Seen elsewhere

 

Buy

Books
Click images for more details

Twitter
Support

 

Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing
Links

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

Powered by Squarespace
« Carbonundrums | Main | Culpability »
Saturday
Feb052011

The big cutoff

Fred Pearce is on the receiving end of the full fury of the warmosphere for his article about the Lisbon conference in New Scientist. Pearce, discussing who had agreed to turn up, said this:

But the leaders of mainstream climate science turned down the gig, including NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, who said the science was settled so there was nothing to discuss.

Schmidt has now said that this is not true and that his decision not to attend was rooted in the premises of the conference:

This is completely made up. My decision not to accept the invitation to this meeting was based entirely on the organiser’s initial diagnosis of the cause of the ‘conflict’ in the climate change debate. I quote from their introductory letter:

“At this stage we are planning to have a workshop where the main scientific issues can be discussed, so that some clarity on points of agreement and disagreement might be reached. We would try to stay off the policy issues, and will also exclude personal arguments.

The issues we have in mind are Medieval Warm Period, ice, climate sensitivity, and temperature data. We would hope to have smaller groups discussing these in some detail, hopefully with scientists who are very familiar with the technical issues to lead the discussion.”

Since, in my opinion, the causes of conflict in the climate change debate relate almost entirely to politics and not the MWP, climate sensitivity or ‘ice’, dismissing this from any discussion did not seem likely to be to help foster any reconciliation.

A letter complaining to New Scientist has duly been issued, with all the usual suspects in the warmosphere flinging brickbats at Pearce. No doubt the big cutoff awaits.

Meanwhile, conference participant and blogger Tallbloke has revealed himself as Fred Pearce's source, and he has some interesting things to say on the subject of Gavin Schmidt's objection.

To set the record straight:

Because I was an ad hoc member of the invite committee I got an email asking my advice on who to invite in lieu of Gavin Schmidt and some other prominent people who had declined. The organisers inadvertantly included Gavin’s response on that email, and when I was asked one evening in Lisbon why certain people weren’t there I gave a quick [precis], including a brief reference to Gavin’s response. This made it’s way to Fred, hence the reference in his blog piece reporting on the conference.

I would just stress at this point that what I said constitutes my opinion and not what Gavin said verbatim. However I would also like to say that Gavin’s complaint to the New Scientist does not include any [precis] of the passage in his original response which gave rise to my brief summary. I therefore reject Gavin’s claim that I ‘made stuff up’, and respectfully suggest that we can lay this one to rest if in a spirit of openness Gavin simply reproduces his response so people can see for themselves what he said.

If I am assailed by accusations that I have wrongfully maligned Gavin with my brief summary comment I may feel obliged to defend myself with a closer paraphrase.

Further down the thread, Gavin invited Tallbloke to publish his email explaining why he didn't want to attend, and Tallbloke has now published it at his own site. Gavin's response was as follows:

I’m a little confused at what conflict you feel you are going to be addressing? The fundamental conflict is of what (if anything) we should do about greenhouse gas emissions (and other assorted pollutants), not what the weather was like 1000 years ago. Your proposed restriction against policy discussion removes the whole point. None of the seemingly important ‘conflicts’ that are *perceived* in the science are ‘conflicts’ in any real sense within the scientific community, rather they are proxy arguments for political positions. No ‘conflict resolution’ is possible between the science community who are focussed on increasing understanding, and people who are picking through the scientific evidence for cherries they can pick to support a pre-defined policy position.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (204)

The comments at Joe Romms are certainly enlightening, I thought all the vitriol was past, how wrong I was:
http://climateprogress.org/2011/02/03/new-scientists-fred-pearce-jumps-the-shark/

"The entire premise of the piece, “Climate sceptics and scientists attempt peace deal,” is beyond absurd. It’s about this fossil-fuel funded confab in Portugal between the post-normal confusionists (led by Judith Curry) and the extreme disinformers, including … wait for it … Steven Goddard, a guy so extreme that Anthony Watts gave him the early gold watch at WattsUpWithThat (see Fastest disinformer retraction: Watts says Goddard’s “Arctic ice increasing by 50000 km2 per year” post is “an example of what not to do when graphing trends”). Also attending were Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick and Steve Mosher."

A commenter, Sou, says:

'Who in New Scientist made the decision to publish an article on the wimpy denialist workshop at Lisbon, let alone one that writes about it as if it were of any size or note? It was a few sessions led by deniers and denier chum speakers at a small one-day workshop. Is the business that paid for the workshop and attendees a major advertiser? I viewed the Lisbon session as another nail in the coffin (with so many nails in this coffin already) for Curry’s credibility, and in passing wondered who was paying for her and others to take time off work to attend, but no more than that.'

Feb 5, 2011 at 10:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Oh God. It's like cats in a sack, isn't it?

I read about this yesterday over at Judith Curry's blog and felt filled with despair then. But I have to hand it to Gavin for the way he bats away the entire Hockey Stick Affair and its implications for the politicisation of climate science including the supression of evidence of strong natural variation:

I’m a little confused at what conflict you feel you are going to be addressing? The fundamental conflict is of what (if anything) we should do about greenhouse gas emissions (and other assorted pollutants), not what the weather was like 1000 years ago. Your proposed restriction against policy discussion removes the whole point.

Talk about framing the debate to suit himself.

Feb 5, 2011 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

This is downright cheeky:

No ‘conflict resolution’ is possible between the science community who are focussed on increasing understanding, and people who are picking through the scientific evidence for cherries they can pick to support a pre-defined policy position.

It's the implication of that last sentence that infuriates me. So the politics is only prior if you are sceptical? Doesn't enter into the science, not a bit.

Oh really?

Feb 5, 2011 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Bishop, O/T but do please forgive me on this. In October 2010 while the Commonwealth games were just comencing, one of the BBC commentators, during the opening ceremonies I think, passed a comment about the Maldives being in danger of sinking 'neath the waves. I complained about this claim and received an acknowledgment at the time. Nothing else happened, until this morning when the following arrived in my in box:

Dear Mr Walsh

Reference CAS-331935

Thanks for contacting us about the ‘Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony’ on BBC One.

Please accept our apologies for the delay in replying. We know our correspondents appreciate a quick response and we are sorry you have had to wait on this occasion.

I understand you felt the commentators made inaccurate statements concerning the Maldives and global warming.

The BBC is committed to impartial and balanced coverage when it comes to this issue. There is broad scientific agreement on the issue of climate change and we reflect this accordingly; however, we do aim to ensure that we also offer time to the dissenting voices.

Flagship BBC programmes such as ‘Newsnight’, ‘Today’ and our network news bulletins on BBC One have all included contributions from those who challenge the general scientific consensus recently and we will continue to offer time to such views on occasion

You might be interested in the views of former ‘Newsnight’ editor, Peter Barron, who explored this issue in an online posting at our Editors' Blog and explained some of the editorial issues it throws up:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2007/02/how_green_should_we_be.html

You may also find this ‘HARDtalk’ interview from December 2010 to be of some interest:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/hardtalk/9254993.stm

Nonetheless, please be assured that your complaint will be added to our audience log, a daily report of audience feedback that's circulated to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, channel controllers and other senior managers.

The audience logs are seen as important documents that can help shape decisions about future programming and content.

Thanks again for taking the time to contact us.


Kind Regards

Andrew Hannah
BBC Complaints
www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

NB This is sent from an outgoing account only which is not monitored. You cannot reply to this email address but if necessary please contact us via our webform quoting any case number we provided.
______________________________________________________________________
Needless to say, I am not impressed.

Peter Walsh

Feb 5, 2011 at 10:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterRETEPHSLAW

So Gavin throws a hissy fit and says 'I didn't say I wasn't coming because I said the science is settled' and then his email to the organisers is revealed, which says, I'm not coming because the science is settled.

Sheesh.

Feb 5, 2011 at 10:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-record

Having read Gavin Schmidt's response as reported in TallBloke's blog
[ http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/02/04/gavin-schmidt-response-to-lisbon-invitation/ ]
I would have thought that Pearce's version of what Schmidt wrote i.e., 'The science was settled so there was nothing to discuss.' is a pretty fair summary.

It seems that the global heat of discussion on this topic is so high that people are wise to report only the actual words people use.

Feb 5, 2011 at 10:47 AM | Unregistered Commenteralleagra

Lord Beaverbrook quotes this from a commenter at Climate Progress:

Who in New Scientist made the decision to publish an article on the wimpy denialist workshop at Lisbon, let alone one that writes about it as if it were of any size or note? It was a few sessions led by deniers and denier chum speakers at a small one-day workshop.

I was going to say something but... words fail me.

This is what we're up against chaps.

Feb 5, 2011 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Judith Curry on her blog

"Well the punchline seems to be this. Mainstream climate scientists seem to want to loudly proclaim that the science isn’t settled. And prefer not to be labeled as a “leader of mainstream climate science.” A very good thing.

Note to “deniers:” looks like you are currently denying unsettled science"

Feb 5, 2011 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnoneumouse

It's very hard to understand how someone who manages to sound as bright as Gavin can tie himself up in these mobius loops of cognitive dissonance.

He says he never claimed the science was "settled" because science is never "settled". The he agrees to release an email where he said pretty well exactly that - and then brandishes as proof of his original denial.

Basically, the science is "settled" - except when the accredited guardians of the truth decide otherwise.

I'm afraid that, stripping all the verbiage away, it's back to Orwell yet again - we're talking about "The Current Truth".

George Orwell should be posthumously consecrated as the Patron Saint of Climatology.

Feb 5, 2011 at 10:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

I have to say I rather agree with Dr Schmidt that the fundamental conflict is on what, if anything, to do about greenhouse gas emissions. In assessing that issue the fact that there are differing views on how the science works through, both in the climate and the natural and economic world, is of course important. Uncertainty has to be taken into account more effectively than was the case in the Kyoto deal or in the policies of some governments (UK especially).

Dr Schmidt was kind enough to have a short e-mail correspondence with me on the fact that temperature rises are at the lower end of the scenarios used by policy makers, based on the models of Dr Schmidt and his colleagues. I accept his point that temperatures remain within his model predictions. My conclusion from the discussion (and from the fact that few if any of the predictions on climatic catastrophes are proving correct) is that the governmental and corporate energy policy makers who ask me for advice should take a more cautious view and allocate less of their scarce budgets to "green" projects, and more to security of supply in developed countries and to expansion of supply to their populations in developing countries.

I am sure that Dr Schmidt would not agree with that, but my clients have a wide range of objectives, issues and uncertainties to handle, such as the provision of power to the poorer people and improving their prospects, rather than condemning them to a second class life aaand a Malthusian future.

Sorry - not a scientist, so unable to comment on the science bits. Just an interpreter of interpreters.

Feb 5, 2011 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered Commenterjheath

Sue, sue, sue!

Feb 5, 2011 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

jheath

Excellent comment. Couldn't agree more:

My conclusion from the discussion (and from the fact that few if any of the predictions on climatic catastrophes are proving correct) is that the governmental and corporate energy policy makers who ask me for advice should take a more cautious view and allocate less of their scarce budgets to "green" projects, and more to security of supply in developed countries and to expansion of supply to their populations in developing countries.

Feb 5, 2011 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

This appears to be yet another example of how the CAGW "meme" is now being sold: the science is settled so it's up to the "deniers" to prove otherwise.

OK, the “science is settled” approach isn't new, but this subtle inversion of the ‘null hypothesis’ has been aired so much recently (Cf. Trenberth's presentation at the American Meteorological Society and both the recent BBC documentaries) you'd be excused for thinking it's part of a newly orchestrated campaign… “hide the decline” seems to have morphed into “hide the lack of evidence”.

Feb 5, 2011 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Read through what Schmidt has to say again, then consider Judith Curry's position (from her blog):

I know what it [the path toward reconciliation] DOESN’T look like, and that is reflected by Kevin Trenberth’s essay, where the blame is put on the deniers, the media, etc. (everybody but the IPCC scientists and their supporters). The domination approach only “works” if you can actually pull it off; climate scientists are babes in the woods when it comes to this kind of politics. A partnership approach makes much more sense and might actually produce a good outcome.

http://judithcurry.com/2011/01/24/lisbon-workshop-on-reconciliation-in-the-climate-change-debate/#more-2128

Feb 5, 2011 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD

You are kind. I have observed that some governments are now changing tack behind the scenes (not the UK, I regret) even if they are still taking the official green line. They simply cannot afford this extravagance any more without taxing their populations into the ground, or losing elections because they have failed to deliver what their people want.

Dr Schmidt's suggestions on energy policy to me were to my mind very "US centric", but I probably have a bit more experience on energy policy making than he does. The rest of the developed world has generally more advanced power markets, while the majority of the world's population does not have access to sufficiently reliable power and therefore has different priorities from the US.

Feb 5, 2011 at 11:33 AM | Unregistered Commenterjheath

What an utter sham Gavin's response is!

He wants to be able to write such emails to invitations, and yet cannot take a dig from Pearce?

All he had to do "decline respectfully". Instead he chose to show his superior smart side that he has obviously become habituated to, - "I'll tell you what is interesting, settled, in conflict".

Tallbloke offered to clarify no doubt, but he was making apologies. What for?

People like Gavin are purely interested in how New Scientist, Guardian and a handful of other captured media spaces portray the Team. They are not interested in conflict resolution, improving understanding or open discussion. Why, there was only snickering and giggling about the Lisbon event, and suddenly Pearce takes a swipe at Gavin, with the substantive material now clearly visible to support the swipe, and the 'warmosphere' pants are in a twist?

Tallbloke should grow some.

Feb 5, 2011 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Yet again we see Schmidt and his cronies projecting what they do and their motivations onto us nasty 'deniers'. He doesn't want to discuss the science "what the weather was like 1000 years ago" as he puts it, but "what we should do about greenhouse gas emissions". And this isn't (apparently) a "pre-defined policy position" - which is what those cherry-picking nasty 'deniers' are about. And he doesn't fly around the world to conferences and meetings - apart from in his holidays with tickets and accomodation paid for himself? Is that right?

I think little Gavin should look in the mirror and discuss what he sees with a good shrink.

Meanwhile @Feb 5, 2011 at 11:04 AM | jheath
suggests that "temperature rises are at the lower end of the scenarios used by policy makers, based on the models of Dr Schmidt and his colleagues".

Really?

Can I have chapter and verse on that? The absence of any statistically significant warming for 15 years "remains within his model predictions"?

Was that the original model predictions from before 1998 or recent tweaks and re-runs using more carefully selected and homogeonised data?

Feb 5, 2011 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

"suddenly Pearce takes a swipe at Gavin"

That wasn't a swipe. More a tease.

What Gavin deserves is someone imprinting their carbon bootprint on his shiny rear end.

Feb 5, 2011 at 11:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Martin Brumby

Whoah! Steady on. This isn't Climate Progress, you know ;-)

Feb 5, 2011 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Martin Brumby

"Can I have chapter and verse on that? The absence of any statistically significant warming for 15 years "remains within his model predictions"?

Was that the original model predictions from before 1998 or recent tweaks and re-runs using more carefully selected and homogeonised data?"

I am afraid I do not have access to the scenarios that he and his team have run. I was just asking an innocent question. There must obviously be some low ones. However, his comment was sufficient for me to draw the conclusions that I did and to use them for what I do.

Sorry that I cannot help more than that.

Probably messed up on formatting as well - I don't do this sort of thing much. Sorry again.

Feb 5, 2011 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered Commenterjheath

I have just posted this on WUWT
I think the words spoken here by Bronowski (The Ascent of Man) should be heard by everyone. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jl2w3xYFHQ

Feb 5, 2011 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterarthur

Some interesting energy policy points from jheath.

Meanwhile this week's copy of New Civil Engineer brings an interesting (?) interview with Alastair Dutton, Crown Estates about the £150 Billion Round Three offshore wind power programme.
http://www.nce.co.uk/features/energy-and-waste/offshore-wizard/8610838.article

OK, let's just accept that this is Prince Chuckles' guy making a case for the bizarre investment of £150 Billion, in the middle of an economic train crash, on technology which patently just doesn't work. But what about this:-

“The 15% renewable by 2020 target is a mandatory government target so that doesn’t move,” he says, pointing out that while nuclear has a role in the energy supply mix, it is unable to contribute to this particular renewable target.

So the "15% renewable by 2020" - carefully defined as excluding nuclear - has been carved into a block of granite (thanks, little Ed Milipede - not to mention all but three of our fearless MPs who voted for it) and we absolutely have to pump (at least) £150 Billion into "solutions" that we know don't work (and which are anyway unachievable) and which would have an immeasurable effect (even if they were achieveable and did work) on a "problem" that likely doesn't even exist?

Perhaps little Gavin might like to discuss this?

Wonderful. Makes you so proud to be British......

Feb 5, 2011 at 12:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Martin Brumby

jheath was only repeating what Schmidt told him in an email exchange.

Which leaves the onus on Schmidt to explain how the relatively flat trend in GATA at least since the 1998 El Nino fits in with GCM ensemble projections.

Feb 5, 2011 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Tallblokegate conclusion

Gavin said the science is not settled. Does this mean that there is no consensus?

If so, where are the 97% of cat owners, that said their cats preferred it?

Feb 5, 2011 at 12:08 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

Martin Brumby

Lucia keeps a very close eye on the 'obs vs models' over at the Blackboard. She updates monthly for various series (eg GISTEMP; HADCRUT). See here for the most recent on HADCRUT. The second diagram is of particular relevance to your question:

http://rankexploits.com/musings/page/2/

Feb 5, 2011 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Martin

FWIW, UK engergy policy drives me into a foaming, red-tinged rage too...

Feb 5, 2011 at 12:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

From a comment:

Pearce has really caused harm to Schmidt’s personal reputation in an internationally published magazine (and on the web).

I thought that your reputation was enhanced in climate science circles if you are able to say "the science is settled".

Feb 5, 2011 at 12:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

BBD, can I assume you are talking about

http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/hadcrut-december-anomlay-0-251c/

?

Feb 5, 2011 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Jonathan

Whoops. I might even try concentrating next time.

Yes - the correct link to the HADCRUT update on the Blackboard is:

http://rankexploits.com/musings/2011/hadcrut-december-anomlay-0-251c/

Thanks for pointing this out.

Apologies to all.

Feb 5, 2011 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

"But the leaders of mainstream climate science turned down the gig, including NASA's Gavin Schmidt, who said the science was settled so there was nothing to discuss." (NewScientist)

NewScientist needs to take a survey of who the "leaders" are of "mainstream climate science". Last I looked, no one had yet taken a vote of the membership in any case and the only recognition (a free chicken dinner or two) has only come from outsiders, straphangers, and wannabes who would have their psyence, politics, investments, causes, and whatnot, take presidence over anyone else's. Sounds more like internal dirty party politics in the far back smokefilled rooms of the rich and infamous with the "wannabe-leaders" of "mainstream climate propaganda". Hummmmmm... NASA appears to have nothing to do these days and the natives are restless. I think perhaps we might save a lot of Chinese taxpayer money by employing the BRAC-method here. Say a 50% reduction in personnel and office space and cut the number of Space Centers by 35%? Let's let the Europeans, Japanese, and Indians take the lead for a while America. The Chinese are going to take over soon anyway.

Feb 5, 2011 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterPascvaks

I'm an innocent in all this. I would have thought that inter alia the climate 1000 years ago was highly relevant to the climate today and to any potential changes therein. I find it slightly amusing that Gavin Schmidt chooses to dismiss the climate then as "weather".
I'm also intrigued by his lumping of greenhouse gas emissions (by which I assume he means CO2) in with "other assorted pollutants". Since it appears to be only the climate "science" community (and their useful idiots in organisations like the EPA) that consider CO2 to be a pollutant.
Furthermore his statement that "[T]he fundamental conflict is of what (if anything) we should do about greenhouse gas emissions" is a political one whether he sees it as that or not and he seems unable to understand the very simple proposition that there are well-qualified and reputable scientists who disgree with him in that score as well as on the more basic question of whether he and his fellow researchers have got the "science" right in the first place.
The 'ROFL' moment is his reply, of course, comes when he says that "the science community ... are focussed on increasing understanding ..." If there is one thing I have learnt in all my years trying to learn about the ups and downs and ins and outs of climate change and those involved on both sides of the argument it is that the science community (at least in its climatology manifestation) is certainly not focussed on increasing understanding.
Does "We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" sound at all familiar?

Feb 5, 2011 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterSam the Skeptic

arthur: thanks for the Bronowski link.

To me, the statement between 38-47 seconds is the crucial one… “when people believe that they have absolute knowledge with no test in reality, this is how they behave”.

Yes, “absolute knowledge with no test in reality” seems to be a perfect description for CAGW theory and the “scientists” who champion it. I’ll note that Feynman also made a pretty clear and simple statement about what constitutes science…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b240PGCMwV0

Feb 5, 2011 at 1:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

What an utter sham. It's supposed to be a conference on reconciliation , yet what gets discussed is why mainstream scientists don't attend. A mainstream scientist (Dr Schmidt) has been decent enough to give his reasons and that gets interpreted by tallbloke who passes it on to the press (Pearce) and it's the main story coming out of the so-called "conference on reconciliation". There's no reconciliation going on here, it's really a conference (funded by fossil fuel according to Eli) between a few skeptics and deniers who put together a cheap stunt to discredit Dr Schmidt . A lot of time is wasted but please don't pretend this is anything to do with science or indeed reconciliation.

Feb 5, 2011 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterhengist mcstone

Martin Brumby

Well said but the UK is where it is. Why is it that in politics the advantages of division of labour set out by Adam Smith seem not to apply and we get three professional politicians buying a pig in a poke, aka windmills? Policies should seek to manage and adapt to uncertainties, not pursue unsettled certainties. And I would reckon the economics to be as "unsettled" (and unsettling) as the science.

Perhaps by helping the rest of the world to understand the policy errors we can influence our own country. Lets be optimistic!

Bishop - I do enjoy these commentaries, but wish for courteous and respectful confrontation at all times - as you do. But confrontation, of course.

Feb 5, 2011 at 1:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterjheath

My interpretation of Gavin’s reply:

“I’m a little confused at what conflict you feel you are going to be addressing?”

It seems Gavin is really in denial that there is any conflict in the science. Is he really saying that the science is settled?”

“The fundamental conflict is of what (if anything) we should do about greenhouse gas emissions (and other assorted pollutants), not what the weather was like 1000 years ago. Your proposed restriction against policy discussion removes the whole point.”

Here he has made the transition from being a scientist to engineering solutions.

“None of the seemingly important ‘conflicts’ that are *perceived* in the science are ‘conflicts’ in any real sense within the scientific community, rather they are proxy arguments for political positions.”

Again, the science is settled. There is no “conflict” within the scientific community. Those that disagree are doing it for political purposes.

“No ‘conflict resolution’ is possible between the science community who are focused on increasing understanding, and people who are picking through the scientific evidence for cherries they can pick to support a pre-defined policy position.”

Since the science is settled, the science community is now focused on “increasing understanding”. Those that disagree are cherry-picking the science to “support a pre-defined policy position.”

Nothing in Gavin’s statement above indicates that there are any scientists involved in science. Since the science is settled, the focus is now on “what (if anything) we should do about greenhouse gas emissions (and other assorted pollutants)” and “increasing understanding”. So why are we spending billions on climate change science?

Bishop: I remember a posting, or perhaps a comment, I think on your site, where it was mentioned that early on in the AGW discussions, a public relations firm recommended that the AGW advocates take the position that the “science was settled” and no longer debate the issue. Could you or any of your readers find that posting?

Feb 5, 2011 at 1:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterB. Kindseth

@B.Kindseth

I think the PR firm was Futerra. It was commissioned for some now possibly defunct govt dept. I dont think the phrase science is settled was quite used but that was its gist.

BTW Gavin Schmidt's response speaks for itself, he doesnt say the science is settled .

Feb 5, 2011 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterhengist mcstone

Is this becoming an annual event?

It was the editorial in a January edition of New Scientist just a year ago that Fred Pearce set off the Himalayan Glaciergate story.

http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2010/1/15/new-scientist-on-glaciers.html

and here

http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2010/1/19/fred-pearce-and-the-glacier-story.html

Reading Fred Pearce's article and Tallblokes blog I have to say I rather agree that both of them got Gavin's response about right.

Feb 5, 2011 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

A lot of time is wasted but please don't pretend this is anything to do with science or indeed reconciliation.

Feb 5, 2011 at 1:23 PM | hengist mcstone

As opposed to AGW, which is about........?!

Feb 5, 2011 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

@golf charley

Is that a question you really want me to answer or just a value laden statement?

Feb 5, 2011 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered Commenterhengist mcstone

Hengist McStone says:

There's no reconciliation going on here, it's really a conference (funded by fossil fuel according to Eli) between a few skeptics and deniers who put together a cheap stunt to discredit Dr Schmidt . A lot of time is wasted but please don't pretend this is anything to do with science or indeed reconciliation.

Is that right Hengist? That the whole thing was a Big Oil funded set-up to make Schmidt look silly?

Really?

Feb 5, 2011 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

If only we could get Gavin and his friends more exposure, the whole global warming scare would dissolve in a hail of laughter. After reading the back and forth about all this, I suspect that Gavin's real reason for not showing up in Lisbon was his concern that people would figure out what a buffoon he is. I'd be inclined to characterize the conduct of the hockey team over the years as childish in the extreme, but that would be unfair to children.

Gavin and the rest of the team make the Keystone Kops look like the epitome of competent efficiency. As Steve Mc often summarizes their work -- sloppy. Just plain sloppy.

What kind of fool gets his panties in a wad by saying 'I didn't say the science was settled. I said there were no disputes about the science." Of course, his supporters commenting on various threads around the blogosphere have been even worse. They've been insane.

Feb 5, 2011 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterstan

hengist,

What gets "discussed" in the conference has no connection to what is being discussed "here". Dr Schmidt was indeed decent in providing his reasons for not attending the meeting, and he was free not to, obviously.

Where he wasn't decent at all was by accusing Fred Pierce of lying, when he fact his summary of Dr Gavin's reply is exactly on the spot.

Here we see two narratives and two different audiences, and Gavin not liking those two to get "confused" between each other. Gavin likes to tell the skeptics that he won't talk to them about the science, 'cause the "science is settled", while denying such narrative to the wider public in general, because that would seem obnoxious and arrogant.

So when Pierce denounced Gavin's reply, Gavin went bananas and did a despicable thing. It's Gavin, once again, who is behaving like a spoiled brat.

Feb 5, 2011 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterLuis Dias

Some of the things discussed at the Lisbon Workshop (which according to Hengist had nothing to do either with science or reconciliation):

Towards reconciliation

Some principles/strategies that were discussed to improving the scientific debate:

* Acknowledge that there are real issues and we don’t agree on how to resolve them
* Disagreement with mutual respect
* Find better ways to communicate criticism
* Find better ways to admit mistakes without damage to reputation
* Find some common ground, something to work on together
* Find where interests intersect
* Importance of transparency
* Communication engenders trust
* Search for win-win solutions (i.e. both sides work to increase the funding base to collect more paleoproxies).

From Judith Curry's blog:

http://judithcurry.com/2011/01/29/lisbon-workshop-on-reconciliation-part-ii/

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

@Luis Dias

You say Pierce's "summary of Dr Gavin's reply is exactly on the spot" but that is opinion , not fact. Please could you direct me to Dr Schmidt's use of the term "Science is settled" . He certainly doesnt say it in the email to tallbloke.
Also having read most of the thread on Climate etc it appears that Pearce took tallbloke's summary as his source. Normal journalistic practice means checking your sources and going back to the original material, did Fred Pearce do that? More interpretations of interpretations I'm afraid.

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterhengist mcstone

Just left this at Judy Curry's:

Judy,
After reading much of the furor about the nuances of Gavin’s beliefs, I want to stress that my thoughts about all this are not ‘settled’. I have absolutely no doubt, however, that the whole dispute is ridiculous. It would be inaccurate to say that I think Gavin and his friends are being silly. Rather, I think they have been acting foolishly.

I don’t think this has been a waste of time. Instead, I consider it to be completely unproductive exercise. And I don’t care if anyone is confused by this, but I am deepy concerned that there be no misunderstandings.

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterstan

Hengist McStone: "It's really a conference (funded by fossil fuel according to Eli) between a few skeptics and deniers who put together a cheap stunt to discredit Dr Schmidt ."

jheath: "I .. wish for courteous and respectful confrontation at all times."

It is hard to be courteous and respectful to people who are contemptible.

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterJane Coles

It's interesting how the insinuation by Eli Rabett that the Lisbon Workshop was funded by Big Oil is spreading.

It is, of course, a sly distortion of the facts.

Have a look here for an overview of the Foundation and what it does:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calouste_Gulbenkian_Foundation

Yes, it was originally endowed by oil money. But look again at what it does:

* to help change people’s perception of each other by providing opportunities for improving understanding through culture and between cultures...

* to help build relationships and reduce social exclusion in order to assist individuals, families and communities to fulfil their potential and contribute to society, particularly focusing on: the young in school, relationships between young and old and those most at risk of dropping out of society...


* to support imaginative interventions that contribute towards the protection of the environment, and explore how environmental change affects the way we live...

* to support exceptional ideas and unusual partnerships between people and organisations that might not otherwise come together.

Now it all makes sense, doesn't it?

No need for twisting the facts to support the very boring, very tired Big Oil funding smear that really should be quietly taken out the back and buried.

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Let's face it, Pearce's summary of Schmidt's position is fair. Schmidt thinks there is no disagreement on the science that would be enough to slow, much less halt, the spending on windmills, etc. He thinks the disagreements that appear to be about the science are really about politics. This not only dismisses the good solid work of McIntyre and many others, it actually fails to give even a reasonable summary of "peer-reviewed climate science," such as it is.

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterLloydR

Hengist, it was an open question, on this blog, where the moderation policy is open to dissenting views.

Gavin now preaches that the science is not settled, but the moderation policy at Real Climate is not generally open to dissenting views.

That the AGW supporters have tried to stifle debate, with terms such as "consensus", "the debate is over", and "settled science", is clear.

Why?

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

re B. Kindseth

I remember a posting, or perhaps a comment, I think on your site, where it was mentioned that early on in the AGW discussions, a public relations firm recommended that the AGW advocates take the position that the “science was settled” and no longer debate the issue. Could you or any of your readers find that posting?

There were two examples released as documents in the Climategate leak. One's a booklet from the government called 'communicating_cc.pdf' which sets out the marcomms plan for their climate challenge campaign. Pages 8 and 9 show current attitudes vs desired attitudes, so going from

"People aren't clear what causes climate change" to "People understand climate change and what is causing it"

So the message from that is to downplay the uncertainty and although it doesn't use the words "the science is settled", gives that implication.

The other doc has been discussed a bit more and is called RulesOfTheGame.pdf and is the futerra doc, and again part of the last government's official communications strategy. It contains Gavin's position in it's first section

2. Forget the climate change detractors. Those who deny climate change science are irritating, but unimportant. The argument is not about if we should deal with climate change, but how we should deal with climate change.

That doesn't specifically say the science is settled, but that quote assumes it is. Ignore the uncertainty, act now etc.

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

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>