Dueling Climate Narratives

Posted by: Keith Kloor  :  Category: Judith Curry, climate science

The symmetry of Gavin Schmidt and Judith Curry posting similar themed essays on the same day is too good to pass up. I found both posts fascinating and suggest that people read the pieces back to back. Then read them again.

Let’s start with the tags each chose for their posts, which, to me, signifies the message that Schmidt and Curry are trying to convey, in their respective essays. Tags, just to remind everyone, are a way of categorizing blog posts. Gavin chose “climate science” as his tag, which seems fitting, since his post argues that climate science takes a backseat to the primacy of narrative in journalism. Gavin’s secondary critique is aimed at certain scientists, such as Judith Curry, who have embraced the “heretic” badge, which he thinks is a convenient piece of armor she wears to deflect legitimate criticism thrown her way. More on Gavin’s essay in a minute.

Judith Curry’s tag is “ethics,” which is also fitting, for she is once again indicting the behavior of climate scientists-and in my reading, not just for the antics displayed in the hacked CRU emails or backroom IPCC deliberations, but also, broadly speaking, for “the silence of my colleagues, and more important from the institutions that support science.”

Judith then refers to her own renegade role, which took shape nearly a year ago:

I began trying to provide some constructive suggestions for the community to rebuild trust through greater transparency and greater attention to uncertainties. Not only did I receive virtually no support from my colleagues, but they started to view me as part of the problem.

Schmidt, as he writes in his post, isn’t buying this storyline (my emphasis):

Unfortunately, the narrative of the heretic is self-reinforcing. Once a scientist starts to perceive criticism as an attack on their values/ideas rather than embracing it in order to improve (or abandon) an approach, it is far more likely that they will in fact escalate the personalisation of the debate, leading to still further criticism of their conduct, which will be interpreted as a further attack on their values etc. This generally leads to increasing frustration and marginalisation, combined quite often with increasing media attention, at least temporarily. It very rarely leads to any improvement in public understanding.

Now I’m not going to make a judgment either way, but I did bold the above because I want to point out that the same has been said of Schmidt and some of his colleagues for the way they reacted to criticism directed at them in the months after “climategate.” So regardless of whether Curry is a true heretic or not (I’ve argued she is really an apostate), I think the “self-reinforcing” victimhood (which leads to “personalization of the debate”) cuts both ways.

Curry and Schmidt also make some broad generalizations in their essays that deserve attention. Gavin, for example, writes:

The fact remains that science is hugely open to new thinking and new approaches.

Practically speaking, this is true, as researchers publish papers all the time that challenge existing theories and tenets. But paradigm shifts don’t happen overnight, and sometimes that’s because scientists tend to construct their own narratives that are hard to let go of. For example, it’s only been in the last decade that a dominant anthropological narrative of the prehistoric Southwest has been overturned. So the fact remains that scientists have their own biases, which sometimes inhibits them from being “hugely open to new thinking and new approaches.”

Curry, for her part, uses some pretty loaded language to fire away at the IPCC and unnamed scientists:

When I refer to the IPCC dogma, it is the religious importance that the IPCC holds for this cadre of scientists; they will tolerate no dissent, and seek to trample and discredit anyone who challenges the IPCC.

Is that true? There would be no way of knowing unless others spoke up. Fortunately, Eric Steig, one such IPPC critic, does:

Many of your readers will no doubt ignore this because of my association with RC, but my personal experience as a relatively young person in this game just doesn’t jive with what you are saying. I was highly critical of IPCC AR4 Chapter 6, so much so that the Heartland Institute repeatedly quotes me as evidence that the IPCC is flawed. Indeed, I have been unable to find any other review as critical as mine. I know — because they told me — that my reviews annoyed many of my colleagues, including some of my RC colleagues, but I have felt no pressure or backlash whatsover from it. Indeed, one of the Chapter 6 lead authors said “Eric, your criticism was really harsh, but helpful — thank you!”

So who are these brilliant young scientists whose careers have been destroyed by the supposed tyranny of the IPCC? Examples?

The overall tone and thrust of Curry’s post also prompted the mild-mannered Bart Verheggen to object:

These are harsh words/accusations that need strong evidence to back them up, which is severely lacking IMO. This kind of baseless accusatory framing is also the main reason that you get a lot of flack. It increases, rather than decreases the polarization, and it starts to overshadow those issues where you do make valid points.

Both Gavin’s and Judith’s essays, in the end, are making an argument for why climate science is not treated with more respect. To Gavin, it’s because journalists “favor compelling narratives over substance.” To Judith, it’s because “the integrity of climate science” has been called into question. One blames the messenger, the other blames pretty much the whole climate science community.

Each of them, it would seem, have no cause to examine whether their own actions or words deserve any blame.

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223 Responses to “Dueling Climate Narratives”

  1. Roddy Campbell Says:

    A casual comment would be that both are a tad self-righteous?

  2. Judith Curry Says:

    Well, on the Gavin Schmidt side the concern is narrative and communication.
     
    The combined message last nite at Purdue from Curry, Revkin, and Pielke were  scientific integrity, public accountability, and robust policies.
     
    Two very different messages, and concerns.

  3. Hector M. Says:

    The bolded passages in Gavin Schmidt’s text apply squarely to his persistent mode of treatment of ‘dissenters’ in RC. In fact, he scarcely gives ‘dissenters’ (or mere ‘doubters’) a chance to squeeze their point at RC: most even mildly doubting or dissenting voices are moderated  away, and those that get commented upon are regularly treated harshly and (most often)  find themselves the object of ad-hominem remarks. Judith Curry, on the other hand, is quite good mannered, and mostly addresses ideas and practices, not personalities, though she has also concerns about the integrity of science, which easily leads to concern about the integrity of scientists.

  4. Bart Verheggen Says:

    Judith,

    Calling into question the integrity of pretty much a whole scientific field, without any evidence to back that up, is not a way to build bridges. Rather, you’re burning them.

    I was sympathetic to you attempts at building bridges, and see a lot of truth in your characterization of “circling the wagons”, which Keith also aludes to in applying Gavin’s bold faced words both ways (indeed people on both sides have gotten a tad too defensive and suffer from victimizing their own role).
    But what you wrote in your last piece … (I have to count to ten first).
    Very unhelpful to having a constructive dialogue. (euphemism)

  5. Keith Kloor Says:

    Judith,

    You’ve got quite a busy thread going over there on your post and I know you’ve been away, so it’s possible you haven’t gotten around to responding to Bart yet. But either over here or at your place, I sure would like to see your response what to what he says.

  6. Keith Kloor Says:

    RPJ has an overview of the Purdue panel session that Judith mentioned.

  7. BobN Says:

    Interesting that you bolded that one section of text Keith.  I had nearly the exact same reaction as you, but it rather made me think of Michael Mann more than Gavin.  Overall, I thought Gavin’s post was very reasonable without saying too much that is new.  In many ways, Judy’s post (which I think might have been her speech at Purdue)  hit a lot of nails right on the head, particularly about climate dogmatism.  The one thing I am not so sure about is ascribing motives, such as the desire for more and more funding.  It seems that some or even many of the dogmatists are motivated by something other than money or funding.  Hansen, for example, seems to truly believe 100% in impending catastrophe and, to me, seems motivated by a sincere, if somewhat misguided, need to save mankind.  Mann, from his actions and recent interview to me appears to be motivated by pride/arrogance and need to proof his correctness.  

  8. Mike Says:

    Dr. Curry also wrote this: 
    The scientists provided the initial impulse for this feedback loop back in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  The enviro advocacy groups quickly saw the possibilities and ran with it, with the scientists’ blessing.   The enviro advocacy groups  saw the climate change issue as an opportunity to enlist scientific support for their preferred energy policy solution. Libertarian think tanks, the traditional foes of the enviro advocacy groups, began countering with doubts about the science.  International efforts to deal with the climate change problem were launched in 1992 with the UNFCCC treaty.

    Compare JC’s narrative with a simpler one, which goes something like:

    In the 1980s and early 90s, people (scientists, environmentalists, politicians (including Bush and Thatcher) etc) concerned by the threat CO2 (from fossil fuels) poses to the future of the planet, organized an international effort to learn more about the problem.  So far so good.  Then the wealthiest corporations in the world (fossil fuels again) started pushing back, because a main consequence of restricting CO2 would be to put the fossil fuel under sales regulations.

    Which narrative is more useful?

  9. Judith Curry Says:

    Bart, I am taking a very wide view of the community to build bridges with, well beyond the personalities of the climate blogosphere.  Is everything ever going to be copacetic between everybody?  Of course not.  When I think about building bridges, frankly RC doesn’t score too high on my list in terms of whom I think it is of fundamental importance to build bridges with, and my low likelihood of succeeding in any event.  I can only build a bridge, and say I will meet anyone half way and have a dialogue.  Given all the animosity that has existed for decades, it is a major step that right now people from both sides of the debate can discuss such issues at c-a-s and Climate Etc.

  10. PDA Says:

    Dr. Curry, how did you read “calling into question the integrity of pretty much a whole scientific field, without any evidence to back that up, is not a way to build bridges” and think Bart was talking about Gavin Schmidt?

  11. Judith Curry Says:

    Well this thread is about what Gavin Schmidt posted wrote on a blog versus what I wrote on a blog.  So that is how RC got included in my comment, the point of this thread seems to be that there is a great chasm between my view and Gavin’s view.
     
    The general failure of the climate community (collectively and individually) to reflect very much on the events of the past year (other than the mandated investigations) is a deep failing that could cost the community (myself included) dearly.  And the specter of investigations into this situation (not just the emails, but more broadly) in the U.S. with the new Republican congress clearly has at least Mann worried, as per his WaPo editorial.

  12. PDA Says:

    Okay. Apparently Bart’s question doesn’t get an answer.

    Rather than assume that the second paragraph of your post as your explanation for why you threw the climate science community under the bus, I’ll ask you to clarify. If the reason you wrote the post was not to ingratiate yourself with the new Republican majority, what is the relevance of that paragraph to Bart’s question, Keith’s post, or the price of tea in China?

  13. Pascvaks Says:

    “Ask not for whom the bell tolls…”

    Apple (Curry) said a lot about X, and bits and pieces were extracted and mentioned here.
    Orange (Schmidt) said a lot about Y, and bits and pieces were extracted and mentioned here.
    Apples are NOT Oranges, nor are Oranges Apples.  “X” is NOT “Y”, nor is “Y” “X”.  There and there is NOT here.  Much is lost in the move from those venues to this venue.

    Weather is NOT Climate.  Curry is NOT Schmidt.  Nor is Versa Vicea!
    NEXT…!
     

  14. BobN Says:

    Bart and PDA - It doesn’t seem to me that Judy is throwing the entire climate science community under the bus, but rather is noting that a very small subset of that community has taken over the debate.

  15. RB Says:

    I’ve alluded to the divergence between Easterbrook and Judy Curry here.  While Judy Curry lambasts the IPCC for false certainty, I’ve pointed to Judy Curry’s apparent false uncertainty here.
    The problem with Judy Curry’s style of engagement appears to be one of appeasement where all of the skeptic arguments to date are aggregated without question.
     
     

  16. lucia Says:

    BobN…
    is noting that a very small subset of that community has taken over the debate.
    My reading is the same as yours.
     
    Also, I think Gavin narrative would have you believe everyone is criticizing Judy. In reality, it seems to be that most of the criticism is from RC and the  “furry group of climate blogs”. So, basically, “RC and Friends of RC”.
    Of course, I haven’t interviewed everyone in climate science, but I haven’t run across evidence to  suggest that all of climate science is criticizing her.

    I’m amused by the amount of narrative in Gavin’s post.

    The meticulous scientists collaborating with his team to pick just the right word makes a great story.  It sounds so much more  better than the story of a collaborative team of  scientists who exchange emails to identify just the right method to hide the decline.

    His mockery of Svensemark going “out of his way to mention” that he works on weekends  provides a contrast to those IPCC affiliated authors whose personalities differ so much from Svensemark but who,  somehow, from time to time, mentioned they have done work on weekends. (And conveniently, this provides one of the theories  why they don’t have to provide certain documents to the public. )

    Having grown up Roman Catholic, I’m especially amused by Gavin’s somewhat an-historical notion that “True heresy is actually very lonely.” Gavin must not be familiar with the history of the Catholic church dealing with various heretical believes with thousands of adherents. Examples beginning with A: Arian Heresy, Albigensian Heresy ( You can read of the military campaign to wipe out all those lonely Cathars at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albigensian_Crusade).  But those are just the “A” heresies. We could continue to Z, listing any  number of other heresies that were anything but “lonely”.
    Gavin’s inaccuracies do make for a narrative that sounds more compelling that otherwise would be  possible. But their inclusion  will make some readers rather dubious that the story was written by accuracy craving scientists who feels especially constrained by sticking to proven facts.

  17. Judith Curry Says:

    Bart, there is something seriously wrong with the SYSTEM, which is what my post is about.  Making Mann the whipping boy or blaming his woes on the denial machine completely misses the big picture, which is my point.  Until we can start understanding some of these broader issues in play, we aren’t going to get anywhere, and we could be dooming the climate community into irrelevance or worse, with climate science hurt in terms of its funding and credibility.

  18. Bart Verheggen Says:

    Judith,

    Then why don’t you talk about what is wrong with the system (and how to improve it) rather than accusing the people working within that system of lack of integrity, bias, misconduct and all that? 

    Your unfounded allegations are insulting for the whole profession. It increases the polarisation and doesn’t add to the building of bridges (perhaps a one-way bridge).

    And I’m saying this as someone who, on the pro-AGW bloggers side, was probably one of the most receptive to your ideas. I am anti-dogmatic, pride myself in having integrity and I take great issue your painting a whole scientific field, at the edge of which I also work, as quasi religious dogma.

  19. Tom C Says:

    Gavin says
    The fact remains that science is hugely open to new thinking and new approaches.

    Anyone working in science for a few years or so knows that this is hogwash.  The “consensus” has tremendous power and inertia.  Think continental drift, stomach ulcers, Vitamin D and sun exposure, etc.

    Regarding Eric Steig’s comment, all the IPCC critics are well-established scientists who don’t worry about reputation or funding anymore.  There are no brilliant young scientists speaking out because they know that to do so would be career suicide.  There will, however, be a tipping point someday.

  20. Judith Curry goes from building bridges to burning them « My view on climate change Says:

    [...] bridges, and see a lot of truth in her criticism of circling the wagons. Keith Kloor, in an interesting post contrasting Judith’s post with Gavin’s at RC, aluded to an over-defensive reaction to criticism [...]

  21. Bart Verheggen Says:

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/11/05/judith-curry-building-bridges-burning-bridges/

  22. Judith Curry Says:

    Bart, exactly who is it that you think I have accused of something?  I named no names.  If the shoe fits, and all that.
     
    And exactly what is it that you think I have been trying to do for the past year?  I have been talking about increasing transparency, engaging with skeptics, rebuilding trust, establishing extended peer communities in the blogosphere, reforming IPCC, improved treatment of uncertainty, conflicts of interest, etc.  All of which has pretty much fallen on deaf ears, although there have been some minor advances in increasing transparency and acknowledging the uncertainty issue.

  23. Judith Curry Says:

    Also, I define building bridges as much more broadly than you do, you seem to think i should be focusing my bridge building on the RC branch of the community.  Well I am more concerned about the broader scientific community (climate science and other sciences), advocacy groups on both sides, the broad range of skeptics, journalists across the spectrum, extended peer communities in the blogosphere, etc.   A few climate scientists who have their knickers in a knot over what I am saying, well I’m not losing sleep, especially since none of them have tried to meet me half way.

  24. PDA Says:

    Dr. Curry, how did you read “Your unfounded allegations are insulting for the whole profession” and think Bart was talking about Gavin Schmidt?
    This is the second time you’ve responded to a direct question about “the whole profession” by making reference to “the RC branch of the community.” Why do you do that?

  25. Bart Verheggen Says:

    “exactly who is it that you think I have accused of something?”

    Directly, only the IPCC powerhouses.
    Indirectly, a whole scientific field.

    You’re trying to detach the IPCC from the wider scientific field by claiming it’s just a dogmatic organisation that from the beginning was just working towards ‘proving’ a preconceived notion. Those who regard the IPCC reports as a fair reflection of climate science will feel that your ciriticms goes much further than just those few persons you have in mind. Nevermind the hyperbole in your writing (high priests of the IPCC for crying out loud!) that sets people off.

  26. AMac Says:

    Here’s an example of Gavin practicing what he preaches:  in a number of recent threads at the skeptic blog the Air Vent, he has engaged very constructively with Anastassia Makarieva on her novel ideas on the role of condensation as a water-saturated column of air rises and adiabatically expands.

    Similar praise, not in order for this earlier C-a-s thread on Mann et al (2008, PNAS)’s use of varved lakebed sediments.

    So it isn’t a black-or-white situation; presumably not for any of the major players here.  More nuance, please.

  27. Simon Hopkinson Says:

    It’s interesting to note who are trying to really push the idea that Judith has her teeth around the throat of all climate sciences. One really does have to wonder what is causing this very selective reading of Curry’s post by a group with such specific interests. Such a reading, to the rest of us, seems not only widely off-base but patently deliberate.
     
    Perhaps the reason is simple, and merely adds weight to the “apostate” idea. It does indeed look like the drive to ex-communicate Curry is irresistible. I suppose Judith turned Bart into a newt at some point?
     
    No, Bart, I’m not saying you’re a newt. I’m sure you got better.

  28. Keith Kloor Says:

    AMac:

    I take your point and did indeed notice that exchange.

    But I was addressing his current post, which also rings similar to previous criticisms made at RC (with respect to the media).

    I should also note that some of my colleagues (in the RC comment thread) find the post to be thought provoking in a constructive manner-as do I.

    I think his snark-free tone, as well as his argument, has something to do with that.

  29. Steven Sullivan Says:

    JC:
    “The general failure of the climate community (collectively and individually) to reflect very much on the events of the past year (other than the mandated investigations) is a deep failing that could cost the community (myself included) dearly.  And the specter of investigations into this situation (not just the emails, but more broadly) in the U.S. with the new Republican congress clearly has at least Mann worried, as per his WaPo editorial.”
     
    The only failure of the sclimate science community I’m seeing is a failure to condemn your increasingly wild rhetoric.
     
    Regarding your own prospects, I wouldn’t worry too much.  As you said yourself to Discovery,  responding to the question “Are you taking a career risk?”:

    “A couple of people think so, but I’m senior enough and well-established enough that it doesn’t matter. I also live in Georgia, which is a hotbed of skeptics. The things I’m saying play well in Georgia. They don’t play very well with a lot of my colleagues in the climate field.”
     
    Besides,  being the denialsphere’s favorite climate scientist  (whether you intended to be or not)  will surely keep you well padded with  private funding and speaking fees,  should the whole mainstream science funding thing stop working for you.

  30. Keith Kloor Says:

    Simon (27):

    I wrote this post, in part, because it appeared to me that Judith was painting with a broad brush. In the past year, I’ve always taken Judith’s criticisms to be directed at a subset of the climate science community (which happened to have a pretty public profile).

    In her current post, as Bart keeps saying, Judith seems to be going farther and indicting the entire field of climate science, for essentially remaining silent post-climategate about the issues she’s been raising (transparency, groupthink, uncertainty stuff, etc).

    She also made a claim about a “cadre” of scientists trampling anyone who was too critical of the IPCC. Eric Steig made a compelling rejoinder that I’m not sure she’s answered yet.

  31. sharper00 Says:

    @Simon Hopkinson
    <i>”It’s interesting to note who are trying to really push the idea that Judith has her teeth around the throat of all climate sciences. One really does have to wonder what is causing this very selective reading of Curry’s post by a group with such specific interests. Such a reading, to the rest of us, seems not only widely off-base but patently deliberate.”</i>
    From reading Dr Curry’s blog generally and the post in question I’ve seen people regularly ask her to be more specific about what she means and to whom she’s addressing it. There’s a discussion about the naming of names in the post and she commented declining to do so.

    It seems to be that one side are people who don’t know how to apply her criticisms without indicting the IPCC or climate science generally because the accusations are so wide ranging and vague.

    On the other side are the “wink wink nudge nudge” people who “know” whom she means and apply her criticisms to those individuals specifically.

    On that point that appears to be Dr Curry’s point generally - her statement and criticisms are almost always vague enough to accept a very wide range of skeptical opinion (everyone from “it’s all a hoax!!” to “but what about the quality of the data?”). I have a very strong feeling that for any 10 readers they walk away with 10 different impressions of what was said because they simply project their own biases onto the argument.

    This strikes me more as a strategy for garnering attention than communicating.

  32. laursaurus Says:

    It seems to be that one side are people who don’t know how to apply her criticisms without indicting the IPCC or climate science generally because the accusations are so wide ranging and vague.

    This is a very good observation. I can think of countless real-life examples when someone addresses an entire group of people with their concerns rather than confronting the individual for whom the message is intended. This is an ineffective manner of communication, because the rest often become defensive and naturally assume this message is meant for them.

    As much as it pains me to say, Gavin’s twist on her metaphor, “a bridge to nowhere” could be somewhat accurate. It’s human nature to take criticism personally and lash out when there is the perception that your ego is under attack. Since Judy is obviously brave enough to speak her mind no matter how unpopular her opinion is, why not be more direct or specific with her critisms to hopefully clear up some misunderstandings? It doesn’t seem possible that things could be worse.

  33. Lazar Says:

    Judith Curry,
    Where Bart Verheggen writes…
    “accusing the people working within that system of lack of integrity, bias, misconduct and all that”
    You respond…
    “exactly who is it that you think I have accused of something? I named no names.”
    The stt “accusing the people working within that system”, as it refers to the category “people working within”, is not contradicted by “I named no names”. Did you accuse the people working within that system?
    Yes you did.
    “When I refer to the IPCC dogma, it is the religious importance that the IPCC holds for this cadre of scientists; they will tolerate no dissent, and seek to trample and discredit anyone who challenges the IPCC.”
    … and that hyperbolic unconditional, in light of Eric Steig’s so far ignored attempt at engagement, needs some serious attention.

  34. Jonathan Gilligan Says:

    According to Curry, the IPCC is corrupt because its members can get more funding if they claim excessive certainty about climate change.

    In contrast, eight years ago, Pielke and Sarewitz criticized the climate science community for tolerating exaggerations about the uncertainty because that would bring more funding: “The situation persists not only because the current research-based approach supports those happy with the present political gridlock, but more uncomfortably, because the primary beneficiaries of this situation include scientists themselves.” According to P&S, if the climate scientists clearly convinced the politicians that there was sufficient certainty to take action, funding would move away from pure science to research on clean energy and vulnerability analysis. But so long as the scientists go along with the charade that there is too much uncertainty to act, the politicians will generously fund research to reduce the uncertainty as an excuse for doing nothing on the policy front.
     
    So Curry thinks scientists exaggerate their certainty in order to get money and Pielke thinks (or, precisely, thought at the time) they tolerate politicians exaggerating the uncertainty in exchange for money. Thus, no matter what the climate scientists actually do, they’re going to get it from one or the other.

  35. Lazar Says:

    … and none of the actors can read minds.

  36. willard Says:

    Speaking of hypoerbolic conditional:

    > If the shoe fits, and all that.

    In that sentence, the conditional is on the fitting of the shoe, not the shoe.  We can’t say:

    > If the shoe fits, but shoes don’t exist.

    So when we say:

    > A cadre of scientists are holding an IPCC dogma.

    that a cadre of scientists are holding an IPCC dogma might be conditionalized, in the trivial sense that every assertion can.  Alas, one can’t say:

    > A cadre of scientists are holding an IPCC dogma, but there are no such cadre of scientists.

    At the very least, we are assuming that such cadre of scientists exists.  We are also asserting that they are holding an IPCC dogma.

    ***

    As true as it may be, the sentence:

    > A cadre of scientists are holding an intolerant IPCC dogma, seeking to trample and discredit anyone.

    might very well be containing many fallacies:

    As long as we don’t know who are the object of the attack, it’s handwaving.  As long as it refers to at least one person with very bad habits, it’s an ad personam.  As long as we don’t know what is “holding an IPCC dogma”, this is pure armwaving.

    This sentence appeals to emotions shared among the audience (ad populum).  It mindreads intentions with “tolerating”, “seeking”.  It portrays martyrs and tormentors (ad misericordiam).

    Note finally some interesting implications.  A tu quoque: it’s only faire to defend ourselves with this kind of trick because the adversaries are tramplers.  A dichotomy opposing an idealized science (pure, desinterested, truth-bearing) with a caricatural concept of religion (conventional, hierarchical, faith-bearing).

    As true as it may be, I would not venture to say that it’s a very constructive sentence.

  37. Simon Hopkinson Says:

    Keith, given that this is Judith’s experience - that there was a deafening silence from the science community when it came to broad condemnation of the behaviour of a subset of climate scientists implicated in Climategate - are you really suggesting that Judith should not speak of this? This is the objection, fundamentally. But I remember it, and the air of hush was palpable. Really, Keith, is it wrong to state that it happened this way? And if so, please do give your justification for such a concealment.
     
    I rarely expound on my personal politics, but I think for once it’s called for. Consume or ignore, this is why I am who I am and why I’m where I am with climate sciences:- I’ve always been interested in environmental and conservation issues. I don’t come to the subject via my car’s gas tank (I gave up my car 3 years ago, I bought a bicycle), I arrive here because of my interest in the environment. I was a very active member of the youth movement of what is, today, the “Liberal Democrats” in the UK. The most environmentally enthused wing of the most environmentally committed party in mainstream British politics. It’s not like I’m politically predisposed to reject climate friendly policies! My only stipulation has always been that the cause must be just, and must be above reproach. In climate matters, the science must be right. And by “right”, I mean that it must accord with the scientific method, fully, with utmost integrity and all the trimmings. The reason I’m a Liberal Democrat, rather than Conservative or Labour supporter, is because - historically - it’s the one mainstream party that doesn’t typically have to lie or conceal truths in order to make a their case. And, of course, because by and large I share the Liberal Democrat ethos. It’s a personal philosophical thing.
     
    Before Climategate, I had no idea there was anything wrong at all. Once Climategate broke, I began to look into the subject. I had been sure - as were all my friends - that the science was “robust”, that everything was fully explained and that there were no questions left to be answered - at least none that might possibly have any importance. I’d never heard of GISS but, if it belonged to NASA, it must be right. The whole nine yards. I had no idea there was more to know. But Climategate cracked open a door and exposed practices which were not right. And they were NOT right, Keith, not by a long shot.
     
    But I didn’t become an instant sceptic. I just started asking questions. They were important questions. I found RC, and was mocked. I tried asking questions again, and was rejected. I tried again, and was ejected. So I found CA. I found Caspar and the Jesus Paper at Bishop Hill. But these didn’t cause me to become a sceptic, they just answered many and raised more questions.
     
    What really made me sceptical was what was happening in parallel, and it was very specifically the silence of the scientific community when it should have been publicly condemning the behaviour of scientists at the CRU, and their implicated friends. As I learned more relevant words and more scientists’ names, as the context of the emails began to flesh out and became even more damning than at first reading, the silence from the community continued to grow louder. It became deafening, and it really made a sceptic of me. But of course it didn’t begin and end there. Since then, the enquiries have compounded the issue, the Royal Society has confirmed there are issues, by omission than admission, and the IPCC similarly so.
     
    There are many more issues, and I think Judy’s latest post encapsulates many of them, but whether you want to admit it or not, they’re real issues of concern for scientifically, environmentally and socially concerned people like me, and unless they’re taken seriously, addressed properly and processes put in place to prevent recurrence, I just don’t see how climate science is going to regain its credibility. And the hit to credibility has occurred without Judy breathing a word. But at least she’s honest enough to voice acknowledgement of the issues, so they can be discussed. It’s quite apparent that unless and until the scientific community broadly does exactly what Judy is doing, the credibility of climate sciences will continue to haemorrhage.  Be assured that credibility will not be restored by the act of either scientists or mainstream media repeating, ad infinitum, that these problems don’t exist. If you need an example of how that will play out, I refer you to assess for yourself the reception given the CRU and Penn State enquiries.

  38. PDA Says:

    +1 willard

  39. Lazar Says:

    +2 willard

  40. Simon Hopkinson Says:

    Keith, regarding Eric Steig, do you mean RC’s Eric Steig?
     
    I don’t know the intricacies or implications of Eric’s IPCC reviewer comments, but with all due respect Keith, and given his posting privileges at RC, I do think it’s probably important to know that detail before accepting his riposte on face. Journalistic cynicism and all that, yanno?

  41. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    I find the idea of Eric Steig being the most critical person of the IPCC chapter 6 laughable.  One comment he makes which I find hard to believe is, “I have been unable to find any other review as critical as mine.”  In his review, he said:
     
    I would additionally note that overall, the chapter does a fine job at dealing with the “Hockey Stick” controversy
     
    Is it any wonder he felt no backlash?  He ignored all sorts of issues with how the hockeystick was handled.  Giving the authors a pass on the single most controversial issue in the chapter is a pretty good way of avoiding any backlash.

  42. Jonathan Gilligan Says:

    This whole thing stimulated me to re-read Myanna Lahsen’s “The Detection and Attribution of Conspiracies,” in G.E. Marcus, ed., Paranoia Within Reason (Chicago, 1999).
     
    Lahsen’s primary thesis is that conspiracy attributions tend to travel as in the old game of telephone. She describes Fred Seitz’s charges against Ben Santer, points out that Seitz accused Santer of violating the rules of the IPCC, but never checked the rules; he just assumed that Santer must have violated the rules.
     
    Then she interviews William Nierenberg, who presents a rather distorted version of Seitz’s accusation (Where Seitz thought Santer changed Chapter 8, Nierenberg thinks some anonymous conspiracy changed it without Santer’s knowledge). When Nierenberg shows her a report making accusations about Chapter 8, Lahsen asks who wrote this report and Nierenberg replies, “Oh — it just, it doesn’t matter by whom! All they did was, they took the final version and compared it with what was sent for publication.”
     
    Lahsen finds that people who believe in conspiracies around climate change tend to accept anything that confirms their belief in fiendish behavior from the other side, often without even understanding what they’re accepting, and without taking even the most elementary steps to check its validity.
     
    She documents that a milder version of the same applied to the mainstream science community: When the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a call for scientists to condemn Seitz’s groundless charges against Santer, many wrote letters supporting Santer without ever reading the draft and final versions of Chapter 8 to see whether Seitz might have a point (Lahsen asked them whether they had checked and they admitted that they hadn’t).
     
    For the record: Lahsen makes it clear that there was no substance to Seitz’s charges.
     
    Why do I rehash this here? Because we see the same thing with Curry. She presents some very nasty innuendo, cloaked so it can’t actually be tested (echoes of Joe McCarthy refusing to show his list with the 205 names of Communists in the State Department) and lots of people on her blog immediately attest to the truth of these charges, even though no one can actually tell exactly what the charges are.

  43. Eli Rabett Says:

    Somehow the IPCC managed to get the First and Second Assessment Reports out before Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann had received their doctorates. There is a constant flux of people in and out of the working groups for the various reports.  These are both two facts which are getting trampled

  44. Eli Rabett Says:

    With all due respect,
    “To Gavin, it’s because journalists “favor compelling narratives over substance.” To Judith, it’s because “the integrity of climate science” has been called into question.
    Eli gotta ask who is calling the “integrity of climate science” into question. . .journalists looking for eyeballs perhaps?

  45. Steven Sullivan Says:

    Simon Hopkinson tries being servicey:
    “Keith, regarding Eric Steig, do you mean RC’s Eric Steig?”
     
    Yeah, that Eric Steig, whose quote at the top of this very page of Collide-a-scape begins:
    “Many of your readers will no doubt ignore this because of my association with RC,…”
     
    So call me crazy but I’m guessing Keith knew that when he chose the quote.
     
    Any more helpful suggestions, Simon?
     
     

  46. AMac Says:

    There are a number of reasons not to hang a narrative on a conspiracy.  The most obvious is that this concept might not apply to the circumstances.  It is also true that, even when correct, conspiracy is very hard to prove (with respect to evidence, and with respect to convincing uninvolved people).  The word’s connotation of sinister mustachioed men in black trench coats also obscures the way most folks look at themselves:  as decent, honorable people, making the best of a difficult situation.

    All that said, it is not the case that it takes a predisposition to paranoia (ref. Lahsen, McCarthy) to see bad behavior in the way that some climate science has been practiced in recent times.

    The general thrust of Simon Hopkinson’s experiences (#37) mirror my own, in some respects.  The tenacity with which some AGW Consensus scientists and advocates hold to certain positions was a source of surprise at first, and then a cause for dismay.  To my knowledge, climate science is unique in this way, in degree if not in kind.

  47. JD Ohio Says:

    Schmidt’s comment that “The fact remains that science is hugely open to new thinking and new approaches.” is preposterous.
    If climate scientists were open to new thinking, they would freely share their data and not violate FOIA acts.  The disgraceful actions of the CRU in first denying McIntyre’s request for raw data on the ground that he was not an academic (strongly implying that the data was there), and then later responding to Pielke Jr.’s (an academic’s) request by stating that there was no data as sought by McIntyre should have been strongly condemned by mainstream scientists.  In fact, they should have demanded an investigation.  Instead, they remain silent and mute.
     
    I would add that the most logical explanation of what occurred is that the data did exist when initially requested by McIntyre (otherwise why not simply state that it wasn’t there and get rid of his request) and was destroyed in order to protect climate scientists or the CRU from embarrassing revelations.  (For summary see http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/228291/dog-ate-global-warming/patrick-j-michaels )  The fact that this issue has not been investigated, much less thoroughly investigated is disgraceful.  Imagine if Exxon had engaged in the same behavior as that which occurred at the CRU.   Serious and open scientists would demand that data be openly and freely distributed and would strongly criticize attempts to hide and  destroy data.  Instead no serious investigation of this very serious breach has occurred.
     
    JD

  48. TomFP Says:

    I find it interesting that Mann appears to be disparaging Curry for faux heroics by indulging in the label “heretic”, when as far as I recall it was bestowed on her by Michael Lemonick in his peculiar SciAm piece. I must have missed his expressions of disapproval at the time.

  49. Bart Verheggen Says:

    Judith (23),

    In contrast to your claim of wanting to build bridges more broadly than I do, your latest attempt is a stark example of a very narrow bridge to appease the “very-not-the-IPCC-but-climategate” while the broader scientific community (that you claim to also want to build bridges with) is painted with a very broad brush as lacking integrity and being heavily biased. Those who respect climate science will by and large feel very alienated by your post.

    I have tried to meet you somewhere on your bridge, though I don’t blame you for not having me high on your radarscreen.

  50. Keith Kloor Says:

    Simon,

    Just in case people didn’t get the RC reference in Eric Steig’s quote, I linked his name to his bio page at Real Climate. You must have not clicked on that link I provided.

    Other than that, thanks for your thoughtful comment chronicling how you arrived at our position.

    Here’s the thing: Judith in her comments in this thread has said (correctly) that she’s been trying to build bridges this past year. As Bart indicated, he’s somebody who stepped on that bridge. But lately her language (as I noted in my post) and some of her overly generalized claims suggest that she is no longer doing that. To me, it appears that she’s concluded that no bridges are possible.

    If Judith has concluded that, then I suggest she start naming names.

    Here’s how I relate to what Judith is saying in her post to what people say about my profession. Sometimes, I see comments from Joe Romm and his readers (when they are particularly displeased with a NYT or some mainstream climate change related article) along these lines: just the latest evidence that journalism is broken, and the NYT can’t go out of business fast enough, and science journalism is dead, yada, yada…

    It’s such an over the top response, indicting all of science journalism for isolated articles, and yet every few months I see this claim being made.

    Similarly, I wonder if Judith is indicting the integrity of a whole profession for the actions of a few (and I’m not making any judgment on those actions here.) I guess if there is some institutional failing within climate science, which is what she is saying, then she probably ought to be as specific as possible.

  51. Eli Rabett Says:

    Hmm, Keith, read Climate Audit any and see any similarities?
    Trade you my Roger thing for your Joe.

  52. willard Says:

    <a href=”http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/2010/11/judith-currys-blog.html?showComment=1288912416465#c7926519983120968473″>What Eduardo says.</a>

  53. willard Says:

    What Eduardo says, then:
     
    http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/2010/11/judith-currys-blog.html?showComment=1288912416465#c7926519983120968473

  54. Lazar Says:

    Brandon Shollenberger argues from incredulity…
     
    “I find the idea of Eric Steig being the most critical person of the IPCC chapter 6 laughable.”
     
    Here is Eric Steig’s first comment to the WGI Chapter 6 2nd draft… Brandon’s selective quote is highlighted in bold…


    “I have four chief concerns with this chapter. First, there are numerous important references left out, and an over-emphasis on papers by the authors themselves, which do not accurately reflect the communities’ view. In general, the certainty with which this chapter presents our understanding of abrupt climate change is overstated. There is confusion between hypothesis and evidence throughout the chapter, and a great deal of confusion on the difference between an abrupt “climate change” and possible, hypothetical cuases of such climate changes (e.g. Heinrich events). Second, the use of the terms “very likely”, “likely”, etc. are not in conformance with the rest of the IPCC document — some things that are virtually certain are listed as “likely” and mere hypotheses, largely untested, are listed as “very likely”. This carelessness does not add credibility to this chapter. Third, extensive reference is made to a very few recent papers that have not yet been thoroughly considered by the scientific community, and whose relevance to future climate is, in my judgement, greatly overstated. Finally, the choice of words to define — or not define — in the Glossary is strange. A definition (and a very poor one) of Heinrich events is given, but there is no definition for “Holocene”, even though that term is used throughout the text. I would additionally note that overall, the chapter does a fine job at dealing with the “Hockey Stick” controversy, but a very poor job dealing with abrupt climate change and its possible relevance to the future. There are numerous glaring omissions of citations — notably no mention is made of the work by Wunsch, Seager and Battisti, challenging the standard “Broecker-type” hypothesis for abrupt climate change.”
     
    This is how Chapter 6 deals with ‘the Hockey Stick controversy’…
     
    “McIntyre and McKitrick (2003) reported that they were unable to replicate the results of Mann et al. (1998). Wahl and Ammann (2007) showed that this was a consequence of differences in the way McIntyre and McKitrick (2003) had implemented the method of Mann et al. (1998) and that the original reconstruction could be closely duplicated using the original proxy data. McIntyre and McKitrick (2005a,b) raised further concerns about the details of the Mann et al. (1998) method, principally relating to the independent verification of the reconstruction against 19th-century instrumental temperature data and to the extraction of the dominant modes of variability present in a network of western North American tree ring chronologies, using Principal Components Analysis. The latter may have some theoretical foundation, but Wahl and Amman (2006) also show that the impact on the amplitude of the final reconstruction is very small (~0.05°C; for further discussion of these issues see also Huybers, 2005; McIntyre and McKitrick, 2005c,d; von Storch and Zorita, 2005).”

     
    … methodoligical flaws of small impact, is about right IMHO. The reference to Huybers comment on M&M 2005 GRL is a good analysis of those impacts. Discussion of the theoretical flaws of an old study that has been superceded by many and better is really off topic for a report which aims to summarize the state of scientific knowledge. Hence the focus was a tad generous IMHO.

  55. Simon Hopkinson Says:

    Keith, thanks for this. I must admit that I was also surprised at the vehemence in Judy’s tone with her last (but one, now) post. I honestly can’t say that I disagree with any of the scenario she describes; it’s all very very familiar to me and her post was manifestly in large part a textual linearisation of a knot that has been sitting in my gut for a year.
     
    It’s coming up a year, now, since Climategate broke. Do you have ketchup with your fries, Keith? How long are you willing to wait, holding the bottle upside down, for the ketchup to drop on to your fries? How long, before you’re ready to begin pounding on the end of the bottle? The time people wait will differ from person to person, but what is actually important is the rate at which your fries cool.
     
    Yeah, it’s a silly analogy (all of mine are), but I think Judy probably feels that if she waits too much longer to start pounding on the end of the bottle of climate science, its credibility will have fallen off to such a degree that the whole meal will be ruined.
     
    Should she name names? I made the argument on her blog that it ought not be necessary. Perhaps it is necessary and perhaps instead of pounding on one end of the climate science bottle, she needs to insert a knife at the other. There is a difference between criticising individual scientists for their action and criticising a body of scientists for their inaction. These two are not mutually exclusive, but they are distinct lines of criticism with different implications and different measures of severity in the nature of their complicities. But either way, meanwhile the credibility dish of climate science is continuing to cool, and I don’t want to see it spoiled any more than you or Judith.

  56. Lazar Says:

    JC’s non sequitur of an excuse offered up in a new post… and still no response to Eric Steig…
     
    “To many, the premises I put forth seem self evident.  Others are demanding “proof” and “evidence” of my premises.  My argument, and the premises that it is based on, are offered up for discussion on this blog.”

  57. Simon Hopkinson Says:

    Lazar, I order computer components occasionally from a nearby reseller. My experience of their customer service is that can be absolutely abysmal, their counter staff rude and obstructive. My friend’s experience of their customer service is much better. That my friend’s experiences are nowhere near as dismal as mine does not in any way counter or diminish my argument that their customer service is lacking. Neither does the fact that my friend is the brother-in-law of the company’s branch manager.

  58. grypo Says:

    Getting back to what willard broke down, I think Judith needs to a answer a question.

    Does she think that the Climate-Gate emails reveal that a small number of scientists were protecting the IPCC for selfish reasons, ie, from her post:

    “When I refer to the IPCC dogma, it is the religious importance that the IPCC holds for this cadre of scientists; they will tolerate no dissent, and seek to trample and discredit anyone who challenges the IPCC.  Who are these priests of the IPCC?  Some are mid to late career middle ranking scientists who have done ok in terms of the academic meritocracy. Others were still graduate students when they were appointed as lead authors for the IPCC. These scientists  have used to IPCC to gain a seat at the “big tables” where they can play power politics with the collective expertise of the IPCC, to obtain personal publicity, and to advance their careers.  This advancement of their careers is done with the complicity of the professional societies and the institutions that fund science.  Eager for the publicity,  high impact journals such as Nature, Science, and PNAS frequently publish sensational but dubious papers that support the climate alarm narrative.”

    Or
    Does she think that there is a concerted effort from outside influences to distort the science, and the scientists acted poorly in the face of that outside pressure.  That is the pivot of the Emails, IMO.   She seems to not accept that position at all, even though it is a fairly well documented secret that there are paid front groups who are only interested in finding scientists that publicly focus only on the uncertainties in an effort to stall any legislation.

    http://gryposaurus.wordpress.com/2010/03/27/before-climate-gate-a-reminder

    The fact that she gets chronology wrong on when we knew that emissions would be a problem and also, that her feedback theory lacks evidence and has many more likely alternatives, IMO,  it makes her position an impossible starting point for any bridge to be built.  You can only build bridges by getting the complete story from real people and understanding their perspective.  This post seems to want to expose villains.  She is only looking from one perspective and that is her own.   I hope I am incorrect.

  59. Simon Hopkinson Says:

    Keith, I have much to say on the subject of journalism and environmental issues reporting.  It’s a lot of ground to cover, and I’m sure there is much we might agree on, but I’m limited for time today. It’s Bonfire Night here in the UK, and we get to burn an effigy of a long-dead bloke, and set off some rockets. Did you read Margot O’Neill’s piece on the ABC site? It’s at least thought-provoking.

  60. Boris Says:

    What gets me about Curry’s response is how personal it is. It is mainly about her personal reaction to Climategate, which I find about as interesting as Dr. Susan Solomon’s personal reaction. Since I have never bothered to find Dr. Solomon’s reaction, that should tell you something :)

    To be less snarky, consider this from Dr. Curry (And at the outset, I don’t think Dr. Curry is crazy or unbalanced or has suddenly started an unfortunate dependency on crank.):

    “I was hoping to keep a dialogue open with the skeptics so this whole thing didn’t explode. Well, I was pretty much the only voice out there amongst the scientists that were supporters of the IPCC.  I became deafened by the silence of my colleagues, and more important from the institutions that support science. ”

    I think what Dr. Curry sees as a bug most people interested in the science would consider a feature. The reason is this: The battleground of climate skepticism is not the science itself, it is the personal area around the science.

    The desire for skeptics to engage in the personal should also be obvious:

    1) The peer reviewed literature (especially with respect to Climate Sensitivity) doesn’t offer much. A few low sensitivity studies, sure. But those are no more believable than the studies that put CS at 6C or higher, let alone the majority that give distributions right in line with the IPCC values.

    2) Personal evidence is far more compelling to lay audiences. Ever met a mother who lost a child to an adverse reaction to vaccination? She is far more convincing than your decades of research, and it’s not even close.

    So it’s disappointing that Dr. Curry seems to be interested in the personal aspects of climate science, which, make no mistake, is all Climategate was about. It’s equally disappointing that she finds, in Steve McIntyre,  some sort of allying in fighting the IPCC.  Her personal reaction to Climategate is reinforced by McIntyre’s continual personalization of the science.

    (If you don’t believe me, take a look at Climate Audit right now: Phil Jones, Phil Jones, UEA Policies, Oxburgh, Phil Jones, Muir Russell). Even posts that aren’t explicitly personal are riddled with personal shots and grumblings that people don’t take him seriously enough. (!)

    The major mistake that climate scientists have made is to wallow in the personal themselves. The solution is to merely respond to skeptics arguments when they are not completely ludicrous and to simply ignore them otherwise. Don’t be mean (I’m talking to you too Tobis) because meanness is like a drug to climate skeptics: it keeps them up all night thinking of ways to be mean right back.

    As an example, when I pointed out at Lucia’s that Dr. Curry’s Italian flag made no sense, Carrick called me a “whiny bitch.”

    You see, he saw it as a personal affront. It wasn’t, but no one has satisfactorily explained what that 28% actually means.
    And that’s the lesson: logic and good arguments are anathema to 95% of climate skeptics. Let’s make them play on our home field for once.

  61. AMac Says:

    Boris (#60) says -
    > The battleground of climate skepticism is not the science itself, it is the personal area around the science.

    That is wrong.

    > The major mistake that climate scientists have made is to wallow in the personal themselves.

    That is right.

    Personalizing the issues is indeed a major mistake, as Jonathan Gilligan has repeatedly pointed out at C-a-s.  Unfortunately, parties on “both” sides regularly engage in this behavior, typically on the basis of “But Mom, he hit me first!
    I regret that Judy Curry is the latest to succumb to this temptation.  Perhaps she will pull back in future posts.

    Boris, you mention a lively comment thread at Lucia’s Blackboard, where you are often a welcome participant.  Here is a another recent one.  Comment #53094 (immediately following this one) illustrates that lots of people need a nudge now and then, to stay focused on issues.  For each side, there are certain controversies that undercut their preferred narrative.  It is exactly those areas that represent the greatest temptations, as far as pushing the conversation away from the science and into personal realms.

  62. Michael Tobis Says:

    Boris, very well said. On the whole I think your argument is insightful and useful.
     
    But since you single me out, let me try to make a case for my violation of your advice and for the occasional exception to this very sound advice.
     
    Sometimes <a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8WDcQon9DY”>(watch this two minute video through to the last second)</a> it pays to be mean, if you don’t make a habit of it. Then people will see that your concern is very serious.
     
    Most people, besides Tom Fuller perhaps, who read what I write regularly understand that this is not my modus operandi, and that yet on the other hand I am not so unremittingly polite as is Bart. It is with mixed feelings that I report that traffic on my blog has nearly doubled since I made my one rude comment about Dr. Curry.
     
    On the other hand, look at Bart’s self-effacing comment above “I have tried to meet you somewhere on your bridge, though I don’t blame you for not having me high on your radarscreen.”
     
    I absolutely do not agree with Bart that Bart should not be high on Curry’s radar. He should be. He is high on mine. I am willing to bet that my traffic is higher than Bart’s and that he hasn’t seen a sudden increase in traffic recently as a consequence of the present controversy (as well he should) that is comparable to the very recent traffic increase on my blog.
     
    I think Bart is very thoughtful and careful, and that when he takes the time to say something it should be treated as important. But sometimes making a splash is tactically useful.
     
    People are emotional creatures. Sometimes it pays to be a bit out of line, especially if fair readers will acknowledge that this isn’t part of your regular modus operandi. I am a bit uncomfortable with <a href=”http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/10/judith-curry-born-beyond-shark.html”>what I said</a>; it’s certainly outside scientific or rhetorical norms. By moving beyond the merely technical issues and being frank and public with my honest and none too flattering impression, it seems I have uncorked a lot of frustration with Dr. Curry’s pattern of cavalier and unfounded assertions in matters both scientific and metascientific.
     
    I have no intention of repeating any further attack ad hominem, though I’ll be watching (and encourage others to be watching) Curry for further elementary errors of substance. In general, I will try to remain normative. But once in a while under severe circumstances, if you don’t overindulge, it may be salutary to say what you actually think about somebody.
     

  63. AMac Says:

    grypo (#58) -
    That is an important link that you provide, to the NYT’s website.  Discovery in a court case forced the release of documents from the anti-Consensus “Climate Change Coalition,” which paint a picture of cherry-picking to support the preferred prior narrative.

    Notwithstanding:  in this comment at the tail of the “Sourcewatch” C-a-s thread, I explained why I think that tarring Consensus critics as shills or dupes of the Fossil Fuel Conspiracy is not a helpful strategy.

  64. Michael Tobis Says:

    Links made live:
    Watson calls out Morano (2 minute video)
    Me on Curry vs the Shark
     

  65. AMac Says:

    Michael Tobis @ #63 -
    Yes, I’m sure that your recent poison-pen remarks on Curry have increased traffic at your blog.
    Congratulations.
    > I have no intention of repeating any further attack ad hominem.
    Yes, I am sure that you have not formulated plans for embarking on further ad hominem attacks.  Despite your satisfaction as to the results of the latest such post.
    Perhaps I do not interpret this “mission statement” in the way that you would like it to be read.

  66. AMac Says:

    Immediately prior comment of mine refers to Michael Tobis’ remarks beginning “Boris, very well said”, presently at #62.

  67. Boris Says:

    Michael Tobis:
    I didn’t mean to single you out, and I understand where you are coming from. Your comments are practically tame compared to Anthony Watts’ insisting that James Hansen be tried under the Hatch Act. I just think the argument about Dr. Curry’s post, where you are obviously correct, gets lost…but everything gets lost, which is why that blogs suck as conveying actual science but are compelling at conveying the personal.

  68. grypo Says:

    AMac, it is not the point of the post on blog to tie consensus critics to the oil industry.  I was showing how people have come tho that conclusion and addressed the situation as to why the scientists acted the way they did.   I thought I was pretty careful with the language I used and the cites I used to get across the point.  For example I said:
    “I’ve been watching this soap opera for almost two decades and although I can’t stand how the scientists handle themselves at times, in regards to their skeptics, they are far and away the builders of a more solid scientific consensus. Yesterday I went back a found a sampling of information (some new, most old) that would explain why they’re so paranoid every time a new skeptic comes out of the woodwork.
    and:

    “Let me be clear that the industry is well within its right to be involved in this activity, but it is good to know some of the background and realize the tactics being used to attack the very basis of the climate theory.
    I know that getting money from an oil company does not automatically bias the science, otherwise I would admit that all the talk about scientists lying about uncertainties is all about funding.  I don’t believe that (and it works opposite from that  anyway), I think it is hogwash.   This post originated on a message board following Climate gate and I reposted to my blog months later.  I was drawing an alternative scenario (like I am doing now with Judith’s accusations) that countered much of the craziness that was going on following the hack.

  69. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    #54 Lazar, you are horribly wrong when you say:
     
    methodoligical flaws of small impact, is about right IMHO. The reference to Huybers comment on M&M 2005 GRL is a good analysis of those impacts. Discussion of the theoretical flaws of an old study that has been superceded by many and better is really off topic for a report which aims to summarize the state of scientific knowledge. Hence the focus was a tad generous IMHO.
     
    I don’t think this it would be appropriate to discuss this matter here, given it would mostly be off-topic.  However, I would be more than willing to discuss this issue somewhere appropriate.  Quite frankly, I would love to do it.
     
    You’ve dismissed dozens of criticisms out-of-hand, and I would like to see you, or anyone else, actually support this sort of thing for once.  Talking points like this should not be allowed to go unanswered.  I hate seeing horrible misrepresentations allowed to stand.

  70. Boris Says:

    AMac:
    “That is wrong.”

    Take a look at what climate skeptics choose to discuss. Even when they discuss something related to the science, there is always an implication that people are hiding things, that the truth is being suppressed by some cabal of scientists who are really wacky environmentalists. The most prominent hero of skeptics-Steve McIntyre-posts almost entirely on meta issues these days: emails, investigations, investigations about emails, emails about investigations of emails (I am not exaggerating here). Even folks who I know have a good understanding of the science, e.g. Steve Mosher, prefer to wallow in the personal politics of the issue.

    How many thousands of words have been written about Michael Mann, Phil Jones, Keith Briffa, Gavin Schmidt?
    And yet the best estimate for climate sensitivity, 3C, is the same as it was before a single blog existed. I think it’s good to remind people of that amazing fact from time to time.

  71. AMac Says:

    Boris #70 said,
    > Take a look at what climate skeptics choose to discuss.

    Perhaps I am quaintly naive, but on the 1-year anniversary of me dipping my toe into AGW, I still think that scientists should be most interested in the strongest critiques of their work.  This was a point made eloquently by Feynman, decades ago.
    You and other advocates of the AGW Consensus have repeatedly opined about the paleotemperature reconstructions of Mann08 (PNAS), and my critique of that prominent paper’s uses of the Tiljander data series.  Sometimes your tone has been serious, and at other times, mocking.  I have repeatedly asked you and other advocates to buckle down:  present the arguments in support of the claim that Mann08’s approach was somehow defensible on this narrow and straightforward point.  I have offered you and others a guest-post at my blog, so your ideas can have the wide circulation that they deserve.  Example.

    No takers.  Defenses of Mann08’s approach at other blogs have been deficient in their treatment of facts, methods, and proper procedures.  Comprehensive list.

    If you don’t know much about recent multiproxy reconstructions like Mann08, that’s understandable.  But then it seems to me that you shouldn’t offer strong opinions on the subject.

    This is far from the only instance where your notion that ‘for skeptics, it’s all personality and no science‘ can be shown to be incorrect.  It happens to be the one that I am most familiar with.

  72. Steven Sullivan Says:

    Seconding what willard said:  read this post by Eduardo Zorita, a climate scientist who has been something of a ‘maverick’ himself at times.  (I’m far more interested to see how Dr. Curry gets ‘peer reviewed’ than how the sideline rabble of bloggers and commenters, me included, take to her):
     
    http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/2010/11/judith-currys-blog.html?showComment=1288912416465#c7926519983120968473
     
    pull quotes:
    “I think Curry’s reflections are too broad-brushed and not terribly timely. If these comments would have been made public in 2005 [...]  Sadly, I read them as if they were written by a rabble-rouser rather by someone that tries to push for constructive reforms taken into account the mistakes of the past.
     
    and for Keith:
    ” For me the media played a very important role. In my limited experience with them, they did tend to distort and highlight the most alarmist aspects and downplay any mention of uncertainty.”
     
    There’s more of course and it’s all good.
     
    .
     

  73. Steven Sullivan Says:

    Darnit.  The first pull should read
    “I think Curry’s reflections are too broad-brushed and not terribly timely. If these comments would have been made public in 2005 , I perhaps would have paid much more attention, but I don’t see really the point to characterized all scientist that have worked for the IPCC before and even for now for IPCC5 based on issues that arose in the Third and Fourth IPCC.[...] “

  74. AMac Says:

    I concur with willard and Steven Sullivan.  Eduardo Zorita’s remarks (linked again) are well worth reading, no matter where one stands in this controversy.

  75. RB Says:

    JC has her own version of “the fossil fuel fueled conspiracy” - she calls them the “RC branch of the community”. Which I suppose basically refers to anybody who doesn’t worship her sweeping, unsubstantiated criticism of the mainstream climate science community.
     

  76. Stu Says:

    Boris #60
     

    So it’s disappointing that Dr. Curry seems to be interested in the personal aspects of climate science, which, make no mistake, is all Climategate was about. It’s equally disappointing that she finds, in Steve McIntyre,  some sort of allying in fighting the IPCC.  Her personal reaction to Climategate is reinforced by McIntyre’s continual personalization of the science.
    (If you don’t believe me, take a look at Climate Audit right now: Phil Jones, Phil Jones, UEA Policies, Oxburgh, Phil Jones, Muir Russell). Even posts that aren’t explicitly personal are riddled with personal shots and grumblings that people don’t take him seriously enough. (!)”
     
    Probably a good idea to have a look at CA currently (the China network posts). I don’t get the feeling that Steve is ‘grumbling’ about people not taking him seriously enough, but I would certainly understand it if he did feel that way. Just have a read of this Trenberth quote and tell me if this isn’t an attempt to sidestep scientific issues and reframe things in very personal terms.
     
     
     
    “the response should try to somehow label these guys and lazy and incompetent and unable to do the huge amount of work it takes to construct such a database. Indeed technology and data handling capabilities have evolved and not everything was saved. So my feeble suggestion is to indeed cast aspersions on their motives and throw in some counter rhetoric. Labeling them as lazy with nothng better to do seems like a good thing to do.”
     
     

  77. Dean Says:

    For all the concern over what was described in the SciAm piece as a cold shoulder that JC is receiving, it also said that she is still publishing without difficulty. Has she challenged that anywhere?
     
    Though Steig made an effort to reach out, it seems that the bridges are mostly burnt in all directions on the personal level, and she said in her post that she has no interest any more in moderatin with the “science activist community”. At the personal level, it’s mostly an argument over who started it.
     
    But if she is still publishing and can describe her critiques adequately to get them published, then all this concern over the personalization has not yet walled out criticism. But that publishing is a vastly slower process. How many blog posts will be written about her critiques of uncertainty before she gets it in a journal and people can see the real substance?

  78. Keith Kloor Says:

    Many of you (across the spectrum) have left excellent comments, a number of which I hope Judith considers worth engaging here (though I know she’s a bit overwhelmed by the traffic at her blog).

    Judith’s second post, to my mind, sidesteps the main criticisms expressed in this thread by Jonathan Gilligan, Bart Verheggen, AMac, among others. And yes, that would include Zorita’s comment as well, which a number of you have referenced.

  79. Keith Kloor Says:

    That second post by Judith I was referring to is here.

  80. Keith Kloor Says:

    Also, the entire comment thread at that Klimazwiebel post is worth checking out, with Von Storch echoing Zorita and Pielke Sr. taking Judith’s side.

  81. Roddy Campbell Says:

    Boris #60 - a post on good manners, on no ad hom attacks, and you finish with this?
    ‘And that’s the lesson: logic and good arguments are anathema to 95% of climate skeptics. Let’s make them play on our home field for once.’
    Nurse, my sides.  Boris, do you proof-read your comments, perhaps using Wordpad, before pressing send?
     
    RB #75 - good to see someone on ‘your’ side realising what non-existent garbage the fossil-fuel fuelled denial machine conspiracy is.

  82. John Mason Says:

    I’ve read both posts, and it still strikes me, perhaps because I’m used to Gavin’s style - that getting to grips with what Judith is attempting to pinpoint is akin to attempting to wrestle with blancmange - not that I have tried it, it’s just my warped imagination!
    Judith does seem to fire out sweeping, non-specific attacks that are difficult to analyse in detail. I’d be the first to agree that the IPCC mashed-up their handling of the silly mistake re - the Himalayan glaciers & 2035: however I’m old enough to accept the old adage that “we all make mistakes”.
    I’m also uncomfortable to have to record that Judith avoids detailed comment on the activities of the political opposition - either they are funding and organising a disinformation campaign or they aren’t. Which one?
    I’d like to ask Judith a series (not too many!) of non-loaded questions around the whole issue of AGW to be posted on my weather/climate diary (link on my name) - JC if you’re up for it I will post your answers without repetition, deviation or hesitation (popular Radio 4 show that Brits on here might know of) - main point being that I will post your answers (and my questions) strictly verbatim, because quote-mining is a frankly deplorable business.
    Hope to hear from you :)
    Cheers - John
     
     

  83. Judith Curry Says:

    Keith, if you can summarize what you think i should respond to an email it to me, i would appreciate it.  I can’t keep up (and some of the denizens of Climate Etc. get annoyed when I spend time over here at the apparent expense of responding to replies at Climate Etc.)

  84. Boris Says:

    “Perhaps I am quaintly naive, but on the 1-year anniversary of me dipping my toe into AGW, I still think that scientists should be most interested in the strongest critiques of their work.”
    The strongest critiques are in the peer reviewed literature, not necessarily because they are “better” but because the venue ensures that the arguments be well presented. As bad as some papers were, they were at least understandable. A lot of blog skeptics don’t label their axes or make incomplete arguments.
    I have already said many times that I stipulate you being correct on Tiljander. Your obsession with that one aspect of one paper by one author amongst the thousands of AGW articles published each year is exactly what I’m talking about. It just isn’t a big deal. I don’t care enough about arguing it to become an expert in lake varves.

    But note that your argument, as it appears to me, is exactly personal. Mann didn’t use Tiljander correctly, so all of Mann’s work is now suspect and by extension…so on and so forth. It’s the equivalent of attacking the theory of relativity because Einstein forgot to carry the one in a paper published in 1909.
    That’s not to say it wouldn’t be valuable to fix problems with Mann’s reconstruction, but until someone publishes a paper on it, the issue will be ignored as it would be in any other field you can name.
    You see, in order for skeptics to distract the attention away from the vast underpinning of literature that the AGW theory boasts, they must necessarily “zoom in” on individuals to build a case for corruption.

  85. AMac Says:

    Jonathan Gilligan in Tobis’ comments -
    “One reason not to engage in ad hominem argument is because trashing people’s character kills constructive conversations, but another reason is that people you may really dislike personally may still have important and substantive things to say and you can miss those if you only pay attention to people you like.”

  86. Judith Curry Says:

    Two quick points:

    I am not indicting the scientists, I am raising concerns about the institutions of scientists.  And I am stating that some scientists regard the IPCC as dogma.  People don’t like me saying this, but none are defending me from the label of heretic for talking about overconfidence in the IPCC and concerns about treatment of the uncertainty (which stimulated the heretic label).  Which seems to support my dogma argument.

    With regards to Eric Steig’s point, it is a nice statement, but it is an anecdote, the experience of one person.  There are hundreds of contrary experiences.

  87. Judith Curry Says:

    Ok I spotted Jonathan Gilligan’s post and also Bart’s.  I am not making charges against individuals, I have said that many times, and I have named no names.  I’m not sure what part of this people don’t get.
     
    I’m raising concerns about the institutions, and the unchecked positive feedback.  I’ve stated may times that that I see no research misconduct anywhere in all this.  I don’t think that some of the scientists involved have behaved in a very professional manner, and some seem to have compromised their professional integrity for political reasons or for career advancement.  The details don’t matter, the people don’t matter, this is a totally natural and unsurprising thing to happen; these things only matter because they got amplified in this politicized positive feedback loop.

  88. Barry Woods Says:

    My concern  is when certain scientist-advocates  make statement’s about every weather event being proof or caused by man made global warmning.

    Or michael Mann saying this is going to be the 2nd or 1st highest temperature on record apparently as proof of something .

    So what

    Stating that, does not demonstrate  what caused it.

    Or politicians and lobby groups doing the same thing..
    What is cause my concern is that the vast majority of climate scientists would not make that statement, but do not call the people to account, that they should not do this..

    Or are they doing it and it is not heard .

    Judith’s repsponses so far indicates, the majority of scientists are just keeping their head down, and by their silence, it condones it..

  89. Gene Says:

    Boris (83)

    Let’s look at this comment:  “That’s not to say it wouldn’t be valuable to fix problems with Mann’s reconstruction, but until someone publishes a paper on it, the issue will be ignored as it would be in any other field you can name.”

    Given the allegations of gate-keeping, which some of  the CRU emails appear to support, do you see how this might introduce a credibility problem?  It’s comparable to Pachauri’s reaction to the Himalayas issue - the perception of the response was more damaging than the mistake.

  90. Boris Says:

    “Nurse, my sides.  Boris, do you proof-read your comments, perhaps using Wordpad, before pressing send?”
    I’m sorry that the statement offended you. It is obviously true. Read any Watts Up comment thread for verification.
    Climate Sensitivity still 3C.
     

  91. Judith Curry Says:

    I read Zorita’s post.  A thoughtful post.  But the shoe doesn’t fit Zorita, it wasn’t intended to.  I made it very clear in my original post that I was not criticizing all scientists involved in the IPCC, but rather a certain cadre.  And what about the timing?  These things are done, they are influencing national and international policy, and we need to learn from our mistakes.

  92. Boris Says:

    “Given the allegations of gate-keeping, which some of  the CRU emails appear to support, do you see how this might introduce a credibility problem?  It’s comparable to Pachauri’s reaction to the Himalayas issue – the perception of the response was more damaging than the mistake.”

    Horrible, horrible papers get published all the time and there is no evidence that a vast array of brilliant papers damaging to the consensus exists unpublished somewhere.

    But, yes, the response to exaggeration of errata is itself exaggerated and hurts the consensus position.

  93. AMac Says:

    Boris (#83) -

    > I have already said many times that I stipulate you being correct on Tiljander.
    To my knowledge, the only AGW Consensus advocate who has explicitly agreed with my analysis is DeepClimate, in passing.  I’m sorry that I don’t recollect noting your sentiments… sorry, that is, for my poor reading skillz, or sorry about my fading memory.  Do you have a link?

    > Your obsession with that one aspect of one paper by one author amongst the thousands of AGW articles published each year is exactly what I’m talking about. It just isn’t a big deal.

    This is a “heads I win, tails you lose” formulation.  If I focus in on a narrow topic, that’s obsession.  If I make broad, sweeping statements, that would be… what?  Do any examples of the latter come to mind?  How are her arguments being received?

    As far as “not a big deal,” that has some curious implications.  PNAS by one measure is the 5th most influential peer-reviewed science journal.  Somebody didn’t agree with you.  And you, ironically, are agreeing with Steve McIntyre.  Perhaps, as he has argued, paleotemperature reconstructions shouldn’t have featured so prominently in AR4’s Chapter 6?

    More generally, the AGW Consensus advocacy community has its cake and eats it, too.  Paleotemperature “doesn’t matter” and “isn’t important,” while at the same time reconstructions are brought into the case for action as powerful supporting evidence.  And GCMs are “hindcast” to the derived temperature anomaly history as a measure of their skill (e.g. PAGES/CLIVAR).

    > your argument, as it appears to me, is exactly personal..

    I’ve tried my darndest to stick to the science and avoid imputing motives and reading minds.  But my argument is nevertheless exactly personal, because… remind me, again?  Let me put it another way:  Do you hold your friends to the same standards that you demand of your adversaries?  In this case, I hope not, because this notion is not sensible.

  94. Boris Says:

    “I don’t think that some of the scientists involved have behaved in a very professional manner, and some seem to have compromised their professional integrity for political reasons or for career advancement.”
    Fine, but this statement is unprovable as made and uninteresting when it comes to discussion of uncertainty. I’d be much more interested in you pointing to actual literature on Climate Sensitivity or unforced variability, because the IPCC is, lest we forget, a literature review.

  95. Boris Says:

    “As far as “not a big deal,” that has some curious implications.  PNAS by one measure is the 5th most influential peer-reviewed science journal. ”

    You see, you are doing it here. What does it matter how important PNAS is? Mann’s paper has a small error that does not alter its conclusions significantly. From this you move to:

    “Perhaps, as he has argued, paleotemperature reconstructions shouldn’t have featured so prominently in AR4’s Chapter 6?”
    which illustrates how you make large unjustified leaps or perhaps don’t understand the import of the thing you claim to have investigated so fully.

  96. AMac Says:

    Boris (#95) -

    > Mann’s paper has a small error that does not alter its conclusions significantly.

    Boris, you miss an important point.  “For want of a shoe…”  The improper use of the uncalibratable Tiljander data series — they aren’t really temperature proxies — does alter Mann08’s conclusions significantly.

    Maybe my memory isn’t so bad, after all.  I’m not getting the impression that we could stipulate that you agree with me on Tiljander in any significant way.

    If you want to expand on your ideas on Mann08 and Tiljander, the offer of a guest-post is still open.

  97. Judith Curry Says:

    Boris, the story is how my concerns about uncertainty resulted in my being regarded as a heretic, which implies the existence of dogma.

  98. laursaurus Says:

    Simon #59
    I’m sure there is much we might agree on, but I’m limited for time today. It’s Bonfire Night here in the UK, and we get to burn an effigy of a long-dead bloke, and set off some rockets.
    Thank you for explaining Bonfire Night! I got the sense that it was kind of like Independence Day aka the Fourth of July here in the US, except during winter. What a perfect time of year for this type of celebration! On the 4th, fireworks displays don’t start until after 9pm, when it’s finally good and dark. Waiting those several extra hours has too many disadvantages (drunkenness, tired children, etc).
    Are the rockets set off in a public display or is it just individuals or both? Americans are not keen on burning things in effigy. Brings up bad memories of riots and the KKK. I am curious how it works. Do you vote on whom you’ll burn in effigy? I guess limiting it to people who are long dead is wise. I can imagine the desire to burn an ex-spouse or lover would be tempting. How many years can you burn Hitler over and over?
    Just last year, I became aware of Bonfire Night thanks to this quirky cartoon series that I love so much.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0KoqA4w02s
    Sorry Keith for the OT post. TGIF! and BFN!

  99. Boris Says:

    AMac,
    He runs a recon without Tiljander. Can we agree to just use that reconstruction?
    (Yes, I know the non-tree recon then has no skill. Who cares? Pitch it.)
     

  100. AMac Says:

    Boris, we’ve each had our say, regarding what that small episode teaches.  With respect to the larger issues of the ongoing debate.

  101. PDA Says:

    People don’t like me saying this, but none are defending me from the label of heretic for talking about overconfidence in the IPCC and concerns about treatment of the uncertainty (which stimulated the heretic label).
     
    There is a legitimate difference of opinion as to whether the one word inserted by an editor to the title of one article in one publication represents Curry being “labeled a heretic” in any meaningful way.
    For what it is worth I reject the label, whether used by an anonymous editor or self-applied by Curry. It’s meaningless. Curry is a gadfly with some good critiques, and a stealth advocate in my estimation. Heresy and apostasy are melodramatic terms to use for what she does, and I reject them.

  102. thingsbreak Says:

    Although I could gin up more of a concern troll if I professed surprise at the way this is all shaking out, it wouldn’t really be genuine. Some things are sadly predictable.
     
    Oh, and-
    Don’t think of it as losing Verheggen, Zorita, von Storch, et al. Think of it as gaining Marc Morano’s target audience!

  103. thingsbreak Says:

    @Judith Curry:
    I am stating that some scientists regard the IPCC as dogma.  People don’t like me saying this, but none are defending me from the label of heretic for talking about overconfidence in the IPCC and concerns about treatment of the uncertainty (which stimulated the heretic label).  Which seems to support my dogma argument.
     
    Many people don’t agree with your characterization of the IPCC ARs as “dogma”. You, some in the media (and maybe some blog commentors? not sure) claim that your various criticisms of the IPCC make you a “heretic”. Many people don’t agree with this characterization; Gavin is explicitly claiming that you aren’t actually a “heretic”. But you’re claiming that no is saying that you’re not a “heretic”, ergo this is evidence that the IPCC is in fact “dogma”. QED.
     
    Brilliant!

  104. John Mason Says:

    Judith, perhaps I’ll email you directly, as you have replied to other posts but not mine. It would be good to have this discussion.
    Cheers - John
     
     

  105. Gavin Says:

    #94
    <blockquote>Boris, the story is how my concerns about uncertainty resulted in my being regarded as a heretic, which implies the existence of dogma.</blockquote>
     
    Judith, you have it completely backwards. It is your unsupported insistence that ’some scientists’ think the ‘IPCC is dogma’ that draws criticism. But no-one actually thinks this (please cite some examples if you disagree). No-one thinks there is no uncertainty (likewise). And no-one thinks that you are a ‘heretic’,  precisely because there is no dogma.
    All anyone wants from you is clarity, evidence and logical thinking instead of vague, unverifiable, broadbrush attacks on (unnamed) people’s integrity.

  106. Bart Verheggen Says:

    +1 Gavin
    +1 Boris

  107. Judith Curry Says:

    Gavin, how is my raising the issue of uncertainty and integrity of climate science grounds for branding as a heretic?  If the shoe does’t fit, don’t wear it. But those who whine the loudest about the “deniers” have a pretty close correlation to those who regard the IPCC as dogma.   And exactly what do you think I have been providing at Climate Etc. for the past 6 weeks, with over 6000 words with evidence, logic, and web links.  Most people regard this as clarity, evidence, and logical thinking.  But the minute I use the word “integrity”, a lot of people start squirming.

  108. Judith Curry Says:

    John Mason, pls email your questions, and I’ll take a look.

  109. Judith Curry Says:

    Edits/corrections to my previous post:

    Gavin, how is my raising the issue of uncertainty and integrity of climate science grounds for branding as a heretic?  If the shoe does’t fit, don’t wear it. But those who whine the loudest about the “deniers” have a pretty close correlation to those who regard the IPCC as dogma.   And exactly what do you think I have been providing at Climate Etc. for the past 6 weeks, with over 6000 words/week with evidence, logic, and web links.  Most people regard this as clarity, evidence, and logical thinking.  But the minute I use the word “integrity”, some people start squirming (but most don’t).

  110. Bart Verheggen Says:

    mt,

    In terms of bridge building with climate scientists, I’d gather she mostly thinks of scientists she professionally knows or has heard of (i.e. the highly ranked ones). I;m neither of those. In the blogosphere she seems to explicitly exclude the pro-consensus bloggers from her bridge building efforts. See e.g. her comment above:

    JC:  ”I define building bridges as much more broadly than you do, you seem to think i should be focusing my bridge building on the RC branch of the community.  Well I am more concerned about the broader scientific community (climate science and other sciences), advocacy groups on both sides, the broad range of skeptics, journalists across the spectrum, extended peer communities in the blogosphere, etc.  ”

    And I, like everyone else I guess, notice an upswing in blog traffic when I’m more upfront (such as with my most recent post). Which shows that all this blog reading is for many people perhaps more for entertainment than education (of course it’s both). Which is perhaps a little cynical in light of the critique that you and I also have on the media, that they tend to emphasize the extremes on either side and the conflict between them. These tendencies in the blogosphere show that the reason is simple: It sells. And I’m sure it’s a factor for many bloggers just as well.

  111. thingsbreak Says:

    @Judith Curr:
    how is my raising the issue of uncertainty and integrity of climate science grounds for branding as a heretic
     
    Gavin:no-one actually thinks this (please cite some examples if you disagree). No-one thinks there is no uncertainty (likewise). And no-one thinks that you are a ‘heretic’”
     
    I find that it occasionally helps to read what the person you’re responding to has actually written.

  112. thingsbreak Says:

    Curry,  obviously. Keith feel free to fix.

    Cheers!

  113. Keith Kloor Says:

    ThingsBreak,

    Enough with the obnoxious sarcasm. Add something constructive to the dialogue, or don’t bother.

  114. willard Says:

    If the shoe does not fit reality, so much the worse for reality:
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&hl=en&v=yBxzMMCokpI&gl=US

  115. Gavin Says:

    > Gavin, how is my raising the issue of uncertainty and integrity of climate science grounds for branding as a heretic?
    It doesn’t.
    See, that was easy.
     
    > If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it.
    I am not the one trying on that particularly shoe.
     
    > But those who whine the loudest about the “deniers” have a pretty close correlation to those who regard the IPCC as dogma.
    Uh-uh… So if I criticise someone who denies that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, or that the rise is anthropogenic or indeed that the planet has warmed in recent decades, that automatically means I hold the IPCC to be inerrant and unchallengeable? Tosh. This is exactly the kind of loose illogic that I and others will continue to criticise.
     
    > And exactly what do you think I have been providing at Climate Etc. for the past 6 weeks, , with over 6000 words/week…
    I have no idea.
     
    > Most people regard this as clarity, evidence, and logical thinking.
    Well, I beg to differ. Clear statements and logic are evidence of clarity and logical thinking, not the word count.
     
    > But the minute I use the word “integrity”, some people start squirming (but most don’t).
    Nice. I particularly savour the implication that because you mention your integrity this automatically implies that no-one else has any. I again beg to differ.
     
    The facts remain that when you make broad and unspecific statements alleging ‘corruption’ or a ‘lack of integrity’ you simply feed the blog-chorus, while the people involved, or those who know the people you appear to referring to,  are just left puzzled about what you are talking about. Because of course, no-one with integrity would make such serious allegations without some evidence.
     
    However, when you have brought up specifics, they are generally warmed over talking points without any actual substance. Your latest comment about Ben Santer’s role in SAR is a case in point. There is a very readable account of what happened available on RC, and indeed in Steve Schneider’s last book (chapter 5). Neither account supports your, frankly, defamatory, claim, which instead  appears to be based on the letter from the late Fred Seitz, someone who wasn’t there, and who invented a whole conspiracy out of the whole cloth on the op-ed pages of the WSJ. There is no question in mind who, between Fred Seitz, Ben Santer and Steve Schneider had a problem with integrity. Hint, his name doesn’t start with Ben or Steve.

  116. thingsbreak Says:

    @kkloor
     
    Pointing out that an asked question has been answered is usually constructive from the perspective of the person asking and the one who answered. I’m sorry that my tone seems “obnoxious”.

  117. Lewis Says:

    Bart Verheggen, I , personaly, think that Judith is being both to general and unfocased in her last post but, I think, she stupidly reacted to a lot of provacation. Think about it: her project was to bridge the gap in the climate wars. What was the reaction? Well I don’t want to go through it but it was pretty nasty?

  118. PDA Says:

    Keith, a number of us have been trying to make the point that Dr. Schmidt made to Dr. Curry, that “no-one thinks that [she is] a ‘heretic’,  precisely because there is no dogma.” However, she seems unable to tolerate any contradiction of her chosen narrative. I find that far more obnoxious than thingsbreak’s tone.
     
    There is nothing difficult to understand about this.

  119. Lewis Says:

    What I mean is that Judith Curry has done a disservice to herself and her project by being explicit about what disturbs her. I think one could have been more subtle. Note this is not about whether what she sais is true or not. But whether it was right now to introduce this, let us say, this catholic critiscm(sic)? I think general editorials, without substance, are a bad mistake and are meaningless. But, hey, I might be wrong?

  120. Judith Curry Says:

    PDA, the heretic thing is not my narrative. See the Sci Am article.  The issue of IPCC dogma was one of many elements of what I wrote.  Call it something else if you want, the issue doesn’t go away.

  121. Lewis Says:

    PDA, I understand your annoyance but it is bit unfair to say that Judith Curry is ‘unable to tolerate any contradiction to her chosen narrative’. What evidence do you have for this. I mean her blog is completely open (you’ve been on it), she accept critism, when it come from a source she respects, and, because of that critism, she corrects herself. I just don’t see this ’stubbornness’ you allege!?

  122. PDA Says:

    Judith, you kindly read the article, not just the title. It says nothing about dogma or heresy or anything else that can be remotely conflated with such concepts.

  123. John Whitman Says:

    KK,

    Active thread.  : )

    If the so-called ’settled/ consensus’ climate science is healthy, then so be it.  Then the last year is irrelevant to climate science.  There is no bridge necessary.

    If the so-called ’settled/ consensus’ climate science is unhealthy, then the curative process should already be well developed.  No bridge is necessary.

    No bridge foundation necessary in either case.

    The bridge analogy does not work.

    No analogy will work.

    Forget analogies.  Forget metaphors.  Forget advocacy.

    Climate science has or has not an internal self-policing issue to address.  As far as I can determine self-correction is occurring.  The evidence of it occurring is the escalating discussion / argumentation now even finally in the  MSM.

    I think Judith is an aspect of the self-correcting process.  She appears to be thriving in that role.  I find it hard to judge Schmidt in that regard, since open dialog with him at RC seems not practical.  But if I take him at his own work at RC he is not into self-correcting climate science as he postulates it; since to him there is no necessity for correcting what is not in need of correcting.

    Judith is releasing a discussion that is not possible at RC and its associated blogs.  She is in a expanding dynamic.  RC looks much less so . . . . with a defensive look to it.

    John

  124. Lewis Says:

    PDA, I don’t understand what your saying? Could you elucidate?

  125. Jack Hughes Says:

    What’s wrong with this picture?
     
    Only a few short months to save the planet and what are  people doing?
     
    Writing blogs about blogs about blogs

  126. Eli Rabett Says:

    The IPCC Assessment Reports are supposed to be summaries of current research and understanding (well, that published before the cut off dates).  As such, by design, they should reflect the consensus or at least majority view of climate science professionals and they do, while noting significant disagreements.  They do.
     
    As one works through the technical summaries up to the summaries for policy makers space gets short, and detail can be lost, but the responsibility of the lead authors is to reflect the best appreciation of the current situation as supported by the published literature.  Is anyone claiming that this is not the case, and if so can you point to specific examples?

  127. Eli Rabett Says:

    To Eli, the annoying thing about what Judith Curry is writing is that she quite freely repeats things that are not so as truth.  On the one hand it is easy to spot these for many of us because we have been immersed in these blogs for many years but she probably is not familiar with the minutia.  On the other hand it is extremely annoying (see Gavin above) because she is so free with her opinions which are based on either falsities, unfamiliarity or naked unsupported wild guesses.

    [Eli: You continue to marvel. As I said on the previous thread, you're not the guy to lecture anyone on being free with "opinions which are based on falsities, unfamiliarity or naked unsupported wild guesses.//KK]
     
    To claim that her charges about the IPCC and those who participate in it are aimed at no particular people is equivalent to Joe McCarthy (you know Keith, the guy you think posts at Climate Regress) claiming that although he knows personally of 100 communists in the State Department, he cannot possibly name any of them.  Try Judith.  We know you can do it.

    [Eli, I never said that about Joe at Climate Regress; that charge was made by others.//KK]

  128. Eli Rabett Says:

    #42 Jonathan Gilligan wrote about Myanna Lahsen’s “The Detection and Attribution of Conspiracies”.  It is available (at least in part on line in <a href=”http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=WJOknreVQJsC&oi=fnd&pg=PA111&dq=“The+Detection+and+Attribution+of+Conspiracies,”&ots=mxgYOfYbSP&sig=u1KrcRWumnThgsxRIu8HSNT0_wc#v=onepage&q=“The Detection and Attribution of Conspiracies%2C”&f=false”>Google Books</a>
     
    If the link does not work just google the title.

  129. sharper00 Says:

    Judith Curry:
    “PDA, the heretic thing is not my narrative. See the Sci Am article.”


    It really strikes me as odd that you keep using that article as justification for your rhetoric. I’d never heard of that journalist before so why am I supposed to care what he thinks? Why is anyone supposed to care whether he thinks you’re a “heretic” or not?

    Coming from an entirely blank perspective about the guy his article read like a standard “lone maverick challenges the consensus and they just might be right” story I’ve read countless times in relation to scientific topics.

    I really find it very difficult to believe that the chain of logic is “Journalist labels you a heretic in the title of an article”->”The existence of a heretic requires the existence of dogma” ->”You therefore feel happy labeling the output of the IPCC has dogma and its participants as priests”.

    I also find it odd that in your own blog post about that article you remarked several times that this sort of behavior would move you from “heretic” to “apostate” but then you proceed to write a highly inflammatory piece of your own perhaps with an eye to realizing your own prophecy.

  130. Lazar Says:

    Judith,
     
    “I have been providing at Climate Etc. for the past 6 weeks, with over 6000 words with evidence, logic, and web links.”
     
    … you seem to be confused between what is “evidence” and what is an assertion.

  131. intrepid_wanders Says:

    Eli Rabett Says: 
    November 5th, 2010 at 7:14 pm
    “…but the responsibility of the lead authors is to reflect the best appreciation of the current situation as supported by the published literature.”

    Do you believe that the lead authors performed this in the assessment report for the following regions:
    1. African agriculture
    2. Amazon rain forests
    and, everyones favorite…
    3. Himalayan glaciers
     
    If, you need a full list, I am sure we can provide.

  132. Boris Says:

    Intrepid,
    Example one is horrible journalism by Jonathan Leake.
    Example two: The IPCC cannot include papers that appear three years after the report is finalized.
    Example three was bad and has been corrected.
    So, yes, lead authors are doing a pretty good job. That your three best examples only include one actual mistake is pretty good.

  133. Boris Says:

    Oh, and just a reminder that it is climate skeptics who append the scandal suffix “gate” to every mistake-many manufactured out of their own ignorance and misunderstanding. But they are just honest truth seekers and completely impartial, right?

  134. Judith Curry Says:

    I have a new post entitled “No dogma“

  135. intrepid_wanders Says:

    Boris,
     
    You did not indicate how so much wrong information found it’s way into the assessment report.  Calling articles bad does not change the facts that there is a lot of wrong information in AR4.

    If you can point me to the published materials that respond to these and many other discrepancies, I would appreciate it.  Other than that, Judith’s argument stands that the IPCC leadership (the cadre) has corrupted the system.
     

  136. sharper00 Says:

    @intrepid_wanders
    “You did not indicate how so much wrong information found it’s way into the assessment report.”

    If you were to express “wrong” information in the IPCC report as a percentage of total, what number do you think it is? By that I mean information that was knowably wrong such as the  Himalayan error not “A report years later suggests the number is inaccurate” wrong.

  137. willard Says:

    > Judith’s argument stands [...]
     
    You mean Judith’s **claim**, a claim it would be dogmatic to contest:
     
    http://judithcurry.com/2010/11/03/reversing-the-direction-of-the-positive-feedback-loop/#comment-8382
     
    Judith wants to do the right thing.  That she’s right or not is irrelevant.  We should explore with her.  Let’s combat dogmatism.
     
    If not, the taxpayers will stop funding you.

  138. intrepid_wanders Says:

    sharper00 Says: 
    November 5th, 2010 at 9:17 pm
    “If you were to express “wrong” information in the IPCC report as a percentage of total, what number do you think it is?”
    I could not possibly know that number.  But that is not the issue.  The issue is this:

    If, you were to go to a doctor for an “assessment report” (physical, etc), how accurate do you expect that report to be?

    Everyone is aware that you can get a second opinion, how many doctors suggest that to a patient?

  139. Eli Rabett Says:

    OK Willard, what is the “right” thing

  140. Eli Rabett Says:

    Hmm, according to recent studies, about <a href=”http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=deaths-from-avoidable-medical-error-2009-08-10″>200,000 deaths</a> in the US  are caused by medical errors each year.  Eli will take the IPCC.

  141. PDA Says:

    Keith, after Curry’s latest post, the HTML equivalent of putting one’s fingers in one’s ears and crying “lalalalala” so as not to hear anything anyone has tried to say to her about the SciAm article, “heresy” and “dogma,” I’m hoping you can respond with a hearty “Add something constructive to the dialogue, or don’t bother.”

  142. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    #139, PDA, Judith Curry provided examples of what indicates to her there is an IPCC dogma.  You didn’t comment on any of these.  Instead, you claimed it was the ” equivalent of putting one’s fingers in one’s ears and crying “lalalalala” so as not to hear anything anyone has tried to say.”
     
    Having accusations of someone of ignoring things depend on ignoring what that person says is all sorts of absurd.  And yes, I do know what that word means.

  143. PDA Says:

    Brandon, Curry has been all up in this thread making her claims about dogma. <a href=”http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/11/04/dueling-climate-narratives/comment-page-3/#comment-26091″>There have been substantive responses.</a> She doesn’t have to agree with them. In fact, a debate would be really productive. Don’t you wonder why she doesn’t want to have one?

  144. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    #143, PDA, are you kidding me?  You accused Judith Curry of something serious.  I pointed out you were wrong.  You now respond by changing the subject.  There is all sorts of humor in you accusing her of ignoring things while doing this.
     
    As for Gavin’s comment, at a glance I see two glaring misrepresentations, one which involves him intentionally cutting out context of a quote in order to insult her.  If you consider responses like  that “substantive,” then no, I’m not surprised Judith Curry might not want to have a debate over them.
     
    Of  course, that assumes she doesn’t want to have a debate over them, which is just an assumption on your part.  I, on the other hand, am willing to consider the possibility she is busy, and finds it hard to find time to offer good responses to everything people say to her.  Moreover, I am willing to wait more than twelve hours for such responses.
     
    This sense of immediacy people have is so strange.  Her “offensive” post has been up for three days, and (at least some) people are acting like everything is settled, and Curry is an idiot/liar/shill/alien/whatever.  Why are people willing to draw conclusions that quickly?

  145. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    And since I made the accusations, I suppose I am obligated to explain them.  I’m going to discuss two misrepresentations in Gavin’s post, and that’s all.  This doesn’t mean the rest of his post is fine, but rather, that I don’t have enough interest right now to look any farther.  With that said, the first misrepresentation is where Gavin says:
     
    Uh-uh… So if I criticise someone who denies that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, or that the rise is anthropogenic or indeed that the planet has warmed in recent decades, that automatically means I hold the IPCC to be inerrant and unchallengeable? Tosh. This is exactly the kind of loose illogic that I and others will continue to criticise.

     
    This was said in response to Curry saying, “But those who whine the loudest about the “deniers” have a pretty close correlation to those who regard the IPCC as dogma.”  Curry said the people whining loudest about “deniers” are largely the same people as those who regard the IPCC as dogma.  This is correlation, not causation.
    Gavin misrepresents this by claiming Curry says calling out “deniers” means a person regards the IPCC as dogma.  First, this ignores Curry had said, “whining loudest,” not, “criticizes.”  Second, it falsely claims Curry claimed causation.
     
    Well, I beg to differ. Clear statements and logic are evidence of clarity and logical thinking, not the word count.
     
    This was said in response to, “Most people regard this as clarity, evidence, and logical thinking.”  Previously quoted was, “And exactly what do you think I have been providing at Climate Etc. for the past 6 weeks, , with over 6000 words/week…”
     
    Gavin seeks to argue word count is not a measure of clarity evidence, and logical thinking.  Curry never suggested anything of the sort.  The portion of her post he left out with those ellipsis is the key, as she had said, “with evidence, logic, and web links”
     
    Judith Curry called providing 6000 words/week with evidence, logic and web links is regarded by most as a sign of clarity, evidence, and logical thinking.  Gavin edited her quote to remove “evidence, logic and web links,” then acted as though she said word count was a sign of clarity, evidence and logical thinking.
     
    Given that level of misrepresentation, being ignored is about the nicest thing Gavin could expect.

  146. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    Extra commas, extra line breaks and typing “called” instead of “said.”  Yeah, I would love a preview feature.

  147. Keith Kloor Says:

    I’ve read Judith’s related “No Dogma” post and based on its comment thread (see comments from Chris Colose, for example), it doesn’t seem she is persuading her critics.

    The one thing I’ll comment on is her reference to email correspondence between her colleague Peter Webster and an IPCC lead author as a means to bolster her case. I don’t think that’s wise. First of all, nobody else can see that exchange and secondly, it’s arguing from anecdote.

  148. coby Says:

    “I have been providing at Climate Etc. for the past 6 weeks, with over 6000 words with evidence, logic, and web links.”
    I don’t really see how that description even comes close to your latest two posts, and these by far would demand the most evidence.
    http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2010/11/judith_curry_plants_her_flag.php

  149. doskonaleszare Says:

    “I’ve read Judith’s related “No Dogma” post and based on its comment thread (see comments from Chris Colose, for example), it doesn’t seem she is persuading her critics.”
    That’s because she’s ignoring all criticism. Just look how she (finally) responded to Steig’s comment, or how she failed to defend her claim that the title of SciAm article is a proof for existence of the “IPCC dogma”.
    Not to mention the flag thing she promised to respond to .

  150. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    #148, coby, that blog post has a number of issues.  For example, your criticize Judith Curry as such:
     
    This is evidence of “cart before the horse”, right? There was no problem when the UNFCCC was signed. Sorry, this is both illogical and a selective rewriting of history. Anthropogenic climate change concerns date back to the 1950’s and in fact anthropogenic climate change was first hypothesized 150 years ago. Even if this were an entirely new issue in the 1990’s, it is perfectly reasonable, and entirely prudent, to look for something you are expecting may happen before it is in fact obviously happening.
     
    This is a nonsensical criticism.  First, Curry never denied concerns of global warming existed before the UNFCCC treaty was signed, as you suggest.  She simply pointed out the IPCC at that time had concluded it could not discern the existence of global warming, which is completely true.  You are criticizing her for something she didn’t say.  Worse yet, your last sentence greatly misrepresents her comments.  The sentence immediately following what you quoted says:
     
    Nevertheless, the policy cart was put before the scientific horse, justified by the precautionary principle.
     
    She acknowledges the very point you criticize her for not acknowledging.  Another example is found when you say:
     
    Other examples of the unreliability of Curry’s blog publications are illustrated by Michael Tobis and James Annan, who both showed basic flaws in her understanding of uncertainty and probability,

     
    Now then, I disagree with this immensely.  I have responded to Michael Tobis several times, explaining how he was wrong.  In return, I got called a sock puppet, and Tobis left the discussion.  So obviously, I find it strange for you to promote Tobis’s criticism without any critical thought applied.  More importantly though is you said James Annan showed basic flaws in Curry’s work.
     
    This is completely untrue.  Annan merely parroted Tobis’s remarks, adding absolutely nothing to them.  Added to this, he made an obviously untrue claim in his second paragraph (IFA is about proportion, not probability).
     
    I don’t care to look any deeper into your post, but I hope you will at least consider rewriting or updating it.  As it stands, it is not trustworthy.

  151. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    Oh, also coby, your entire fourth post is garbage.  You misrepresent Judith Curry’s comments, despite providing a link to one of them.  Curry never said attributing late 20th climate change would be impossible as you claim she said.

  152. coby Says:

    Hi Brandon,
    Thanks for reading  my post, I will respond to your other points soon as well, but for now I will just object to your paraphrase of me as saying that Curry says late 20th century attribution is impossible.  I said “she has stated multiple times that she believes if we can not confidently attribute early 20th century climate change then we can not confidently attribute late 20th century climate change“.
    Which she has done on this very blog.

  153. Lazar Says:

    James Annan providing a second data point
     
    “Here is Eric Steig refuting her absurd claim about the IPCC that “they will tolerate no dissent, and seek to trample and discredit anyone who challenges the IPCC.” [...] Well, I don’t think I got quite such a rapturous response as Eric did, with my attempts to improve the AR4 drafts, but I certainly didn’t get trampled and discredited either - merely made to feel mildly unwelcome, which I find tends to happen when I criticise people outside the IPCC too. But they did change the report in various ways. While I’m not an unalloyed fan of the IPCC process, my experience is not what she describes it as. So make that two anecdotes.”

  154. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    #152, coby, no she hasn’t.  The comment you refer to says:
     
    Gavin, it is very difficult to have confidence in the  attribution statement for the latter half of the 2oth century, if we cannot explain the warming in the earlier period.
     
    Curry pointed out the failure to attribute early 20th century climate change makes it “very difficult” to trust attributions for late 20th century climate change.  In no way does this say it is impossible, as you claim.
     
    I am sorry I did not explain this in more detail, but I had assumed you would note the distinction on your own.

  155. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    #153, Lazar, I already responded to Eric Steig’s experience being offered to discredit Curry’s claim in #41 and #69.  As I pointed out before, Steig said nothing on the highly controversial aspects of the chapter, so his anecdote means nothing.
     
    As for James Annan, I don’t think his experiences can be taken to mean much either.  He was a co-author on the so-called Jesus paper, upon which the entire chapter’s defense of the hockey stick depended.
     
    Two people who promoted the IPCC’s handling of the most controversial aspects of the chapter have disagreed with Curry saying dissent isn’t tolerated.
     
    But is anyone who actually dissented saying the same thing?

  156. Øystein Says:

    151, 154 Brandon:

    Coby hasn’t written what you say he’s written.

  157. Lazar Says:

    Brandon,
     
    Wrong.
    JC said …
    “they will tolerate no dissent, and seek to trample and discredit anyone who challenges the IPCC.”
    She didn’t say…
    “they will tolerate no dissent, and seek to trample and discredit anyone who challenges the most controversial aspect of chapter 6 of WGI of the AR4.”

    She also didn’t say…
     
    “they will tolerate no dissent, and seek to trample and discredit anyone who challenges the hockey stick.”


    “He was a co-author on the so-called Jesus paper”
     
    umm, dude… James Annan is not Casper Amman
     
    “upon which the entire chapter’s defense of the hockey stick depended.”
     
    wrong

  158. Lazar Says:

    “most controversial” is, of course, your interpretation

  159. Lazar Says:

    Brandon, JC has accepted that Steig’s example disproves her claim…
     
    “ok lazar, i give in, my statement should have said “never tolerated (except for Eric Steig)” I’ve seen your statement many times, you don’t need to say this again.”

  160. Lazar Says:

    and Casper Amman is not Caspar Amman :-)

  161. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    Oh wow, sorry.  I can’t believe I mixed those two names up.  Insomnia is bad for me, but that is no excuse.
     
    Thanks for catching that so quickly.

  162. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    As for the issue of “dissent,” I think we have to consider what is meant by “dissent.”  When Judith Curry says “dissent,” are we to interpret that as, “Disagrees with any word in the report?”  I don’t think so.  I also don’t think she means, “Thinks every word in the report is wrong.”
     
    I took dissent to mean, “disagrees with an important claim.”  The most damning thing Eric Steig said is the understanding of abrupt climate change is overstated (in general).  Given the controversies covered by that chapter, this certainty doesn’t seem like an important claim to have disputed.  I suppose other people may view this differently, but it seems reasonable to me.
     
    It’s sort of like people defending a guy accused of murder and vandalism on the charge of vandalism.  Yes, they are defending him, but is that really what people think when they hear those people are “in defense” of the guy?

  163. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    I just want to point out part of what caused my confusion on Amman/Annan is the tendency to refer to people by only their last names.  That’s why I normally try to type each full name at least once in my posts.
     
    This time I just made an extremely stupid mistake despite it.  I don’t know how to make up for that.

  164. willard Says:

    Eli,
     
    I was merely paraphrasing the comment quoted by the link and would need more data to answer you.

  165. Lazar Says:

    Brandon,



    “I don’t know how to make up for that.”
     
    … I don’t think it’s a big deal… stuff happens
     
    Only Judith can know what she means by dissent… Steig counts according to her… and my point was how Steig’s comments relate to *her* statement… you of course will have a different meaning of “dissent”.

  166. isaacschumann Says:

    Bart in #110 gets it spot on,  at its worst the blogosphere tends to amplify disagreement as the audience tends to gravitate towards argument and controversy. I don’t think Judith’s recent posts have been very constructive, bias in the IPCC is a legitimate topic, but her accusations are too strong and too sweeping for me as an interested layman to take seriously.
    Bart and Eduardo are two commentators that I always make sure and read their views; I think their style of discourse is a good example for all. Maybe the principle participants (Judith, Gavin, MT etc.) should take pains to be less inflammatory, tone down the broad generalizations and insults, this will probably lessen your readership but I will still be there;)

  167. willard Says:

    Lazar, PDA,
     
    There is no need to talk about Steig’s testimony “falsifying” Judith’s claim.  Her claim was not meant as an universal statement, in my opinion.  It was a general, mundane one.
     
    What we can say, though, is that Eric Steig is contradicting, refuting, rebutting Judith Curry’s claim.  These verbs refer to speech acts, not to logical statements.   James Annan too is contradicting, refuting, rebutting Judith Curry’s claim.
     
    Both are offering their witness account as evidence for their respective claims.  This evidence should not be conflated with the claims themselves.  The evidence offered by Steig seems to show that there is a process to manage differents.  Annan offered the same kind of evidence.
     
    The evidence from Judith Curry is mostly implicit.  All I saw for now is a non-disclosed email from a guy she named, and the usual “yes, but Climategate”.  This was already public knowledge last year:
     
    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/27/a-climate-scientist-on-climate-skeptics/
     
    Some commenters on her blog go as far as saying that we must take it for granted to have a meaningful discussion.  This, of course, makes little sense in our context.  To agree on some premise “for the sake of argument”, we would need an argument.
     
    There is no argument yet.  All there is for now is a diagnostic and a call to action.  Curry basically says climate science must cure itself.  She wants us to reflect on a cure.
     
    I have some sympathy for Brandon Shollenberger, whom I hope is not losing sleep over all this.  His interpretation of dissent makes some sense: Curry’s main contention is that contrarians voices are not heard, or not heard enough.  This interpretation of dissent runs into technical problems, nonetheless, the most simple one is that one can’t claim at the same time that AGW is the best explanation for our climate changes and that there are other better explanations.
     
    Either an explanation is the best one, or it’s not.  No fuzzy, possibilistic, bayesian logic will ever attenuate the fact that logic is about valence.

  168. Lazar Says:

    willard,
    do you mean that, given the logical statement A: ‘X therefore not Y’, A is not X, A is an interpretation of the logical significance of X? if so… agreed
     
    I’ll stop interpreting JC’s statement as a universal when she changes the phrasing to a statement that is not universal, or explains that she didn’t mean a universal… at the moment she seems attached to making a universal stt…
     
    “my statement should have said “never tolerated (except for Eric Steig)””

  169. willard Says:

    Lazar,
     
    No time for now.  I’ll simply reiterate that you can backtrack to an evidence-based framework.  Since we’re not into scientific territory, falsificationism is not the way to go.  Her exception would make no sense in a scientific settings: there are no exceptions to universal laws of nature.
     
    You only need to say that Steig and Annan’s stories contradict hers.  You only need to say that her story lacks plausibility.  All we have for now are appeals to positive feedback, cadre of scientists, dogma, or her own persona.  As far as sociology of science is concerned, you could argue that this is quite thin.
     
    If you’d say something like this, I’m not sure Brandon Schollenberg has the case he thinks he has.

  170. Lazar Says:

    willard,
     
    I agree that since no procudures for measuring “dissent”, “tolerance” etc. have been given, “falsify” is too strong a word. I’m content to assume that JC knows what she means, and has retracted the initial claim on that basis.
     
    “Her exception would make no sense in a scientific settings: there are no exceptions to universal laws of nature.”
     
    What if one defines ‘the law’ as  “never tolerated” for the set ‘not Eric Steig’? Is there still a contradiction, and is the law not a universal?

  171. Lewis Says:

    Keith, ‘based on the comment thread’ she’s not really going to persuade her critics? Persuasion, I don’t think, is her intent or, indeed, her art. If it was she wouldn’t have used the big stick. She wants to say it as it is, as she feels and I admire her honesty, if I think, that tactically, it’s a mistake. And accusing her of using ‘anecdotes’ is just crass. Anecdotes amongst many anecdotes and illustrative of a pattern is a quite reasonable argument.
     
    Well, she’s certainly, thrown the cat amongst the pigeons (lion that she seems to be becoming!), no mistake, but as to the substance of what she has said in these three posts, that is a matter of perception but I would maintain, along with her, that the preponderance of evidence does support the contention that much of the scientific community that coalesces around the IPCC appears, to the general public, at least, as dogmatic and intolerant of dissent, not necessarillary (sic) of the science but of the politics as allegedly supported by the science. What do you think?

  172. Lazar Says:

    Judith misinterpreting Eric Steig and James Annan.

  173. Shub Says:

    You want ‘references’ for Curry’s stance. They can be provided.
    [1] Curry notes a unusual alignment of different entities inside the climate establishment pointing in one direction, and speaking largely with one voice. Hardly controversial -  hopefully no references needed.
    [2] The consensus (warmists) point out this is possible and quite the  logical thing, because, as the IPCC has shown, a near-scientific unanimity has been arrived at, in the athropogenic influence on most of all observed change in past century.
    Reference: IPCC report.
    [3] JC then examines this argument, using her framework - for eg., set out in point (5) <a href=”http://judithcurry.com/2010/10/24/overconfidence-in-ipccs-detection-and-attribution-part-iii/”>here</a>. She sets out her reasons for why she does not think this is convincing. Indeed, this is the part where she makes a break from her past - where she simply ’substituted the IPCC judgement for her own’ and puts out her own framework. Let us note as well, that she’s been posting about these ideas from quite some time back.
    Reference: Post linked to above
    [4] Seen in this light, the modus operandi of the IPCC seems even more dubious to her in instances where ‘expert judgement’ alone is employed to generate numerical uncertainty estimates especially in high-profile climate impact assessments. Of course she does not decry expert judgement, only the method of assessment by IPCC.
    Reference: Please look around. She’s criticized IPCC use of expert judgement a few times now.
    [4] Curry then observes - the Lemonick article and the ensuing behind-the-scenes ruckus, which Lemonick reports, and Lemonick’s excuse-making, the editor-in-chief’s excuse making and CYAing. (BTW, I am sure Sci Am will take credit for this one day - mark my words, just as Fred Pearce did with Glaciergate) .
    References: Srcoogle “Sci Am C Judith Curry Lemonick John Rennie heretic”.
    [5] JC interprets this correctly enough, that a more-than-expected unusual reaction and maneuvering has been set afoot by the Scientific American article - mainly because her views about the supposed consensus got an airing, which can harm appearances. 
    Reference. Lemonick saying: “…some people think she is a crank” and “Simply by giving Judith Curry’s views a respectful airing, I’ve already drawn accusations of being irresponsible ”
    [6] Curry then wonders aloud why should this be harmful at all. In declaring her, or potraying her a heretic, the science establishment sets off a self-fulfilling reaction of the kind that Gavin describes at Realclimate. The unusual alignment JC observed, and was a part of, as referred to in [1] appears artificial to JC.

  174. Shub Says:

    KK, comment is messed up. Please help. Aargh.

  175. Lazar Says:

    willard,
     
    ‘for the set’ should be ‘on the set’… sorry, this ain’t my field!

  176. Dean Says:

    I think it’s worth pointing out that on the cover of SciAm, the tag was “Climate Critic - What Science Got Wrong” - with nothing else, as if the criticisms were proven. As such, I think that the subtitle of “heretic” on the inside has been taken far too literally; probably just an off-chance choice of words.

  177. Boris Says:

    It is now time to remind people that Roger Pielke Sr’s survey of climate scientists found as many who thought the IPCC was too low in its estimates of future climate change as those who though the IPCC was too high. You never hear about the ones who think the IPCC is too low, do you? Think about why this may be.
    Also, it’s good to remind people of Real Climate’s post about Sea Level Rise and how sloppily it was handled by the IPCC. The mistake skeptics make is automatically assuming bias on part of the IPCC because they dislike the results. What this evidence shows is that the IPCC does a fairly decent middle of the road job and there is no reason to assume they are biased in one direction or another.

  178. Keith Kloor Says:

    Boris, thanks for that perspective.

    Folks, on a separate note, it’s tougher for me to stay on top of comment threads on weekends, given family obligations. So I can’t be as responsive to formatting/moderating issues that might arise.

     

  179. Michael Tobis Says:

    Beck:

    Other examples of the unreliability of Curry’s blog publications are illustrated by Michael Tobis and James Annan, who both showed basic flaws in her understanding of uncertainty and probability,

    Shollenberger:
    Now then, I disagree with this immensely.  I have responded to Michael Tobis several times, explaining how he was wrong.  In return, I got called a sock puppet, and Tobis left the discussion.
    ===
    Mr. Shollengereger, I am genuinely sorry if I missed a substantive reply from you. Could you repeat it or provide a link?
     

  180. Keith Kloor Says:

    Lazar, very good suggestion you put forward here, and I hope Steig takes you up on it.

  181. Lazar Says:

    thanks, Keith !

  182. Michael Tobis Says:

    Keith, to Eli: “[Eli: You continue to marvel. As I said on the previous thread, you're not the guy to lecture anyone on being free with "opinions which are based on falsities, unfamiliarity or naked unsupported wild guesses.//KK]”
     
    Keith, this is not my impression. Nor can I find anything from or about Eli on “the previous thread” meaning the one just before this one. On what basis do you make this accusation?
     

  183. Lewis Says:

    Michael, I think it best to be quiet about this. I was there and saw. Please be rational and civil.

  184. Lewis Says:

    And, just to copy a comment I made on Dr Curry’s blog, this:

    Also, I just want to say, any thread that involves the wabbit must have degenerated down Alice’s hole. There were books on either side that he could have grabbed, during his decline, but never bothered to. I’ll give you a challenge wabbit – read!
     
     
     

  185. thingsbreak Says:

    @Dean 176:
    As such, I think that the subtitle of “heretic” on the inside has been taken far too literally; probably just an off-chance choice of words.


    Yes, precisely. The word appeared no where in the article itself. It was chosen by an editor for the headline presumably to drum up interest, not to cast the IPCC as “dogma” like Curry so unconvincingly is claiming. According to the article’s author, he “can say with reasonable confidence that the editor did NOT mean to suggest the IPCC is dogma, but rather used the word in its loosest possible meaning” (personal communication).
     
    That she’s hiding behind a throwaway headline from a pop sci editor to justify her claims when it’s been pointed out over and over again that people don’t consider her to be a “heretic” is extremely telling. Her new “justifications” for her claims are, if anything, even sillier. By her standards, evolutionary biology is dogma. I rather doubt this is going to increase the perceived seriousness of her arguments among people other than the Morano crowd.

  186. thingsbreak Says:

    @Shub #173:
    [2] The consensus (warmists) point out this is possible and quite the  logical thing, because, as the IPCC has shown, a near-scientific unanimity has been arrived at, in the athropogenic influence on most of all observed change in past century.
    Reference: IPCC report.

     
    The majority of the observed warming from 1950-2000 is not the same as “a near-scientific unanimity has been arrived at, in the athropogenic influence on most of all observed change in past century.” This is a strawman that Curry has been repeatedly told is incorrect, yet it seems to be accepted uncritically by her audience. The difference is not one of semantics but has to do with the incredible increase in observational data available during that period.

    If her effort is to communicate actual problems with the IPCC rather than sow unwarranted confusion, it would seem to me that she might have a vested interest in correcting these egregious errors before they’re further propagated throughout the blogosphere.

  187. Lewis Says:

    By her standards, evolutionary biology is dogma


    This is just nonsense. I mean, where has she claimed that the headline ‘heretic’ proves anything. Also,  I didn’t know that SciAm is ‘pop sci’. Not really ‘popular’, anyway. She never made any ‘justifications’ (re-read the three posts!) about anyone calling her a ‘heretic’. Talk about ’straw dogs’.

    I rather doubt this is going to increase the perceived seriousness of her arguments among people other than the Morano crowd.

    Just adolescent and silly.

  188. Lewis Says:

    By the way, thingsbreak, the following is incoherent:
     
    The majority of the observed warming from 1950-2000 is not the same as “a near-scientific unanimity has been arrived at, in the athropogenic influence on most of all observed change in past century.” This is a strawman that Curry has been repeatedly told is incorrect, yet it seems to be accepted uncritically by her audience. The difference is not one of semantics but has to do with the incredible increase in observational data available during that period.


    And, a scientist cannot be ‘told’. It’s strange you think so.

  189. grypo Says:

    Please, may I ask a scientist to explain the differences between a consensus of evidence and a consensus of expert opinion?  And how would the IPCC and climate science in general fit into those differences?  When I here Judith discuss this consensus, I think is referring to opinion of most climate scientists.  But I’d like clarification there.

  190. Roddy Campbell Says:

    It’s pretty clear to me, standing back and reading all the Bart / C-a-S / RC / Curry / Klimazwiebel blogs how little things have changed.  The memes are exactly the same, the tactics of the blog ‘pros’ exactly the same, the line-ups the same.

    The exact parsing of Judy’s words by her ‘opponents’ (I use the word loosely to mean those who dislike or disagree with what she is saying) and the Realclimate-style attacks are so reminiscent of RC’s attacks on The Guardian and Pearce, it’s the style reserved for heretics really.

    The Realclimate attacks on Pearce, and the Guardian, were very instructive for me, and provide I think a dry run for the Curry situation now.  This was a newspaper, and a journalist, who had been the strongest most loyal highbrow accurate coverers of the environment and AGW, they were cross-linked with RC, they were staunch and clear allies, in the best sense of the word.  Pearce (and Monbiot) and others on the Guardian staff knew their stuff, and were supporters of the IPCC consensus.

    When Monbiot wrote after Climategate that Jones had misbehaved , and Pearce wrote the Climategate series, and then the book, and do remember that these two are not flip-floppers, not casual ‘what’s the new story’ hacks, at no point did it seem to occur to RC (again, I use ‘RC’ loosely, I would include a whole raft of commenters under that umbrella) THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE A POINT.  They were taken apart (in the eyes of RC), debunked, parsed to death.

    Similarly now it does not seem to occur to the RC-ites that Judith MIGHT HAVE A POINT.  It has occurred to Zorita, who agreed on media alarmism, it has occurred to v Storch, who agrees on IPCC +ve feedbacks, to Kloor sometimes, to almost everyone not so firmly in the RC camp it’s tattoo-ed on their forehead, that she has made some good points, some telling points.  What RC-ites do is find something she has said that doesn’t stand up under severe investigation - and there’s plenty, she has a great hip-shoot style - and then SO fallaciously say ‘Look, she said this, it’s bollocks, she can’t be trusted on anything, she’s DEBUNKED.  And this despite, see Monbiot and Pearce, her fully-paid up belief in AGW.  It’s what they did with Pearce, and have done with Pielke Sr and Jr, anyone who gets any ’sceptic’ profile, regardless of their scientific AGW credentials. It’s Tobis, Lambert, RC, Eli, Stoat, Romm, et al, and all the commenters who travel with them, MapleLeaf, TBA, Boris, and so on and so on, I don’t catch most names.

    I could understand them doing it to non-believers, I can understand them doing it to McIntyre because he made their life hell, to me because I am not a scientist and I know nothing, but they have NO discrimination, they seem unable to discriminate between people who say the IPCC process has faults, the uncertainty analysis has faults, and yet remain full members of the AGW consensus, and those who have other agendas or beliefs.  The well-funded denial machine is oft-quoted, by Mann most recently in print (he has more right than others, I accept that).

    It is very strange that when these insiders, these friends, these members of the club, dare say something is not quite right, they are treated the same, OR EVEN WORSE, than the ones who have been tricky for a while, the Pielkes and so on.

    It’s sad really, almost pathetic sometimes, that the lack of perspective prevents them from seeing any merit in anything Judy Curry says.

    Almost religious, they are.  But that would make her a ….. heretic, just like Pearce.

    Never mind - since you are certain, and right, just keep saying it, we’ll all come round eventually, we have to, because ….. you’re right, and she’s wrong - about everything.

  191. Lewis Says:

    Keith, what I think is ‘ridiculous’, almost as ‘ridiculous’ as Dr Currys three posts, is the reaction to them. Because she has said, as an ‘x-insider’ the emperor has no clothes, people are up in arms ( sophistically speaking, literally). And the infantile nature of the debate. I think Judith shouldn’t have been so angry, but nor should anyone else. What do you think?

  192. Roddy Campbell Says:

    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/what-the-green-movement-got-wrong/4od
     
    A programme from earlier this week - might give you some clues where you’re going wrong.

  193. Lewis Says:

    grypo, a ‘consensus’ is a meme not a literal thing. And this is a matter of perception not logic.

  194. Lazar Says:

    Lewis,
     
    We can agree that anger and ‘infantile nature’ is unproductive of rational debate… but “Because she has said, as an ‘x-insider’ the emperor has no clothes, people are up in arms”… is not my motivation… and I’m not at all sure it’s the motivation of others… I can’t read minds.
    PS… addressing Keith?… did I miss something?

  195. grypo Says:

    Lewis,
    The consensus of opinion is different from that of evidence.  Judith is restating Nullis in Verba’s argument from ad populam.  I think it is a fair argument and one that should be addressed, as far as that differences between evidence and expert opinion.

  196. laursaurus Says:

    Boris @133: Oh, and just a reminder that it is climate skeptics who append the scandal suffix “gate” to every mistake–many manufactured out of their own ignorance and misunderstanding. But they are just honest truth seekers and completely impartial, right?

    Never fails to astound me when someone makes these types of criticims claiming only the “other guys” do such and such.
    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/04/currygate_part_3_the_key_paper.php
    http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2010/07/currygate-more-unbearably-lame-comments.html

    Less than a month ago, our beloved host posted:
    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/10/08/skepticgate/
    Look, even RC!
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/06/leakegate-a-retraction/
    Deltoid and DeSmog loved “Leakegate”, too
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/global_warming/leakegate/
    http://www.desmogblog.com/directory/vocabulary/5101
    Ok, that’s probably more than enough links to both refute this accusation and get stuck in Keith’s spam filter.

  197. laursaurus Says:

    @Jack Hughes#155Only a few short months to save the planet and what are  people doing?Writing blogs about blogs about blogs

  198. laursaurus Says:

    addendum to 197
    Don’t we at least have until 12/20/2012?
    Better get off the web and get that ark built!

  199. Lewis Says:

    Lazar, yes you did, (it was up post somewhere).
     
    Grypo, Judith is restating Nullis in Verba’s argument from ad populam. is both a very strange of arguing (condrictory I might suggest) and hardly answering my charge of being obscure!
     

  200. Lewis Says:

    Sorry for haste!

    Lazar, yes you did, (it was up post somewhere). Grypo, Judith is restating Nullis in Verba’s argument from ad populam. is both a very strange of way of arguing (contradictory I might suggest) and hardly answering my charge of being obscure!

  201. grypo Says:

    I don’t know what you mean about being contradictory.  So then you don’t ever think there could ever be a consensus of evidence, then?  Because the idea of any ‘consensus’ is obscure?

  202. Lewis Says:

    Lazar, you say you ‘can’t read minds’ but we are all humans and we read each others humanness pretty well. For instance, I can read Dr Currys absolute rage pretty well. And, also, I can read your distaste and your thoughts that this is unproductive towards a future you want. Am I right or am I right?

  203. Lewis Says:

    No, grypo, you were obscure. As for consensus, I don’t think it means anything, except in political terms. There is no ‘consensus’ about General Relativity (indeed, privately, I have some reservations, philosiphacaly(sic) speaking) it just is a very useful theory ( not as useful as Newtonian mechanics, of course). But it doesn’t betray us into an ethical debate. What we need here is cold, hard facts and no politics. Ie the politics comes after, not before.

  204. Lazar Says:

    Lewis,
     
    I can’t read Dr. Curry’s absolute rage… words can enable me to guess emotions… but I am only guessing at the meanings of words… and people can lie… sometimes the guesses seem to work ok… still they are only guesses… guessing *motivation* is even more fraught, esp. when that guessed motivation is unstated…
     
    “I can read your distaste and your thoughts that this is unproductive towards a future you want. Am I right or am I right?”
     
    distaste… well, I probably wouldn’t have criticized JC’s approach if I didn’t dislike it… so distaste is a fairly safe guess… and it would be pointless criticizing a behaviour that I thought unlikely to effect the future… you’d make a good fortune teller :-)
     
    what future do I want… all human endeavours have human weaknesses… there are biases and politics in Buddhist monasteries, sporting events, every scientific field, every professional organization, every department, and the IPCC… how those weaknesses effect outcomes is a complex question… unsubstantiated broadbrush claims do not help answer that question… they are not *good information*… and in this case they enable ‘there is bias and politics… therefore Not the IPCC!’… a response which is highly irresponsible…
     
    I want good information.

  205. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    #167, willard, have no fear.  I didn’t lose sleep over any of this.  The heat had just gone out, leaving my place literally freezing.  It made it difficult for me to sleep, but everything is fixed now (and yes, I know it technically isn’t insomnia).
     
    For what it is worth, I do think Judith Curry has been overly broad with her criticisms.  The difference between me and others seems to be I don’t think this is some intentional tactic designed to smear people.  To me, it just seems like some carelessly worded sentences and the like.  Given that she has a busy life, is running a blog and trying to respond to many people, I can easily see how it could happen.

  206. Brandon Shollenberger Says:

    #179, Michael Tobis, I could, but quite frankly, I have no interest in doing so.  I have seen no attempt on your part to amend your ways, the ways which led you to calling me a sock puppet.  You can call it petty if you want, but by insulting me then abruptly leaving the discussion, you’ve made me not want to try to have a real conversation with you.
     
    With that said, you know fully well where the conversation took place, so you should have no problem looking it up if you want.

  207. Lazar Says:

    Brandon,
     
    “I don’t think this is some intentional tactic designed to smear people.”
     
    Nor do I.

  208. grypo Says:

    I was obscure?  Well, it’s inconsequential I suppose.
    There is no ‘consensus’ about General Relativity
    Really, are you sure about that?  So your saying there isn’t a consensus of evidence that supports that theory and that is why a consensus of experts widely accepted it?
    What we need here is cold, hard facts
    And these are the make up of the consensus of evidence, no?
     
     

  209. Lewis Says:



    unsubstantiated broadbrush claims do not help answer that question
    Lazar, With this we agree.  I’ve already said that this is an unproductive ‘vein’ for Dr Curry to open. It means absolutely nothing. But I will continue to defend Dr Currys honesty, nevertheless. I believe she is right, if only it wasn’t disappointing to me that she decided to bring this up. It is a non issue. My ta’ppence.

  210. Lewis Says:

    And, by the way, there is nothing in Judiths post that ’smears’ or even attempts to ’smear’ persons. What she has written is a general broadside, which says to every climate scientist buck up and chill out. Nothing to do with any person in particular. Read her again!

  211. willard Says:

    Brandon Shollenberger,
     
    I am happy to hear that your heating problems are getting solved.

    I am also quite in agreement with what you say in #205
     
    > For what it is worth, I do think Judith Curry has been overly broad with her criticisms.  The difference between me and others seems to be I don’t think this is some intentional tactic designed to smear people.  To me, it just seems like some carelessly worded sentences and the like.  Given that she has a busy life, is running a blog and trying to respond to many people, I can easily see how it could happen.
     
    I think it might be worth to admit to ourselves these kinds of things, from time to time.  That might compensate for the complete lack of recognition by the author themselves, as underlined by Keith Kloor’s last sentence to this post.
     
    I also agree that we should be charitable about the authors’ meanings.  We should all allow them to correct themselves and be lenient on their wordings.
     
    I believe it’s worth noting that most if not all the persons involved are not idiots.  Many are well educated.  Almost everyone is well intended.   (Even Lewis, from time to time, seems reasonable…)  We all agree on lots of things.
     
    So I’m not sure that Judith’s critics here are claiming that Judith is using an “intentional tactic designed to smear people.”  Some could have said that, but they would be wrong.  Such is blog life.
     
    What I believe is the most important claim that is conveyed by Judith’s critics is that she’s basically shaming scientists.  This might not be her intention, but to them, this is what it looks like.
     
    And I believe they have a point.  This is not about intent.  This is what is done with words.  Talking about an undefined cadre of scientists is a poor rhetorical ploy.  If one wants to focus on the process, even the metaphor of positive feedback is better than that.
     
    Without any argument nor explanation, words and metaphors matter a lot.  Words and metaphors matter much less when one provides an argument and a real explanation.

  212. thingsbreak Says:

    @Lewis 187:
    I mean, where has she claimed that the headline ‘heretic’ proves anything.
     
    She has claimed that the ‘heretic’ headline, and people’s failure to reject that label (despite many people, including Gavin and myself in the same thread doing so), was evidence that the IPCC was “dogma”:
     
    @Judith Curry#86:
    @Judith Curry:
    I am stating that some scientists regard the IPCC as dogma.  People don’t like me saying this, but none are defending me from the label of heretic for talking about overconfidence in the IPCC and concerns about treatment of the uncertainty (which stimulated the heretic label).  Which seems to support my dogma argument.

    Which, has been pointed out, is absurd. She doubles down on using the SciAm subheadline in her “dogma” post.

  213. thingsbreak Says:

    @Lewis #188:
    And, a scientist cannot be ‘told’. It’s strange you think so.
     
    She has been informed that she created a strawman and has been quoted the actual IPCC claim. Use whatever verb you prefer, the facts are unchanged. The “very likely” claim was not for the entire 20th century, and there is significant justification for having good confidence for 1950-onward attribution.

  214. Boris Says:

    laursaurus
    “Deltoid and DeSmog loved “Leakegate”, too”
    Given that Jonathan Leake was the source of most of the phony “-gates”, I’m pretty sure the use of Leakegate is ironic.
     
     

  215. Lewis Says:

    thingsbreak, I don’t think so and you’d have de-contextualise further to make it so!
    She has been informed that she created a strawman and has been quoted the actual IPCC claim.


    Well, forewarned is for armed, I suppose! By the way, there are no facts, only interpretations of facts. And, I would suggest, neither you nor I, but Judy is, are qualified to judge Judy on whether the IPCC has it right or not.

  216. Lewis Says:

    Even Lewis, from time to time, seems reasonable…


    Thanks, willard!

  217. Lewis Says:

    What I believe is the most important claim that is conveyed by Judith’s critics is that she’s basically shaming scientists.  This might not be her intention, but to them, this is what it looks like. And I believe they have a point.  This is not about intent.  This is what is done with words.  Talking about an undefined cadre of scientists is a poor rhetorical ploy.  If one wants to focus on the process, even the metaphor of positive feedback is better than that. Without any argument nor explanation, words and metaphors matter a lot.  Words and metaphors matter much less when one provides an argument and a real explanation.


    I think your wrong, willard, but let me put it this way:
    Would it have been ‘rhetoric’ if Anthony Watts or (shock!) Keith Kloor or worse Revkin, had said this? No. Why? Because their journalists and journalists produce ‘editorials’. Ie it is context that produces the shock.
    I profess, I myself am shocked about Dr Currys editorial and think their misplaced. But it was well meant and honest and until you can prove otherwise I will believe that is so. As any honest, above board person should.
    Whether what she says is true is another matter. I would maintain it is. You otherwise.

  218. Lewis Says:

    undefined cadre of scientists
    And by the way, there’s nothing ‘undefined’ in her posts, she’s talking about the ‘whole damn lot’ of ‘climate scientists’ which means about 10 or 12 people? No? Count them.

  219. willard Says:

    Lewis,
     
    In the comment you are commenting, I said I believe that almost everyone is well intended.  Perhaps I should have been clearer and stated that Judith Curry’s editorials were written in good faith. So we find ourselves in violent agreement.
     
    I believe that there is something “undefined” in the “cadre of scientists”.  It is supposed to refer to some people.  Perhaps 10 or 12.   All people we could almost identified.  So I did not want to used the more proper “unidentified.”
     
    I surmise that if one wants to correct the process, one should stick to the process.

  220. Lewis Says:

    I think, willard, we find ourselves in the unfortunate position of being in ‘violent agreement’, though I hope the violence is not there! The only proviso I have is that if the process has proved broken, then ’sticking’ with it may not be ‘advisable’. Just saying.

  221. Lazar Says:

    The sad and predictable result
     
    ” Louis Hooffstetter said… [...] Any climatologist who dares question “the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change” is branded a pariah by IPCC scientists. These same scientists then do everything in their power to destroy the careers of the ‘heretics’.
    (Please don’t anyone insult the readers by asking for references, as the history of this abhorrent behavior is so well documented you’ll risk looking like an idiot.)”

  222. Lewis Says:

    No, Lazar, your quoting a source, of whom you have no respect, to discredit Dr Curry. It won’t wash, I promise you.

  223. Lewis Says:

    Or maybe I’m wrong? Sorry, Lazar.

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