Buy

Books
Click images for more details

Support

 

Twitter
Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing
Links

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« I agree with Bob! | Main | Quotes from the Lords debate »
Wednesday
Nov032010

How it all began

Judith Curry looks at where the whole global warming thing came from. A must-read.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (21)

Whoops, I posted on the wrong thread. An excellent account by Dr Curry. She is already getting some flak for being so honest.

Nov 3, 2010 at 8:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Dr Curry's post does highlight the silence from any other scientist in the field and how it became dominated by politics. My main concern is that lots of extremely clever scientists will get thrown 'under the bus' by the politicians when the public opinion swings. The thing is at the end of the day it is only Meteorology so not really the most important science ever. If you ever want to look up what academic is then look at what was to me the key journal in atmospheric modelling (JAS - The Journal of Atmospheric Sciences). If you can stay awake through a few of those abstracts then think about trying trying to get into the climate modeling field...

Nov 3, 2010 at 9:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob B

Brilliant and perceptive piece by JC. I particularly liked this:

"However, at the heart of the IPCC is a cadre of scientists whose careers have been made by the IPCC.  These scientists have used the IPCC to jump the normal meritocracy process by which scientists achieve influence over the politics of science and policy.  Not only has this brought some relatively unknown, inexperienced  and possibly dubious people into positions of influence, but these people become vested in protecting the IPCC, which has become central to their own career and legitimizes playing power politics with their expertise."

Of course, all this rings true to anyone who has actually read the Climategate emails.

The often quoted “overwhelming majority of scientists” (most of whom are not climate scientists themselves) who concur with the consensus on anthropogenic global warming do so because they assume that the science has been conducted properly, in accordance with the scientific method, using sound scientific principles.

That assumption is now increasingly being questioned.

Great stuff!

Nov 3, 2010 at 9:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterScottie

Now the argument is rightly made that behavior of scientists is not relevant to the truth of science. However, when the assessment of the science rests largely on expert judgment, the behavior and credibility of the experts becomes a very important issue.

Yes indeed. As you shall do in ye blog, so shall you with your science.

Nov 3, 2010 at 9:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

@Rob B

'My main concern is that lots of extremely clever scientists will get thrown 'under the bus' by the politicians when the public opinion swings'

As a sceptic, I think that I'll be able to live easily with my conscience on that point.

What goes around comes around....and few 'climate scientists' have spotless records for integrity and honesty. If these things had been important to them, they would not have chosen to join such a corrupted field. Climategate merely gave direct evidence of things that had been long suspected, even by those now to this whole subject (eg me)...that the 'science' and organisation existed to fulfil a prophecy of global doom, not to investigate scientific facts. There is no other explanation for their total ineptitude otherwise. That they hire the egregious Bob Ward as a PR adviser really says it all.

It may be that some were only slowly drawn into the monster's maw, but as Judith and others have pointed out they were at least willing participants and many of them were active architects of their own fate.

Their rampant hubris will inevitably bring its own nemesis. They will just have to learn that they are no longer the high priests... just a bunch of ageing saddos with few employment prospects, their careers indelibly stained by their pasts.

Nov 3, 2010 at 9:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

I thought JC's article was excellent. The part about the silence from her co-scientists is telling I think. Some that were inside the tent must have had doubts yet remained quiet. There are uncertainties over historic temperature calculations and future predictions. To me as a layman that silence is disappointing and worrying.

I work in Cambridge and used to expect the academics there to be professional and reflect evidence-based science. Now I wonder if can trust what I hear....

Nov 3, 2010 at 9:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterArgusfreak

@Latimer Alder

I agree with all your points, though Bob Ward seems a bit of a loose cannon, though yet more silence from his own community. It has been a long time now since the Yamal, Climategate days when
things got very interesting in the climate debate. There is a bit of a dearth in science in this last year, but hopefully it is just a lull before alternate views start getting published in the 'peer reviewed literature'. As I've said before surely we can start getting some key papers out of the years of Argo data we now have. The top 2km of the ocean is 'virtually' all the energy in the climate, so whatever Argo says is the truth.

Nov 3, 2010 at 10:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob B

Positive feedback providing a tipping point I do believe.

Put away the hammer, no more nails required, get out the shovel it's time for a burial. I trust your Grace has a suitable sermon to hand!

Nov 3, 2010 at 11:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Since ClimateGate I have read quite a few of Judith Curry's articles and posts. At first I found her position diffcult to follow, she seemed both to be advocating greater openess and acceptance of criticism from sceptics whilst simultaneously supporting the status quo such as the importance and primacy of the IPCC and its contributing authors. As a consequence I found her views sometimes contradictory and somewhat difficult to accept.

With this article I think Judith has made a huge contrubtion to the problems facing climate science and climate scientists. I think she has very ably captured the essence of the problems that many sceptical scientists such as myself have felt. My difficulty with climate science and its associated politics has always been what I call the "Galileo Problem": the idea that consensus (strongly driven by advocacy and mixed with politics) determines scientific truth.

For her previous articles I would have probably given a grade of c+ or b-, perhaps with a higher grade for effort.

For this article I think Judith Curry deserves full marks: she has hit the nail(s) on the head and I think this merits an A.

Nov 3, 2010 at 11:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

Who need friends, with enemies like that?

Nov 3, 2010 at 11:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterAidey

ThinkingScientist

'she has hit the nail(s) on the head and I think this merits an A.' The nail(s) being the IPCC and the A as in A-Bomb

Nov 3, 2010 at 11:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

I posted something similar to Dr. Curry's thoughts on the Mann in New Scientist thread earlier. I can understand a scenario where inaccurate modern temperature records show evidence of what was being sought then papers get written using that data and they reinforce prejudices elsewhere etc. etc.

This could well explain the reluctance to release data/code, why Phil Jones had suicidal thoughts, why IPCC certainties dramatically increased and why 'watermelons' became interested. It can even explain the 'Enquiries' apparent lack of rigour: everyone saw what they wanted to see and for whatever reason. Take that to the logical conclusion which has to be that the gatekeepers now have realised that the initial premise was wrong but are now unable/unwilling to correct it.

Dr. Curry may well be wrong but at least she has widened the debate. Brave but necessary: she may be trying to protect her particular discipline but could have done us all a very big service indeed.

Nov 3, 2010 at 11:41 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

I always think it is instructive to compare climate science with particle physics. Any suggestion that the "standard model" of climate science is met with ferocious, almost visceral attacks from the self-appointed defenders of the status quo such as RealClimate. This is despite its miserable failure to track actual temperatures over the last decade.

On the other hand, every physicist I know acknowledges that the "standard model" of particle physics is wrong, in the sense of clearly missing something, despite its incredible record of accurate prediction over 50 years.

Could the defensiveness have something to do with the fragility of the science?

Nov 4, 2010 at 1:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterMother Hubbard's Dog

Should be "Any suggestion that the "standard model" of climate science is lacking ...etc"

Nov 4, 2010 at 1:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterMother Hubbard's Dog

"  These scientists have used the IPCC to jump the normal meritocracy process by which scientists achieve influence over the politics of science and policy"

Now I wonder who she is talking about there? Man oh man, someone is going to be upset with Judith!

Nov 4, 2010 at 4:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete Hayes

If "how it all began" is meant to be mean full history, we seem to be missing detail on the first 20 years or so.

"The scientists provided the initial impulse for this feedback loop back in the 1970’s and 1980’s." ....and then jumps to 1992.

Is there any truth to the La Roche research, which claims it started at a 1975 ‘Endangered Atmosphere’ Conference, organised by leading lights of the Eugenics movement?

http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2007/2007_20-29/2007-23/pdf/50-55_723.pdf

Nov 4, 2010 at 8:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete

Her epiphany may have taken a while to arrive, but it does seem to have taken place. Another step forward, and in the circumstances, I admire her courage. It is a sorry state of affairs for science and policy that such courage is required from people in her position.

Discourse about the possible causes of climate variation has been poisoned by the political success of the IPCC, and that poison has spread even into school curricula. The effects of that, if and when antidotes are applied, may yet take decades to ameliorate.

Nov 4, 2010 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

" These scientists have used the IPCC to jump the normal meritocracy process by which scientists achieve influence over the politics of science and policy"" Dr. Judith Curry

Is no one else troubled by her assumption that "... scientists achieve influence over the politics of science and policy"

Science fine, but policy?

There may be an earlier example of this influence, but I suspect Einstein's letter to Roosevelt vis a vis the likely practicality of a fission bomb is such an "influence."

It may be foolish of me to think such a thought, but I suspect that this is an influence which should be far less frequently applied - and more frequently resisted.

I doubt the likely integrity of science done to "influence."

Nov 4, 2010 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson

Regarding this bit from Curry's piece;

"However, at the heart of the IPCC is a cadre of scientists whose careers have been made by the IPCC. These scientists have used the IPCC to jump the normal meritocracy process by which scientists achieve influence over the politics of science and policy. Not only has this brought some relatively unknown, inexperienced and possibly dubious people into positions of influence, but these people become vested in protecting the IPCC, which has become central to their own career and legitimizes playing power politics with their expertise."

Bishop Hill already reported about several blog pieces that discussed how Mann was "plucked from obscurity" (in "Ascent of Mann"), and how former Greenpeace activist Richard Klein was appointed as lead author at the age of 25, six years before his PhD (in "Climate Cuttings 39").

Nov 4, 2010 at 1:30 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

I have followed some of the debates on previous postings by Judith Curry.

It seems to me that the snide attacks made on her have finally emboldened her to fire back with both barrels. What a fine article ! Comprehensive, and going straight for the jugular.

A brave woman. What the world needs is a few more dozen academics like her, people who can provide more details of all the corruption and career pressure within "climate science".

Nov 4, 2010 at 1:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohnAnderson

Dr. Curry may well have identified the only positive feedback in the climate change debate. :-)

Nov 4, 2010 at 5:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterPooh

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>