Roger down the Curry hole?

RP Jr is doing weird stuff – well, he’s doing what he’s done before: misunderstanding the science, in a very fundamental way, and then arguing tendentiously in a desperate attempt to throw enough confusion in the air to hide his original error. JA has the details.

Come on RP: just say sorry and admit your mistake. And stick to policy in future, which you’re good at.

Meanwhile, speaking of “policy”, there is mt on Dr. Charles Monnett, the fellow who had the misfortune to be footnoted by Al Gore on the polar bear question. That was the kind of thing you expected (and which happened) under Bush. Why is this happening under Obama?

[Update: And Keith Kloor has good news, in a sense, though the effort in individual conversion looks rather high.]

Comments

  1. #1 bigcitylib
    2011/08/18

    The Pielke Jr. error is so basic even I get it. Or at least, its a fairly standar bit of Phil-O-Language that, because of things like JA’s dice example, you can’t treat probability statements truth functionally. For Jr. to argue that he’s presenting defending a “common sense” view of the matter is ridiculous.

  2. #2 Neil Craig
    2011/08/18

    When alarmists are willing to publicly admit that Al Gore did not “get the science mostly right” but is a lying bufoon; that Mann fiddled his Hockey Stick and that Hansen was wrong to predict a 1 C temperature rise by now I will be willing to consider that something thjey say about scientific sceptics might be truthful.

    Hasn’t happened yet.

    [Since none of those things are true, you'll wait a long time for sensible people to "admit" them -W]

  3. #3 Left_Wing_Fox
    2011/08/18

    So… Neil won’t admit 2+2=4 until we admit 3+3=7?

    Sounds perfectly reasonable.

    [Ah, that was much snappier than mine -W]

  4. #4 GregH
    2011/08/18

    And when you stop repeating denialist talking points as if they were established fact, maybe people will take you seriously.

  5. #5 John Mashey
    2011/08/18

    Note: Bush/Obama
    1) Regulatory agencies are often “captured” by those they are supposed to regulate.

    2) Inspector General staffs do not instantly change when administrations do. It can take a year before a new President can get a new head appointed, and it can take many years before bad apples get weeded out at lower levels, if ever.

  6. #6 pough
    2011/08/18

    For Jr. to argue that he’s presenting defending a “common sense” view of the matter is ridiculous.

    Shades of Frank Luntz! Is he saying that he’s seeming more correct from the perspective of people who are wrong?

  7. #7 Former Skeptic
    2011/08/18

    Even by his piss-poor standards (e.g. Megan the undergrad, the Klotzbach cock-up, the bad reviews of his latest book, and the recent kerfuffle over at RC), this blatant click-whoring is a new low for Jr.

    My question is why is he doing this? Unlike Curry, he did previously maintain that he had no issues with the conclusions drawn from WG1 (I was at one of his Climate Fix talks when he said that). Does he want to be Curry-lite?

    Come on RP: just say sorry and admit your mistake.

    Don’t hold your breath, WC. Don’t you know the Pielkes are incapable of error?

  8. #8 Keith Kloor
    2011/08/18

    John Mashey (5) makes an important point, but I would add that this is especially true of agencies at the regional/local field office level, where they have to harmonize with the regional economy (e.g., very oil & gas centric in various locales).

    Additionally, a deeper examination of Obama’s env policy would also reveal little substantive difference between Bush on the issues of endangered species protection, energy development (see recent big coal announcement in Wyoming by Inter sec Salazar and Arctic drilling approval (test wells, for now) in Beaufort Sea, among others.

    [I was rather afraid that might be the case -W]

    Then there’s that promise about scientific integrity…
    http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/08/nasa-punts-new-scientific-integrity-plan

  9. #9 J Bowers
    2011/08/18

    Keith Kloor — “…agencies at the regional/local field office level, where they have to harmonize with the regional economy (e.g., very oil & gas centric in various locales).”

    A description of the EPA, no less.

  10. #10 David B. Benson
    2011/08/18

    Too late. All the apples rotted.

  11. #11 Hank Roberts
    2011/08/18

    >> defending a “common sense” view of the matter …

    > Shades of Frank Luntz! Is he saying that he’s seeming more
    > correct from the perspective of people who are wrong?

    Teach the controversy.

    No handy controversy? Make one up. Teach that.

    It only has to last through the next election.

  12. #12 keith Kloor
    2011/08/18

    J. Bowers (9)

    True, but the EPA also seems to have the greater share of whistle-blowers, in the tradition of the legendary Hugh Kaufman
    (http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/01/06/06greenwire-no-retreat-for-veteran-epa-whistleblower-in-er-76194.html?pagewanted=all)–who I’ve met and interviewed several times, and the recently retired and equally legendary
    Wes Wilson (http://m.rockymountainnews.com/news/2005/may/31/hes-either-loved-or-reviled/)
    –who I’ve also had the pleasure of interviewing.

  13. #13 David B. Benson
    2011/08/18

    RPJr is already down some sort of hole as far as I’m concerned.

  14. #14 MarkB
    2011/08/18

    Roger says 28% of the IPCC WG1 conclusions are incorrect. Following that logic down the rabbit hole, we get

    – If a meteorologist concludes each day this month that there’s a 100% chance of rain, 0% of those conclusion are incorrect.

    – If a meteorologist concludes each day this month that there’s an 60% chance of rain, 40% of those conclusions are incorrect.

    – If a meteorologist concludes each day this month that there’s a 0% chance of rain, 100% of those conclusions are incorrect.

    Weird. It doesn’t matter what the results are. I think another hair just turned grey.

  15. #15 GoRight
    2011/08/18

    Ha. JA is being intentionally obtuse, or he simply doesn’t understand the point Pielke Jr. is making.

    [I'm sorry to see you being so obtuse, or unthinking. Try reading JA's post; your failure to do that makes all you've written below worthless -W]

    The quote that JA provides in his post does, in fact, illustrate the point quite nicely:

    “An important property of probability forecasts is that single forecasts using probability have no clear sense of “right” and “wrong.” That is, if it rains on a 10 percent PoP forecast, is that forecast right or wrong? Intuitively, one suspects that having it rain on a 90 percent PoP is in some sense “more right” than having it rain on a 10 percent forecast. However, this aspect of probability forecasting is only one aspect of the assessment of the performance of the forecasts. In fact, the use of probabilities precludes such a simple assessment of performance as the notion of “right vs. wrong” implies. This is a price we pay for the added flexibility and information content of using probability forecasts. Thus, the fact that on any given forecast day, two forecasters arrive at different subjective probabilities from the same data doesn’t mean that one is right and the other wrong! It simply means that one is more certain of the event than the other. All this does is quantify the differences between the forecasters.”

    The point being made here is quite literally saying that no PoP can ever be meaningfully judged as being “right” or “wrong”. So in the example used above, observing rain on a day which was forecast to only have a 10% probability of rain cannot be used to judge that prediction as being “wrong”. So in other words, no observed result will ever be considered “inconsistent” with such a forecast.

    But of course this is exactly Pielke’s point as well. That’s why he keeps asking for the alarmists to provide such a list of “inconsistent” criteria and why you never do.

    So when JA then says:

    I nowhere say, or imply that the IPCC statements “could not be judged to be wrong because of their probabilistic nature” …

    he is just plain wrong because the quote he provided just before implies exactly that.

    Pielke’s point is that the alarmists have established a system which purports to be scientific, but which can never be shown to be “false” or “incorrect”. This notion is inherently at odds with the concept of the scientific method and, therefore, with the concept of science in general. And he is correct.

  16. #16 MarkB
    2011/08/18

    GoRight

    Immediately after your quoted text

    ‘A single probabilistic statement at the “likely” level cannot generally meaningfully be validated because no outcome is sufficiently improbable to falsify it (under the standard significance testing paradigm). Once you have a large enough ensemble of statements, such as those the IPCC make, their judgement as a whole can easily be validated because it is highly improbable that either a small or large number of the particular events should occur, if the probability was accurate.’

    Useful also is the following exchange concerning your last paragraph.

    http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2008/05/are-you-avin-laff.html

    Entertaining to watch the Rogers of the world perform. In one respect, they wrongly claim climate projections are never falsifiable and have no meaning. In the next moment, they wrongly claim to have falsified climate projections, based on short time intervals.

    http://atmoz.org/blog/2008/05/19/7-year-trends-falsify-what/

    Ughh. A second and third grey hair.

  17. #17 Geoff Wexler
    2011/08/18

    which can never be shown to be “false” or “incorrect”. This notion is inherently at odds with the concept of the scientific method and, therefore, with the concept of science in general.

    I suspect that approach might end up by banning probability as unscientific. Popper did write about probability, but I am not sure that this part of his work was of much value.

    Of course you have to test a theory and perhaps the best thing to do is to wait and use common sense.

    Quite apart from that, suppose one such test were to fail with 100% certainty.You would not know whether it is the theory that is wrong or merely a piece of data i.e. part of the initial or boundary conditions*. Does that make the theory non-falsifiable and hence non-scientific? No, because it may be built on falsifiable laws taken from thermodynamics, spectroscopy, fluid mechanics and physical chemistry.

    [* e.g if it starts to cool , perhaps the aerosols might have been underestimated]

  18. #18 Geoff Wexler
    2011/08/19

    Re : my #17
    But Popper is not quite useless.

    [Popper is far from useless. His views on Plato are illuminating -W]

    [This is my own view which I used for teaching in the past]

    As I see it, the main value of Popper-falsifiability is to provide a semi-formal underpinning to the well known rule that a theory with too many adjustable parameters is dodgy. This translates to the statement that falsifiabiality decreases as the number of such parameters increases.

    A good recent example is Spencer’s :

    http://bbickmore.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/just-put-the-model-down-roy/

  19. #19 Neil Craig
    2011/08/19

    “[Since none of those things are true, you'll wait a long time for sensible people to "admit" them -W]”

    You make my point. Under what circumstances can anybody who denies, for example, that Hansen predicted a 1 c rise by now ever be trusted to be telling the truth on anything less obvious.

    [1 oC rise from when to when? If you care to reference your claim (to reality, ie you need to quote Hansen himself not some septic blog), I'll evaluate it. Until then its worthless -W]

    Yet there seems to be not a single alarmist “scientist” who doesn’t.

  20. #20 David B. Benson
    2011/08/19

    RPJr dug his own hole and he is certainly down in it.

  21. #21 Neil Craig
    2011/08/20

    [Trolling deleted. Do come back if you've got a ref to back up your vapouring -W]

  22. #22 Hank Roberts
    2011/08/20

    Neil Craig is, I suppose, rebunking Patrick Michaels’s notorious lie about Hansen’s scenario(s). I may have a cite in the spam filter from a day or two ago.

  23. #23 Steve Bloom
    2011/08/20

    Can’t manage a link, Neil? So sad.

  24. #24 J Bowers
    2011/08/20
  25. #25 Boris
    2011/08/20

    Even by Pat Michael’s bogus interpretation, it still wasn’t a 1C increase.

  26. #26 Eli Rabett
    2011/08/20

    In Hansen;s Model B and C from 1988, the rise from the 1970 baselins is about 0.8 – 1 C

    Actual is about 0.6 C

  27. #27 James Annan
    2011/08/21

    If you want a proper analysis of Hansen…

    http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2010/08/wiley-interdisciplinary-reviews-climate.html

    [Thanks, thats nice -W]

  28. #29 Hank Roberts
    2011/08/21

    Oh, that post at Pielke Jr.’s blog is by the inimitable Mark Bahner, who’s been around a while banging the same drum, e.g. http://groups.google.com/group/sci.environment/browse_thread/thread/a8e644b272ee890c/fb54fd193a838298?hl=en

  29. #30 Neil craig
    2011/08/21

    I see Staot [sic] is censoring [complaints of censorship are tedious and will be censored -W]

    http://www.climate-skeptic.com/2008/06/gret-moments-in.html

    Actually any alarmist who was not ignorant of the basics of what they were claiming would already know that Hansen saying this in 1988 was one of the great moments in alarmist history.

    [But that doesn't prove your claim -W]

  30. #31 Hank Roberts
    2011/08/21

    Poor Neil Craig believes, regardless of the evidence.
    http://www.logicalscience.com/skeptics/patMichaels.html

  31. #32 David B. Benson
    2011/08/21

    Where are the promised holiday pix?

    RPJr is so boring..

  32. #33 Neil Craig
    2011/08/22

    [Trolling deleted (folks, please don't feed). Sorry, but you need to have something to say. For example, there are three model runs on the Hansen graph. Which one do you think is his "prediction"? -W]

  33. #34 Robert Murphy
    2011/08/22

    “Hank your link dishonestly sugests that Hansens’ first scenarion (no massive cut in CO2) is not how the real world has gone”

    It isn’t. Here’s a hint: CO2 was only *one* of the GHG’s that were considered. The difference between the projections for scenario’s A and B for CO2 concentrations by this time is only a few ppmv – this would not have caused any noticeable difference in temps. The difference between them for the other GHG’s is significant, and it is these differences that lead to the big differences in forcings between the scenarios. When you total up *all* of the forcings due to projected GHG levels (and take into account “A” had no simulated volcanoes like “B” and “C” did, and the fact we actually had Pinatubo drop temps for a year or two), “A” is clearly not close to what has actually happened, but “B” is a really nice fit.

    Here’s a link to the annual atmospheric concentrations of the relevant GHG’s in Hansen’s 1988 study.

  34. #35 Gavin
    2011/08/22

    The latest twist is hilarious:

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2011/08/ink-blots-ambiguity-and-outcomes-in.html

    Not only didn’t Roger make a basic mistake in understanding probabilistic forecasts, but only when climate scientists stop politicising the science will he be able to get it right in future.

    “It wasn’t me guv, it was them politicised science blokes wot made me do it….”

    [Just as expected: RP Jr is throwing yet more squid ink into the mix in the hope that everyone except a few will have forgotten his original error. Which is just the context I need to note KK's "I’m not sure how Roger intended this to be construed at which I thought: "precisely" -W]

  35. #36 M
    2011/08/22

    Speaking of “risking being wrong”, did RPjr ever admit that he made any error whatsoever in the case of Megan the Undergrad and the confusion about an ensemble of predictions vs. a measured realization?

    -M

  36. #37 James Annan
    2011/08/22

    Roger’s “correctness theory” is very simple really.

    If Roger says it, it is correct.

    That’s all you need to know.

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