Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Eeek! Is Judith Curry torqued?

Sou | 10:15 AM Go to the first of 19 comments. Add a comment

As a sworn science denier, Anthony Watts isn't the least impressed by the heavy hitting findings reported by the IPCC.  What he prefers (archived here) is the "heavy hitting" commentary by the new pinup girl of science deniers everywhere, Professor Judith Curry.

Just in case you didn't realise that Judith Curry has turned into an utter nutter, she is now blurting out nonsense to anyone who'll still take any notice of her.  The sensationalists and muckrakers.  They know they can get Judith to say something outrageously dumb to slake the thirst for scandal of their scientific illiterati readership.  Cosying up with a UK tabloid rag last week, Fox News this week (archived here).

Studying climate is unfortunate, sez Judy

Climate science should do a backwards rotating flip - or some such thing, sez Judith Curry.  No more studies of the atmosphere, oceans, solar radiation, clouds, sea level, the cryosphere or hurricanes.  Most definitely not ecology or biology or geology or any earth system science.
“I’m not happy with the IPCC,” she told Fox News. “I think it has torqued the science in an unfortunate direction.”
That torquing [of climate science towards climate science], she suggests, is because the money in climate science (the funding, that is) [she means the stuff that pays her salary, her department's operating budget and all her research] is tied to embellishing the IPCC narrative, especially the impacts of global warming. 
Judy is still mulling over how she'd spend the money (the funding, that is).  You've got to wonder who it is that is torqued.

Judith Curry is not at all concerned about global warming, or climate.  Blog hits are another matter.  What's really important is the number of times Judith Curry can get her name mentioned in a tabloid rag alongside Honey Boo Boo or on Fox television.  The article continues:
She is critical of the IPCC’s leadership as well, in particular its chairman, Rajendra Pachauri.
“They have explicit policy agendas,” Curry told Fox News. “Their proclamations are very alarmist and very imperative as to what we should be doing. And this does not inspire confidence in the final product.”
Translation: The IPCC has been tasked quite explicitly, which is done under the leadership of Dr Pachauri.  But Judy doesn't like the agenda the IPCC has been given, which is to report on climate science.  She calls it a "policy agenda". It's "alarmist" to inform people that, for example, seas will rise a lot within a few short decades.  The people don't deserve to know what they are doing to the world. Her "imperative" bit presumably refers to the calculation of how much more CO2 the atmosphere can hold before earth becomes a really dangerous place.

While courting Fox News readers, Judith joins a rather strange person called Anastasios Tsonis, who as far as I can make out, discounts the effect of increasing greenhouse gases in favour of a "theory" of perennially puzzled Bob Tisdale.

What a pair!  They deserve each other.


  1. Is there a note of wistfulness about poor Judy's unhappiness?

    Has she been left at home in the cinders while the Ugly Sisters are invited to the IPCC Ball? Will she ever find true love?

    Does anyone really care?

    1. She has found true love: with tabloid journalists, right-wing TV channels and republican politicians. Not to mention the assortment of tin foil hat makers that frequent her blog.

  2. "the new pinup girl of science deniers"?

    Didn't you once aim to fight sexism? For balance I expect a similar statement about the sex appeal of Watts.

    1. I don't expect one, but now I hope for one :)

    2. I agree that that expression was bad taste.

    3. The expression was in tune with the company she mingles with at the Daily Fail.

      Not sure why it's viewed as sexist though. That was the last thing on my mind, needless to say.

      Pin ups aren't just for sex - or at least not from where I hail. Musicians, actors, sporting idols, Nobel prize winners and climate scientists can all be pinups.

      Maybe it's a cultural difference.

    4. So admiration of musicians, actors and sporting idols has nothing to do with sex? :-)

    5. Ha ha, I guess it depends on who you idolise and why. You risk upsetting a lot of teenage lads who plaster their walls with pictures of (male) basketball, cricket or footy players - but not all :)

  3. Gender is a minefield. What I see in the Judith Curry story is grooming, just as I see it in the Brian Josephson story. Grooming, for whatever purpose, is not gender-specific; it exploits social awkwardness. Groomers like Uri Gellar and McIntyre know just what to look out for, and Slimey Steve found it in Curry. Next thing you know he's whisking her off to Lisbon and life's just been a roller-coaster since then.

    Curry is the victim here. I should probably care but frankly, there are more deserving ones.

    1. That's an interesting observation, Cugel. You're talking about the denier fest they ran a couple of years ago where Judy got presented with a denialist t-shirt.

      Do you think Steve McIntyre was behind the grooming by himself? Judy did put her name forward before then and effectively volunteered for the job. She's been shifting to disinformation propaganda ever since.

      Looking at Judith's blog list what stands out are all the denialist blogs and few science blogs by scientists - Ed Hawkins and Isaac Held are two exceptions and I guess William Hooke of AMS.

      She certainly doesn't try to hide the fact that she's a fully fledged science disinformer.

    2. Cugel is on the money here. The vast majority of scientists toil away in obscurity (and TBH many prefer it that way). But if you are a scientist who starts to offer a contrarian viewpoint, suddenly you'll have all these well heeled fans. You'll be regularly whisked off to conferences as a fully paid up speaker, and quoted by journalists in sympathetic papers. All of a sudden you'll feel like a player. I can see how it might turn some people's heads.

      I suspect organisations like CEI and GWPF ('come and have lunch with us lords') are great at seducing people in this way.

    3. Sue: When Curry's profile was first rising it seemed to me to be in association with McIntyre one way or another. Until the Lisbon jolly it did seem that she was simply naive and unaware of the true denier scene. Now she's completely immersed, of course, just as the scene starts to disintegrate.

    4. October 2, 2013 at 11:56 PM "She is saying that spending money on climate models is not the best choice and that what is needed is better understanding and fundamental research."

      What is so tough to understand about the fundamentals of Greenhouse gases? We are injecting them in astronomical proportions… GHG hold in warmth… A warming climate will energize our climate system… weather will get more extreme and unpredictable… and more disruptive to a complex society that requires relatively benign and predictable weather patterns.

      Where are the fundamentals in question?

  4. You know, this post is little better than slander of a most personal nature. And of course it relies on a lie about what Curry says. She is saying that spending money on climate models is not the best choice and that what is needed is better understanding and fundamental research. That is a perfectly legitimate opinion. I notice that your traffic is quite low and the comments mostly lacking in actual content. Why do you think that is?

    1. Since I struggle to spot sarcasm, before I comment on the contents, Anon, is your comment for real?

    2. Would I be correct in guessing you are a fan of Judith's for some weird reason, and don't have any science background (or legal background)?

      First up, I don't hear any slander! It's not libel either.

      When you say the article is relying on a "lie" are you saying that Fox News lied or that I copied the quotes wrongly. If the former, fair enough - tell us where Fox News got it wrong. If you're saying I copied the quotes wrongly - I didn't and you can follow the links to the actual article.

      Nowhere in that article did Judith mention "better understanding and fundamental research" - whatever you think you mean by that. Nor did she mention climate models in that article. So I don't know where you got that from.

      Science is all about better understanding. As for how that better understanding is acquired - climate models are one important way of getting that but they are not by any means the only tool that's used to expand understanding. Bear in mind that models of one form or another are used in almost every aspect of science. Knowledge wouldn't have accumulated at anything like the rate it has in any field of science, if not for people modeling data.

      It's a common misconception (often fed by disinformers) that earth system models are what the study of climate is all about. Have a read of the latest IPCC report and you'll see there is a lot more to the study of climate than modeling the earth system.

      As for blog traffic - I'm delighted with the amount of traffic I get. It's a lot more than I expected and probably more than HotWhopper deserves. Going by internet stats, HotWhopper gets a lot more traffic than many climate blogs that have been around for much longer than HotWhopper, including many of much higher quality than yours truly's. HotWhopper attracts a lot more traffic than many science denier blogs, too - which is more understandable! Even someone like you found your way here :)

  5. I learned about HotWhopper's existence just recently, when it was linked from another popular blog. I plan to be a frequent return visitor!

  6. Oh, by the way - Anastasios Tsonis was mentioned at the end of that post and he's another interesting example of science in a vacuum.

    I was involved in a little back and forth with him, so if anyone is interested in some more information on the guy - {I hope Sou doesn't mind me plugging these links} - I wrote about my exchange. And yea, I'm no scholar or anything learned like that, so it's not of the highest caliber… but, it's a start, and the information plus further links are solid.

    September 20, 2013
    Open letter to Professor Anastasios Tsonis: Are you serious?

    September 23, 2013
    Prof. Anastasios Tsonis: The Art Of Misdirection (open letter 2)

    October 3, 2013
    Professor Anastasios Tsonis replies plus comments (open letter 3)


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