About Time

Judith Curry has started a blog.

Michael Tobis has written Tom Fuller off. Been there, done that. See ThingsBreak for the details.

More like this

Brilliant title for this post. :)

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 11 Sep 2010 #permalink

Also: all the xxx.examiner.coms are part of a kind of hybrid of Pajamas Media and Matt Drudge, set up by a man who's trying to compete with Murdoch for the right-wing media market, and who owns the Weekly Standard. They're not journalistic enterprises.

The fact that someone has an "association" that amounts to web freelancing for a non-journalistic venue doesn't give them any requirement to be quoted, responded to, anything.

Anyone can set up a web site and promote it. At absolute best, it's not different from blogging.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 12 Sep 2010 #permalink

> The climate blogosphere is a vibrant environment but the signal is often hidden by the noise.

Oh, the irony! The noise of her innuendo and repetition of denier propaganda has added nothing but noise. As [Gavin Schmidt noted](http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=4431#comment-181940): "In future I will simply assume you are a conduit for untrue statements rather than their originator." Ouch.

Given that she has chosen to blogroll WattsUpMyArse, the Pielke Dynamic Duo and other denier-friendly fodder, it doesn't look likely she is going to change her game.

So why is she taking this stance in the first place?

Jeremy C - the more adult answer is, we are't sure why Curry has taken this stance, you aught to ask her.

THe more gossipy answer is, it seems she has mistaken the denialist climate blogging for something being done in good faith and doesn't appear to understand their agenda or lack of interest in science. MAybe she is on the verge of going emeritus, or she has a political axe to grind, or wants some publicity.

The climate blogosphere is a vibrant environment but the signal is often hidden by the noise.

Oh, the irony!

Absolutely. One of the prime objectives of denialism is to hide the global warming signal with noise such as cherry-picks.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 12 Sep 2010 #permalink

I am wary of Curry's blog for the simple reason that her blogroll is 'top heavy' with contrarian sites, with only Real Climate, as far as can see, on the 'other side'. Why doesn't Curry recommend Woods Hole, NOAA or NASA?

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 12 Sep 2010 #permalink

I think [Curry's reply to my (alter ego's) comment](http://judithcurry.com/2010/09/02/test/#comment-234) tells us a lot. She ignores the specific charge that I make and gives a vague, 'intellectual' response with a bit of Latin thrown in that suggests she's all about searching for the truth while others are trying suppress it. The irony meter goes flying across the dial again when she lectures about "truthiness"!

I think her blogroll is a work in progress. It now includes Grumbine, Stoat, Tamino, James Annan, and Clear Climate Code, among many others.

By Nick Barnes (not verified) on 12 Sep 2010 #permalink


That is not the point. You don't include the Discovery Institute in your blogroll if you want a serious discussion about evolution. And you don't include WattsUpMyArse, McFraudit, et al if you want to discuss climate science and policy.

Her claim to want to separate signal from noise is palpable nonsense. She is going to continue what she has been doing in comment boxes around the tubes: regurgitating nonsense from the deniers.

I took some time this morning to re-read Romm's 2007 book Hell and High Water and noticed (a) the glowing review blurb Curry gave to Romm's book and (b) how often she was cited by Romm for her hurricane work in his 2nd chapter.

What happened?

By Former Skeptic (not verified) on 12 Sep 2010 #permalink

Former Skeptic:

Her hurricane work was competent. And if he cited her a lot, why wouldn't she give him a good blurb?

DavidCOG: I think you might have such a link - it's just that you and I see no point having a discussion on evolution at that level by now. I fear your prediction will be right. I also see her going more and more meta - I.e., "well, the denialists may be proven wrong, but let's discuss for weeks whether at the time they objected they were right to object!"

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 12 Sep 2010 #permalink

Ah! Fuller.

Seriously anybody who can come out repeatedly with statements such as these in exhange with Michael Tobis:

'You have drunken the Koolaid, as I should have realized from your pathetic defence of Schneider's last pathetic paper on PNAS.'

'You hand wave pathetically when I summarize reasonable and intelligent questions regarding GRACE. And you fanatically defend Schneider's PNAS travesty, despite the fact that I am a subject matter expert in the research methodology they abused.'


should not complain about ad hominem attacks, although it would help if the party concerened understood what a real ad hominem is. Typical of many his side of the fence he is quick to throw out such accusations. Just like those with limited vocabulary inject the F word every other.

Shameful behaviour to slurr the memory of a fine scientist and human being. This the sort of behaviour we expect from Marc Morano but not somebody who purports to be a serious journalist.

I think the following in reply #5 by Chris Winter over at ClimateProgress hits a nail:

Interview with scientist Stephen Schneider on his âExpert Credibility in Climate Changeâ study

This is a good interview. I think the central policy point comes from Dr. Schneider about halfway along:

'Weâre talking about planetary life support. [* * *] If we do not do the due diligence of letting people understand the relative credibility of claimants of truth, then all we do is have a confused public who hears claim and counter-claim.'

I made a remark about tread-wheels (tread-mills) and alternative energy sources in another thread here, to Ian and Bob we should now add Tom, must not forget Christoper and Anthony either.

Lionel Smith:

No matter what you say in response to Fuller, he makes it about him. Kloor is pretty much that way, too - it's obviously a script, a pre-planned tactic. Bill O'Reilly was the role model here. He went on Fresh Air with Terri Gross - a show where the host inevitably asks about your childhood - a VERY light show. At a certain point, O'Reilly stopped responding to what Gross said and accused her of personally attacking him and walked off. Anyone listening to the show could tell it was scripted (she was so naiive she was shocked). The point was not to fool the listeners, but to fool the media.

Everything has to be turned into a food fight.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 12 Sep 2010 #permalink

Is that my toddler crying or Tom Fuller?

Ta ta.

PS: Marion your hypothesis seems to have merit. So it seems the best thing to do is just ignore them, and/or remain calm like MT?

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 12 Sep 2010 #permalink

"Philip, you raise an important point. It is very difficult to know what to believe in a field outside your own personal expertise. In the climate world, alot of the trust that was placed in the experts (e.g. the IPCC) was destroyed by climategate, glaciergate, etc."

Never mind.

Just wondering here, is Anthony (and/or his supporters) paying Fuller to produce this drivel?

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 12 Sep 2010 #permalink

OK, there's a few sidebar links peppered in the mix as a distraction which is to be expected.

But the rest?
Like, slap me with a wet fish, but Bishy Hill? A site whose only potential value is testing the detectable (or not) progression of a rabies outbreak on a control set of cranks?

Is Curry working for the [Umbrella Corporation?](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resident_Evil:_Afterlife)
At this point nothing in Monty Inhofe's Evolving Flying Circus comes as a surprise.

Marion Delgado:

> I also see her going more and more meta - I.e., "well, the denialists may be proven wrong, but let's discuss for weeks whether at the time they objected they were right to object!"

[chuckle]. Nail meet hammer. Here's her take on Professor Watts: "*WUWT is a mixed bag. About once a month, I find a post that is quite good...*"

So, finding something "quite good" in amongst a month's worth of shite is worth wading through it?!

Or this: "*I refuse to label as âanti-scienceâ anyone that is questioning scientific evidence...*". If perpetually 'questioning' the *same* science is not anti-science, what is?!

We know with a high degree of certainty where the Curry blog is heading....

Jeebus, is JC joking? The author of crap like this:

Arctic Melt Season Bottoms Out â Recovery Is In The Forecast

The Arctic had a steep last spurt of melt over the last week, sending the ice area below 5 million sq. km. That puts 2010 as the third lowest ice extent, or the 2nd highest in the last four years, spin it the way you want.

posts on JC's blog, and she laps it up like a kitten:

Pierre I just added your blog to the blogroll

I notice Curry's blog includes on its blogroll a link to none other than (drum roll... tish!) Tom Fuller. How the wheel turns (actually this one seems stuck in a bog). Also, Cartoons By Josh? Jeepers...

Also at Curry's place, this errrm... entree from thingsbreak is worth the read:

If it wasnât for your boosterism, I would never have seen Steve McIntyreâs published 2kyr NH temp reconstruction, Anthony Wattsâ plot of âreliableâ surface station temp trends and how they compare to the total average, Tom Fullerâs quotes from polar bear and ice sheet dynamics leading researchers, and so on


I'm surprised she hasn't linked to Andrew Bolt's blog...

Mmm I think the curried ham has a long term plan which may be to the good of climate science in general. For the past couple of years she has been putting out anti-science drivel but she has a plan.

All this ground baiting is to serve a greater goal. She has plans to attract the brainless air heads such as brent, warren, curtin, spotty sun, Dave A et al. to her blog. They will be attracted to the bait and at a certain point in time she will snap the trap shut and "Hey presto" all of the deniers will be caught and entrapped never more to infect science blogs with their constant stream of utter junk science nonsense.

Then again it may just be a case of curried ham being another example of emeritus pork barreling. Sigh.

By Ian Forrester (not verified) on 12 Sep 2010 #permalink

Fuller did himself no favours on the thingsbreak thread.

But that's par for the course whenever I've come across him responding to criticism.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Sep 2010 #permalink

On the one hand I'm glad to see thi shappen. On the other my immediate thought was that there's likely to be a rush of inane commenters all trying to gain some exposure by attaching themselves to what's likely to be a widely read blog.

Clicks lick.

ctrl+f "Girma"

Quelle surprise.

Dave H,

Regarding Girma's comment: it seems JC doesn't have any objections against quote mining from stolen emails.

By Lars Karlsson (not verified) on 13 Sep 2010 #permalink

DavidCOG #10

That is not the point. You don't include the Discovery Institute in your blogroll if you want a serious discussion about evolution. And you don't include WattsUpMyArse, McFraudit, et al if you want to discuss climate science and policy.

You have a discussion with 10 creationists/religious zealots on one side and 10 anthropogenic global warming deniers on the other, what have you got?

Answer next post.

> The answer is:
> balance.


This also requires that you get equally nutso people on the "two" sides (though denialists have a plethora of sides, it's just that they never disagree publicly because their side isn't FOR their ideas but AGAINST AGW. Which is why we call them "deniers").

But I don't think there's ANYONE on the AGW side that is anywhere near as nuts as the discovery institute.

I see others have also noted the so-familiar linkspammer showing up there. When I saw this my eyes rolled so far back in my head that I fell out of my chair:

"... zero global warming rate at 0.4 deg C for 12 years shown in the following data of the Climate Research Unit.

curryja September 12, 2010 2:45 pm
Girma, you raise important points ...."

Aieeeee. Well, let's see what JC allows in the "tech" threads. Perhaps this 'welcome' is one of the open threads meant as unmoderated honeypots for the ranters.

"Girma, you raise important points ...."

That has to be the the dumbest thing ever written. By giving Girma any credence, Curry has totally lost all credibility, if she had any left

I'm getting really confused now.

We know that Curry cannot be unintelligent. We've also had no indication that she directly supports misinformation with malice aforethought.

Is this a case of the obliviously naive setting foot in a nest of vipers?

I do have the impression that she's overly susceptible to people being polite and nice to her. Did she just get fed up with the overly blunt and unforgiving style of the not-so-polite scientists?

adelady @ 36:

Did she just get fed up with the overly blunt and unforgiving style of the not-so-polite scientists?

Good question.

Exhibit A (note the comment from MT).


Exhibit B. Note Curry's comment:

The idea of climate scientists providing âinformationâ with a high level of confidence, and contrary opinions being misinformation, is not only incorrect but misleading; âtruthinessâ rather than truth.

I'm sure there are other indications of the likely trend, but I'll leave it to you to come to your own conclusion.

> The idea of climate scientists providing âinformationâ with a high level of confidence, and contrary opinions being misinformation, is not only incorrect but misleading; âtruthinessâ rather than truth.

So...Curry has a high level of confidence in her opinion that climate scientists are incorrect? And asserts that any disagreement with her self-assessment is not only incorrect but misleading?

Does she have any evidence to back this up, or is she just saying...? ;-)

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 13 Sep 2010 #permalink

adelady -

Perhaps at first it is possible. But it must be pretty obvious by now..

Or possibly not. After all, it is perfectly possible to get a PhD without ever being exposed to serious critical thinking - or indeed having to do a great deal of thinking yourself (I'll probably get toasted for that, but it appears true). I only really acquired the mental ammunition to deal with denialism - and recognize it for what it was - through dealing with creationists online. And if you wade into a denialist campaign (be it against evolution, AGW, vaccines, petroleum geology, whatever) unknowingly, you are likely to be impressed with the sheer number and range of arguments on offer.

But what is going on now I don't know.. somehow she must be justifying to herself that she does not need to answer direct questions about her positions and that she doesn't need to check her sources. I suspect it's something like 'Climate scientists are all so mean and all gang up together on me..'; and of course, the more she repeats denialist talking points without bothering to fact check them, the more true this will become. And, of course, the harder any climbdown will be.

By Andrew Dodds (not verified) on 13 Sep 2010 #permalink

Two things. The first I thought of way back when the HSI furore was raging, that Curry is attracted by the bright and shiny untouched glamour (for her) of social sciences. Not sure whether it's supposed to be an escape route from the hard-edged world of physics based realities or a less demanding intellectual endeavour. If either is the case, she's in for a wake up.

The other one really gets up my nose. "Post normal science." This is a way of dragging in ye olde the-facts-are-uncertain stinker from the rubbish skips through the backdoor. Uncertainty? We're not in the position of a surgeon who must insert the scalpel even though the extent of ruptured organs is uncertain. Nor the engineers who must choose how to relieve pressure on a dam with no time to re-measure or re-analyse weaknesses and pressures thoroughly.

This is a pair of size 11 shoes. Undisputed fact.
We can do a test to see how many people with size 11 measured feet this pair will fit. Easily tested.
Can we predict how many of those well-fitted people will be comfortable in these shoes? Requires more work.

As far as I can see, climate science is well past the first two and has done of the work on the last. In fact it's well into the unasked next question, how would we make this fit more comfortably for more of these feet.

The idea that climate science fits the conventional 'post normal science' definition is newspeak for we don't know enough. Accepting this as part of her "project" is a very bad sign.


> But I don't think there's ANYONE on the AGW side that is anywhere near as nuts as the discovery institute.

We'd need to define "nuts", but I'm certain the intellectual dishonesty employed by both of these groups is comparable... or as someone described it, "their ability to bake mental pretzels."

It's morbidly fascinating how they can ignore a mountain of evidence while clinging on to a crumb of dust in the form of a few words in an email.

"Denial is a helluva drug."

P.S. re. "*Girma, you raise important points ....*", Michael Tobis nails Girma and Curry perfectly - http://judithcurry.com/2010/09/02/test/#comment-530

Another ... interesting ... [JC quote](http://judithcurry.com/2010/09/02/test/#comment-275):

> Scientists tend to be complexity deniers...

That unsupported claim smells of truthiness - if not outright ignorance - to me.

She then emits a positioning statement:

> at climate etc. weâll embrace the complexity, acknowledge the uncertainties and try to define the portion of the domain that is actually unknowable.

Evidently she's alleging that climate scientists do not "acknowledge the uncertainties". I think she has a different - post-normal? - definition of that phrase to me.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 14 Sep 2010 #permalink

> and try to define the portion of the domain that is actually unknowable.

Isn't that a little dumb? Science is about finding out what we CAN know, not what we can't.

It smacks of NOMA and pandering to the christian public to me, or the continuing crusade (name chosen advisedly) of IDers to insert christianity into the science class. That may be the source of curry's problems. A blinding onset of faith? Is Judith Born Again?

Scientists tend to be complexity deniers;

Yeah, that's not a statement that bodes well for the future of Climate etc, but might explain some of the stranger things that Curry has contributed to date.

Where on earth does this come from?

Where does it come from? Just looking back over some of her exchanges with others (though I r.e.f.u.s.e. to visit wuwt or audit so I've not seen those) it's clear she's not into attention to picky details.

I sort of understand what she's getting at, but she's got it a bit skew-whiff. She certainly doesn't have any of those nerdy qualities we sometimes see in teenagers addicted to computer stuff - absolute inflexible attention to every single detail regardless of importance. And I think that approach and some of the sillier medical claims about illness and treatment - overlooking synergies of multiple illnesses and multiple medications is the classic - is what she has in mind.

But. She's running this sort of thing together and misjudging a science project's concentration on a particular aspect of a phenomenon and labelling that as denying complexity rather than as focusing on the task. And maybe even complying with funding restrictions, don't stray from the precise project description or watch your funding evaporate.

All intellectual activities require attention to detail. Some of those activities require highly focused attention to very precise detail. Calling someone a complexity denier because they're in this kind of field and have this kind of approach is not helpful.

Asking them to raise eyes from the microscope and use a different perspective would be much more polite and much more likely to get a positive response.

> Some of those activities require highly focused attention to very precise detail. Calling someone a complexity denier because they're in this kind of field and have this kind of approach is not helpful.


One can certainly *not* consider the full range of complexity in one's scientific work **without** denying that complexity exists. Most scientists when asked - and often without being asked - will provide a whole bunch of caveats and limitations to their work, including that they haven't addressed the full range of complexity, **because** they're trying to communicate the truth without people misinterpreting it. If anything Curry has it backwards - or as you put it:

> ...misjudging a science project's concentration on a particular aspect of a phenomenon and labelling that as denying complexity rather than as focusing on the task.

... which is a fairly embarrassing basic error of fact and logic to be making for someone at her level of education and experience. Then again, it's that sort of exclusion of the middle or fallacious inversion that drives many denialist narratives, so maybe she's going native.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 14 Sep 2010 #permalink


Michael has not ignored as much as I would advise a person to :)

On the other hand, he has advised calm, and usually that's been shown to be good advice.

Chris Mooney, too, has pointed out that the goal of (at least) the Morano types is simply classic trolling - goading people into responses they can harvest.

So MT's dictum of be twice as polite as you want to be is probably usually the soundest policy.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 14 Sep 2010 #permalink

I agree Marion. Alas, I do not have the patience to be twice as polite....

Given that you are such a wonderful resource of sage advice (no sarcasm). What do we do with Curry's blog?

Let the rabid misinformers and conspiracy hypothesists run wild?
Try and counter the nonsense over there with reason and facts?
Mock her mistakes and her audience form afar (i.e., other, umm, 'tribal' blogs as she might say)

I'm wary of posting there as Mosher has volunteered to assist with moderating.....you know investigating IP addresses etc. Also worries about Curry "outing me" as one of those "evil" scientists.

Right now her blog seems to have become yet another soap box for allowing people to spew misinformation, vitriol, making attacks on scientists and floating conspiracy hypotheses.

Please tell me she isn't calling it a "science" blog...

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 14 Sep 2010 #permalink


This is all I've been able to come up with, so far:

I *avoid* denialist sites, including the ones that say they're neutral. I urge others to, as well.

I try to hit public venues - Amazon, NYT, WaPo, BBC, CSPAN, etc. as often as I can.

I try to remember that I have a short fuse and an undiplomatic style on the internet, and it's usually better if i edit comments in a seperate document and look them over.

I try not to re-invent the wheel too much, though I also think if you have the background, going back and reinventing the wheel sometimes is the very best way to prepare for dialog - I put a lot of time into studying the saturation argument and everything under it, when "Eli Rabett" was featuring that. I've analyzed some of the easier data sets and assertions in R, etc. But in general, the best thing I think I can do is to go to a public venue, correct one point, and have a bunch of citations handy.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 14 Sep 2010 #permalink


Since I didn't answer the actual question: I would say she's already established that she's going to be a clone of Pielke, Kloor, etc. Lucia at best. I couldn't stand to read too much of it. I despise everything she's written about Phil Jones, East Anglia, the Heartland dog-and-pony show, McIntyre & McKitrik, Steve Mosher, etc.

I don't think I could post very often there and be polite. And I think anyone posting on a climate scientist's blog where she enables and favors denialists should be pretty Vulcan - I think the RC people do a great job.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 14 Sep 2010 #permalink

Thanks Marion. I try and do my part at CBC, but the internet forums there, and especially at the Globe and Mail are overrun with D-Ks and flat out deniers. Sigh.

People may blast me for this, but I honestly wish that they would shut down those internet forums. Free speech is one thing, but using the BBC or CBC to disseminate BS and anti-science memes is not serving the public good. It also gives false balance and weight to opinions coming from people with ideological agendas. Anyhow, just a pet peeve of mine.

My personal opinion on Curry's site is to let it sink itself into a moshpit (chuckle) of innuendo, vitriol, anti-science blather etc. I personally do not hold out for it being a constructive exercise. Maybe she'll prove me wrong, but current indications support my suspicion that her blog is not going to be a purveyor of truth and science.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 14 Sep 2010 #permalink

Adelady @ 46;

That sounds possible. Though it also sounds as though she's handling complexity with all the subtlety and nous of a water buffalo.

She has Cartoons by Josh on her blogroll? Fer srs?

Argh, I'm getting sucked into the vortex!

Seems like many of the well-known conspiracy theorists, denialists, doubt propagators, pseudo-scientists and their advocates (complete with well-known "theories" and papers that "disprove" AGW) are turning up. Most of these are getting a warm reception - and there's a lot of ego-stroking going on in both directions.

Might I suggest it's worth reading the sub-thread started by Michael Tobis [pointing out that the term "ClimateGate" is a hostile term](http://judithcurry.com/2010/09/02/test/#comment-341) that conveys "...an innuendo not just of malfeasance but of actual and willful felony." (Michael tries again with HTML fixes in [this subsequent sub-thread](http://judithcurry.com/2010/09/02/test/#comment-342), complete with more replies.) The responses (and the claims that appear to have been let slide, although maybe future responses will be forthcoming) are fascinating for a blog that claims to be trying to get at what we actually know and don't know.

The rest of the quotes are from JC herself:

> Luminous, Iâm human and I will make errors, when they are spotted I will acknowledge them and correct them.

That will be a welcome change from her very inadequate error-correction at RC.

Another interesting comment from someone professing to be a scientist and expressing disdain for "the science-related post normal political mess":

> Nature is a fuzzy beast, and our knowledge of it is based on imperfect observations and inadequate models.

...so, she embeds an assertion without evidence that models are "inadequate". This is lazy and sloppy thinking, and in most circumstances a fallacy. She first needs to define what use she has in mind before she can assess whether they are "adequate" or not. Blanket declarations of "inadequacy" are unscientific.

I'll quote this one without further comment:

> HSI has almost become a litmus test for seeing who has an open mind, open enough to at least read the book and ponder the actual issues that it raises.

And then there's this:

> It is very difficult to know what to believe in a field outside your own personal expertise. In the climate world, alot of the trust that was placed in the experts (e.g. the IPCC) was destroyed by climategate, glaciergate, etc.

Sounds like the problem is the fact of the loss of trust; not whether it was justified or not.

So...what's your prescription, Judith? Avoid determining whether that loss of trust was justified or not? Delegate your determination to someone else? How do you know they are competent to judge, if such judgement is *also* outside of your own field of expertise?

Or do you throw your hands up and place trust in those *outside* the field? Apparently the latter is part of it - see this comment:

> We need more electrical engineers to take a look at this stuff, especially system analysis and feedbacks.

I can't see that being a great idea, especially as some of the more ... determined denialism comes from engineers who think they are by virtue of their engineering training competent to assess science.

I really think she hasn't yet figured out the kinds of people she is attracting and how they tick - and operate. She's more focused on "civility" and "dialogue" as values than "truth seeking" and "rejecting error", to the point where she seems to be quite happy to stroke the egos of those advocating unjustified - and even highly dodgy - claims. Perhaps we can hope that it's a strategy to attract some of those claimants and over time increase the amount of pushback against the nonsense? ;-)

However currently some commenters (and to some extent JC herself and her policies) remind me a little of those who fallaciously claim that any obvious disagreement with or failure to *respect* their religious beliefs is violating their *religious freedom*.

At least she's trying to keep commenters focused on criticising arguments rather than individuals, but I don't think that will be enough.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 14 Sep 2010 #permalink

I think JC's treatment of various comments by Joe Lalonde may be an interesting litmus test for how much her blog is trying to educate and clarify. Check out some of the not very coherent comments on the [Open Thread](http://judithcurry.com/2010/09/13/open-thread-091310/).

Here's a taste:

> Back in the âDinosaur Ageâ there was less plant and animal species, yet they were much bigger due to the greater speed of this planet. Evolution is the more introduction as the planet ages of changing chemical interactions and dispersions.

Meanwhile JC is [planning a post on ClimateGate](http://judithcurry.com/2010/09/13/open-thread-091310/#comment-635). Her motivation for the post include her assertion that :

> ...the investigations (whatever their merits or shortcomings) have failed to restore confidence.

She then cites Montford's investigation and the IAC as worthy fodder, with commenters trying to get her to add McKitrick's report to the list.

Whilst mulling over the rules for the upcoming "ClimateGate" post, she defends use of that term despite the embedded presumptions *merely because it's already out there*, whilst attempting to ban the term "denialist", in part by citing use (or lack of use) of the **different** word "denier", (at least implictly) denying that "denialist" is already out there, and by backing the false conflation with Holocaust denialism (whilst apparently letting "CAGW" slide too).

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 14 Sep 2010 #permalink

I'm starting to feel like the anxious lady on the sidelines at the wedding reception.

I **told** you that you shouldn't put that smelly old centrifugal force lady on the same table as those weird perpetual motion folks. Keep an eye on that wilduwt table, if you're not careful the noise from there will drown out the DJ. And please, please don't let those email people onto the dance floor first - that John Travolta impression will put all the others off joining in.

56 Lotharson -- "She then cites Montford's investigation and the IAC as worthy fodder, with commenters trying to get her to add McKitrick's report to the list."

It's as well she started her blog just before the report was released, eh.

Judith Curry should be mindful of timeless wisdom...

Qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgent.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 15 Sep 2010 #permalink


> ...shut down those internet forums ... using the BBC or CBC to disseminate BS and anti-science memes is not serving the public good.

It doesn't even require public forums for the BBC to disseminate BS. They've consistently acted as stenographer for the deniers: "one side says this, the other side says that." Read [this](http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/09/11/how-the-bbc-manufactures-ignora…) and weep.



> She first needs to define what use she has in mind...

I think it was Joe Romm who repeatedly made this point: she never defines what she means even after being challenged to do so. Every now and again I'm aghast that someone is in possession of a PhD - the Pielke Dynamic Duo and Plimer being examples. Curry has been added to the list.

Call me cynical, but on the basis of this comment from everyone's favorite climate expert, I shan't be returning to Dr. Curry's blog. It is evidently just an extension of WUWT

Anthony Watts says:

September 13, 2010 at 6:08 am

weâve added 4 new moderators since then, so better coverage now


I'm scratching already. Auto-suggestion I'm sure.

Thanks David @60,

Sigh. I found this part interesting:

"Montford was asked âdo you accept climate change is a grave risk facing us all,â to which he blustered âerrm from my perspective I think the answer is I donât know. I think mankind is affecting the climate but whether itâs a little or a lot , I think , in reality we really just donât know.â

That sounds remarkably similar to what McIntye has told the media

"Q: Do you personally think that climate change is a big problem for the world?

A [McIntyre]: I do not know if it is a big problem, a medium-sized problem or no problem. I just do not know."

Well there you go, Montford and McIntyre just don't know.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 15 Sep 2010 #permalink

Re. 61 Adrian

Was that posted at WUWT or Curry's blog?

Thing is we DO know if it's a big problem.

At 1.5C per doubling, it's a big problem.

At 3C per doubling it's a HUGE problem.

At 4.5C per doubling, we're boned.

All these idiots need to do is say what they think the size of the problem is at 1.5C per doubling.

We know it's more than that (or they need to prove it's less).

So we DO know whether it's a big problem for the world.


Re. 64
The "4 new moderator's" remark was made by Watts on Curry's site, commenting on the situation at WUWT. Curry seems to want to use her students as moderators.

> "...in reality we really just donât know."

And when you point out that this is a well-known denialism tactic for delaying action, especially when there is *some* idea of the range of problem this is going to lie within, they jump up and down and say "no fair using the offensive 'd' word!". Then Tom Fuller gets in on the act by implying that "denialism" must always and everywhere be intended by the writer and read by the reader as associating or analogising with Holocaust Denialism.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 15 Sep 2010 #permalink

Doubt. I realise that this is not supposed to be a rigorous essay. But at the moment I'm deeply unimpressed with the intellectual and logical standards.

I'm starting to come round to the view that this may not be simple naivete.

It amuses me that Curry's crowd love the use of the dubiously valid "C" word, but cannot countenance the very mundane employment of the "D" word.

What's up with that, etc?

By Bernard J (not verified) on 15 Sep 2010 #permalink

adelady @ 69 - I had thought it was something to do with the Italian flag, but I was wrong - it's about duck soup, apparently. Had it been about Duck Soup it would at least have been intentionally funny.

Bernard J - like you it seems I'm just not postnormal enough to understand (let alone join) the conversation.

Ref: my own comment (#61) and subsequent answers. It seems I may have been confused. It looked to me that Anthony Watts had made a comment about moderation at Dr. Curry's site (that he was involved in some way), but it is also possibly (probably) a response to one of the commenters who complained about WUWT. It's still not exactly clear, but I will give the benefit of the doubt. Thanks to bluegrue for pointing this out.

Adrian and bluegrue - Got link?

Re the "Doubt" thread at Judith Curry's blog.

I am fully aware I don't have the chops to debate much of the technical minutiae involved in climate science. But this statement in Curry's OP...

A considerable amount of climate skepticism has been fueled by big business, attempting to protect their personal financial interests (e.g. the Koch brothers, ExxonMobil). True, but so what? Itâs not as if the environmental community doesnât have resources, and hasnât use [sic] them in support of climate policies and even climate alarmism

(emphasis mine)

... is, even from my own limited perspective, a wholly unsubstantiated claim: a sly, almost unnoticeable device used to help shore up a shallow, shakey argument. I've put my POV to Dr. Curry - while I don't for a minute suppose it will make much difference in the Great Scheme of Things (I assume there is one), I can't see why having strings of tertiary qualifications, publications in respected journals and an international profile entitles someone to assume they can utter stuff like this without being challenged.

And as if to dismiss the importance of any objection to such a blanket statement, Dr. Curry concludes:

All this just isnât relevant to the scientific debate

Call me simple, but why then raise the matter? Why bother with such palpable guff? Curry herself says that the point of the post is to encourage "a real debate that needs to be had on the values, economics, and politics associated with the risks of climate change" within the "context of a rational backdrop", and further that the raison d'etre of the blog itself is founded on "open minds and critical thinking". Okay, so how does she square the (in my view) baseless claim highlighted above with the values and standards she professes?

> I realise that this is not supposed to be a rigorous essay. But at the moment I'm deeply unimpressed with the intellectual and logical standards.

The Italian flag analogy was introduced and almost immediately used *very* sloppily. It started out with the initial (visual) definition - the continuum covering the evidence for/against and unknown for a (presumably binary) hypothesis, which *might* be considered to relate to certainty/uncertainty levels for a particular hypothesis, although not necessarily in ways that many of her readers would be able to reliably translate. It then mutated to the portion of observed warming that is anthropogenic partition - with nary a hint that she has changed the underlying model from a binary hypothesis to the determination of a question of degree (which needs to have its **own** uncertainty measures).

I give her kudos for trying to inculcate slightly more sophisticated thinking than the average denialist follower for whom any expression of uncertainty means "scientists don't actually know, so there's nothing to worry about". But she rather undermines it by self-legitimising her rather vague feelings about things as reasons for allocating to one or other of the partitions represented by different colours of the flag:

> Note, my weights were not determined using any fancy analysis, but integrate my sense of uncertainty in CO2 sensitivity, model uncertainties, and particularly the wild card that is natural variability.

(Forgive me for the snark, Dr Curry, but "my sense of uncertainty" and "wild card" sounds awfully like you're indulging in something that others might call "post-normal science".)

And then to make it more confusing she appears to change the flag model back to certainty levels regarding a binary proposition.

I wouldn't be surprised if many of her readers were not particularly well served by this on-the-fly redefinition - especially when it's likely that half or more of her audience are "skeptics", the vast majority of whom are quite happy to be swayed by less-than-crystal-clear thinking (provided they consider that it supports their preconceptions) at the best of times.

And the way she attempts to communicate this:
> Uncommitted belief (white) can be associated with an acknowledgement of a low level of expertise and/or effort.
...is only likely to further confuse many readers because it overloads or aliases the meaning of "white" - now it is not only an attempt to measure the objective state of the science but to (self-)rate one's own expertise at constructing the measure. The underlying point she is trying to communicate is a very important one - but this is a piss-poor way to try and do it.

The entire article professes to be about evidence-based doubt vs belief, but to me it also reads a little like an "I don't believe the IPCC uncertainties and you should believe my own feelings about it" Trojan Horse - without providing any evidence to support her own estimates.

In addition, given the very sloppy definitions she provides, AND the fact that she's apparently asking commenters for alternative definitions, I see only negative value in encouraging the following:

> Speculate on what values other public figures in the climate debate might assign

...and I think:

> Iâm hoping that this strategy takes the wind out the sails of âsupport the consensus or you are a skeptic,â making the merchant of doubt strategy basically irrelevant...

...is hopelessly naive and foolish.

FWIW, I haven't spent any time on the comments.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 16 Sep 2010 #permalink

Yes, the whole thing seems to contain the underlying assumption that one person's guess is as good as any other's, and when the IPCC puts a certain probability on a conclusion it is just pulling a figure out of it's backside.

There is a further element here - since the consensus view has something like 20-30% of 20th century warming down to 'natural' factors, this can get mistranslated as 'we have a 20% probability that all of the warming is natural'. After all, if I say that '70% of the warming is certainly man-made, 20% is certainly natural and there is 10% which could be assigned to either', then I am in fact saying that my model is at least 90% correct.. (i.e. 90% of the observed effect is explained). If this makes sense..

By Andrew Dodds (not verified) on 16 Sep 2010 #permalink

A comment that hasn't been answered, at Dr. Curry's blog:
"I would like to hear Dr. Curryâs response to Andrew Doddsâs questions."

A comment that appears not to have survived moderation at Dr. Curry's blog:
"Iâd like to hear Mr. Fullerâs answers to the questions:
âwhich experts on sea level rise, ice sheet dynamics, and polar bear biology/ecology did you contact for these ânews articlesâ?â
(on polar bear populations and sea level rise)

âIf I were to consult with the leading experts in these fields, would they agree with your ânews articlesâ that polar bears are not threatened by anthropogenic warming and that significant SLR (with dynamic ice sheet decay) is not a concern?â

( tinyurl.com/FullerQs )"

She has become a denialist, and it's a denialist blog. Clutch your pearls, stooge.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 16 Sep 2010 #permalink

It's also a narcissism blog - still angry over making a fool of herself repeatedly over at RealClimate.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 16 Sep 2010 #permalink

Curry's "thinking" basically seems to boil down to

> The IPCC is wrong because nobody KNOWS that they're right, therefore any other explanation is just as right (I.e. not 100% certain)!

Curry just admitted that she has less brain cells than a [sackful of hammers](http://judithcurry.com/2010/09/15/doubt/#comment-1014):

Roddy, in terms of judging paleo papers, I would rank Steve McIntyre well above myself, and probably also any number of citizen scientists that have gotten engaged on this topic.

By Ian Forrester (not verified) on 16 Sep 2010 #permalink

More astounding revelations at DeepClimate. Oh dear.....

Which reminds me, a cross post:

"Oh look, yet another Hockey Stick! This one is from Thibodeau et al. (2010, GSL), âTwentieth century warming in deep waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence: A unique feature of the last millenniumâ

Their conclusion:

âWe conclude that the 20th century warming of the incoming intermediate North Atlantic water has had no equivalent during the last thousand years.â

And the folks at ClimateAudit say that they do not know whether or not we have a problem.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 16 Sep 2010 #permalink

Good god, I just dropped in and looked at her latest open thread and it is a cesspool of denialist tripe. Her blog is worthless, which isn't a surprise.

By Rattus Norvegicus (not verified) on 18 Sep 2010 #permalink

I've had a look at that one. Not promising.

I know Curry said that this 'experiment' of hers would take a full fortnight of her time to get going. I wonder how she's going to characterise the input and the exchanges. If she wants a polite, open, valuable meeting of various minds there, what's she going to do if she finds she's built a holiday camp for the nay-sayers and the rest of the world finds it uncomfortable and uncongenial?

When you find your hotel is repelling rather than attracting one of your target groups, what do you do?

Re. 83 MapleLeaf

Is there an ongoing and up to date list of hockey stick papers and research anywhere? It seems like there's a new one one every month.


I've been preoccupied by the real world lately, but curiosity resulting from your comment led me to check on what Curry has been up to. Whatever it is, it resembles nothing that I see in the real world...

There's very little climate, and a heavy preponderance of et cetera.

The only front-line that Curry is coming anywhere near to approaching is the Fipronil/(S)-Methoprene combination with which she will need to bathe the back of her neck if she is to avoid excessive Siphonapteran pruritis.

I have no difficulty in classifying [[No] Climate, [lots of] etc](http://judithcurry.com/2010/09/15/doubt/). It's a titanic stinker, and it might be Curry's Titanic sinker if she doesn't do something about the wandering helm. And on the subject of curious organisational approaches, what's with the 'Open' threads that have specific subjects?

I suspect that she could in hindsight find that what seemed a good idea at the time, wasn't.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 19 Sep 2010 #permalink

I think the best thing to do is ignore Curry's blog for a while and see if she actually up's her game, since at the moment it is pretty much a denialist echo chamber, so if that's what she wants to hear, fine, that is her choice and we can leave her to get on with it, it will not affect us much at all.

> I suspect that she could in hindsight find that what seemed a good idea at the time, wasn't.

I suspect that was in part due to applying the level of logic and skill she was displaying when I last visited to the question "is this a good idea" and "am I capable of educating the audience"?

I'm not sure that she studied Spencer's recent experiences trying to teach his readers that the greenhouse gas effect does in fact exist and is not in fact prohibited by thermodynamics.

> ...see if she actually up's her game...

I do wonder if she'll actually start taking on some of the bogus arguments that appear there...and how that will go down with certain sections of her readership. Especially if she starts prohibiting the goldfish from repeating ad nauseum the arguments previously debunked.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 19 Sep 2010 #permalink

J Bowers @86,

There is probably a list of HS papers, but I am not aware of it. As you note, it must be pretty comprehensive by now-- should make for interesting reading in AR5.

John Cook has just featured another HS-shaped paleo reconstruction, this one is from S. America.


By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 19 Sep 2010 #permalink

Just in case anyone was holding on to any lingering hope that the comments over at Climate etc weren't going to be a cacophany of denialism and conspiracy mongering;

I will take CRU findings seriously when I believe they handle data properly

Yeah, they acted like the bad guys from the elite frat in every dumb college movie ever made. They set climate science back by a couple of years and everything they did now has to be replicated

We all agree on this point, the problem is the East Anglia researchers destroyed the original climate record they had produced making replicating their work impossible.

The failure of the majority of scientists in other disciplines to lambast climate science for subverting the process has now cast every discipline under the same shadow as far as Iâm concerned

Peer review has been bastardized by the warmaholics. â¦The warmaholics have tried to sell the idea that peer review means that the science has been proven to be correct

â¦we really need to go back to the papers BEFORE the political correctness and start over.

â¦but the situation in climate science is maddening and the corruption is probably so embedded that reform from within is impossible. Actually, this blog seems about the best thing going in terms of climate science reform. Maybe a critical mass of bloggers can outflank the anti-science legions

Unlike the scientific community based whitewash panels to date, the Federal Courts have to follow rules of evidence based upon discovery

Grant money has corrupted scienceâ¦

The new way of saying âClimate Deniersâ without the holocaust denial smearâ¦

itâs my opinion that climatology has prostituted themselves to politics. It started with the founding of IPCC which only task was to establish a scientific alibi to sell the common âenemyâ: CO2 and exclude ANY form of counter opinion or sceptic ideas and re-inventing peer review to reach this goal.

Scientists, ⦠most did nothing while science was manipulated for ideological or financial gain.

We need more people studying the social science of how science gets done, why certain types of fraud and group-think are not only acceptable but encouraged, and how that leads to group-think like Climate Science today, and Climategate.

Does climate science take in all factors into reaching a good viable conclusion?
No, of course not.
There are thousands of researchers looking for the funding pot to keep going and the more sensational the claim, the more media.
In the whole world of science CO2 is a âfart in a windstormâ.
Do we know the actual mechanics of evaporation?
Not a single scientist has included the effects of planetary rotation.

Re. 90 MapleLeaf

Ari at AGW Observer has a list of global MWP papers, but not local. It'd be great to see a listing of the whole enchilada, even if only to counter the CO2(un)Science memes that are oft repeated "in conversation", especially in the MSM.

Anti-science troll: "Hah! But the MPW was warmer as proven with this list! Cop a load of those!"
response: "Hah! Mine's bigger! Get back under your bridge."

It might seem petty in a way, but it'd cut out the trolls and leave mostly the Dunning-Kruger-nauts and shills to contend with.

Hi J Bowers,

Thanks for the information.

Aah, yes, I have tried 'debating' some D-Ks....I'd sooner get blood form a stone, than convince them that they are wrong.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 20 Sep 2010 #permalink

Goodness me, Michael - that descent was pretty quick!

Is there any reasoned pushback? (Not that it will ultimately help with those making the comments, if experience with our resident denialists is anything to go by - and it may not help other readers if the signal to noise ratio is too low.)

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 20 Sep 2010 #permalink

Lotharrson @94 - Michael Tobis is trying, but it's a Herculean struggle, especially when Curry writes things like:

The criticisms being made by McIntyre and McKitrick in my opinion bring much needed probity to the whole [credibility of climate science] thing... I have gone further to claim that the expertise brought to these issues by McIntyre, McKitrick plus the technical blogosphere in terms of auditing and statistical analysis is a welcome contribution to the discourse on the subject.

Odd that it escapes Curry that "The Auditors" (i.e., McIntyre and friends) missed (ignored?) the blatant plagiarism in Wegman report which they religiously refer to.

Curry needs to take her blinkers off..

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 21 Sep 2010 #permalink

Things are descending more rapidly than I though possible over at Climate Etc.

The latest post is on the floods in Pakistan. There's a wiff of using the flood to bash Climatologists in the post itself, which Curry then makes explicit in comments,

I would say it is the climate establishment that is spending too much time and resources on the possible 100 year problems at the expense of the problems here and now.

Yes, and we now have 'The Uncertainty Monster', because climate scientists never include error bars in their forecasts.

I really think that Dr Curry should look up the logical fallacy of 'assuming the conclusion'. Still, it makes asking for examples and sources interesting..

By Andrew Dodds (not verified) on 23 Sep 2010 #permalink

The latest one? When I looked at it, there was just the post full of portentous multisyllabic words followed by one single response from a regular. Magnetic fields this time.

Her use of statistical and scientific inference terminology is complete bullshit.

I have often said dragging Bayesian/frequentist arguments into climate science would not be productive, but I meant, honest arguments. In her case, she wants to use "Bayesian" as a synonym for "necessarily post-modern to handle our reality, which is so complex you'd be a fool to make any assertions at all, ever!"

To which I would answer, okay, show some guts and take, e.g., Naomi Oreskes on with that perspective. Tell her there's no such thing as a consensus.

Michael Tobis took her on directly in her Doubt post, and to ABSOLUTELY no effect.

As is clearly and rapidly becoming her M.O. she ignored everything previously discussed and simply repeated her formulation in questioning consensus.

If she comments about this in a real venue, like RealClimate, the Guardian, dotEarth, etc., I've decided my response will steal from Ao Yuan:

"No, Dr. Curry - finding the consensus on climate sensitivity and prognosis is instead a joint estimation procedure in which some of the parameters are estimated Bayesian, and the rest by the maximum-likelihood estimator in the same parametric model, and thus a process which contains the strengths of both methods and avoids their weaknesses."

Anyone want to bet that wouldn't work? I've actually programmed Bayesian inferences and have been studying MLE for a while, so I would be able to BS along with her for quite a while. :)

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 27 Sep 2010 #permalink

MINE: Moderate In Name Only.


I'm starting to react a bit whenever I see this word. It's getting to bear the same tint as "quantum" in all those incomprehensible sciency blatherings in advertisements for unlikely products. I realise it's mainly due to my own inadequacies in properly evaluating such matters, but it does grate a bit.


See what you've done? I wandered over to Curry's "Climate [but mostly..] etc", and now I need to read some Hawking to counteract the Stupid. More credit to Steve Easterbrook, Bart, Eli, and others for their valiant efforts to keep her from jumping over the edge after her numpties, but really, it's all pearls before swine.

The same nonsense is surfacing unchallenged there, as infected the Marohasy Bog and that infects the Codling New Bog. In my book, whenever a blogmaster doesn't automatically and hastily disavow him-/herself from claims such as the non-hydrogen sun theory, there is no chance that they really are playing in the scientific sandpit any longer.

I still can't make up my mind if "Climate que" is Curry's interpretation of performance art, or of the internet version of installation art. Whichever is the fact of the matter, an appropriate sub-title would be "A Fly on Honeydew: or the Capture of the Demise of a Repuation".

The more Curry responds to her fawning crowd, the more it is apparent that she is rolling herself in the relentless sticky grip of the glistening tentacles of credibility seppuku.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 28 Sep 2010 #permalink

> ...she ignored everything previously discussed and simply repeated her formulation in questioning consensus.

Hmmm, [who](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/05/brent_thread.php) does that [remind me of](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/04/tim_curtin_thread_now_a_live_s…)?

> ...whenever a blogmaster doesn't automatically and hastily disavow him-/herself from claims such as the non-hydrogen sun theory...

Yep, that was a pretty strong indicator for me on the very first thread I checked out.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 28 Sep 2010 #permalink

I was in two minds about where this should go given the recent Wegman posts. It seems that Prof Curry has taken a leaf from Wegman, which might explain her positive citing of Wegman.

This is from her 'Consensus' post.

A poster noted her mangling of a Hulme and Mahony paper;

JC -

Hulme and Mahoney argue that the consensus approach has been a source of both strength and vulnerability for the IPCC: while the IPCC consensus approach has been effective in communicating climate science to policy makers, it has marginalized dissenting voices.

What they actually said -

Understanding consensus as a process of âtruth creationâ (or the more nuanced âknowledge productionâ) which marginalises dissenting voices â as has frequently been portrayed by some of the IPCCâs critics (see Edwards & Schneider, 2001; Petersen, 2010) â does not do justice to the process.

Which made me have a bit of a look around that section of H&M. And what do we find?

Here's Curry sentance preceding her cite and mis-paraphrase of H&M;

The IPCCâs consensus approach has been largely driven by the desire to communicate climate science coherently to a wide spectrum of policy users. The IPCC consensus building process is an exercise in collective judgment about subjective Bayesian likelihoods in areas of uncertain knowledge

And here's H&M (p.10);

Equally, as Yearley (2009) explains, IPCC consensus-making is an exercise in collective judgement about subjective (or Bayesian) likelihoods in areas of uncertain knowledge. Consensus-making in the IPCC has been largely driven by the desire to communicate climate science coherently to a wide spectrum of policy users

Or, to make it a bit clearer;

(H&M)- "...IPCC consensus-making is an exercise in collective judgement about subjective (or Bayesian) likelihoods in areas of uncertain knowledge."

JC - "The IPCC consensus building process is an exercise in collective judgment about subjective Bayesian likelihoods in areas of uncertain knowledge."

(H&M)- "Consensus-making in the IPCC has been largely driven by the desire to communicate climate science coherently to a wide spectrum of policy users."

JC - "The IPCCâs consensus approach has been largely driven by the desire to communicate climate science coherently to a wide spectrum of policy users."

My feeling is that she's so committed to this politeness "position" she's taken that she can't see the pitfalls.

Anyone with any judgement might allow a couple of tries from the serial nutters, but you do have to cut them off at some point. She studiously avoids saying or doing anything about the seriously weird, but allows or encourages uninformed or negative comments about worthwhile contributors.

If you check back to her original 'Welcome' post and examine the list of people she'd like to encourage as part of the discussion, she's not doing a lot to welcome or to hold on to people with real expertise to offer. Exactly the people she lists first as desirable contributors.