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Can you join the Climate Communication discussion please? I need your Hoyt Hottel expertise ^.^

Jul 10, 2012 at 7:12 PM | Registered CommenterDung

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.


I have not heard of this Church so let me speculate as to its identity. Viscount Stansgate or perhaps his successor, the Milliband, and the current leadership of the BBC? Or would it be that dieing breed, the landed gentry? If the former, I have to confess that I do find it stressful listening to their more impassioned utterances with their continuous breaches of the ‘do-as-you-would-be-done-by’ imperative. I find less offence from the old governing classes who generally seem to make a better fist of things. My opinion only, as I am sure you will realize. But while it is clear the church, whoever they may be, have a right to their opinions, I have a right to disregard them, and usually do. As do, I suppose, most well adjusted people. So it is of little or no significance that some church believes that a public school elite have the right to govern us.

And if anyone starved my gran to death whether in the service of some great good or not they would have offended the DAYWBDB principle and that’s that.

But I would not necessarily insist the church would be wrong to think the public school elite are necessarily unfit to govern us. If any school, public or not, teaches its pupils the subject of governance and we proles agree that they make a good job of it, whether as a result of the head start they have because of what they have been taught or not, why should we not elect them to lead us? But that is up to us, not them. If we were wise, we might perhaps elect them to grab some benefit from their privileged education.

So I do not forget this Church. I do not recognize it with any certainty and ascribe no special significance to pronouncements of likely members.

Roger Carr

Retune your detectors – it is opinions only, and Os are like Arxxhxles –everybody has one.

Jul 10, 2012 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

Not climate science but the saga of the "arsenic life" paper is important for what it shows about flawed standards, flawed peer review, flawed publishing, and "science by press release."

[cross-posted from my post at Climate Audit] I don’t know if you have followed the controversy on the journal Science publishing an egregious article on “arsenic life” which got a big press conference with NASA in Dec. 2010, but I’m thinking that (1) there are some fascinating comparisons and contrasts with how they handle criticisms and data issues for the Thompsons et al, and (2) Science might be more receptive now to criticism of their policies and practices (or maybe they’ll just circle the wagons again, but at least they know right now that they screwed up badly on the arsenic life paper).

A couple of links with more links:

"Despite refutation, Science arsenic life paper deserves retraction, scientist argues"

As this post goes live, so too go live two Science papers refuting the heavily criticized “arsenic life” paper published in the journal in 2010.

conclusion of article at 1st link (my emphasis):

"The article itself is, however, only a small part of the story. As we’ll see in future essays, the case provides an illustration of the abysmal failure of scientific peer reviewers, scientific journals, government and academic institutions, the media and numerous individuals to do their jobs with competence and integrity."

One thought is that Science (or others) might need to be more receptive at present to arguments that their peer review and data practices have not been exactly exemplary! Science needs to re-consider the data practices and methods for the series of Thompson articles which they published over the years.

I realize the details and fields are quite different, but the common threads are (1) publishing splashy cover articles which (2) slipped in with poor peer review and inadequate analysis of data and methods.

In the Thompson cases, the enduring failures to archive data fully and comprehensively represents an ongoing affront to science.

Jul 10, 2012 at 9:37 AM | Registered CommenterSkiphil

To Half-a-mind Uncle: Very nice, sir! Do I detect wisdom speaking here?

Jul 10, 2012 at 8:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoger Carr

My Dear Uncle,

You forget that the Church of Common Purpose believe that the public school educated elite have the right to control our lives and order us to do what they think is good for us.

Think of Pol Pot in a British incarnation. We shall starve your granny to death because it is for the greater good AND we have the plum jobs making these decisions because our parents were superior, and so are we because they could afford to send us to elite schools........

Jul 10, 2012 at 8:58 AM | Unregistered Commenterspartacusisfree

From the Ecclesiastical Uncle, an old retired bureaucrat in a field only remotely related to climate with minimal qualifications and only half a mind.

Cont from Mr Booker:

Too many contributors to name so – to you all.

The idea that any entity (government, etc) knows what is good for me better than I do is, for the average man, offensive and usually wrong. There may be a very few who require an external manager, but the numbers will be small. Accordingly, for most the increasing encroachment of government support initiated, I think, by Beveridge (spelling?) is also wrong. Simple!

Apart from assuming that all the expertise that government can mobilize can be used to improve the lot of the individual, it has also been widely and possibly erroneously assumed that the interests of society will be served by establishment of a level playing field. The advantage to society of the resulting competition is widely recognized. The decrease of wellbeing of the majority who do not achieve what they have been lead to believe they should is largely forgotten. So whether a level playing field has nett benefit to society is not known.

Accordingly, expertise and equality, maybe the most frequently cited reasons for encroachment of individual rights by governments lack merit and probably take the resulting actions with them.

Religion has also declined for entirely logical reasons. However, with it has gone much concern for fellow beings. While this is has happened, it did not have to. – the essence of the matter is that others should be treated in the same way that you would wish them to treat you (‘do as you would be done by’) but this seems to be being neglected.

A particular instance from which general conclusions will be drawn: In the 1960s I did a postgraduate management course - A sort of godless religion in which the main doctrine would be called ‘Objectivity’ Why do we do what are we doing? – advancing ourselves, our companies, serving the customer for the advancement of our employers, and so on. Nothing about intrinsic virtue in ‘do as you would be done by’. However, we students were from the time of religious schooling and had been brought up it, so this objectivity was superimposed on the basis, however unsupportable in logic, that it provided. Nowadays, however, religion is totally forgotten and the same objectivity that is now taught lacks that basis. Hence, I think, much current skullduggery.. In the main, as they see it, the corporate scoundrels are only doing their jobs to the best of their abilities.

The transfer of responsibility for personal affairs to the state has largely been a transfer away from the family. Decline of family (divorces, womens’ rights etc) has also accompanied the decline of religion, and maybe results from it. However, for the majority, the family will be better informed than the state about an individual and the better placed to help - and to enforce discipline. And as a result of the decline of family, the individual lacks copious connections to society and society is disintegrating. Thus the welfare state destroys society, person is set against person and wellbeing is destroyed.

(WRT family, consider the nonsense of sending an offender to prison. He gets board and lodging free, albeit at the cost of loss of freedom, and is therefore relieved of difficulties. But should not the family have provided support so as to prevent a decline into crime? Should they not be made to bear some responsibility for the offences? At the very least, the taxation system should ensure that the imprisonment costs are borne by them. ( I cannot accept the view that this practice is totally impracticable – details could be devised). And think –the family would then have an interest in preventing re-offense.)

Turning to governance, we have allowed concern for representation of the under privileged persuade us that our parliamentary representatives must be paid. (While most Tory MPs are rich enough not to require pay, the same would not be true of socialists.) It has become abundantly evident that paying parliamentarians has had grave consequences – not least that they become beholden more to the system that pays them than to the electorate that puts them in position and that they therefore defend the system against the people. This is certainly not what representatives are voted into parliament for. As a result it is not only the under privileged that are not represented – it is everybody. But is the situation really necessary? Would not consciousness of the virtue of ‘do as you would be done by’ ensure that there were enough moneyed Anthony Wedgewood-Benns about to represent the poor?

So efforts to improve wellbeing by suppression of behaviour that has been bred into mankind by evolution seem to do more harm than good.

It is my suspicion that this is inevitable, but I have not attempted a proof –even a post-modern one.

If the problem is beyond comprehension then again …..

Evolution’s experiment with intelligence seems to be a failure.

Jul 10, 2012 at 8:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterEcclesiastical Uncle

Jul 9, 2012 at 11:00 PM Hilary Ostrov

Re- "....are way beyond the predictions of our climate models"

Received the following question from QuaesoVeritas @

"A simple question, does that make the models or the weather wrong?"

Jul 10, 2012 at 12:20 AM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Jul 9, 2012 at 10:07 PM | matthu

Yes, I rather liked that quiz, too ... But today's New Scientist has the perpetually perfect answer:

How global warming is driving our weather wild


Climate scientists have long warned that global warming will lead to more heatwaves, droughts and floods. Yet some of these recent extremes, such as the summer in March, are way beyond the predictions of our climate models. And there have been extremes of cold as well as heat.

[Article predictable concludes:]

But adaptation can be very costly, and the very nature of more variable weather poses problems. Farmers could learn to cope if it was consistently drier or hotter, for instance, but if the weather continues to become more variable and there is no way to know whether to expect frost or floods, hail or heatwaves, then each season will become an ever greater gamble. "It is difficult to adapt to unprecedented extremes, as they always involve some element of surprise," says Rahmstorf.

While no one can say exactly what's going to happen to our weather, all the signs are that we're in for a bumpy ride. "We are seeing these extremes after only 0.8 degrees of global warming," says Rahmstorf. "If we do nothing, and let the climate warm by 5 or 6 degrees, then we will see a very different planet."

IOW (all together now ...) "It's worse than we thought"!

Jul 9, 2012 at 11:00 PM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

An article in the NYT draws attention to "unprecedented extreme weather and climate events" arriving even earlier than predicted by the IPCC causing Roger Pielke Jr to pose the following pop quiz question:

If the IPCC predicts events to occur in the 2070s and beyond, and such events are observed in 2012, then this combination of prediction/events makes the IPCC:

A) Wrong
B) Right
C) Even more right

*Extra credit points to anyone who can point to any predictions made by the IPCC SREX report on extremes (the one referred to by Egan) for a period that includes 2012.

**Double extra credit to anyone who can point to any climate scientist who has called out Egan and the NYT for such nonsense.

Jul 9, 2012 at 10:07 PM | Registered Commentermatthu

Interesting long term numbers for rainfall from the Met Office:

Jul 9, 2012 at 9:05 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

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