What is the role of the deep ocean in global warming? Climate science deniers get this wrong.

What is the role of the ocean's abyss in global warming?1

I’ve already posted on a study published in Nature Climate change that shows that the amount of extra global warming related heat in the Southern Oceans is greater than previously thought. There is another paper in the same journal by Llovel et al, “Deep-ocean contribution to sea level and energy budget not detectable over the past decade.” This paper verifies previous research that the oceans absorb a lot of the excess heat, but looks specifically at the ocean below 2,000 meters, which the paper referrs to in places as "deep" but that we should probably call "abyssal."1 The paper concludes that the abyss is not warming. This is bad news, because if it was warming the total effects of global warming on the surface would be potentially less, or at least, stretched out over a longer period of time. But, it is not unexpected news. We already suspected that the abyssal ocean does not absorb much of the surface heat, while the shallower ocean absorbs quite a bit.

Research done prior to 2012 (e.g. Hansen et al 2011) parceled out the energy imbalance the Earth experiences from anthropogenic global warming. The extra heat caused by AGW from 2004 to 2010 was divided among the upper ocean (71%), the deeep ocean (5%), with the rest going various other places (only 4% over land). The new paper suggests that the abyssal ocean takes up closer to zero heat.

There are three complexities you need to be aware of to interpret this finding. First is the complexity in the climate system, second is the complexity of the research itself, and third is the relatively straight forward statistical problem of assigning meaning to specific numbers. That third one is important for journalists and regular people to pay attention to, because the climate science denial community is already exploiting it to misrepresent this study.

This is a complex and difficult problem

We know that the vast majority of the extra heat resulting from global warming ends up in the ocean, and also, we know there is a lot of interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere, with heat that might otherwise add to the atmosphere seemingly entering the ocean on a regular basis, with some of it occasionally coming out in large quantitates during El Nino events. This relationship is expected to change over time as the ocean warms, as the transfer of heat between ocean and atmosphere depends in part on the relative difference between them. At some point it is likely that the degree to which the ocean takes up net heat will decrease if the ocean warms up beyond a certain point.

Over the medium and long term this matters a lot. Because of the ocean (and polar ice and a few other things) the effect of increasing greenhouse gasses is not instantaneous. If the Earth was a simple rock with no water, but a Nitrogen atmosphere with, say, 250ppm of CO2, the greenhouse effects of the CO2 would ensure that the atmosphere was at least a little warm. If we doubled the CO2 the atmosphere would warm further, and it would do so very quickly. A new equilibrium would be reached in a geological instant (a few years?). But with the ocean, that change is much slower slower (decades, perhaps many decades), because the ocean buffers the atmospheric change.

When heat goes into the ocean, it then moves around in the ocean because it disperses across the aqueous medium, and because water is always moving in currents or mixing. An El Nino is a change in the movement of water that has been warmed with contact with the surface, so that warm water that has been building up at depth over time changes its movement pattern and moves closer to the surface (and to a different horizontal location) where heat is released. That is one (especially large and important) example of the complex dynamic of atmosphere, ocean, and heat. Currents that move through the upper ocean then dive down to depth may move some of the surface heat to the deeper waters, especially where the currents have dived not just from cooling water (hot water would tend to go up, cold water would tend to go down) but because it is driven in “conveyor” systems which may run counter to expectations of where water should go when considering only local conditions, and especially, if the water is dropping because of an increase in salinity. Again, this is an example of the complexity of the system.

If we add a lot of CO2 to the atmosphere, the atmosphere will warm up, but because of the complexities cited above, it is hard to say how much or how long it will take. The ocean serves to slow the process down. In fact, it is quite possible that if the ocean would be so kind as to absorb a certain amount of this heat permanently, maybe global warming would be somewhat reduced. The ocean is potentially a way of stretching out the effects of global warming. But this effect is likely reduced if the abyssal ocean is not in the game.

Complexities in the research

Meanwhile the measurement of heat in the ocean has been very sparse. Over the last decade more measurements have been taken using new technology, but even that is not as good as we would like to understand what is going on at depth. So, when it comes to understanding heat in the ocean, we may sometimes feel like we are at sea. The two papers in this week’s Nature Climate Change are much more important as studies that calibrate or refine the process of measuring ocean heat dynamics under global warming than they are studies that change our view of global warming. Neither paper concludes anything unexpected, both provide important refinements to key numbers, exploiting the last decade of improved data collection.

One of the complexities is in the details of the Llovel et. al study as compared to the handful of previous related studies. One of the key numbers is the energy imbalance where the ocean absorbs extra AGW produced heat. Energy imbalance is measured in terms of Watts per m–2. The present study yields a value of 0.72. A previous study reported 0.54. Other estimates have varied in this range. Llovel et al point out, however, that these differences may be due to differences in the ocean depth considered in each study and the time periods covered. At least one earlier study measured energy imbalance for the top 1,800 meters, while Llovel et al look at the top 2,000 meters, and all the studies cover somewhat different time periods.

So, we have changing quality of data, a data set that is growing incrementally over time, studies that look at slightly different time and space parameters. And, on top of this, we have the increasingly advanced methods of figuring this all out. Both of the Nature Climate Change studies used a combination of direct measurements of temperature at various depths, a measurement of the altitude of the top of the ocean (sea level) from highly accurate satellite instruments, and measures of the mass of the water in the ocean, from the GRAIL gravity research project. If the mass of the ocean stays the same (same number of water molecules) but the surface rises, that is from heat, and that allows an estimate of energy imbalance. If the ocean goes up more than it should from heat expansion, the extra may be from glacial melting. And that is the simple version.

Statistical reasoning

The statistical part of this is not really so complex. Well, it is, but the part I want to point out is not. Llovel et al concluded “Accounting for additional possible systematic uncertainties, the ocean below 2,000 m contributes −0.13 ± 0.72 mm yr−1 to global sea-level rise and −0.08 ± 0.43 W m−2 to Earth’s energy balance.” Sea level rise is close to 3 mm a year, so the abyss is decreasing sea level rise by close to 4%. And, the abyss is in negative energy balance, while the upper ocean is in positive energy balance.

But look at the numbers. –0.13 plus or minus 0.72. There is actually no way to say that the abyssal ocean is contributing negatively to sea level rise. Zero (or small positive numbers) are well within the range of statistical probability. For energy imbalance, –0.08 plus or minus 0.43. Again, zero and small positive numbers are well within the statistical range for this value.

But for some reason we see various individuals, including sadly at least one climate scientist (Judith Curry: "Evidence of deep ocean cooling?"), but mostly anti-science climate trolls, crowing that the "deep ocean" is cooling therefore we are not experiencing global warming. However, the truth is that the total amount of heat that is going into the ocean, instead of the atmosphere or other places, was thought to be large, is still known to be large, and in fact is larger than we were originally thinking (from these papers and several others that have come out recently). And, the contribution of the abyss ocean to both sea level rise and energy imbalance is statistically nil. It might be negative, it might be positive, but it is tiny either way. The deep ocean, on the other hand, is in strong positive energy balance.

________________

1The terminology used in this discussion and some of the research papers (or reporting thereof) is a bit confused. Climate scientists have repeatedly said that heat is going into the "deep ocean" and this paper seems to say it is not. But it is. It is a matter of terminology. This is a source of confusion sometimes exploited by climate science denialists. A good way to define these terms is as follows:

Shallow ocean = 0-700 meters
Deep ocean = 700-2,000 meters
Abyss = > 2,000 meters

Hansen, J., Mki. Sato, P. Kharecha, and K. von Schuckmann, 2011: Earth’s energy imbalance and implications. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 13421–13449, doi:10.5194/acp–11–13421–2011.

Llovel, W. J. K. Willis, F. W. Landerer, I. Fukumori. 2014. Deep-ocean contribution to sea level and energy budget not detectable over the past decade. Nature Climate Change, 5 October.

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Some of this would seem to be expected, wouldn't it?

My hot water tank at home has a cold water inlet at the bottom and a hot water outlet at the top... If someone takes a long, hot shower, half the tank is refilled with cold water (which slowly starts to heat up).

Does that mean that the water mixes and I have tepid water until the tank completely reheats? No... I'll get hot water until almost all the original hot water is gone. It stays at the top of the tank.

While there is mixing from currents in the oceans, I would still expect that the heat that's being added to the top layers would primarily heat the upper layers and not the lower layers.

Also, the heated top layers are less dense, and would resist mixing for that reason.

Frankly, given the HUGE amount of methane gas that's locked in frozen hydrates in the abyssal regions of the world's oceans, and would be released as abyssal temperatures climbed, I think I'm very glad things are as they are.

Otherwise, the Earth would only too closely fit the description of being "Venus' twin planet".

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 07 Oct 2014 #permalink

Yes, it is pretty much expected. I would have thought a bit of warming would have occurred, and that may still be the case (there is a lot of uncertainty) but it was already known that the abyss was not taking much of a share of the heat imbalance.

Thanks for the terminological clarification, Greg. I now see that Judith Curry played on this confusion in her recent blog post. She starts by mentioning Trenberth's "travesty" -- the missing heat problem. She mentions this "travesty", allegedly, for "context". She states that: "Climate scientists have been inferring (mainly from models) that the missing heat (during the pause) is hiding in the deep ocean." She then presents the two studies and concludes: "The bottom line is that uncertainties in ocean heat content are very large, and there is no particularly convincing evidence that the ‘missing heat’ is hiding in the ocean." Readers are left to conclude that the missing heat likely isn't found where Trenberth (and other mainstream climate scientists) thought it might be.

However, following the link to her own discussion of Trenberth she herself had stated that "In a new paper, Trenberth and collaborators argue that the ‘missing’ heat is sequestered in the ocean, below 700 m."

By Pierre-Normand (not verified) on 07 Oct 2014 #permalink

Greg:

"including sadly at least one climate scientist (Judith Curry: “Evidence of deep ocean cooling?“), but mostly anti-science climate trolls"

But according to Dr Mann, Prof. Curry is an anti-scientist.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 07 Oct 2014 #permalink

So basically one can infer the very deep ocean is not taking up heat because all of the human-caused heat has been accounted for.

By Desertphile (not verified) on 07 Oct 2014 #permalink

Yes, Curry has chosen the path of the dark side.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 07 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad, both can be true. The vast majority of science denialists tweeting and posting about how a NASA study of the ocean disproves global warming do not have advanced degrees and research experience in climate change or cognate fields. Just her and a couple of others.

Greg,

" Just her and a couple of others."

Still, surely that's 3 too many. Doesn't it disturb you how many scientists are anti-science? Or do you view this as nothing new, historically (e.g. the "tobacco scientists" as a precedent)?

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 07 Oct 2014 #permalink

Doesn’t it disturb you how many scientists are anti-science? Or do you view this as nothing new, historically (e.g. the “tobacco scientists” as a precedent)?

or the occasional biologist who pushes creationism.

I think it would be rare to find any branch of science that has some people who, despite holding an advanced degree in the discipline, have gone "to the dark side".

Money can grease the slide into "the dark side". Just ask those "tobacco scientists" about it...

Has JC bought any expensive cars or a new beachfront house lately?

The Earth's future in exchange for 30 pieces of silver, anyone? How *will* you feel later about taking that deal?

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 07 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... Scientists are human. Some are going to defer to their political and ideological inclinations over research.

Look at Curry for instance. Prior to taking her "contrarian" position on climate change, was she ever asked to testify before congress on any scientific issue? Being a contrarian has elevated her status (in a dubious way) relative to other researchers.

There are well over 30,000 actively publishing researchers on issues related to climate change (er, sorry, climate change over the past 50 years primarily due to man-made emissions of greenhouse gases, aka "AGW"). How many of them are asked to testify before Congress?

Taking an extreme minority position relative to the consensus position on this issue automatically places a researcher in a position where they are "in demand" for their... ideology, not the quality of their science.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 07 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob, that's also where the otherwise non-notable pseudo-economist Bjorn Lomborg is coming from.

By Craig Thomas (not verified) on 07 Oct 2014 #permalink

Craig... Exactly.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 07 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob: "(er, sorry, climate change over the past 50 years primarily due to man-made emissions of greenhouse gases, aka “AGW”)."

Could you please be more specific, I'm not sure exactly what you mean here.

Greg... Interesting. We're actually doing exactly what was described in Oreskes04 and Cook13, where they say the more the science on a given issue is accepted, the less the fundamental elements are explained in subsequent research.

It's the "damnit, don't make me 'spain it again" phenomenon.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 07 Oct 2014 #permalink

Should have typed ** 'splain ** (not "spain").

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 07 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

the problem with Oreskes04's "reasoning" (silence = consensus) is that for any "snapshot" you take of scientific opinion, it's impossible to distinguish whether they're not talking about a particular phenomenon because it's no longer debatable, or simply because they haven't yet given it much thought one way or the other. Her research, and the entire consensus-science genre it gave rise to, has abjectly failed to go back far enough to locate a time when the phenomenon (AGW) was being debated. Which failure leaves wide open the question of why most papers don't bother "splaining" it.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 07 Oct 2014 #permalink

As with most of Brad Keyes's posts, his latest can be answered with a single word:

No.

Ah, denial—the lowest form of wit.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 07 Oct 2014 #permalink

Oh, I get it … Brad Keyes … possessing of the lowest form of wit.

No argument here.

Dayum, dhogaza—it took you less than 2 hours to think of that, uh, comeback (for want of a better word).

Truly I am in the presence of a master.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

You see, Brad, just because you waste a big chunk of your life spinning out yards and yards of tedious, transparent sophistry, doesn't mean others should waste time responding to it. That you've gained some facility in this simple but annoyingly fatuous activity is nothing to be proud of.

Dhogaza's response, if a bit obvious, is nevertheless elegant and to the point. Too bad you don't get it.

By Obstreperous A… (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

"the problem with Oreskes04′s “reasoning” (silence = consensus) is that for any “snapshot” you take of scientific opinion, it’s impossible to distinguish whether they’re not talking about a particular phenomenon because it’s no longer debatable, or simply because they haven’t yet given it much thought one way or the other. "

That's not applicable in this case. That might apply to some areas of scientific inquiry but not a field where there are tens of thousands of researchers working for decades, following on a century of regular investigation.

Greg,

"That might apply to some areas of scientific inquiry but not a field where there are tens of thousands of researchers working for decades, following on a century of regular investigation."

But which "tens of thousands" of people have been working on the attribution question "for decades"? That'd be news to me! The entire IPCC attribution group was something like 50 people—not all of them scientists—last I heard, and that was only after global warming had become the world's sexiest issue.

I'm afraid that when Oreskes pretends to know the debate was "over" by 1995, she's doing just that—pretending. Her elaborate paper-counting ceremony yielded precisely zero evidentiary basis on which to say if the debate was "finished"... or had simply never taken place.

Oreskes turns scholarship on its head by cheekily claiming her negative result (i.e. hardly anyone talking about the consensus in the literature) as a "remarkable finding." If I were on the "believalist" "side" I'm pretty sure I'd ask for some more scholarly reassurance than that! (But then, standards of evidence are notoriously variable from demographic to demographic, aren't they?)

NB To anyone who thinks I'm putting too find a point on it I cannot advise too strongly that you read Oreskes04 before attempting a riposte.

Brad... "Which failure leaves wide open the question of why most papers don’t bother “splaining” it."

Really? Do you really think you could make a case that the reason it's not being explained by an increasing number of papers is... because people are rejecting the idea of human causation?

So, 97% of papers that do take a position on global warming, agree on it being >50% through human causation... Yet, you think there's a potential that "no position" papers – papers that mention global warming but make no mention of human causation – are mentioning it "simply because they haven’t yet given it much thought one way or the other."

That's rich!

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Attribution is not a monolithic issue. Thousands of cell biologists can work on a particular cellular mechanism for decades to the point where it is fully understood, and a disease phenomenon related to that mechanism can be figured out, with cause and effect (attribution) ascertained by a very small number of researchers over a few years. That small number of researchers is not the corpus of scientific human resource that worked on that problem.

Here's the thing, Brad. Almost all, possibly all, of the arguments you make related to climate change seem to have a single underlying characteristic, which makes for very good debating strategy but very poor science. You define the problem or the premise in way that a particular point you value can be made, even when everyone else looks at this and sees what you did.

That plus the constant repeating of incorrect statements, which is a tactic as well.

We are not impressed.

Brad... "Her elaborate paper-counting ceremony yielded precisely zero evidentiary basis on which to say if the debate was “finished”… or had simply never taken place."

Apparently you've not even read Oreskes' paper.

She clearly states that her zero results doesn't indicate there are none, only that within her limited search results of ~900 papers she did not get any. She accepted that there were papers that rejected GW as primarily human caused, but their numbers are very few.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Also, a reminder to everyone. The 97% thing and related studies applies to a long time range considering the amount of research being done. If you go back in time and take shorter time slices, you would see that number decrease. Con census was not imposed on the science as part of some plot, nor did it emerge all at once as some sort of mass delusion. It grew over time and the science progressed.

I liken the denialist view of consensus to what we might think of a "tree" n Theedville" in the recent remake of The Lorax. Those are manufactured trees constructed to look like trees, except each has a remote that allows a human to control its behavior and appearance. They are fake. Real trees start as seeds and grow and only exist after many years if their growth is supported by that which supports tree growth. They are real.

When you look at the broad scientific thinking on long-addressed issues like evolution, germ theory, and global warming, you are looking at a real tree, not a fake tree. Pretending it is a fake tree in Thneedville is what creationists, antivaxers, and climate science denialists do.

Brad... I would highly suggest you go to the Skeptical Science website and register to rate abstracts for yourself. They set up a system so that you can do it exactly the way it was done my the Cook13 raters.

Go through and read a 100 abstracts and see what sense you get about human causation. Just remember, it's all about quantifying human causation.

>50% human causation, implied or explicit, are ratings 1,2 and 3.
<50% human causation, implied or explicit, are ratings 5,6 and 7.

I think you're be pretty amazed. Or you'll manage to find a way to dismiss the blatantly obvious.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob, you're absolutely right—though I certainly have read Oreskes' essay [sic—it's not a paper].

I was actually referring (as I should have made clear; my apologies) to Oreskes "rebuttal" of the essay's critics, which is where she introduced that particular spin into the discourse:

"In the original AAAS talk on which the paper [sic?] was based, and in various interviews and conversations after, I repeated pointed out that very few papers analyzed said anything explicit at all about the consensus position. This was actually a very important result, for the following reason. Biologists today never write papers in which they explicitly say "we endorse evolution". Earth scientists never say "we explicitly endorse plate tectonics." This is because these things are now taken for granted. So when we read these papers and observed this pattern, we took this to be very significant. We realized that the basic issue was settled, and we observed that scientists had moved on to discussing details of the problem, mostly tempo and mode issues: how fast, how soon, in what manner, with what impacts, etc."

My fault for not expressing my point better—I was trying to argue with you and write my blog at the same time, a recipe for confusion.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

I get the theme here, Brad.

If you don't like a paper you define it as either not a paper or not science, noting that you've stated that MBH was not science.

Get a life.

If you go through and read a large body of the scientific research on climate change, you realize that Oreskes is absolutely right on the mark. Scientists now take the conclusion that humans are primarily responsible for global warming as fact. A simple fact at this point.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

"If you don’t like a paper you define it as either not a paper or not science, noting that you’ve stated that MBH was not science."

Sigh... It. Was. An. Essay.

Here's the giveaway: it says "ESSAY" right at the top.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... Either way, she's making an accurate assessment after having read a large body of the research.

Moreover, the same effect was found to be true in the Cook13 data.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

I don't even dispute the reality of the "effect." If you put a gun to my head and made me guess, I'd place the real consensus percentage (out of all the papers that take a position) at somewhere north of 90.

Nor is it my habit to assume something is "wrong" just because it's an Essay (or a blog post!) rather than a paper.

Can't I insist on lexical accuracy without an ulterior agenda?

"Moreover, the same effect was found to be true in the Cook13 data."

And just looky where the methods lead....

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Rob Honeycutt (not verified)

Oh, good god, Brad. How does the appearance of the word "essay" at the top of the page alter her findings?

You're priceless.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob and Greg,

Y'all need to dial down the snooty defensiveness.

The fact that Oreskes' non-paper was not a paper was largely irrelevant, since nobody would have been available to peer-review it anyway had it been a paper. (Try naming three academics back in 2004 who would have felt qualified to pass judgement on a paper-counting paper!)

I say largely irrelevant, because Oreskes herself chose to make a point out of the fact that her critics couldn't get a paper published! She brought this scrutiny-slash-gentle-mockery of her essay's genre upon herself, I'm afraid.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Meanwhile, just finished my post on where denial comes from, historically, which argues that people have been ignoring what scientists say for exactly 51 years now. Let me know if any of you have a chance to evaluate the general thesis.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... Again, your position is astoundingly bizarre.

Dozens of papers have confirmed the hockey stick and yet you still state that MBH "is not science." You don't like how one paper from 15 years ago came up with the correct answer.

Now, you don't reject the conclusion that Oreskes put forth, that there is a broad scientific consensus on human attribution for global warming based on her assessment of 928 papers, but still discount the paper itself.

You make no logical sense, Brad. You're just rejecting nuances of methods you don't like while acknowledging that the results are likely correct in both of these cases.

Why?

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Why do I bother? Because nobody's winning right now. We're not taking any action that some are saying is necessary because we can't achieve voluntary consensual buyin from both "sides."

Because climate action has to be built on the trust of both sides, and my "side" will not buy in without dotted i's and crossed t's. Methodological shortcuts and slapdash scholarship may cut it when convincing the choir, but you need to put forward watertight scholarship if you want "our" buyin. That doesn't mean you have to put dispositive-beyond-conceivable-doubt proof of your thesis, especially since such proof is the province of maths and is generally not a luxury any scientific field can enjoy. But we need to see propriety. Not dodgy seedy back-door dealings, not hidden declines, not redefined peer review, not policy-based evidence-making, not lying IPCC Chairmen, not a libelpalooza breaking out among scientists. Yerk. Ordinary ppl look at that and are even less tolerant of it than I am (because I know some of the extenuating circumstances). Ordinary ppl look at it and know they're not looking at science.

We cannot act (or not-act) together, as democracies, on climate until we're on the same page scientifically.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Rob Honeycutt (not verified)

Brad... I have to be honest here. It's hard for me to justify even clicking on (and thereby giving traffic to) a blog called "Climate Nuremberg."

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Greg,

"You had a chance to ask questions of him but didn’t take that up. Why?"

Same reason I only belatedly responded to the #AskDrMann launch: I missed the boat. I had no idea it was coming up on my calendar (and this is the first time I'm realising that your interview meant I could have a chance to ask something—but doesn't that presuppose I live in America?). I would *gladly* have asked him something. (Had I been in Bristol my hand would have shot during the Q and A.) Are there any more such opps coming up that you know of?

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

It can't be said, obviously, of any individual, but the offer was disseminated to the entire community of "questioners" who have been tweeting up a storm and commenting on various blog posts and, well, the result is quantified in the post at the link I provided just now.

I have no interviews of anyone planned at the moment. Well not in climate science, anyway.

Brad... "...and my “side” will not buy in without dotted i’s and crossed t’s."

This is such utter BS. You're claiming to dot i's and cross t's on research that is decades old! There is an overwhelming body of research, consisting of 10's of thousands of peer reviewed papers, showing that there is an extremely high likelihood that this is real and very very serious.

You can waste time with i's and t's until it's too late to do anything. You could waste time on i's and t's on any area of research in order to reject its broadly accepted conclusions, Brad. Go back and audit papers on relativity, and then you'd be saying we can't make investments in putting GPS satellites in orbit because you found older research that you don't think was done well.

You're making a completely pointless argument for inaction. Taking action shouldn't require absolute perfection in all the science. It only requires a reasonable high certainty that there is a potential for a very bad outcome if we don't take action.

That threshold sufficient to justify action was crossed over 30 years ago.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Greg, thank you for your honesty:

"Brad… I have to be honest here. It’s hard for me to justify even clicking on (and thereby giving traffic to) a blog called “Climate Nuremberg.”"

but if it helps, the traffic will be coming to me—Brad. You know me. You know I'm nothing like David Roberts, who coined the phrase in anger. I reappropriate it in jest. There is no talk of war crimes etc. at CN—it's all PG-rated family fun.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Greg says of Brad,
"Here’s the thing, Brad. Almost all, possibly all, of the arguments you make related to climate change seem to have a single underlying characteristic, which makes for very good debating strategy but very poor science. You define the problem or the premise in way that a particular point you value can be made, even when everyone else looks at this and sees what you did.

That plus the constant repeating of incorrect statements, which is a tactic as well."

Feynman said that if you are approaching a question of science, you should:
1/ Do not fool yourself into believing something prior to obtaining the evidence
2/ Be honest about the evidence you gather

We can clearly see that Brad is approaching everything through a lense of personal belief, and mounting all sorts of dishonest arguments to dodge the evidence that disproves his belief.

Feynman would point at Brad as a classic example of a failed intellect.

So no more trying to wear the, "I';

By Craig Thomas (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

"I'm Feynman" cloak, Brad, because you stand for everything Feynman was trying to warn people against.

By Craig Thomas (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob, Greg,

sorry for mentally transposing you. As I was saying, you should both feel safe to check out my soul-searching contemplations of the origins of denialism at ClimateNuremberg without fear of the blog's name. After all I'm sure you don't hesitate to visit grist.com—do you?—even though it was Grist's David Roberts who came up with the concept (which I later parodied) of "some sort of climate Nuremberg."

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Never been to David Robert's blog.

Why would you want to identify your blog based on something you fundamentally disagree with? I would suggest that's a poor branding strategy.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Thanks Rob. Yeah in hindsight, it was possibly history's worst branding decision (though I do sometimes flatter myself by imagining that I've done a small thing to make the phrase seem more ridiculous than sinister). If I'd only had the benefit of a marketing guru :^(

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Rob Honeycutt (not verified)

If the temperature of the land masses hasn't risen in 17 years because the global warming is hiding in the oceans, why hasn't Florida seen a significant hurricane in about 9 years?

By See Noevo (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

See Noevo... First off, with FL you'd be talking about hurricanes that make landfall. In case you hadn't noticed, we not so long ago had a hurricane called Sandy, that was so large it extended the the entire length of the eastern seaboard.

If you look at the data, Northern Atlantic hurricane activity has actually increased.

http://policlimate.com/tropical/north_atlantic_hurricane.png

But beyond that, hurricane development is going to be a function of sea surface temperatures, rather than heat that is below the surface. When scientists are talking about deep ocean temperature (per this article) they're discussing accumulating heat that is well below the surface, but has the potential (the likelihood) of eventually coming to the surface to affect atmospheric temperature and weather.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Beyond even that, what makes cyclone activity so complicated is the fact that the data collected doesn't do a good job of reflecting the total kinetic energy contained within storms. Data is based, for the most part, on peak wind speeds, rather than the size of storms.

Thus, a storm that is small but has strong peak winds will register higher on the Safir-Simpson scale than a vastly larger storm with lower wind speeds. That, even though a larger storm may contain far more energy than the smaller storm with higher peak wind speeds.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Don't be surprised if the "new normal" is frequent years with almost no Atlantic hurricanes punctuated by extreme years. Saharan dust (a function of global warming) and increased vertical wind shear (a function of global warming) may often attenuate hurricane formation in the Atlantic. These don't affect the Pacific and Indian ocean basins. This year was one of the most extreme ever in the Easter Pacific, for example. But in other years, when vertical wind shear and dust are not a factor, very warm Atlantic and Gulf waters are likely to fuel the Atlantic hurricane season.

I would disagree slightly with Rob. Among the extra heat that seems to be going into the ocean is heat near but not at the surface. Some massive hurricanes have formed in recent years that were almost certainly made extra large by there being sub surface heat in the top 100 meters that was very very warm, much warmer than typical. That can happen in any ocean basin and has happened a few times that we know of.

Rob,

this attempt at analogy is ridiculously wrong, in what I hope is an instructive (for you) kind of way:

"Go back and audit papers on relativity, and then you’d be saying we can’t make investments in putting GPS satellites in orbit because you found older research that you don’t think was done well."

GPS satellites work because the theory of relativity works.

(In fact they're arguably the best evidence most people will ever get, or ever need, to know that relativity works. Technology in general is an experiment in already-confirmed hypotheses.)

If you can complete the following sentence you'll be the first:

___________ works because the theory of dangerous AGW works.

If you can't, perhaps you'll begin to appreciate why there's no popular groundswell of support for our "tens of thousands" of poor, embattled climate scientists.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

hint: it's something to do with the fact that "tens of thousands" of them haven't managed to improve human life by the tiniest fraction of the amount by which Einstein (who was, er, one guy) has.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... Once again, you've managed to completely avoid my point.

The point is, Brad, all science has flaws, even the most fundamental science we know. Even past research on relativity. Even current research on relativity. People were willing to make multi-billion dollar investments in the GPS satellite network in spite of the fact that not every "i" was dotted and not every "t" crossed throughout the history of the research.

As I've been saying to you for a couple of weeks now, science is iterative. No one (except "skeptics") needs to know that new, cutting edge research is perfect. It's never perfect. But the next piece of research builds on the last, and the next builds on that. And eventually you have a very solid body of research that explains the world around us. If the cutting edge work is wrong, subsequent research will show that.

If you're waiting for every "i" and "t" then you're basically making the argument for perpetual inaction... on everything. There are always going to be uncertainties. There are always going to be unknowns. That's just a fact. But science has constrained the uncertainties to a level where we know we should be taking aggressive action.

Enough i's and t's have been looked over that the overarching message is perfectly clear (except for auditors, it seems).

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

You're preaching to the choir (me) about the iterative nature of science. By "crossing the t's and dotting the i's," I didn't mean that scientists have to know everything (or "prove" anything), I merely meant they had to follow the scientific method. Which, like it or not, includes writing auditable papers. If MBH had done so, there would be no fuss and I would stand squarely behind Mann's libel suit against anyone who called his work "fraudulent."

I shall try to use metaphors that are less amenable to misunderstanding in future.

That's a beautiful work of art, BTW.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Rob Honeycutt (not verified)

Brad... Are you familiar with an artist named David Hockney? He's one of the great late 20th century painters. Well, he does these incredibly photo collages that I believe metaphorically describe climate science very well.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-a1Ib4nS4tGY/UZ5uBPaJH8I/AAAAAAAAADY/l5Adq8RYo…

People often use the puzzle metaphor to describe how different pieces of research fit together to reveal the whole picture relative to an area of science. I don't think it's that nice and neat. The answers are never perfect. Each piece of research is looking at the problem from a different angle or from a different perspective, or even using different tools and data. But when all the images are placed together you understand, for the most part, what the image actually is.

The image above is a portrait of the artist's mother. You understand a lot about her from the image. You don't have a perfect picture, but you have enough that you could certainly pick her out from a group of random people.

You're waiting for science to produce a perfect image for climate science. It's never going to happen. But we have enough to understand the problem and enough to know that we must do something or else we are going to leave one heap of a mess for later generations.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob, Brad thinks that the only way to have life improved is if you GIVE him something of concrete value.

He shows us that he has no clue that if you TAKE a negative consequence away from him that you've also "improved human life".

Brad would prefer to have terrible things happen to humanity FIRST. (Then he will of course be the first in line to complain that people like you & Greg "allowed this to happen to us!")

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

BK:

" I do sometimes flatter myself by imagining that I’ve done a small thing to make the phrase seem more ridiculous than sinister"

Perhaps Brad Keyes is more self-aware of the ridiculous nature of his postings than we give him credit for …

(Poking fun at BK is really the only thing to do. He's impervious to reason.)

Brainstorms,

point taken. If all climate scientists did was warn us of a danger, which we then avoided, thus removing the possibility of "proving" them "right," it would still be a real and worthwhile contribution to humanity. So perhaps it was unfair of me to use relativity—which is perpetually "true"—as a basis for comparison.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad,

"... which we then avoided ..."

THAT is the issue! Please refrain from inducing others to believe that there is no danger -- the danger these scientists are warning us about!

(Futher: Even if we take action to avoid, and they were wrong, we STILL come out ahead!)

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Apropos of nothing in particular, as has been pointed out elsewhere, understanding of AGW doesn't comprise a separate theory, it is a part of how we understand climate as a whole.

Just for fun, model predictions conveniently compiled courtesy of Barton Paul Leveson:
http://bartonpaullevenson.com/ModelsReliable.html

I'll be darned. Science works.

In other news, dhogaza has it right again. If someone insists on being a clown, at some point interaction obliges you to laugh at them.

By Obstreperous A… (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brainstorms,

"Please refrain from inducing others to believe that there is no danger — the danger these scientists are warning us about!"

Why?

I never listen to scientists, nor should you, nor would I encourage anyone else to.

Science.

Science is the only thing we should (so to speak) "listen to."

Wake me up when science says global warming is net-dangerous.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

BK:

"Which, like it or not, includes writing auditable papers."

Apparently the entire edifice of modern science, according to the Church Of Brad Keyes, isn't science. Whee!!!!!!

If the clown suit fits, wear it, Brad.

Greg,

What happened? Looks like your site came under attack.

From where I sit, it seems like BK was at the very least enabling DonB. At least we got to see BK admitting that he considers the nonsense he dumps here guerrilla warfare.

Says a lot about the kind of people attracted to denialism.

By Obstreperous A… (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

Interesting, uh, ideation you got going there, Strep.

(In the Lewandowskian sense.)

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

"At least we got to see BK admitting that he considers the nonsense he dumps here guerrilla warfare."

Because that's the first rule of guerrilla warfare, right Strep? Tell everyone you're a guerrillero? ROFL

BTW, when I called your ideation "interesting" I meant "nothing a couple haloperidols can't fix."

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

BK,

Yeah, yeah I got it the first time. It's nothing a little caffeine won't fix. It's still early where I am. I got this thread mixed up with the Curry thread. This sort of thing happens when you get to be my age. You'll see.

I was referring to the long interaction between you and DonB at the end of that thread. In particular your comment:

"The only version of the game that’s worth playing, IMHO, is the guerrilla conflict of science vs pseudoscience—not warmism vs coolism, lukewarmism vs catastrophism or anything like that."
http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2014/09/30/i-hope-judith-curry-apolog…

I'm sure you'll try to explain that away, posing as a champion of science, but it is revealing.

By Obstreperous A… (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

Obstreperous,

Explain away? Why in god's name would I want to do that?

The whole point of typing is to say exactly what I mean—which I usually manage to do, barring hypocaffeinemia or other impairment.

I'm always happy to explain my comments if you find them unclear, of course.

In the case in question, I was referring to the conflict between actual science and the Oreskean pre-scientific pseudoscience of social proof that we managed to do without for 300 years or so, until the climate cause reared its head.

As Hitch would say, coexistence is neither possible nor desirable.

I thought this was all too obvious for words, but I guess you never can tell. :-)

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Obstreperous A… (not verified)

OA,

it's interesting that you only quoted the part you thought was incriminating for some reason.

What are your thoughts on my earlier remarks, e.g. the one about there being good people on both "sides" (of the climate wars, not the science wars)? Do you find that naïve? In my experience, it's more childish to deny that reality than acknowledge it.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Obstreperous A… (not verified)

BK # 76

You say:
"Explain away? Why in god’s name would I want to do that?"

And then just as predicted, you try to explain it away posing as a champion of science.

BK # 77

Then you try to deflect and reframe the discussion by suggesting that so called "science wars" (by which you seem to mean "the climate cause" in this case) are not actually just another front in the culture wars. Sorry, I just don't buy into the self-serving rules you try to impose in your manipulative word games. Neither does anyone else here by the looks of it.

And just for the record:

Hello everybody. My name is Obstreperous and I'm a caffeine addict. Get over it.

By Obstreperous A… (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... "...Oreskean pre-scientific pseudoscience of social proof that..."

Here's where you start breaking down, Brad. You have these weird vendettas against how some people have represented their work. Oreskes is not doing anything out of the ordinary. She's a very highly respected researcher who is now a professor at Harvard.

It's abundantly clear what is going on with climate research. The issue of AGW is very well established and the solution to the problem goes up against some of the largest and most profitable corporations on the planet.

The stewards of those corporations actually have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to maximize profits over the short term. There is absolutely nothing built into their responsibilities that address the well-being of later generations. That is just a fact of modern life. Cross generational responsibilities are the provence of governments, and in the case of the US today, corporations wield unprecedented influence in government.

This, I believe, is at the heart of everything going on right now. This explains why very minor scientific figures like Lindzen, Spencer, Curry, McI and others get elevated to such high profile. And it's why Mann, Oreskes and the larger body of truly influential scientists end up being attacked for their work.

We have a major crisis on our hands and it's not going away. The FF industry will not go silent into that good night (to borrow a phrase). But the well-being of future generations require that they do.

What baffles me is why people like you, Brad, choose to do the bidding of corporations, where you have absolutely no say on how they're run, over that of government, of the people, by the people and for the people.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

How do we know that Brad does not have involvement in the FF industry? Just asking.

Given his crafting of words with no substance behind them my guess Brad has some sort of PR or advertising background.

How would you be able to tell if someone has Asperger Syndrome? Would fixation on irrelevant details, refocusing attention on self-serving causes, disregard for the well-being of other people, etc. be a good indication?

Oh, hell. That describes someone in the PR/Advertising industry, too, dammit.

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

"Oreskes is not doing anything out of the ordinary."

You mean, other than the whole resurrection of the putrid zombie of consensus science [sic], which civilization thought it had beheaded and incinerated 300 years ago... thing? Other than that repulsive, sub-Faustian pact? Without which she'd have risen to the level of her academic incompetence and nobody would have had occasion to read her boring conspiracy theories in the first place? Yeah, I guess you're right.

"She’s a very highly respected researcher who is now a professor at Harvard."

Well, she IS a researcher who is now a professor at Harvard. Wow: right again!

PS I'm loving the... imaginative speculations about my bio way too much to interject with anything so crass as facts! Just gonna sit back and enjoy the ideation. :-D

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brainstorms,

Aspies have a "disregard for the well-being of other people", do they? Fuck off.

I have two friends with Asperger's, both of whom are more exquisitely moral and interpersonally intelligent than you will ever hope to be—at least if the vulgar stereotypes you just spewed are the best you can do.

Which I hope/think they're not.

Stay classy or stay home.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

Sorry Brainstorms, stereotypes like that are a bit of a hot button for me.

I'm sure you were innocently psittacising either a pop cultural or a DSM-level "understanding" of the "syndrome" (which are different in the details, but equally ignorant of the human reality).

In my experience Asperger's people actively exercise the ethical and empathetic muscles you and I take for granted every day, which is probably why they're among the most principled and thoughtful people you'll ever have the pleasure of meeting.

Just sayin'.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

Well, we were all wondering if anything ever reached past your sophist facade to touch any live nerves... Now we know!

No offense intended, sorry to have riled you so. I didn't mention you, you notice. I'll admit to intending to take a swipe at admen, but I was not attempting to cast dispersions on autistics or those with Aspergers... (I couldn't even tell you what the stereotypes are supposed to be.)

I've only known one -- and he would get intensely focused on and bogged down in irrelevant details that would derail his work. He's intelligent (and likable), but ultimately, his inability to keep on track with the important issues of his job cost him his job.

(Moral/ethical issues had basically nothing to do with that, BTW.)

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

Gladly accepted, and thanks for elaborating on your experiences. We're both hostages to anecdote, obviously, but I probably shouldn't have taken my frustration (at the completely point-missing, barely-human way in which people with that syndrome are often medicalised) out on you.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Brainstorms (not verified)

I understand... No worries.

I really like the fact that this is a place where adults can have genuine debates without them dissolving into "flame wars" -- even in the face of misunderstandings (and outright goading).

Greg's blog should serve as an example to all blogs on the Internet. Don't we wish government would function as well? :^)

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brainstorms,

let's put that little outburst of mine behind us, along with its embarrassingly sentimental sequel—the bit where we each lost our respective mind and started talking to the other as though we were communicating with some sort of fellow human being or something, which is grossly inappropriate behavior for hardened climate warriors. (Thanks for not summarily deleting us, Greg—I know we were pushing our luck there.)

Can we go back to just being enemies without honor or humanity, like normal climate disputants?

Cheers mate.

Now let's deal with this idiotic "FF" meme once and for all, FFS.

Big Oil is Big Energy.

The major players in fossil fuel are diversified enough to make money whatever the protest du jour is. Forget your facile paradigm of oil-funded climate "denial." Why in god's name would these corporations barrack for skepticism? They haven't lost one red cent in the AGW panic and it's comically unlikely that they ever will.

(Do you seriously believe any "agreement" is going to "emerge" the next time someone throws a Kyoto Protocol reunion at a luxury resort? You all know perfectly well the most binding document it'll "produce" is a large alcohol tab.)

The demand for Jurassic-era hydrocarbon chemical bond energy is inelastic. It is insatiable.

By contrast, the demand for the new-slash-Medieval bird-slicing, landscape-scarring colossi that barely work, which you quaintly call wind farms, is purely synthetic.

You people with your idiotic superstitions about carbon dioxide created that market from thin air.

Congratulations—you just made the rich richer.

If the devil's best trick was to convince the world he doesn't exist, then Big Oil's best trick was to convince you it's on the devil's side. Wake up, angels. It's on your side. You're on its side. And that side of the bed is too crowded for comfort, thanks very much.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Brainstorms (not verified)

Greg,

Way to shake off the intelligent-guy image that seems to dog you wherever you turn! I just love your paranoid fatuity:

"How do we know that Brad does not have involvement in the FF industry? Just asking."

Well, you could take a hint from the fact that I'm verifiably not one of the "alarmist" scientists who wrote an Email That Shall Not Be Named on the topic of how to get his grubby hands on some petrochemical slush grants.

My name isn't Jonathan "I'd love to see what Exxon and UArizona could do together on climate change" Overpeck, is it?

My name isn't Mike "we should have an open mind about this and try to find the slants that would appeal to Esso" Hulme, is it?

My name isn't Simon "it looks like BP have their cheque books out! How can TC benefit from this largesse?" Shackley, is it?

My name isn't Mick "Shell's partnership would involve not only the provision of funding but some role in setting the research agenda etc." Kelly, is it?

My name is Brad Keyes. I could just tell you Brad Keyes isn't fossil-fuel funded but where would the fun be in that? Do some damn research, lazy Transylvanian peasants!

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

By the way, everyone:

Notwithstanding the abovegoing snarkasm on my part I can't and won't dispute the notion (submitted by Greg, Rob, Brainstorms and others) that right-wing political parties frequently do barrack for the climate-insouciant scientific case.

I'm sure they do, and I'm sure this has probably given rise to some novel career opportunities for a relatively small number of climate researchers, even offering some of the more simpatico scientists a visibility/profile they might never have been lucky enough to enjoy in less turbid times.

(I won't insult your collective ability to read the newspaper by pointing out that exactly the same also goes for the "other side," mutatis mutandis.)

However, a lifetime of interaction with actual humans leads me to highly doubt that such temptations would ever induce a scientist who believed the world was in existential danger to pretend otherwise.

That is a cartoon premise.

Grow up, boys and girls.

Scientists just aren't as genocidally evil and suicidally stupid as that, simultaneously. What you're positing is a kind of criminal retard; a walking caricature who combines the misanthropy of Mengele with a hebetude incompatible with completing high school.

Such characters frequent Naomi Oreskes' mental cinema, but not the physical world the rest of us cohabit.

If someone is proposing with a straight face that a flesh-and-blood human scientist would mendaciously sell out his or her own entire homeworld for 30 pieces of silver, or even 40, knowing it was imminently going to come crashing down around his or her own head!, I'm afraid he or she is writing him- or herself off as a seriously unserious thinker.

As I said, grow up.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

"(I won’t insult your collective ability to read the newspaper by pointing out that exactly the same also goes for the “other side,” mutatis mutandis.)"

No. No, it doesn't.

False balance. Or you missed the point, Rob made, perhaps.

Brad... "...other than the whole resurrection of the putrid zombie of consensus science [sic], which civilization thought it had beheaded and incinerated 300 years ago… thing? Other than that repulsive, sub-Faustian pact?"

Ah... Brad, have you ever heard the term "jumped the shark?"

You just jumped it, big time.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

here we arrive (yet again, if deja vu serves) at an irreducible and irreconcilable difference between how a person who doesn't know how science works [you] thinks it works and how a person who knows how science works [I] thinks it works.

You seem to think Oreskes' foundation, construction and endowment of the school of Consensus Science was excusable, even commendable.

That's because you're not a scientist, were never trained to be a scientist, and have never been taught the Riddle of Steel that is the scientific method.

(I hasten to add, as I've mentioned before, that you obviously do understand quite of a lot about it, especially compared to the average climate commentator—you just don't have the complete picture, to use a hackneyed—or Hockneyed—metaphor.)

"You just jumped it, big time."

And I imagine most people who were never told how science works probably have a similar take on Oreskeism.

But your take is wrong.

Note, I also have due respect for your knowledge of the "contents" of science, which I've gathered (from reading your comments) is formidable—not just "formidable for a non-scientist," but formidable period.

But for all your knowledge of how nature works, you still don't get how science works.

Read Michael Crichton on consensus science. (Just google those five words.)

Crichton was a trained scientist, Rob.

You are not.

I would never tell you to trust his—or anyone else's—opinion about the natural world. Nullius in verba, Rigoberte.

But about the scientific method itself, Crichton understood and you understand not.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Rob Honeycutt (not verified)

I have no idea how I typed that last sentence!

Sorry. I meant:

"But about the scientific method itself, Crichton understood something you don't."

Have a great weekend everybody.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

Greg,

"False balance. Or you missed the point, Rob made, perhaps."

Quite possibly the latter, since my reading of this thread has been interrupted so many times that I've forgotten how it started. Rob is welcome (obviously) to point me in the direction of the... uh... point you're referring to, in the case that I did in fact miss it.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

Another study to consider:

Warming of Global Abyssal and Deep Southern Ocean Waters between the 1990s and 2000s: Contributions to Global Heat and Sea Level Rise Budgets

Sarah G. Purkey, Gregory C. Johnson

Abyssal global and deep Southern Ocean temperature trends are quantified between the 1990s and 2000s to
assess the role of recent warming of these regions in global heat and sea level budgets. The authors 1) compute warming rates with uncertainties along 28 full-depth, high-quality hydrographic sections that have been occupied two or more times between 1980 and 2010; 2) divide the global ocean into 32 basins, defined by the topography and climatological ocean bottom temperatures; and then 3) estimate temperature trends in the 24 sampled basins.

The three southernmost basins show a strong statistically significant abyssal warming trend, with that warming signal weakening to the north in the central Pacific, western Atlantic, and eastern Indian Oceans.

Eastern Atlantic and western Indian Ocean basins show statistically insignificant abyssal cooling trends.
Excepting the Arctic Ocean and Nordic seas, the rate of abyssal (below 4000 m) global ocean heat content change in the 1990s and 2000s is equivalent to a heat flux of 0.027 (60.009) W/m^2 applied over the entire surface of the earth.

Deep (1000–4000 m) warming south of the Subantarctic Front of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current adds 0.068 (60.062) W/m^2.

The abyssal warming produces a 0.053 (60.017) mm/yr increase in global average sea level and the deep warming south of the Subantarctic Front adds another 0.093 (60.081) mm/yr.

Thus, warming in these regions, ventilated primarily by Antarctic Bottom Water, accounts
for a statistically significant fraction of the present global energy and sea level budgets.

http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/people/gjohnson/gcj_3w.pdf

By John from London (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

Michael Crichton was a fiction author. Fitting because his understanding of consensus is a fiction too.

bob:

"Michael Crichton was a fiction author."

And a Harvard-trained medical doctor, a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and a lecturer in medical anthropology.

bob was a blog commenter who hid behind a monosyllabic pseudonym and left out inconvenient facts.

Fitting because... well, you know the rest.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by bob (not verified)

Sigh.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by bob (not verified)

Michale Crichton? Really, BK? In a discussion with a bunch of technically-trained intelligent people?

Now I'm starting to think you're a few floppy shoes short of a clown suit ...

ROFL.... dear lord... you walked right into that one, didn't you dhogaza? Cloppety-clop all the way. How much less fatuous and ignorant you'd seem had you actually read the most recent comment before attempting one of your own.

See, this shit is why I leave my comedy shoes at www.climatenuremberg.com: way too much competition here!

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

And a Harvard-trained medical doctor, a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and a lecturer in medical anthropology.

All true. None of it relates to climate science or statistics - or did you purposely ignore that part?

Michael was a great story teller. But I can't think of one of his books that addressed an actual theme where he didn't get in trouble with the experts in that area for playing fast and lose with the scholarship.

It's a good thing I'm not suggesting that anyone read his @&$^&#! "books" then, isn't it Greg?

To reiterate: sigh.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

BK,

You apparently have no ability to evaluate expertise.
(Physicians can be scientists, but by and large they are trained differently. Do you even have any idea what the educational regime is for becoming a scientist? And do you think, for instance that an individual of any ability can't go off the rails? Are you aware that Crichton has been thoroughly debunked? Did you even bother to look?)

Your understanding of science is shallow.
(All you seem to know are the kinds of undigested bits and pieces that you'd expect from an undisciplined amateur who has no regard for the contextual richness of the methods and the body of scientific work. You know what group think is, but beyond that you are incapable of grasping the metascientific implications of consensus or even why it became a public issue.)

Your comprehension is low.
(You don't understand that your rhetorical devices are irrelevant and that the people here can see right through them.)

You are full of it.
(Your incessant, puffed up yammering at the audience here, many of whom are highly trained scientists, bespeaks a desperate and arrogant need for attention.)

By Obstreperous A… (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

What I liked about Jurassic Park was how easily the automated factory (automated so as to save on labor cost) was produced, run by a single person, that started turning out multiple resurrected dinosaurs, and it didn't occur to anyone to put a few thousand recessive lethal genes in the synthesized genomes.

By daedalus2u (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... "That’s because you’re not a scientist, were never trained to be a scientist, and have never been taught the Riddle of Steel that is the scientific method."

Well, that's very interesting, Brad. You know why? Because, as it turns out, far more real scientists back my position on this very issue.

Do you realize that Cook et al 2013 is the 5th most cited research paper over the past two years amongst all IOP published papers? Do you understand that most of the research community accepts and endorses Oreskes' position and statements about the consensus.

It's only a very small group of rejectionists, like yourself, that seem to have a problem with it.

I'd say I'm in pretty good company, Brad.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

I honestly can't even believe Brad is bringing up Crichton.

A medical doctor and fiction writer somehow trumps 30,000+ actively publishing PhD level researchers.

Not only has Brad jumped the shark, he's taken the show on the road.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob:

"Do you realize that Cook et al 2013 is the 5th most cited research paper over the past two years amongst all IOP published papers?"

So you admit the existence of a consensus is being used as evidence in climate science?

LOL

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Rob Honeycutt (not verified)

Brad... "It’s a good thing I’m not suggesting that anyone read his @&$^&#! “books” then, isn’t it Greg?"

So, from you we have on our reading list Montford and Crichton, because... why?

On the whole of things, I don't think I would categorize either of these as "must read" books if one is looking to understand the body of research on climate change.

They're good books for climate deniers looking for talking points to support their rejectionist position. They're clearly not good for factual science being that both are fiction writers.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

"It’s a good thing I’m not suggesting that anyone read his @&$^&#! “books” then, isn’t it Greg?"

I recommend at least three of his books, one based on the research project I worked on for years (based out of the same deparment he was in), one based on his UG thesis with Bill Howells, and one that is an interesting historical account.

Full disclosure: He funded a significant (small percentage wise, but very timely) part of my research.

Greg... Any clues why Crichton went so loopy over the climate change issue?

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

I think he had already shifted towards libertarianism, and anti-progressive views because of his brush with feminism, and being a highly privileged white male didn't have a mechanism for examining where his own views were coming from. That is just a guess, though.

Crichton was a trained scientist

I've given undergraduate students a brief extract of Jurassic Park to see if they could find the five goofs on the one page. In my opinion, he was not much of a scientist.

By Richard Simons (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

Sigh.

Brad, That pretty much sums up the response to your 'arguments'.

I don't care much about the errors in science fiction. But I see your point. There was a whole documentary made by paleontologists on all the errors in the movie. Can't remember the name of it but it was fun.

Brad, let me get this straight:

If you're carrying an armload of packages, such that you can't see very well in front of you, and you're walking down the street...

Then 5 people tell you that you're about to step into an open manhole...

Since that consensus is NOT evidence of a risk to you, you KEEP WALKING (as you expound on this lack of a scientific basis for claims to an imminent threat).

Hope you don't break anything that can't be fixed. Just sayin'

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brainstorms,

This is a good Gedankenexperiment:

"Then 5 people tell you that you’re about to step into an open manhole…"

In everyday situation it's perfectly appropriate to use consensus as evidence.

Science is not an everyday situation.

It has its own special epistemology, which forbids the use of opinion (including majority opinion) as evidence.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Brainstorms (not verified)

Brad... Um, let's see.

Being that, unless an scientist is willing to completely rewrite then entire history of their field within the body of their research, they're pretty much going to have to reference what is already "accepted science" through relevant citations. That's all the consensus is, Brad. It's just the fact that nearly all research and nearly all researchers in the field of climate change accept that humans are primarily responsible (>50% and likely 110%) of warming seen over the last 50 years.

That's just the current state of scientific research, and whether you like it or not, researchers are going to reference that basic fact.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

BK,

You just have no clue what people are talking about.

Consensus
"Pseudoscience advocates tend to see scientific consensus as just an argument from authority (or even a conspiracy). This is a twisting of 'science was wrong before' and the 'Galileo gambit' — that since the notion of falsifiability exists (no theory can never be fully certain) we should then ignore the mountains of literature already available.

"Portraying scientific consensus as a form of majoritarian rule is hilarious for two reasons: a) the scientific community's inherent role is to keep a check on popularly-held (either right or wrong) opinions; and b) if one study is proven correct over mainstream academic thought, it will eventually become the new consensus."
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Scientific_consensus

Citation Impact
"While citation indexes were originally designed for information retrieval, they are increasingly used for bibliometrics and other studies involving research evaluation. Citation data is also the basis of the popular journal impact factor.

"There is a large body of literature on citation analysis, sometimes called scientometrics, a term invented by Vasily Nalimov, or more specifically bibliometrics. The field blossomed with the advent of the Science Citation Index..."
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citation_index#Citation_analysis

"Perhaps the most important and recent use of impact is in the process of academic evaluation. The impact factor can be used to provide a gross approximation of the prestige of journals in which individuals have been published. This is best done in conjunction with other considerations such as peer review, productivity, and subject specialty citation rates."
http://wokinfo.com/essays/impact-factor/

If you'd step out of the world of Orwellian doublethink and spend some time learning how science really works and why, commit yourself to some honest hard work; then you might actually learn something, instead of just wallowing in second rate agitprop.

By Obstreperous A… (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad, that's funny. Where I work, science IS an everyday situation.

And what do you know? There's a lot of holding of meetings and reviews and the formation of consensus opinions on results of experiments and what they mean...

And none of the many, busy scientists here claim that opinion is evidence.

However, I can assure you that the decisions that management makes as to what actions should be taken next DO factor in heavily the consensus opinions of the experts who are "doing the science".

Ergo, we can both agree that our political leaders can --and should-- listen closely to the consensus opinions of climate science experts and fashion policy on the basis of what the scientists are telling us.

Especially when self-serving political agendas, irrational fears, and ideologies are directing us to suppress our gedanke and walk into that open manhole.

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... Opinion is a little different than expert opinion.

We have a situation where, based on a very large body of research, nearly all experts experts agree that climate sensitivity to emissions of CO2 is in the range of 2.5-4C.

Even at the low end of that range business-as-usual emissions paths suggest that we have a very serious problem.

So, you're willing to bet the future of human civilization on the idea that the overwhelming body of research and opinions of experts are so wrong off the low end of that range (and only wrong in that direction) as to be inconsequential? As opposed to an investment of <2% of GDP to insure against this potential?

This is what we're talking about with the consensus. It's a risk assessment. Do we make an investment today based on the opinions of experts, or do we dismiss those opinions hoping they're all wrong? And, with that, we have to hope that they are wrong on the low end rather than wrong on the high end of climate sensitivity.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

Wow... who would've thought six words ("google Michael Crichton on consensus science") could incite such a verbose marathon of avoidance and denial?

Learning is fun!

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

"Wow… who would’ve thought six words…"

Wow, who would've thought two words, "Brad Keyes", would cause so many to waste so much time on so few IQ digits?

I very much appreciate your obviously sincere discussion of the NASA paper on lack of deep sea warming. I must say, however, that first, I'm suspicious of any explanation that requires such an inordinate amount of verbiage and appears to be so convoluted in its thinking; and second, you fail to mention that the authors of the NASA paper don't seem to see things your way at all. For them the hiatus is real, heat buildup in the shallower waters is not sufficient to explain it and that there is still a "mystery" to be resolved. It would be interesting to learn why you disagree with their assessment. They are, after all, the ones who actually did the study.

I’ve recently completed a pretty serious blog post of my own dealing with the NASA report from a much broader perspective. As I see it, the question is really quite simple: causation implies correlation -- and without a clear correlation between warming and CO2 emission it's not possible to establish that the latter is causing the former. And no, I’m not a “denier,” but a card carrying lifelong Democrat, liberal to the gills. I’d appreciate feedback from anyone reading here in the form of comments, positive or negative. http://amoleintheground.blogspot.com/2014/10/common-sense-on-climate-ch…

By Victor Grauer (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

Victor, you need to read both papers more carefully, and provably some other stuff too.

#128, Victor
I concur with Greg, especially the "and provably some other stuff". I'd guess that "provably" was a typo but it's unfortunately the perfect word there. Your blog entry may be "pretty serious" but it's so full of mistakes and misunderstandings that it's not worth the effort of correcting and trying to teach you, especially if your preference is to wave it away as you did with the person who informed you in your blog comments about the temperature data sets.

Just one example. Global warming does not mean surface temperature. From what you've written you don't understand that yet and it's very basic.

As the commenter said, "Your [Hah!, look, no global warming] graph shows RSS tropospheric temperatures, from satellite data. It is the only one of the six main datasets to show no trend. GISS, NCDC, Hadcrut4, BEST and UAH all show a warming trend"

ClimateDepot is a denier site. They chose the RSS data deliberately. Can you imagine why? Now guess why you should not trust them. They feed off ignorance and wish-it-away hopes. You may be left-leaning but if you're regurgitating climate-depot rubbish, or anything from watts-up-is-crap, then you're just making a putz of yourself by doing their dirty work for them.

I'd advise you to click on the Arguments menu at skepticalscience and get learning. It's good shampoo for washing the denier muddy water out of your hair.

I can't post on your blog, hence me saying this here, but that's all from me. I could say a lot more but I'm not looking for a conversation. All the best in educating yourself properly - if you're *sincerely* not a denier.

By John from London (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

#127, dhogaza

Lol. Yes, the troll certainly got a lot of attention! He has a way with words but is clearly less adept with the ideas behind them. He sure doesn't understand what the consensus is all about.

By John from London (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

John: "He sure doesn’t understand what the consensus is all about."

People who make such ignorant claims can't even say what the word "consensus" means.

Prove me wrong.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

Thought as much.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

#133

Troll Keyes: "People who make such ignorant claims can’t even say what the word “consensus” means. Prove me wrong"

[Some time afterwards]

Troll Keyes: "Thought as much"

Lol. Brad. Did you really think I was clicking away at refresh-page waiting for you to reply? Like you did, waiting, ever more impatiently, for me to reply.

I won't. You haven't even dealt adequately with the discussion about consensus from the people who have been giving your life some small meaning above. Just one example...

Did you prove Obstreperous Applesauce wrong? No.
Did you even reply at all? No.
Could you have risen to the challenge? No.

Prove me wrong. ;-D

That's a joke so don't worry yourself too much about proving that you're not a hypocrite, a petty "deal it but can't take it". There are plenty of trolls that need a good slap so I have only a very fleeting interest in you. Savour every last word of this gift for you're getting nothing more from me here except for this blush-making dismissal. Ciao. :-)

By John from London (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

Thought as much .

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... Just because you avoid the importance of having a consensus in science doesn't mean other people have a problem.

Think of it this way, Brad. Without a consensus on various well established aspects of science, every single research paper written would have to completely explain every aspect of their entire field of research in order to come to any conclusion at all.

All research references and relies upon previous aspects of science being "accepted science." Or, in other words, accepted by consensus of the larger community of researchers.

This is exactly what we have with human causation being the primary factor in warming over the past 50 years (AGW). Current research is operating well beyond that point. New research is further quantifying the magnitude of the influence (among many other things). As it is, the science is settled enough to take serious action to mitigate carbon emissions.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

out of curiosity, why didn't Cook et al. ascertain if there was a consensus on the idea that "the science is settled enough to take serious action to mitigate carbon emissions"? If consensus mattered, that would seem to me to be a rather useful question.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Rob Honeycutt (not verified)

Typical pseudoskeptic argument goes:

1)There is no consensus.
2)Even if there is, it isn't 97%.
3)Even if it is 97%, science doesn't operate by consensus,
4)Even if science does operate by consensus, See #1.

Rinse, repeat.

Brad, have perhaps you ever stopped to think maybe you're just boring to most readers?

Yes, there is a consensus. Yes it is a very large/lopsided one. Yes, science does operate in large part by consensus.

New results help to refine theories and can inform and reshape the consensus - but rarely has 'settled science' been overturned. Most examples turn out to be less than satisfactory when the facts are actually examined. Let's remember that even Galileo persuaded scientists and the public that his theories (or those of Copernicus) were correct, it was the Church that prosecuted him.

By Kevin ONeill (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

Kevin,

"1)There is no consensus.
2)Even if there is, it isn’t 97%."

So you missed the part where I agreed it was more than 90%?

And thus made a tedious fool of yourself?

Better trolls please.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Kevin ONeill (not verified)

BK:

"why didn’t Cook et al. ascertain if there was a consensus on the idea that “the science is settled enough to take serious action to mitigate carbon emissions”? If consensus mattered, that would seem to me to be a rather useful question."

Tch, tch, goalpost shift …

dhogaza:

"Tch, tch, goalpost shift …"

Two questions:

1. Given that the goalposts have been in the wrong place for 10 years, what's the harm in moving them somewhere more interesting (if equally meaningless)?

2. What sound were you trying to capture with that inept onomatopoeia?

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... "out of curiosity, why didn’t Cook et al. ascertain if there was a consensus on the idea that “the science is settled enough to take serious action to mitigate carbon emissions”?"

That would have been out of scope for the research. The paper was merely intended to ascertain the level of scientific consensus on human attribution as stated by the IPCC (per Section 2, Methodology).

Applying the question of action or inaction relative to consensus findings is a separate moral issue. I, personally, find it morally unconscionable to consider a business-as-usual path given the level of understanding we have on what would very likely occur if we did. You might not. Either way, that was not what Cook et al were attempting to study.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

"Either way, that was not what Cook et al were attempting to study."

I know. I appreciate that Cook et al. didn't set out to answer that question.

My question was, why not?

Wouldn't it have yielded a more (politically, not scientifically) useful answer... assuming it turned out the way you were hoping?

"Applying the question of action or inaction relative to consensus findings is a separate moral issue."

And a far more interesting one—if you (counterfactually) believe consensus carries information to begin with—surely?

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brainstorms,

"And none of the many, busy scientists here claim that opinion is evidence. "

Since consensus means majority opinion, it's good to know they don't pass such rubbish off as evidence. (No scientist would.)

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... "...if you (counterfactually)consensus carries information to begin with..."

It's not counterfactual except in your upside down world of climate denial, Brad.

Standard response: You've been diagnosed with some form of cancer. Your oncologist suggests a treatment that is agreed amongst nearly all relevant professionals to be the best course of action. You are certainly welcome to go out and find a "doctor" who will give you a different answer, but you're most likely to get the same answer from nearly every oncologist in the field.That carries with it information. It tells you there is a high likelihood this is the best treatment available.

Same works for AGW.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

you caught my mistake. It's only counterfactual to believe that scientific consensus carries information. Consensus usually carries information, as you point out.

Medical diagnosis is not an example of science, it's an art, skill or technē. (It adds nothing to human knowledge per se—it draws on human knowledge in order to add to the patient's knowledge.) Oncologists, when acting in that capacity, are no more scientific than auto mechanics or chick sexers.

So the "standard response" is unresponsive—or would have been had I expressed myself properly.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Rob Honeycutt (not verified)

Rob, he gets it and he believes you. He's just debating for his own personal pleasure of debating.

How can I say that? Note that he never rebutted what I wrote in #124. Yet he proves in #145 that he read it.

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad, you need to learn to read. I said 'typical pseudoskeptic argument' - it's interesting that you decided the whole argument referred to you.

Of course if it did apply to you, you didn't actually answer anything, just pointed out that in that cycle you've advanced X distance.

So you're at the point of claiming science doesn't operate by consensus, but it does. As was already pointed out, scientists accept certain theories as true. They move on. You have no response other than assertion.

Thought as much.

By Kevin ONeill (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brainstorms,

"How can I say that?"

You can't.

"Note that he never rebutted what I wrote in #124. Yet he proves in #145 that he read it."

I wasn't aware I was obliged to rebutt every erroneous claim made by commenters here. Thanks for the heads-up.

;-)

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

Kevin,

"As was already pointed out, scientists accept certain theories as true."

If a soi-disant "scientist" accepts a certain theory as true because 97% of scientists do so, he's incompetent.

Fortunately all real scientists are evidence-based.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

Kevin,

"Brad, you need to learn to read. I said ‘typical pseudoskeptic argument’..."

And then you segued into suggesting that my argument was boring. You were obviously attributing the made-up "typical pseudoskeptic" reasoning to me.

I commend your backpedalling.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... "It’s only counterfactual to believe that scientific consensus carries information."

So, let me see if I have this straight. You believe that research on cancer treatments is not "scientific." Right? Good luck on that one.

A medical diagnosis is an informed opinion made by an expert. I hope you would agree with that. Note that term includes the word "informed," as in "information." As in, information has been carried from the body of research, through the oncologist, to the patient. From that the patient can make an "informed decision" about their own treatment.

The patient is welcome to seek other opinions and can, if they search hard enough, find someone who tells them crystals will align there chakra and cure the disease. In fact, I think Michael Crichton might have thought that was a rational area of research.

Ref: Crichton, Michael. Travels, 1989, page 73

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

"So, let me see if I have this straight. You believe that research on cancer treatments is not “scientific.” Right? Good luck on that one."

No, you don't have that straight. Cancer research is a scientific activity. Diagnosing an individual patient with cancer is not. (But it is certainly informed by scientific evidence, as you point out.)

What I probably needed to be clearer about is that I'm using the word "information" with the implicit sense "...that you didn't already have." Scientific consensus does not carry any such thing, because it can (at best) only duplicate—and at worst, distort—the information already inherent in the evidence body. It therefore serves no purpose, which is why no "scientist" ever tried to quantify it until Oreskes reared her... head.

"In fact, I think Michael Crichton might have thought that [crystal healing] was a rational area of research."

Can you paste the quote (if it's not inconvenient)? I don't have the book.

Such research is rational to the extent that it debunks bunk, wouldn't you agree?

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

BTW during this lull in the flame wars, I'd like to thank both Rob and Brainstorms for their polite yet challenging arguments. As Brainstorms mentioned (? I think), it's a testament to this blog's maturity.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... It sounds more like you're saying consensus doesn't contribute additional information. It most certainly does include information. It certainly conveys information from one party to another. It is the basis of informed decision-making.

Your vitriol against Oreskes and the idea of a scientific consensus is fascinating to me. You're certainly not upset about a scientific consensus in cosmology over the universe being 13.8 billion years old. You're not upset about the scientific consensus on evolution of species, or many other well established scientific areas. But the overwhelming acceptance of AGW being presented in the scientific literature has become an affront.

Cook13 made it very clear that they were addressing the public perception of scientific agreement verses the actual scientific agreement on AGW (as stated by the IPCC as...etc).

And that's what it all comes down to, Brad. Nearly all published research and researchers accept that we are rapidly warming the planet. That position certainly could be wrong, but the likelihood of it being wrong is very very small. And you have to include the equal (or even higher) likelihood that research and scientists are underestimating the effects that humans are having on the climate system.

Given that, we have more than enough to go on to take aggressive action to reduce human emissions of greenhouse gases.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

#157

It's simple. He doesn't want to believe that what climate scientists are saying about AGW could be true. He doesn't want to believe that Crichton could be wrong. He's allied himself with a "side" in a "debate", and so he ties himself in knots rationalizing his position because he's too unsophisticated to know any better.

It's boring. And as you can see, he can gabble on forever by simply misreading what you say and applying a few basic tropes and fallacies. He's essentially a perpetual human Turing machine; wasting time and space to no useful purpose.

By Obstreperous A… (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Strep:

"It’s simple. He doesn’t want to believe that what climate scientists are saying about AGW could be true."

Minor problem: I'm on record as saying I find AGW most likely true, i.e. I'm one of the 97%.

Other than that, great psychologising LOL

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Obstreperous A… (not verified)

OA... I think that's okay, though. I don't mind playing the game because it becomes a public record. I think it's all going to be very interesting material to historians.

The other thing about exchanges like this is, there's always a larger group of readers than there are commenters. I always hope there are people out there quietly reading and forming opinions based, at least in some small part, based on conversations like these.

I'm not always successful but I try to keep an even tone. I believe Brad is genuine in what he says. He's not a Poe. And if someone holds an honest opinion then I don't see any reason to not engage in order to try (to the best of my abilities) present the positions of the majority of climate researchers out there.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

Fair enough. Might want to keep your endgame in mind, though. I suspect that perhaps as much as anything else, he's functionally incapable of stopping until he's had the last word.

By Obstreperous A… (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

I think he's unwilling to stop because he truly enjoys the game. If he were admit that he gets it, and agrees with it, the game ends and he'll be unhappy because he can't keep playing.

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob:

"Your vitriol against Oreskes and the idea of a scientific consensus is fascinating to me."

I have nothing against scientific consensus. I have something against consensus science.

"You’re certainly not upset about a scientific consensus in cosmology over the universe being 13.8 billion years old."

Because nobody is trying to use it to persuade me that the universe 13.8 bn years old.

John Cook, like Naomi Oreskes before him, uses consensus as evidence—which is either fraudulent or at best merely misguided.

"I’m not always successful but I try to keep an even tone."

I think you are very successful, to your immense credit Rob.

"[Brad] is not a Poe."

Not at Greg's place, at least. ;-)

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob:

"I think that’s okay, though. I don’t mind playing the game because it becomes a public record. I think it’s all going to be very interesting material to historians."

I agree, and I try to keep that in mind when I comment (under my real name), as I suspect do you. I'm not embarrassed to be associated with my comments, except the 2% or so that are just really poorly thought through. I used to have a policy of not bothering to engage with anyone who uses a pseudonym and therefore doesn't have any reputational skin in the game, but then I found I missed out on the occasional good-faith, interesting commenter (like Brainstorms). So the heuristic didn't really work.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... "I have something against consensus science."

That makes no sense whatsoever. The research on the consensus is just showing that there is, measurably, a consensus on AGW amongst researchers and in the published research. There is nothing wrong with doing that.

"...uses consensus as evidence—which is either fraudulent or at best merely misguided."

Fraudulent? The only thing that Oreskes and Cook do is study whether or not there is a consensus and report those findings. That is neither fraudulent nor misguided.

Full disclosure here. I contributed to the Cook research. I rated a significant portion of the papers in the study (one of the top ~6 raters). I have to tell you, it was rather exciting every time that I actually did come across a rejection paper (5, 6 or 7). There were just so few of them it became a minor celebration when I located one.

My personal sense from reading so many abstracts is that the 97% is actually a very conservative estimation. If the question were asked differently so as to ask researchers, something like, "Is your paper consistent with the IPCC position that human causation is >50%...etc." If the question were asked that way, then I think you'd see a figure greater than 99%.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

"Fraudulent? The only thing that Oreskes and Cook do is study whether or not there is a consensus and report those findings. That is neither fraudulent nor misguided."

No, they do far more than that. For starters they both write popular articles (i.e. articles for the unsophisticated, unsuspecting and defenseless) in which they invert and pervert scientific epistemology by teaching that majority belief among scientists is a form of evidence. By definition, that is a falsehood.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

"the occasional good-faith, interesting commenter (like Brainstorms)"

Thanks, Brad. I find your input to also be erudite and interesting on multiple levels. Rob's as well.

It's refreshing to listen to (and occasionally interject a comment into) a reasoned, measured debate between opponents who play the game at the higher, more challenging level of pressing facts, reason, and logic rather than bow to the more common vulgarisms of ad hominem attacks, non-sequiturs, and other fallacies of argument.

As per Rob, this will make a nice historic record, and is something worthwhile to inform real skeptics and laymen.

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... "...in which they invert and pervert scientific epistemology by teaching that majority belief among scientists is a form of evidence."

Still, that makes no sense, whatsoever.

So, if I did a research project to make an estimation of the scientific consensus on evolution, that would be "fraudulent?"

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

So Brainstorms,

given that you make intelligent remarks, why do it from behind a pseudonym? Wouldn't you rather be able to claim meatspace credit/responsibility for your comments, particularly if they contribute in a small way to saving the planet one day? Or is there a professional reason why you have to keep your online identity compartmentalised?

(You have every right not to explain this, it's just something I've often wondered.) :-)

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Consensus is always a thing in science. The only reason there is interest in CC consensus is because it seemed needed to help policy makers, educators, etc. get past the constant droning bought and paid for denialism. Naturally, denialists would then attack the idea of pretty much the entire informed, involved, qualified scientific community agreeing on things that the denialists want to deny.

Rob,

good question:

"So, if I did a research project to make an estimation of the scientific consensus on evolution, that would be “fraudulent?”"

If you did it as a purely social-psychological exercise, and you published it in a journal about how groups think, it'd be legitimate scholarship.

If you did it as part of a larger effort to win the evolution "debate" or to silence and marginalise Creationists, it'd be both dishonest and unpleasant.

I say this as a non-Creationist, obviously.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Greg,

this may or may not be true:

"Naturally, denialists would then attack the idea of pretty much the entire informed, involved, qualified scientific community agreeing on things that the denialists want to deny."

but it doesn't apply to me, as I have no interest in denying AGW. As I've repeatedly said, I find the evidence for it credible.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... "As I’ve repeatedly said, I find the evidence for it credible."

So, you agree with the IPCC position that there is a high likelihood that >50% of warming of the past 50 years is due to human factors, and that the central estimate is 110% of warming is man-made?

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

"So, you agree with the IPCC position that there is a high likelihood that >50% of warming of the past 50 years is due to human factors,"

Yes. It's far from a certainty, but it's likely.

" and that the central estimate is 110% of warming is man-made?"

No, not without giving it more thought than I've had occasion to. I'm agnostic* on whether it's that high.

*In the colloquial sense.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... But, based on the available evidence, the range of certainty (95% confidence) of man-made contribution is between 50% and 160%. If you accept the low end 50% figure that also implies the high end of the uncertainty range as well.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Greg,

"But what do you base that on Brad? What evidence?"

Really? In a blog comment I'm expected to answer this? It's a big topic Greg.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

And even at the low end estimates, we have a major issue on our hands with carbon emissions.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

"But, based on the available evidence, the range of certainty (95% confidence) of man-made contribution is between 50% and 160%. If you accept the low end 50% figure that also implies the high end of the uncertainty range as well."

If that's true then it's hard to argue against the central estimate you mentioned (110%).

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Yes, Brad, if this belief of yours is based on something you should be able to at least say something.

Rob,

"I have to tell you, it was rather exciting every time that I actually did come across a rejection paper (5, 6 or 7). There were just so few of them it became a minor celebration when I located one. "

Good. I can believe that. It sounds like you were one of the honest raters. In reciprocal disclosure, I agree with José Duarte's criticisms of the paper, many of which would even apply to raters (like yourself) who had no deceptive agenda at all.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Greg,

"Yes, Brad, if this belief of yours is based on something you should be able to at least say something."

I can say something. For starters, it goes all the way back to the radiative properties of the carbon dioxide molecule.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

BK:

"...teaching that majority belief among scientists is a form of evidence. By definition, that is a falsehood."

But, of course, it is a form of evidence. It is evidence that those that argue that a large fraction of scientists in the field who dispute AGW - and that argument is made in public by certain politicians, journalists, etc - are incorrect. That is valuable evidence to have. And that was the purpose.

And you know that, BK.

Greg,

"So, no 20th or 21st century research involved in your thinking on this, Brad?"

It rapidly gets too complicated for a blog comment, Greg. Not sure what the point of this exercise is. Suffice it to say that at no point does the percentage of scientists who endorse any proposition ever enter into my calculations.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by dhogaza (not verified)

" I always hope there are people out there quietly reading and forming opinions based, at least in some small part, based on conversations like these."

Ya-ha yes indeed. And if they're anything like me they're enjoying watching Brad (1) get you all flailing about trou-down on the scientific method; and (2) point out your various lolworthy logic-failures. That clippety-clop thing on dhogaza's crass Crichton-contribution was also a highlight.

And here's the operative point for you chaps: "...we need to see propriety. Not dodgy seedy back-door dealings, not hidden declines, not redefined peer review, not policy-based evidence-making, not lying IPCC Chairmen, not a libelpalooza breaking out among scientists."

A lot of people would echo this. These glossed-over occurrences, and the repeated unchallenged exaggeration of climate-threats, is what diminishes trust in climate science. Do you even acknowledge that this is a problem? I'd be interested to know.

Ah - I just read the latest comments and it seems you're all being productive and friendly-communicative. This isn't what I signed up for. Somebody throw a pie!

By Think-but-this… (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

So, no 20th or 21st century research involved in your thinking on this, Brad?

Think-etc

"Do you even acknowledge that this is a problem? I’d be interested to know."

Your ignorance is your problem, not ours.

Brad, mainly professional. My organization makes it clear that we're not to link our personal musings to our place of employment. That might be indirect, yes, but it wouldn't take much to link my name to where I work and then... I don't need that kind of complication. My contribution to "saving the planet" involves the doing of science, not the expounding on it in public forums (in any official capacity). I'd rather help stimulate thought than to gain credit for any such though.

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... "It sounds like you were one of the honest raters."

I'm not sure that there would have been a way for raters to be less than honest. There was certainly a varying interpretation of the rating system but, evidenced by the author self-ratings, that had little effect on the results.

Regarding Duarte, many, including myself, have suggested that Duarte replicate the study but that doesn't seem to be of any interest to him. He merely wants to make a lot of noise about the whole thing rather than test whether rater bias had any influence on the results.

Look, the whole reason we did the author self-rating aspect (which was originally my idea) was to test for our own biases, anticipating that was going to be the biggest critique of the paper coming from "skeptics." So, I don't quite get Duarte's arguments of rater bias when we clearly tested for that. He seems to completely ignore that aspect of the paper (as far as I've seen).

Quite the opposite from Duarte's claims, during the process I felt like everyone was being overly cautious about introducing our own biases. Everyone genuinely wanted to get the best possible and most accurate data we could. I mean, come on! We already had Oreskes, Doran/Zimmerman and Anderegg, so we had a good indication of about where the data were likely to be. What would be the benefit of trying to manipulate the results?

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Think-but... "And if they’re anything like me..."

I'll assume that you'd already made up you mind on this issue long before you even started reading.

"Do you even acknowledge that this is a problem?"

The science is just fine. That's not a problem. It's working just as it's always worked for every other subject of study. The problem now is that the results of climate research are highly problematic for what are some of the world's largest corporations, because they're telling us we need to ramp down use of their highly profitable products over the coming decades.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Think-but-this-and-all-is-mended,

"Ah – I just read the latest comments and it seems you’re all being productive and friendly-communicative. This isn’t what I signed up for."

Sorry mate—can't help it, as Rob, Brainstorms and Greg aren't bad people.

"Somebody throw a pie!"

Tim Lambert made a thread just for me to do that, which could be to your liking.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Regarding Cook13, what I always think is interesting is the fact that all the attacks are related to our SkS rater results, and every time, those leveling critiques completely avoid discussing the author self-rating results.

Cook13 was a two-fer-one. It was two separate measures of the consensus on climate change in one paper. If people suspect the SkS raters of being biased, fine. Toss that out and look at the author self-ratings. Both return the same results.

And given that the results square with all three of the previous studies on consensus, I'd have to guess the results are fairly robust. If someone suspects that's not the case, fine. They can do what scientists do, and perform their own research.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

"Toss that out and look at the author self-ratings. Both return the same results."

this isn't a rhetorical question: did you raise that objection with José?

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... I've done so. Others have done so. It's even been done so, formally, in responses to Duarte's attacks on Cook13 done through the journal (ERL) and through UQ.

I don't think Jose is interested in considering this very simple issue, and he's clearly not interested in doing his own research.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

good. I can't speak for José but I must admit to having paid little attention to the self-rating aspect myself.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

dhogaza,

"But, of course, it is a form of evidence. It is evidence that those that argue that a large fraction of scientists in the field who dispute AGW – and that argument is made in public by certain politicians, journalists, etc – are incorrect."

Rise above fallacies, don't respond with fallacies of your own.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

I would be extremely interested in seeing someone else do the same research using their own methods. Having read well over 1000 abstracts (and a few thousand other papers outside of that) I'd be flabbergasted if anyone got results that were different.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

"Having read well over 1000 abstracts (and a few thousand other papers outside of that) I’d be flabbergasted if anyone got results that were different."

Then what epistemic point is there in doing it? You're now reminding me of a headline on Lewandowsky's blog that boasted about "Confirming The Obvious."

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... Same goes for the reverse. What's the epistemic point of attacking the results if you accept the results are likely correct?

Once again, Cook13 made clear the point of doing the research was the fact that there is a gap between the perceived consensus and the actual consensus. If people like Duarte, Tol and others think the results are wrong, or even merely think Cook13 methods were wrong, then they should do their own research, with their own methods and show us what the results actually are.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

"Same goes for the reverse. What’s the epistemic point of attacking the results if you accept the results are likely correct?"

Who's attacking the results?

Duarte criticises the methods. And I criticise the fact that it was done at all ;-)

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Same thing, Brad. If Duarte believes our methods are bad, and it's really that important to him, he should do the research using what he believes are better methods.

Duarte can't even manage to submit a rational critique to the journal. I don't think he's capable of evaluating the methods, much less creating better methods.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Truth be told. It is the results that have set Duarte off on his little tirade.

Again, if he doesn't like the SkS rater data he just has to look at the author self-rating data. Problem solved, Jose. Go back to your PhD work.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

"If people like Duarte, Tol and others think the results are wrong, or even merely think Cook13 methods were wrong, then they should do their own research, with their own methods and show us what the results actually are.... If Duarte believes our methods are bad, and it’s really that important to him, he should do the research using what he believes are better methods."

No Rob. Whatever the merits of your research, you don't get to dismiss a critic thereof by demanding that he do his own equal-and-opposite research. If you think that's how methodological criticisms are resolved, then with all due respect Rob, you've been paying too much attention to climate science and not enough attention to science. That's not how things work.

Also, don't take it personally.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Rob Honeycutt (not verified)

Rob,

"Truth be told. It is the results that have set Duarte off on his little tirade."

Er, no it's not. Duarte has said he finds them perfectly plausible. You must have missed that.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

"Same thing, Brad."

Er, no it's not.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

FWIW I like the fact that you added the self-rating aspect. It shows good scientific instincts on your part, regardless of whatever other criticisms can be made of the paper.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Think-but-this-and-all-is-mended,

if a pessimist is someone who says a glass is half-empty and an optimist is someone who says it's half-full, is an optometrist the guy who says they need new glasses?

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

"Suffice it to say that at no point does the percentage of scientists who endorse any proposition ever enter into my calculations."

I wasn't asking about that, last thing on my mind. I'm asking what evidence you consider to be important in backing up your statement about AGW.

Brad... "...you don’t get to dismiss a critic thereof by demanding that he do his own equal-and-opposite research."

John Cook has carefully addressed each and every one of Duarte's complaints. ERL and UQ seem to find that adequate. I'm not "demanding" Duarte do anything. I'm just saying he's lazy and disingenuous not to.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

"John Cook has carefully addressed each and every one of Duarte’s complaints."

That's how it's done.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... " It shows good scientific instincts on your part..."

Here's how that went down. I suggested we email the authors of the papers we were rating and ask them if they felt our rating of their papers were accurate. I specifically suggested this because I knew the first attack on the results would be that we were biased. And that could have been the case, so why not test it.

Others suggested that asking researchers to view and evaluate our ratings would be a no-no. But, we could certainly ask them to also rate their papers. That way we wouldn't introduce our biases into their responses.

So, you see. Everyone was active in making sure our results were as unbiased as possible.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

"I knew the first attack on the results would be that we were biased. And that could have been the case, so why not test it."

Are you sure you're not a scientist?

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Rob Honeycutt (not verified)

Brad... Yes, that is how it's done. That's what John has done. But Duarte has not publicly acknowledged it, as far as I've seen. He just keeps rambling on as if no one has ever said anything.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

"He just keeps rambling on as if no one has ever said anything."

He's also been defending his PhD this week or last week, so he's busy (and certainly not lazy).

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Rob Honeycutt (not verified)

John's responses to Duarte were made back in June.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

"John’s responses to Duarte were made back in June."

And he hasn't acknowledged their existence? Or did you mean that he hasn't acknowledged their righteousness?

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Rob Honeycutt (not verified)

To my knowledge he has acknowledged anything at all about John's responses. He just ignored that John even responded.

I could be wrong, but I just haven't seen that Duarte has been trying to engage in an honest discussion at all.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

That'd be weird—unlike José. You might have missed something (you did, after all, miss his acknowledgement of the ballpark plausibility of Cook13's results). I'll ask him about it when he's had time to return some pending emails from me.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... You know, there have been plenty of people who have inquired about Cook13 results. And they generally do with a level of respect and composure. This is not the way Duarte has acted at all. He came out, guns ablazing, demanding retraction without even having a clear understanding of what retraction means or what sort of circumstances retractions are done.

Most retractions are done voluntarily when someone produces a peer reviewed response showing that a piece of research contained a serious error that the researcher(s) (and reviewers) missed. But that would require that someone (Duarte) write a response that ERL would see fit to publish. He didn't even try.

It's a bit insane for a doctoral student to go rampaging about the place demanding retraction without even submitting a publishable response.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

"It’s a bit insane for a doctoral student to go rampaging about the place demanding retraction without even submitting a publishable response."

What do you understand, or infer, or estimate, to be José's motivation? (Are you convinced by his professions of climate believalism?)

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

(The above is mainly out of psychological curiosity—I like finding out how opposing, and even non-opposing, people in the climate "debate" view each other's actions)

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad - a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty; an optometrist can help them with their diplopia. Now quit following me around the interwebs.

(I read your Lambert thread - running rings around the bewildered. Fun reading for a while but eventually intensely frustrating, in stark contrast to this thread. A genuine thanks to Greg for hosting an uninterrupted and intelligent discussion here. I apologise for my earlier crass comment).

Rob - José addressed the author self-ratings on two grounds iirc: (1) that only a fraction of the authors actually provided ratings; and (2) [given the papers that were included in the study] these authors may have come from social science / engineering / psychology disciplines. Both points mean the author self-ratings cannot be given the weight that you wish. I'd be interested to hear your take?

By Think but this… (not verified) on 12 Oct 2014 #permalink

Hehe I knew it. You know which lexical idiosyncrasy gave it away, right?

You think reading the Lambert thread was frustrating!

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Think but this… (not verified)

Brad... "What do you understand, or infer, or estimate, to be José’s motivation? (Are you convinced by his professions of climate believalism?)"

Just a guess, but I would think that Jose has a bit of a libertarian streak and is more concerned about the politics of liberalism than he is concerned about science. Otherwise, why would he not have a complete cow over the activities of Chris Monckton? With Monckton you have extremely weak (and usually completely wrong) representations of science, and publishing activities, and strong political bias.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob, thanks for your answer. Not to be ungrateful for it, but I don't find it very convincing myself.

"Just a guess, but I would think that Jose has a bit of a libertarian streak"

I would think so too, since everyone born after Queen Victoria has had a bit of a libertarian streak. Libertarianism as a philosophy is accepted almost holus bolus by both the right and the left—if they disagree, it's largely on its applicability to trade.

If you think adults should be legally permitted to drink more alcohol than their family physician might prefer them to, then congratulations! You have a bit of a libertarian streak.

" and is more concerned about the politics of liberalism than he is concerned about science."

So just to confirm: you don't think he's telling the truth when he says he's a leftist who worries about climate change, nor when he lists his major academic interests as including scientific methodology?

"Otherwise, why would he not have a complete cow over the activities of Chris Monckton?"

Not sure you were asking for an answer, but here are 2 possibilities: nothing Monckton has ever published is remotely as well-known or high-impact as Cook13; Monckton's papers (such as they are) don't push the boundaries of the scientific method.

"With Monckton you have extremely weak (and usually completely wrong) representations of science,"

What's a "weak" representation of science?

" and publishing activities,"

What's a "weak (and usually completely wrong)" publishing activity?

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

(I know you were just guessing, which is exactly what I asked you to do, so I don't mean to criticise, nor do you have to defend your guess if this isn't an interesting question to you.)

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

Think but this and all is mended,

what crass comment?

And where did your hyphens go?

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

I amend my comment thus: I would venture to guess that Duarte has a deep Libertarian streak.

No, I don't think I believe him if he's calling himself a "leftist." Admittedly I've not spent a ton of time reading his material, but what I read smacked strongly of Libertarianism.

Look, he has said that, "...I would venture that [SkS] aren't just activists, they're rather extreme activists, angry, dogmatic..."

Nothing is further from the truth. SkS people get upset when people deliberately misrepresent published research, but overall everyone is very analytical and factual. Very un-like what you would read in the comments section at WUWT, which Duarte seems to have no complaints about at all.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

"No, I don’t think I believe him if he’s calling himself a “leftist.”"

Hmm. I'm a leftist and I detected no political bias in Duarte's blog, which means he has the same bias as me :^)

"Admittedly I’ve not spent a ton of time reading his material, but what I read smacked strongly of Libertarianism."

Now you've switched from small-l to big-L, a switch whose connotations I don't really understand (not living in the US). What has Jose said that smacks thereof?

"SkS people get upset when people deliberately misrepresent published research"

By "they get upset" you mean they want to rip Anthony Watts' throat out, think McIntyre "needs to go down," and believe they're in a "conspiracy to save humanity," I take it? ;-) Do you think that level of zeal is compatible with good science?

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Rob Honeycutt (not verified)

"Do you think that level of zeal is compatible with good science?"

OMG yes! Science is not just some dumbass think you do. It is a PASSION, a calling, a thing you devote yourself to. And when you are inundated with politically motivated and biased bought and paid for willful idiocy such as climate science denialism it is absolutely normal, even called for, to get intense bout it. Please don't ever make the mistake of thinking that is not the case.

What does happen eventually is that the ignorant droning on and on with the same exact bullshit and not a whiff of creativity about how to lie dulls it all down and makes it boring. But most true scientists do in fact get pretty passionate about the attacks and the stupidity. That keeps them in the business.

So, yes, part and parcel.

Greg,

thanks. It wasn't a rhetorical question—I would also have said "yes." But I find it hard to get worked up about what you call "denialism," which (near as I can tell) means "obstinately being wrong about the contents of science." That's no threat to science. What I tend to get angry about is violations of the method or rules.

Ah, so I see you have no moral objection to digging through stolen private material and cherry picking out of context.

Nice work, Brad.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

"Ah, so I see you have no moral objection to digging through stolen private material and cherry picking out of context."

1. Stolen? Huh?

2. Cherry picking out of context? That's what a quote is, Rob. You're free to add back the context if you think the surrounding words would somehow mitigate the meaning. I certainly wouldn't quote words in isolation if they were not faithful to the meaning of their larger grammatical unit—that kind of deceptive quotation I definitely do have moral objections to.

3. Stolen?!

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

Yes, Brad. The forum was ha led and our private conversations were stolen. And yes, you're posting statements without full context and don't change the fricking subject.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

***hacked***. Not, "ha led".

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

It was my understanding the forum was public (if accidentally so). In which case, given that I have no moral scruples about quoting Climategate emails, I can hardly start objecting to "Treehousegate" quotes, can I? That would be ethically incoherent. Consistency obliges me to approve of the latter. My hands are tied.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

And, no Brad, that's not what the quotes are. Those are quote snippets with reference whatsoever. That's like quoting "hide the decline" without showing what Jines was talking about.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

But now that I've changed the frickin' subject, I'm still waiting to find out: did you have a “moral objection” when SkS posted (and quoted from) the stolen Heartland documents, as well as the forged one?

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

No, the forum was not left open. It was actually a very sophisticated hack which we documented in full detail.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

Heartland... That's the guys who have been defending the tobacco industry for decades now. Right?

You're a "leftist?" My fat ass you are.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

"That’s like quoting “hide the decline” without showing what Jines was talking about."

He was talking about a scientific graph—everyone knows that—and everyone knows the verb "hide" is incompatible with science.

However, as you're clearly angry about this (it's not like you to misspell so many words), which was not my intention at all—hence the original smiley-face—I'll stop quoting those SkS conversations.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

let me see if I have this straight: to claim membership of the left, I must have no objection to someone stealing and forging documents on the letterhead of any organisation that used to be tobacco-linked?

So I suppose that if former tobacco salesman Al Gore's private correspondence were stolen by deception, leftism/Liberalism would require both you and me to be completely A-OK with maximally publicising its contents, then?

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

Mistyping because my 10yo is finishing up a project on my computer and I'm stuck using my iPhone. (Time to get the boy his own computer.)

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

"Mistyping because..."

OK, but I'll stop quoting the Treehouse conversations anyway, as you don't consider it morally kosher and I respect that.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Rob Honeycutt (not verified)

Brad... "Treehousegate"

Hack. Brad. It was a very deliberate and sophisticated theft.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/hack-2012-1.html

This is something that SkS has dealt with for a long time. The site is under frequent DOS attacks that take it down for hours at a time.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

fine. Hackgate? Whatever. I respect that you don't like my quoting from it.

I still am confused by the notion that leftist politics require me to be OK with what Gleick and his accessories like SkS did. Please explain that a bit more.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Rob Honeycutt (not verified)

Gatehack? Hacktree? Housegate? What's in a name?

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

Well Brad the hyphens had to go lest some unscrupulous cad recognises my cross-moniker syntactical preferences. Plus they just looked messy. In any case there's no need to emphasise the lyricism of those words to you merry fellows.

You may also be aware that for Rob's fat-ass's worldview to continue it is impossible for you or José to be 'leftist'.

Rob I know I have no claim to your attention in this thread but, if you have a moment, I'd be interested in why you consider the author self-ratings to be of such importance to Cook13 when - apparently - only a fraction of authors responded, and those that did may have authored papers from a range of disciplines outside climate science.

I should add that any and all time spent on these kind of responses to critics is appreciated, even if this request is left unanswered.

By Think but this… (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

Think-but... "...why you consider the author self-ratings to be of such importance to Cook13 when – apparently – only a fraction of authors responded..."

There were 1200 responses! That represents 10% of the overall sample size!

Think about it this way. What if you could poll 10% of voters prior to an election. Do you think you'd have a pretty good indication of which way the election would go?

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... Regarding Peter Gleick. I've been in conversation with Peter about what happened and you have no clue what happened there, and I'm not about to discuss it with someone who is so clearly willing to lie about their own positions and motivations.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

you mean he didn't steal and forge documents on Heartland letterhead, as the entire climate-change-debate audience believes he did?

Fascinating.

"I’m not about to discuss it with someone who is so clearly willing to lie about their own positions and motivations."

Since I'm an open book about about both my position and its "motivations," discuss away.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Rob Honeycutt (not verified)

Think-but... "impossible for you or José to be ‘leftist’"

What they are is liars because they don't want to come to terms with the fact that their position on climate change is motivated by their ideology.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... What this boils down to is, YOU have a choice whether or not you will post stolen material from the private SkS forum. That is your personal choice and no one else's. And you choose to post it and to cherry pick phrases in order to misrepresent people's positions.

My personal choice is to NOT reference the Heartland documents. I never reference them at all. Ever. As much as I believe they are a destructive force, I choose not to reference that material. What John chooses to do with his website is his choice.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

"And you choose to post it and to cherry pick phrases in order to misrepresent people’s positions."

But I didn't misrepresent them. You're accusing me of dishonesty... dishonestly.

"What they are is liars because they don’t want to come to terms with the fact that their position on climate change is motivated by their ideology."

But my position on climate change is "motivated" by nothing but the evidence. Once again you are accusing me of dishonesty dishonestly.

What made you turn into an ass all of a sudden?

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... "What made you turn into an ass all of a sudden?"

You being dishonest would do the trick.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

Think of it this way, Brad.

Someone breaks into your home and steals your private correspondences with friends.

Then another person (you) starts posting piece of those correspondences around the neighborhood and thinks they're within their full glorious right to do so.

It's offensive, especially after having spent the past two weeks trying to have honest conversations about the issues.

Then claiming to be a "leftist" while defending (Unibomber billboard fame) Heartland and Duarte (who can't even comprehend what retraction means), while showing absolutely no hint of contempt for dissemblers like Monckton, Watts, Goddard, and a long list of others that get even the most fundamental scientific facts of climate science blatantly wrong.

You're just a liar, Brad. There is no other conclusion that I can possibly come to at this point. And so, yeah. It pissed me off.

We're talking about the fucking future of the planet here, not baseball. We're talking about a significant potential that when my kids grow up – if our generation hasn't managed to get it's collective act together – they are going to have to witness and experience events that will make WW2 look like a breezy walk in the park.

Maybe that doesn't mean much to you.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

"Then claiming to be a “leftist” while defending (Unibomber billboard fame) Heartland"

Defending it against a criminal act.. (Which, by the way, I didn't know the SkS hack was. In fact I didn't even know it was a hack. So calm down.)

Not defending its record on tobacco.

Not defending its Unabomber billboard.

Have you ever read what I've written about the billboard? My assessment makes McKittrick ("puerile, fallacious and offensive") look like an apologist for it.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Rob Honeycutt (not verified)

Brad.... "But I didn’t misrepresent them."

Any time you post an out of context phrase of a private conversation, that is by default a misrepresentation.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

Oh yeah... It also doesn't help one bit that you've taken a mocking tone relative to a criminal hack of the SkS forum.

Whatever fraction of goodwill that might have been developed over the past couple of weeks... that certainly got sucked down the drain right there.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob said:
"…We’re talking about the fucking future of the planet here, not baseball. We’re talking about a significant potential that when my kids grow up – if our generation hasn’t managed to get it’s collective act together – they are going to have to witness and experience events that will make WW2 look like a breezy walk in the park.…"

Exactly.

This thread would be a rich source of material for a dissertation on cognitive dissonance.

Brad may be more erudite than the egregious Monckton and the intolerable Anthony Watts but he's just as culpable.

If he's not a liar, he's a textbook example of the "Backfire Effect".

By Alan Henderson (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

Alan, thanks.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Alan Henderson (not verified)

Rob,

"We’re talking about the fucking future of the planet here, not baseball."

Indeed. And if my side wins, our children's children's children won't have to grow up on a planet where science is decided by consensus. So let's hope we do win.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

Alan,

may I ask what you do for a living? Are you a scientist or other professional researcher?

I'm asking because I'd like to include your kind words on my Testimonials page.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad, as a referee I'd lack verisimilitude. I'm a great-grandfather who's been unemployed since last century.

Nevertheless, please feel free.

:)

By Alan Henderson (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

Some would have it that doublethink masquerading as satire means that nothing you say can ever be a lie as you press your agenda forward.

I made a somewhat disparaging remark about clowns a while back, that I'd like to amend. Real clowns understand the role of the fourth wall and break it with care. Somebody running around being a real life jackass is just what it sounds like.

Rightwing talk radio is full of them, and they all seem to find themselves highly entertaining, speaking of puerile.

By Obstreperous A… (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

Strep,

why are you being so rude to Greg? You're a guest.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

"Oh yeah… It also doesn’t help one bit that you’ve taken a mocking tone relative to a criminal hack of the SkS forum."

Too soon?

LOL. What's the point of being humorless about it, Rob? So a website was hacked. Did anyone die?

In any case, when exactly did I mock anybody about it?

"Think about it this way. What if you could poll 10% of voters prior to an election. Do you think you’d have a pretty good indication of which way the election would go?"

If it were a random (and not self-selecting) sample, yes, I agree you would.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 14 Oct 2014 #permalink

BK:

"And if my side wins, our children’s children’s children won’t have to grow up on a planet where science is decided by consensus."

Still misrepresenting the point, which is that determining scientific consensus is useful for policy makers and the public.

No one is claiming that science is decided by consensus.

You know this. You are lying when you claim otherwise, over and over, despite being corrected every time you do.

This is why you're a vile human being. Because lying is vile.

BK:

"LOL. What’s the point of being humorless about it, Rob? So a website was hacked. Did anyone die?"

Ha ha, so funny, just like when someone's house is burgled, or a bank robbed, and no one died. Crime is fucking hilarious, yuk yuk!

dhogaza:

"No one is claiming that science is decided by consensus."

Kevn O'Neill:

"So you’re at the point of claiming science doesn’t operate by consensus, but it does. As was already pointed out, scientists accept certain theories as true. They move on."

dhogaza:

" Because lying is vile."

Brad:

Indeed.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 15 Oct 2014 #permalink

Dealing with AGW is not deciding science questions by consensus, it is about using consensus, including consensus about science to make policy.

By daedalus2u (not verified) on 15 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad has been repeatedly lying? Who would have guessed? (Answer: pretty much anyone.)
All he's been doing it attempting to say that the "consensus" (which is isn't sure exists, but if it does isn't important) was reached only by a dishonest cabal of unethical scientists, and folks like Watt (whose site he referred to in another blog as a true defender of science) are ridiculed for speaking the truth. He would argue that the consensus is in place of the science rather than because of the science. Dishonest all the way.

"He would argue that the consensus is in place of the science rather than because of the science. Dishonest all the way."

ROFL... the Argument From What I Would Argue?!

Are you that desperate?

Don't answer.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 15 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... "Indeed. And if my side wins, our children’s children’s children won’t have to grow up on a planet where science is decided by consensus. So let’s hope we do win."

We're done, Brad.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 15 Oct 2014 #permalink

"Brad may be more erudite than the egregious Monckton and the intolerable Anthony Watts but he’s just as culpable."

People observing this exchange may want to note that arguments with Brad Keyes, no matter how well-intentioned they begin, all end the same way.

Purposefully misrepresenting statements to the end eh Brad? What a sad case you are.

rubyred,

"People observing this exchange may want to note that arguments with Brad Keyes, no matter how well-intentioned they begin, all end the same way."

Thanks, but that's not literally true. I've sometimes had the pleasure of debating people who don't flounce.

Rob,

before you storm off, could we please get your response to this:
______________________________
>> Heartland… That’s the guys who have been defending the tobacco industry for decades now. Right?

>> You’re a “leftist?” My fat ass you are.

Let me see if I have this straight: to claim membership of the left, I must have no objection to someone stealing and forging documents on the letterhead of any organisation that used to be tobacco-linked?

So if former tobacco salesman Al Gore’s private correspondence were stolen by deception, and embellished with a further, fake document, leftism/Liberalism would require both you and me to be completely A-OK with maximally publicising their contents, right?

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 15 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad... I'm not going anywhere. But we are done.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 15 Oct 2014 #permalink

"Brad… I’m not going anywhere."

Great—so there's no non-fiction reason why you can't address the simple question:

Let me see if I have this straight: if I claim membership of the left, I'm not allowed to object to someone stealing and forging documents on the letterhead of any organisation that used to be tobacco-linked?

So if former tobacco salesman Al Gore’s private correspondence were stolen by deception, and embellished with a further fake document, leftism/Liberalism would require me to be completely A-OK with maximally publicising their contents, would it?

Thanks in advance for having the integrity, and courage of your convictions, to answer. A lesser man might feign indignation about some other BS as an excuse to avoid the question. ;-)

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 15 Oct 2014 #permalink

BK:

“So you’re at the point of claiming science doesn’t operate by consensus, but it does. As was already pointed out, scientists accept certain theories as true. They move on.”

Subtle differences escape BK …

Bye, Brad.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 15 Oct 2014 #permalink

Hey Rob, what do you feel about John Hartz and Carbon Brief sock- and meat-puppetry? Clearly should have bothered you.

By Shub Niggurath (not verified) on 15 Oct 2014 #permalink

Skeptical Science was hacked? Everything in their database, queries and updates, was public at the time.

I'm just glad it showed John Cook's 97.1% consensus as the fraud it was.

Says the guy named "Shub Niggurath?"

Is this some form of ironical attempt humor?

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 15 Oct 2014 #permalink

And seeing as you're clearly not interested in a substantive discussion of anything, I'll go ahead and say goodbye to you as well, Shub.

C ya.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 15 Oct 2014 #permalink

"no objection to someone stealing and forging documents on the letterhead of any organisation that used to be tobacco-linked"

Brad, can you please provide the evidence that Peter Gleick (or anyone else) forged any documents from Heartland?

Heartland claiming he did isn't enough - it can be easily countered with Peter Gleick's admission he obtained documents through deception, but did not forge any documents.

Note that you present the "forgery" as a fact - without any evidence whatsoever. And then you try and lecture us on science?!

The irony is exploding off my screen.

[Greg, just say the word and we'll stop talking about this off-topic... uh... topic.]

Marco,

"Brad, can you please provide the evidence that Peter Gleick (or anyone else) forged any documents from Heartland?"

The so-called Strategy Document is written as if by an intern in a Batman villain's lair, to quote Megan McArdle. Read it and then tell me you think it was authentic, Marco. The fakery is less in what it said than in how it was written. Anybody that's worked with grownups knows that nobody wearing a suit and tie writes like that. No matter what you think of Heartland—and I've criticised them on occasion—even if they're the worst people in the world, they don't write like cartoon characters. Even Al-Qaeda strategy documents don't sound like that. Wake up.

That Gleick himself was the forger should be obvious from the fact that Steven Mosher fingered him just by reading it, before Gleick had even confessed to "obtaining [the other] documents through deception."

Hello?

It becomes even more obvious when you realize that the handful of sad reality-denialists who make up the Peter Gleick Innocence Project don't even have the support of... Peter Gleick.

He's never said, "I'm not the forger."

He's never denied the allegation.

I've asked him to deny it. He refuses to.

Ever since then, I've quite blithely treated his guilt as a matter of fact (as you notice). Rob is the first person I've ever met who seems bothered by it.

At this point, the Peter Gleick Innocence Project would have to concede its round against the Flat Earth Society in the Conspiracists' Fantasy Bowling League for lack of numbers.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 15 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Marco (not verified)

"Note that you present the “forgery” as a fact – without any evidence whatsoever. And then you try and lecture us on science?!"

1. I have evidence, as I've just outlined.

2. This is not a scientific question but a forensic one. Slightly different epistemologies, mate.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 15 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,

Says the guy named “Shub Niggurath?”
Is this some form of ironical attempt humor?

I think you'll find it's something we call a literary reference, Rob. And one of the words in your question reveals that it went over your head.

Oh well, never mind.

And seeing as you’re clearly not interested in a substantive discussion of anything

Oh but Shub is interested. Shub is interested indeed. In what substantive discussion is Shub interested, you ask? Shub is interested in discussing the question Shub asked, hence the asking thereof:

Hey Rob, what do you feel about John Hartz and Carbon Brief sock- and meat-puppetry? Clearly should have bothered you.

I struggle to see how Shub could have made shubself any clearer to you, Rob. That was Shub's question. What is Rob's answer?

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 15 Oct 2014 #permalink

"I’ve asked him to deny it. He refuses to."

Really? I know you at times have problems with basic English (as we have already seen before), but this one is definitely way out there:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-h-gleick/heartland-institute-docume…

Clear denial he forged any documents. That he ignores your repeated questions are no surprise. Why repeat information to someone who will not believe your response anyway?

Be honest, Brad, if Peter Gleick personally tells you, right in your face, "No, I did not forge that document", will you believe him? I simply cannot see any circumstances where you would say "yes". You will just demand more. And more. And more.

Marco,

yes, he clearly denies forging the ones that weren't forged:

"I made no changes or alterations of any kind to any of the Heartland Institute documents or to the original anonymous communication."

Give that man a medal. He didn't doctor the undoctored documents!

But did he forge the 9th one that he included in his dossier? On that Gleick is silent. A more cynical person than yourself might say tellingly silent.

"Clear denial he forged any documents."

I'm not even gonna ask if you can find any statement semantically tantamount to, "I didn't forge any documents," because if you'd found that Holy Grail you'd have quoted it by now.

"Be honest, Brad, if Peter Gleick personally tells you, right in your face, “No, I did not forge that document”, will you believe him?"

No, not as such—not with any conviction, at any rate—but it would instil some doubt, forcing me to start using the word "allegedly."

The only reason I can omit such an adverb in good conscience is that the forgery theory is undisputed even by the forgery suspect himself.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 16 Oct 2014 #permalink

In reply to by Marco (not verified)

Forensic? The forensic question you asked is related to "the art and science of legal evidence and argument". See the word "science" in there, Brad?

Marco,

"See the word “science” in there, Brad?"

Yep—good catch. Well done.

By Brad Keyes (not verified) on 16 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob,
"And seeing as you’re clearly not interested in a substantive discussion of anything, I’ll go ahead and say goodbye to you as well, Shub."

Well, I waited for a while and more important things came up, like going to bed.

I presume you know what a sock-puppet is, and how it is different from a pseudonym. Everyone knows how Carbon Brief pretend to be an independent source of climate information but behind-the-scenes they come to you guys for help constantly, and one of your forum members is a moderator for them. Everyone knows how Mann's book gets lots of 5-star reviews on Amazon but behind-the-scenes you guys bulk posted reviews and actively stage-manage review voting and incessant arguing to this day. These wouldn't be known without the forum leak/hack. Anyone can run private forums but you run your activist campaigns behind the curtain and then come outside and pretend it's all neutral and independent.

By Shub Niggurath (not verified) on 16 Oct 2014 #permalink

Peter Gleick cleared of forging documents in Heartland expose

- news from some time ago BK. Convenient of you to ignore it. Also, note (from Gleick)

Given the potential impact, however, I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document. In an effort to do so, and in a serious lapse of my own professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else's name. The materials the Heartland Institute sent to me confirmed many of the facts in the original document, including especially their 2012 fundraising strategy and budget. I forwarded, anonymously, the documents I had received to a set of journalists and experts working on climate issues. I can explicitly confirm, as can the Heartland Institute, that the documents they emailed to me are identical to the documents that have been made public I made no changes or alterations of any kind to any of the Heartland Institute documents or to the original anonymous communication.

As pointed out, your comments are convenient in what you omit.

For everyone's information, Donald Breeding (donald.breeding1776@gmail.com) aka DonB has been removed (his comments, anyway). He's been banned here in the past, I lifted a lot of bans recently in the spirit of enhancing communication, but Donald has crossed the stalky-creepy line at several instances (only some of which were visible here). He is now claiming that he lives near me (which he does not, he lives in the US Southeast, probably: 68.2.242.14 ) and is getting even creepier. So, he's gone.

Bye, Shub "whoever-you-are" Niggurath.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 16 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad, he specifically mentions that document you claim he forged: "the original anonymous communication".

You should change your name to "prat".

Ah yes, the all-powerful argumentum-ad-aeternum-vale

Brad, he specifically mentions that document you claim he forged: “the original anonymous communication”.

ROFL... really, Marco? That’s all it takes to satisfy your vestigial powers of skepticism? An omniguously vague stroke of jesuitical, deniable weaselism?

Are you really incapable of imagining a million scenarios in which Gleick’s technically telling the truth there while denying nothing—y’know, the interpretation a normal person can come up with trivially-easily?

Because if Gleick's lawyers are fooling you with this scripted, sub-clintonian bullmilk, Bubba must have had you eating out of the palm of his hand in the mid 90s!

*sigh*

By Darrell Harb (not verified) on 16 Oct 2014 #permalink

[That was me—having trouble logging in for some reason
—BK]

By Darrell Harb (not verified) on 16 Oct 2014 #permalink

What's up, Rob? You said the 'stolen words' from the sophisticated hack were taken out of context but you are dropping opportunities to provide context.

The context is that John Russell is a Skepticalscience meat-puppet and the hack/leak provides it instead of hiding it, isn't it?

By Shub Niggurath (not verified) on 16 Oct 2014 #permalink

@Rob Honeycutt

BBD said a year ago, October 2013, "Brad is demonstrably incapable of understanding that the consensus arises from the evidence but is not part of it", which criticism Brad was proud enough to feature in his blog. I won't link to it (I agree with Greg's "no links to assholes" policy) but it's searchable.

#278: We’re done, Brad.

#282: Brad… I’m not going anywhere. But we are done.

#285: Bye, Brad.

... so I'm glad to see you broken-recording the colossal waste of time that calls himself Brad Keyes, Darrell Harb and who knows what else. There need be no further loss of your life for the benefit of his trolling-compelled psyche.

By John from London (not verified) on 16 Oct 2014 #permalink

John @307... Yup. I found that information earlier today. It's ironic that No-name "Shub" is now here harrumphing about sock-puppetry when Brad/Darrell (or whatever they are) seems to be the king of the mountain on that matter.

I will no longer engage either one.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 16 Oct 2014 #permalink

What's sad is that there is a real issue to be discussed about climate change, the science and how to solve the problems that lay ahead. But these guys can't do anything but play silly word games that are utterly meaningless in the long run.

Actually, it's more than sad or silly, it's unconscionable to the point of lacking all morality.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 16 Oct 2014 #permalink

"... play silly word games that are utterly meaningless in the long run."

Maybe not. They're designed to derail movement towards policy changes aimed at mitigating climate change. They want to keep lifestyles and industries the way they are now.

By Brainstorms (not verified) on 16 Oct 2014 #permalink

Brad,
"Are you really incapable of imagining a million scenarios in which Gleick’s technically telling the truth there while denying nothing—y’know, the interpretation a normal person can come up with trivially-easily?"

I am not a pseudoskeptic, and thus alternative explanations with very low likelihood are not elevated to truth (as you have done) just because they fit my narrative.

"So, you’re willing to bet the future of human civilization on the idea that the overwhelming body of research and opinions of experts are so wrong off the low end of that range (and only wrong in that direction) as to be inconsequential? As opposed to an investment of <2% of GDP to insure against this potential?"

Rob, two points you should understand. First one is that all science should be continuously challenged, and at any given instance in time over any period you'd like to name the "consensus" view on any scientific theory was wrong. That said if all the scientists are telling me they can foretell the future state of the climate accurately I know I'm being bilked (look it up). Foretelling the future is not science.

The second one is the 2% of GDP issue. You really aren't getting this are you? It isn't about saving the planet - I doubt that Oreskes believes that herself - it's about changing the political landscape of the planet from democratic capitalism to authoritarian enviro/communism. Sound paranoid? Well take a read of Oreskes books, she's not hiding anything.

Meanwhile, here in the UK it has taken less than 6 years for our energy supplies to become dangerously inadequate - during which time we've shown "leadership" to the world by our commitment to commit economic suicide to save the planet. The "world" - outside the western industrialised countries - seems bemused that we have become so wealthy that we've spawned millions of guilt ridden progressives who want to destroy that wealth, and continues to belch out CO2 with not the slightest concern for the mental condition of said millions of guilt ridden progressives.

it's about changing the political landscape of the planet from democratic capitalism to authoritarian enviro/communism.

The fact that someone could actually say this and believe it is an indicator of how difficult it is to have an intelligent, honest, conversation with the denial community.

“authoritarian states may well find it easier to make the changes necessary to survive rapid climate change”

Dean - the above is the Oreskes/Conway position from their 2014 novella 'The Collapse of Western Civilization'

They make it clear which way they would like the Western world to go. If I were you I'd be annoyed at them, along the lines of Martin Lewis: http://www.geocurrents.info/physical-geography/eco-authoritarian-catast…

The most outspoken proponents of eco-reform are crippling their own cause. They provide credible ammunition for those who seek to show over-exaggeration, ulterior authoritarian motives, and a general lack of rigour from the 'consensus' side.

I don't care who says it - my comment stands.
I would point out that a problem here is that a simple statement that authoritarian state being able to do something DOES NOT indicate any wish to bring about an authoritarian state for any reason- yet that is how the comment is presented.

geronim... "First one is that all science should be continuously challenged, and at any given instance in time over any period you'd like to name the "consensus" view on any scientific theory was wrong."

First off, you have a profound lack of understanding as to how science actually works. Apply the same thinking to evolution for a moment. Extremely well accepted consensus position is that species evolve over time. That is a scientific consensus! But at the same time, we are learning new things every day about the nuanced of how species evolve. Does that mean the consensus is wrong? No! It means that, through challenges we continue to reveal more about the subject.

And, science is not about the predicting the future? What planet to do you live on? That's exactly what a "hypothesis" is!! Every step of science involves predicting the future and then testing those predictions.

Now, apply consensus to AGW. There is a broad scientific consensus that the warming of the past 50 years has been primarily the result of human sources (carbon emissions and land use changes). That is accepted science. Get used to it.

At the same time, there are challenges being made every day relative to the nuances of the science. How does heat move within the climate system? How do changes in cloud cover affect climate sensitivity? What actually is the most likely climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2? All these questions have been researched many times, and they're continuing to learn more and more. And as we know more and more the levels of uncertainty fall, but we will always continue to learn more.

Is anything going to come along and change that fundamental base consensus position? On either subject. Evolution or AGW? Very highly unlikely.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 17 Oct 2014 #permalink

geronim... "The second one is the 2% of GDP issue. You really aren't getting this are you? It isn't about saving the planet..."

No, I'm sorry but you don't get it. Go read a couple hundred research papers on the actual science. This is about the fact that we are potentially creating a massive climate crisis. And the point is, the earlier we deal with this, the less it's going to cost us.

If we wait, then what you are afraid of most (authoritarianism) is going to be the result because it will be at a crisis level where you won't have any choice.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 17 Oct 2014 #permalink

geronim... "seems bemused that we have become so wealthy that we've spawned millions of guilt ridden progressives who want to destroy that wealth..."

Yeesh! Now you're just off the wall.

By Rob Honeycutt (not verified) on 17 Oct 2014 #permalink

Rob

Geronim[o] is just a conspiracy theorist crank from Bishop Hill. Save your breath. You've expended enough energy with the ridiculous Brad and his half-dozen hobby horses that he rides around whenever he's given the chance.

Oh poor BBD, with the clanking armour. Did you ride in on a white pony?

By Shub Niggurath (not verified) on 17 Oct 2014 #permalink

Oh look! There's another one.

Rob writes: "Says the guy named “Shub Niggurath?” Is this some form of ironical attempt humor [sic]?"

Well, she does have a thousand kids. Talk about a carbon footprint! Ba-dum-bump.

BBD, it was one of your wink wink comments that alerted me to Mr Russell's meat-puppetry, thanks!

By Shub Niggurath (not verified) on 18 Oct 2014 #permalink

Author seems to be projecting a strawman of 'deniers'.
Curry only says the obvious, and does not claim this disproves AGW
http://judithcurry.com/2014/10/05/evidence-of-deep-ocean-cooling/
"The bottom line is that uncertainties in ocean heat content are very large, and there is no particularly convincing evidence that the ‘missing heat’ is hiding in the ocean..

Theo, there is a huge corpus of evidence that the "missing heat" is in the ocean. Curry has misread the data. On top of that she's suggested that the abyss is cooling, when the numbers do not show that at all. The deniers are not strawmen, they are real, and they are doing something morally very very wrong.

@324. Theo : "“The bottom line is that uncertainties in ocean heat content are very large, .."

You realise that this large uncertainty cuts both ways don't you? That it could mean there's actually more heat there than thought and the climate models and predictions are actually too conservative and are underestimating (not overestimating) the scope of the problem?

The more rapid than expected decline in Arctic sea ice melting is one powerful indicator that this could well be the case.*

Meanwhile, anecdata really but of pertinence here, today has seen a record four consecutive October days over 32 degrees celsius (89.6 Fahrenheit) in my home city of Adelaide South Australia. This is part of a noticeable trend which makes my life among others distinctly worse - already.

* “I like ice also as an indicator of climate change for its political neutrality. Ice asks no questions, presents no arguments, reads no newspapers, listens to no debates. It is not burdened by ideology and carries no political baggage as it crosses the threshold from solid to liquid. It just melts.”

-Dr Henry Pollack, geophysicist, University of Michigan.

Source : http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-wbzK4v7GsM

Watts Up with Sea Ice? Youtube video by Greenman3610 esp. 1 minute 14 secs to 1 minute 51 seconds.

By Astrostevo (not verified) on 20 Oct 2014 #permalink