Judith Curry is being hailed as a hero by all the climate science deniers at wattsupwiththat (archived here). What has she done now to deserve their accolades? Well, according to Larry Hamlin, she's written to plead not to let facts get in the way of a good yarn. He loves it that she wrote:
With regards to climate science, the biggest concern that I have is the insistence on ‘the facts.’
Facts, what facts? We don't need no stinkin' facts!
Was Judith claiming that we shouldn't insist on the facts? No. Writing "the facts" in quotation marks is her way of raising her uncertainty demon again. Judith trades on people not understanding what uncertainty means to scientists. It is measured. Judith knows that, to her target blog audience (and that of Anthony Watts), uncertainty equates to "scientists don't know nuffin'". Whereas in reality it means scientists know the range. It's a way of defining limits. Judith trades on ignorance.
This came up during my recent ‘debate’ with Kevin Trenberth. I argued that there are very few facts in all this, and that most of what passes for facts in the public debate on climate change is: inference from incomplete, inadequate and ambiguous observations; climate models that have been demonstrated not to be useful for most of the applications that they are used for; and theories and hypotheses that are competing with alternative theories and hypotheses.
Unfortunately Judith doesn't elaborate on this at all. She leaves it hanging. She doesn't point out that the hypothesis that the greenhouse effect doesn't happen is fatally flawed. She doesn't describe any "alternative theories and hypotheses". I wonder why? We can only surmise whether she is trying to say argue against any or all of the following facts:
- FACT: CO2 is a greenhouse gas and more of it causes global warming
- FACT: CO2 is already at a level never before experienced by Homo sapiens
- FACT: When CO2 rose rapidly and a lot in the past it precipitated a major extinction event
- FACT: Earth is warming very rapidly in a sustained manner, with no sign of let-up
- FACT: Arctic sea ice is melting at a very rapid pace, faster than was predicted
- FACT: The oceans continue to build up heat, as does the surface
- FACT: Unless we curb CO2 emissions, Earth could warm by more than six degrees in a very short time, much shorter than it has warmed in tens of millions of years
- FACT: Going by past earth history, this would result in a major extinction event
- FACT: If we let surface temperature rise by ten or twelve degrees, large areas of earth would be intolerable to humans
Which of these facts does Judith dispute, if any? She doesn't say (her full article is archived here).
Here are some facts in chart form:
From the WUWT comments
As you'd expect, WUWT-ers aren't interested in facts. Not one of them asks which facts Judith is referring to. They just applaud her for implying that the facts are wrong.
philjourdan says, without a hint that he's joking:
April 22, 2014 at 5:10 pm
I read them all on her blog. I sense a lot of frustration on her part. She sees her chosen profession being destroyed in the name of expediency. And even then, the alarmists are trying to parrot Mann and tar he for the simple reason she is for good science. She remains a warmist. But more than that, she is an ethical scientist, and that goes against the grain of “the team”.
Vaughan Pratt points out that Judith displays a lack of professional ethics and contempt for her chosen profession (excerpt):
April 22, 2014 at 5:21 pm
Of the thousands of department chairmen in the US, which of them have expressed an even lower opinion of their colleagues’ understanding of their field?
Niff says that scientists don't always say what's on their mind - he may have a point with some people, but they are probably wise to not lose their temper too often with disinformers like Judith. Just keep informing the public about the real facts and what it means for the future. (If Judith is being muzzled, she's doing a good job of hiding the FACT):
April 22, 2014 at 5:31 pm
..and we sceptics are accused of denying the science…? What Dr Curry demonstrates is that the alarmists not only deny the science, they obfuscate it, muzzle alternative perspectives and castigate those who would speak out. Utterly despicable.
tancred hopes to wake up one morning and find that the sun hasn't risen, or that the earth hasn't warmed and says:
April 22, 2014 at 5:50 pm
The term “scientific consensus” should be anathema to anyone with an appreciation of the methods of science — and aware of the long history of wise certainties widely agreed among the learned which eventually were debunked as complete nonsense.
Steve in SC doesn't think much of Judith's intellect, but frames his opinion carefully and says:
April 22, 2014 at 6:50 pm
Judy is smarter than the average bear.
garymount boasts that he's an extremist fake sceptic and doesn't let his mind get polluted by half truths let alone mainstream science and says:
April 22, 2014 at 8:01 pm
I do not read Luke warmer websites.
Larry Hamlin argues that Judith's disinformation campaign is very important and shouldn't be trivialised. That's one reason why I've written about it:
April 22, 2014 at 8:47 pm
Dr. Curry’s rational and comprehensive assessment of the flawed and distorted climate alarmist positions addressed in her essay’s is an extraordinary example of leadership and openness to objective scientific analysis free from the the political ideology which drives much of the alarmist agenda. Those who chose to try and divert her powerful message with misleading and trivial comments that completely fail to comprehend the major emphasis of her posts appear to be merely attempts at creating unwarranted distractions from her primary and completely justified message.