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Monday, January 20, 2014

Is Judith Curry a "slayer"?

Sou | 8:21 PM Go to the first of 39 comments. Add a comment

Someone suggested I look at the various testimonies to the US Senate Committee on Environment and Pubic Works held last week.  The hearing was to “Review of the President’s Climate Action Plan.”

It occurred to me that this is a lot of ground to cover in a blog article and I mulled over how best to do it.  (I couldn't find anything outlining the purpose of the hearing other than the title.  I expect it's there somewhere but we'll just run with that for now.) I trust this article will not be too rambling.

The Senate Committee website for the Hearing's panel testimony didn't have a copy of the action plan, so I downloaded it.  The action plan is 21 pages long. The actions are grouped under three main parts:
  1. Cut carbon pollution in America
  2. Prepare the United States for the impact of climate change
  3. Lead international efforts to address global climate change.
That sounds eminently sensible.  I wonder how the President hopes to achieve this, given there are people of influence in the USA who are opposed to doing anything to mitigate climate change or even to prepare for it.  Plus there are some people of influence in the USA who don't give too hoots for anyone within the USA let alone anyone in the rest of the world.

The How


I read on, firstly to see how the President proposed to cut carbon pollution in America.  He  wrote about deployment of clean energy, modernising the transportation sector, cutting energy waste in homes, businesses and factories, reducing other greenhouse gas emissions and leading at the Federal level.

In regard to preparing for impacts, the action plan addressed issues of infrastructure, protection of the economy and natural resources, and using sound science.

As for international efforts, the plan proposed to work with other economies (countries) through bilateral and multilateral cooperation, essentially to do what is planned for the USA, including: combatting short lived climate pollutants, tackling deforestation, increasing clean energy, cutting energy waste, phasing out subsides that encourage dirty energy. It also covered the issue of financing. One novel idea was to negotiate global free trade in environmental goods and services.


Who was heard (or who presented)


There were two panels presenting at the hearing.  The first panel comprised people from government agencies - the EPA, the Council on Environmental Quality, US General Services Administration and US Fish and Wildlife Service.  The second panel was a mixed bag including two climate scientists, a retired state governor who now heads up a consultancy or think tank called the Centre for New Energy Economy, and a couple of people from NGOs: the Natural Resources Defence Council and the Texas Public Policy Foundation.


What they said


Panel 1

In their written testimonies, the people in the first panel described the actions being taken by their own agencies in implementing the plan. For example, Regina McCarthy presented on behalf of the EPA and most of her written testimony was describing the steps being taken by the EPA to cut carbon pollution (the first plank). She also indicated that the EPA is doing research on climate impacts (the second plank) and working with the State Department to assist in the third plank, international efforts.

In addition some of them provided context.  For example, Nancy Sutley described some of the major weather disasters in the USA and the the government's contribution to recovery from events, such as Hurricane Sandy, under the topic of preparing for the impact of climate change.  Daniel Ashe described how climate change is impacting natural resources and primary industries (agriculture and fisheries) and steps being taken to identify and respond to vulnerabilities.


Panel 2

I don't know the purpose of the second panel. The written testimony was more diverse in subject matter and, although bits here and there were arguably related to the subject to a greater or lesser extent, in the main panel members did not comment on or offer review of the President's action plan.  (There was one exception, Daniel Lashof, who did address the subject of the action plan).

As I said earlier, I couldn't find anything that set out the purpose of the review or the purpose of the hearing, other than the title.  It may be that Panel 2 members were given points to address and were not asked to review or comment on the action plan.  If so, that wasn't clear in any of their written testimonies.  For example, the Committee may have asked Panel 2 scientists to update the committee on the science, as a context-setting exercise.  Which seems a bit superfluous.  If policy makers of a US Senate Committee on Environment don't understand the state of affairs with regard to climate change by now, sufficient to assess the action plan - they what are they doing on the committee?


Bill Ritter Jr presented himself as the 41st Governor of Colorado (in the title of his written testimony).  It's not clear why he did that because he was listed on the hearing panel website as Director, Center for the New Economy, Colorado State University.  I would have thought it was in that latter capacity that he was attending.  Not only that, but he's no longer the Governor of Colorado.  Be that as it may, he began his written testimony saying he was to "offer my perspective on how states are leading the U.S. in implementing clean energy".  His paper didn't appear to address the President's action plan. However it is a good overview of how clean energy is being introduced, firstly in the international context (compared with other countries).  He also touched on legislation at the state level and various policies being implemented by the different governments (eg the $1 billion clean energy fund in New York).  His written testimony includes facts and figures of things like solar installations, impact of clean energy on the price of electricity and various other bits and pieces. He also described what he sees as important next steps at the state level.


Andrew Dessler is the Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University.  His testimony will probably be of interest to readers, because he is a well known and highly regarded climate scientist.  In his testimony he gave an overview of climate change from a scientific perspective.  Toward the end he listed likely impacts of climate change.  He did not address the action plan as such.  I expect he was invited in case the committee members had a question about the science underpinning the policy or to give them contextual information to help them assess the action plan themselves.  Andrew gives a very good overview of global warming.  He also talks about impacts, which are relevant in the context of the action plan, particularly the second plank - preparing for impacts.  However, apart from agreeing it's important to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Andrew doesn't comment on the merits or otherwise of the plan itself. Andrew wrote:
In the climate debate, we can argue about what we know or what we don’t know. Arguing about what we don’t know can give the impression that we don’t know much, even though some impacts are virtually certain. The virtually certain impacts include:
  • increasing temperatures
  • more frequent extreme heat events
  • changes in the distribution of rainfall
  • rising seas
  • the oceans becoming more acidic
In my judgment, those impacts and their magnitude are, by themselves, sufficient to compel us to act now to reduce emissions.
And there are a number of impacts that may occur, but are not certain. We may see changes in drought intensity and distribution, and increases in flood frequency. And we have an expectation that hurricanes will get stronger, although their numbers might decrease. And there’s always the risk of a surprise, like the Antarctic ozone hole, where some high consequence impact that we never anticipated suddenly arises.
We can argue about these less certain impacts, and scientific research in these areas is very active, but they should not distract us from those that are virtually certain.

Governments need to prepare for what is known and what is likely and what is possible.  Let's contrast Andrew Dessler's testimony with that of Judith Curry.

Judith Curry is Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Readers here will be interested in Judith Curry's testimony for different reasons.  They will want to know if she shows any sign of deviating from the sharper denialist direction she's veered towards recently.  I say, no. But you can judge for yourself.  Click here for her written testimony.

Judith starts off by signalling her intent with the following - all excerpts are from the first page of her testimony:
I am increasingly concerned that both the climate change problem and its solution have been vastly oversimplified...
...My testimony focuses on the following issues of central relevance to the President’s Climate Change Program:
  • Evidence reported by the IPCC AR5 weakens the case for human factors dominating climate change in the 20th and early 21st centuries.
  • Climate change in the U.S. and the importance of natural variability on understanding the causes of extreme events
  • Sound science to manage climate impacts requires improved understanding of natural climate variability and its impact on extreme weather events

Right from the beginning you can tell that Judith is about to launch an attack on the science and sidestep the action plan itself.  She's also going to misrepresent the science. For example, Judith's first dot point is wrong, plain and simple. As each major IPCC report is published, the evidence that it's human factors which dominate climate change emerge more strongly. 

I'm not about to rebut every one of Judith's denialist talking points. Most of them were just her misrepresentation of one or other IPCC report or highlighting some detail or other that is still the subject of research.  Her testimony had little or nothing to do with the topic of the hearing.  She appeared to be using the hearing to preach from the pulpit to her denier fans. However I will highlight a couple of points she made. 

The first is that her whole argument seems to be a giant straw man.  The climate action plan is about action.  It has only a few paragraphs on the rationale in a section headed The Case for Action on pages 4 and 5.  Instead of referring to the rationale for action as set out in the action plan, Judith refers to a speech made by the President:
The premise of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan is that there is an overwhelming judgment of science that anthropogenic global warming is already producing devastating impacts, which is summarized by this statement from the President’s Second Inaugural Address:
Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms.

And then she goes into a long spiel about how the science is not settled.  It's all uncertain. Her mostly unstated message is that the government should sit on its hands until every last bit of climate science is known, packaged and gift-wrapped with a pretty bow and passes the scrutiny of science deniers like herself. Fortunately governments don't wait for 100% + certainty on any other matter before them or there would never have been a single policy initiative made by any government ever.  Unfortunately they do give science deniers like herself a platform.


Is Judith Curry a "slayer"?


Close to the end of her long written testimony, Judith wrote this ridiculous statement:
Motivated by the precautionary principle to avoid dangerous anthropogenic climate change, attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be futile. The stagnation in greenhouse warming observed over the past 15+ years demonstrates that CO2 is not a control knob on climate variability on decadal time scales

In other words, Judith is arguing that "it might not happen" even if we keep polluting the air with greenhouse gases.  Any outsider would be excused for concluding that Judith Curry is a "sky dragon slayer" who disputes the physics of the greenhouse effect.  People who know her by her words realise that it's not physics she disputes, but the rights of future generations to a liveable world.  Judith doesn't want to curb emissions for reasons she hasn't made clear.  What is clear is that she places no value on the future.


Other Panel 2 Presenters


Daniel Lashoff from the Natural Resources Defence Council was the first Panel 2 member to directly addresss the action plan in his written testimony.  His testimony included facts and figures relating to what is being proposed plus he went through some of the details of how the plan could be implemented and some of the difficulties that the administration will face.


Kathleen Hartnett White is from the Texas Public Policy Foundation.  In her written testimony she commented on the action plan from the perspective of fake sceptics and people who favour small government (when it suits them).  For example, she wrote:
The Plan’s goal to reduce emissions of CO2 by 17 percent in 2030 appears arbitrary and without legislative foundation or technical justification. And the Plan seems out of sinc (sic) with significant developments in climate science as well as with NOAA’s, NASA’s , the UK’s Meteorological Office, and even the IPCC’s recent Fifth Assessment Report conclusions that recent extreme weather is neither historically unprecedented nor a result of man-made emissions of CO2.

Goodness knows why she was invited.  She's a denier plain and simple.

Anyway, that's about it from me.

(I see that Judith Curry is upset that Michael Mann took a shot at her.  Tough - Judith.  If you insist on playing the role of denier then expect to be treated as one.)


Update - more reading



In the light of an earlier HotWhopper article, I particularly liked this insightful comment from Joshua at Rabett Run:
I think that you're missing a key point. The Professor Curry who wrote that paper is not an activist - in fact she thinks that scientists being activists is undermines science. The Professor Curry who testified before Congress is an activist, who appeared at the behest of Republican politicians so as to boost the viability of the policies they support. And don't forget that the Professor Curry who blogs strongly opposes any appeal to authority, whereas the Professor Curry who is making highly public statements about climate change feels that it is important for Professor Curry to lend her qualifications and professional recognition to the cause of climate "skepticism."
I hope that clears things up a bit.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

We know Curry is not a slayer because she engaged the slayers on her blog and stated the opposite position. The slayers take the position that CO2 molecules in the atmosphere are colder than the Earth, and thus can't cause the Earth to warm. Curry's statement says nothing about that but rather contends that the observational evidence is proving that CO2 is not a major driver ("control knob") of climate. Those two positions are not identical.

Sou said...

Yes, like I wrote "people who know her by her words realise that it's not physics she disputes" - yet I guess you're saying that she does dispute the physics by arguing it's not a major driver of climate.

It's pretty hard to work out what she is arguing. She often seems to contradict herself. I think what she is trying on is the "dumb denier" argument I used to come across - that because a major reduction in CO2 won't reduce temperatures why do it. She leaves out the bit that if we don't, we'll certainly see a rise in temperatures. And she leaves out the bit that if we don't make the switch to clean energy soon, it will be even harder and more costly as time goes by. Plus we'll be trying to pay for it while paying for recovery from more bad weather and adaptation to a new climate regime.

I think she's an ideological denier, going by what she's written in the past.

Don Brooks said...

Curry says "CO2 is not a control knob on climate variability on decadal time scales." That's absolutely true and is entirely consistent with mainstream climate science.

What she has done is to deceive her audience in a deliberate and calculated way. Most people barely know the difference between weather and climate. They certainly aren't going to understand the subtle distinction between "decadal time scales" and climate. (U.S. congressmen are not known for their scientific acumen; perhaps it is different in other countries.)

This is why I blame Curry far more than Watts and others. It's clear that Anthony and most of the rest know next to nothing about the physics of climate, or physical science in general for that matter. Curry knows better. In my book duplicity is a worse offense than ignorance.

She's wrong about "the stagnation in greenhouse warming observed over the past 15+ years" being the reason that we know this, of course.

Captain Flashheart said...

So she's just an idiot, then. Cool.

Notice how this latest controversy about "pal-review" is tearing the denialosphere apart? Also note that the "alarmist" blogs aren't writing 25000 posts crowing about it, the way the denialists did when e.g. the ship got stuck in the ice.

ha!

Sou said...

Yeah. I read about that. Pretty funny the way they are all turning on each other.

Sou said...

There's the full context to consider, particularly this bit:

"attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be futile"

That could be read in a number of ways. They may be futile if we don't reduce them enough. But I don't think that's what she's arguing. Going by the rest of her blurb, she's arguing for continued fossil fuel burning and damn the consequences.

I don't know why she is against national and global efforts to mitigate global warming, but she is. And she's taking a harder stand as time goes by.

Anonymous said...

Decadal timescales = cabinet position in a Republican White House.

She's milking the pause for a job. There is a stadium wave of rejection for mitigation efforts. Fame and fortune awaits.

By the way, she is no idiot. Far from it. So far her fiddle music gets nothing but applause.

JCH

Anonymous said...

I should add that I am speculating about the job, but who would be surprised if Romney was eyeing her, or that Christie BB (before bridge) used to be eyeing her, or that Rand Paul is measuring the libertarian temperature at Climate Etc., which is sky high.

Whether she is seeking such a position is unknown. This is just speculation on my part.

JCH

Lionel A said...

JC:

"...attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be futile."

That is just plain dumb for we are modifying climate by continuing with CO2 emissions.

tonylearns said...

an analogy might be .
"attempts to modify the relationship by stopping the man from beating his wife may turn out to be futile…"

dana1981 said...

I addressed why Curry's main points were wrong, and also went into more detail about Dessler's testimony.
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/jan/20/climate-change-clear-and-present-danger

BBD said...

Evidence reported by the IPCC AR5 weakens the case for human factors dominating climate change in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

I've seen JC peddling this nonsense on her blog, but I'm staggered that she's repeated it in person, in public, as testimony. It's simply not true (as Sou writes). She should be nailed to the floor on this specific false claim above all others.

Joshua said...

Oops - I mis-threaded this in the thread downstairs. If you would delete the first post, sou, I would appreciate it.

An interesting quote today from Judith:

The competing explanation (the ‘denier’ one, I guess since I don’t hear mainstream climate scientists mentioning this) is that the heat never made it into the system, possibly related to changing cloud patterns or properties that reflected more solar radiation.

As one of the "skeptics" at Climate Etc. observed, it looks like Judith is "leaving the door open for a lack of 'missing heat.'

I don't know if that's "slayer" territory - but it certainly suggests that she is leaning in the direction of no concern about future warming (why would she be if solar radiation is just being reflected?) let alone "there won't be much warming" or "warming is good" analyses she has, at least tacitly, advanced in the past.

It seems that like many "skeptics," Judith can't quite decide which reason for doubting the potential danger of anthropogenic climate change is the best one to subscribe to - but she does seem to be increasingly dug in to the "What, me worry?" encampment.

Anonymous said...

Joshua, I think that person is very confused. (so am I, but the following is how I see it):

Trenberth said from the start that the missing heat was either reflected back to space or it was in the oceans.

So as the ARGO numbers - von Schuckmannm, etc. - started coming in, some of it was found in the oceans. But not all of it. That is why Hansen and Schmidt say there is no missing heat: some found and the rest reflected to space. They accepted it. Trenberth did the "David Springer thing", which is to hold out for OHC numbers from the parts of the ocean not covered by ARGO.

JCH

BBD said...

It's not slayer territory - that would require the rejection of radiative physics - but it *is* denial of the OHC data. The ocean doesn't just warm spontaneously and mainstream climate scientists know this. She's also handwaving. Where's the evidence for these changes in cloud cover?

BBD said...

That said and in acknowledgement of JCH below (we crossed) there is Hatzianastassiou (2011). SkS discussion here.

Joshua said...

JCH -

Thanks,

The whole discussion of "missing heat" terminology is so unbelievably banal. It has become another divergence from the scientific issues. Determining whether it is "missing" is a game of semantics - which "skeptics" have promoted, it seems to me, as a rhetorical device.

It seems clear that the quote about "missing heat" - when not taken out of context - as a scientifically meaningful statement means clarifying the proportion of solar radiation that is either reflected away from the climate system or incorporated in to the oceans as opposed to reflected in GATs.

Such clarification is precisely what "skeptics" and "realists" alike should be supporting, but instead the process gets bogged down in tribalistic Jell-O flinging.

But how do you think that "that person" is confused? Judith certainly seems to be opening the door to signing on to an argument that there has been a relative decrease in the amount of energy that has entered the climate system.

Joshua said...

Given the article you linked - why did you say there is no evidence of changes in cloud cover?

BBD said...

I was correcting a mistaken claim. It took four minutes. Why do you have a problem with this, Joshua?

Joshua said...

Not a problem. I was asking an honest question.

I was assuming that you knew of the article before you made the claim - and that I was missing something in your logic.

You seem to be mistaking me for someone who engages these discussions in bad faith.

BBD said...

I had forgotten about it until about five seconds after hitting Publish. The usual problem.

Victor Venema said...

The stagnation in greenhouse warming observed over the past 15+ years demonstrates that CO2 is not a control knob on climate variability on decadal time scales

Exactly, Don Brooks, that is officially true and Curry can be sure that her audience will not understand that and pick up the message she wants to send: CO2 is not important. This in nonsense, but if a scientist complains, she can claim that what she said is right.

If you look at the temperature a decade ago, or the temperature difference between any two years, ten years apart, the natural variability will dominate, will be a bit larger than the average influence of greenhouse gasses over such a short period. If you interpret "decadal scales" as the influence on the average temperature over a decade, I am no longer sure whether Curry is right, but she could claim, she was thinking of the former definition.

I would say, in communication you always have to take the audience into account. She should have known that her audience would misinterpret her statement without further explanations. She thus misinformed Congress and the public. This behavior is unworthy for a scientist, I am sorry to have to say.

Cugel said...

In "not a control knob of climate variability", "variability" is just sciencey mush dropped in by a mushy intellect. CO2 definitey is a control knob of the climate the way we're twisting it; it's poorly calibrated but we're in the process of doing that now.

Victor Venema said...

It sure is, but on time scales a little above decadal time scales.

Cugel said...

Generational, I'd say.

Bernard J. said...

Professor Rabbet (amongst a number of other esteemed bunnies) is hosting a similar discussion of Curry's bad behaviour, and it set me to thinking that there's probably sufficient need and material for a thread devoted just to people who have a disproportionate influence on obfuscating, misrepresenting, and lying about the science of climate change such that there is tangible resultant inaction by government, and/or a contamination of public perception that results in government inaction.

Actually, there would be too much material for a single thread. This would indeed require a whole blog, with one or more thread dedicated to each of the identities who have such disproportionate effect, and possibly daughter threads that follow the motivation behind these influential deniers and the outcomes and synergies of their influence.

Who's game?

Joe said...

"This behavior is unworthy for a scientist, I am sorry to have to say."

Your entire last paragraph is spot on. I couldn't agree more.

Don Brooks said...

The book Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes is close to what you're discussing. A few different performers, but the libretto remains the same.

John Mashey said...

Ritter presents himself (correctly) as "41st Governor of Colorado", as that experience was the most relevant.


He gave a talk @ Stanford a year or so ago, he was a terrific speaker, very savvy politically and with good insights about what it takes to make things happen in the real world. If you ever get a chance to hear him, don't miss it.
Note: colloquially, ex-{Governors, Senators, Representatives} often get referenced with out the ex-, although that may well not be proper etiquette.

Bernard J. said...

I'm thinking of something in blog form, that documents their activities in real time. Also, there are new players on the block - for example Tony Abbott's mania in dismantling the carbon tax and the various government climate change instrumentalities since being elected last year make him a significant node in the network of denialists who are having a profound and long-term impact on the planet as a result of their actions.

Think of it as a bit like Merchants of Doubt, live and abridged and interactive. Watching the Deniers is a bit like this but has a broader brief, and a colourful comments section that probably wouldn't serve for the sort of analytical summary that I'm imagining. Desmogblog's list of deniers is close too, but it doesn't look at events in real time in the context of who is exerting disproportionate influence. It's day-to-day postings are also along the lines I'm thinking of but again it's a bit more general - I'm imagining a site that focusses on the people who are having the most impact in holding back understanding of the science, the magnitude of the problem that the world faces, and the action needed to address the issues.

A diary of the Who's Who who killed the world, and how they did it.

mk said...

Slaying strawmen, anon? Everyone knows those aren't identical positions and Sou clearly didn't say they are, only that outsiders could be excused for thinking that she was taking a slayer position, but that she isn't.

Why is basic intellectual honesty so difficult for some people?

mk said...

Motivated by the precautionary principle to avoid dangerous anthropogenic climate change, attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be futile. The stagnation in greenhouse warming observed over the past 15+ years demonstrates that CO2 is not a control knob on climate variability on decadal time scales.

I have trouble seeing such a deviously formulated statement as anything but pure evil. Even if such a "stagnation" existed, we would still know that CO2 is a "control knob" on climate over the long term. But of course the increase of energy in the planetary atmospheric system due to basic GHG physics has not and cannot have "stagnated" over the last 15 years.

mk said...

"I was asking an honest question."

Honest perhaps, but a result of rather careless reading.

"I was assuming that you knew of the article before you made the claim"

An unwarranted assumption and not consistent with what he wrote.

"You seem to be mistaking me for someone who engages these discussions in bad faith."

On the contrary, BBD asked an honest question in response to a comment that appeared to challenge his good faith.

mk said...

'Such clarification is precisely what "skeptics" and "realists" alike should be supporting, but instead the process gets bogged down in tribalistic Jell-O flinging.'

Let's not engage in facile false equivalences.

Sou said...

Thanks, John. I figured after I wrote that, that it may be locally correct protocol, but I did notice the difference between how he was listed on the Senate Hearing website vs how he presented himself at the hearing itself. Different hats.

Also, he may be a great presenter but he didn't directly address the subject of the hearing AFAIK. I agree that there was a lot of substance in his written testimony. It would have been better if he'd made a stronger link between his subject matter and the President's action plan.

Same goes for all of Panel 2 - except for Danial Lashoff - who did a very good job IMO in addressing the topic of the hearing. With the others, their testimony didn't relate well. Some of it was good for what it was (eg Andrew Dessler) but it wasn't exactly on topic. Frankly I don't know why the scientists were there at all. The topic wasn't climate science it was climate action. It should have been people involved in various energy policy/implementation matters.

But since the scientists were there, you'd have thought they'd focus more particularly on whether, from a scientific perspective, the different elements of the action plan would result in what the science says must happen. That is, is the action plan likely to result in a reduction of CO2 and will the impact section of the plan adequately address the impacts that the science expects will happen.

John Mashey said...

Again, some of this is Kabuki theatre to get various chunks of testimony into the Congressional record. They *had* to start with the science.

I think Ritter was there to get his material into the record.

Put simply, as far as I can tell, everyone did what they were supposed to do in the time available.
( I've never testified for Congress, but in November 2010, I was asked if I could do so in a House hearing just after Thanksgiving, if they could get a hearing together, which it turned out they couldn't at their end, so I didn't have to spend the holiday writing out testimony. At various times, I've spent hours on phone or in person with Congressional staffers .. and I've learned that what goes on often is different than what it might appear.
Ritter is very well-connected, and I have zero doubt that the staff knew what to expect.).

(A reliable source provides info):
As it happens, the Republicans seemed there to whack on EPA's Gina McCArthy and Dan Ashe (Fish & Wildlife), and ask them lots of Q's on science, which is what they said they wanted to know.

Then, all but 2 of them left when the science part started, as did all the D's except Whitehouse, who may have been looking for good material, as he often does. (After all, the D's may have beem convinced long ago.)

I'd expect some of the staffers stayed around to actually learn.

Anyway, that's probably all I can say about this ... but consider the useful contrast between Dessler's and Curry's work, now both on record.

Sou said...

Now you put it like that I understand a bit better John. Yes, the staffers would be running the show in the detail of it anyway, communicating with people giving testimony. I appreciate that, sadly, governments seem to be still at the stage of needing to get the science "on record".

We should be way beyond that necessity every time carbon emissions and mitigation strategies are mentioned. I blame people like Judith Curry and John Christy and Roy Spencer and to a lesser extent Roger Pielke Jr, and I bet she will see it as being to her credit (while the rest of us see it to her discredit). If the denialist scientists were honest, the Republicans wouldn't have anyone to call on from a science denial perspective and the politicians could get on with discussing policy.

John Mashey said...

AS usual, Peter Sinclair knows how to do it with video: Judith Curry’s Testimony: Where There’s Smoke…

Lionel A said...

It has become clear to me that by promoting these four points:

• Lack of warming since 1998 and the growing discrepancies between observations and climate model projections

• Evidence of decreased climate sensitivity to increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations

• Evidence that sea level rise during 1920-1950 is of the same magnitude as in 1993-2012

• Increasing Antarctic sea ice extent

Each of those can be, and have been, debunked. Maybe she should ask Scott Mandia about sea level rise. For the general reader 'Rising Sea Levels: An Introduction to Cause and Impact" by Hunt Janin and Scott A. Mandia is a worthwhile read.

Curry has now firmly painted herself in her true colours and point two indicates that she probably became Lindzen's apprentice in that Science Committee Hearing in November 2010.

One thing that is puzzling me about her written testimony is her attribution for her Figure 1 as being based upon Figure 11.25 (IPCCAR5 WG1) refers to a document that still carries this instruction:

"Do Not Cite, Quote or Distribute"

The diagrams are not yet embedded in the textual matter so this is clearly not the release version.

Maybe that does not apply to 'scientists'.

The diagram was TS.14 in the Technical Summary draft.