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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Besieged deniers Anthony Watts and Barry Woods engage in wishful thinking @wattsupwiththat ...

Sou | 11:00 PM Go to the first of 58 comments. Add a comment

Science deniers are the same as everyone else in the world in regard to confirmation bias.  Well, maybe they have it worse than most of us when it comes to climate science.  Still, everyone suffers confirmation bias to some degree.

Today Anthony Watts and his correspondent, Barry Woods, have caught a bad case of it (archived here).  Most of Anthony's WUWT readers haven't.  Anthony and Barry think that Mike Hulme is disputing the fact that 97% plus of scientists who do research relating in any way to climate agree that humans are causing global warming.  But Mike Hulme is not disputing that at all.


**Update**

Barry Woods has stated in the comments that what he meant was "Mike Hulme doesn't appear to like Cook et al's paper".

I doubt I'll ever know what Anthony Watts thinks Barry Woods meant.  Obviously most of the WUWT-ers read it the same way as I did (see WUWT comments below).

It's interesting that Barry jumped in so quickly and went to a lot of effort to explain himself here at HotWhopper, but he didn't bother correcting the same interpretation as me, which everyone at WUWT made.   I wonder why that would be...


Anthony Watts picked out three paragraphs written by Mike Hulme and published them out of order, in contravention of the agreement with The Conversation.  (The Conversation gives permission to republish with provisos, including: Unless you have express permission from the author, you can’t edit our material, except to reflect relative changes in time, location and editorial style. To make material edits contact us.)

I'll publish the full article below, then make some observations.


Science can't settle what should be done about climate change


By Mike Hulme, King's College London

The sight of speakers known to dispute the scientific evidence supporting climate change being called to speak at a parliamentary select committee on the latest IPCC report last week has raised certain commentators' blood pressure.

Some have gone so far as to claim that the climate change debate in Britain has become “as depressingly unscientific and polarised as it is in the United States”.

I disagree. The debate about climate change needs to become more political, and less scientific. Articulating radically different policy options in response to the risks posed by climate change is a good way of reinvigorating democratic politics.

The now infamous paper by John Cook and colleagues published in May 2013 claimed that of the 4,000 peer-reviewed papers they surveyed expressing a position on anthropogenic global warming, “97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming”. But merely enumerating the strength of consensus around the fact that humans cause climate change is largely irrelevant to the more important business of deciding what to do about it. By putting climate science in the dock, politicians are missing the point.

What matters is not whether the climate is changing (it is); nor whether human actions are to blame (they are, at the very least partly and, quite likely, largely); nor whether future climate change brings additional risks to human or non-human interests (it does). As climate scientist Professor Myles Allen said in evidence to the committee, even the projections of the IPCC’s more prominent critics overlap with the bottom end of the range of climate changes predicted in the IPCC’s published reports.

In the end, the only question that matters is, what are we going to do about it? Scientific consensus is not much help here. Even if one takes the Cook study at face value, then how does a scientific consensus of 97.1% about a fact make policy-making any easier? As Roger Pielke Jr has often remarked in the context of US climate politics, it’s not for a lack of public consensus on the reality of human-caused climate change that climate policy implementation is difficult in the US.

So politics, not science, must take centre stage. As Amanda Machin shows in her recent book, asking climate scientists to forge a consensus around facts with the expectation that decisive political action will naturally follow misunderstands science and politics in equal measure. If democratic politics is to be effective we need more disagreement, not more consensus, about what climate change is really about.
As I have argued elsewhere, the most important questions to be asked about climate change extend well beyond science. Let me suggest four; all of which are more important than the committee’s MPs managed. They are questions which people should and do disagree about and they have no correct answer waiting to be discovered by science.
  • How do we value the future, or in economic terms, at what rate should we discount the future? Many of the arguments about urgent versus delayed interventions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions revolve around how much less we value future public goods and natural assets relative to their value today. This is a question that clear-thinking people will disagree about.
  • In the governance of climate change what role do we allocate to markets? Many arguments about climate change, as about environmental management more generally, revolve around whether commodifying nature, by pricing environmental “goods” and “services”, is part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
  • How do we wish new technologies to be governed, from experimentation and development to deployment? This question might revolve around new or improved low-carbon energy technologies (such as fracking, nuclear power, or hydrogen fuel), the use of genetically modified crops as a means to adapt to changing climate, or proposed climate engineering technologies. Again, these are not questions upon which science, least of all a scientific consensus, can adjudicate.
  • What is the role of national governments as opposed to those played by multilateral treaties or international governing bodies? This requires citizens to reflect on forms of democracy and representation. They are no less important in relation to climate change than they are in relation to state security, immigration or financial regulation.
Any considered response to climate change will need to take a position, implicitly or explicitly, on one or more of these four questions, and others besides. And the percentage of climate science papers that accept humans are causing global warming has little to no bearing on public deliberations about these four questions.

Because the questions about climate change that really matter will not be settled by scientific facts. They entail debates about values and about the forms of political organisation and representation that people believe are desirable. This requires a more vigorous politics that cannot be short-circuited by appeals to science.

Mike Hulme does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

The Conversation
This article was originally published at The Conversation. Read the original article.




From his bio at The Conversation: Mike Hulme is professor of climate and culture in the Department of Geography at King’s College London. His work explores the idea of climate change using historical, cultural and scientific analyses, seeking to illuminate the numerous ways in which climate change is deployed in public and political discourse....From 2000 to 2007 he was the Founding Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, based at the University of East Anglia, and since 2007 has been the founding Editor-in-Chief of the review journal Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews (WIREs) Climate Change.


Politicians and the public should be debating policy not the science


I agree with Mike Hulme that it's way past time politicians and the public accepted the science and moved on to discuss policy.  I don't agree with him if he was suggesting that there was any value whatsoever in UK politicians giving a platform to fake sceptics like Donna Laframboise and Richard Lindzen.

Most politicians of any standing do accept climate science.  Some might be reluctant in this regard, but it's getting harder and harder to deny it.  In the USA the Republican Party as a whole seems to punish members who do accept the science but this will change.  Looking around the world, though, governments (as opposed to individual politicians) have accepted the science for more than two decades now.  Governments have made some progress in doing something about global warming - just not nearly enough progress.  Some time over the next couple of decades no-one (except the bedraggled mob at places like WUWT) will have a choice about whether or not to accept the science.  The climate will be doing it's thing.  It's happening already with hotter heatwaves and flashier floods.  More and more people are noticing.



Barry Woods and Anthony Watts engage in wishful thinking


Anthony Watts and Barry Woods are engaging in wishful thinking.  They grabbed onto one word written by Mike Hulme: "infamous".  Mike used that word to describe the 97% consensus paper by John Cook et al, published last year.  Anthony Watts and Barry Woods decided that Mike Hulme thinks there is not an overwhelming consensus among scientists that humans are causing global warming.  That's despite the fact that Mike Hulme clearly wrote that humans are causing global warming - and Anthony even published that particular paragraph.  Anthony quoted from an email he got from Barry Woods:
Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but if Mike Hulme thinks Cook 97% is nonsense AND pointless, this will be noticed. 

Except that Mike Hulme doesn't think that the 97% is nonsense.  What he's arguing is that it's time to move beyond the science of climate and explore some big questions relating to what we are going to do about climate change.  I'll paraphrase his questions as:

  • What value do we place on the future?
  • What role do we want markets to play in mitigating global warming or adapting to it?
  • Do we want to regulate new technologies and if so how?
  • What is the role of national governments vs multi-lateral agreements vs international governing bodies?


These aren't new questions.  Nor are they single answer questions.  In fact, the article by Mike Hulme is probably quite a good illustration of the point he is making.  Scientists are good at science but can't be expected to excel at policy.

My reaction to the Mike Hulme article is - um yes.  Oversimplifying the obvious.  I reckon the people who are involved in high level discussions about climate action and associated policy development, have delved much deeper into these and other related issues.

It's science deniers who want to avoid discussing policy, not the general public. By continuing to rage against the science, deniers reckon they can avoid or put off the inevitable - deciding what to do about climate change.  Thing is, getting to policy solutions might be moving too slowly but it has been moving along.  Without the input of science deniers.  They have decided to forego the opportunity to help shape policy.  But policy is taking shape without them.  It's their choice to not participate.


From the WUWT comments


Quite a number of people pointed out to Anthony that Mike Hulme accepts the 97% consensus and is saying we have to move beyond debating science and into debating and developing policy. (Archived here.)


John F. Hultquist says:
February 4, 2014 at 9:52 am
My take-away of M.H.’s remarks is that he thinks “prominent critics” of the IPCC agree with the climate change projections, climate change is bad, governments can alter the future, and should, so let’s get on with it. Business as usual in the CAGW camp.

kenw says:
February 4, 2014 at 9:58 am
This is most telling: “What matters is not whether the climate is changing (it is); nor whether human actions are to blame (they are, at the very least partly and, quite likely, largely); …”
His mind is made up and the politicians have to tell us what to do about it. If they tell us to do nothing, well, it’s all their fault and we shall all cook like the frog in the slow boil.
as with most, he incorrectly believes that Mankind is in control of the ‘solution’ to the ‘problem’. If you have such a mindset, it is obviously a political solution since the underlying science is settled and all that remains is to decide what (yes, if anything) to do about it. It’s just more of a throwing up of the hands, fatalistic, we’re doomed point of view.

Ken Hall agrees Mike Hulme doesn't doubt the 97% consensus, then accuses him of being a "human hating zealot" - and says:
February 4, 2014 at 10:09 am
He is not putting doubt on the 97% figure, only the importance of it in furthering the alarmist’s aims. He is suggesting that it is so obviously self evidently true, that it must no longer be questioned, and even if questioned, policy should now urgently be taken upon the assumption of it being true. 
The telling quote for me is the following:
“By putting climate science in the dock, politicians are missing the point [.…] In the end, the only question that matters is, what are we going to do about it?”
So it matters not if it is true or not? The alarmist scientists are done with trying to prove it, we must accept it on nothing more than blind faith before the earth cools anymore and further falsifies their CAGW hypothesis, and get on with implementing the alarmist’s cure.
In other words, sod the science, start the de-industrialisation and the destruction of industrial economies now. Truly, the argument of a human hating zealot.

Jammy Dodger says:
February 4, 2014 at 10:13 am
Yes, you are reading too much into it. He does not say Cook’s 97% is nonsense. Or pointless. A bit of confirmation fantasy there.

DirkH says:
February 4, 2014 at 10:14 am
Hulme doesn’t criticize Cook’s “methodology”. He’s perfectly fine with it. He essentially just says, this propaganda approach is not relevant for The Cause right now; how can we enforce the policies we planned? And he has no answer, that’s the good thing. Another failed NATO strategy.

There are many more in that vein.  WUWT-ers aren't buying what Anthony Watts and Barry Woods are selling. Not this time.


There is of course the normal (for WUWT) science denying response. It's Just Weather says:
February 4, 2014 at 1:55 pm
Hulme seems to believe that human beings are the primary cause of climate change. And that the change is significant enough to cause “risk.” I hate to break it to him. 97% of all people do not agree with that.
The human species has proven to be amazingly adaptive and lives and thrives in a wide variety of climates already. Almost all human beings (97+%) are continuing on with their lives as if they believe they will be able to adapt to the climate change headed our way whatever it might be.

58 comments:

  1. William Nordhaus has written in his book, The Climate Casino: Risk, Uncertainty, and Economics for a Warming World, that the time has come to move on from the debate about AGW. He suggests that finding solutions to climate change's major risk to natural ecosystems and human societies necessitates a move away from the sciences into the social sciences so that policies can be developed to deal with AGW. Now if only Watts et al could move on past their misinformation stage.

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    1. In an echo of your casino reference, this afternoon there was a piece on The World Today about the relationship between wealth and conservatism.

      It seems to me that the problem of climate change denialism reflects the findings of this study - in this case it's the wealthy Western countries that are acting with extreme and prejudicial conservatism with respect to mitigating climate change, just as would a fox in charge of repairing the holes in the hen house.

      This work begs the question as to what extent cultural norms affect the wealth/conservatism relationship. As I noted at Tamino's culture affects people's propensity to succumb to the Dunning-Kruger effect: if the same does not happen in the matter of wealth and conservatism then China's and India's increasing prosperity might have significant implications for their future efforts to address mitigation.

      That would not bode well...

      Delete
  2. I based my opinion on Prof Mike Hulme's comments, where he made his thoughts very clear about the 'limitations' of (and specifically only) the Cook et al '97% paper' at the Making Science Public blog a few months back..

    Mike Hulme July 25, 2013 at 6:39 am:
    http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/makingsciencepublic/2013/07/23/whats-behind-the-battle-of-received-wisdoms/#comment-182401

    "Ben Pile is spot on. The “97% consensus” article is poorly conceived, poorly designed and poorly executed. It obscures the complexities of the climate issue and it is a sign of the desperately poor level of public and policy debate in this country that the energy minister should cite it. It offers a similar depiction of the world into categories of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ to that adopted in Anderegg et al.’s 2010 equally poor study in PNAS: dividing publishing climate scientists into ‘believers’ and ‘non-believers’. It seems to me that these people are still living (or wishing to live) in the pre-2009 world of climate change discourse. Haven’t they noticed that public understanding of the climate issue has moved on?"

    and he clarified further in response to some questions:

    Mike Hulme July 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm
    http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/makingsciencepublic/2013/07/23/whats-behind-the-battle-of-received-wisdoms/#comment-182771

    "Steve – my point is that the Cook et al. study is hopelessly confused as well as being largely irrelevant to the complex questions that are raised by the idea of (human-caused) climate change. As to being confused, in one place the paper claims to be exploring “the level of scientific consensus that human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW” and yet the headline conclusion is based on rating abstracts according to whether “humans are causing global warming”. These are two entirely different judgements. The irrelevance is because none of the most contentious policy responses to climate change are resolved *even if* we accept that 97.1% of climate scientists believe that “human activity is very likely causing most of the current GW” (which of course is not what the study has shown). And more broadly, the sprawling scientific knowledge about climate and its changes cannot helpfully be reduced to a single consensus statement, however carefully worded. The various studies – such as Cook et al – that try to enumerate the climate change consensus pretend it can and that is why I find them unhelpful – and, in the sprit of this blog, I would suggest too that they are not helpful for our fellow citizens.

    Mike

    p.s. I’d be interested to know what Emeritus Chair I’m about to be offered!"

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    1. I think I'll look back to see what Mr Hulme revealed in the ClimateGate emails...then I'll have more to post...

      Delete
  3. Barry, that was a very long post but I'm none the wiser. Are you saying:

    1. That you agree with me saying that you think that Mike Hulme is of the view that there is not a scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming?

    Or

    2. That you agree that Mike Hulme does not dispute that there is a scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming.

    I'll happily correct my article if I was mistaken about what you were trying to claim.

    PS Re the WUWT article - if only fake sceptics would come to the table and engage in discussions on the best way forward to mitigate global warming. Sadly deniers are still stuck fast rejecting the science. They can't agree with each other why they reject the science. The only thing they all agree is that "scientists don't know nuffin'".

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    1. Neither, false choices?
      I'm saying Mike Hulme doesn't appear to like Cook et al's paper... nothing more/less

      Delete
    2. Thanks, I'll correct the article referring to the above comment.

      However you are wrong about the "nothing more/less", assuming Anthony quoted you correctly. You wrote:

      Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but if Mike Hulme thinks Cook 97% is nonsense AND pointless, this will be noticed.

      That suggested to me that you thought that Mike Hulme rejected the findings. But now you say you didn't mean that at all. You can probably see why I misunderstood you. (I dimly recall Mike Hulme being a bit silly about the Cook study. He doesn't dispute the consensus on global warming though. He's just typical of a certain type of UK scientist who wants to play nice with dumb deniers from time to time. Maybe it's the wacky weather in the UK or maybe he has vague yearnings to be accepted by the "establishment" in the old social structure that the UK used to have. Whatever, I find it very odd and not becoming of a scientist to tolerate fools so readily. Not all UK scientists are like that.)


      The other "more not less" you wrote was

      But I think perhaps the most interesting part, is it seems to allow sceptics at the policy table.


      Deniers have always been allowed at the policy table, provided they talk policy. Mostly they refuse to go to the policy table, or only go to try to stop policy discussions from proceeding (think the potty peer). All most of them want to do is reject the science. (Not all fake sceptics refuse. We've had some at HW who are willing to discuss policy.)

      Delete
    3. "I'm saying Mike Hulme doesn't appear to like Cook et al's paper... nothing more/less"

      vs

      "Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but if Mike Hulme thinks Cook 97% is nonsense AND pointless, this will be noticed."

      So of course there is no possibility of reading too much into it. Because you said nothing more/less.

      Delete
  4. To Hulme's point- Science may not be able to blithely wander the fields of "should", but it has no replacement in its role of telling us what the costs and consequences of the chosen and rejected "shoulds". If we leave things to the frolicking politicians, they will, as they've done in the past, invent their own facts, make up their own reality and often be long dead before their heirs have to face the consequences of their choices. In the case of Global Warming, there is a well established and funded church of "it's gonna be alright (especially if I can avoid doing anything right now)" to contend with. And one of the contentions of this church and its acolytes is that there isn't a scientific consensus so inaction is the only course of action.

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    1. I can't fathom Mike Hulme's first three paragraphs. The reason people objected to ex-scientist Richard Lindzen and denier Donna Laframboise presenting to the UK politicians was the same reason that Mike is arguing later in his article. It's time to move beyond rejecting science and make a lot more progress in public discussion of mitigation strategy options. Donna and Richard don't progress that in any way. They and the politicians who invited them are still stuck in denying science.

      Some UK scientists seem to pander to the denier crowd and the only thing I can think of is that they like being feted by tabloid journalists and the denier "establishment" like Lawson and Ridley from the GWPF.

      Mike Hulme's comments about Cook13 are equally perplexing. The main reason for that study was to shift the debate to strategy, which is what Mike Hulme is arguing later in the Conversation article. To let the public know that there is scientific consensus on the fact that humans are causing global warming. Mike should be pointing to Cook13 to support his main point.

      I don't know how someone as naive as Mike Hulme appears to be manages to rise through the ranks. He comes across as a junior analyst in training who hasn't yet learnt anything of human behaviour. As if he's not yet progressed to the realisation that there are people in the world who will do anything to stop or disrupt public discussion of important matters. (I find it hard to believe he is that naive so I don't know what his game is.)

      Delete
  5. Hulme was co author of the Hartwell paper which could best be described as a "lukewarmer's manifesto" or "how we can solve climate change while continuing to burn fossil fuels". Basically reheated Pielke Jr who was another coauthor.

    Clive Hamilton sinks the slipper into the Hartwell nonsense here.
    https://theconversation.com/climate-change-and-the-soothing-message-of-luke-warmism-8445

    Read the first comment from Professor Michael Ashley from UNSW who nails it

    "I note that the Hartwell Paper, according to the LSE website, was allegedly the result of "three months' intensive work by a group of 14 authors".
    If you were choosing 14 people to consider humanity's response to climate change, you would think that you would include at least one person with a clue.
    The end result of the gab-fest was that they were able to "reframe the climate issue around matters of human dignity". What a joke."



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    1. Thanks for that info Mike. Maybe Mike Hulme is angling for a seat on the GWPF Advisory Board. It's would be very odd for someone who knows how bad global warming to advocate a slow down in the policy response. Not unheard of - eg Judith Curry is one who doesn't want us to do anything to stop global warming. But that's not what Mike Hulme is advocating in the above article. He's arguing that discussion progress, presumably to speed up action.
      Given his involvement in the Hartwell article and his contradictory statements re the anti-science brigade, maybe he's trying to do the splits. He'll have to make up his mind sooner or later whether he wants any footnote he might have in history books to be that he was a villain or a hero. At the rate he's going he won't warrant a footnote. That article of his is eminently forgettable.

      Delete
    2. "maybe he's trying to do the splits"

      A good description of a lukewarmer's policy prescriptions.

      They recognise that there is a big problem with AGW but they cannot contemplate the obvious conclusion - that we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

      This paean to CCS from Pielke Jr and Sarewitz unselfconsciously titled "Learning to Live With Fossil Fuels"** includes the statement "Unlike abandoning fossil energy, capturing carbon does not demand a radical alteration of national economies, global trade, or personal lifestyles"
      http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/05/learning-to-live-with-fossil-fuels/309295/


      ** reminded me of "Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb"

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  7. Hulme makes plenty of sense. He identifies that Cook et al and other areas of broad agreement are sufficient for politicians to get on with the very difficult hurdle of framing a global policy response.

    On the other hand, Barry Woods in hi quotes above correctly summarises an important caveat. Consensus that AGW is real does not mean we can leap to mitigations strategies without a clear understanding of how bad future warming will be. In other words, agreeing at a qualitative level that AGW is real, is not the same (or anything like) a quantitative analysis of the impacts of future warming, balanced against the costs of mitigation (financial, social, environmental)

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    1. Global energy policy does not rely on end-of-the-world scary stories, it rests on sound, verifiable science, economics and engineering. What Hulme is correctly saying, is that we do not have scientists agreeing quantitatively on what the future impacts of global warming will be, and so there still exists a vast polarisation of views.

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    2. "In other words, agreeing at a qualitative level that AGW is real, is not the same (or anything like) a quantitative analysis of the impacts of future warming, balanced against the costs of mitigation (financial, social, environmental)"

      and

      "...we do not have scientists agreeing quantitatively on what the future impacts of global warming will be, and so there still exists a vast polarisation of views."

      Weasel words.

      With your insistence in a "quantitative level" of agreement you are constructing a straw man. Even if the overwhelming majority of expert opinion was that there will be extreme consequences your pedantry's manufacture a dodge of responsibility.

      Having noted that, the consequences are understood with confidence:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-positives-negatives-advanced.htm

      http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/impacts/

      http://www.science.org.au/nova/091/091key.html

      http://www.aip.org/history/climate/impacts.htm

      http://epa.gov/climatestudents/impacts/effects/index.html

      http://climatecrocks.com/2011/03/05/admiral-david-titley-us-navy-chief-oceanographer-i-used-to-be-a-climate-skeptic/

      http://climatecrocks.com/2013/02/20/admiral-titley-climate-change-and-national-security/

      and even the economic costs are known:

      http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http:/www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/sternreview_index.htm

      http://www.garnautreview.org.au/

      except that it's worse:


      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jan/27/nicholas-stern-climate-change-davos

      If we do not address climate change soon and urgently, it will have a profoundly negative effect on the planet, and on economies. This concern about loss of wealth is a characteristic of the wealthy, whose conservativism increases with their growing wealth.

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    3. "...your pedantry manufactures..."

      Delete
    4. Wrong, Greig, that is not what Hulme is saying. His very first question is about values. Even if we were to know for sure, 100%, not a shred of a doubt where we are going and what impacts to expect, we still have a polarisation of views.

      Suppose for example that we know for sure, again, 100%, that most of the current living space of Bangladesh will be under water in 2100, such that no one could live there. This brings the first question:
      Who cares?
      Let's say we all "care".
      The next question is:
      Who cares enough to be willing to help the Bangladeshi to adapt?
      Or one step earlier: who cares enough to be willing to mitigate?
      Let's again make an assumption: we all agree that we care enough to do something. Whether that is help with the adaptation or through mitigation or both does not matter.
      We then get to the third question:
      How much are we willing to help / how much are we willing to sacrifice 'ourselves'?
      It's still not enough to agree on a number here, because then the question becomes: who contributes and how?
      The libertarian will demand some free market approach - nothing else will be acceptable. Socialists will demand the rich pay more than the poor. Globalists demand the whole world contributes through international cooperation, nationalists demand they take a decision as individual countries. Etc. etc.

      This "values" discussion is one of the most unpleasant to have for ideologues, and so you will always have them attack the science, just to not have that discussion. I've seen it happen in the creationist community, where some have found a way to accept evolution without having to spend too much time on the question what evolution meant for their beliefs. Others were incapable of *not* addressing that question and came to the decision that accepting evolution would mean they had to abandon their faith. Most then chose the latter over the former, and thus denied the science. No more need to address the "values" question, since the science was wrong, and so the values did not need to be addressed. I see similar tendencies in a significant proportion of the climate pseudoskeptic community.

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    5. Marco - snap!

      Delete
    6. Yes Marco, that is what Hulme's article is saying - that we have sufficient consensus to address the political question of values.

      However the caveat is as Barry Woods has pointed out that Hulme does not like the Cook et al analysis (see Barry's comments above) which clearly alludes to the lack of quantification in the consensus.

      In other words, in your analogy, assuming the politicians can agree on how to help Bangladesh at a qualitative level, to complete the policy making we then really need to know the answer to important quantitative questions, e.g. how much CO2 remediation will avoid the flooding of Bangladesh?

      Delete
    7. Bernard,

      Do you really think that it is unnecessary (pedantic) for science to quantify the rate of warming over the next century? Because if you are saying that, then you are ignoring the direction of a very large part of current climate research (including climate modelling).

      And your links do not refer to a quantification of the rate and degree of warming that we are likely to experience in the future (which is the critical issue I was referring to). And there is plenty of scientific and practical reason to question the pessimism.

      Stern and Garnaut's economic analysis has been roundly debunked as being based on overly pessimistic of potential warming rates and impacts. Why, in a post GFC world, would you hang your hat on the predictions of economists?

      Concern for wealth is actually far more important to the world's poor in developing countries, who are attempting to emerge from poverty. Their welfare is ultimately a concern for the future of humanity, because emergence from poverty is directly linked to resolving overpopulation.

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    8. Greig, did you read the Krugman article to which you linked? If that article didn't make you very very nervous, then I suggest you find another hobby to replace your science denying hobby. You really are not very good at it.

      Perhaps you just read the word "Stern" and thought his work was "roundly debunked". (I gather Nordhaus has a different opinion to Stern on discounting, but that read to me as a disagreement among two leading economists, not a "round debunking".)

      Yet it turns out that there is little difference between Nordhaus and Stern when it comes to the bottom line of action that's needed. Quoting your article:

      And one of the nice things that those of us who deeply respect both Nordhaus and Stern will discover in this book is Nordhaus’s conclusion (to his own surprise), based on his models, that the whole issue of how much to discount costs to future generations is something of a red herring—it turns out that the rate at which you discount the distant future doesn’t make much difference to optimal policy, only slightly raising the amount of global warming that we should, in the end, allow to take place.

      ...In the end, and despite the debunkery, Nordhaus concludes that there will be mounting costs as the temperature rise goes beyond 2°C—and a rise of at least that much seems, at this point, almost impossible to avoid. When one takes into account the risk of surprising rises in temperature, there is an overwhelming case for action to limit the temperature rise. The questions then become how much action, and what form it should take.

      ...I enjoyed The Climate Casino, and felt that I learned a lot from it. Yet as I read it, I couldn’t help wondering whom, exactly, the book was written for. It is, after all, a calm, reasoned tract, marshaling the best available scientific and economic evidence on behalf of a pragmatic policy approach. And here’s the thing: just about everyone responsive to that kind of argument already favors strong climate action. It’s the other guys who constitute the problem.

      But it seems that we have, without knowing it, made an immensely dangerous bet.... Unfortunately, if the bet goes bad, we won’t get another chance to play.

      Delete
    9. Greig, as Bernard pointed out we already have quite strong quantitative answers. How much certainty do we need?

      Note that politicians as a rule need to make policy decisions under significant uncertainty, based solely on projections. Take for example the decisions to build a new road. Why do it? Because projections indicate such a new road will e.g. alleviate traffic jams in one place and traffic jams cost money + environmental damage increases. But the new road costs money and causes environmental damage itself. Never ever will the politician be 100% sure that the traffic jam is too damaging to not take action, nor will he be 100% sure that the solution is fully cost-effective.

      There's a whole scientific field for the topic: Decision Theory.

      I also like to know whether you actually read your first link. It's an opinion piece from 20 years ago, and thus containing numerous talking points that have been shown wrong for decades already.

      Delete
    10. Greig February 6, 2014 at 8:35 PM wrote
      "Why, in a post GFC world, would you hang your hat on the predictions of economists?"

      And what do you do, link to an article from Thomas Gale Moore, an economist!! Not only that, but a highly discredited economist who has served as a paid mouthpiece for the Tobacco Institute, Hoover Institution, CEI and Cato Institute!! Sorry, but you have no credibility left. You are so easily duped, and you try to dupe others. What is it with deniers and their love for extremist right wing ideology and their hawkers.

      Delete
    11. Dave, Greig didn't just cite one economist to support his "argument", he cited three: Thomas Gale Moore (a science denier) as well as Paul Krugman and William D. Nordhaus - with the latter two arguing strongly that we need to cut emissions sharply and suggesting ways to do it.

      Delete
    12. Sou, Dave, Marco,

      I think you have missed my point. I am not arguing that we take no action - on the contrary. I am supporting Hulme's view that we should move ahead on policy from a political perspective, so that we can be better prepared to act on new evidence as it emerges.

      I posted the links to Moore and Krugman to illustrate why we cannot take the word of any single economist (or scientist for that matter) on what the future holds, because there are many views and no way to know whether they are right or wrong. Moore is no different to Stern or Garnaut, none hold a trump card.

      Rather than trying to predict the future, we need to embrace a balanced approach that acknowledges that we do not have a clear quantified projection of the future. We face an unquantified risk - and policy needs to reflect that. I refer specifically to Nordhaus because his approach is unique - he acknowledges the uncertainty in the future, unlike Stern and Garnaut does not pre-empt it by assuming a worst case scenario.

      All three of your posts show the same bias. You reject anyone who sees the future as anything but catastrophic, or who suggests there are downsides to emissions reduction policy. Surely you can see this one-sidedness is just as bad for our future (and the environment) as so-called "deniers" demanding BAU. Surely you must realise that this is the reason why Copenhagen failed, and policymakers are not following the alarmist line.

      The only way forward on this issue is for us to stop demanding that we know what the future holds, and set balanced, flexible and adaptable policies that embrace new scientific information and new technology.

      Delete
    13. Greig, I agree with you to not take the word of a *single* economist or *single* scientist - but why state the obvious? No-one would do that.

      I can understand that people who aren't familiar with either economics or science aren't in a position to judge. However governments and policy developers have access to lots of people who have expertise in these areas, so they have no excuse.

      The difference between Moore and all the other economists is that Moore rejects the science, makes up stuff and says "do nothing" at best or "bring it on".

      On the other hand, Garnaut, Stern and Nordhaus all based their analyses on the collective findings of science and they all came to similar conclusions about the best policy instruments by which to reduce emissions, even using different methods. They also came to very similar conclusions about the economic cost of not doing so despite coming at it from different angles.

      Just like science comes to the same general conclusion no matter whether it's studies of the oceans, paleoclimate, surface warming or whatever - the risk to societies and economies are extreme if we don't cut emissions and keep total emissions below 1000 gigatonnes of carbon.

      I don't know why you say we shouldn't try to predict the future. Everyone does that every minute they are awake. If they didn't attempt this they'd be stuck. Whether it's saving superannuation, taking out health insurance or walking to work, we are "predicting" the future, weighing up consequences of different futures and taking action.

      The risk is not unquantified - it's quantified. And the policy needs to be guided by that.

      Copenhagen did not achieve as much not because of science or because of economics - it was because of politics and diplomacy. Each nation hanging out for the best deal. Governments almost without exception accept the science. Governments almost without exception are considering and/or have already adopted very similar policy instruments.

      Deniers want to make this about science - it's not. The science is well-established. It's not about economics either. The costs and benefits of different strategies are well enough worked out for decision-making.

      The hurdles are ideology, politics, diplomacy and, to a much lesser extent, technology.

      Delete
    14. What you says makes sense, but it ignores the fact that a large number of bloggers like to open up the range of "likely" climate scenarios in only one direction (downwards), then claim that no action is justified. These people are not willing to consider the low but non-zero probability of major climate-associated disruption, so they don't include that in their net calculation of risk assessment. People who start their assessment from the point of view that the IPCC is a bunch of crooks and liars, and ECS is <1 C based on nothing but their gut feeling or a single already-debunked study, don't deserve a seat at the risk-assessment table.

      Delete
    15. "...he acknowledges the uncertainty in the future, unlike Stern and Garnaut does not pre-empt it by assuming a worst case scenario."

      Grieg, you persist in a straw mannish thimble-rigging of the situation.

      There is sufficient evidence derived by and accepted by a large number of experts across many disciplines that suggests that the risk of persisting without doing everything we can to reduce emissions will have "bad" to "worst" impacts on society and on the ecology of the planet. Further, the disproportionate impact of "worst" relative to its likelihood is such that planning for the worst is by far the most advised option.

      Even further, you have ignored the fact that many of the strategies to mitigate against global warming would also increase the resilience and profitability of human economies over the coming centuries.

      You argument is a red herring. However, if you want to put it forward as one to be considered, Tamino has the perfect forum for you.

      I will watch for your presence there.

      Delete
    16. Well Greig, if you want to at least look creditable, don't pontificate with blatant propaganda from those who's interest is peddling misinformation on behalf of their clients, the tobacco and fossil fuel industry, In your haste, you don't do any background checking on the people you link to. In case you don't know, we are in the midst of a 'climate war', where those who currently profit from the slow destruction of the planet are engaged in a massive PR and FUD campaign, peddling lies and misinformation. Because these lies and misinformation fit well within the ideology of denial, they seem real and truthful. Since you are a proven denier, you do not posses any true scepticism or critical thinking. All you see is bias. Whatever your motivation for posting here, you will never be able to impart your ignorance and ideology.

      You say it is not possible to predict the future, but you are wrong. The science of the climate has already quantified the risk. We have enough carbon as fossil fuels to seriously disrupt humanity 3 or 4 times over, and there is also enough carbon as methane locked up in the biosphere that if released through increased temperatures to also seriously disrupt humanity a further 3 or 4 times over. It has already happened a few times in the geologic past with an order of magnitude less heating than the current rate of change. The PETM and the Permian extinction has showed us that. The decarbonisation of the economy might have some minimal short term pain, but the long term benefits outweigh it. AGW is already having a serious impact on the economy, and is only set to get worse. The GFC showed that the global economy lives on a knife-edge, and any seemingly small event can very quickly snowball and bring the house of cards down to it's knees. We only have a small window of opportunity in which to act, as there are many irreversable tipping points that await us if humanity does not act while we still have the chance.

      Delete
    17. Dave - based on what you know.. what 'side' of the 'climate wars', your description of the climate debate, do you perceive Mike Hulme as being on, as an example, and why?

      A thought, Is it possible not to be on a side, would you perceive Hulme as neutral?

      or, please frame/answer the question as you perceive things.

      Delete
    18. Sou February 7, 2014 at 10:22 AM writes

      governments and policy developers have access to lots of people who have expertise in these areas, so they have no excuse.

      So why is everyone building more coal plants? Maybe they know something you don’t?

      The difference between Moore and all the other economists is that Moore rejects the science, makes up stuff and says "do nothing" at best or "bring it on".

      Did you read the Moore article? It makes 222 references, mostly to valid peer reviewed scientific studies. My criticism of Moore is that like Stern and Garnaut, he draws conclusions on the future impacts based on optimistic projections, without recognising that the rate of future warming is unknown.

      I don't know why you say we shouldn't try to predict the future. Everyone does that every minute they are awake. … weighing up consequences of different futures and taking action.

      If we followed your “worst case scenario” approach (and that of Stern, Garnaut, etc) you wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning.

      The costs and benefits of different strategies are well enough worked out for decision-making.

      Really? The challenge then is for you to explain why the well informed governments of this world continue to expand fossil fuel use, renewables still produce a fraction of capacity, with projected rate of CO2 emission s to increase significantly over the next few decades. Is it really all the fault of bloggers at WUWT?

      The hurdles are ideology, politics, diplomacy

      And back to the subject of this thread, Hulme has made a contribution on how we might address this. Do you agree with his suggestions or not?

      PL February 7, 2014 at 10:25 AM writes:

      a large number of bloggers like to open up the range of "likely" climate scenarios in only one direction (downwards), then claim that no action is justified.

      A large number of bloggers here assume that the only "likely" climate scenarios are catastrophic. A more balanced view is to acknowledge that we don’t yet know what the rate of future warming will be.

      Bernard J. February 7, 2014 at 10:31 AM wrote:

      strategies to mitigate against global warming would also increase the resilience and profitability of human economies over the coming centuries.

      Are your sure? Check the projections on energy technology – the next century is all about coal and gas, and it is economics (read: resilience and profitability of human economies) that is driving this.

      Dave February 7, 2014 at 11:28 AM wrote:

      those who currently profit from the slow destruction of the planet are engaged in a massive PR and FUD campaign, peddling lies and misinformation.

      Of course, the fossil fuel companies lobby. And there are those on the other side of the argument with ideological agendas, they too are “peddling lies and misinformation”. Don’t believe the hype.

      You say it is not possible to predict the future, but you are wrong.

      Really? Think about what you are saying here, Dave.

      seriously disrupt humanity 3 or 4 times over,

      Disrupt … 3 or 4 times over …. And you want to lecture me on quantification?

      AGW is already having a serious impact on the economy … there are many irreversable tipping points that await us

      Is there any evidence for these claims in the peer reviewed literature? (Note: I have a few choice quotes from the IPCC AR5 and SREX that prove you wrong)

      Delete
    19. Grieg, if you spent more time reading and less time writing you might learn something. You ask if I read the Moore article. I did, and I even wrote a blog article about it. The number of references has nothing to do with whether an article is good or bad or right or wrong. (The NIPCC has oodles of references too and it's almost as silly as the Moore article.)

      http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2014/02/what-difference-19-years-makes.html

      I'm not going to bother with most of your comment. By now readers will have learnt that you spout a lot of nonsense, have no capacity for logic or fact-checking and your hobby is writing long boring comments about the fact that you reject science.

      I'll just make one more observation because to my way of thinking this is why a lot of deniers like yourself can't accept climate science. You wrote:

      If we followed your “worst case scenario” approach (and that of Stern, Garnaut, etc) you wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning.

      Neither my approach nor that or Nicholas Stern and Ross Garnaut are "worse case scenario". Not by a long shot. The fact that you wouldn't get out of bed in the morning if you accepted the science that Garnaut and Stern used as a basis for their reviews says a lot about you. The fact that you'd stay in bed rather than have Australia bring in a modest carbon price (which is the bottom line of the Garnaut review) or adopt the Stern review recommendations, tells us even more about you and your ideology. You'd rather not get out of bed ever again than use a relatively mild market mechanism to shift to clean energy.

      I've written before about what I call "scaredy cat" deniers. People who freeze when they come across big problems. (Yes, I've had big problems and frozen, temporarily. I'm not unique in that regard.) However, as a civilisation we cannot afford to stay in bed rather than deal with the big problems of the world.

      The next decade we will have decided as a civilisation whether we want to make it easy or hard for ourselves. The signs are, as you point out, that we place no value on the future. Yet there are also signs that we do. You are fighting to resist a clean energy world and I'm urging people to act for the future of humanity.

      Whether you will have your Pyrrhic victory or whether our future will "win" only time will tell.

      Here are some articles I've written on the "scaredy cat" aspect of science rejection:

      Delete
    20. Oh, and for the record, not "everyone" is building more coal plants than renewables. From a report by the European Wind Energy Association via Greenpeace:

      Wind and solar power accounted for 63% of new capacity added to the European grid last year whilst coal capacity fell - according to new data from the European Wind Energy Association.

      Delete
    21. @Grieg, "A large number of bloggers here assume that the only "likely" climate scenarios are catastrophic. " Nope, not at all. People here accept the mid-range of ECS with the uncertainties as detailed in the IPCC. Mid-range ECS *is* catastrophic, *if* no action is taken to curb emissions. Catastrophists would only look at worst-case predictions based on RCP8.5, which are obviously not outside the range of possible outcomes.

      Delete
  8. Sou when I said this:

    "Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but if Mike Hulme thinks Cook 97% is nonsense AND pointless, this will be noticed."

    'noticed' was with respect to the quality and point of the COOK paper, (nothing else) the context was Ed Davey had been waving it around at the BBC's Andrew Neal on the Daily Politics, which led to Ben Piles article..

    I'm puzzled, you said you were dimly aware of Hulme, being a bit 'silly' about the Cook paper. why are you only dimly aware.. ?

    As I had just quoted to you, Mike Hulmes exact words about the Cook paper, with links to the quotes, and the Ben Pile article, about where Ed Davey (UK senior politician) had waved the paper at Andrew Neal, and Andrew Neal had said it had been debunked (by Tol) and that was even before Mike Hulme criticisms...


    Sou - one other question, were you serious with what you said about Hulme here:

    http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2014/02/besieged-deniers-anthony-watts-and.html?showComment=1391654608709#c3043479234350652425

    "Maybe Mike Hulme is angling for a seat on the GWPF Advisory Board."

    As I'm fairly sure you don't know much about his background.

    How do you perceive Mike Hulme, as a 'lukewarmer', presumably not a 'sceptic', or a 'denier'?, 'part of the consensus', what exactly? or a 'heretic' like Curry. Or some other description, is his contribution positive to you?, negative?, and why exactly?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barry, "dimly aware" is a colloquial expression here in Australia meaning - "I have a vague recollection of reading something about that somewhere some time ago" or similar.

      As for my opinion of him, I know little about him other than his brief bio, the above article, what others have added here and my "dim recollection" of him writing silly stuff about the Cook paper.

      There are a few climate folk in the UK who cosy up to deniers and give them a free pass, even though they understand the science. It seems unique to the UK, hence my speculation about it being for social reasons not scientific reasons. Mike Hulme might be of that type or he could be an ideological denier who can't quite bring himself to reject the science outright (going by a couple of comments and references by others in this thread).

      The UK lot are are different to Judith Curry. She's a Lindzen in the making.

      Mike Hulme doesn't interest me a great deal though. While he's held some decent jobs, given his expressed views I doubt he's likely to have any lasting influence. Too vacillatory. Too wimpish. And demonstrably naive/simplistic when writing outside his area of expertise.

      Delete
    2. well - that' was enlightening... thank you.
      do you know what the 'sceptics' thought about Mike Hulme's role in climategate emails?
      What do you think most 'sceptics' would think about him
      (fyi - I've seen a lot of criticism and have criticised myself)

      Delete
    3. No I don't and nor do I care. Poring through stolen personal emails is equivalent to being a peeping Tom. No - it's more unsavoury than that. "Perving" says a lot about the perver(t) and nothing about the people who were having a private dialogue.

      Delete
    4. To be clear do you really think Hulme is an 'ideological denier' not quite 'rejecting the science' or a heretic like Curry, without knowing much about him or his roles and actions.

      As he is an establishment scientist, would you consider him as having more potentially more influence, or more damaging to 'the science', than someone like Watts, or myself or Andrew Montford.

      On a scale of the potential influence and impact of 'deniers'/'sceptics'/'heretics', where would Watts, Montford, myself, Ben Pile and Hulme sit?

      If you recall, I said Prof Mike Hulme's opinion on Cook et al might be 'noticed' (I meant by the establishment) vs myself, Watts, PIle, Montford dismissing the Cook paper. Ed Davey minister of State and his department, would dismiss sceptic blogs out of hand, but not Prof Mike Hulme thoughts on Cook et al.

      So I very much doubt if Davey or any other Minister will EVER cite Cook again in a BBC interview, as BBC's Andrew Neal I'm sure is now aware of Prof Mike Hulme's thoughts, and will challenge the politician that cites Cook et al, with Prof Mike Hulme's words - 'Poorly conceived, designed and executed' and 'hopelessly confused' and largely irrelevant'

      So Prof Mike Hulme's potential influence and potential impact on the Cook paper amongst the political UK establishment is, I think reasonable to assume, of much more likely influence than ANY sceptical blogger.

      so rather than Prof Mike Hulme having little influence as you suggest, I think his influence may be much,much more significant, than any sceptical blogger (ref Cook et al, and his other thinking) which is why perhaps some sceptic blogs are pointing his thoughts out, with a little glee.

      Delete
    5. On a scale of the potential influence and impact of 'deniers'/'sceptics'/'heretics', where would Watts, Montford, myself, Ben Pile and Hulme sit?

      That's got to be one of the most inane questions I've ever been asked in my life. And I'm no spring chicken.

      Delete
    6. fair enough Sou. maybe it was inane..

      but I found your think about Hulme surprising, which why I asked if you knew much about the person (Hulme) you were equating as an 'ideological denier' and en verge of 'rejecting science..

      This id perhaps how some 'sceptics' see Mike Hulme:

      As founding director of the Tyndall Climate Change Centre (the most activist UK group), for example, he invited Greenpeace's legend Bill Hare onto the advisory board, he funded CMEP to work with the media to keep 'sceptics' off the airways..

      he organised, the dare I say it 'infamous' - Invitation To influence Kyoto - statement, to be signed by climate scientist, (working with NGO's like Greenpeace to promote it) to lobby to the worlds politicians at the Kyoto summit, an action was met with a damming response from Tom Wigley for his activism.

      He was at the BBC internal meeting (the BBC fought to keep those who attended out of the public domain) that the BBC quote to say based on that meeting of experts we no longer have to be balance about climate, because of the climate consensus is clear.. Tyndall Centre (under Mike Hulme funded the group - CMEP/IBT that organised those meetings)

      so if climate activist like yourself, know so little and so easily and quickly rush to judge others as potential 'ideological deniers' and wanting to 'reject science', who want to cosy up to 'deniers' - well I find that fascinating.

      Delete
    7. So now you see how the deniers are trying to fuck up public discourse in the UK:

      So I very much doubt if Davey or any other Minister will EVER cite Cook again in a BBC interview, as BBC's Andrew Neal I'm sure is now aware of Prof Mike Hulme's thoughts, and will challenge the politician that cites Cook et al, with Prof Mike Hulme's words - 'Poorly conceived, designed and executed' and 'hopelessly confused' and largely irrelevant'

      Fascinating. Take Mike Hulme's confused, incorrect position on Cook13 and misrepresent it as the final word on a paper that has effortlessly withstood the combined shit-flinging of the denialist community the world over.

      Non-UK residents do note that Andrew Neal is a right-wing pundit and denier with real form for being loudly and publicly wrong about climate change. He is not, however, capable of single-handedly determining the tenor of public and political discourse in this country. That would be Barry getting rather carried away with himself.

      I further think you are over-stating the value of Hulme as a game-changing card, Barry, but then you never were very smart.

      Delete
    8. and Andrew Neal had said it had been debunked (by Tol)

      Except Tol *didn't* "debunk" Cook13. This is just a fake-sceptic lie. Tol's reply was rejected by the journal because it was incorrect. So now we see Neal repeating fake-sceptic misinformation on the record instead of doing his job properly. This is how the fake sceptics are trying to subvert public and political discourse in the UK.

      Delete
    9. BBD my main point is that someone like Sou could think of Mike Hulme as some type of 'denier' rejecting science, was really fascinating. especially as Sou appears to know very little about him...

      who is right/wrong about Cook becomes irrelevant, when activist react like this against the climate science establishment scientists. that is more interesting

      Delete
    10. That's just your confirmation bias showing, Barry.

      If you read my comments again you will see that what I wrote was:

      Mike Hulme might be of that type or he could be an ideological denier who can't quite bring himself to reject the science outright (going by a couple of comments and references by others in this thread).

      He doesn't reject the science outright, but he writes weird stuff like suggesting it's okay for UK politicians to invite Richard Lindzen and Donna Laframboise to appear before them so as to deny science. While at the same time he wrote that it's time to move onto discussing what to do about global warming and stop denying the science. His article showed confused thinking.

      You'll also have noticed that I made it quite clear that I was speculating based on my scant knowledge of (or interest in) the chap, likening his behaviour to my observations of not dissimilar behaviour by a couple of other UK scientists.

      It's you who are reading much more into my generalised and speculative comments, which you pushed for, by the way, than they warrant.

      I notice from when I wander around the traps that you have a habit of doing that sort of thing.

      Delete
    11. Barry, what you are doing is activism, to put it politely:

      So I very much doubt if Davey or any other Minister will EVER cite Cook again in a BBC interview, as BBC's Andrew Neal I'm sure is now aware of Prof Mike Hulme's thoughts, and will challenge the politician that cites Cook et al, with Prof Mike Hulme's words - 'Poorly conceived, designed and executed' and 'hopelessly confused' and largely irrelevant'

      Hulme has become increasingly confused and irrelevant, except to (in)activists such as yourself and your pals at WUWT, BH etc.

      who is right/wrong about Cook becomes irrelevant, when activist react like this against the climate science establishment scientists. that is more interesting

      Cobblers. You have expended huge efforts elsewhere and enough here banging the Hulme-says-Cook-crap drum. Your self-contradictions are absurd. If you think clumsy and muddled rhetoric like this will work on me you are mistaken.

      Delete
    12. And to be clear, whilst I have criticized Mike Hulme in the past, for his past 'actions' it is easy to judge with hindsight. Prof Mike Hulme clearly says the debate has moved on since 2009, and appears to be asking the right questions.

      Delete
    13. The "debate" will only move on when deniers stop trying - as you are doing - to subvert the public and political discourse with pseudo-science and misinformation. You should not have crowed so loudly about your faith in such as Andrew Neal to distort the truth. That was foolish Barry. But a thousand thanks, all the same.

      Delete
  9. Greig is both logically and scientifically challenged. A classic Dunning Kruger case.

    "a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than is accurate"

    Judging by his comment below (from a previous blog):

    "I wonder if a decade ago you would have argued that stomach ulcers are caused by stress (because what else could be the cause?)"

    He subscribes to the logically fallacious argument that just because the scientific consensus has been (very occasionally), wrong in the past (the old Galileo/Einstein analogy), that it is therefore wrong now. This is like saying, "Jane is a woman, Jane has red hair, therefore all women have red hair". He doesn't even realise that you can't make an argument like this in educated company and get away with it.

    Then the other point that he keeps banging on about, regarding Paleo reconstructions of climate sensitivity and CO2 feedbacks not being relevant to the situation today (again from a previous blog):

    "You are also assuming those feedbacks apply exactly the same in both cases, when we are talking about very different atmospheric and terrestrial conditions in each case."

    His understanding of Physics is so weak that he doesn't realise that it doesn't matter a rat's rectum how CO2 gets into the atmosphere, once it's there, it will have exactly the same effect in terms of trapping heat and on water vapour. So yes, it is valid to estimate climate sensitivity from ancient climates, and that informs our best estimate of about 3 degrees per doubling of CO2.

    So yes, it is possible to quantify the future risks of Climate change, and it is our duty to the next generation to do so. If anything, the IPCC projections are on the conservative side, and biased on the low side, so not at all "alarmist".

    ReplyDelete
  10. Looks like you can all stop parsing what Mike Hulme really thought.


    Rob Painting of the SkS Treehouse Club and "97% Paper" author has just revealed, on the ATTP blog, that an anonymous source has secretly confided in him - "that the word “infamous” used to describe our (Cook [2013]) paper was actually inserted by staff at The Conversation".

    And they call sceptics conspiracy theorists!

    http://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/science-and-policy-2/#comment-14209

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And approved subsequently by Mike Hulme.

      Delete
    2. It's interesting that the crowd over at Anders blog have much the same take as I and others here do about Mike Hulme's article at the Conversation.

      http://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/science-and-policy-2/

      Delete
    3. That would be sanity, which is homogeneous.

      Delete
    4. The word "infamous" has now been removed from the article with a note at the bottom stating "This article has been updated to better reflect the views of the author.

      Hulme himself added the comment
      "Leopard - no I haven't changed my view in any significant way, but my essay on The Conversation was not about the Cook et al. study - I simply used the 97.1% number to illustrate my argument. It is perhaps a 'controversial' study, but not an 'infamous' one."
      http://theconversation.com/science-cant-settle-what-should-be-done-about-climate-change-22727#comment_306771



      Delete
    5. Thanks, Mike. That was a weird thing for Mike Hulme and The Conversation to write. It could mean that Mike Hulme's own words didn't reflect his views or it could mean that he changed his views in two days and/or it could mean that Rob H's information was correct and the C's editors took some liberties. Yet if that were the case Rob's source was probably also correct that Mike Hulme approved the original edits.

      Mike Hulme's thinking is still sloppy. The only controversy about the findings of Cook13 is the false controversy generated by the denialati.

      Delete
  11. Don't know about "interesting".

    A racing certainty I would have thought.

    ReplyDelete

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