Thursday, March 5, 2015

Did anyone ask Judith?

Sou | 6:31 AM Go to the first of 50 comments. Add a comment

According to WUWT (archived here), Tom Fuller, who wanders around different blogs from time to time spouting nonsense and making a general nuisance of himself, has set up a petition for President Obama to nominate Judith Curry as next Chair of the IPCC.

David Malakoff in Science, has listed the people in the running for the job as:
  • Jean-Pascal van Ypersele Université catholique de Louvain Earth and Life Institute (ELI) in Belgium, current IPCC Vice-Chair
  • Hoesung Lee of Korea University Graduate School of Energy & Environment, current IPCC Vice-Chair
  • Thomas Stocker from the University of Bern, Switzerland, co-Chair of Working Group I
  • Christopher Field from Stanford University, USA, co-Chair of Working Group II
  • Ottmar Edenhofer of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, Co-Chair of Working Group III.
  • Nebojsa Nakicenovic of the Vienna University of Technology, lead author.

As far as I can tell, Judith Curry's only experience with the IPCC was as a contributing author to Chapter 7, WGI of the third assessment report (TAR) back in 2001. (Is that it? Does anyone know of more? Is there any sign she's read one of the volumes since then?)

Judith wants the IPCC to "get out of the way so that scientists and policy makers can better do their jobs". She has also said: "We need to put down the IPCC as soon as possible". 

I doubt that Tom Fuller approached Judith before setting up the petition. I was going to add something along the lines of "even if she agreed etc etc" - but the point is too obvious to bother making.

From the WUWT comments

Tom Trevor has a better suggestion:  
March 4, 2015 at 9:06 am
I think Anthony Watts would be a better choice.

Judith is doing a fine job building her bridges with deniers, Ralph Kramden thinks it's a great idea to appoint someone who is not a "warmist" :)
March 4, 2015 at 9:34 am
I think Dr. Judith Curry would make an excellent chair of the IPCC. But I don’t see that happening. President Obama’s administration wants a warmist to chair the IPCC.

Sturgis Hooper muses:
March 4, 2015 at 10:23 am
If there ever be another GOP president, Soon, Baliunas & Curry are liable to hold positions of power in his or her administration

Roy Spencer wonders if anyone cares what a motley mob of deniers think:
March 4, 2015 at 10:06 am
does anyone really believe the UN (or the governments controlling the decisions) cares who a bunch of skeptics thinks should be the next IPCC chairman?

Sturgis Hooper opts for blackmail. (Here's a budget document I found. The USA is the biggest single contributor, but it's such a tiny budget that blackmail is unlikely to work.)
March 4, 2015 at 10:21 am
Actually, if Congress threatened to end US funding of the IPCC unless she were appointed, the UN might well heed a bunch of skeptics.
The Obama Administration wouldn’t support her, but when it comes to the UN budget, no group on the planet carries more weight than the US Congress.

masInt branch 4 C3I in is  decides that it will be determined by "race", and some races are "evil":
March 4, 2015 at 10:38 am
Bureaucracies tend to be self perpetuating in that Bureaucracies like bureaucrats; and then there is racism. With Hoesung Lee, a South Korean Economists in the hunt, Bon Ki Moon will anoint “by the blood” rather than on any measurable or rational criteria. Evil is as evil does.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7  has had enough. Like Judith, he just doesn't want the world to know about climate science, mitigation, vulnerability or adaptation.
March 4, 2015 at 10:47 am
I’d rather defund the IPCC entirely. That has about as much chance of happening as the current US administration nominating Judith Curry to chair it, but would be much more satisfying. I mean, as long as we’re all dreaming anyway.


  1. I would have nominated Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director of the influential Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, located in Belize.

  2. Shouldn't these bozos be agitating for who should chair of their very own NIPCC? So is this a tacit admission that the NIPCC is another piece of denialist crap or do deniers accept dictatorship when it is fossil fuel industry funded?

  3. This is without a doubt the most informative site I have ever visited, I have learned more here then could possibly ever be explained. I'll be back to read more for sure.

  4. I'm reminded of the 2001 Exxon Mobil memo with their wishlist for George W. Bush's IPCC team. They wanted John Christy as lead, Richard Lindzen as co-lead. They also wanted the U.S. to request that Robert Watson be replaced as IPCC Chair.


  5. No. Nobody asked Judith. In fact, earlier in the day that the petition went up she specifically said she did not want the job.

  6. TF is wasting away in Deniersville. POTUS already nominated Christopher Field.

    But hey, sign the petition by all means, I did!

    Name: Donald Duck
    Zip: 66666

    Most importantly, sign it if you are from an English speaking country, like the US, UK, AU or NZ, sort of like saying you are the center-of-gravity of Deniersville (you don't even have to be in the US to sign this).

    Seriously though, should the POTUS be petitioned to pardon Edward Snowden:

    or should the POTUS be petitioned to nominate a Denier who would 100% disband the IPCC:

    a tough call, that one is

  7. Prof. Curry would be a good choice. She was a very capable scientist once: head of IPCC would give her the publicity she's presently seeking from weird blog posts and congressional committee appearances. My guess is that she'd rediscover her roots, do a "Muller", and that'd be the last straw for the contrarians.

    1. Muller did not do a "muller'. He did science and he did it well. JC was there too and BEST was just as formative for her. It's there that she discovered that she hated science and scientists.

    2. Muller is on record, before BEST, of saying some ridiculous things about climate science and scientists. At that point, he was *not* doing "science well". Then he got his hands properly into the data and found that the previous temperature records were right after all. That was good science, even if the answer was not new.

      Most of JC's peer-reviewed science is good, worthwhile stuff. Even the stadium wave is worth airing as an idea. But you're right; she had a chance with BEST to get back on track, and didn't take it.

  8. with Curry head of the IPCC, every chapter would have to end with "so as you can see, we know nothing about climate"


  9. James Hansen, if only

  10. We The People Petition Titled:

    Nominate Willard Anthony Watts as the next Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change.

    “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an organization created by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environmental Programme, will elect a new chair this year. The post is currently being filled by an interim chair following the resignation of Rajendra Pachauri.

    The United States has currently nominated Dr. Christopher Field. We petition the current administration to withdraw his nomination and instead nominate Willard Anthony Watts.

    Willard Anthony Watts is an American TV meteorologist who runs the blog Watts Up With That? which is billed as “The world’s most viewed site on global warming and climate change”. His understanding of the science and related policy issues make him a better choice for American Fossil Fuel interests.”


    Shorter URL:


    Don’t expect too many votes, but 150 votes would at least make it visible in the current list of petitions.

    1. Would be interesting to see how many Junior Woodchucks will turn up to vote for him.
      It could be a measure of his denialist site's real popularity. Bert

    2. Very few I imagine: it's a trap to identify them for the black helicopter people.

    3. Woah, it's trending! signatures now up by 50% this morning to 3. Ok, one of those was me.

      Look, this can't miss, however, if by some mishap Obama decides not not nominate Willard, we do have a cast-iron Plan B.

      Nominate Dave Stealey/Smokey! His encyclopaedic knowledge of climate science and his kaleidascope of fully-verified charts give him, (and him alone) the expertise to demonstare just how every other climatologist has been 100% wrong these last three decades. He's just the man to give the IPCC the shakeup it so badly needs.

      Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Vote Dave!

    4. Shouldn't we keep Stealey in reserve for use as the next head of the FBI? All those conspiracies will need investigating properly at some time.

      Mind you, to be fair, a man of many sockpuppets could hold both jobs down at once.

  11. Of course Curry does not want it. She would be forced to look at all the evidence. Then she would breakdown mumbling or shouting or both 'the uncertainties'. People in white coats would then take her away! So starting another conspiracy theory!
    This is my equally fanciful dream to match the deniers for lack of imagination. Bert

    1. The only person that got famous for uncertainty, was Heisenberg!


  12. No way would JC want the Chair. Denialists and obfuscationists can only operate by cherry-picking, and as Bert observes, being part of the system means she would have to take a position on all aspects of the evidence. It would significantly cramp her freedom to choose.

    I'd be tempted to support the petition as a way of putting her in a hot seat, but the IPCC' task is too important to clutter it up with the likes of JC.

  13. Why on Earth would anyone want to be chair of an organisation that they despise with a pathological hatred, and badmouth at every opportunity like Judith does? As usual, this just demonstrates total logic fail on the part of the deniers.

    OTOH, it makes about as much sense as their pseudo-scientific theories regarding the GHE. So there is a certain consistency in behaviour there.

  14. Watson was brought down by US, this I know. But I don't know how the name of Pachauri emerged, does anyone know the story about that ?
    Just to check if this petition is divorced from reality or if US has so much power they can nominate who they want ...

    1. Bratisla, Pachauri was already vice-chair since 1996. In 2001 there were elections, with only three candidates picked by a "Nominations Committee". Watson was effectively sidelined by the US lobbying work, which left Pachauri and a Brazilian.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Thanks for thé info, I read also that India pushed his nomination - quite logical ...

    Nominate Willard Anthony Watts as the next Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change.
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an organization created by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environmental Programme, will elect a new chair this year. The post is currently being filled by an interim chair following the resignation of Rajendra Pachauri.

    The United States has currently nominated Dr. Christopher Field. We petition the current administration to withdraw his nomination and instead nominate Willard Anthony Watts.

    Willard Anthony Watts is an American TV meteorologist who runs the blog Watts Up With That? which is billed as "The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change". His understanding of the science and related policy issues make him a better choice for American Fossil Fuel interests.

    Published Date: Mar 05, 2015
    Issues: Climate Change, Environment, Science and Space Policy"

    I doubt this was done by Tom Fuller, and it seems clear it was ironical (note especially final sentence). Rather clever and cocks a snook at the administration's petition site. There is only one vote so far.

    1. Note *former* TV meteorologist.

      Still has some sort of very minor local radio gig, IIRC.

    2. See above:

      I did it! The vote count has increased 100% (from 1 to 2).

      Of course it's a joke petition, see for example:

      But getting 150 votes would make it show up in the list as a visible petition. But I really don't care (e. g. don't Twitter or Facebook).

      It's basically a send up (ripoff) of the Tom Fuller 'petition'.

  16. First, Fuller is full of himself. Makes big statements and runs away when wrong.

    Second, bwahahahahaha! When hell freezes over or IPCC becomes a consulting organization directed at oil companies.

  17. Based on the examples of IPCC reports 1-5, if perhaps biased by being in the US, I'll suggest that there be no 6th report.

    a) There's no evidence (that I've seen, from here) that anything politically constructive has come from the reports. And, as a summary of the science, it doesn't help me on the science either.

    b) There's evidence here that the mere fact that IPCC says something is a political strike against the statement being believed. See, for example, the W Bush administration ignoring the IPCC report (2001), asking for the National Academy of Sciences to repeat the work. They did so, arrived at the same conclusions. Hence (to wuwt'ers et al.) much be part of the IPCC conspiracy.

    North Carolina didn't trust the NAS either, so commissioned their own study of sea level change on the NC coast, written solely by NC oceanographers. Report came back with pretty IPCC-like numbers (for obvious reasons), and thence to speedy rejection by politics as being part of the IPCC conspiracy.

    As far as Curry goes, she's argued in favor of 'team b' approach. No chance she'll engage in IPCC. But she might be enticed to be the leader of Team B.

    1. Robert,

      a) I feel more or less the same about the political progress, though it occurs to me that there's not a very good baseline for comparison. It seems more likely to me that the economic concerns of the major players are the main stumbling block, and that those factors would still be a significant hurdle, IPCC reports or no. This all begs the question of the IPCC's role in the process. I think an international body charged with coordination and facilitation is necessary regardless. As well, the IPCC reports do help me with the science if only because it's a clearinghouse for organized information, and written in plainer language than the primary literature -- bonus: no paywalls.

      b) Given that I like having a coordinating body, I think any form of ceding to the political opposition in terms of what they think is credible is not a good idea. Not at ALL that I don't share a large measure of exasperation leading to me having thought similar things. Fundamentally nothing will convince the majority of WHUTTers, not even bass boat taxis in downtown Miami centuries from now -- it's the Sun, stupid.

      I don't see that duplication of effort is compelling either -- it would happen anyway, probably more so without a single coordinating body, and see again, no matter what any "independent" research body comes up with, if the answer is CO2 is the driving factor of the long term trend and we need to mitigate it would very likely be rejected as more evidence of gummint takeover even without an IPCC to call out as the arch-bogeyman.

      That all said, I think I'd actually like to see a Team B approach, but ONLY if that team is charged with a very specific mission and not enabled to do any old research they wish. Otherwise what we'd see is a publicly funded NIPCC which does very little in the way of advancing scientific knowledge -- much like the IPCC doesn't really do that either -- but with the added difference that the NIPCC's main function is to rebut the IPCC while the IPCC's main function doesn't waste pagespace arguing with "skeptics".

      I'm all for a Team B charged with producing a CLIP-compliant model suite. Give them funding on the order of what NASA gets for GISS Model-E, lock that funding in for a suitable interval -- I'd guess on the order of decade -- and make it their job to put my money where their mouth is. They'd either fail miserably on my dime, which would be worth every penny, or do good science which would be worth twice as much at least for both the knowledge gained AND political capital.

      On IPCC reporting. Smaller more frequent (semi-annually?) targeted reports seems a good idea. Specific projects, so smaller and easier to manage teams, more flexible release schedules, etc. Every several years -- not 5 to 7 -- a synthesis report with most of the emphasis on WG2-type stuff. None of these novel ideas, just echoing sentiments I've read elsewhere that I think would also serve my personal consumption and interests better.

  18. Putin's Kremlin should fund Team B, as the impact of climate forcing on the vernalization of the new GMO Siberian Red Watermelon could be profound.

  19. Sou, just a heads up if you haven't already started writing. Salon ran the piece a couple of hours ago.

    1. Chase,

      "'I worry about this issue greatly… My site gets a significant portion of its daily traffic from Google,' Anthony Watts, who runs Watts Up With That, a popular blog that is skeptical of global warming claims, told FoxNews.com.

      'It is a very slippery and dangerous slope because there’s no arguing with a machine,' he added."

      Epic. Ever more so because he's going to have an even harder time claiming Fox quoted him out of context. Oh dear, I have a case of the giggles, thank you.

      David: also absolutely brilliant.

    2. David I tried "global warming" as a search in Google. No sign of wuwt on the first page.It used to infest the first page with this search like the measles rash on an unvaccinated child. Bert

    3. From the FoxNews link:

      'University of Maryland computer science professor Jim Purtilo told FoxNews.com that, political bias aside, a Google algorithm like this could slow scientific progress by making it more difficult to question conventional wisdom.

      “It could make it more difficult for bright young people to bring about the next revolution in science. After all, most of today's established science came about because someone challenged the herd mentality of yesterday,” he said.'

      In all seriousness, apparently. One wonders how science progressed before Google existed, but a computer science professor may not be aware such a time ever existed. (I speak as a mere CompSci graduate.)

      As for Google Scholar, well, that's just for the common herd. Blogs are where it all happens these days, doncha know.

    4. You won't even find it under Climate Skeptic or Science Denier. I went 3 pages on both. No WUWT to be found.

    5. Cugel, Purtilo appears to be one of the go-to-guys whenever you need a right-wing talking point and a "professor" in support. On his homepage he lists a lot of media appearances, which include gun rights (supporting among others John Lott). Or there is his money-quote on affirmative action and illegal immigrants to Fox, which was not quite as he meant it
      where he admits it was just a way to indicate his concerns about affirmative action.

    6. I defy anyone to quote one scientific 'revolution' brought about by young scientists against the consensus.

      Quoting female scientists does not count as they were always ignored by men whose brains were smaller than their prostate.


    7. I must clarify. It is not blogs or vague hand waving claptrap. The only way is publication in a quality refereed journal.
      As far as I know Einstein's paper on Relativity was unique that it had no references. His mathematics stood on its own.


    8. Einstein did not go against a consensus either, he solved a known issue.

      The most obvious example would be Dan Schechtman, but he was already 41 when he discovered quasi crystals.

    9. Marco was that five fold symmetry at medium range. Penrose tiling also vaguely comes to mind, Bert

    10. "You won't even find it under Climate Skeptic or Science Denier. I went 3 pages on both. No WUWT to be found."

      silly climate nonsense (no encapsulating quotes) worked for me :)

    11. Bert, Penrose tiling is indeed the right keyword. You could say that there are clear symmetric patterns, but no translational symmetry, unlike with 'classic' crystals.

  20. Regarding Christopher Field from Standford. I think he understands the effects from changes in vegetation on local/regional climate extremely well.

    "Direct climate effects of perennial bioenergy crops in the United States"


    From my perspective forecasting crop yields, using weather conditions, during the past 3 decades in this same area, field corn crop populations have doubled and created a micro climate for several months during the growing season. Dew points/low level moisture has increased significantly from increased evapotranspiration. This has resulted in lower lifting condensation levels(more instability), higher coverage of daytime cumulus clouds and increased rainfall, along with a positive feedback as moisture is returned. This has caused a significant cooling effect, mainly from late morning until sunset. Temperatures at night on the other hand, are a bit warmer because of the higher dew points.

    Global atmospheric fertilization of vegetation is having a similar but much less pronounced effect during the growing seasons. Global warming in the last several decades has effected minimum temperatures(higher) much more than maximum temperatures This is to be expected with more water vapor in the air but a contributing factor towards this has been the global greening.............which is an underestimated negative feedback to the increase in daytime temperatures.

  21. If Dr Judith Curry is chair of the IPCC, then she can put Bob Tisdale in as a lead author. She references his articles on her blog.

    The reviewers' comment would make interesting reading.


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