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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Judith Curry - what lengths is she prepared to go to keep the coal fires burning?

Sou | 4:34 AM Go to the first of 31 comments. Add a comment

Following on from my last article, here are some quotes from Judith Curry from an article she wrote about the recent US House Subcommittee on Environment hearing (archived here):

Attempting to reduce the damages associated with extreme weather in the 21st century by reducing greenhouse gas emissions is very misguided IMO, and misses important opportunities to focus on better weather forecasting, better emergency management practices, and reducing infrastructure vulnerability.

First - it's hardly misguided to mitigate global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Second - what does reducing emissions have to do with weather forecasting, emergency management and reduction of infrastructure vulnerability?  It's not an either-or choice.  We need to do all these things and people are doing all these things.

Third - if we don't reduce emissions we leave ourselves much more vulnerable to climate change. Infrastructure replacement will be much more costly if we don't reduce emissions.  Floods, fire and heat can destroy infrastructure.  If we can slow down global warming we can spread the cost of infrastructure replacement over a longer period.  As for emergency management, it is already stretched to the limit when it's most needed.  I can vouch for that when a few years ago, a fire got away here because all the local firefighters were fighting a blaze two valleys away.  It ended up burning a huge area.  (Indulge me - climate change can be very personal, not simply something that might affect other unlucky people. The first lot of photos were taken outside my home and the later ones from the pond just down the road. This was just one of three major fires in our region since 2003. )

Risk management? Pffft! says Judith Curry

Judith seems to be against risk management, writing about David Titley's testimony:
I don’t find Titley’s testimony to be effective.  He didn’t sell hard the AGW-extreme weather link, rather his main argument was ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’.  With his deck of cards analogy, he discounts the possibility of AGW removing an Ace from the deck.  He then brings in a risk management approach, and his final recommendation seems to be moving away from carbon energy sources.  IMO, none of these seems effectively targeted (either logically or policy wise) at the issue of the relationship between climate change and extreme weather.’

And Judith isn't in favour of governments around the world asking for scientists to cooperate across international borders and inform them about what we are doing to the earth system.  John Christy included a paper written by Judith at the back of his written testimony to the US House Subcommittee on the Environment:
The diagnosis of paradigm paralysis seems fatal in the case of the IPCC, given the widespread nature of the infection and intrinsic motivated reasoning. We need to put down the IPCC as soon as possible – not to protect the patient who seems to be thriving in its own little cocoon, but for the sake of the rest of us whom it is trying to infect with its disease. Fortunately much of the population seems to be immune, but some governments seem highly susceptible to the disease. However, the precautionary principle demands that we not take any risks here, and hence the IPCC should be put down. 

Misleading the US Government? "As temperatures have declined"

She said she was going to present that paper at a US House Committee hearing that was cancelled.  In other words she was going to mislead the US Government, writing (my bold italics):
Seven years later, with the release of the IPCC AR5, we find ourselves between the metaphorical rock and a hard place with regards to climate science and policy:
  • as temperatures have declined and climate models have failed to predict this decline, the IPCC has gained confidence in catastrophic warming and dismisses the pause as unpredictable climate variability

Judith Curry was willing to testify to the United States Government that global surface temperatures have declined!  Even knowing Judith wishes the world would hurtle faster towards a climate no human has ever ever experienced, battling metres of sea level rise, heat extremes, fires, floods and droughts like we've never seen - I'm still surprised to read that.

The fact is, Judith indicated that John Christy asked for her permission to include her paper in his testimony. So in fact one could argue that she did tell a lie to the government.


  1. So 66.7% of the experts summoned by the US Congress are clearly deniers. The great champion of "socialism" is, for the first time in recorded history, the US Navy?

    No actual genuine climate scientists at all?

    See how the new religion of AGW is so shamefully persecuting the heroic heretics of WUWT, et al.

    It is hard for genuine conservative champions to get their voices heard when they are only allowed 2/3 of the space allotted; and look at the other side - the US Navy - well that's clearly funded by tax payers. Clearly Titley is funded by taxpayer dollars, and is just after more grant money. Obviously then, a communist.

    In all of this, thank goodness for the calm voice of reason, Doctor Curry from the prestigious ( N.B. it is now compulsory in certain quarters to append this adjective) The Prestigious Georgia Tech, who has now come out with the perfect solution - BAN THE UMPIRE!

    Ban (put down) the IPCC, refuse in future to accept any evidence from any institution as clearly partisan and socilalistic as the US Navy, and this committee might well manage to persuade themselves that 97.7% of the evidence suggests that they are not what they are.

  2. Again, I was mystified by Curry's post. the idea that Titley's testimony wasn't effective was exactly the opposite of my impression. His was the only testimony that was honest and accurate.
    She has in the past argued against "risk management" with seemingly illogical reasons and she does so again here.
    Then she brings up the idea that he was ignoring the possibility of aces being "removed" from the deck. Well, yes there are potential benefits from climate change in certain areas, but she doesn't seem interested in actually looking at a cost benefit analysis. As usual she seems to be "implying" that global warming could actually be good without coming out and saying it, so when the shit hits the fan she can claim plausible deniability.
    I hate to think of her as being a despicable opportunist, but as I read stuff like this from her it seems more likely to apply.

  3. "[Curry's] diagnosis of paradigm paralysis seems fatal ..."

    Curry's grandiosity is on the borderline of mental illness, and I'm not sure which side of it. Seriously, something's going on in that head, and it's nothing healthy.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. We bloggers get some very odd spam. The other day there was one in French. Usually they are the sucky type - "I love your blog" etc. Getting a threat like the this one is a rarity. Anonymous is wrong of course - on both counts.

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    3. Sounds like someone unused to playing hardball needs their bluff called, Sou.

    4. Thanks, BBD. It's easier and probably more effective to ignore empty threats like that. So I've deleted them.

    5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    6. You are crap at head-games. How, for example, did you *know* that the device you claim is compromised is a notebook? How could you *know* that fact simply from exploit returns? Players don't make stupid mistakes like that, which is how we know you are a bluffer.

    7. I do rather like the idea of hackers giving out friendly clues though:

      "Hey, I've hacked you! Check out this specific machine and look for rootkits and keyloggers!"

      That would make life simpler, wouldn't it? Let's hope it catches on in the New Year.

    8. It's fairly obvious who he is, BBD. And yes, his threats are empty needless to say. He got upset at something or other here and is being a bit pathetic about it. He probably makes threats for a hobby when he's not making lists or trying to justify them.

      And then there is this.

    9. I thought it was Poppers too!

    10. He's got a distinctive style, doesn't he. And he has a habit of getting offside with everyone, fake sceptics and realists alike.

  5. I know nothing of the computer issue. But I can recognise offensive behaviour and language when I see it. Do you think such comments do anything other than speak volumes about their author? You ooze gratuitous nastiness.

    Nothing about climate change has heretofore gotten me to the post of posting a comment on any website. However I have chosen to lose my "lurker" persona to protest this inane contribution. What does this level of school-level childishness do for anyone ? Whether intended or not, it will inevitably attach to those who resist evidence and coherent argumentation. Does the cap fit ?


  6. Funny though howe all the datasets show no warming for at least 11 years, with RSS showing no warming for 17 years. Even though GISS is corrupted again and still being adjusted monthly, and still no warming.

    Obviously cookoo and Diana have failed to realise this?

    1. Anonymous, 2010 was the hottest year on record, equal to 2005. That's quite a bit less than eleven years ago. This year, November was the hottest November on record globally.

      As the chart above shows, heat is accumulating everywhere - in the air and the oceans and it's melting arctic ice. It's also melting the ice sheets in Greenland and Western Antarctica. And the seas are still rising because it's getting warmer.

      Never mind. I see you are just another conspiracy theorist with your false "corrupted" accusations.. Deniers are odd people. If they don't like the data they fall back on the old denier meme: "climate science is a hoax".

    2. Another sign of failing to win the science argument demonstrated by deniers is the ridiculing of their chosen villains. It's panto season over here in the UK (although I see some conspicuous pantomime artists are currently in Oz). If it isn't Michael Mann or James Hansen, it's Cook and Nuccitelli. I see it all the time in other fields of denial. Richard Dawkins in evolution, Paul Offit for the anti vaxxers.

      If the denialist arguments are so strong, they will win out. The fact is they aren't. I trust anon's grandchildren will be more forgiving than others are likely to be.

    3. no cherry-picking going on there at all, is there, Anonymous?

    4. Ligne is correct - Anon's graph is deliberately deceptive. Here is the honest version.

    5. Fake sceptics like Anonymous prefer monthly data so they can hide the warming signal in among the seasons and the general noise.

  7. That graph demonstrates the lack of warming from each dataset.

    Even GISS shows no warming since 2002, and we know they keep adjusting the temps up monthly as we are still under Hansens Scenario C.

    How is that cherry picking?

    How else would you show the last time each dataset showed no warming?

    So C02 has increased by how much in the last 2 decades?

    For no warming virtually. Its very easy to use surface data, but satellites don't lie and they show no warming for 17 years.

    Which will soon become 20 years because there is no El Nino of any significance coming anytime soon due to the cold PDO.

    So its clear to me who is denying what.

    1. Aninymous.

      I'm curious to see if you can address the questions below.

      1) Do you understand the concepts of 'noise' inherent in the 'signal' of the global temperature record?

      2) Do you understand what physical processes contribute to the 'noise' in the global temperature record?

      3) Do you understand how to determine the magnitude of the 'noise' inherent in the global temperature record, using the statistical concept of variance?

      4) Do you understand that for a particular magnitude of 'noise' inherent in the global temperature record, a minimum amount of time exists below which it is not possible to identify with statistical confidence any signal amongst the noise?

      5) Do you know what the variance is in the global temperature record once the underlying decadal warming signal is accounted for?

      6) Do you know what the minimum period of time is that is required to identify a warming signal in the global temperature record?

      7) Do you understand why your comments about "no warming since 2002" are invalid in light of the variance in the global temperature record?

      8) Do you know that the global "surface" (= atmospheric) temperature record is not the complete measure of a change in the thermal energy reserve of the planet?

      9) Do you understand that one reason that the global "surface" (= atmospheric) temperature record contains the variance that it does is because thermal energy (even steadily-accumulating thermal energy) "sloshes" between different zones on the planet?

      10) Do you know what these different zones are, and what their physical properties are, and how these physical properties affect the amount of thermal energy that can be retained and the way in which it is retained over time?

      That'll do for starters. Let's see what you actually know.

      Bernard J.

    2. That "Aninymous" was a serendipitous slip.

      Bernard J.

    3. dude, you selected the subset of the data that supports your claim while discarding the parts that don't. that's the very definition of cherry-picking!

    4. Anonymous - Please note that decadal variations are in fact slightly larger than the decadal trend of warming due to AGW forcings. The fast warming in the 1990's and slower warming in the 2000's (as seen here) are both comprised of variation on top of an underlying trend.

      Climate is multi-decadal, shorter periods are weather.

      In fact, given that up/down pattern the last 15-16 years or so (starting at a high point of variation, ending on a low) indicate that more than 20 years will follow 1998 before the (smaller) trend can be isolated from the variation.

      You are making noise about noise.


    5. For no warming virtually. Its very easy to use surface data, but satellites don't lie and they show no warming for 17 years.

      Repeating falsehoods when you have been shown that they are false is known as lying, Anon., and is generally frowned on.

      Look again. Properly this time.

  8. Do you understand Bernard with the rise in C02 over the last two decades every single model used in the AR4 is outside the largest possible error bars?

    1. uh, you realise it's "CO2" (charlie oscar two, one _C_arbon and two _O_xygen), not C02 (charlie zero two), right?

    2. Do you understand Bernard with the rise in C02 over the last two decades every single model used in the AR4 is outside the largest possible error bars?

      This sounds like a misrepresentation to me. Reference? Not a denial blog please - published, reviewed literature only. Thanks.

    3. Not only is anonymous's claim ambiguous and wrong, as well as being unsubstantiated, it completely avoids the questions I put to him* on December 17, 2013 at 11:30 AM.

      Four strikes in a single sentence. Five if one includes Ligne's perceptive catch of the C-zero-2 slip[.

      That's hard-core, gold-plated idiocy.

      Bernard J.

      [*Assuming of course that he's a him, and the same him as the previous one.]


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