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« Lindzen's response to Hoskins et al | Main | Heat exchange »
Thursday
Apr122012

Cool exchange

A couple of weeks ago Tamsin Edwards discussed what I think might be a better way forward for those who are interested in understanding the climate debate.

I think a large part of the audience who visit this blog (thank you) contradict these findings. Your trust in the science increases the more I talk about uncertainty! And I think you place greater importance in “calculative” rather than “relational” trust. In other words, you use the past behaviour of the scientist as a measure of trust, not similarity in values. I’ve found that whenever I talk about limitations of modelling, or challenge statements about climate science and impacts that I believe are not robust, my “trust points” go up because it demonstrates transparency and honesty. (See previous post for squandering of some of those points…). Using a warm, polite tone helps a lot, which supports Hebba’s findings. But I would wager that the degree of similarity to my audience is much less important than my ability to demonstrate trustworthiness.

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Reader Comments (166)

Its such a pity that scientists like Tamsin are such rarities! Its an even greater shame that your average climate scientists seems to behave more like a Jones or Mann, who believe their word is sacrosanct and that anyone who dares disagree with them must be destroyed by any means possible!

Mailman

Apr 12, 2012 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

She's dead right. Shame it's not more widely appreciated.

Apr 12, 2012 at 4:47 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

This is becoming surreal.

There is a well-established discipline called 'science'.

Now a new industry seems to have grown up called 'communicating science'

It seems clear that you only have to 'communicate' science when the science itself won't stand up to expert scrutiny.

Did Newton have to 'communicate' gravitation and the refraction of light, or James Clerk Maxwell to 'communicate' classical electromagnetic theory?

Apr 12, 2012 at 4:52 PM | Registered Commenterrickbradford

As we saw in the previous post, where Denning dumbed down his response on the assumption that any sceptic is clearly just a misguided ignoramus, this resulted in justifiable fury from Keenan.

Had Denning bothered to think about who he was talking to, there might have been a constructive discussion, but instead he lectured. What a waste.

Apr 12, 2012 at 4:53 PM | Unregistered Commentersteveta

Well said! I am very sceptical of arguments in favour of the idea that human activity is the major factor in global climate change and fairly sceptical of arguments that it is one of the most important factors but I could be convinced that I am wrong. I have already changed my mind once since reading various blogs, especially this one and Watts Up, and Christopher Booker's column in the Telegraph, opened my eyes to the fact that the evidence in favour of the so-called consensus is not nearly as strong as its supporters claim and is certainly not nearly strong enough to justify actions that risk crippling this nation's economy and the economies of any countries with equally gullible politicians.

Scientists like Tamsin could make me change my mind again, but only if they can produce convincing evidence that they understand the causes of previous shifts in the climate, can explain what would be happening to our present climate in the absence of human activity, and produce evidence that from a cost/benefit point of view it is better to curb the human activities that affect the climate rather than simply trying to adapt to the consequences of climate change.

Apr 12, 2012 at 5:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Next: Pope better be Catholic.

Apr 12, 2012 at 5:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

It IS about trust but, mainly it's about honesty. That honesty (and therefore some degree of trust) is demonstrated by application of and demonstration of basic scientific principles.

Science is a process. If you follow a process that appears "sciencey" but does not adhere to basic scientific principles, you (appropriately) won't be trusted.

Those that choose to communicate the findings they like without appropriate caveats are not being honest and are not demonstrating appropriate application of the scientific method. Those that don't consider (or willfully ignore) alternative explanations for their findings are not following the scientific method. Those that don't allow replication of their studies are not following the scientific method. Those that chose to "hide the decline" are not following the scientific method and ought not be trusted.

What's really the pity is that this concept of adhering to basic principles of science seems like such a novelty in much of the climate "science" community.

Bruce

Apr 12, 2012 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterbdaabat

Tamsin warned me off her blog for arguing against 'back radiation', the Central Tenet in climate science. Take it away and most of them are out of a job because at twice the Sun's power input to the Earth's surface, it is most of the GW scare.

I didn't think it could get any worse. However, it just has. On the Scott Denning discussion, he is quoted as being adamant about the 333 W/m^2 'back radiation'. However, if you analyse how pyrgeometers [apparently used to measure it] work, I've just realised they are an utter fail.

The way they work is to measure emf from a thermopile with incoming - internal black body radiation. This is then calibrated and to it you add the theoretical internal BB radiative flux.

When you measure under a cloud you get its Prevost emission [which can do no work] plus about 20% of the internal BB radiation. When you measure under clear sky, what you measure is mostly the internal signal.

This is the most appallingly run project in history, Not only is this signal imaginary, it's been grossly exaggerated.

Apr 12, 2012 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

To Tamsin,

Bingo.

I am still a bit amazed at the rather stark difference in tone between a site like this and what are supposedly the best "climate science" sites such as Real Climate & SkS. Even if they were to be correct most of the time, it wouldn't matter, as their sites are so much of a turn off.

In that sense those who say the problem of climate scientists is a communication problem are correct. While it is only a part of problem, the inability to not talk down to people or to distinguish between what is science and what is speculation compromises their ability to be seen as honest sources of information.

Apr 12, 2012 at 6:06 PM | Unregistered Commentertimg56

timg56; it would help if there weren't so many [5] basic mistakes in the physics which mean that the IPCC's claim of CO2 climate sensitivity is at least a factor of 10 too high.

Apr 12, 2012 at 6:11 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

mydogsgotnonose, you've been posting off-topic comments on many threads. It's annoying for me and I'm sure many others. I am glad that Tamsin warned you away. The good Bishop has also warned you, yet you continue here.

Maybe your comments are technically valid. I've no idea. If so, write them up (maybe with help from others) and ask the good Bishop for a thread devoted to them. Or put a link in the Discussion section. You have no right to hijack so many threads.

Apr 12, 2012 at 6:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterSara Chan

Hello!

Thanks for the mention and recommendation.

Mailmann - I believe I am not actually a rarity as a climate scientist, in terms of my methods, my views, my interpretation of IPCC assessment reports and so on. I do accept I am (with Richard and some others) somewhat of a rarity in the extent of my conversations online :) In other words, I am very passionate about getting that transparent, rigorous approach across and, in time, encouraging other colleagues to join me in these public conversations so that you can see I'm not a rarity. Part of my drive to do this, and my security (as an early career researcher) in doing it, comes from my close collaboration with a globally renowned statistician who is well aware that all models are wrong ;) (Jonty Rougier).

jamesp - thanks!

rickbradford - I guess it's partly a pre-existing concept (e.g. science journalists, bloggers, teachers, science museum staff, STEM ambassadors). It's also part of the democratic process if the science informs policymaking (I don't mean steers it, I mean informs it). I don't mean it in the sense of "spin" or do PR on the science. In fact, that's one of the reasons I started the blog :) - to kick back against over-simplified, "message" type science communication, and to have "conversations" instead.

steveta - Every time I talk about my online conversations with colleagues and friends, I mention this kind of point (about not assuming, patronising, or homogenising points of view).

Roy - Thanks for the vote of confidence! I like your wishlist :) Will do my best on the first two, but the third (mitigation vs adaptation) is out of my remit. Richard might want to comment though.

Maurizio - not sure if this is criticism or support - are you are referring to my statements?

bdaabat - I agree these are essentials. I would say that the vast majority of climate scientists do stick to these principles. Please don't assume that a few high profile cases are representative of us all. Hopefully I can persuade you of this through example on my blog etc. For example, virtually all my climate modelling colleagues were supportive of my blog name (see my first post).

By the way, thanks everyone for being so polite and (mostly) on-topic when you comment at my blog.

Apr 12, 2012 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterTamsin Edwards

I was drafting that for a while, so I didn't see comments from mydogsgotnonoose onwards - my last line wasn't *meant* to be a dig at off-topicness!

Thanks timg56 and Sara.

Apr 12, 2012 at 6:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterTamsin Edwards

@mydogsgotnonose

Leaving aside your assertions on the motivation and competence of some of those involved, how would you design an experiment to show that pyrgeometers mislead in this way, or at least that they may mislead under certain circumstances?

If you suspected that, say, an ammeter was being employed as directed by the manufacturer but was susceptible to noise that lead to systematic error, you'd reproduce the circumstances in as simple an environment as possible and demonstrate that fact.

How would you do this in a controlled environment for your pyrgeometer?

Apr 12, 2012 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered Commentermrsean2k

And, no offence, how about writing it up somewhere else? I don't think your current tactic will win many over, correct or not.

Apr 12, 2012 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered Commentermrsean2k

Apr 12, 2012 at 6:20 PM mrsean2k
"How would you do this in a controlled environment for your pyrgeometer?"

Suggest you continue your discussion on the Discussion thread on this general subject.

Apr 12, 2012 at 6:29 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

It's a shame that climate science is corrupt because, even forgetting about the CAGW hypothesis, the earth's climate and its history are well worth studying.

With very few exceptions, I discount anything said, written or published by a "climate scientist".

The corruption has spread beyond climate science itself - much of establishment science has been infected (Royal Society, BBC, governement science advice and so on).

My own opinion is that the situation is here to stay. Climate science is not going to suddenly reform itself - at least until the Great Mass Delusion is has become just history. And I fear that the G.M.D. may be with us for generations.

Can anyone see a plausible scenario where climate science becomes a subject deserving respect and capable of being taken seriously?

Apr 12, 2012 at 6:37 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin A>Can anyone see a plausible scenario where climate science becomes a subject deserving respect and capable of being taken seriously?

Nope - but I will predict that there will be a sub-discipline of climatology called 'Convincing people you are right through the use of charm, even when you are wrong'.

PS. Best not to use the term 'climate science' it is confusing to some. The term is 'climatology' cf. scientology, etc.

Apr 12, 2012 at 6:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

John Stuart Mill after a period as an avid Benthamite proselytizer ("a mechanical Mill" he was called) underwent a "mental crisis", apparently some sort of breakdown. When he recovered he decided that he would only read and discuss with people from whom he felt he could learn something. Not agree completely with, or even largely agree with, but just learn something from. I think this is the basis of successful communication - of any sort and that it is Tamsin's secret. She thinks people like Bishop Hill have something interesting to say. So does Judy Curry but, not I suspect Sir Paul Nurse for all his good manners.

Apr 12, 2012 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterpeter2108

Many good things can be said about Tamsin and her website initiative. However, without making her first post on her research with models, she has made it clear as a bell that she too does not understand the differences between a theory and a model. To me, she has no credibility. She should find someone who does understand the differences between a theory and a model so that she can ask for some education on the matter.

Apr 12, 2012 at 7:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

A useful, and necessary, rule of thumb for anyone in the public eye to follow is that whatever they say, write or do should be able to stand the test of public scrutiny. The problem that "climate science" has is that it has failed that test. Our host`s book "The Hockey Stick Illusion" was a particular eye opener for me.

Given that this same "climate science" was used to push through the Climate Change Act and the Carbon Plan, measures that are sure to bankrupt the country, I have continued to visit this site and WUWT in particular to see what else is being or is about to be visited upon in the name of "climate science". It seems to me that trying to discover and understand how our climate works is a worthy exercise. What is not worthy is the assertion that, with all the uncertainties, it justifies the legislation followed by penury that is inflicted upon us.

Apr 12, 2012 at 7:20 PM | Unregistered Commenteroldtimer

Mr Montford,

I've a question outstanding at Dr Edwards blog re the chart on SkS's rebuttal to the NASA ex employee letter to which I thought you answered (I suspect incorrectly :-), perhaps you or the commenters can help me out?

The question is, is the chart on the Guardian article pants or not!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/apr/12/attacks-climate-science-nasa-staff

Apr 12, 2012 at 7:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterSwiss Bob

mydogsgotnonose

For several months now I have been reading your message and understanding. Yet many here do not. I tried to explain and received derision. They do NOT want to understand. They prefer to debate for the sake of debate. I have noticed that many whom I deeply respected no longer post. There is a message there.

Robert Heinlein, a man I greatly respect, once said:

Never try to teach a pig to sing;
it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.

Bishop Hill has run its course. I will join the others in silence and I recommend it to you. There is too much oinking here now.

I have no respect for Richard Bett's "science" nor that of Tamsin Edwards' either. In time, like Trofim Denisovich Lysenko's frauds, theirs too will fall. But until then, let them squeal about the carbon taxes.

Bye.

Apr 12, 2012 at 7:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

don pablo - my dog

Your lack of selfawareness is very probably why most people think sceptics are a bunch of deniers.
I had this argument with the sky dragons leader, which was EVEN if you are right ( I think not) your whole way on handling yourself & attitude is guaranteed to make things WORSE.

endless repeating yourselfs and irritating people, what does that actually achieve.
why not start your own blog, and turn into the sceptical equivalent version of this:
http://lackofenvironment.wordpress.com/background/

Apr 12, 2012 at 7:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Can anyone see a plausible scenario where climate science becomes a subject deserving respect and capable of being taken seriously?

Apr 12, 2012 at 6:37 PM | Martin A

Under HH Lamb it was but Jones et all saw a way to make money by jumping on the Hansen coal wagon. Lamb was said to be dismayed (before his death ) by Jones' movement of UEA away from the science method.

Apr 12, 2012 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

Apr 12, 2012 at 7:49 PM Barry Woods

endless repeating yourselfs and irritating people, what does that actually achieve.

Yes. After the first ten repetitions of essentially the same message, it ensures that the poster starts to come across as simply a crank with a bee in his bonnet, irrespective of whether or not there is something significant there.

Note that there has been a serious discussion
www.bishop-hill.net/discussion/post/1784066
by people interested in getting to the bottom of what MDGNN has been banging on about.

Apr 12, 2012 at 8:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterHow does he smell?

mdgnn I'd like to see what you've written up, I know you have a paper in the pipeline, maybe you could take it to one of physicists here and go through it with them.

DPDLS. You should stay, I like your posts.

Now to the topic in hand. Is there any other scientific discipline on the planet that puts so much effort into "communicating" the science? What is clear to me isn't that they want to better communicate the science, (else they wouldn't be mixing with the likes of Leo Hickman, whose chosen career is to communicate a topic he has no training or skill in), no, they want to present the science in a way that will persuade sceptics that humans are evil and are going to destroy the planet. People like Judith Curry, have listened to the sceptics arguments and, although she may deny it, seems to me to have moved from a moderate AGW supporter to a moderate sceptic persuaded probably by the outrageous behaviour, not just in emails, of Trenberth, Jones, Hansen et al.

Tamsin and Richard are refreshing posters here, but if they want to get a message back to their colleagues about communicating the science I would suggest that they tell them that what they're doing isn't a game, it's life and death for millions of people on the planet when we divert money into the impossible, and therefore doomed to failure, task of mitigating the climate on the say so of a handful of activist scientists, and their numerous hangers-on who produce papers telling us that the AMO doesn't exist and the effects attributed to it are caused by, again the earth's pests, humans.

Bottom line in communication is this. You can tell a politician that the is a 90-100% chance that the majority of the warming in the late twentieth century and he, or she, will believe you because your a scientist and they left that behind at junior school to study PPE and English. You tell an engineer, or physicist, or chemist etc. or even a mathematician and they think to themselves:

If they are 90-100% sure that CO2 caused they recent warming they should be 100% sure that they know everything there is to know about the climate forcings and feedbacks. And given the fact that climate science is still in infant school in terms of our knowledge of the science that seems a highly improbable proposition.

Apr 12, 2012 at 8:09 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

"only if they can produce convincing evidence that they understand the causes of previous shifts in the climate, can explain what would be happening to our present climate in the absence of human activity, and produce evidence that from a cost/benefit point of view it is better to curb the human activities that affect the climate rather than simply trying to adapt to the consequences of climate change"

Why? Newton knew nothing of quantum physics, but, most likely, wasn't a moron.

Apr 12, 2012 at 8:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterMichael

I have no respect for Richard Bett's "science" nor that of Tamsin Edwards' either. In time, like Trofim Denisovich Lysenko's frauds, theirs too will fall. But until then, let them squeal about the carbon taxes.

Bye.

Apr 12, 2012 at 7:33 PM | Don Pablo de la Sierra

I too am not impressed by Richard Betts' forays onto the web. I have always abided by the ' How can I believe what you say when your actions say something else' way of doing things. However, other posters here and elsewhere are correct in their assertions of the need to debate with scientific integrity. If you believe that back-radiation is a false entity then show the proof. Incidently, I also feel there are probems with this concept not because it seems counter intuitive but because no-one has ever shown me the scientific proof.

The Bishop's site is one of the politest and he has snipped me more than once and I also think he has gone a bit native with his interaction with R Betts BUT threads are threads. Their subjects have to be tightly controlled or anarchy would break out and that works for no-one.

Running a web site is an enormous amount of work and whether we support it or not is critical to its' survival. I appreciate greatly the work being done by all the sceptics sites with so little resources.

But the crux of the problem is when 'climate scientist' want to join in the game and whether we really want to let them use our football or not. IMHO if they come here to be open and honest then I'm OK with that if not then they just make matters worse.

Specifically, Tamsin's analysis of the needs are correct. Open and transparent (the same thing) and use of the REAL scientific method. Richard Betts ??? I simply don't know. I do not trust the UK Met off for anything. They have lied and twisted their way to a huge amount of the British tawpayer's money and shown no sign of changing that business methods. Recent revelations have made that blatantly obvious. So should I trust RB and does it matter if I do. No and NO. But I will always come back to here to see if things do change and will comment if I feel they haven't. That's if the Bish will allow and it's his site afterall.

Apr 12, 2012 at 8:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

Apr 12, 2012 at 8:11 PM Michael

Why? Newton knew nothing of quantum physics, but, most likely, wasn't a moron.

Huh?

Darwin knew nothing about deoxyribonucleic acid.

Apr 12, 2012 at 8:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

It's very easy to recommend professional martyrdom to other people. RB and TE tread something of a fine line and should be commended for making the effort.

This is despite an order-of-magnitude in my cynicism after the £60m award for the purposes of modelling confirmation bias to order.

I guess that once you have £60m worth of kit, you can do something useful with it eventually.

Apr 12, 2012 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered Commentermrsean2k

Why? Newton knew nothing of quantum physics, but, most likely, wasn't a moron.

Apr 12, 2012 at 8:11 PM | Michael

Not quite sure how this fits with any of the above comments. Einstein didn't 'like' quatum mechanics because he felt it showed that god was not flawless. His words were along the lines of ' god mad nature symmetrical'. It is the lack of experts in quatum mechanics who are willing to contribute to the debate that concerns me greatly. I am a long way from an expert on QM although I studied both relativety theorems for my first degree. You are absolutely right about Newton though. He was at his epoque a truly unique scientist. I don't see his like at the moment. In fact the quality of scientist appears to have been falling rapidly for many years years now.

Apr 12, 2012 at 8:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

I read Tamsins blog post and this is my immediate response as posted on her site.

I read your post with interest as a non scientist and search as I might, the one word that is missing is the word; "TRUTH". I think you could try dropping the words "trust", "warmer", "friendlier", "hopeful", etc etc. The word "trust" appears a dozen times..You do not get trust without first telling the TRUTH with all its nuances and uncertainties.
People are not stupid, as you "scientists" seem to believe.

What a crazy off the wall concept!

Apr 12, 2012 at 8:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterDisko Troop

It's very easy to recommend professional martyrdom to other people. RB and TE tread something of a fine line and should be commended for making the effort

I have commentd on this several times. If you are trully a top profeesional in your field you will always find gainful employment elsewhere. I worked in a similar employment to that of RB and finally left to earn 3 times the salary. The problem is simple. He is comfortable, earns a good salary, is politically fully aware and says nothing controversial here.

The idea of reaching out to the sceptics is a two-sided coin. He might feel that if he can persuade the Bish of his rightness and that CO² is THE climate driver than the Bish might bring a large number of sceptics with him. Conversely, he could be taking the michael out of all of us and just playing along.

IMO he has said nothing hugely controversial, he has continued his unwavering support for the models with a little political sop to the uncertainty and has fully supported the work of all his climategate companions. For that reason I don't trust him but I will listen with my cyncism button on full alert.

Apr 12, 2012 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

Dr. Edwards wrote:
I agree these are essentials. I would say that the vast majority of climate scientists do stick to these principles. Please don't assume that a few high profile cases are representative of us all.

As would I. Unfortunately, the few who are the "high profile cases" are not being held to account by their peers. In fact, they are actively being supported and defended by their peers.

How can one trust or rely upon a community that does not have the professionalism and ethics to stand up to the inappropriate behavior of it's members?

Bruce

Apr 12, 2012 at 8:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterbdaabat

I was taught to always go to the source of the problem. If your car stops look at the petrol gauge, then the battery. Don't strip out the engine just yet.

Climate scientist get treated the same way. Trust, warmer, friendlier rubbish. TRUTH, OPEN and totally transparent. The other soft issues will follows. But Tamsin, you are right in principle but Climate scientist are a country mile from telling the truth.

I feel a pit in my stomach everytime I have to write 'Climate' with 'Scientist'. I know of NONE.

Apr 12, 2012 at 8:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

Tamsin Edwards part of trouble is that the very poor behavior of some climate scientists is not publicly called out by others . And that has allowed these people to be seen in the public's eyes as leaders and so representing the science. The failure of science in general to enforce a standard that would you expect from an undergraduate dissertation on the IPCC, really does no one any favors , especial given it claims to represent the 'best' scientific knowledge in the area .

Apr 12, 2012 at 8:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

"Huh? Darwin knew nothing about deoxyribonucleic acid."

Brilliant! If we all work really hard all night do you reckon it might be possible to create a complete list of people and the stuff they don't know?

Here's my next contribution -

"I'm no sure we can"

For others so challenge what I was trying to get across is that, in science, it's not necessary to know everything to make a VERY useful contribution, or two (or three....)

If Roy and others are only prepared to be persuaded of a fact (or two) by someone all knowing then what he and others are actually seeking is a religion. There are lots to choose from but science isn't one.

Or have a I (deliberately) misunderstood? Now that's actually (for me) a good question. Is there a known reliable test for deliberate misunderstanding? And if so why isn't it used more often?

Apr 12, 2012 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterMichael

stephen richard (Apr 12, 2012 at 7:56 PM)

"Under HH Lamb it was but Jones et all saw a way to make money by jumping on the Hansen coal wagon. Lamb was said to be dismayed (before his death ) by Jones' movement of UEA away from the science method."

Interesting. I think it is the case that CRU has betrayedy the heritage they had from Lamb, and that if he were alaive today, he would be revolted by what has happened to climate science in general, and CRU in particular. I have been reading his autobiography recently, and found that he had lived, and worked, and rambled in several locations familiar to me. He comes across as a very decent and moral man, one concerned to do right. I wish I could say the same about any of the climate alarm scientists, but I just can't. They have only been impressive in their substantial political impact and ability to win generous funding - or at least be associated with powerful forces which have achieved these things for them. Lamb, and also I think, Ludlam whom I met briefly as one of his students in the 1970s shortly before he died all too early in his 50s, would have provided calm, reasoned, adult, responsible and authoritative voices in the 'climate debate' that would have been widely trusted and might well have successfully countered alarmists such as Houghton and Hansen and Schneider.

Apr 12, 2012 at 8:59 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

Bit disappointing to come back to a more negative set of comments...ah well.

Theo, I was a bit saddened to read your comment. It's true I've been waylaid by posts about blogging/communication etc and I will definitely, definitely post more on research now. I'll go back to your thoughts about models and theory - I don't remember us disagreeing as much as you say.

Bedtime now though. Night night.

Apr 12, 2012 at 9:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterTamsin Edwards

I'm thinking I'd rather have a discussion with someone I disagreed with but who behaved with courtesy and basic decency, than with someone I agreed with greatly but acted like an obnoxious dickwad.

Whatever opinion a couple of you may have about Dr Edwards scientific positions, they don't extend to insults. That rumbling noise you hear is that of your mothers rolling over in the grave.

Apr 12, 2012 at 9:44 PM | Unregistered Commentertimg56

To all: I set out after CG1 to solve the problem of the incorrect Sagan aerosol physics which has allowed climate science falsely to claim 'cloud albedo effect cooling' was hiding GHG-AGW. This was because simple observation of clouds as droplets coarsened shows the existing physics is wrong. Albedo increases as the number of droplets per unit volume decreases [it’s also the bimodality of the size distribution]. Twomey knew there was a problem and warned people not to extrapolate his work to thicker clouds but couldn't explain why. Latterly G L Stephens has guessed the same.

This is nearly ready for publishing and it also explains why the end of ice ages and much modern warming [the Arctic melt period] does not depend on CO2-(A)GW. I was astonished that palaeo-Antarctic and modern Arctic experiments I would have wanted to do had been done: all it needed was the new physics. At the root of this is a biofeedback process with phytoplankton which evolved to be the dominant organism.

Now I'm turning my attention to 'back radiation' and pyrgeometers. The former is ludicrous and anyone who thinks oppositely should take a course in radiation physics. It's an artefact of shielding the detector from radiation arriving from the other direction, which is what pyrgeometers and other radiometers do. Lose the 333 W/m^2: it’s mainly a measure of the temperature of the pyrgeometer; any true scientist should work out why.

I am also looking at the IR physics; Nasif Nahle who is connected to a number of good US physicists has done a good job. It's because we were taught statistical thermodynamics. Will Happer warned of the problem in 1993 but was ignored. 150 years of assumption may have to be unlearned. There may be much lower direct thermalisation than presently assumed and whatever courses teach the '1 ms and the energy decays' are absolutely wrong because of Gibbs’ Principle of Indistinguishability [see the ‘Gibbs’ Paradox’].

I could be bullshitting but forget it. Every statement I make is backed up by experimental evidence. I’m well into my 60s and I don’t have to do anything but pass on my experience. In short, what we have is a lot of people in climate science, a sexy subject, who haven’t got the ability to think science from first principles, and they need help.

The bottom line is that there may be no net CO2-AGW and recent warming now turning into cooling is from other factors.

But of course, I could be totally deluded but it's fun proving I'm probably not.....

[Learn to defocus from your assumptions: I call it a reality check.]

Apr 12, 2012 at 9:55 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

Tamsin - from my side, it was a statement of support. Perhaps it's hindsight, but the ideas of "calculative trust" and "warm, polite tone" seem as obvious to me now as the religious faith of the Bishop of Rome.

I'd add to that, "having a thick skin to resist the urge to destroy furniture whenever reading statements by climate alarmists or skydragons".

Apr 12, 2012 at 9:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

Geronimo:

People like Judith Curry, have listened to the sceptics arguments and, although she may deny it, seems to me to have moved from a moderate AGW supporter to a moderate sceptic persuaded probably by the outrageous behaviour, not just in emails, of Trenberth, Jones, Hansen et al.

I'd be more inclined to think that Judith Curry's skepticism, if that's what it is, was more driven by her reaction to their wobbly science. I continue to have suspicions about her interest in "communicating the science" but concede that they are more a reflection of my apprehensions about scientists driving politicians than anything she has done.

PS. Don Pablo, do not leave. I see a lot of comments here that I don't like, but maybe a lot of readers don't like mine either. To those who don't I apologize.

Apr 12, 2012 at 10:22 PM | Registered Commenterjferguson

Don Pablo - have you gone to the discussion post where Jonathan Jones asks mdgnn specific questions....and seems to receive evasive answers. If you want to hitch your waggon to anti-science, then so long.

Apr 12, 2012 at 10:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Tell me how I get to the discussion post....

Apr 12, 2012 at 10:32 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

As someone who has followed the climate debate for quite some time, I remember the attitudes and reactions of certain "educated people" to Judith Curry's invitation to Steve McIntyre to speak at her university - Their views were so polarized that they could not believe the audacity of an invitation to such an "anti-science" daemon. There was an incredible level of venting.

Over the years, as my reading of papers, books and blogs such as BH and WUWT advanced I passed through the "Climate Hothead" (admittedly on the sceptic side) stage and on to the more leveled approach that the truth is out there and in order to get there, people from both sides will need to communicate rather than engage in "Climate Wars".

The funny thing is - I had a real wake up call to the fact that some AGW believers truly still believe that "All Deniers are Ignorant" only last December when I engaged a believer in a discussion in a captive environment that neither of us could leave for days. This is a widely held view by many who would never stray from Fenton-RealClimate or DSB or SkS. They regard Andrew, Anthony and Steve as shills and idiots whom real scientists have a very poor regard for. (believe it or not they do).

I, for one, am grateful that Tamsin and Richard are making strides towards greater communication and greater understanding of the sceptical understanding of the science of climate change. I HOPE that this may lead to better science.

Well done both!!

Apr 12, 2012 at 10:42 PM | Registered CommenterKnockJohn

Apr 12, 2012 at 10:32 PM mydogsgotnonose
Tell me how I get to the discussion post....

http://www.bishop-hill.net/discussion/post/1784066

Apr 12, 2012 at 11:21 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

mydogsgotnonose,

It is informative posts like yours that keep my interest in the topic and this blog. Being curmudgenly (sp?) or rude does nothing to support your points. That I am at opposite ends of the spectrum regarding issues such as religion, politics, economics and climate with people I consider to be good friends does not cause me to forget the fact they are friends and intitaled to their opinions - however wrong I know them to be.

Or, as my mom kept trying to teach me - don't sweat the small stuff. Sometimes you'll be preaching to the choir, sometimes you'll fall on deaf ears and closed minds and occassionally you will reach someone. You have me questioning and wondering about stuff I wouldn't have on my own.

My apologies if I'm trying to teach my elders to suck an egg - but then you aren't all that much older than I am.

Apr 12, 2012 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered Commentertimg56

timg56: I don't believe it!

Apr 13, 2012 at 12:00 AM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

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