More foam

A little while ago I was ratty at Romm for being ratty at Peilke. All very exciting, but I was challenged to Please identify a single scientifically inaccurate statement in the paragraph that Pielke excerpted from the report. This isn’t difficult; Pielke has already done it. Romm also asked me to please identify the scientifically inaccurate statements in my blog post that you trashed. This turns out to be harder: though all the ranting, I can’t actualy see any strictly scientific statements in there at all. Can anyone else?


  1. #1 Magnus W

    What do you mean by that? There are lots of statements there from papers or/and researchers?

    [So there are. But you’ve read RP’s commentary on them, I presume? Which bits of what he says do you disagree with? -W]

  2. #2 Steve Bloom

    Ditto. You need to try a little harder, William. BTW, have you recalled who Phil Cooney is yet?

    [I don’t care who PC is – W]

  3. #3 Deep Climate

    U.S. govt. CCSP Report:

    For example, during the time period covered in the figure to the right, population increased by a factor of 1.3 while losses increased by a factor of 15 to 20 in inflation-corrected dollars.

    William, at first I thought you were going to make us look up the time period referred to here. But since you’re so sure this statement is “scientifically inaccurate”, you must know already. So please save us the trouble.


    [Err, sorry, I’m unsure what your question or point is. RP Jr says:

    1. The figure includes a major earthquake and 9/11.
    2. The figure and the text neglect the effects of increasing wealth.
    3. Published peer reviewed studies show no long-term trends in flood or hurricane losses once adjusted for societal change, yet those data are included.

    Which of those do you disagree with? -W]

  4. #4 Deep Cliamte

    Never mind …

    I see the question answered.

    I still don’t accept that Pielke proved his point, though, since his roundtable “consensus” was based on IPCC TAR. In addition to Mills and IPCC AR4, we also have support from Schmidt et al.

    “In the period 1971–2005, since the beginning of a trend towards increased intense cyclone activity, losses excluding socio-economic effects show an annual increase of 4% per annum. This increase must therefore be at least due to the impact of natural climate variability but, more likely than not, also due to anthropogenic forcings.”

    [I’m not sure I understand you. The CCSP doesn’t ref Schmidt for the passage in question. Are you saying, RP is correct in so far as he goes, but *if* the CCSP had used the extra Schmidt ref they would have been OK? I don’t understand your point about AR4. RP has analysed that. Which bit of his analysis do you dispute? -W]

    And the comparison to Phil Cooney is contemptible. It’s even more absurd than accusing Gavin Schmidt of scientific larceny and confessing to same. Give me a break.

    [Old Chinese proverb say: Man who cannot spell his blog name is typing too fast -W]

  5. #5 Magnus W

    DeepC beat me to it… you also have relevant info in the next segment at CP. (could ad this bit; but you can see how he cleverly leaps from quoting his narrow paper on hurricane damages to the very broad assertion, “The CCSP report however, says the opposite, that these factors do not explain the upward trend in costs or numbers of events. To support this claim they provide two citations” [Evan Mills in Science and the 2007 IPCC report].) However I can’t say that I like either posts both seams like kneejerk reactions… (over reactions from frustration)

    [I don’t understand you. RP explains why Mills and AR4 aren’t good refs. Clearly you disagree with his conclusion, but I don’t know why -W]

    Well well I guess that kneejerk reactions is what bloging for a bigger audience is mostly about.

  6. #6 Deep Climate

    Sure, Romm overreacts and exaggerates. But RP’s post is by far the more misleading of the two posts IMHO. YMMV and other acronyms as appropriate.

  7. #7 Deep Climate

    Schmidt et al represents additional confirmation that the CCSP was right to rely on Mills. RP appears to want the CCSP to rely only on outdated studies, especially his own, and exclude Mills. RP is also partly justifying that position by bringing up the bogus “conflict of interest” trope, which I find completely unsupportable in this case.

    [I’m not understanding you. RP Jr explains why relying on Mills is bad. You’ve read his critique (of course) and so can explain where you disagree with it. Do you have time to provide this explanation? Schmidt isn’t really very relevant here – we’re discussing (I think) whether the CCSP paragraph can be justified on the basis of the refs it provides – not whether it can be said to have made a lucky guess on the basis of subsequent refs that it doesn’t cite -W]

    He’s entitled to his opinion of course, but it’s hardly an airtight case – far from it.

    OT (but only slightly) suggestion: How about doing the next instalment of your “Foaming” series on WSJ’s Kim Strassel and Mark Steyn? Lots of great material there.



  8. #8 Magnus W

    Well I am new to this but so far this is my take…

    Mills did publish, Roger think it was a bad article… mainly because most citations were not peer reviewed… but is it not up to the reviewers to check the sources? Otherwise why not try to publish something that shows that Mills is wrong?

    Then we also have the “new” analysis kinda supporting Mills…

    then he criticises

    and I really cant find anything there that make that citation irrelevant.

    The critic of the figure… I don’t know… is it sufficient? Roger just points out some rather obvious (?) things that also is some what discussed in the text…

    the statement that this paper do not ad anything new I have a hard time to understand…

    It seams to show that more money is spent… as a response to the fact that climate is changing.

    This was just a quick look through so I might have got it wrong… however, the last part by RP about Mills is really over the top… Still I think it might have been more useful to write a longer part about it in the report, also discussing RPjs work… but would that have changed RPjs reaction?

  9. #9 Eli Rabett

    The criticism of Mills’ article is an example of credentialism. Reasonably postulating that Mills’ manuscript was reviewed by referees who work in the field, means that the type of studies referenced were judged by experts (including Mills) to be relevant and worthy of trust (OK, there is always G&Ts IJMPB article and similar, but most of those are inside jobs where the editor forces something into a journal) which vitiates (always wanted to youse that word) the credentialism argument. The Mills and Schmidt articles are interesting markers in the evolution of the field.

    The relationship of extreme weather damage to climate change is an example of a split literature where experts take both into account. It is difficult for an outsider to evaluate because there is also a lot of dross out there. There are others, such as pharmaceuticals with a ton of nutritional dross. These typically appear for issues where there are commercial and scientific interests.

  10. #10 Boris

    To be honest, the Pielke?Romm/WC doesn’t interest me. I tried reading Romm’s post to get myself interested and I couldn’t really get into it. Romm is over the top (“Pielke is waterboarding scientists!!!!1!1!111!onehundredandeleven1!”) Not everyone can be the world’s most evil person, y’all.

    Pretty much ignoring everything said by anyone with the last name Pielke will probably do no harm though.

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