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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Judith Curry objects to scientists warning US Congress about the dangers of climate change

Sou | 12:45 AM Go to the first of 12 comments. Add a comment

Deniers are getting antsy. Judith Curry is complaining about a letter from leaders of prominent scientific organisations in the USA to US Congress (archived here). She is framing it as a political stunt. She just wants to rail against science and climate science in particular, again. Boringly predictable is Judith.

Judith doesn't think much of the knowledge of scientists. She claims that scientists who study fish and amphibians don't know or care that climate change is changing the world's fisheries and frog habitats. She's wrong.

Judith says:

Those in Congress that disagree with Obama’s plan have clearly shown themselves not to be susceptible to pressures from scientist/advocates and their consensus enforcement.
Those words are telling. Judith is effectively saying she rejects mainstream science, with her use of the words "consensus enforcement". She goes a lot further. Judith claims, wrongly:
They claim the science is settled; in that case, they are no longer needed at the table. 
No they didn't. Nowhere in the letter does it say "the science is settled". Judith just made that part up, just like she makes up a lot of stuff.

Judith also wrote about "dogmatic statements", again implying that she doesn't "believe in" climate science. Here is the letter. Tell me which of the "dogmatic statements" would climate scientists disagree with?
We, as leaders of major scientific organizations, write to remind you of the consensus scientific view of climate change.

Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research concludes that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. This conclusion is based on multiple independent lines of evidence and the vast body of peer-reviewed science.

There is strong evidence that ongoing climate change is having broad negative impacts on society, including the global economy, natural resources, and human health. For the United States, climate change impacts include greater threats of extreme weather events, sea level rise, and increased risk of regional water scarcity, heat waves, wildfires, and the disturbance of biological systems. The severity of climate change impacts is increasing and is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades.1

To reduce the risk of the most severe impacts of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions must be substantially reduced. In addition, adaptation is necessary to address unavoidable consequences for human health and safety, food security, water availability, and national security, among others.

We, in the scientific community, are prepared to work with you on the scientific issues important to your deliberations as you seek to address the challenges of our changing climate.  
Judith Curry blogs for science deniers. The weather isn't being kind to her, with the massive floods all around the world these past few weeks, the disastrous droughts (eg India, California), the hottest ever record temperatures and more. So she changes the subject hoping no-one will notice. Not only that but she twists the meaning, and her denier fans don't care. Judith wrote, for example:
This statement is a blatant misuse of scientific authority to advocate for specific socioeconomic policies.
Tell me - where in the letter is there mention of even one single socio-economic policy? All that was mentioned was the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the need to adapt to climate change. There was no mention of any socio-economic policy. There was no mention of any specific policy for how to achieve these two obvious needs.

Judith wrote:
It seems that the primary motivation of this is for the leaders of these professional societies to be called to the big table to engage in the Congressional policy deliberations about climate change.  So, if you are Lamar Smith or Ted Cruz, would you be calling any of these people to participate in Congressional hearings?
Of course Ted Cruz and Lamar Smith wouldn't ask climate scientists to "participate in Congressional hearings". They only ask right wing shock jocks and science deniers like Judith, because they aren't interested in science. Compare what Judith wrote about "primary motivation" with the letter:
We, in the scientific community, are prepared to work with you on the scientific issues important to your deliberations as you seek to address the challenges of our changing climate.  
There's no point getting upset with disinformers like Judith Curry, whose answer to global warming is: let them buy air-conditioners. It is worth pointing out that Judith is a science denier who would clearly rather see the world's population perish than do anything to mitigate global warming. She and other deniers want the sixth major extinction to hurry up.

PS Going by Judith Curry's stance on scientists writing to Congress about the dangers of climate change, she would also rant and rail about the AMA advocating for immunisation programs.


  1. Ha ha I posted a comment on Dr Curry's blog not 30 minutes ago. I usually do not even look at that mess because it is a hive of trolls and climate change deniers which makes me feel unclean (seriously!).

    But if someone asks me to look at an article for them, I usually will.

    Dr Curry is a hypocrite of course, she is happy to advocate on her own blog, and also mislead the US Congress for her cause. She cannot get away with her "weasel word" excuse by saying she is just promoting science skepticism and opposing science dogma.

    1. If she has any interest in skepticism and opposing dogma, then what was her reaction to the open letter from the Cornwall Alliance that entertained us all so recently?

    2. Millicent.

      She will never bite the hand that feeds her.

  2. Bizarre reality inverting stuff from Judith is the norm...after her partial quotation of the 'offending' letter, and a run through of the groups presenting it, hers is, quite objectively, a complete failure to engage with the actual document and its content.
    Assertions of lack of right, lack of expertise, and conflict of interest are all she offers. And, as you note, her hypocrisy.

    In the comments, there is a lovely exchange between 'Jim D' and some absolutely flakey idiots, skewering Curry's position by association, through reference to her paper with Nic Lewis. Jim gives them the chance to see that Curry is involved in 'pseudo-science' in doing such work..but the penny never drops, of course.

    The penny must never be allowed to drop.

  3. Shorter Judith Curry: "Scientists... pfft. What do they know?"

    1. Congress is tired of listening to experts.

    2. This Congress doesn't want anyone confusing them with the facts their donors have bought for them.

  4. Curry: "So, if you are Lamar Smith or Ted Cruz, would you be calling any of these people to participate in Congressional hearings?"

    Curry should know what she is talking about here - after all, she is Cruz's creature.

  5. When scientific associations speak out on the science of climate change, it has the potential to have a greater impact on policy than one individual's comments. I'd like to see the leaders of groups like AAAS and AGU speak at on behalf of their membership at congressional hearings. It gets around the he-said she-said framework that the Republicans like to use to cast doubt in the media. There are no professional scientific organizations that doubt the reality of climate change. Deniers like Curry can be put in their place when organizations like these speak to the science with one voice. -- Dennis

  6. Maybe Judith should take a quick flight to Taiwan

    1. Nah, that wouldn't impress Judith. A hurricane is just weather, not climate, and weather is wacky and unpredictable. So they got a big storm. So what?

      Deniers have been asserting for some time that climate change is not affecting either the severity or frequency of storms. Some storms are big, and always have been big. Since it is difficult (maybe impossible) to link specific weather events to changing climate, deniers can weasel out of any weather events.

  7. Late to the party, but this might be of relevance to some... Judith Curry admits that she has no expertise in ecology - "none":

    Her comments as described in Sou's OP, and in Curry's own post, would seem to indicate that she also has no expertise in the opinions of herpetologists and icthyologists, or of ecologists in general, because I know hundreds of such folk, and every single one has, to use Curry's own words, "an educated opinion, [and] care[s] very much, about climate change". And almost to the very last* person those opinons are that global warming and the resultant climate change are real, and they're very bad for biodiversity.

    It's telling that Curry's blog is largely an ecologist-free zone in terms of any of the world's best being referenced and/or engaged to support her claims. A curious gap in her programming, indeed...

    [*The one stand-out was a bombastic, bloody-minded contrarian who automatically disagreed with any consensus simply because it garnered him attention, and who used the 'sound of science' rather than science itself to try to make his 'points' - such as they were. I'm embarrassed to admit that it took me almost a couple of years to realise that his strategy was not to be just a devil's advocate looking at all sides of an issue, but to set himself up as a 'scientific' voice for hire. He managed to cloud a few issues in local media for a while, but didn't make the 'big time' as some others have done...]


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