: I have written about this at length. The IPCC is a conservative (i.e. generally lowballing) analysis of our state of understanding, based on science as of about two years prior to publication. But fundamentally it is nothing more than a literature review and the recent literature is far more dire than the literature upon which the report was based.]

  123. Chris Winter says:

    Judith Curry (#84):

    No matter how hard a group of scientists attempts to impose a premature consensus or declare the debate to be over, science will eventually work this out. I predict (and hope) that the AR5 will result in a further backtracking of the confidence levels on this subject relative to AR4 (to a more realistic assessment of the individual proxies and a focus on regional temperature change), in the same manner that confidence levels in AR4 pulled back from the AR3. This is the only topic in the IPCC reports where confidence levels are in the conclusions are diminishing with time. This should all give us pause, since a continued pull back in confidence on this subject reduces the credibility of the IPCC.

    Judith Curry (#86):

    A key failure of the current IPCC strategy is inadequate attention to characterizing the plausible worst case scenario (Joe: put this in a headline, probably the only statement of mine in the past year that you will probably like).

    It seems to me these two positions conflict. If the IPCC were to reduce its confidence levels, rather than increasing them as it has from AR3 to AR4 (see post #99 here), how would this make its characterization of any scenario more plausible? (Perhaps the conflict can be resolved by specifying what “this subject” refers to.)

    A somewhat related question is, what precludes us beginning to implement mitigation measures? Many things could be done without incurring great expense. (These measures would have other benefits besides reducing CO2 emissions.) Meanwhile the science would proceed. If more knowledge gives us less reason for concern, mitigation efforts and plans can be scaled back accordingly.

    I too would like to know what is meant by “linear technocratic model.” To me it suggests nothing else but a synonym for “status quo,” in which existing energy companies project the near-term expansion of their current businesses?

  124. dhogaza says:

    Arthur Smith:

    I believe Romm is talking about Andy Revkin, comment #38 at Real Climate. That was a real doozy.

    I think you’re right. But Joe, if by chance he’s not, Revkin does deserve a public skewering for that amazingly naive regurgitation of climategate apologistics.

  125. Wit'sEnd says:

    Judith Curry says:

    “Stay tuned.”

    Well, I tuned you out when I read the following in the UK Guardian (which at first I mistook for satire from the Onion for the ludicrous assertion that the IPCC is composed of self-appointed oracles, and the sheer pompous condescension towards a far more worthy scientist than you, Dr. Jones):

    “The climate scientist most associated with efforts to reconciling warring factions, Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology, said the idea of IPCC scientists as “self-appointed oracles, enhanced by the Nobel Prize, is now in tatters”. The outside world now sees that “the science of climate is more complex and uncertain than they have been led to believe”.

    Some IPCC scientists are in denial on this issue, she said, arguing that they would like to see the CRU incident as “an irrelevant blip” and to blame their problems on “a monolithic denial machine”, but that won’t wash.”

    Curry exempted from this criticism Phil Jones, CRU director and the man at the centre of the furore. Put through the fire, “Jones seems genuinely repentant, and has been completely open and honest about what has been done and why… speaking with humility about the uncertainty in the data sets,” she said.

    The affair “has pointed out the seamy side of peer review and consensus building in the IPCC assessment reports,” she said. “A host of issues need to be addressed.”

    Judith, you need to take your meds now and retire from public life.

  126. John Hollenberg says:

    > The outside world now sees that “the science of climate is more complex and uncertain than they have been led to believe”.

    Yes, it is more complex and uncertain. We don’t know how much worse it might get if tipping points are passed, and there is a lot of uncertainty about just how bad the worst case might be. That uncertainty calls for more/faster action, not less. From a risk management standpoint, we have plenty of data suggesting we need action right now.

  127. Doug Bostrom says:

    Chris Winter says: July 26, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    A somewhat related question is, what precludes us beginning to implement mitigation measures?

    Well, consider that we’re already well down the road to adaptation, and how is that possible? Because both means and motivation are present. Means, because adaptation strategies can be mounted within governmental boundaries, motivation because real things visible to the eye and worth money are at risk. See London as an example.

    Conversely, meaningful mitigation offers us motivation but not means. Mitigation would require a means of transnational concord and coercion we’re unable to provide at this stage of our history. Not a new story; technological power leapfrogs that of civil society.

  128. Kevin says:

    This isn’t going to be popular, but I think the exchange points out our problem. The non-specialists person, just looking for answers, looks at this exchange and it looks like a fight with one person asking questions and the other sniping at them with a heavy “attitude.” Gavin’s response may be fine within a normal arguement about science, but this is being played out in public — if this happened in a work environment, where individuals are expected to be respectful of one another, guess who would win (hint: not Gavin). Regardless of how bone-headed or ill-informed Curry may be in this, she comes across as someone who is looking for answers — she has read a book, come up with questions and is starting a discussion. Again, bone-headed, maybe. But unfortunately, owing to Gavin’s snippy response (and I understand if he is just tired of all the crap) he comes off looking like the bad guy and a lot of other ill informed folks reading the exchange will sympathize with Curry. This is not a “win,” despite the cheering, for our side. In fact, it feeds the theme and reinforces the belief that this is a closed minded club that doesn’t tolerate those who ask legitimate questions (even if they are not in fact legit or are set ups). Responses have to be respectful and dispassionate. Insulting people does not help.

  129. Judith Curry says:

    The progress of science can’t be sped up for political convenience. While overconfidence in a particular scientific thesis can be sold for a short time and may provide a short term political advantage, this strategy will typically backfire in the longer run, and science is compromised in the process.

    Yes I am well aware of the merchants of doubt argument, it explains part of the story, but this explanation misses out on the whole extended peer review argument of Jerome Ravetz (associated with postnormal science) and the technological enablement of this by the blogosphere. Fred Singer and the hard core merchants of doubt motivated directly by economic gain such as the oil and coal companies, are no longer very relevant; rather it is people like Steve McIntyre that are far more influential. Just give up on trying to tar McIntyre as a shill for big oil; his personal politics are rather leftish and he is not an opponent of energy policy.

    [JR: McIntyre is a shill for disinformation, whatever its source. Who can possibly know or care what his personal politics are. He has however reposted disinformation from right-wingers who are part of the Big Oil disinformation campaign, so he is indeed a shilling for Big Oil, too. To pretend otherwise is untenable.]

    Ravetz’s take on the current situation is more accurate in my opinion than is Oreskes and Collins. It is really unnecessary to alienate the blogospheric skeptics; many of them are lukewarmers and mainly interested in participating in the extended peer review of climate science, the open source movement, etc. By alienating them, they inadvertently feed the merchants of doubt, which is hardly a desirable outcome.

    The paleoclimate reconstruction is currently the most controversial issue in climate science. The main reason for this harkens from the overconfidence and premature consensensus on this topic in the AR3. What we are seeing now with climategate etc. is backfiring of the overconfidence. And the irony of the situation is that this whole issue is relatively unimportant in the overall scheme of climate science. There is a lesson here, that failure to acknowledge uncertainty plus overconfidence in the assessment process can backfire big time, and provides fodder for the merchants of doubt when it does backfire.

    [JR: If you would ever define your terms, someone might possibly know what you are talking about. Again, who failed to acknowledge uncertainty? Certainly not MBH. Certainly not the IPCC. The only person in this whole debate who never acknowledges uncertainty is you. You are certain that McIntyre and Montford and Watts aren't just full of crap. But what if you're wrong, Judy, what if they are full of crap, like so many people have demonstrated?

    For the record, I don't think "The paleoclimate reconstruction is currently the most controversial issue in climate science" as I would define the term controversial (I would only use that term for debates that are consequential for homo sapiens, rather than largely of academic interest, such as the finer points of the hockey stick analysis). No, I think the most controversial issue in climate science is whether the IPCC has woefully underestimated the likelihood of multiple catastrophic impacts if we stay anywhere near our current emissions path (as Watts and much of your tribe wants).]

  130. Robert P. says:

    Kevin, you show all the classic signs of a concern troll: “she come’s across as someone who is looking for answers”. No she doesn’t, not even remotely. give us a break, man.

  131. Judith Curry says:

    Kevin, #128 yes this all started when I read a book, and wondered why realclimate hadn’t discussed it, since it was about the hockey stick. I thought that a rebuttal was in order. I received a snarky reply. Then several months later, when it was finally reviewed by tamino, i thought the review missed most of the points of the book, which i pointed out in my own summary of the book. My own summary of the book was impossible to understand, because of the lengthy and snarky comments of Gavin, which comprise the text of the Joe’s post at the front of this thread. RC has become the site of climate science “truthiness” spiced with snark, rather than a site where any serious discussion can take place.

    [JR: Another sweeping indictment with no evidence provided in support. Anybody can take your summary and snip out Gavin's comment and it is still impossible to understand. More important, it's impossible to know what parts of it you still stand by, after Gavin's evisceration and your apparent walk back.

    But tell you what, go ahead and post a comment here with a comparable length summary that states what you currently stand behind, and I won't break it up.]

  132. Wit'sEnd says:

    As long as there is such a hue and cry for all the scientific data to be readily and freely available, I’m just askin’…

    is the funding for research, endowed chairs, junkets, and think-tank sponsorship also readily and freely available??

    Is there some place I can go that will tell me every penny that Dr.Judith Curry has reaped, from plane tickets to tax-deductible expenses and benefits?

    just askin’….

  133. Doug Bostrom says:

    Kevin says: July 26, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    Kevin, Dr. Curry initiated her exchange on RealClimate with assertively dismissive statements. She did not appear on the site asking questions. Tone and style of the subsequent exchange were in fact established by Dr. Curry.

    This is all down in black and white, no need to speculate, go check it out.

  134. It’s worth noting… it simply isn’t true that denial is always in the pay of “big oil”. There’s no reason to think Judith Curry is doing this for financial reasons. Far FAR more common is that people take skewed positions in line with a political or libertarian style philosophy that believes governments should not be in the role of managing or regulating industry; this is a powerful motivation for finding any reason to dispute the need for industry to be regulated, including a wholly imbalanced evaluations of the simple scientific questions concerning problems with climate.

    Precisely why Judith Curry went off the purely substantive scientific rails so badly at realclimate is an interesting question… but it is at this point a distraction. Stick to the substance of her claims and the refutations of them.

    She’s NOT just asking questions; no way! She’s making definite statements of fact which are simply incorrect at a nice simple basic level.

    Cheers — DQ

  135. Doug Bostrom says:

    Just for the record, here’s how Dr. Curry introduced herself on the thread at RC:

    JC’s grade for the review: C-

    pros: well written, persuasive

    cons: numerous factual errors and misrepresentations, failure to address many of the main points of the book

    If anyone is seriously interested in a discussion on this book, I can see that RC isn’t the place, people elsewhere are already describing their posts not making it through moderation.

    That’s it. No substantiation, readers were supposed to take her word for it presumably and it appears she was not initially interested in supporting her case. Not engaging and arguably lacking diplomacy.

  136. Ian Forrester says:

    Kevin said:

    if this happened in a work environment, where individuals are expected to be respectful of one another, guess who would win (hint: not Gavin).

    Not in my company. I am prepared to overlook mild incompetence or sloppy work (hopefully these can be remedied). However, the one thing I did not tolerate was dishonesty. In my company JC would be shown the door if she exhibited the dishonesty she has being showing at various venues on the internet.

  137. Nick D says:

    Kevin, I have watched this exchange from the beginning (in the current context). I get a different impression, mostly outlined by Doug Bostrom. Starting with Dr. Curry’s first post on RC, she writes:

    “74.JC’s grade for the review: C-

    pros: well written, persuasive

    cons: numerous factual errors and misrepresentations, failure to address many of the main points of the book

    If anyone is seriously interested in a discussion on this book, I can see that RC isn’t the place, people elsewhere are already describing their posts not making it through moderation.”

    So the standard is set by Dr. Curry. She claims the post by Tamino is mediocre (C-). She then says the post contains “numerous factual errors and misrepresentations”. She backs this claim up with absolutely nothing, so it appears to be sniping for no apparent reason. Next she insinuates that the discussion on RC is not serious, suggesting people simply leave the site. And the cherry on top is the circular and, essentially, idiotic comment about “posts not making it through moderation”. The next remotely serious blog that does not have that complaint lodged against it will be the first. This was just her first comment. Has has been noted here and elsewhere, things did not improve form there. She went on to insult Gavin and many, many others both at RC and elsewhere. As Doug Bostrom said, no need to speculate, simply look at her posts.

  138. dhogaza says:

    “It is really unnecessary to alienate the blogospheric skeptics; many of them are lukewarmers and mainly interested in participating in the extended peer review of climate science, the open source movement, etc.”

    As the leader of a once prominent (less so now, with the passage of time, typical in high tech) open source software project, I am extremely offended by Judith’s comment.

    The open source movement centers around an ideal of democratic competency, and projects tend to be meritocracies.

    The crap Judith endorses is based around an ideal of dishonesty driven by political ideology.

    Sorry, Ms. Curry, it’s not quite the same …

  139. dhogaza says:

    “What we are seeing now with climategate etc. is backfiring of the overconfidence.”

    Actually, Ms. Curry, what we are seeing is your endorsing crime.

    Shame on you.

    If you don’t feel the hacking of the “climategate” e-mails is a crime, you’ll ask your sysadmins to give me access to the university server holding your e-mails, so I can treat you as your love-buddies have treated CRU?

    Or are you a hypocrite?

    (I know the answer … and no, unlike your climategate friends, I’ll make no attempt to *steal* your e-mail correspondence with McI, Phishing Shill, or the like – unlike your cohorts, I respect the law and the morals that underlie them).

  140. dhogaza says:

    “Kevin, #128 yes this all started when I read a book, and wondered why realclimate hadn’t discussed it, since it was about the hockey stick. I thought that a rebuttal was in order”

    Look, there are books claiming that 9/11 was a fraud because structural steel doesn’t melt at kerosene burning temps. Etc crapshit. There are books claiming the world is only 6,000 years old. There are books claiming that Darwin didn’t believe in evolution.

    Scientists typically don’t respond to such books until provoked (in the evolution case, provoked over the teaching of biblical literalism in science class).

    And you’re seriously suggesting that Bishop Hill should be taking seriously because scientists ignored him???

    Blessed be. That’s seriously stupid.

  141. dhogaza says:

    And actually, Judith, your summary of the book was totally easy to understand. You either underestimate your own gullibility, or underestimate the reality that many of us have read the references Shitsop Shill claims to undermine, and we already knew that he was lying.

    That would be me, for instance. Before you posted, I already knew your #7 endorsement was a lie. Because I’d read Mann ’08 when the lie first appeared.

    I’m just a mere BS in Mathematics and I bothered to check, how does a department head at Georgia Tech go off repeating lies without bothering to check if they’re true or not?

    Politics. Right wing politics. I’m sure of it.

  142. dhogaza says:

    “Not in my company. I am prepared to overlook mild incompetence or sloppy work (hopefully these can be remedied). However, the one thing I did not tolerate was dishonesty. In my company JC would be shown the door if she exhibited the dishonesty she has being showing at various venues on the internet.”

    Ditto me, back when I ran a software company with 65-ish employees.

    Has Kevin ever run a company?

    Heh heh heh.

  143. dhogaza says:

    My own summary of the book was impossible to understand

    It was totally clear, Judith.

    Credibility suppuku.

    By definition, done by yourself. Quit blaming Gavin for the fact that you look like an idiot.

  144. Kevin says:

    Wow! First time I’ve been called a troll. People have a right to be passionate. People have a right to be upset by the fact that the science was mugged last year by opponents and they are justified in their outrage at the attacks by the far right. But honestly, you have to consider the optics of this — if you care about what impression this makes on all the confused people out there looking for answers, you need to avoid taking on the behaviors of the folks who hang out at Watts site and others. You have to NOT claim that every question is posed by oil shills, or far right lunatics.

    There are A LOT of people who are not experts and lack basic scientific background, including an understanding of the scientific process. Even if you are questioned by someone you assume is an ill informed dolt or an oil industry hack, you have to be dispassionate and simply make the case — you have the facts on your side. Use them clearly and respectfully. You need to pretend that this is a court case and you need to convince a confused jury. You can smack someone occasionally, but if you make it a habit, they will assume you are a bully and you’ll lose just because they’ll come to dislike you — fair? No. But that’s life.

    While she may have really annoyed you, I note Curry has taken grief on the deniers’ sites that sounds very similar to what she is catching here. If she is “one of them” she seems to have done a poor job of convincing them. You have to wonder about what’s going on when both sides are throwing rocks at the same person.

    I’m not saying agree with her or anyone else you believe/know is wrong. And if they are baiting you or trying to confuse others, take a deep breath, state the point and pretend you are not talking to them but to everyone else out there who knows nothing and is trying to figure this out. It is important to win the argument, but you don’t do that simply by getting the facts right — to persuade, people have to want to believe you and that means you have to play nice.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but a lot of people out there will only notice that one side got “mean” and they’ll go with the person who seemed “nice.” They won’t understand anything else you said — and that is not good for our side. This ain’t a scientific conference where you can be scientists and really beat the hell out of each other —

    If you’re really that angry, go to a town hall meeting and yell at a Senator who wouldn’t vote for climate legislation.

  145. Doug Bostrom says:

    For what it’s worth (if anything) I still believe this little tempest is down at least partly to a calibration problem. Dredging up JC’s first post on the thread at RC reminded me once more how I didn’t believe that post or the next pair were authored by Dr. Curry; the style was depressingly familiar in its perfunctory nature, the “phoned in” quality combining a bit too much sneer and too little substance. Even the obdurate exchange with Gavin was redolent of the intractable nature of some self-professed skeptics who will for instance continue insisting that AGW is all down to industrial waste heat even when shown otherwise.

    If Dr. Curry in an attempt to understand the whole picture of this silly and ultimately marginally relevant barracks-room discussion on climate science via the Internet really spends most of her time at CA or WUWT, soaks up the tone there, she’s going to end up adopting some of the traits of those places. It’s human nature willingly or not to imitate one’s company. At that point it’s all too easy to drop in at RC and unconsciously blurt out a post that’s not up to snuff, that sounds like a drop-in from the places where basic properties of radiative physics are viewed with suspicion despite a mountain of theoretical and experimental evidence and those not toeing the line are treating to heaping doses of empty abuse, Monckton-style.

    I had the same basic problem when I began posting comments on Skeptical Science. My conversational manner was debased compared to the scrupulous tone insisted on by John Cook. No accusations of deception permitted, no pointless insults. I was not calibrated to the tone of the site, and even though John kindly emailed me to let me know why some of my posts were being deep-sixed and I fully agreed with his objectives it still took me a while to shrug off poor habits I’d picked up elsewhere.

    So if Dr. Curry is to be successful in jumping back and forth from the mainstream world to the fringes and then back again without tripping over her feet, she’ll need to stop after every leap and take a look around, calibrate against the local standards. If the local standard does not tolerate controversial assertions without evidence, it’ll be better to notice that and take account. If the local scene is intolerant of errors endlessly repeated, repeating errors of course won’t wash and may well end up causing an unnecessary and counterproductive brouhaha, and of course the best safeguard against that is to double-check one’s facts before making unqualified statements regarding uncertainties and the like.

    Maybe I’m wrong in all this, but if so I need some recalibration myself because I cannot fathom how the same Dr. Curry with the CV of publications I’ve seen would needlessly blow up her own reputation. I don’t believe for a minute she’s “on the take,” there’s no evidence for it. I think it’s just a matter of company being kept, akin to an anthropologist “going native” perhaps.

  146. Kevin: you are joking, right? The side that got mean? Would that be the side that slandered working scientists with promiscuous abandon?

    Evidently not.

    Would that be the side that feloniously stole private emails, deliberately misrepresented their content, and then blamed the victims for their vicious attacks?

    Evidently not.

    Would that be the side that publicly called for witch trials, jail time, public beatings, even death, against scientists who insisted that facts mattered over ideology?

    Evidently not.

    Poor, poor widdo Kevin had his feelings hurt because after 35 years of lies, slanders and attacks people are no longer patient with your refusal to learn elementary facts that anyone could easily discover for no more effort than merely looking.

    As a side question, I am mildly curious: Is there anything which might, by some reckless stretch of the imagination, qualify as a finite limit to your hypocrisy?

  147. sod says:

    . My own summary of the book was impossible to understand, because of the lengthy and snarky comments of Gavin, which comprise the text of the Joe’s post at the front of this thread.

    Judith, this is a plain out lie.

    your point #7 was very easy to understand.

    7. The Mann et al. 2008, which purports to address all the issues raised by MM and produce a range of different reconstructions using different methodologies, still do not include a single reconstruction that is free of questioned tree rings and centered PCA.

    and here is the source to check it:

    https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~wsoon/Mannetal08-PNAS-d/Mannetal08-Sep2-PNAS-2008-Mann-0805721105.pdf

    the problem were definitely NOT the replies by gavin.

    your claim about Mann 2008 are plain out false, and everyone can check the source and see this immediately!

    you have not corrected your error, even though you wrote hundreds of words about the subject, after your false claim. this is extremely dishonest behaviour!

  148. Doug Bostrom says:

    Judith Curry says: July 26, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Kevin, #128 yes this all started when I read a book, and wondered why realclimate hadn’t discussed it, since it was about the hockey stick. I thought that a rebuttal was in order. I received a snarky reply…

    Was the post you’re referring to this one?

    The primary frustration with these investigations is that they are dancing around the principal issue that people care about: the IPCC and its implications for policy. Focusing only on CRU activities (which was the charge of the Oxbourgh panel) is of interest mainly to UEA and possibly the politics of UK research funding (it will be interesting to see if the U.S. DOE sends any more $$ to CRU). Given their selection of CRU research publications to investigate (see Bishop Hill), the Oxbourgh investigation has little credibility in my opinion. However, I still think it unlikely that actual scientific malfeasance is present in any of these papers: there is no malfeasance associated with sloppy record keeping, making shaky assumptions, and using inappropriate statistical methods in a published scientific journal article.

    The corruptions of the IPCC process, and the question of corruption (or at least inappropriate torquing) of the actual science by the IPCC process, is the key issue. The assessment process should filter out erroneous papers and provide a broader assessment of uncertainty; instead, we have seen evidence of IPCC lead authors pushing their own research results and writing papers to support an established narrative. I don’t see much hope for improving the IPCC process under its current leadership.

    The historical temperature record and the paleoclimate record over the last millennium are important in many many aspects of climate research and in the communication of climate change to the public; both of these data sets are at the heart of the CRU email controversy. In my opinion, there needs to be a new independent effort to produce a global historical surface temperature dataset that is transparent and that includes expertise in statistics and computational science. Once “best” methods have been developed and assessed for assembling such a dataset including uncertainty estimates, a paleoclimate reconstruction should be attempted (regional, hemispheric, and possibly global) with the appropriate uncertainty estimates. The public (and some scientists) has lost confidence in the data sets produced by CRU, NASA, Penn State, etc. While such an independent effort may confirm the previous analyses, it is very likely that improvements will be made and more credible uncertainty estimates can be determined. And the possibility remains that there are significant problems with these datasets; this simply needs to be sorted out. Unfortunately, the who and how of actually sorting all this out is not obvious. Some efforts are underway in the blogosphere to examine the historical land surface data (e.g. such as available from GCHN), but the GCHN data set is apparently inadequate in terms of completeness.

    Sorting out the issues surrounding the historical and paleo surface temperature records should be paramount, in addition to tightening up and improving the assessment processes (particularly the IPCC).
    April 17, 2010 | Judith Curry

    [Response: Anyone making accusations of corruption - especially in the light of the tsunami of baseless accusations against scientists that have been hitting the internet in the last few months - needs to be sure that they adequately document the evidence for their allegations. Absent that documentation, I see no reason to take them seriously. Casually throwing around such statements in comments on blog posts is not an appropriate course of action if they are meant to be credible. - gavin]

    Montford’s book isn’t mentioned, so perhaps this is not the post you’re thinking of though I can’t find another likely candidate. Assuming it is, or even just taking this as an example of the general tone of discussion, I don’t see how Gavin’s reply is “snippy” so much as it is making a reasonable request for support of powerful words such as “corruption.” There is after all a reason why we use the phrase “stink of corruption”; the word “corruption” has connotations suggesting rot and criminality but it’s also freighted with technical meaning usually requiring actual hard evidence, which I don’t see here. Dropping the word without support, with the assumption that no such support is needed is diagnostic of the sort of inadvertently adopted debased speech which I referred to earlier.

  149. sod says:

    While she may have really annoyed you, I note Curry has taken grief on the deniers’ sites that sounds very similar to what she is catching here. If she is “one of them” she seems to have done a poor job of convincing them. You have to wonder about what’s going on when both sides are throwing rocks at the same person.

    this is a completely false approach.

    gavin pointed out obvious errors in her post.

    and she gets shouted at on denialist sites, by people who think that the globe is cooling and climate scientists are conspiring to increase the measured temperature with false data.

    these two things can not be compared. Judith is not in the middle, just because she is getting attacked from both sides.

    her position is an extreme one. she supports clearly denialists stuff, like a book named “The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science.

    i don t think that it is useful to speculate why she joined that side. or how she would react, if scientists would write their replies to her attacks in a more friendly way.

  150. #129 Judith Curry

    Joe is correct. Do you or do you not know who McIntyre worked for up until his retirement? Do you or do you not know who he works/associates with now and his general position in the climate debate (hint, McKitrick, MM, etc. which, in my opinion were not argued to improve the science but to disrupt the understanding of the science).

    Keep in mind that the NAS also reviewed MBH and their general conclusion was that MBH was sound and that applying MM to it actually weakened the model. IN other words, MM were right, and wrong at the same time. That is not to say that good things can come from bad intentions either. The subsequent papers did a lot to improve the dendro work. But again, that has nothing to do with the larger scope of the picture that we have virtual certainty in other areas of the science. That means that in context, and without specific context, your arguments will be used as disruptive mechanism to the climate debate in the public arena.

    Do you know how Roger Revelle was tricked into adding notes to Singers paper just before he died, thus creating/allowing Singer to foment a disinformation trail of epic proportions, destroying Revelles public face, after his death.

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/revelle-gore-singer-lindzen

    Look at the evidence:

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/revelle-gore-singer-lindzen/documents/

    You don’t want to fall into the same trap. Here’s how he did it, Singer, like McIntyre, appeared reasonable so as not to alert those he was trying to infiltrate that he was “a shill for big oil; his personal politics are rather leftish and he is not an opponent of energy policy.”

    Point being, I think you have been duped. I don’t want you to have your reputation dragged further into the dirt because you have been duped. Singer duped Revelle. When I was working down there with Jonas Salk, I used to hang out with Justin who worked with Revelle when he was being duped by Singer. All this came out in long drawn out court battles after Revelle died; and after Justin effectively proved that Revelle was not an author of the Cosmos article where Singer pushed the following:

    “. . . that warming in today’s century will be “well below normal year-to-year variation.”

    “This can only be taken to mean less than about 0.2 degrees Celsius, ten times less than Revelle’s actual belief.”
    Justin Lancaster

    McIntyre may be playing you in the same way I suspect. Presenting reasoned arguments in face, but in reality a wolf in sheeps clothing. Please don’t let your scientific integrity get dragged down that hole.

    Read up on what happened to Roger Revelle here:

    http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/revelle-gore-singer-lindzen/cosmos-myth

    Be aware that you may very well be being manipulated by cute cuddly (polite sheep) that are only in it (or so they claim) because they share your view that we need to reduce the uncertainty.

    In reality, every scientists agrees with that. But the motive on the part of the coal industry, for example, is to be able to extract as much profit as possible each and every year. And that can only happen if they can keep the public confused on the issues. And now they are using you for their purpose.

    If I were you. I would seriously reconsider what is going on here. It’s not just about uncertainty reduction. There is a lot at stake. And while I and many others agree with you on the uncertainty issue, how this debate, and with whom one associates in the debate, can have serious implications for mankind, and yourself.


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  151. anonymous says:

    #142 Kevin, many facts have been presented, by Dhogaza here, and Tamino and Gavin in RC. JC gave up in RC on her first post, without even hearing the answers first, by saying “If anyone is seriously interested in a discussion on this book, I can see that RC isn’t the place, people elsewhere are already describing their posts not making it through moderation.”

    If you think JC is a victim, ask thyself why on earth does she do this? On her first post she declares she will not discuss the book on RC, as SOMEONE ELSE on some other site has been banned on RC. Why on earth would she put SOMEONE ELSE’s treatment on the site before the science in question, if she treated this matter scientifically and independently? I’d say she abandoned science on her first post there because of SOMEONE ELSE’s treatment on RC, and this by her own admission. She has no independent thoughts in this matter, I might even say, why is that, is anyone’s guess. Wouldn’t be surprised if she was banned on commenting on some scienceblogs after this one.

  152. Judith Curry says:

    OK, I officially give up over here. Here is something I just posted over at climateaudit:

    SOD, my statements on the RC thread were in the context of a summary of Montford’s main points, that I drew from memory of having read the book two months ago because I don’t have a copy of Montford’s book with me. These were not my personal arguments.

    I am avoiding involving myself in the technical details of this debate, and am leaving this to others who have dug deeper into it.

    My main personal interest is in the evolution and escalation of the conflict portrayed by Montford. And how unneccessary it was. And how the RC crowd should read the book to learn how they can avoid such uneccessary conflicts in the future. In fact, HSI should be required reading right along “Merchants of Doubt”, so they can figure out the difference. By confusing Steve Mc with a “merchant of doubt”, and applying the “hide the uncertainty” strategy used for merchants of doubt, and making ad hom and appeal to motive attacks against Steve Mc, HSI is a story of how this kind of strategy backfires when used on a watchdog auditor type, which is a completely different species.

    My efforts to try to avoid such unneccessary conflicts are understood over here, but not over at RC and CP. and if i even try to mention that i think the watchdog auditors are completely justified in what they are doing and even doing something useful, well i’m either in the pay of big oil or off my rocker.

    [JR: Judy, I don't know anybody who thinks you are in the pay of big oil, and only a few people here think you are off your rocker -- frankly, you are way too young to have been in a rocker in the first place.

    The words I (and I suspect most people) would use to describe you right now are ... wrong and unscientific. You just never define your terms or back up what you say with evidence.

    It is beyond outrageous for you to post what is the equivalent of disinformation from Montford and then try to CYA by asserting that these statements were ones "I drew from memory of having read the book two months ago" and "These were not my personal arguments" and "I am avoiding involving myself in the technical details of this debate, and am leaving this to others who have dug deeper into it."

    What would you say to a Ph.D. candidate who tried that in a thesis defense? Or to a colleague who tried that presenting a paper at a scientific meeting? What you are doing with this paleoclimate stuff is infinitely more consequential than either of those situations, and thus necessitating a higher scientific standard, not a lower one.

    You really need to take a good look at what you are doing.]

  153. VM says:

    Judith Curry’s post at 131 needs to be read by everyone – it is remarkable in its duplicitous representation of the events at the RC thread.

    It’s also worth noting that after Gavin’s evisceration of her arguments, she quickly back-peddaled and proclaimed her arguments weren’t actually her arguments or opinions – despite her endorsement of them, claiming they were “well argued and well documented”, and that they had “stuck with [her]“.

    I’ve yet to see a retraction, an admission, or even a post suggesting she will re-evaluate these “well argued and well documented” points of Montford. Note the particularly vile comments toward the dendroclimatological community in her post at 168 at the RC thread (which are apparently not her opinions, but which she gladly regurgitated anyway).

    I do, however, see a lot of goalpost moving from Dr. Curry, as well as a penchant to fault everyone other than herself.

    Credibility seppuku indeed.

  154. AnnieNomNomNom says:

    So we still haven’t any insight into why Judith claimed “numerous factual errors and misrepresentations, failure to address many of the main points of the book” beyond it being simple regurgitation of Montford’s book and no acceptance of basic errors (e.g., see Sod at 147).

    Egads.

  155. Gaz says:

    Don’t go, Dr Curry!

    At least, not without listing those “numerous factual errors and misrepresentations” in Tamino’s post at RC.

  156. dhogaza says:

    fingers tapping table impatiently … what AnnieNomNomNom and Gaz said …

  157. Jeff Green says:

    Admittedly its not clear to me how Dr. Curry can do so well in attaining her position,
    ########################################################################
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Curry

    Career
    She has taught at Penn State, Purdue, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From 1992 to 2002, she was a Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Colorado-Boulder. She has been the chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology since 2002. She has conducted research into possible connections between hurricane intensity and global warming.[3][4]

    ########################################################################

    and yet do so poorly in presenting her arguments. How about studying your arguments to some depth before you go public.

  158. Kevin says:

    Thank you Doug Bostrom (#145) for perhaps the most thoughtful comment since last night.

    Re anonymous (#151) I have seen people, when trying to be the intermediary between two camps, bring points from one side to the other in effort to foster the dialogue. TO BE CLEAR, I don’t know if that is what JC was doing, but I’ve seen others do so within other debates, even at times not being fully transparent as to the source of the points. This happens especially when the two sides are so at odds as to no longer be able to listen to one another — however, just poking someone with attacks they have seen before doesn’t work so well, so the person has to be familiar enough with the fight to recognize when they are using loaded language or else they blow themselves up, ingiting rather than damping.

    Does this matter to the science? No. The science will sort itself out, and the folks who are confused are, for the most part, not scientists working in this field. However, this matters a great deal in the political context as many folks are wandering around looking for answers.

    Is this site exlusively targetted to those “on our side” or is it intended to persuade the general public? If the former, then go ahead and have fun taking JC down. However, if the latter, keep in mind that most people don’t understand anything about the details of the science — they just want to understand if it is real and the details are only a very small part of that evaluation. The manner in how facts are communicated is an important factor to a lot of people we should care about convincing — not all are cooly analytic scientists able to see beyond the heat.

    Based on this, I’ll likely be pointing folks who are just starting out or who naturally more sympathetic to our opposition’s views to Skeptical Science. (And I hope JR that this doesn’t offend as I still believe this site is vital within the wider policy debate, especially among those already knowledgeable of the science and economics.)

  159. BrockSamson says:

    You can probably stop tapping dhogaza, it’s not going to happen, not after so many requests here and at RC have been ignored. She’s yet again taken her ball and gone home.

    Just sad to see someone falling down that rabbit hole of irrational thought, especially someone so accomplished as Dr. Curry. Here’s hoping she catches herself before she hits the bottom.

  160. Yea gads!

    JC wrote:

    “My own summary of the book was impossible to understand, because of the lengthy and snarky comments of Gavin,”

    Wow!

    I don’t have words for describing the unbearable lameness of those words, so I will just reiterate what Gail wrote:

    “Take your meds now and retire from public life!”

    Or, if you want your public life to continue at CA, hey, go for it. Alternate universes seem to be where you are most comfortable.

  161. Lou Grinzo says:

    One bright spot in all this for Dr. Curry is that the entire Internet is bulk erased once a month, so all evidence of this sorry spectacle will disappear in the ether shortly. [Insert image of alien space ships like those from Close Encounters or V hovering over data centers.]

    In all seriousness, I have a hard time understanding what exactly happened here. I find Dr. Curry’s statements to be increasingly hard to explain, to the point of being mind boggling. I understand what she’s saying, but for someone of her standing to make unsubstantiated claims, even when asked repeatedly for proof, is just bizarre. Whoever coined the term “credibility seppuku” nailed it perfectly.

    I also think it’s best to stay away from all speculation about someone’s motives for their public actions; such lines of thought are nearly always an irresponsible waste of time, and not just because they’re so often wildly wrong. Can anyone here look at Dr. Curry’s statements and conclude that she hasn’t given us enough “interesting” things to talk about? (But to be perfectly clear on this detail, if hard evidence came to light that anyone on either “side” of this conversation was being paid by the fossil fuel industry or some other private concern or was letting ideology override his or her judgment, then I would be among the loudest critics of that person — but only after we had proof beyond a reasonable doubt.)

  162. Leif says:

    Hot and cold… With the Arctic showing more exposed sea and lower ice volume, it is not surprising to me to see a warmer Arctic but that would imply that the future coldest winter air masses will subsequently have to occur over the land masses with regularity. The average temperature of the earth must remain average. With a large segment, Arctic, significantly warmer the cold has to go/be someplace. Land cools faster then water, So land it is. Recall the record cold in Mongolia this winter with ~4 million livestock frozen to death. With lots of ice the Arctic could retain the cold. From now on the “Arctic” and “coldest” will not be synonymous.

    Climatic disruption anyone…

  163. Leif, please see Figure 1 at the latest RealClimate post — it is exactly what you are talking about.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/07/an-icy-retreat/#more-4469

  164. Leif says:

    Tenney, @63: That was the inspiration of my thought late last night and I made almost the same comments on RC. (#76) I received some constructive criticism and reposted here.

  165. Doug Bostrom says:

    Folks here are all inordinately hung up on facts. It’s the “Fact Tribe.” :-)

  166. Marion Delgado says:

    If Curry thinks McIntyre is competent to reproduce – or fail to reproduce – Mann et al.’s results (in spite of the evidence), she should put her reputation even more on the line and actually co-publish with McIntyre. If being a mining company owner suddenly makes you an atmospheric post-doc equivalent, then there should be no problem. Indeed, should it even be any extra work at all? He’s supplying the technical expertise and research – all Dr. Curry needs to provide is a publishable name on the paper.

    As a bonus, McIntyre may even have more data than he’s let on. After all, he sat on data for 3 years, complained publicly about not being able to obtain it, etc. We’ll beat the 150-year-old peer-review Green socialist conspiracy against AGW skeptics yet!

  167. anonymous says:

    Yes, Kevin #158, Doug Bostrom’s #145 is about the nicest version of what happened I can accept. I know this place is more political than RC(where there are some threads that are somewhat free in this respect), let alone Skeptical Science (absolutely no nonsense, even long-winding posts taking too long to get to a point may be deleted), and try to behave accordingly, I did not comment on the RC thread.

  168. MapleLeaf says:

    John @150 makes some excellent points. Although I initially thought that Judith Curry (JC) was being played, I am now more of the opinion that she is a willing player in McI et al’s game. The reason I say that is that I see parallels between Curry’s antics of late and the ambiguous mind games played by Mosher et al.– claiming concern about the science and AGW/ACC, seeming reasonable at times, then at others making ridiculous and baseless accusations to feed the deniers and “skeptics”. That game has worked incredibly well for Mosher et al. and it seems that either Curry has been coached by certain people to perpetuate that game or she has picked up some bad habits at one or more of the following neocon blogs, ClimateFraudit/Bishop Hill/ WFUWT. She also seems to be baiting people here and at RC by making inane comments, just so the denialists can point and say “Look, they are not interesting in talking; they are mean and they are not interested in critique”.

    Further, Curry’s posts above have, IMHO, the marks of those made by a concern troll. It saddens me greatly, but from now on I just do not think she is worth entertaining or trying to engage– her intentions are clearly not honorable as demonstrated by her posts made at RC, here and elsewhere on the web. Her less than honorable intentions are also underscored by her refusal to stand down from baseless accusations she has made against Tamino, Gavin and others, despite being repeatedly shown by several people that those accusations were false, is truly mind boggling, and not consistent with what one would expect of her stature and background. Does she not see the irony of her lecturing others on standards, when she seems to have none of her own of late?

    Ironic too how JC takes such an issue with Gavin’s terse reply to her ill-informed posts and baseless accusations, yet JC has no issue with McIntyre making insinuations of fraud, making references to dendrologists being addicted to certain data like “crack cocaine’, or McIntyre suggesting that “James Hansen and his disciples have a more jihadist approach” . How the heck is that conducive to being constructive?

    I find it hypocritical of Judith Curry that she does not have an issue with McIntyre claiming to be Nigel Persaud on the internet so that he could defend a paper by McIntyre and McKitrick (that is, he was defending his own work and claiming how grand it was) while attacking Mann et al.. Those actions fly in the face of someone who is acting in good faith, integrity and honesty. Same goes for Montford, Curry needs to do some research on him, his background, his rhetoric, his baseless accusations.

    Quite frankly it is clear to me that Gavin et al. have simply had enough after years of provocation and attacks on their person and their work. And Gavin’s lack of patience with Curry is b/c she insists on blindly parroting falsehoods and making baseless accusations, and she is repeatedly doing hit again here making unsubstantiated accusations of “corruption”. She knows better, can do better and must do better, but somehow seems happy to play word and mid games. Well, Gavin and Joe called her on it and IMO it is about time.

    Predictably, just like McIntyre, she is now playing victim and adopting a martyr complex. Well, that may work on the party faithful but it is going to leave Dr. Curry’s reputation and integrity in tatters.

  169. dhogaza says:

    Whoever coined the term “credibility seppuku” nailed it perfectly.

    That was me, and you’re welcome :)

  170. Marion Delgado says:

    I was one of those, like Doug Bostrom, who honestly questioned whether the person giving “JC’s grade” was Dr. Judith Curry. By the time I posted (and I hadn’t read comments except on the first and last pages), it had been declared OT and my comment wasn’t published. Curry’s tone was like the other “JC” in the science denial world, in fact.

    I would say it’s past the point of no return – at least subconsciously, Curry must realize that if she betrays her new tribe, she’ll get the same treatment Phil Jones got, and there’ll be people like her all too willing to stab her in the back once she’s downed.

  171. Robert P says:

    Marion, good point. We already know that honest scientists such as Wahl and Ammann easily reproduced the work of Mann et al. In the process they demonstrated clear evidence of dishonesty and deceit by McIntyre and crowd. The Wahl and Ammann paper is a must read for anyone interested in getting to the bottom of this matter.

  172. Marion Delgado says:

    MapleLeaf: What happened? my industry collapsed, is still collapsing. And investigative reporting, enterprise reporting, and science journalism are all pretty much a thing of the past. In fairness to our capitalist overlords, the truth is, through whatever feedback process, people are reading less, and they read almost no science stories. Advertisers are now spoiled by the internet – they want ads to cost 1/10th what they used to, and they don’t want to pay for broad-spectrum placement. Nearly everyone wants in on local news, some want only sports, some want no connection to sports, etc. Sports and local news are here to stay until the last brick-and-mortar dead-tree paper shuts its doors. Probably ditto business and financial news. Beyond that? Nada. Chris Mooney has said it, and I agree. There is no such thing as mainstream science journalism anymore. It’s only going to get attention when there’s a disaster or a political or economic angle.

  173. Hank Roberts says:

    Doug Bostrom above in an excellent post mentions the risk of posts that sound like “a drop-in from the places where basic properties of radiative physics are viewed with suspicion despite a mountain of theoretical and experimental evidence”

    If you’re not sure what that sounds like, here’s an excellent running example of such drop-ins at a scientist’s site:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2010/07/yes-virginia-cooler-objects-can-make-warmer-objects-even-warmer-still/

    “… I’m getting a lot of e-mail traffic from some nice folks who are trying to convince me that the physics of the so-called Greenhouse Effect are not physically possible….”

    The thread just keeps getting better. Patience and moderation are being tested.

  174. Doug Bostrom says:

    Marion Delgado:

    There is no such thing as mainstream science journalism anymore. It’s only going to get attention when there’s a disaster or a political or economic angle.

    For those clinging to whatever shreds of science journalism are still available, bookmark the Knight Science Journalism Tracker out of MIT.

    The future of useful journalism of the type we fondly remember lies mostly in not-for-profit organizations, seems to me. Right now we’re in a transitional period as it’s discovered that great journalism can’t be a profit center given the unworldly and fantastic demands of investors.

  175. Chris Winter says:

    Doug Bostrum wrote: “Folks here are all inordinately hung up on facts. It’s the “Fact Tribe.” :-)”

    Also known as the reality-based community. :-)

  176. chek says:

    It does happen, so why not to Judith Curry?
    People become cranks, and in her case it’s not been a sudden flip.

    When you start talking in generalities that are allegedly self-evident that others are supposed to ‘get’ but don’t, you’re probably a crank.

    When repeated requests for clarification result in less clarifying and shifting explanations that become more mystifying and opaque to others, you’re probably a crank.

    When you start to think that other cranks have a better explanation of reality and you start gravitating to them, abandoning places that attract, say, actual scientists in favour of ideological lynch mob nurseries, then you’re probably a crank.

    A “cranky” belief is so wildly at variance with commonly accepted belief as to be ludicrous”. Such as for example self-appointed citizen science auditor McIntyre and his long running campaign to discredit an entire field of science being honourable. Or his chronicler Montford’s loaded narrative of known and now itemised lies, slanders and half-truths being recommended reading supposedly offering some worthwhile insight into state of the art climate science.

    Sounds like a crank to me.

  177. Ian Forrester says:

    MapleLeaf said:

    but it is going to leave Dr. Curry’s reputation and integrity in tatters.

    I wonder if she has given any thought as to how her performance and attitude is affecting the reputation and career prospects for her past graduate students, post-docs, co-authors and co-workers.

  178. Ian @ #178,

    “… prospects for her past graduates students, post-docs, … “

    They can all do research for BP.

    ~IANVS

  179. Robert P. says:

    Mr. Ritson: yes, a lot of people (including Chu) were misled by the various false claims being made regarding Keith Briffa’s tree ring density data set and the problematic decline after 1960 that is seen in the dataset. This has been discussed in various threads ad nauseum. What this has to do with any of the discussion in this thread, however, is beyond me. You might want to at least read the thread, and Judy Curry’s comments (here and at RC), and understand what they are about, before commenting in this way.

  180. Doug Bostrom says:

    Ian Forrester says: July 27, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I wonder if she has given any thought as to how her performance and attitude is affecting the reputation and career prospects for her past graduate students, post-docs, co-authors and co-workers.

    Other examples suggest they’ll be safe on their own merits and in any case most people are ignorant of what transpires down at this curious sub-level of our culture.

    Along the same general lines, this business of clapping hands to ears and ignoring DeepClimate’s critique of the “Wegman Report” (“uncredited pastiche?”) is rather at odds with increasingly stringent and draconian policy w/regard to undergraduate plagiarism, a serious problem for universities. Plagiarists ought to be called-out and chased away at every opportunity, they sap initiative and as well are prone to inappropriately parroting things they don’t understand while wearing a mantle of authority, misdirecting and degrading our course of progress. Why is such a relaxed and permissive posture adopted by someone who does not hesitate to attach the adjective “corrupt” to the IPCC and for that matter is a senior member of an organization bent on maintaining academic integrity of undergraduates from the first day they set foot on campus?

  181. Daniel "The Yooper" Bailey says:

    As an observer of the JC implosion, I must say that it has been a long, LONG time since I have witnessed such a public display of credibility seppuku (h/t to Dhogaza). The nearest comp that comes to mind is the Al Campanis self-immolation on Nightline in 1987:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/ESPNSports/story?id=3034914

    The saddest part of this whole increasingly-sordid episode is that she seems to have no idea the damage she herself is doing to her life’s body of work.

    Even the background readership both here and at RC cannot have failed to note the train wreck elapsing in front of them. Historic moment, folks.

    (wanders off, shaking head…)

    The Yooper

  182. Neal J. King says:

    #173, Marion Delgado
    #175, Doug Bostrom

    I think the convergence of the disappearance of true scientific journalism and the private interests’ drive to dominate the public mind-space with “scientific” narratives friendlier to their industries will lead to “scientific public relations”. Groups doing complicated science with significant societal implications are going to need to maintain an open and forthcoming profile of obvious transparency.

    In other words, climate science groups are going to need a few people who ENJOY feeding data and algorithms (and coding advice) to the McIntyre-types, and can also correct their misapprehensions in good humor; like playing ping-pong. Someone who knows how to handle PR problems might have been able to jump on the UEA/CRU stolen-email problem a lot faster, and steered it off in another direction, rather than hunkering down for so long while it ballooned.

    Does it seem like a waste of scientific training to devote one’s career to presenting/defending scientific work as smoothly as possible? Maybe so – but climate scientists that engage with the public at all seem to be stuck with that task anyway. May as well find individuals who actually enjoy it. Ex-science journalists are likely to have part of the right skill set; and focusing on a specific group’s activities may give the chance to develop more technical depth than has been common for science journalists heretofore.

    Because I wouldn’t count on the McIntyres and Moncktons to disappear; and I don’t think we’ve seen the last scientific “-gate”, either. As long as there’s a Fox News, there’s going to be the need for someone who can deal with Fox News.

  183. S Basinger says:

    Dr. Curry,

    Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, and the pig likes it.

    - SB

  184. MapleLeaf says:

    SBasinger @184,

    Could you please elaborate? Specifically, who is the “pig” and why do you call them that? Thanks.

  185. Judith Curry says:

    Joe, looks like you forgot to read the fine print on this one:
    http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/18/scienceenergy-secretary-steven-chu-interview-financial-times-ipcc-climategate/

    Here is something i posted at CA, thought the CP readers would find this interesting. Looks like I’m in the same tribe as Stephen Chu here.

    [JR: And here I thought you said you weren't coming back. Judy, one cherry picked quote that ignores everything else the man says does not put you in Chu's camp. But if you're in his camp, then here are more views you buy into:

    >In a worst case, Chu said, up to 90% of the Sierra snowpack could disappear, all but eliminating a natural storage system for water vital to agriculture. “I don’t think the American public has gripped in its gut what could happen,” he said. "We’re looking at a scenario where there’s no more agriculture in California. I don’t actually see how they can keep their cities going…." He compared the situation to a family buying an old house and being told by an inspector that it must pay a hefty sum to rewire it or risk an electrical fire that could burn everything down. “I’m hoping that the American people will wake up,” Chu said, and pay the cost of rewiring.< ]

    Judith Curry
    Posted Jul 27, 2010 at 2:49 PM | Permalink | Reply
    All the heat that I get in the blogosphere is worth it to me because of the many thoughtful emails I receive, offering support, ideas and information. I just received this in via email, referring to an interview with Stephen Chu in the Financial Times, Feb 17, 2010 (registration required): http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a71cf176-1bff-11df-a5e1-00144feab49a.html

    FT: On the climate threat, do you think there is legitimate concern now about the fact that some of the science, even if it’s not flawed, it’s been misrepresented, which has undermined the case in many people’s eyes.

    SC: First, the main findings of IPC over the years, have they been seriously cast in doubt? No. I think that if one research group didn’t understand some tree ring data and they chose to admit part of that data. In all honesty they should have thrown out the whole data set. But science has a wonderful way of self-correcting on things like that. What the public doesn’t understand is that as you go forward there will be these things and they will self correct. On balance if you look at all the things the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the body of experts convened by the United Nations to advise governments in responding to global warming] has been doing over the last number of years, they were trying very hard to put in all the peer-reviewed serious stuff. I’ve actually always felt that they were taking a somewhat conservative stand on many issues and for justifiable reasons.

    In all honesty, they should have thrown out the whole data set. And here I was trying to be polite . . .

    [JR: You missed the "if" part of that clause, which invalidates the whole argument. And you apparently missed all the published literature of the past few years, as many have pointed out. The analysis has been run without the tree rings. Judith, it's one thing to keep beating a dead horse. But beating a live one is just wrong.

    Oh and Chu gets the big picture, which you continue to miss: "On balance if you look at all the things the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the body of experts convened by the United Nations to advise governments in responding to global warming] has been doing over the last number of years, they were trying very hard to put in all the peer-reviewed serious stuff. I’ve actually always felt that they were taking a somewhat conservative stand on many issues and for justifiable reasons…. They should be able to say that this is serious science and take a somewhat conservative view. If you look at the climate sceptics, I would have to say honestly, what standard are they being held to? It’s very asymmetric. They get to say anything they want. In the end, the core of science is deeply self checking.”

    JR: I’m hoping you’ll wake up and focus on what matters, not decade old irrelevancies that the science has moved past.]

  186. Robert P. says:

    S. Basinger: ok, I think I get it, but I must admit I’m puzzled on one aspect of this. Didn’t you mean to say “associate with” or “embrace” rather than “wrestle with”? In that case, your statement would make much more sense, and the relevant players would become quite obvious!

  187. CTG says:

    Judith Curry: “if i even try to mention that i think the watchdog auditors are completely justified in what they are doing and even doing something useful”

    See, this is the fundamental problem, Dr. Curry.

    If the “watchdog auditors” were simply trying to improve the science by finding possible errors in published papers, then that would be justified.

    But that is not what they are trying to do. Instead, they claim that any errors they find in the science are evidence of a conspiracy, that the whole of climate science is bogus.

    How is that useful?

    Take, for example, McIntyre’s latest claim that your own research is “voodoo science”. Do you agree with him on that? Do you think it is useful for your research to be described this way? Do we understand more about how the atmosphere works by discarding all of your published papers because you are a fraud?

    Mann and co are not really defending the science of MBH98 (which is irrelevant given the subsequent research), but rather defending themselves against charges of fraud and conspiracy.

    Can you really not see the difference?

  188. Doug Bostrom says:

    As the old radio guy said, “the rest of the story,” or at least that part of the interview pertaining to the IPCC and climate science:

    FT: But as a distinguished scientist yourself, don’t you think that the IPCC crossed the line between scientific research and advocacy?

    SC: I don’t think so. My impression about watching them working is that it is one of the things where they have been held up to a very high standard.

    FT: In the last three months.

    SC: No, since the beginning. Since report number one. Their reports get reviewed. Lots of people are asked to take shots at this in a very serious way that I think is all right because what they’re saying is so important. It has economic consequences worldwide. They should be able to say that this is serious science and take a somewhat conservative view. If you look at the climate sceptics, I would have to say honestly, what standard are they being held to? It’s very asymmetric. They get to say anything they want. In the end, the core of science is deeply self checking.

    FT interview transcript: Steven Chu

  189. Doug Bostrom says:

    In fairness, I wonder if the copy of the FT interview Dr. Curry received via email was truncated as she presented it there and copied it here? “Uncritical acceptance” is the term immediately springing to my mind.

  190. MapleLeaf says:

    Dr. Curry,

    Good attempt to quote mine Dr. Chu @187.

    As for your claim “All the heat that I get in the blogosphere is worth it to me because of the many thoughtful emails I receive, offering support, ideas and information.”

    Have you asked yourself why you are getting heat from people, including scientists? Also, going by your comment it seems that you are misplacing your values and taking your eye off the ball. I thought the end goal here was the betterment and advancement of knowledge and science? Yet, you seem more focused on receiving flattering emails and raising people’s ire by making inflammatory and unsubstantiated remarks and accusations. While McIntyre, Montford and their loyal followers may be sending you emails of support (and they should I suppose, because you are trying awfully hard to advance their ideology and game plan), I’m saddened that you are blind to the costly price (in terms of your ethics, morals, integrity and career)that goes with choosing to be affiliated with Montford et al.

    How many paleo dendrologists (who are actively publishing) have emailed you in support of your comments at RealClimate and here Dr. Curry?

    To my knowledge you have still not presented supporting evidence for the accusations that you made against Tamino, you refuse to acknowledge that the information you parroted on behalf of Montford is incorrect and have still not taken McIntyre to task for his views on teleconnections.

    Yet you seem to expect that people respect and consider your views on AGW/ACC and paleo dendrology, and are perplexed that people are getting frustrated by your actions. I say “views” because, sadly it seems that you have divorced yourself from rational science and become married to ideology and fanciful talk about “tribes” and such.

  191. Dr. Curry @187,

    What honest scientist or intelligent person would link to an interview of Dr. Chu and then selectively cite (cherry-pick) what he said with the intent to misrepresent his message or tribe? You did read the entire interview & reflect before you spoke up, no?

    ~IANVS

  192. Robert P. says:

    JC made essentially the same comment over at RC.
    Here is Gavin’s response. Got to say, one again pretty devastating takedown of JC. She apparently doesn’t understand any of what she is talking about at all! My word, what a monumental meltdown, train wreck, call it whatever you like.

    RC Comment/Repy:

    I just posted this on climateaudit, I thought the RC readers would enjoy this also

    Judith Curry
    Posted Jul 27, 2010 at 2:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    All the heat that I get in the blogosphere is worth it to me because of the many thoughtful emails I receive, offering support, ideas and information. I just received this in via email, referring to an interview with Stephen Chu in the Financial Times, Feb 17, 2010 (registration required): http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a71cf176-1bff-11df-a5e1-00144feab49a.html

    FT: On the climate threat, do you think there is legitimate concern now about the fact that some of the science, even if it’s not flawed, it’s been misrepresented, which has undermined the case in many people’s eyes.

    SC: First, the main findings of IPCC over the years, have they been seriously cast in doubt? No. I think that if one research group didn’t understand some tree ring data and they chose to admit part of that data. In all honesty they should have thrown out the whole data set. But science has a wonderful way of self-correcting on things like that. What the public doesn’t understand is that as you go forward there will be these things and they will self correct. On balance if you look at all the things the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the body of experts convened by the United Nations to advise governments in responding to global warming] has been doing over the last number of years, they were trying very hard to put in all the peer-reviewed serious stuff. I’ve actually always felt that they were taking a somewhat conservative stand on many issues and for justifiable reasons.

    In all honesty, they should have thrown out the whole data set. And here I was trying to be polite . . .

    [Response: So now Stephen Chu is the expert on tree rings? Curious.... He is correct in his main point - science is self-correcting: better data is produced, issues that arise are dealt with, previously unrecognised problems are addressed, and the process moves forward. But who does this correcting and improving? People who are interested in the result and put in the time to see what is going on. Do things improve because every judgement call in every study is assumed to imply corruption and fraud? No. But let's go back to Chu's comment, what group and what tree ring study was he talking about back in February? He is almost certainly referring to the tree ring density record divergence highlighted by Briffa et al (Nature, 1998) post 1960, which you may recall got some press a few months ago. Given that the cause of that divergence is still unclear, and that it doesn't appear to occur earlier, it is not a priori obvious that it should be 'thrown out' (and in my judgement it shouldn't have been as long the caveats were made clear - which they were). But opinions may differ on this, and if you want to 'throw it out', go ahead. You'll note that this has nothing to do with Tamino's post, MBH98 or anything that has been discussed on this thread, including your previous comments. - gavin]

    [Further Response: It's also worth pointing out what Chu says a little later on: "If you look at the climate sceptics, I would have to say honestly, what standard are they being held to? It’s very asymmetric. They get to say anything they want. In the end, the core of science is deeply self checking." - Indeed. - gavin]

  193. Dr. Curry,

    How could a thoughtful review & reflection of Dr.Chu’s entire interview lead a responsible citizen to suggest that tree rings trump his real concerns?

    “Let’s recognise that we’re postponing an inevitability but because of that, we’re falling behind. China is racing ahead, and money is on the sidelines. Money on the sidelines means jobs aren’t being created. So again, in my heart of hearts, this is a non-partisan issue. So let’s get out of the never-never land. The people who are the most uneasy about it, let’s say to them, look we’re sympathetic, we understand that there’s unease. Let’s work through it.” [ibid.]

    ~IANVS

  194. S Basinger says:

    @188 Robert P.

    No, I mean wrestle with. Feel free to feel indignant.

  195. Robert P. says:

    re S. Basinger # 196. OK,I get it now. You are the pig in this analogy! Sorry, I’m slow that way :)

  196. Wit'sEnd says:

    My personal take:

    Controversy is raging in the blogosphere at Climate Progress and other websites, over remarks made by Dr. Judith Curry – a perplexing cipher – as is UK author Fred Pearce. Both are former icons of climate change research and rationality who have inexplicably become apostates – not in the religious connotation, but as former members of a collection of fact-based scientific experts who have veered into absolutely insane repudiations of the observed effects of climate change. Did they just get SO scared by what they see projected that they are wetting their pants?

    Well, in a way I can’t blame them. What is becoming inevitable is terrifying. If formerly intelligent, educated, aware and internationally known experts like Pearce and Curry recant and are capable of morphing into morons, as the evidence of climatecide mounts – what the hell can we expect from Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin? This is a side-show, but definitely NOT encouraging.

    One of my comments at the climateprogress.org discussion:

    Wit’sEnd says:
    July 26, 2010 at 7:42 pm
    Judith Curry says:

    “Stay tuned.”

    Well, I tuned you out when I read the following in the UK Guardian (which at first I mistook for satire from the Onion for the ludicrous assertion that the IPCC is composed of self-appointed oracles, and the sheer pompous condescension towards a far more worthy scientist than you, Dr. Jones):

    “The climate scientist most associated with efforts to reconciling warring factions, Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology, said the idea of IPCC scientists as “self-appointed oracles, enhanced by the Nobel Prize, is now in tatters”. The outside world now sees that “the science of climate is more complex and uncertain than they have been led to believe”.

    Some IPCC scientists are in denial on this issue, she said, arguing that they would like to see the CRU incident as “an irrelevant blip” and to blame their problems on “a monolithic denial machine”, but that won’t wash.”

    Curry exempted from this criticism Phil Jones, CRU director and the man at the centre of the furore. Put through the fire, “Jones seems genuinely repentant, and has been completely open and honest about what has been done and why… speaking with humility about the uncertainty in the data sets,” she said.

    The affair “has pointed out the seamy side of peer review and consensus building in the IPCC assessment reports,” she said. “A host of issues need to be addressed.”

    Judith, you need to take your meds now and retire from public life.

  197. S Basinger says:

    @197 Robert P.

    Apparently misinterpretation is a delicate science.

    Hopefully the person the comment was intended to reach gets the point. As you were, gentlemen.

  198. Robert P. says:

    S. Basinger #198: Yes, from the looks of it, I would say that indeed it has :)

  199. S Basinger says:

    @Robert P.

    I like this website, I just wish most of the commenters were a little more polite to people with different opinions.

    This website is quite bad for this. I haven’t seen many commentary debates with someone with a differing opinion not devolve into “Climate Smackdown 2010″: /bodyslam “In yo’ face, Dr. Curry!” /flex /celebrate

    That being said, I enjoy the articles here.

  200. Robert P. says:

    S Basinger: Personally, I’d prefer that the discussion stay focused on matters of substance, so on that we agree.

  201. Doug Bostrom says:

    This imbroglio has my befuddlement working hard.

    Accepting that Dr. Curry is pursuing a new method of scientific progress, something dropping into the output bin of my puzzlement is an abortive line of reasoning producing only the impression that here we’re seeing the case often described in fiction where a scientist risks all to self-administer a newly formulated concoction. This act is almost invariably accompanied by words to the effect of “They think I’m mad, but I’ll show them all!” In the fictional treatments we know that this is usually a case of extreme hubris preceding a tragic transmogrification.

    The problem is, this is not fiction. Yet given the Chu-snipping procedure as well as some other hints, the result of choking down the untested potion and subsequent novel metamorphosis is beginning to seem all too real, concerning even for people who are naturally sympathetic to bold experimentation and are willing to watch safely from a distance while somebody else conducts a bold experiment with possibly explosive consequences as long as that other person brings the bravery or foolishness required to throw caution to the wind. We’ve got the stated unlikely objective, we have words to the effect of “They laughed but…” We’re short only the “Mu-wah-ha-ha,” theatrical lighting effects, black rubber gloves, Jacob’s Ladder and welding goggles but those are not really appropriate for this drama and anyway my metaphor is about to snap.

    I hope Dr. Curry has an antidote safely to hand. First, because it’s in her interest, second because -another- frequent outcome in fiction of this type is the monster that gets loose and goes on a path of destruction. Blowing up the world is another fond objective of mad scientists. Dr. Curry’s certainly not aiming for that objective but supposing in the confusion of her new and hopefully temporary guise as half-scientist, half-crank she gets confused with her beakers, breathes life into an army of zombie “citizen auditors” mumbling and dithering endlessly over adiabatic global warming and C02 being created by increasing temperatures, destroying any hope of dealing with the climate change problem? Everything’s in place for the grim denouement.

  202. Lou Grinzo says:

    Doug(203): You’re far from the only one whose befuddlement is running at red line over this visible-from-space, flaming, toxic train wreck. (I do metaphors too, ya see…)

    The pattern of comments from Dr. Curry almost reads like a really bad script, which is why so many people seem to be trying to figure out What’s Really Going On, I suppose. I won’t speculate publicly, but Curry’s overall sloppiness, especially this recent cherry picking of Dr. Chu’s comments, is simply jaw dropping. I find it harder and harder to believe that we’re seeing a sincere and accurate expression of her views and communication and thinking skills. The question I keep asking myself is: What would she do if a graduate student of hers behaved that way? Would she approve, or would she grab said student by one ear lobe, drag him or her into the nearest hallway and get medieval on his or her posterior? I would hope it would be the latter, even if it didn’t actually involve any physical contact. But perhaps I’m not sufficiently postnormal to appreciate the delicate nuances of the situation…

  203. Mapleleaf @169:

    What you said!

  204. I have to second Mapleleaf’s observations in #169 that Dr. Curry’s postings look like nothing so much as a (Concern) Troll. The absolute defiance of reason WRT just the Chu interview in FT is astonishing all by itself, but in conjunction with all her other comments both here and at RC over the last few months, it is altogether apalling.

    What makes this so disturbing in my mind is that the kind of refusal to honestly engage reality that one finds in trolls and ideologues is typically — or, at least supposedly — the habit of a lifetime for the individual(s) involved. For it to manifest so aggressively in an individual with a well-established career of high-end research is truly unsettling (again, at least, to me).

  205. adelady says:

    I think I have the solution to all this befuddlement. Having had a quick look at some earlier stuff that JCs been involved in last year or a few months ago, as well as her own recent comments.

    1. She was taking a big run-up at all this tribalism stuff and dived in headfirst with her mates at the Climategate pool. She’s still a bit stunned from that impact.

    2. At the same time she’s preparing the way for the publication of her essay / paper / treatise on this tribalism guff. My feeling is that this venture into a new aspect of academic endeavour is not going as smoothly as she might like. All this dust flying around will be a wonderful screen to hide behind when the paper eventually comes out and is received poorly.

    See! I can do this conspiracy stuff too. (Hoping everyone overlooks the fact that this is a conspiracy involving just one person. Hey ho.)

  206. Lars Karlsson says:

    In comment 129, Curry discusses the “merchants of doubts” argument by Oreskes and Conway (not Collins), and she compares it unfavorably to Ravetz’s argument of extended peer review enabled by the development of the web. The old merchants of doubt like Singer are no longer relevant, she claims. In her eyes McIntyre is a different breed.
    But one of the major tactics used by the merchants of doubt, as documented by Oreskes and Conway, is attacking the integrity of scientists, and even of science as a whole. Claims that scientists cheat, tweak and deceive in order to serve a hidden political agenda or for personal gain has always been a staple in the diet of the denialists. And that definitely hasn’t change – that narrative was the main attraction of the Climategate brouhaha, which have obsessed McIntyre so much. And that is also how they try to frame the hockey stick issue. Why would anybody otherwise be so obsessed with a 12-year old paper?
    These tacticts create a destructive atmosphere where it becomes very difficult to have a constructive extended peer review in the way Ravetz imagines it.

  207. Judith Curry says:

    I would like to suggest that denizens of RC and CP read Peter Gleick’s testimony on scientific integrity. http://www.pacinst.org/publications/testimony/Gleick_Senate_Commerce_2-7-07.pdf

    He voices concerns about the following threats to scientific integrity (see especially the last page): appealing to emotions; making personal (ad hominem) attacks; deliberately mischaracterizing an inconvenient argument; inappropriate generalization; misuse of facts and uncertainties; false appeal to authority; hidden value judgments; selectively leaving out inconvenient measurement results.

    These tactics are common for merchants of doubts. They are relatively uncommon for the watchdog auditors. I suggest that you judge your posts and comments by these standards. Scientists allegedly defending themselves against attacks on their integrity.

    Feynmann describes scientific integrity in his Cargo Cult Science talk:

    “It’s not dishonest; but the thing I’m talking about is not just a matter of not being dishonest, it’s a matter of scientific integrity, which is another level. . . [A]lthough you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind of work. . . The first principle is that you must not fool yourself–and you are the easiest person to fool. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that. I’m talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you are maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen.”

    Individuals conducting science at the policy interface can inadvertently compromise their scientific integrity for what they perceive to be good motives, such as supporting a worthwhile cause or preventing what they believe to be misinformation from being published, included in an assessment report, or featured in the media. Whereas such actions can provide temporary political advantages or bolster the influence of an individual scientist, the only antidote in the long run is to let the scientific process take its course and deal with uncertainty in an open and honest way. When scientists and defenders of the scientists employ the same tactics as the merchants of doubt, they lose the moral high ground (and weaken their stance in political battles that depend on consensus and the judgment of experts).

    The reason the Montford’s book is relevant is that it shows how conflict ensued from overconfidence of the scientists. By incorrectly assuming that this was a merchant of doubt style attack, the scientists retaliated with merchant of doubt style tactics, which inflamed the situation into something that remains volatile to this day, as evidenced by these threads. So I am asking the scientists and the denizens of RC and CP to look in the mirror, evaluate their behavior by the standards of Gleick and Feynmann. And the hockey stick conflict was unavoidable, that is the real lesson of Montford’s book.

    [JR: Judy, I can't think of any words that apply better to you than the ones that you just quoted by Feynmann -- "The first principle is that you must not fool yourself--and you are the easiest person to fool."

    You are drifting farther and farther away from science and closer and closer to self-parody. It is you who have repeatedly attacked the integrity of climate scientists but failed to back up the attacks with any substance. Indeed, as far as I can tell, you only focus on personality, you created the whole "tribal" myth that itself was essentially a smear against scientists -- that they have not been doing science but some corrupt version of it. If you even read CA, you'd see that they fail on every one of Gleick's points -- and by repeating their arguments without adding any scientific underpinning for them, you also fail on every one of his points. You seem painfully unaware of the fact that the Hockey Stick has not only seen multiple exonerations, including by the National Academy of Sciences, an uber-staid organization that hardly ever does that sort of thing -- it has been repeatedly vindicated by subsequent analysis and independent research. The hockey stick conflict was unavoidable only in a world where the media can't differentiate between substantive science (our evolving understanding of the paleoclimate record and the multiple independent lines of evidence that support the hockey stick) and straight out disinformation.

    Your entire comment here is a non-substantive personal attack on the judgment and integrity of your critics -- you have not responded to a single substantive criticism of your work by Gavin or folks here. Indeed, you dismiss the substantive debunking of Montford with a non-substantive (and false) assertion that it was nothing more than "merchant of doubt style tactics." The falsehood of that claim can be seen by the very substantive and quantitative response on RC -- which so eviscerated your defense that you essentially abandoned it. And now, after multiple requests, you still simply refuse to define your terms or provide a single substantive argument in your defense.

    While our entire climate and ecosystem is threatened, you not only can't see the forest for the trees, you can't see the trees for the bark. Since you quoted Gleick, let's see what he really believes on the subject, in the letter 255 members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences signed that he led the charge on.

    I would like to suggest that denizens of Curry-land state whether they agree or disagree with this statement -- and if not, what parts do you disagree with:

    Climate Change and the Integrity of Science

    We are deeply disturbed by the recent escalation of political assaults on scientists in general and on climate scientists in particular. All citizens should understand some basic scientific facts. There is always some uncertainty associated with scientific conclusions; science never absolutely proves anything. When someone says that society should wait until scientists are absolutely certain before taking any action, it is the same as saying society should never take action. For a problem as potentially catastrophic as climate change, taking no action poses a dangerous risk for our planet.

    Scientific conclusions derive from an understanding of basic laws supported by laboratory experiments, observations of nature, and mathematical and computer modeling. Like all human beings, scientists make mistakes, but the scientific process is designed to find and correct them. This process is inherently adversarial—scientists build reputations and gain recognition not only for supporting conventional wisdom, but even more so for demonstrating that the scientific consensus is wrong and that there is a better explanation. That’s what Galileo, Pasteur, Darwin, and Einstein did. But when some conclusions have been thoroughly and deeply tested, questioned, and examined, they gain the status of “well-established theories” and are often spoken of as “facts.”

    For instance, there is compelling scientific evidence that our planet is about 4.5 billion years old (the theory of the origin of Earth), that our universe was born from a single event about 14 billion years ago (the Big Bang theory), and that today’s organisms evolved from ones living in the past (the theory of evolution). Even as these are overwhelmingly accepted by the scientific community, fame still awaits anyone who could show these theories to be wrong. Climate change now falls into this category: There is compelling, comprehensive, and consistent objective evidence that humans are changing the climate in ways that threaten our societies and the ecosystems on which we depend.

    Many recent assaults on climate science and, more disturbingly, on climate scientists by climate change deniers are typically driven by special interests or dogma, not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory that credibly satisfies the evidence. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other scientific assessments of climate change, which involve thousands of scientists producing massive and comprehensive reports, have, quite expectedly and normally, made some mistakes. When errors are pointed out, they are corrected. But there is nothing remotely identified in the recent events that changes the fundamental conclusions about climate change:

    (i) The planet is warming due to increased concentrations of heat-trapping gases in our atmosphere. A snowy winter in Washington does not alter this fact.

    (ii) Most of the increase in the concentration of these gases over the last century is due to human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.

    (iii) Natural causes always play a role in changing Earth’s climate, but are now being overwhelmed by human-induced changes.

    (iv) Warming the planet will cause many other climatic patterns to change at speeds unprecedented in modern times, including increasing rates of sea-level rise and alterations in the hydrologic cycle. Rising concentrations of carbon dioxide are making the oceans more acidic.

    (v) The combination of these complex climate changes threatens coastal communities and cities, our food and water supplies, marine and freshwater ecosystems, forests, high mountain environments, and far more.

    Much more can be, and has been, said by the world’s scientific societies, national academies, and individuals, but these conclusions should be enough to indicate why scientists are concerned about what future generations will face from business-as-usual practices. We urge our policy-makers and the public to move forward immediately to address the causes of climate change, including the un restrained burning of fossil fuels.

    We also call for an end to McCarthy-like threats of criminal prosecution against our colleagues based on innuendo and guilt by association, the harassment of scientists by politicians seeking distractions to avoid taking action, and the outright lies being spread about them. Society has two choices: We can ignore the science and hide our heads in the sand and hope we are lucky, or we can act in the public interest to reduce the threat of global climate change quickly and substantively. The good news is that smart and effective actions are possible. But delay must not be an option.

    Do you agree or disagree with that statement? And if you don't agree, why?]

  208. Lars Karlsson says:

    Of course, the very title of Montford’s book The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science spells out very clearly that it is intended to contribute to the “scientists cheat etc” narrative constructed by the merchants of doubt. Dr. Curry could do well to read Oreskes and Conway.

  209. Mike#22 says:

    adelady, that would explain a lot. Assume JC has been working for a while at developing a system into which would fit the IPCC, Merchants of Doubt, the Paleoclimate guys,etc–and labels these groups as tribes. From this distant perspective, JC evaluates how well these tribes are at doing good science inside their own groups, how their biases are causing them to be prematurely confident of their own work, how they do ritual battle with others. And so on. Having the CRUhacking event happen just recently would be fortunate in terms of data. A perfect opportunity to apply order to an incomprehensible event.

    JC makes a series of comments which are (apparently) completely wrong (out of context) given the places she is making them.

    JC’s apparent equanimity makes sense if (from her perspective) the discussion is more about the behavior of tribes and less about the scientific facts. And if a paper is in the works, what better way to test some concepts than by dropping them into RC?

    Just idle speculation on my part. SOMETHING is perturbing JC’s reason.

  210. mike roddy says:

    Scientists are often the best among us, but can be vey naïve, especially the more prominent ones. Since their own motivation is to learn and illuminate, they can’t understand it when someone like Singer, Michaels, and now Curry abandon that mission.

    We all have a dark side, and sometimes it triumphs, especially when someone like Michaels goes from work that has become tedious to him into a world of 4 star hotels, fawning audiences, and major cash from the coal industry. He is a pitiful excuse for a man- and Curry’s new buddy.

  211. MapleLeaf says:

    Dr. Curry continues to try and bait (and now has misrepresented Gleick and Chu (wonder who emailed her the Gleick link?), while continuing to ignore requests made of her to back up her statements. Not at all professional and scientific on your part Dr. curry…..

    It saddens me to say this but I officially give up trying to reason with and engage Curry because she very clearly is not operating in good faith by– not being prepared to bring some substance to the debate, by refusing to back up her ridiculous assertions with facts or supporting evidence, by misrepresenting Chu and others, by insulting scientists, and last but not least the fact that she is clearly “in bed” with McIntyre et al. while claiming not to take sides, et cetera. Memo to Curry, those are examples of how not to mediate or build bridges Judith, but rather how to instigate and also attack science under the (transparent)guise of concern. Dr. Oreskes must be shaking her head in disbelief and disgust. That reminds me, as others have pointed out it is Oreskes and Conway, not Collins, the smallest slips Judith (in this case one by you) are very telling…..

    I have now tuned you out, there is enough noise in the blogosphere from those in denial right now and we do not need you adding to that and amplifying it.

    Good luck, I fear that you will need much of it if you choose to continue on this destructive path.

    PS: And you might not be aware, but what you are doing here and at RC is “trolling”. Pathetic that someone of your background, stature and education openly trolling on the net. I wonder what your boss thinks about your behavior in the public domain of late?

  212. Doug Bostrom says:

    All jokes aside, I have to agree with Joe. Dr. Curry really is speaking much more like a pundit bent on swaying opinion than a scientist dealing with facts, hence the selective quoting of Chu. Her refusal to acknowledge her mistakes reminds me of pundits as well, George Will coming to mind instantly.

    One thing I will say is that if Dr. Curry spent as much time on places such as RC as she does on CA and were a bit more circumspect about launching her beliefs to be tested against facts, she’d be more credible.

  213. Dr. Curry,

    If you are planning to publish a paper or book about tribalism in science, what better way to foster reader & media attention than to foment controversy with misrepresentations, false claims, and cherry-picked quotes? Perchance, FOX NEWS is looking for a climate science commentator with credentials?

    Please tell us that a few oil wells or trainloads of coal are not worth your hard-earned, well-deserved reputation. Thank you.

    ~IANVS

  214. @209, Dr. Curry, among the threats to scientific integrity you might have added failure to adhere to even ordinary standards of critical thinking and logic. For example, an argumentum ad hominem is NOT a “personal attack”, it is an argument to the person that is either false or irrelevant. Issues regarding your behavior that been raised here, being both true and materially relevant, quite obviously do not qualify as argumentum ad hominem.

    You might also consider the generic Red Herring maneuver, in which misleading and distracting claims are asserted that cannot be justified with facts and serve only to confuse the issues.

    Finally, you might also wonder at basic issues of your own honesty: you wring your hands about the poor, pitiful “watchdogs” who have demonstrably lied, dissembled, and misrepresented facts with complete abandon; you explicitly accuse the IPCC and various scientists of fraudulent behavior; and yet you presume to lecture others about scientific integrity. In what meaningful respect does this differ from bald-faced hypocrisy on your part?

    In comparing your behavior to that of a troll no argumentum ad hominem is being made, but only a simple observation of fact.

  215. MapleLeaf says:

    The unbelievable train wreck continues; just when one thinks it is over or couldn’t get any worse, Curry makes another bizarre comment like this:

    “He voices concerns about the following threats to scientific integrity (see especially the last page): appealing to emotions; making personal (ad hominem) attacks; deliberately mischaracterizing an inconvenient argument; inappropriate generalization; misuse of facts and uncertainties; false appeal to authority; hidden value judgments; selectively leaving out inconvenient measurement results.

    These tactics are common for merchants of doubts. They are relatively uncommon for the watchdog auditors.

    I could have a field day with how incorrect and ludicrous this statement is as it pertains to self-proclaimed “watchdog auditors”. McIntyre et al. are guilty of each one of those actions used by “merchants of doubt”, not just once, but many times. And, unlike Curry, I have above provided a couple of examples in posts above.

    Maybe someone else has the patience to set Curry right on that mammoth faux pas. Maybe Joe could compose a rap sheet to demonstrate to Curry just how many times McI et al. have been guilty of the aforementioned tactics used by those in denial about AGW/ACC. Although at this point it seem futile, as she has clearly turned her back on the truth and facts……

    PS: A long time ago now I thought McIntyre was sincerely trying to be citizen scientist. To my disappointment, it very quickly became clear that his intention was not to advance the science and that his intentions were anything but honorable. Hopefully Curry soon experiences the same moment of truth.

  216. Gary @216,

    Alas, language (d)evolves:

    1: appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect
    2: marked by or being an attack on an opponent’s character rather than by an answer to the contentions made

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ad+hominem

    ~IANVS

  217. barry says:

    Hello, Dr Curry.

    I’m not a regular contributor here or at RC. I have followed the conversation – your posts and the replies.

    I don’t feel any particular animosity towards you or your contribution. As it stands, you seem to be trying to frame the debate instead of having it. Because you don’t concede your own errors (on the sites they appear), or follow through your criticisms with on-point replies to rebuttals, you have just about lost me. It’s very hard to get on board with whatever it is you are trying to do when you side-step so much. From what I can make out, this is not the result you are hoping for.

    Gavin Schmidt has announced his willingness to engage you substantively. Joe Romm has has vowed that he will let you post substantive replies, untrammeled by inline responses, to queries on your take.

    You have declared that you are not interested in going into the details on the issues you have brought up, and indicated that you are merely paraphrasing arguments you remember. Your latter replies are about how to frame the debate and about scientific integrity.

    It is difficult to work out what you want to happen. You wish to criticise scientists claims/work, but not be drawn into a discussion further than your criticisms. Are you simply offering directions hoping that your interlocutors will follow up without you?

    Not being an expert, the most I can do is fact-check, so I researched the confidence levels IPCC gave regarding paleoclimate (per your comments), and on the notion that the recent Mann et al did not produce non tree-ring reconstructions. I found that you were wrong on these counts, as others have above.

    I think you would shed more light, and more directly, if you just got on with the discussion instead of only describing/criticising it. Demonstrate what you want instead of urging others to do it, and I think your comments will quickly gain more traction with readers.

    You could do this right now by selecting a couple of the most-repeated (and simple to verify) rebuttals and answering them head on – you’ll likely know what they are if you’ve been reading the replies.

  218. I am unsure if I’m permitted to post URL’s, but I was thinking more of this link at the Fallacy Files:

    http://www.fallacyfiles.org/adhomine.html

    [JR: URLs are ok.]

  219. BB says:

    Gavin had a pretty good quote over at RC…

    Paleo-reconstructions are not anything special in science – they are simply the result of lots of people trying to see what they can discern of the past through a rather murky lens. Your ‘auditors’ have decided that any judgement call in doing that must be challenged and insinuate continuously that every issue is being fixed for some ulterior motive. This is not a useful challenge to the science, because it undermines the making of any judgement in the analysis whatsoever. The ‘auditors’ do not produce alternatives because they too would have to make decisions about how to proceed which would open them up to their own criticisms. That is what needs to change if they are going to make a contribution. For an example of how that ‘citizen science’ can really work, look at what Ron Broberg and Zeke Hausfeather are doing with the weather station data – they aren’t sitting around declaring that ‘it can’t be done’ or that the GISTEMP/CRU/NCDC methods are fixed, they are going into the data, making choices, seeing what impact they have and determining what is robust. Indeed, that is science without the need for the quotes. Would that there would be more of that.

    Although I do feel that this citizen auditing does have a purpose and a merit (because the corresponding papers, addendums, supplements, etc. have been disemminated following original publishings out of their commentaries– disinforming or not, which have themselves lead to additional information being added to that currently swirling)…I also think that the entire discussion would benefit if there were actually some ‘other’ people out there doing the work of creating proxy reconstructions, to hold them up next to that of Manns if they feel it is so questionable.

    The problem may be that just about all of them who attempt a reconstruction simply get one that more-or-less agrees with the originals.

    But…it would be a sinister thing to deny publication of other such proxies, if attempted, that may disagree with the current understanding of what the reconstructions look like (has this happend?). I don’t think there’s an order from on high that the evolution of reconstruction understanding must necessarily converge on a particular image…it may be possible (even if it hasn’t yet happend), that a different image arise. Even as confidence in one set may be increasing, the book shouldn’t be closed. Let’s see if someone else is willing to take a stab at some of the writing work.

  220. Gary @219,

    While you & any students of law or philosophy amongst us may advocate for the technical or legal usage, most citizens more oftenly, as apparently does Dr. Curry, intend and understand the broader meaning.

    However, your point of “failure to adhere to even ordinary standards of critical thinking and logic” is well-taken, particularly and pecularly in the case & instance of our dear Judith.

    ~IANVS

  221. Doug Bostrom says:

    BB, we do live in a new age and while various anachronisms may make formal publication of results from another type of anachronism– the nonpejoratively-termed dilettante– more difficult, anybody is free to publish what they may online and there are many sites that will instantly put such work in the limelight. There’s lots of lousy analysis being published and widely disseminated, after all. If work of real merit and significance should be published online and then stands up to scrutiny it’s reasonable to postulate that the ideas expressed in such work will inevitably find their way to more formal venues, perhaps with a formally credentialed coauthor as a sponsor of sorts as a nod to convention.

    Gavin points out precedents for output of this less formal publishing path, the fact of his doing so indicates that worthy effort gets attention from formally published scientists, and then he reminds us that no such thing has happened in the case of the specific matter in question. Lots of complaining and speculation, a lot of incoherently expressed quibbles, no real elbow-grease, no results.

    There’s no effective way to “censor” contrary or surprising results.

  222. Robert P. says:

    BB (#220): You are aware (aren’t you?) that there are literally a couple dozen researchers doing work in this area, and that all of the reconstructions that have been done point to the same conclusion, i.e. that the recent warming is definitely unusual as far back as the paleo researchers can go, which seems to be between a thousand years and two thousand years.

    The IPCC report is already out of date, as there are many other reconstructions that have been published since, but worth taking a look:
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch6s6-6.html#6-6-1
    Joe did a nice update here last year,
    http://climateprogress.org/2009/09/03/science-study-hockey-stick-human-caused-arctic-warming-overtakes-natural-cooling/

    You also ought to realize that Mann and colleagues have done a lot more cutting edge research on these topics since their original 12 year old paper. You should look at the paper they published in Science last year that looks at and tries to interpret global temperature patterns of the Medieval Warm Period (they call it “Medieval Climate Anomaly”) and Little Ice Age: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/326/5957/1256

    The research has come a long way over the years, and the main findings of the original work have been confirmed over and over again. Focusing on 12 year old papers may be useful for critics who want to harp on irrelevant technical details, but its not useful in terms of knowing what the current best scientific understanding is.

  223. BB says:

    I have seen these reports, and I agree the reconstructions that have been made/published all seem to point to more-or-less the same conclusions (any sort of auditing questions, helpful or not, notwithstanding).

    I was basically wondering, given a welcoming posture on the part of major climate publications, if there has been anyone that has stepped up to the plate willing to submit an alternative temperature reconstruction, and if it had been published or not (through academic peer review).

    I’m judging from the response that the answer has been ‘no’.

    I’m assuming there still is a willingness on the part of the major climate journals to entertain a proxy reconstruction that challenges the prevailing scientific understanding, rather than rejecting one out-of-hand primarily because it disagrees with the prior body of work.

    Until there is such a reconstruction submitted (and perhaps championed by folks at CA, WUWT, and Icecap), if one is indeed possible, we probably won’t get to see the role of auditer/defender switch.

  224. MapleLeaf says:

    Barry @219,

    Excellent post! Have you considered becoming a diplomat? You have stated what I have tried to do but much more diplomatically and succinctly.

    I hope that Dr. Curry is at least willing to engage you…

  225. Doug Bostrom says:

    Not to knock on BB, but this “auditing” conceit is incredibly grating. As others have pointed out, actual auditors have deep domain-specific skills. The use of the term “auditor” is itself diagnostic of the intellectual gulf between researchers and the assortment of people presuming to be able to assess their work.

  226. Doug @ 226,

    And, unlike Steve McI & co., auditors must abide by industry-accepted standards.

    ~IANVS

  227. 209 [JR's response]:
    “While our entire climate and ecosystem is threatened, you not only can’t see the forest for the trees, you can’t see the trees for the bark.”

    One might add, “And you can’t see the bark for the bite.”

  228. toby says:

    I am utterly gobsmacked at Dr. Judith Curry’s pronouncements on this thread.

    I frequently dip into the self-styled “climate auditor” sites, and they are FULL of ad-hominem abuse, sarcasm, and all the rhetorical tricks of snake-oil salesmen. Dr. Curry must be woefully self-delusional to say these “are not tactics of the climate auditors”. Her reference to “merchants of doubt” is ambiguous. I am totally disgusted – she thinks she is a solution, but she has gone from being a problem to being irrelevant.

  229. robert says:

    BB@220,224…

    It’s not clear to me what you mean by “alternative temperature reconstruction.” As others have pointed out, there are literally dozens of “alternative” reconstructions to Mann’s original. They all show the same thing. If by “alternative”, you mean a reconstruction showing a substantially different result, I would posit that they are absent not because analyses on various data sets aren’t being done, but because no credible analysis has given a different result. As science chugs along, we have achieved a preponderance of evidence that the millenial temperature history is approximately as represented by the myriad hockey sticks — including Mann’s original.

  230. David B. Benson says:

    A ship wreck producing flotsam and jetsam.

  231. The Wonderer says:

    Richard Feynman is rolling over in his grave. Figuratively speaking, of course. Do read the speech.

  232. When I woke up this morning, I thought maybe I had been too hard on Curry, that I had written things that were too harsh. I even thought I should apologize for such harshness.

    Then I read her comment #209.

    So, instead of apologizing, I will say this instead:

    Judith, you are not in any tribe at all, except for a fantasy you have created in your mind.

    You are on your own.

    [snip]

  233. The problem with the Merriam-Webster “definition” is that it does not qualify as a fallacy, merely a name. Accurately raising personal issues that are relevant to the topic at hand qualifies for the M-W definition, yet “by definition” they are also relevant and true, hence not fallacious. The M-W definition is itself a kind of fallacy, an equivocation.

  234. barry says:

    I’m assuming there still is a willingness on the part of the major climate journals to entertain a proxy reconstruction that challenges the prevailing scientific understanding, rather than rejecting one out-of-hand primarily because it disagrees with the prior body of work.

    I thought the rest of your post was fair-minded. Here, though, you posit that journal editors might be inclined to protect scientific conclusions by rejecting work that challenges them. I know of no subject where this is the case, including the matter to hand. McIntyre and McKitrick were published, after all, and their work discussed even in the latest IPCC report. If there is no multi-centennial or millennial reconstruction that is qualitatively different from the ones out there, then either none have been submitted, or any that may have been were rejected because the work – not the conclusions – failed to pass review.

    The journal Energy and Environment is dedicated to publishing work that challenges the mainstream views on climate change, according to it’s chief editor. There are many examples corroborating this inclination.* Perhaps there is something there.

    * You can find such work in the other journals, too, but they have no avowed inclination other than for excellence.

  235. Anonymous says:

    There’s another problem in Curryworld, and her upcoming book:

    “Tribe” is about the worst word to describe a collection of scientists or specialists in a scientific field. They often argue among each other, and relish the day that they can prove their colleagues wrong, especially if the subject is a long established assumption.

    On the other hand, we have actual tribes: Pushtun, Apache, Aztec. The leader is obeyed without question. New rituals, practices, or ideas are discouraged, since cohesiveness is achieved by seeing that members of the tribe continue habits and superstitions handed down from prior generations. Outsiders are viciously attacked for being secretive fantasists, bent on personal gain and destroying the tribe’s solidarity. Modern examples of tribes are Climate Audit and WUWT, led by megalomaniacs who do not tolerate lapses in discipline, and never, ever, admit error themselves.

    Climate Progress or Realclimate? I don’t think so. We often disagree with the leader, who listens and accepts the point or, more often, defends his position. But Joe and Gavin do admit error when it occurs. Not so with Steve and Anthony, because everything they write and say is an error.

  236. homunq says:

    Let’s wait and see what her paper says. It’s clear her blog comments are just that, and not up to scientific standards. It’s regrettable, but she’s backed off enough that we should too.

  237. sHx says:

    @170

    dhogaza says:

    Whoever coined the term “credibility seppuku” nailed it perfectly.

    “That was me, and you’re welcome :) ”

    My google search shows that the phrase has been used from as early as 2005. What gives?

  238. Arthur Smith says:

    BB:

    Until there is such a reconstruction submitted (and perhaps championed by folks at CA, WUWT, and Icecap), if one is indeed possible, we probably won’t get to see the role of auditer/defender switch.

    Aside from the normal scientific work producing dozens of “alternatives”, the question of one championed by CA et al has also already happened – look up Loehle’s reconstruction:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/past-reconstructions/

    Note it was published in “Energy and Environment”, was heavily promoted by denialist folks, and then was found to have a few problems, including as RealClimate noted:
    “the Loehle reconstruction has mistakenly shifted all three of these records forward by 50 years (due to erroneously assuming a 2000 start date for the ‘BP’ time scale).”

    This was admitted to by Loehle and a correction published, which once again showed that late 20th century temperatures are at least as high or higher than any of the last 1000 years.

  239. NeilT says:

    Personally I think this just says it all

    “There is always some uncertainty associated with scientific conclusions; science never absolutely proves anything”

    and

    “Scientific conclusions derive from an understanding of basic laws supported by laboratory experiments, observations of nature, and mathematical and computer modeling.”

    Therefore we have “levels of certainty” and we have “mathematical and computer modeling.” which allow us to generate possible scenario’s of future events. Based upon known laws and direct observations of nature.

    However, to those who have an interest (monetary or otherwise), in defaming good science; these two points are an excellent avenue of attack.

    Misrepresent the certainty levels. Discredit the models. Where are you? In a whole new version of lala land and the more people you can take with you the more influence you have for your own personal hobby horse (or income).

  240. dhogaza says:

    My google search shows that the phrase ["credibility seppuku"] has been used from as early as 2005. What gives?

    Snarky minds work alike? I’ve never heard it before, if someone thought of it before me, why, they must be even cooler than me, no?

  241. Dr. Curry,

    Ask yourself, what would a sober, ever-thoughtful Dr. Feynman say about your cherry-picking?

    ~IANVS

  242. Sorry that I have not yet translated this text, but if you can read Portuguese, this is a must-read interview that Curry gave in Brazil on May 1, 2010.

    It is simply chock-full of misrepresentations of current science that go well beyond what she has been writing here or at RealClimate.

    http://revistaepoca.globo.com/Revista/Epoca/0,,EMI143938-16270,00-JUDITH+CURRY+NAO+TENHO+MEDO+DO+CLIMA.html

    I will try to post a translation soon.

  243. mauri pelto says:

    Tenney: I would find a translation and posting on your blog quite valuable.

  244. Mark says:

    While not perfect, a google translate of Tenney’s reference is certainly illuminating.

  245. MarkB says:

    See Curry’s comment in #187 and Joe’s response. Chu was speaking in very general hypothetical terms (use of the word “if” is an obvious hint) to make the broader point that science is self-correcting, yet Curry puts her own spin on it, or considering it’s from an email she received, is just parroting some spin. This is no different than what a Marc Morano or any political hack would do. See also Doug’s comment in #190.

    It’s difficult at this point to believe Curry is acting in good faith, as many others here have patiently assumed. She has her narrative, and is desperately seeking to fit the facts around that narrative. Certainly not good science.

  246. Robert P. says:

    Here is the translation (via google):

    Judith Curry: “I have no fear of climate”
    American researcher says there is still much uncertainty about global warming
    ALEXANDRE MANSUR
    Hurricanes are the specialty of Judith Curry, head of the School of Earth Sciences and the Atmosphere, the Georgia Institute of Technology, USA. Now she is in the eye of the storm. The confusion began at the end of last year, when Judith was critical to public researchers Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, USA, and Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia in Britain, accused of distorting scientific data, the from e-mails leaked. Jones and Mann were cleared by investigations of universities and the British scientific committee. But Judith says the credibility problem is not over. She does not question that the Earth is heating up. Not that this is caused by human emissions. But claims that are exaggerated doomsday predictions issued by the IPCC, a panel of scientists convened by the UN.

    WHO IS
    Is director of the School of Earth Sciences and the Atmosphere, the Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

    WHAT DID
    Recently published articles critical of climate scientists, members of the IPCC, the UN panel

    SCIENTIFIC ACTIVITY
    It was the board of American Meteorological Society. Edited the Journal of Applied Meteorology. Has worked for NASA, the U.S. space agency

    TIME – You have fear of the consequences of climate change?
    Judith Curry – There are significant risks associated with them. This whole question of what changes are “dangerous” climate has not been adequately evaluated. But personally I am not frightened about it.

    TIMES – Scientists are fulfilling their mission of informing the public?
    Curry – The public’s perception that global warming is a planetary emergency probably had its heyday between 2005 and 2007, with Hurricane Katrina and Al Gore movie. Since then, interest has been falling. The skepticism about climate change now questioning whether the impacts of warming are large or predominantly adverse. And if something can be done to improve the situation. The public debate has deteriorated to attempts to discredit or censor scientists. And what we see are advertisements to influence policy, not to inform the public.

    TIMES – What is the risk that?
    Curry – Many researchers, genuinely concerned about the risks of global warming, myself included, are disappointed by policy decisions to confront the climate challenge. To begin, I believe we must make changes to the IPCC, to restore its credibility. The process needs to be more open. You must select the best authors and reviewers. A team of inspectors to oversee the process and investigate complaints. Before the email leak, we must change the way to evaluate the uncertainties. Often, in the IPCC reports, a mere trial of a specialist replaced the rigorous scientific analysis of the uncertainty of the data. We are talking about bias in the time to adjust the temperature data to compensate for the effect of heat urban (urban growth, with the concentration of cement and asphalt, artificially raises the temperature in the region). Or fill in areas of the world where no data are available.

    TIMES – What we do not know about climate change?
    Curry – There are still many uncertainties. They are associated with the temperature records in the past. And also the climate models that researchers run the computer to simulate the behavior of the atmosphere and making estimates for the future.

    SEASON – Does Science can already establish the degree of seriousness of the climate crisis?
    Curry – No one knows for sure how much of the warming occurred in the second half of the twentieth century can be attributed to human action. And yet the projections are accurate to the warming predicted for this century.

    TIME – We expect that these uncertainties are reduced or eliminated before we take actions to avoid the worst consequences of climate change?
    Curry – It’s not what I’m suggesting. The uncertainties can not be eliminated. We make decisions all the time in the face of uncertain situations. But the degree of imprecision in the estimates must be taken into account in decision making. The chances of the tragic consequences of global warming are at least as high as those that had weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. In the end, they did not exist, but we went to war anyway. We have a history of deciding to act to prevent bad things even when the probability is low.

    “No one knows how much warming occurred in the second half
    twentieth century can be attributed to human action ”

    TIME – How to discern the legitimate skeptics of industry lobbyists who just wish to add to the confusion?
    Curry – The key issue revolves around data and scientific models. The true skeptic will argue and debate from that in scientific journals or blogs technicians.

    TIME – You see any lobbying campaign of the fossil fuel industry to increase the confusion?
    Curry – This also exists. But I see as an important factor in the general skepticism about climate change. Most people who write against the use of emissions control political or economic arguments. They do not care about science. Neither one could call them skeptics. There are other skeptics with scientific training. But few receive any money from oil or coal. Entities such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute are concerned about policies that affect U.S. competitiveness and our economy. So spend time and money by organizing conferences and demanding information from climate researchers.

    TIME – How do you see the controversy generated by the emails that leaked at the University of East Anglia?
    Curry – The e-mail feed concerns about the methods used to construct a historical sequence of temperatures on Earth’s surface over the past 1000 years. It’s called “hockey stick” (which shows a long period of cooler temperatures and a sharp rise in recent years, as the tip of the bat). Moreover, the e-mails raise questions about the behavior of scientists in relation to the peer review process of each study, before it is published in scientific journals. And perhaps there is even violations of the Freedom of Information Act (or FOA, the acronym in English law that gives citizens the right to demand access to official data confidential).

    SEASON – The messages exchanged by Michael Mann and Phil Jones show any signs of inappropriate behavior?
    Curry – There are several investigations to assess this. From what I know, the answer would be yes.

    SEASON – The British survey of the scientific committee and the University of Pennsylvania acquitted Mann and Jones.
    Curry – I agree with the conclusion of investigations that there is no scientific evidence of wrong conduct. I saw no sign of plagiarism or falsification of data in the work of scientists. Do not store all data, select them arbitrarily and use statistical methods inappropriate conduct did not constitute error. But it also does not inspire confidence in the product search. The behavior of these scientists dismiss criticism and show how little transparency, delayed the lifting of the temperature data they used. But I think it’s time to stop focusing on individual behavior and begin to reassess the entire process of the IPCC scientific assessment.

    TIMES – What needs to change in the IPCC?
    Curry – He needs to be more open to different opinions and to external verification. There is a race to publish articles in scientific journals just before the closing of the IPCC. Clearly, scientists want their work to be included. There is a perception that the best way to include your job is to support the basic narrative of the IPCC. And the IPCC scientists try to discredit researchers who publish articles with opposing views. Moreover, to remain relevant, the IPCC can no longer be limited to summarizing the scientific literature every five years. He needs to open the range of scientific views on global warming and policy options for tackling it.

  247. Tenny @243,

    South of the border? Maybe she can hook up with Jimmy Swaggart down there & repent & beg forgiveness?

    ~IANVS

  248. Doug Bostrom says:

    That interview is a recitation, not the academic kind either.

    Amazing how machine translation has progressed, I have to say. There are some glitches there but on the whole amazingly good.

  249. Curry, Act III:

    “At the request of the many emails I’m getting, here is one more salvo about trying to remind people of science should be done and how arguments should be conducted, and how disagreements can be resolved, and conflicts avoided.”

    Judith Curry says: 29 July 2010 at 9:35 AM [RealClimate]

    “I am trying something new, a blogospheric experiment, if you will. I have been a fairly active participant in the blogosphere since 2006, and recently posted two essays on climategate, one at climateaudit.org and the other at climateprogress.org. Both essays were subsequently picked up by other blogs, and the diversity of opinions expressed at the different blogs was quite interesting. Hence I am distributing this essay to a number of different blogs simultaneously with the hope of demonstrating the collective power of the blogosphere to generate ideas and debate them. I look forward to a stimulating discussion on this important topic.”

    On the Credibility of Climate Research, Part II: Towards Rebuilding Trust

    ~IANVS

  250. Dibble says:

    “The messages exchanged by Michael Mann and Phil Jones show any signs of inappropriate behavior?
    Curry – There are several investigations to assess this. From what I know, the answer would be yes.”

    Several investigations have now concluded that there was NO inappropriate behaviour on the part of Jones and Mann.

    What you should do now is publicly, unreservedly, apologise to Mann and Jones and cease forthwith from persisting in casting vague aspersions on their work and character.

    Should you have any futher specific grievences at least have the courage to specify what exactly they are and give them the chance to reply.

    …or as Gavin succinctly put it ” S*** or get off the pot”.

  251. TrueSceptic says:

    243 Tenney,

    Could you put the URL into translate.google.com and tell us if there’s too much wrong (apart from the obvious things like it/him)?

  252. TrueSceptic says:

    254 me,

    Please ignore.

  253. sod says:

    the interview is absolutely horrible.

    There are other skeptics with scientific training. But few receive any money from oil or coal. Entities such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute are concerned about policies that affect U.S. competitiveness and our economy. So spend time and money by organizing conferences and demanding information from climate researchers.

    Judith is seriously confused on denialist think tanks.

    the AEI does receive funds from oil. and it was part of the tobacco bobby.

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=American_Enterprise_Institute

  254. TrueSceptic, I did the whole thing manually and posted it.

    But I was surprised at how well google translator works. Not too shabby.

    But you wouldn’t want to use it for legal documents and the like.

  255. sod says:

    thanks for that work, Tenney!

  256. Marion Delgado says:

    Hank and MapleLeaf, can I say that I’ve been pointing this out more than anyone else I’ve seen on the Internets, and for longer? That the fundamental problem our particular turf faces is people who really think markets are a cross between God and a supercomputer, despite all the evidence, and who think that there really is only one metric in any human endeavor, namely, ROI.

    I’ve said in increasingly shrill tones that they’re our opposition the way fearful fundamentalists are the opposition in the case of evolution.

    Put another way, I’ve taken Hayek et al. at their word ever since I first read them decades ago, probably the most profitable reading I’ve done.

    A corollary most people don’t like is that people like Michael Specter, Michael Shermer, et al. are at best grudging allies in the details of how you work out amelioration. Their loyalty is to the same set of dogmas that animate the climate denialist network. In the case of Penn Jilette and a few others, OPENLY. It’s great when they grudgingly admit the science – and it usually takes quite a while – but they’re basically going to hamstring you whenever they can with chains of Austrian or supply-side or simply magical market thought and be such bastards that eventually everyone else will give way and give in to watered down and inefficient measures because they’re perpetual defectors in the prisoner’s dilemmas of life.

  257. Prokaryotes says:

    Though there are other viable hydrospheric engineering mechanism “Hydro-E” for that matter, which could be adopted. Like creating corals and preserve them, pumping oxygen into the ocean or plant specific algae, to fight ocean anoxia – oxygen depletion and ocean acidification.

  258. More than glad to be of help!

  259. Marion nails it, at #259 above.

    The basic driver behind climate science denial is, I am pretty sure, a belief in the god-like power of unfettered markets to solve everything. This is a powerful motive to discredit anything which might encourage an attempt to regulate or constrain industry, and it doesn’t take much of a motive to get people to latch onto any excuse.

    The speculations about people doing this to get on a big oil payroll or whatever are invariably pretty worthless. Sure, there’s money being funneled into climate science denial — and that may be a nice touch for some but I think the number of people who turn to climate science denial as a way to get the cash is negligible.

    But Judith Curry is … different.

    It will be interesting to watch where Dr Curry goes from here. She’s not a climate skeptic in the usual sense of the word and I’ll be really surprised if she becomes one. [snip] The climate science denial folks will not find her comfortable company. Selective examination of her implosion over at realclimate is being used and will continue to be used to paint the scientists as bad intolerant people — without any consideration of how Judith’s own rhetoric is so insulting and unjust with smarmy insinuations about integrity backed up by nothing. And certainly with no consideration her various substantive claims tossed out, refuted and then ignored.

    Sometime I suspect Dr Curry is actually going to turn her attention back to statements by those in denial of basic climate science which she DOES know enough to see as nonsense. And she might ever go so far as to be explicit about one of the leading denialists being in error — and that will be interesting to watch.

    She’s been specific in names of working scientists in fields paleoclimate where she does not have the background to avoid all kinds of basic errors in her criticisms. That worked very badly for her — rightly so.

    When and if she gets specific in names with criticisms in the other direction she’s going to find herself on firmer ground, but with no less criticism; though this time from people much more clueless.

  260. Jim says:

    What’s up at RC? Not another hack attack, hopefully…

  261. TrueSceptic says:

    257 Tenney,

    Thanks, and thanks for the translation (I failed to refresh this page before posting so I didn’t see Robert P’s comment either).

    Good to know that Google Translate is OK.