Judith Curry has written up her recent science disinformation talk for "op-eds", hoping for more fame and fortune, no doubt (archived here).
One funny thing. Judith doesn't admit her recent
talk denier gish gallop was for the George C. Marshall Institute. She doesn't mention that unsavoury organisation at all. She just mentions the "National Press Club". But it wasn't hosted by the National Press Club. That was just the venue. The National Press Club isn't fussy about who it hires out rooms to.
In the middle of her "op-ed" Judith explains why she doesn't want to reduce CO2 emissions. She wrote:
However, attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be futile. The hiatus in warming observed over the past 16 years demonstrates that CO2 is not a control knob on climate variability on decadal time scales. Even if CO2 mitigation strategies are successful and climate model projections are correct, an impact on the climate would not be expected until the latter part of the 21st century. Solar variability, volcanic eruptions and long-term ocean oscillations will continue to be sources of unpredictable climate surprises.
There is a huge difference between being "futile" and marked effects not being seen till later this century. (And what about her ridiculous nonsense about CO2 not having a discernible influence on decadal time scales?) It would take a whole bunch of super-volcanoes to offset CO2 warming. And even a Maunder Minimum-like sun would barely make a dent in the relentless CO2-forced warming.
The only conclusion I can draw is that Judith doesn't give a rats about coming generations or about Earth as a whole. This is what the recent IPCC report showed for different emissions pathways. Click to enlarge it:
|Source: IPCC AR5 WG1|
See what happens if we don't cut emissions vs if we do. If we try hard enough we might even keep CO2 below a two or three degree rise. If not, we're heading for much, much hotter. Judith is advocating the latter with her "futile" comment. Just this week the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO) warned that: "Carbon dioxide emissions continue to track the high end of emission scenarios" and "With current emission rates (2014), the remaining 'quota' to surpass 2°C of global warming will be used up in around 30 years (one generation)."
Who are the "sober people"
This conclusion I drew about Judith's disdain for future generations and Earth as a whole is corroborated when she implies that people who are concerned about the climate, are not sober people. She wrote:
In the midst of the ‘mad crowd’ in New York City attending the People’s Climate March, sober people are trying to figure out ways to broaden the policy debate on climate change and do a better job of characterizing the uncertainty of climate change (both the science itself and the media portrayal of the science).
Uncertainty - scientific vs general usageDo you see what she's done there? First she implies that the hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life, from all over the world, who took part in last weekend's climate gatherings are a bit loopy. Also, Judith Curry brings up her favourite word "uncertainty" again. She is not using "uncertainty" in any scientific sense. She just likes to toss the word around as if AGW might not be happening. She knows it has some resonance with the general public, many of whom don't know what it means in a scientific context. Her fans love it. They think it means "doubt" and "it probably won't happen". It doesn't, at least not when used in science.
World leaders and climate scientists are "sober people"She's also suggesting that that the following people are not "sober":
- The Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon
- The Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio
- The former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson
- Former US Vice-President, Al Gore
- Lots and lots of her fellow climate scientists
- and many others.
Judith Curry's rhetorical tricks and call for false balance
Judith continues, talking about "concern" and "advocacy":
There is concern that the institutions of science are so mired in advocacy on the topic of dangerous anthropogenic climate change that the checks and balances in science, particularly with regard to minority perspectives, are broken.Just who has that "concern", Judith doesn't say directly. Nor does she indicate what "checks and balances" might be "broken". Once again. Do you see what she's done? That's called a strawman. It's pure empty rhetoric with no substance. See how she labels denier nonsense as "minority perspectives"! Ha! (And her fans think she's just wunnerful, don't they. So..o..o reasonable. Without reason.)
Do you also see how she implies that her own increasingly raucus advocacy, to do nothing to stem global warming, is okay, probably because it "balances" actual science. That's called false balance.
Sober denialistsNow if you want to get an idea of who Judith regards as "sober people", just read this and wonder:
Richard Lindzen’s CATO essay Reflections on Rapid Response to Unjustified Climate Alarm discusses the kickoff of CATO’s new center on rapid response to climate alarmism. Anthony Watts has announced the formation of a new professional society The Open Atmospheric Society for meteorologists and climatologists, with a new open access journal. Both of these efforts emphasize public communication. I’m not sure what kind of impact either of these efforts will have, but I wish them well.So Judith's "sober people" include anti-science advocate Anthony Watts, who thinks Russian steampipes are causing global warming, the CATO Institute with its mission to destroy the environment, and Richard Lindzen with the ridiculous stuff that he comes up with in his public talks to science deniers. Is Judith seriously not just putting these serial disinformers forward as "sober people" but even comparing them to world leaders?
Public information vs disinformationIt's not just that, but Judith implies that climate scientists don't emphasise public communication. Realclimate.org was around long before Anthony Watts anti-science blog got started. The award-winning SkepticalScience.com is specifically designed to inform the general public about climate science. The IPCC reports were around long before any of these. Dozens of major research institutions provide a wealth of information aimed specifically at the general public. There are lots of excellent science journalists who regularly write about climate. And there are a myriad of quality popular science magazines - like National Geographic, which has top-notch writers, Scientific American and ArsTechnica, which has some excellent articles about climate science. And I've barely touched the surface. (For example, there are more in my blogroll in the side bar here, which could be ten times longer if there was space.)
Climate science is one of the rare sciences where public communication has been emphasised for years. It is arguably the most public-friendly, transparent of all sciences and has brilliant scientists and science communicators engaging with the public to inform them. Judith on the other hand is promoting public disinformers.
She really has gone off the deep end, hasn't she.
On advocacy for science
Contrast Dr. Gavin Schmidt, Director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA, on advocacy for science, with Judith Curry's advocacy for science denial. (Click in the bottom right to view full screen or on YouTube.)