Pearcegate

Fred Pearce is going down the David Rose road publishing fabricated quotes. Gavin Schmidt in a letter to New Scientist (so far unpublished there) writes:

In the piece entitled “Climate sceptics and scientists attempt peace
deal”

Fred Pearce includes a statement about me that is patently untrue.

“But the leaders of mainstream climate science turned down the gig,
including NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, who said the science was settled so
there was nothing to discuss.”

This is completely made up. My decision not to accept the invitation to
this meeting was based entirely on the organiser’s initial diagnosis of
the cause of the ‘conflict’ in the climate change debate. I quote from
their introductory letter:

“At this stage we are planning to have a workshop where the main
scientific issues can be discussed, so that some clarity on points of
agreement and disagreement might be reached. We would try to stay off
the policy issues, and will also exclude personal arguments.

The issues we have in mind are Medieval Warm Period, ice, climate
sensitivity, and temperature data. We would hope to have smaller groups
discussing these in some detail, hopefully with scientists who are very
familiar with the technical issues to lead the discussion.”


Since, in my opinion, the causes of conflict in the climate change
debate relate almost entirely to politics and not the MWP, climate
sensitivity or ‘ice’, dismissing this from any discussion did not seem
likely to be to help foster any reconciliation.

At no point did I declare that the ‘science was settled’ and that there
was nothing to discuss. Indeed, I am on record as saying the exact
opposite

Pearce might well note that even I am included in the “spectrum” that
“disagree[s] with Schmidt”!

Fred Pearce did not interview me for this piece. I should like to
request that in future, if my views are of interest, that he (or anyone
else) should actually ask me directly. I am not hard to contact.

Yours respectfully,

Gavin Schmidt

PS. I am not a ‘leader of mainstream climate science’ either.

Commenting on Pierce and the workshop are:

Things Break:

I’d ask whether New Scientist wants this kind of indefensible behavior associated with their brand, but clearly they’ve given Pearce free reign to troll for page views however he sees fit.

William Connolley:

And… if you haven’t been part of the climate wars, you might wonder why exactly any of this matters. But “the science is settled” has been one of the mantras used almost exclusively by climate denialists as a term of insult for those actually doing science (Pearce is fully aware of all this back story, of course. He isn’t using the phrase accidentally or carelessly). It is a feeble attempt at a double bind: is the science settled? ha ha, then you can’t be a scientist because real science is never settled. Is the science not settled? Oh great, then we don’t need to do anything until it is. The answer, of course, is that we know now (and indeed have for years) enough about the science to know that the world is warming now due to human activity, and will be warming more into the future from more anthro stuff.

Tamino: “This isn’t a misquote — it’s just a fabrication.”

Joe Romm:

Any conference where most of the participants are obsessed with the Hockey Stick, consider it “totemic,” and think its underlying science is unresolved simply isn’t a serious scientific meeting. Similarly, no serious journalist should simply publish two sentences questioning the underlying science without any quote from a real climate scientist or citation to the NAS and the multiple, confirming studies.

Scott Mandia:

Pearce states …

Equally contentious is the charge – the pet subject of several in Lisbon – that the IPCC is “in denial” about whether ocean oscillations, which can absorb and release heat from the atmosphere but are not well represented in climate models, could explain the global warming of the past 40 years.

How does a warming ocean cause nights to warm faster than days, the troposphere to warm while the upper layers are cooling, winters to warm faster than summers, measured increases in downwelling heat, and measured decreases in outgoing heat from the planet?

What magic are the oceans performing that are mirroring the effects of greenhouse warming while simultaneously stopping the effects of massive increases in heat-trapping gases?

Eli Rabett:

Many have placed their bets on Fred. Eli is not quite so sure, where, better put, from whom would Pearce have gotten his information. Jerry Ravitz who is trying to muscle his way in springs to mind and, of course, luminaries such as the Steves are right up there.

Update: At Judith Curry’s blog tallbloke writes

To set the record straight:

Because I was an ad hoc member of the invite committee I got an email asking my advice on who to invite in lieu of Gavin Schmidt and some other prominent people who had declined. The organisers inadvertantly included Gavin’s response on that email, and when I was asked one evening in Lisbon why certain people weren’t there I gave a quick praisee, including a brief reference to Gavin’s response. This made it’s way to Fred, hence the reference in his blog piece reporting on the conference.

I would just stress at this point that what I said constitutes my opinion and not what Gavin said verbatim. However I would also like to say that Gavin’s complaint to the New Scientist does not include any praisee of the passage in his original response which gave rise to my brief summary. I therefore reject Gavin’s claim that I ‘made stuff up’, and respectfully suggest that we can lay this one to rest if in a spirit of openness Gavin simply reproduces his response so people can see for themselves what he said.

If I am assailed by accusations that I have wrongfully maligned Gavin with my brief summary comment I may feel obliged to defend myself with a closer paraphrase.

Yes, they had an ether crank on the invite committee.

Update 2: Gavin Schmidt posts his actual email:

Thanks for the invitation. However, I’m a little confused at what conflict you feel you are going to be addressing? The fundamental conflict is of what (if anything) we should do about greenhouse gas emissions (and other assorted pollutants), not what the weather was like 1000 years ago. Your proposed restriction against policy discussion removes the whole point. None of the seemingly important ‘conflicts’ that are perceived in the science are ‘conflicts’ in any real sense within the scientific community, rather they are proxy arguments for political positions. No ‘conflict resolution’ is possible between the science community who are focussed on increasing understanding, and people who are picking through the scientific evidence for cherries they can pick to support a pre-defined policy position.

You would be much better off trying to find common ground on policy ideas via co-benefits (on air pollution, energy security, public health water resources etc), than trying to get involved in irrelevant scientific ‘controversies’.

I don’t think it is accurate to summarise this as “the science is settled”.

Update 3:
Steve McIntyre:

I can confirm that Fred Pearce read Gavin’s email to the organizers declining the invitation to the conference, because I (by chance) happened to be sitting with Pearce when he was provided with a copy of Gavin’s email and observed him reading it carefully.

tallbloke

I got Fred to read it out loud to Steve and Ross. So he couldn’t make notes at the same time. And we had a couple of beers, which may be why he didn’t remember it very clearly later.

Compare with his earlier comment “to set the record straight”

when I was asked one evening in Lisbon why certain people weren’t there I gave a quick praisee, including a brief reference to Gavin’s response. This made it’s way to Fred, hence the reference in his blog piece reporting on the conference.

Deceitful, isn’t he?

Comments

  1. #1 luminous beauty
    February 7, 2011

    Roger,

    Tallbloke isn’t your name, it’s a pseudonym, right? You are a crank. You appropriate authority in a field in which you have no expertise. [see: Google Galileo. You espouse a ‘real effect’ that cannot possibly be true or we’d have satellites falling inexplicably out of the sky. Why should anyone apologize for saying what is so obviously true.

    There really is no need to answer the question. It is rhetorical. The quotations are incontestable. The only honorable thing for you to do is confess and apologize.

    Which you are apparently willing to do. Because you are dishonest.

  2. #2 MapleLeaf
    February 7, 2011

    RogTallbloke still refuses to answer the questions posed here.

    Instead, choosing to invoke all kinds of juvenile excuses.

  3. #3 MapleLeaf
    February 7, 2011

    So this is how NewScientist decides to address an egregious error and defaming of a well-respected and prominent NASA scientist:

    “But the leaders of mainstream climate science turned down the gig, including NASA’s Gavin Schmidt. who said the science was settled so there was nothing to discuss. [Gavin Schmidt has asked us to clarify his reasons for not attending: see the bottom of this post.]“

    That is not a correction, nor a retraction, nor an apology. They are still biasing the reader, because one can read what the text below the strikethrough. Although one could argue that to reasonable readers who read Gavin’s email, NewScientist and Fred Pearce are once again demonstrating their bias.

  4. #4 MartinM
    February 7, 2011

    I’m just trying to figure out why GSW felt the need to specify not only the Universities at which he studied physics, but the buildings too. I mean, it’s not like there’s anything unusual about studying physics in the JCMB. That’s where the physics department is.

  5. #5 Barry Woods
    February 7, 2011

    The guardian is now printing articles critical of solar and wind(the guardain wouldn’t have made this point a while ago)

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/feb/06/solar-farms-threaten-green-subsidy

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/feb/04/wind-farms-nimbyism

    I think I could have a sensible discussion with J Harvey, if we could get our pre-conceptions of each other out of the way..

    As neither of us, I imagine is going to go away from our positions and we each only have One vote. Would it not be a good idea to find common ground.. Scientists are NOT politicians, economists, bankers, etc,etc. Many of these people are driving policies based on AGW, that do not make sense (in the short timescales) whether you believe or not..

    I have friends and relatives that are climates cientists and Green Party activists, we can be civilised and not leap to assumptions about individuals. Why not try here..

    Of course as I have made clear, it does not matter a jot, what is said here or at Watts Up or Bishop Hill. China, India and Africa (with the Chinese ‘helping them’) will do whatever they want. Which will include burning all the coal tey can, to make electricity. 2 billion people plus in those countries will demand this – ie increasing living standards.

    Given that, why sink to name calling, it does not matter what we do or say, all we can do is influence our own politicians – if that is possible (the bankers have got them all tied up)

  6. #6 P. Lewis
    February 7, 2011

    Oh, I’d say it was a correction (certainly not an apology), but it is about as minimal as they could reasonably get away with, unless GS pushes it. And life’s too short…

  7. #7 Wow
    February 7, 2011

    > Which will include burning all the coal tey can, to make electricity.

    So if you stop burning coal, there will be less coal burned.

    I would also like you to look at how many wind turbines China is producing and deploying.

    > 2 billion people plus in those countries will demand this – ie increasing living standards.

    Living standards isn’t US-level consumption. Sweden uses less than 1/3 of the US average despite being more entirely near the arctic circle and therefore having a higher need of it for both warmth and lighting.

    And they have a better standard of living.

    And this is ignoring the other energy production possibilities (see again about wind turbines).

  8. #8 Wow
    February 7, 2011

    > and we each only have One vote.

    CO2 doesn’t count votes.

  9. #9 P. Lewis
    February 7, 2011

    luminous beauty

    Tallbloke isn’t your name, it’s a pseudonym, right?

    :-) Given the propensity for (certainly some) septics to want to “out” pseudonymous bloggers, I wonder why anyone shouldn’t publish Roger Tallbloke’s real name. It’s trivially easy to locate on the intertubes, if anyone really wants to.

    Across

    1. Over and out! It’s all in tatters, apparently.

  10. #10 jbk
    February 7, 2011

    Tallbloke’s name and affiliation were released by the conference – he is

    Mr Roger Tattersall
    Web Content Editor
    School of Education
    University of Leeds

    http://www.education.leeds.ac.uk/modx/people/staff/support/tattersall

  11. #11 Bary Woods
    February 7, 2011

    308

    yes americans waste lots of energy and gave fuel inefficient cars.. (low taxation)

    Europe, is better because of higher taxationI just filled up my car 70l cost £94, over 60% is taxes.

    YET, the chinese will aspire to Swedish living standards and energy consumption.

    the Chinese will not waste energy either. the best designs for them, as they accelerate their growth.. to match Swedish living standrads for their citizens.. There are an awful lot more chinese than there are people in Sweden..

    We are all on the sidelines.

  12. #12 Barry Woods
    February 7, 2011

    309
    the chineses don’t count votes either ;)

  13. #13 MapleLeaf
    February 7, 2011

    Meanwhile, in the real world, while we are all bickering with cranks and D-Ks, this is going on:

    Droughts, Floods and Food

    We are so screwed.

  14. #14 Dave R
    February 7, 2011

    Jeremy C @ 290:
    >The abstract you linked to sets out that the paper is about the effect orbiting bodies could have on the internal mechanisms of stars such as the sun.

    >How the heck do you get a link from that to measuring solar levels at the earth environment boundary and then observing the effect of solar actvity levels on the earth’s environment???

    The Lavoisier Group had a [presentation](http://www.lavoisier.com.au/articles/greenhouse-science/solar-cycles/IanwilsonForum2008.pdf) about a similar idea. In their case it was really just a smokescreen to cover the fact that they were blaming GW on the PDO and other ocean cycles.

    There was some discussion of Tallcrank’s version of it [here](http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php/70431-General-AGW-discussion-thread?p=1611901#post1611901). Don’t click if you’re allergic to nuts!

  15. #15 Barry Woods
    February 7, 2011

    Dave R.. are you realy saying that the climate is not effected by PDO and oceans cycles? at all?

  16. #16 dhogaza
    February 7, 2011

    Tallbloke:

    Jeremy, I’m IENG and you are a snob. I’m also BA(hons)Hist/Phil Sci and not only better qualified to assess scientific theories both on their scientific merit and within their societal context than you are, but also better able to conduct rational discussion concerning them too

    Later tallbloke:

    Sorry Jeff, the argument from authority is a logical fallacy.

    Apparently only when Jeff points out his qualifications in response to Tallbloke’s original argument from authority …

  17. #17 dhogaza
    February 7, 2011

    Dave R.. are you realy saying that the climate is not effected by PDO and oceans cycles? at all?

    Of course it does, by redistributing heat in the ocean-atmospheric system.

    Redistribution will not, however, affect the long term *trend*, and Dave R spoke of “GW”. You can’t have “GW” without a *trend*.

  18. #18 Paul H
    February 7, 2011

    Tallbloke says:

    “My take on the results from Miller which were confirmed by Yuri Galaev in 2003 is that they were measuring something real. What it is, we don’t know.”

    Tallbloke,

    Aether drag hypotheses made specific predictions regarding the Michelson-Morley experiment claiming that some perturbation of the speed of light would be observed corresponding to the motion of the Earth relative to the aether. Indeed, the aim of the experiment was to distinguish between different aether theories: theories that proposed a stationary aether, and theories that proposed an aether with motion relative to the Earth. Given that the Earth has a velocity of 208 km/s and the observed perturbation to the speed of light in the MM experiment is at most only 10 km/s this completely kills aether drag theories contemporary to the Michelson-Morley experiment. After Michelson and Morley’s experiment scientists did try to account for the apparent null result by adapting contemporary aether theory and by deriving new theories. Initially this was done by Lorentz with the proposed Lorentz contraction suggesting that the aether in fact exerted electromagnetic force upon the apparatus causing it to shrink in the axis of the Earth’s motion and to create a result that could be interpreted as a change in the speed of light smaller than previously anticipated. Conversely, Einstein independently derived the same ‘length contraction’ equations (without directly meaning to) in special relativity and therefore phenomena leading to apparent length contraction are a fundamental prediction of both General and Special Relativity. By this way relativity theories are reconciled with the small observed apparent perturbations to the speed of light in experiments trying to detect aether drag. So rather than refuting Relativity these experiments’ results are consistent with its predictions. But there are many other experimental results and data consistent with the wide variety of predictions made by Relativity, so there are many other good reasons to believe it to be a good theory. The same can not be said of Aether theories, which catastrophically fail at their principle prediction. Lorentz’s length contraction hypothesis meanwhile is now viewed as an ad hoc fix to save a previously supposed assumption regarding the frame of reference. In summary, Relativity is consistent with the MM and MM derivative experiments and makes a wide variety of other predictions that have subsequently been shown to be correct.

    Tallbloke summarizes his expertise in assessing scientific theories as:

    “I’m a qualified engineer with a degree in the history and philosophy of science.”

    “I’m also BA(hons)Hist/Phil Sci and not only better qualified to assess scientific theories both on their scientific merit and within their societal context than you are, but also better able to conduct rational discussion concerning them too.”

    In my time observing Deltoid comment threads I’ve noticed that respect for one’s claimed credentials is not given blindly by commenters, but only given after someone has demonstrated their competence in a particular area of expertise. I’m sorry but in this case you fall well short living up to your own hype having demonstrated your own ignorance of what Miller’s work shows or measured.

  19. #19 Barry Woods
    February 7, 2011

    Just catching up with the topic..
    http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/02/climate-sceptics-scientists-at.html

    Is the update in New Scientist going to be the end of ‘Pearcegate’? (or should it have been called ‘tallblokegate’) ;)

  20. #20 CDL
    February 7, 2011

    Tallbloke is a member and adviser at the “Cycles Research Institute” (not bikes).
    http://bit.ly/hLXByv

    CDL

  21. #21 jakerman
    February 7, 2011

    Barry Woods has been working overtime attempting to derail this thread. Congratulations on not taking his bait.

    Barry, if you want to discuss you peeves and revelations, and what ever else appears in the Daily Mail, take it to the open thread.

  22. #22 Zibethicus
    February 7, 2011

    303: RogTallbloke still refuses to answer the questions posed here.

    Instead, choosing to invoke all kinds of juvenile excuses.

    (end quote)

    And, while we’re still waiting, I might as well introduce this again. It’s tallbloke’s response to McIntyre contradicting tallbloke’s original ‘praisee’ story:

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/what-gavin-said-gate/

    Rog Tallbloke (Comment#68053) February 5th, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Thanks Steve. I’ve been trying to take the heat for the whole thing, but truth will out. :o )

    Oh well, round two…

    (end quote)

    So, tell us, tallbloke – since you’re being so loquacious on other subjects – are you the same ‘Rog Tallbloke’ who wrote this comment?

    If you are, what makes you think that it’s acceptable to blatantly lie in this way?

    Do you think that it’s sufficient reparation when detected lying to simply cybershrug and -smirk in this way?

    Can we take this ‘ethical’ stance as indicative of your general approach to climate science?

    Can we take it as representative of denialist ‘ethics’ generally? (After all, you were invited to the conference, presumably as ‘representative’ of /something/, clearly not climate science…)

    Can you explain to us how this conduct on your part does /not/ thoroughly justify Dr Schmidt’s characterisation of the agenda of the conference and the political motivations of those of its attendees who, as Schmidt says, “are picking through the scientific evidence for cherries they can pick to support a pre-defined policy position”?

    *

    I’d be very interested to have some answers to these and my earlier questions.

  23. #23 Jeff Harvey
    February 7, 2011

    d’hogaza,

    When tallbloke writes, “Sorry Jeff, the argument from authority is a logical fallacy” he is being a complete hypocrite.

    For tallbloke: the reason I pointed out my scientific qualifications – which are miles ahead of yours by the way – was to illustrate the ridiculous assertion you made earlier, whereby you said to Jeremy C that you were “better qualified to assess scientific theories on their scientific merit”. So when someone comes along better qualified than you are, using your inane logic, you claim it to be a ‘ fallacy’. You can’t have it both ways. The fact is, that on issues of science, you are speaking out of you butt.

    I also pointed out that having scientific qualifications in any scientific field is not a key to wisdom in fields well outside of their own. I feel quite confident to discuss issues related to my field of expertise (ecology and evolutionary biology) but on issues of climate science I defer to those who have spent years of their lives in this field of endeavor. Like many in the denial lobby, people like you hold no such reservations, and appear to believe that they have been imbued with some kind of wisdom that did not require professional training in the relevant field. The fact is that 90% or more of professional climate scientists with years of expertise believe that the empirical evidence in favor of AGW is very strong. There are a few scientists who disagree, but few of these publish in the scientific literature these days and many are known to have received significant funding from polluting industries with an axe to grind.

    So if you want to play the credentials game, be prepared for people who have considerably more expertise in science than you to wade in here. That leaves you fumbling for excuses. Let’s get down to the nitty gritty and see how many of the laypeople, including you, who are contrarians are not driven by an interest in science but by a political ideology. Because IMHO this lies at the heart of the denial industry. Science has nix to do with it.

    Finally, if you want to discuss science that is ‘closer to home’, and if you want evidence for rapid regional warming since 1980, I can give you piles of studies of biotic indicators covering a range of taxa. It IS warming at rates that have not been experienced so widely in tens of thousands of years at the very least. And all of this occurs against a background of a wide array of other anthropogenic assaults across the biosphere. In combination, they pose a massive threat to the health and vitality of our global ecological life-support systems and we should be doing everything in our power to deal with these threats.

  24. #24 dhogaza
    February 7, 2011

    d’hogaza,

    When tallbloke writes, “Sorry Jeff, the argument from authority is a logical fallacy” he is being a complete hypocrite.

    That was sorta my point.

    BTW try “dho gaza” not “d’hogaza” – it’s a raptor trap, and the arabic name reflects its history. I’ve done a bunch of raptor banding as a USFWS, BLM and USFS volunteer over the years …

    I’ve helped build quite a few varieties of net traps over the years, yet you don’t see me touting my credentials as a Raptor Trap Engineer to convince people I know more about ecology than you do :)

  25. #25 jakerman
    February 7, 2011

    [H/t Zibethicus](http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/what-gavin-said-gate/):

    >Steve McIntyre (Comment#68048) February 5th, 2011 at 11:30 am

    >Lucia, you say:
    >Of course, Fred’s praphrase also kinda-sorta is unfair for a number of reasons. First it appears that Fred Pierce never read what Gavin actually wrote. If I understand correctly, he wrote based on someone else’s paraphrase; this is always dangerous.

    >Your surmise here is incorrect. I can confirm with absolute certainty that Fred Pearce read Gavin’s email because I was sitting with both Pearce and tallbloke at dinner (we set out as part of a larger group and got separated) when tallbloke showed Pearce the email in question, which Pearce read carefully.

    Then:

    >Rog Tallbloke (Comment#68053) February 5th, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    >Thanks Steve. I’ve been trying to take the heat for the whole thing, but truth will out. )Oh well, round two…

  26. #26 jakerman
    February 7, 2011

    So Pearce is responsible for misrepresenting Gavin, and Rog Talbloke was deceiving people with his story to take the heat off Pearce.

    Now over [to DC's](http://deepclimate.org/2011/02/07/post-normal-meltdown-in-lisbon-part-1/#more-3104):

    >Pearce missed the truly fascinating part of the whole story. “Tallbloke’s” passing around of the email he wasn’t even supposed to have was not just a supremely ironic coda to a workshop ostensibly dedicated to building trust and reconciliation (a circumstance which seems to have completely eluded the befuddled Pearce). Somehow the fringe blogger and WUWT regular managed to forge a connection between a highly respected science philosopher and the contrarian blogosphere, and then put himself in the inner circle planning the resulting workshop a year later, providing a fascinating insight into this misbegotten enterprise.

  27. #27 Trofim Lysenko
    February 7, 2011

    This is exactly the sort of conference which I wished to convene with my critics. Unfortunately, Soviet scientists were just as close-minded as Western scientists. The science is settled! Lamarck was wrong! You don’t even have a real degree! You’re confusing politics with science! First of all, real science is never settled. Second of all, we should wait throwing around things until the uncertainty IS settled. Third, they all had an agenda.

  28. #28 chek
    February 7, 2011

    Good try Zibethicus @ 322 but Tallcrank, as with other narcissists like James ‘right about everything’ Delingfool, cannot admit to being in the wrong. If he were to go down that road, where might it end? Better to bow out with a would-be grandiose gesture.

    For even now as we can see at comment 286, with nought but a smattering of Wattsian hubris and contempt for the IPCC he’s preparing to take solar physics and oceanography apart on a Brentian scale to see what makes them tick and spit out the right kind of answers. The type that don’t interfere with business as usual. Watch and learn ;)

  29. #29 Marion Delgado
    February 7, 2011

    When the history of this is written, will anyone know why Curry, an actual, working scientist, decided to become the Steve Fuller of climate creationism/intelligent warming?

  30. #30 GSW
    February 7, 2011

    @Lysenko

    Sounds like a good place to start ;)

  31. #31 GSW
    February 7, 2011

    @jeff

    “I also pointed out that having scientific qualifications in any scientific field is not a key to wisdom in fields well outside of their own.”

    I’d go further, having a scientific qualification is not a key to any wisdom whatsoever ;) . What matters is your ability to evaluate evidence objectively, it’s a completely different skill ;)

  32. #32 GSW
    February 7, 2011

    @Barry

    Link to New Scientist. Agreed, that’s it done a dusted. Cleverly done too. Crossing out the original text and using Gavin’s own words at the bottom. Let the reader decide, Fred’s take vs that of the petulant Modeler. V good!

  33. #33 Majorajam
    February 7, 2011

    They might, Marion, if they consider the influence of popular fervor on interpersonal relationships, interpersonal relationships on longing, longing on will, will on the subconscious and the subconscious on cognition. Judith Curry lives and works in the Deep South in the time of the American Right’s Cultural Revolution, and her sense of self was insufficiently moored to transcend it. It’s a cautionary tale as old as the hills.

  34. #34 Marion Delgado
    February 7, 2011

    Nathan Poe! Thou shouldst be blogging at this hour! The Internets have need of thee! They are a fen.

  35. #35 Marion Delgado
    February 7, 2011

    dhogaza is right to nail down – hard – the reasons “tallbloke” having anything to do with said conference raises reconciliation concerns all by itself.

    People with closed minds are by definition non-scientists as I see it. Gavin is a computer programmer, who by definition go about their work by defining the variables before they start. See Feynman on scientific method.

    Technically, Gavin’s got a BA and PhD in mathematics, with an emphasis in climatology in both graduate and post-doc. As a computer programmer, my guess is he’d not have been a quick and reliable go-to guy to convert popclient into fetchmail until it could be replaced by getmail. Then again, he’s never to my knowledge publicly misidentified IDL climate code as Fortran. We all have things we’re good at. Some people tweak a single UNIX program and then write about it the rest of their lives. Other people work with observational scientists all over the world, publish 70 articles on climate science in peer-reviewed journals, etc. It’s a confusing world. No evidence that the close-minded computer scientist without any real background knows what the hell he’s talking about, when he’s disputing with climate scientists.

    By the above, I clearly mean Gavin Schmidt, by the way, in case you had any other ideas!

    I was lucky enough to talk with Feynman on a couple of occasions (once before a presentation, and once in a physics class), and on the first occasion, precisely about open-mindedness, the scientific method, and roughly what Curry is calling post-normal science. The idea that he was “open-minded” in their sense is really startling.

    In fact, Feynman was dismissive of any popular physics book with even a trace of woo or hype, and he famously said he didn’t see any value in (history/sociology/)philosophy of science for scientists.

    If there was a less post-modern (or post-normal) great 20th century physicist, I’d like to know who it was.

  36. #36 John
    February 7, 2011

    >I would prefer ‘facts through science’ – not ‘truths through science’ ;)

    Either way you still lose.

  37. #37 Robert P.
    February 7, 2011

    Marion Delgado @336: you might find the following quote to be apropos:

    “The ‘work’ is always: (1) completely un-understandable, (2) vague and indefinite, (3) something that is correct and self-evident, but worked out by a long and difficult analysis, and presented as an important discovery, or (4) a claim based on the stupidity of the author that some obvious and correct fact, known and checked for years, is in fact false (these are the worst: no argument will convince the idiot), (5) an attempt to do something probably impossible, but certainly of no utility, which, it is finally revealed at the end, fails (dessert arrives and is eaten) or (6) just plain wrong.”

    Richard Feynman, from a letter to Gweneth Feynman, in _What do you care what other people think_, W.W. Norton, 1988, p. 91.

  38. #38 Lotharsson
    February 7, 2011

    …but few of these publish in the scientific literature these days and many are known to have received significant funding from polluting industries with an axe to grind.

    Perhaps even more importantly, the record shows that post-publication scrutiny has pretty consistently demonstrated that their alternate hypotheses have been nowhere near strong enough to compete with established consensus.

    That’s not to say they might not succeed in … er, unsettling the current scientific consensus some time in the future, but as more and more evidence is amassed their chances seem less and less likely.

    And until such time as they succeed, there’s little point in holding off action just on the off chance that they might.

    Gavin is a computer programmer, who by definition go about their work by defining the variables before they start.

    What a beautifully illustrative example of ignorance – never mind the illogic in the surrounding context.

    …cannot admit to being in the wrong. … Better to bow out with a would-be grandiose gesture.

    How many times have I seen that gambit? Surely there must be a pithy nomenclature for it by now. Maybe Zibethicus can nominate one? I seem to remember him/her creating a doozy or two in the past.

  39. #39 adelady
    February 7, 2011

    bowing out? grandiose gesture?

    More like the final 20 minutes of a couple of well-known operas. The dying and the apparently dead always seeming able to muster yet another prodigious breath for another futile declamatory gesture. But they do eventually die.

  40. #40 Lotharsson
    February 7, 2011

    The dying and the apparently dead always seeming able to muster yet another prodigious breath for another futile declamatory gesture.

    …as demonstrated by the never-Brenting-story and the Curtin that just won’t close?

  41. #41 jakerman
    February 7, 2011

    In response to this debarcle of a conference, check out this [awsome quote](http://shewonk.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/open-thread-3/#comment-4041) from Chris Colose at CE reposted and Shewonk:

    >What is clear to me is that climate scientists are now being held to standards which are not typical of any scientific discipline, or for that matter, held to standards which skeptics do not want to put upon themselves.

    >On the first point, it is now apparently perceived as “bad” when scientists come to a conclusion that is robust enough to be well accepted by the majority. I have never seen claims of the sort that “gravity people” are engaging in indoctrination, or the indoctrination of cell theory, the indoctrination of soil science, or the dogma of electrons. Strangely, this only applies to conclusions about climate change, or maybe evolution (and especially in America).

    >In most fields, consensus is thought of as a consequence of a convergence of evidence over time in a particular subject-matter, and one goes to authorities (doctors for medical diagnosis, lawyers for legal advice, etc) for insight. Most people seek the explanation with the most support, which is then echoed by the experts in the field. Some, on the other hand, will leave 100 doctors that give them a certain diagnosis, and then approve of the one that tells them to meditate, take secret forest herbs, and pray five times a day to cure their illness. People go to calculus textbooks to learn calculus, and yet no one goes to an sociologist to learn by the segments of the heart and brain. However, in climate science, apparently ‘authority’ is a logical fallacy, and textbooks and classrooms can be replaced by random opinions on a blog.

    >What’s even more startling, is that the personal communiation of scientists through e-mails can actually change the laws of physics!

    >What all of this shows is that many people simply cannot think rationally about climate change, nor do they have the capacity to diagnose proper information from nonsense. And once they pursue nonsense, it is very difficult to convince them that they are wrong. You cannot convince such people that Pat Michaels, Singer, Marano, etc don’t actually have anything to say, or that WUWT is a disinformation source. It’s not that the information to show they are nonsense is unavailable, it’s that the information MUST be wrong.

    >It is also clear to me that climate scientists must now become babysitters to every half-baked idea out there, otherwise they are being dogmatic. They must write detailed responses to people who think the greenhouse effect isn’t real.

    >It is also clear to me that the so-called ‘skeptics’ are allowed to make up whatever they want at will without consequence, and create a large but ill-thought out laundry list, and that we must play this game or else we’re being ‘dogmatic.’ If a climate scientist make one mistake, or a date gets screwed up in the middle of a 1000 page document about glaciers, it will receive international attention. However, if ‘skeptics’ toss out 8 conspiracy theories, 10 logical fallacies, and 17 arguments with ZERO thought put into them, then it is a good thing that we get to hear all sides. Then, when one item on the bucket list is knocked down, they can just jump tot he next item. In the meantime, they are just as valid as everyone else’s idea, since the criteria for acceptance is 101% certaintly in everything.

  42. #42 Vince whirlwind
    February 8, 2011

    I’m not so sure about “praisee” or “debarcle”, but this thread has been worth it for “raisin date” alone.

  43. #43 Vince whirlwind
    February 8, 2011

    Incidentally, Tallbloke has pulled off quite a coup: his “praisee” is a totally unique mistake, according to Google!
    (There is one “praisee”, but that’s some illiterate who couldn’t write “phrase”).

    And it’s not like he can blame a spellchecker either, like the “raisin date” bloke can.

    As for the “ether” thing – isn’t it funny that when an experiment comes up negative, enthusiasts of anti-knowledge move the goalposts so they can assert the contrary. Like with the dry Siljan oil well and the abiogenic oil enthusiasts.

  44. #44 MapleLeaf
    February 8, 2011
  45. #45 dhogaza
    February 8, 2011

    Robert P…

    If Feynman was this dismissive of his peers who had a solid education in physics, what do you think he’d say about people like Tallblock who apparently think the value of pi just might be 4?

    Or the other crap that pseudoscientists put forth?

    Your mistake, of course, is that the fact that Feynman, being a much better physicist than most of his peers, would think a machinist – a *machinist* – like Tallblock is also a better physicist than his peers.

  46. #46 GSW
    February 8, 2011

    @dhogaza

    I think you will find that Feynman would be unimpressed with an argument in support, or otherwise, of a theory based on one’s job title.

  47. #47 jakerman
    February 8, 2011

    >*I think you will find that Feynman would be unimpressed with an argument in support, or otherwise, of a theory based on one’s job title.*

    Are you just making stuff up GSW? Any evidence at all to support your bald faced assertion?

  48. #48 Zibethicus
    February 8, 2011

    338: …cannot admit to being in the wrong. … Better to bow out with a would-be grandiose gesture.

    How many times have I seen that gambit? Surely there must be a pithy nomenclature for it by now. Maybe Zibethicus can nominate one? I seem to remember him/her creating a doozy or two in the past.

    (end quote)

    Best I can come up with offhand is ‘cyberautotomy’, autotomy being the sacrifice of a part of one’s body to confuse/distract a predator, as commonly seen in the case of a lizard under pressure parting company with its tail to cover its escape.

    Like the lizard, the denialist leaves part of its (grossly inflated) ego behind, but like the lizard, alas! it all-too-soon grows back. Pretty soon afterwards you might see the denialist boasting on home grounds (e.g. WUWT) about how they ‘bested’ the ‘warmists’.

    But, of course, the tricky questions which precipitated the flight remain unanswered – don’t they, tallbloke?

    *

    On reflection, while writing this, I think that a better term for bowing out with a would-be grandiose gesture might perhaps be ‘to bombust’…

  49. #49 Lotharsson
    February 8, 2011

    ‘to bombust’

    I like it :-)

  50. #50 Jeff Harvey
    February 8, 2011

    GSW writes, *I’d go further, having a scientific qualification is not a key to any wisdom whatsoever ;) . What matters is your ability to evaluate evidence objectively, it’s a completely different skill*

    I beg to differ. Let me put it this way – if you are correct, then going to university, studying for a degree, doing postgraduate research and then years of research in a scientific field means nothing. We should instead trust ‘experts’ who read a little about the topic in books or on the internet, and assume that their views are as valid as the scientists who have spent years in their field of research. Please forgive me is I break out into fits of laughter. On issues of science, I prefer to stick with the prevailing wisdom of those doing the actual research and not wannabes.

    Yes, GSW, you have spoken like a true denialist, a graduate of the Dunning-Kruger School of self-professed intelligence. My point was that people like you and TB and other armchair ‘experts’ in climate science is not driven by science but by an underlying political ideology. Its just that in admitting this your whole edifice would come crumbling down, so instead you have to ‘package’ your denial in science. Heck, this should be obvious is one looks at some of the most prominent contrarians – Morano, Milloy, McKitrick etc. Others, like the WUWT crowd, IMO do the same. My point is that there is nothing whatsoever objective in the way that most denialists evaluate the ‘science’ of climate change. Many, perhaps most of them cannot evaluate the science objectively because they lack the scientific training in the field to be able to do so. I was trained in the field of population ecology and have spent the past 20 years researching various aspects of it. If I had not studied this field, I would be quite circumspect in criticizing a scientist in the field because I did not agree with the way he was testing, for example, neutral models in niche theory or optimal defense theory in plants. I may have read about these models in a book but I would certainly defer to someone whose career had involved empirical research on them.

    Climate science is incredibly complex. As I said yesterday, I defer to the people who have invested years of their lives in this field. When people like you come along and challenge conventional wisdom, they must have a profoundly good scientific reason for doing so. Thus far, much like those involved in peddling creationism, I have not seen this wisdom. I have seen the goal posts shift from warming being a ‘doomsday myth’ to the point now where it is acknowledged but where the contrarians now claim that it is either ‘natural’ or unexceptional. Long before Mann et al’s Nature paper, concern had been raised about AGW. For their part, the denialists hardly publish anything, but seem content to snipe away from the sidelines, attacking each and every peer-reviewed article showing that the human fingerprint on the warming is significant.

  51. #51 Barry Woods
    February 8, 2011

    [*Deleted. I've had enough of your attempts to derail discussion. Tim]*

  52. #52 GSW
    February 8, 2011

    @Jeff
    @Jake

    Quote mining Feynman; should a least give you a feel for the man.

    “Learn from science that you must doubt the experts. As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”
    ;)

  53. #53 jakerman
    February 8, 2011

    GSW, so your insistence on persistently asking my qualifications yesterday, and your claiming that your qualifications were the the ‘real deal’, were left pretty empty by the last quote you just presented.

    Thank you GSW.

  54. #54 GSW
    February 8, 2011

    @jake
    ;)

  55. #55 Michael
    February 8, 2011

    GSW @ 353;
    “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

    Unless it’s Feynman.

  56. #56 GSW
    February 8, 2011

    @Michael

    No! Feynman was quite clear on that. He was aware of his own ignorance most of all!

  57. #57 Michael
    February 8, 2011

    My comment wasn’t directed at Feynman you twit!

  58. #58 Hasis
    February 8, 2011

    My comment wasn’t directed at Feynman you twit!

    Coffee -> keyboard

    Thanks M!

  59. #59 Rog Tallbloke
    February 8, 2011

    @290Jeremy:

    “How the heck do you get a link from that to measuring solar levels at the earth environment boundary and then observing the effect of solar actvity levels on the earth’s environment???”

    Well Jeremy, there are several distinct engineering problems to be addressed here which I deal with at length in various posts around my blog. If you pick your way between the ‘for fun’ stuff people ridicule here, you’ll discover something about my investigations of this fascinating area of study.

    The noise around here means I can’t hear myself think so I’ve answered you in a new post on my own blog. Take a look if you feel like it.

  60. #60 Jeremy C
    February 8, 2011

    Tallbloke,

    I’m quite happy for you to precis it here and that will allow other people to test the elements of your idea are because its not clear. However, the absract is fairly clear so at the risk of repeating myself it sets out the idea that orbiting bodies around a star can affect that star’s internal processes. What the abstract doesn’t say is anything about the well known effect of the sun’s output on life on earth and the things we have in place to measure it.

  61. #61 Wow
    February 8, 2011

    Rog, in other words:

    “I can’t.”

  62. #62 Quiet Waters
    February 8, 2011

    (I know this os OT & I apologise but I feel the burning desire to ask)
    Barry #352

    I looked at your link but only scanned through until the “best” bit so it may have been said earlier. O’Donnell states: “I have known that Eric was, indeed, Reviewer A since early December. I knew this because I asked him. When I asked, I promised that I would keep the information in confidence, as I was merely curious if my guess that I had originally posted on tAV had been correct.”

    Other than Ryan’s assertion is there currently any evidence for Steig to be reviewer A? Also, is there any evidence that the reviewer A for one draft was the same person as reviwer A for the next?

    I’m sure O’Donnell has checked this before breaking a confidence in such a public forum of course…

  63. #63 Wow
    February 8, 2011

    > I think you will find that Feynman would be unimpressed with an argument in support, or otherwise, of a theory based on one’s job title.

    Of course, he would have little problem with an argument in support or otherwise of a theory based on one’s evidence AND one’s job title.

    After all, you don’t get a heart transplant from someone who is a sanitation engineer.

  64. #64 Jeff Harvey
    February 8, 2011

    GSW writes, “Quote mining Feynman; should a least give you a feel for the man.
    ‘Learn from science that you must doubt the experts. As a matter of fact, I can also define science another way: Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts’.

    So what are you saying GSW – that instead of scientists we ought to believe the words of nitwits like you? That science should be left in the hands of laymen? That going to university, studying a specific field, and researching it for years is a waste of time?

    I suspect you’ve never been to see a doctor in your life, or a dentist, or had your car repaired in an auto shop because people trained in these fields are not to be trusted. Is that not so?

    No, what you are effectively saying is that anyone can be an expert PROVIDED THEY SAY WHAT I BELIEVE OR WANT TO BELIEVE. THE VIEWS OF ANYONE ELSE, NO MATTER WHAT THEIR EXPERTISE IS, ARE TO BE IGNORED. This is the thrust of it. It explains why people like you probably think that the views of North, Booker, Monckton, Morano, Milloy, Delingpole, Ebell, the WUWT lot, and other contrarians are sound whereas those of thousands of eminently qualified climate scientists are nonsense. I’m sure you are a big fan of the Forrest Gump school of expertise. What good is an education? The ironic thing is the Feynman, were her to be alive, would distance himself by miles from the climate change denial lobby. Just as Carl Sagan did. They would be appalled that you were using their names in such utter vain.

    Let’s face it GSW. You’ve been humiliated here. Your views have been demolished. You’ve been left clutching at the thinnest of straws.

  65. #65 GSW
    February 8, 2011

    @wow

    I think you’ll find evidence is the ONLY thing that is required. If you base your decisions on what someone has written on their business card, well,… you could be fed any old crap.

  66. #66 GSW
    February 8, 2011

    @Michael. #358

    Being aware of one’s level of ignorance is a virtue. Your compulsion to demonstrate yours does you credit ;)

  67. #67 GSW
    February 8, 2011

    @Jeff,

    You’ve misunderstood. Can’t tell whether this is deliberate or not. That is not what Feynman was saying.

    In simpler language “If someone tells you that you should believe them because they are an expert” that in itself is not an adequate ‘proof’ of anything.

    It’s been the mainstay of science for 400 yrs. From the Royal Society’s “Nullius in Verba” to Feynman’s “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts”

    I think you interpret this as “ALL Scientist’s no Nothing”, that is just not the case. Is that a little clearer?

  68. #68 GSW
    February 8, 2011

    @Jeff

    Actually I prefer the following wording;

    In simpler language “If someone tells you that you should believe them because they are an expert” that in itself is not an adequate cause to do so.

    Apologies for the late amendment. ;)

  69. #69 chek
    February 8, 2011

    [GSW said:](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/02/pearcegate.php#comment-3244387) “ALL Scientist’s no Nothing” (sic).

    Quote mining famous scientists does not make you clever GSW, but while you may well feel it does, permit some of us to draw different conclusions from your display.

  70. #70 GSW
    February 8, 2011

    @chek

    No it doesn’t. But if I could spell, well who no’s? ;)

  71. #71 chek
    February 8, 2011

    It ain’t your spelling GSW, so much as your quaint belief that Feynman was empowering an army of know-nothing trolls.

    Maybe you should try reading slower and understanding more.

  72. #72 GSW
    February 8, 2011

    @chek

    On the subject of ‘trolls’, Feynman, I believe, was silent. But then he wasn’t a ‘know-nothing’(your words) proofreading pedant.

  73. #73 Jeff Harvey
    February 8, 2011

    GSW,

    My advice is that is if many scientists who have spent years in a specific field publish a large number of articles that say basically the same thing, then you ought to give them the benefit of the doubt, particularly if that field is not one in which you have pedigree. By contrast, if you come across internet sites frequented by a loose band of people with various professional backgrounds, few of which are actually relevant to the field of research covered, and if those people have not published much of anything in the peer-reviewed literature, then one should take what they say with a huge grain of salt.

    I also think you should read the paper I wrote with Stuart Pimm in 2000 in the journal Oikos, in which we outline several steps that should help one separate sound from shoddy science. Anthropogenic climate change denial falls firmly into the latter. IMO the fact that it is considered ‘controversial’ is in fact one of the great PR victories of the anti-environmental lobby. As I said before, the only controversy as I see it lies in the potential range of temperature increase, both regionally and globally, as well as on its ecological and societal effects, but not on the underlying causes.

    Wow nails it. Feynman was certainly not speaking out in an attempt to motivate every brainless Tom, Dick or Harry to question the motives of scientists or their findings.

  74. #74 GSW
    February 8, 2011

    @jeff

    Firstly, I read the ‘tone’ of your response as being conciliatory (I had to spell ‘chek’ this) which I appreciate ;).

    “then you ought to give them the benefit of the doubt”

    I can’t, I really can’t, that is genuinely not how it works.

    “I also think you should read the paper I wrote with Stuart Pimm in 2000 in the journal Oikos”

    If I can find the paper, I’ll read it. Forewarned though, I have some, long standing, preconceived ideas myself as to what constitutes ‘shoddy’ as opposed to ‘good’ science and my expectations are not high.

    “Anthropogenic climate change denial” – I’d re-phrase this as

    “Ok then, show me. If you have a case to make, make it. I may not agree, but make it”

    Your last point.

    “Wow nails it. Feynman was certainly not speaking out in an attempt to motivate every brainless Tom, Dick or Harry to question the motives of scientists or their findings”

    Remove the word “brainless” and replace the words “motives of scientists or their findings” with the “findings of scientists” and I think he actually was.

  75. #75 GSW
    February 8, 2011

    This the one?

    Pimm, S and Harvey, J, The world at our fingertips, OIKOS, vol. 91 no. 2 (November, 2000), pp. 209-212, ISSN 0030-1299

  76. #76 GSW
    February 8, 2011

    @jeff (apologies again)

    I’ve found a version online dated, 15 APR 2003, is this the same?

  77. #77 GSW
    February 8, 2011

    @jeff

    Do you have a pdf JH?. I got the first page, the rest is behind is behind ‘Wiley wall’.

    So you used to review papers for Nature? I’m impressed.

  78. #78 J Bowers
    February 8, 2011

    gourdonboy?

  79. #79 Holly Stick
    February 8, 2011

    How about this Feynman quotation, which to me explains the problem with the “science is settled” meme:

    “The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty damn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress, we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty — some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain. Now, we scientists are used to this, and we take it for granted that it is perfectly consistent to be unsure, that it is possible to live and not know. But I don’t know whether everyone realizes this is true. Our freedom to doubt was born out of a struggle against authority in the early days of science. It was a very deep and strong struggle: permit us to question — to doubt — to not be sure. I think that it is important that we do not forget this struggle and thus perhaps lose what we have gained.

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Richard_Feynman#Surely_You.27re_Joking.2C_Mr._Feynman.21_.281985.29

  80. #80 Holly Stick
    February 8, 2011

    Here is the reference for the quotation above:

    “The Value of Science,” address to the National Academy of Sciences (Autumn 1955)

    And the main link from which you can go to section 1.4 (there is an underscore after “Richard”):

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Richard_Feynman

  81. #81 GSW
    February 8, 2011

    Is that directed at me JB?

  82. #82 GSW
    February 8, 2011

    @Holly

    Have you watched any of Feynman’s on-line videos? They are a good rainy afternoons entertainment. Thoughtful post by the way ;)

  83. #83 Chris O'Neill
    February 8, 2011

    GSW:

    Isn’t Gavin a climate modeler? I don’t think that makes you a scientist

    Staggering ignorance and arrogance.

  84. #84 jakerman
    February 8, 2011

    >*Staggering ignorance and arrogance.*

    I’m still waiting for [GSW's claimed models](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/02/pearcegate.php#comment-3227439).

    Or just the source for his [initial claim](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/02/pearcegate.php#comment-3227365).

    Seems like GSW is replelled by such verifiables when it comes to his own claims.

  85. #85 Lotharsson
    February 9, 2011

    “then you ought to give them the benefit of the doubt”

    I can’t, I really can’t, that is genuinely not how it works.

    If the conditions pertaining to Jeff Harvey’s “then” that you (conveniently?) excised from the quote are in force (my emphasis):

    My advice is that is if many scientists who have spent years in a specific field publish a large number of articles that say basically the same thing, then you ought to give them the benefit of the doubt, particularly if that field is not one in which you have pedigree.

    …then you really can and must if you care at all about robust decision making, because you (almost always will) have no mechanism to more reliably determine the levels and areas of uncertainty of the matter than the body of scientists engaging in ongoing research and the back and forth of peer review collectively do.

    Ot to put it yet another way, when you say “that’s not how ‘it’ works”, your ‘it’ appears – intentionally or not – to be something rather like the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  86. #86 John
    February 9, 2011

    Don’t you get it Jakerman? GSW knows The Truth about the Global Warming Scam so he doesn’t have to provide evidence. His personal beliefs are all the evidence he needs.

  87. #87 Wow
    February 9, 2011

    “I think you’ll find evidence is the ONLY thing that is required. If you base your decisions on what someone has written on their business card”

    See, this is the problem with an idiot like you, ginny, you don’t read anything you don’t want to know.

    I think you’ll find that evidence is available. As well as their business card.

    You, however, in your inerrant faith, demand that since a business card is offered, the evidence doesn’t exist.

  88. #88 Martin Vermeer
    February 9, 2011

    GSW, here.

  89. #89 GSW
    February 9, 2011

    @Martin Vermeer

    Downloaded it, thanks!

  90. #90 luminous beauty
    February 9, 2011

    GSW’s line of argument has long been [refuted.](http://xkcd.com/793/)

  91. #91 Holly Stick
    February 9, 2011

    This is dedicated to the engineers who are not feeling the love lately. I have great confidence in their sobriety and their practical training. See the video here entitled “Rick and Concrete Toboggans”:

    http://www.rickmercer.com/Rick-Mercer-Videos.aspx

    I heard Canadian engineering students singing the same song some 35 years ago. Do they sing it in other countries too?

  92. #92 Jeremy C
    February 9, 2011

    I don’t know if they sing it in other countries Holly but years ago I was on a short power course run by an engineer who always asked us to speak up when asking questions because of his time as a drummer in a rock band. The some time later I was doing a contract in the US and my American colleagues upon finding out I am Australian told me they spent a fair portion of their time at university going to ACDC concerts across the states when they should’ve been completing engineering assignments. There’s hope for us engineers yet

  93. #93 SteveC
    February 9, 2011

    So Tim has created all sorts of “-gates” over the years, from Leakegate to Rosegate to Tolgate and now Pearcegate. In the same vein, Eric Steig has created O’Donnellgate, in an attempt to set the record straight in the Steig vs O’Donnell disagreement (a minor dispute that the WUWT mob and the Denialist Chum(p)s over at Curry have worked hard to blow out of all proportion).

    As Steig says:

    Sadly, attacking climate scientists by mis-quoting and mis-representing private correspondences or confidential materials appears now to be the primary modus operandi of climate change deniers. To those that still don’t get this — and who continue to believe that these people can be trusted to present their scientific results honestly, and who continue to speculate that their may be truth in the allegations made over the years against Mike Mann, Ben Santer, Phil Jones, Stephen Schneider, Andrew Weaver, Kevin Trenberth, Keith Briffa, Gavin Schmidt, Darrell Kaufmann, and many many others, just because they ‘read it on a blog somewhere’ — I’d be happy to share with you some of the more, err, ‘colorful’, emails I’ve gotten from O’Donnell and his coauthors.

  94. #94 jakerman
    February 9, 2011

    Tallbloke feses up about [being untruthful](http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/) about some of his prior untruths.

    In the end Tallblock hasn’t sheilded Pearce from anything, and shown himself up as being what he is.

  95. #95 rhwombat
    February 9, 2011

    Holly Stick: nice video…and Oz engineers of my acquaintance sang the same song 35 years ago, albeit with less politely Canadian lyrics: we don’t give a bugger for any old bugger who don’t give a bugger for us!. Slainte

  96. #96 Roy Hogue
    February 10, 2011

    I guess my English teachers were remiss. They must have been. I just can’t see how so many words that clearly and unambiguously accept the AGW science as established fact, could be interpreted as meaning other than, “The science is settled.” But so says Gavin Schmidt. So it must be true. Gavin says so. The science is not settled. And indeed it is not.

  97. #97 Wow
    February 10, 2011

    > I just can’t see how so many words that clearly and unambiguously accept the AGW science as established fact, could be interpreted as meaning other than, “The science is settled.”

    Well, first off, you need to say what you mean by “the science”.

    I guess your English teachers were remiss in teaching you how to phrase a statement.

  98. #98 Jeff Harvey
    February 10, 2011

    *The science is not settled. And indeed it is not*.

    The science examining the various factors that are forcing warming is certainly settled, and quite clearly and unambiguously shows that we are the primary culprit. As for the regional and global rates of warming, and the consequences for natural and managed ecosystems, well that is what it still to some extent conjectural and being debated (and is thus ‘unsettled’). But the prognosis is not good.

    But, alas, I sense that Roy Hogue did not mean this by his statement. If so, then Roy can join a sadly long list of other lay contrarians in misunderstanding what the term ‘settled science’ actually means with respect to climate change.

  99. #99 Chris O'Neill
    February 10, 2011

    The science is not settled.

    I think you’re confusing the science with the result. You could say a 95% sensitivity confidence interval of 2 K – 4.5 K is not settled. So what are you going to do about this non-settled result? Ignore it? That seems to be your attitude.

  100. #100 Jeff Harvey
    February 10, 2011

    The science is also ‘not settled’ in the debate on the relationship biodiversity and ecosystem functioning – one side argues in favor of the redundancy hypothesis whilst the other argues in favor of the diversity-stability hypothesis. This doesn’t mean that its fine for humans to continue extirpating species at rates higher than has occurred on the planet for at least the past 65 million years. But the science is settled with respect to the existence and cause of the current mass extinction – us. What isn’t settled is in our understanding of how much diversity can be reduced before critical ecosystem processes and services break down.

    There is clearly a corollary here with AGW – there is broad scientific agreement over the ‘anthropogenic’ part, but the outcomes are still unclear, although many scientists think that they are likely to be severe.