What a weird phrase. It sort of sounds like it ought to mean something, but it means nothing at all. “It speaks clearly of truth” would be better – but the grammar doesn’t quite work. The alternate title to this post, incidentally, was “Like a trouser, yet not a trouser“. I’ll reserve that for future use.
I picture a large mountain, immaculate and shining with pure snow, glowing with inner fire: Mt Truth, the abode of all that is truthy. And down below, gazing up at the summit glimpsed dimly through the clouds, a small (but clear-voiced) figure speaking. Errm, to the mountain. Is the figure asking a question of Mt Truth? “Dear Mt Truth, I am small and confused, please help me to see further”? Alas no, the figure is hectoring Mt Truth with gobbledegook. Which is probably the fate of all who try to talk to Mt Truth, rather than asking questions of it.
(Here’s my poppy, also glowing with inner fire, or rather with transmitted fire. I like the picture, even though its not really a picture of the poppy – the colours are wrong, the red too orange and not deep scarlet. anyway, on with the show…)
Well, that was a jolly exciting story, no? But what am I on about? Alas, nothing worthwhile. Its yet another of those occasions when WUWT posts nonsense (the “speaks clearly to truth” is part of AW’s intro; perhaps (were we to credit him with sufficient insight) a subtle hint at the garbage to come), this time The “ensemble” of models is completely meaningless, statistically its by Robert G. Brown, some wacko physicist who, in the usual way of these things, may or may not be a competent physicist but is utterly (and like so many physicists, forcefully) clueless outside of his field. Large parts of the post are, I think, literally nonsense; most of the rest and the title point is just wrong, as pointed out by William Briggs, himself a bit of a wacko. But he’s entertaining:
Brown is wrong. What he said was false. As in not right. As is not even close to being right. As is severely, embarrassingly wrong. As in wrong in such a way that not one of his statistical statements could be repaired. As in just plain wrong. In other words, and to be precise, Brown is wrong. He has no idea of which he speaks. The passage you quote from him is wronger than Joe Biden’s hair plugs. It is wronger than Napoleon marching on Moscow. It is wronger than televised wrestling.
That’s Briggs trying to get things through into WE’s thick skull. Naturally enough, it bounces off. Because we’re in New Aristotelians – WE is unable to abstract: he can’t see past his hatred of climate models to the underlying statistics, which is the point that Briggs is trying to make.
I probably shouldn’t snark too much, though. I’ve never been entirely happy with the IPCC habit of drawing spaghetti graphs with little attention to which of the models are any good; and I’ve even got a paper suggesting we might try to weight the models by how much they resemble reality. But really you’re better off reading James Annan.
Oh, but I wanted to add something else: all that stuff is going nowhere; the arguements are not only wrong, but not really interesting or relevant (I’m not talking about JA, of course). They’re just wandering lost in the darkness. But that’s part of the point: for the denialists, the entire point is to go nowhere and understand nothing. I find it hard to believe, though, that very many other than the hardcore really want to go down that path; or that path has any coherence. So while there’t lots of noise, there’s no substance and no weight. The denialists have no “bottom”, to use a seafaring term. The terms of debate are set by the IPCC reports, which are coherent; and the upcoming AR5 will move things onwards, somewhat.
[Update: Briggs says "Update I weep at the difficulty of explaining things" which is fair enough. Its practically a quote from Leviathan in The Deep; or indeed from anyone trying to talk to the more unthinking denialists. On a more serious note, I'm pleased to say that I'm now the #2 google hit for "like a trouser, yet not a trouser" -W]