Wednesday, April 1, 2015

More conspiracy theories: WUWT's Tim Ball plus Judith Curry

There is nothing much new at WUWT that I can see. The memes are being recycled.

Tim Ball is writing some of his usual nonsense, this time about a Nature paper from 1996, stolen emails and hockey sticks. He hasn't written anything that shows climate science is wrong, but he has repeated his paranoid conspiracy theories. (Every single one of the nine or so investigations, on two continents, relating to stolen emails was a "cover up", in Tim's paranoid mind.)

Judith Curry's "money, politics and consensus" conspiracy theory

Speaking of conspiracy theories, Judith Curry has come up with a beauty (archived here).

Today she's hinting that there are swathes of climate scientists out there who dispute either the cause or the fact of global warming but won't publish their findings. They have no spine. Not a one of the hundreds of thousands of climate/earth system scientists in the world today are interested in doing original research, if you go by Judith's view of the world. None aspire to fame and glory. No-one is angling to be the first climate scientist to win a Nobel Prize in their own right. Judith wrote:
When politics and ‘consensus’ enforcement come into play, it becomes very difficult for scientists to publicly change their mind.  To say that we are in trouble in the climate debate because of this is an understatement.

There is enormous pressure for climate scientists to conform to the so-called consensus. This pressure comes not only from politicians, but from federal funding agencies, universities and professional societies, and scientists themselves who are green activists and advocates. Reinforcing this consensus are are strong monetary, reputational, and authority interests.

Given that, according to Judith, no climate scientist will publish any credible research disputing global warming, Judith cannot name a single dissenting scientist. They are all keeping shtum.

And heaven forbid any scientist wanting a sustainable biosphere. Heck - they shouldn't be advocating a responsible attitude to the environment, they should be supporting our rapid demise. At least that's what Judith is implying.

Her theory is that the reason that no climate scientist will publish their dissenting research (that she fortuitously can't identify because they haven't published it), is because of politics and consensus and money.

Which politics?  Well, any and all politics it seems. Whether it's the politics of democrats or the politics of republicans in the USA, or the politics of Putin or the politics of Tony Abbott, the politics of Xi Jinping or the politics of Stephen Harper, the politics of King Abdullah or the politics of George W. Bush. All these different "politics" have caused scientists to not publish anything credible that disputes global warming or the cause of it. Not for decades. Nobody, anywhere in the world has done so because, Judith claims, politics and consensus...and money, of course!

The beauty of the "no evidence" conspiracy theory

The beauty of this type of conspiracy theory is that the proof is in the lack of evidence. The fact that there have not been any credible papers published that disprove global warming is proof that scientists are too pressured by consensus, money and politics to publish their dissenting research.

More conspiracy theories from Judith Curry's blog

Here is what some of Judith's fans have to say on the subject:

daveandrews723 reckons it's not just all the thousands of dissenting climate scientists who are too piss weak to publish their findings, journalists are also too cowardly to go for a Pulitzer.
March 31, 2015 at 1:29 pm
I am a former news reporter and it saddens me to see so many journalists conforming to the so-called “settled science” position of the warmists. Journalists are supposed to challenge the status quo and those in power by asking the tough questions. I do not see the mainstream news media reporting on the many flaws that are constantly being pointed out in the CAGW theories. There should be a Pullitzer Prize waiting for the gutsy journalist who blows the lid off of this terrible science that is being presented as fact.

wallensworth thinks that it's all a leftist plot to control the population and .. money!
March 31, 2015 at 3:30 pm
dave – my cut on this is that 95% of the media outlets are essentially propaganda arms of a powerful leftest regime which is attempting to use CAGW as a big stick to control the population and transfer wealth.

I would LOVE to hear that my cut on this is wrong, because I lose hope, otherwise. 

aneipris decides it's a huge gigantic "fraud", that's managed to survive for two centuries
March 31, 2015 at 6:04 pm
I’m 64 years old, a successful in business, reasonably intelligent, generally cynical when it comes to human behavior. But I too find myself amazed, although dispirited might be a better term. The sheer magnitude of the fraud…and I don’t use that word lightly…seems to me unprecedented in a free society.

Judith Curry says "well done" to Danny Thomas, for pretending he once, briefly, almost accepted science so he could proclaim his status as a "born again" science denier
March 31, 2015 at 1:57 pm
Dr. Curry,
Thank you for this post. Don’t tell Willard, but I’ve wondered out loud here on this very format why “it has to be ‘Climateball'” and from experiences on alternative outlets there is a “if you not with us you’re against us” mentality. This is the only site (so far) on which my personal experience has been one of relative acceptance initially coupled with offerings of educational materials without some requirement to join a particular tribe.

Having come to this discussion with a leaning towards AGW having been more foisted upon me (media and friends) than from self study I actually went looking for the opposite few in hopes to gain an understanding of what that view percieved as well as why. Due to this interaction, self study, and hopefully an open mind I’ve moved from where I was initially to exactly where I was. I’m a still a leaner towards AGW (no “C” involved). But my perception has change w/r/t “skeptics/skepticism” as I find I are one…….towards both sides. I do take note that I question the AGW prognosticators more but believe that is due to content coming from that side and being defendend against from the other.
curryja | March 31, 2015 at 2:17 pm
well said and well done :)

Rud Istvan reckons Judith's purported conspiracy of silence goes back forty years or so. In fact, by his logic, it goes back 200 years or so.
March 31, 2015 at 3:57 pm (excerpt from a longer comment)
The consensus career pressures have built over time, but were there from the beginning. Just look at the IPCC charter, and the founding intent of UNFCCC. The answer was preordained by the political process, so the science flowed from rather than to conclusions.

Wagathon pronounces climate science a liberal fascist plot. (Does anyone know what a liberal fascist is?)
March 31, 2015 at 6:23 pm (excerpt)
Glad to help out. Liberal fascism is the reason the global warming debate goes on. It’s the only reason.

David Small, you may recall, quit research in a huff. He claims it was because a paper of his didn't pass muster. He was loudly praised by Judith Curry so embellishes his story with death threats, for effect. Probably looking for more adulation. He's ignored.
March 31, 2015 at 8:13 pm
I spent over 10 years working for little money studying aspects of climate change because I thought it was important. After careful consideration, I changed my mind about the science, realizing that it was far from settled. When I let my questions about the science be known, I had my career and my life threatened. I realized I would never be able to work in the atmospheric/environmental sciences given my thoughts about global warming. I took my taxpayer funded PhDs to the financial industry. I wish I could have stayed in science, but you can’t criticize catastrophic global warming if you don’t have tenure. So it goes.

Stephen Segrest draws an analogy with the Old Testament. He's waiting patiently for a David to appear.
March 31, 2015 at 8:20 pm
Dr. Curry — David is my favorite person in the OT. An important lesson drawn from the story of Goliath is how David’s older brother treated him before he slew Goliath. David was the youngest of his brothers — a pip-squeak kid. When David surprisingly showed up at the battle scene, his older brother criticized him — that he didn’t belong there, he wasn’t important, he didn’t know anything, he was crazy to think he could fight Goliath, and to just go home and tend the sheep. 

GaryM is still waiting for a credible progressive scientist to dissent in the peer-reviewed literature. He implies one has, but doesn't name anyone. There's none. It's a conspiracy of politics and consensus.
March 31, 2015 at 8:35 pm (excerpt)
“The closing of minds on the climate change issue is a tragedy for both science and society.”

The closing of minds isn’t a tragedy, it is a tactic. And it isn’t limited to the climate debate. The general political tenor of progressivism in the west is the stoking of hatred by low information voters as the primary source of widespread political power.

A progressive scientist begins to doubt the exaggerated claims of certainty by the IPCC, and is labelled a ‘denier’ in the grand tradition of holocaust denial.
Gary proceeds to draw some analogy between police shooting civilians and climate scientists. He lost me at that point.


  1. Sou at CSIRO I was once asked about time travel and alien invasion. These bright young people thought I might know!
    I told them even if time travel were possible the navigational problems were immense. Consider where the Earth was ten seconds ago. Do you navigate to the fixed stars? You will find yourself materialising in inter galactic space ! Anyway if it was possible we would be inundated with tourists!
    As for aliens ask the third world on our own planet what happens when a superior technological society invades. They take all your resources!
    So far we are all only good at doing it to each other.


    1. Bert - what you failed to consider is that all the alien visitors from outer space are invisible to humans. They are, like Tony Abbott's CO2, odourless, colourless, invisible and *weightless*. That's why no scientist has found any evidence of their invasion. (That and money and politics and consensus, of course.)


    2. Invisible gods hey! Abbott is an idiot! He should stick to beating himself as he is member of Opus Dei. This is a secret society of devout insane Catholics that beat themselves with whips and other things like hair shirts.

      Anyone who is willing to beat himself cannot be trusted to treat you fairly. These people are no better than the Taliban.
      If these idiots are willing to beat themselves. They will not flinch to beat YOU! Bert

    3. About no evidence again. I vaguely remember a story where police or even dogcatchers in Queensland under Joh could arrest you if your dog was 'at large'. The only proof needed. If you were out in public without your dog, he was obviously 'at large'. Bert

  2. Speaking of Judith and conspiracy theories:


    curryja | March 23, 2015 at 12:48 pm | Reply

    Breaking news: Steve Goddard’s twitter account has been shut down by twitter.


    curryja | March 23, 2015 at 1:06 pm |
    I haven’t previously heard of twitter suspending anyone; maybe violence or pornography, but someone tweeting about temperature data? Really bizarre.

    1. Ha ha. She's not too Twitter literate, is she. And prone to promoting conspiracy theories of the climate kind. I just didn't realise quite how much.

      (Richard Tol's account was offline for a while last year. Even ATTP's account got suspended once IIRC for no known reason.)

      It reminds of the time when there was a huge ruckus in the climate blogosphere because "Steve Goddard" couldn't find one of his tweets, and claimed the White House deleted it! Barking mad megalomania.

    2. There is nothing much new at WUWT that I can see. The memes are being recycled."

      Too right. I dropped by for the first time in ages and the latest from the WUWT Asylum is a post about the above Twitterstorm in a teacup, and the very first comment takes the inmates into Godwin's Law territory, and off they go down the rabbit hole.

      Waste of eveyone's time. Though I guess it keeps the inmates off the internet streets. Speaking of which, dbstealey moans, of the indefatigable Brandon Gates:-

      "Really, the Gates threadbombing over the past year is past tedious. And reading his vile anti-WUWT comments on other blogs is hypocritical. They don’t let me or lots of others comment there."

      Has anyone seen dbstealey (Dave Stealey, dbs, Smokey) ever try to deploy his library of unprovenanced, shonky charts outside of the security of the WUWT compound? How about offering the poor lamb a guest post at HW? Might increase the gaiety of nations.

    3. To my knowledge he's never posted a comment here. Or not using one of his WUWT socks, at any rate.

      I think I'd have recognised his style - but who knows. There've been quite a few comments from deniers, but none that shrieks "Smokey" that I can recall. I don't often delete comments. And only four or five people have ever been banned - and not because they reject science. It was for other reasons.

  3. Having followed Judith Curry's blog -and her progressive movement from the periphery of a scientific community, towards the centre of a political community- for several years, I've noticed that her ideas of how knowledge should be produced in a society have also moved away from scientific models to more political models.

    Her current position is a kind of 'free market'/'universal suffrage' approach to knowledge, which really only makes sense if what you are trying to do is increase the numbers for a minority viewpoint by redefining who counts as an 'expert' (fair enough I suppose, but if you want anti-climate change bloggers to count as part of the climate science community, it has to go both ways - the 'other side' also has to expand to include the environmentalists).

    But scientific knowledge itself wouldn't be possible if scientific opinions were treated like everyday people's rights to their individual beliefs. Scientific communities build the strongest consensus of any kind of community in our society, because each person in a scientific community is responsible for winning the others to their point of view.

    Aside from the conspiracist dog-whistle about "the money", what Curry describes is really normal scientific culture in just about any field of research. Of course people with theories or findings that contradict the dominant paradigm have to battle to be heard. That is the way it is in every scientific domain; it's the way it should be.

    Of course they have a hard time justifying why funding should be given to fringe views - this is especially true in the current political climate, in which real -not implied, alleged, or insinuated- funding cuts have been made to scientific research programs related to the environment.

    Fringe ideas in science have always had to battle to be heard. Once in a while, the fringe ideas are right, but they are mostly just mistaken. Sometimes social conventions and bias stand in the way of the best ideas -this is the rule in many aspects of everyday life, but it is the exception in scientific communities.

    Either way, the onus is on fringe ideas to shoulder the burden of proof, not to confront their scientific community's body of hard-won and hard-tested understanding with a teenager's demand for equal time without equal effort.

    Climate science is a field of science which uses error bars in nearly every calculation, which produces consensus statements that reference nearly all of the dissenting opinions as well as the mainstream ones, which estimates certainty by taking disagreement into account. To make out that 'it is uncertain' is some kind of competing new theory and ought to be weighed equally against all that the atmospheric sciences have so far achieved, is really just a form of narcissism.

    I'm a little bit over this self-proclaimed oasis of free thinking the climate etc denizens imagine they're sitting in; they need to scrape the sand of their glasses and realise they ain't looking out over a desert.

  4. I think 'liberal fascist' is a Tea Party term for anyone who thinks that pollutocrats shouldn't be allowed to kill people for profit. As cutting pollution requires regulation it is labelled as 'authoritarian' by Koch Industries muppets.

  5. "When politics and ‘consensus’ enforcement come into play, it becomes very difficult for scientists to publicly change their mind [sic]."

    This is a clumsy argument by assertion. If scientists come up with counter-consensus or revolutionary findings they can quite easily put them into the literature by simply presenting the evidence and carefully wording their discussions. They don't have to ostentatiously rock any boats.

    Not sure what I mean? Consider Watson's and Crick's seminal (see what I did there?) 1 page paper where they said in the last sentence "It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material". Understated, and in no way overtly controversial, but it essentially changed the way that we understood life.

    It's marvellous what a couple of adjectives can do...

    If a research group comes up with a result that refutes the consensus they can publish regardless of any putative pressure on them to not do so, if they are skilled at the craft of writing papers, and they would rush to do so because they would immediately attract the approval and funding from very rich fossil fuel industries.

    Or is Curry suggesting that all the journals of the world are also conspiring to suppress this covert dissent, along with governments and academic institutions and environmental NGOs?

    I note too that Curry hasn't ever actually published anything in the scientific literature that refutes the consensus. Is she being suppressed too, even as she rails against the suppressive conspiracy? If so she should be releasing her radical findings on ArXiv, which doesn't have any government or journal guardians controlling its doors - just simple peer commenting. Oh, what, there's censorship there too but we don't know about it? Well then why is Curry not publishing her counter-consensus proofs on her blog as formal papers instead of as unsupported vague allusions? She has the audience after all, and her "proof" would become famous overnight. What, she doesn't have any proof of her own?

    But wait, surely all amongst of those thousands of suppressed scientists who have evidence refuting The Consensus there would be at least one who would write up their results as a paper that could be easily tested by peers, and ask Curry to host it so that the world can move beyond The Consensus?

    Or is Curry too a part of the Conspiracy to Suppress? Is there no corner of the universe where its wicked tendrils permeate?

    Or is it that she is simply blowing hot air?

    Parsimony says to me that she is nuttier than a squirrel's winter larder.

    1. "To say that we are in trouble in the climate debate because of this is an understatement."

      No, to say that is another unsupported assertion. She has established no case for a valid "climate debate", and she has established no "trouble" in any putative debate. Further, she has established no case that her claim understates the putative "trouble" in the putative valid "climate debate".

      "There is enormous pressure for climate scientists to conform to the so-called consensus. This pressure comes not only from politicians, but from federal funding agencies, universities and professional societies, and scientists themselves who are green activists and advocates. Reinforcing this consensus are are strong monetary, reputational, and authority interests."

      Huh, does Curry actually do science these days? Unless there are specific confidentiality clauses preventing publication of non-consensus results there is no possible pressure that I've ever seen in the hundreds of grants and grant applications with which I and my colleagues have worked over the years, that would prevent a scientist from reporting the actual results of their work. Such a gag clause would be big news and I'd be surprised if not even one of these suppressed masses of scientists didn't anonymously release a copy should they have been slapped with one: there is a remarkable lack of such evidence...

      And if Curry is correct and there are suppressed scientists, then by implication she is insinuating that they are either not publishing papers where papers are expected to eventuate, which would leave detectable holes in the output of projects (anyone seen one of these holes?), or those scientists are publishing counter to their findings in which case Curry is implicating them in fraud.

      I can't let the "green activists and advocates" line go by without comment. As Sou said, is Curry saying that any professional scientist who recognises a threat to the ecology of the planet is becoming unacceptably political by communicating this to the public?Is she intending that scientists do not act to communicate threats to the environment? If not them, then who should be responsible for communicating these issues? Apparently not green activist groups, given Curry's implicit tone. Perhaps government bureaucracies, except I suspect that Curry would be as antipathetic about bureaucrats publicising threats to the ecosphere as she is about scientists doing so.

      Politicians? Certainly not left-wing ones - that's no different from "green activis[m]". So it must be left then to our conservative right-wing politicians to carry the flag for the environment, as we all know what an objective and caring crowd of tree-hugging hippies they are...

      I think that Curry has a chip on her shoulder about high profile scientists like James Hansen, who have a far better understanding than her of the physics of 'greenhouse' warming and of the ecological consequences of such, and who are sufficiently alarmed at their understanding that they seek to act in the public good. Curry herself appears to me to have not had the goods to match it with these movers and shakers, or is simply ideologically averse to the implications of their research, and seems to think that she can instead garner her emotional and/or economic satisfaction by attempting to white-ant their work.

      And no, that's not an argument by assertion: one only has to study Curry's history of response to the climatology literature and its political fall-out to understand that my impression is supported by evidence.

  6. One of Curry's groveling sokpupet commenters, Rob Ellison, aka Chief Hydrologist, Generalissimo Skippy, Captain Kangaroo, and on & on, apparently has disappeared.

    His last comment here has him describing himself fending off Cyclone Marcia in a "cyclone shelter" on the Queensland coast.

  7. "And heaven forbid any scientist wanting a sustainable biosphere. Heck - they shouldn't be advocating a responsible attitude to the environment, they should be supporting our rapid demise."

    Curry is not the only one advocating such nonsense. Watts posted an "anti Earth Hour" article the other day, stating he would be spending the hour turning extra lights on to make sure his neighborhood didn't go too dark. The feedback in the comments was horrendous, echoing the sentiment that waste was necessary and they should be doing their part to increase the CO2 in the atmosphere.

    I really got to dbstealey in there, it was pretty funny to watch him implode. After repeated calls for my identity, I let him know that if Watts endorses his badgering he would implement an OAuth Real Identity policy and that he could remove the ability for people to post anonymously or with nicknames. Of course, that was edited out by the moderator.

    1. If Watts does have and "anti Earth Hour" with extra lights on to keep his neighborhood lit, he will do it in spite of his roof top photo voltaics. It's interesting to see the faction of Tea Party folk that advocate solar power not so they can benefit the environment, but so they can stick it to the big quasi- government power company.

    2. Most of the comments that followed took it as a sign that they should just use the energy though. People saying they would go run their cars in the driveway, that the electricity is already in surplus so it doesn't help to not use it, make more plant food...
      It's funny how people were championing Watts solar system, like it makes up for the rest of them. I suggested that he start a foundation to help bring solar to developing areas so they wouldn't be dependent on fossil fuels.
      I must have caught someone's attention, as ALL my posts must now go through moderation.

  8. Liberals are on the political left and fascists on the far right.

    Perhaps politics is topologically similar to the old Asteroids computer game.

    To become a Liberal Fascist you disappear off to the far left and reappear on the far right


    1. I've been watching out for WUWT to show that video, Eli. Maybe Anthony will put it up tomorrow :)

  10. Such a pity that climate dissenters have no monetary incentive to publish their consensus-breaking research!

    If only charitable organizations, like say, oil companies, were able to establish a fund to steer money toward such emeritus scientists...

    Of course, since those Patrons of Good Science are so very modest, they could funnel the money thru several level of dummy organizations, towards biddable think-tanks and similiar high-minded entities...

    But that's crazy talk.

  11. Without exaggeration, Climate Etc comments have become indistinguishable from those on WUWT. The trend was inevitable I suppose.
    Today Rud Istvan is saying that the Arctic ice recovery will cause an embarrassing backdown in AR6.

  12. "Liberal fascist" probably came originally from Jonah Goldberg's similarly titled book which aimed to project fascism onto the left wing of politics in order to deflect attention from the creeping fascism evident in much of right wing politics in the US, and to give air cover to right wing echo chamber sources & repeaters who wish to broadcast that projection as if it were fact.

    Dave Niewert, who knows his stuff in this area, wrote a bunch of articles about it and in his summary (here) simply called the book "fraudulent". That summary links to his articles - try reading the major ones (marked with an asterisk). You'll probably rapidly conclude that this is no superficial drive by review, and that his "fraudulent" conclusion is well justified. Also, it's fascinating reading, as is much of the rest of his website. (You'll get a sense of how comprehensive his knowledge is and how well researched most of his stuff is...)

    1. I should probably clarify that Goldberg was hardly the first to use the term, but his book was one of the most prominent examples of usage in the last couple of decades that I'm aware of.

    2. The more I learn the more I realise just how much I don't know :)

      Thanks, Lotharsson.

    3. The swamp runs deep, what sign posts there are aren't anchored to anything particularly solid and they're often written in a dialect called Caninus Tibia (or something like that - my Latin is non-existent). Often your only way of knowing the lay of the land is to use a knowledgeable guide...

    4. Ah, that explains the Tea Party connection:

      "Unless of course Obama is really a "fascist," as some T.P.ers have it, because he's a liberal, and liberals are fascists (as we all know from that magisterial work of history, Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg). So instead of the hammer and sickle, draw a little Hitler mustache on Obama's face on your T.P. hate signs. Or better yet, parade around with a swastika! (The Tea Partiers seem to get a special kick out of this, for some reason.)"

      I guess when you are a fake movement you don't have any original thinkers so you borrow what you can from the other fruitcakes.

    5. Just in case anyone hasn't seen it, here's John Mashey's essential history lesson about the real origins of the TEA Party:

      TEA Party: Tobacco Always Everywhere

    6. To be clear, that 'anyone' was for interested readers of the thread, not Lotharsson et al. above. I know you know ;-)

    7. Yep, I was going to suggest that the origins of the Tea Party were particularly interesting in light of this discussion.

  13. I realise this is somewhat off topic, and apologise if it is inappropriate.

    I have come across a guy on a YouTube thread called Donald Kasper, who seems to have some genuine expertise on mineralogy. Kasper claims to have evidence that the conventional approach to infrared spectroscopy is dramatically wrong and that his results will overturn climate science.

    Seems a kook to me, has any one heard of him?

    1. Nope. Never heard of him. Lots of people claim they can overturn climate science - none have that I'm aware of. (It would require them to overturn a lot of science that isn't related to climate, too.)

    2. Perhaps he can explain how the physics behind the US Airforce's heat seeking missiles doesn't work then. :D

  14. This is where I come from. we had high ideals in the late sixties. I just do not know what happened. We was robbed!

    I had tickets to see Santana in 1970. Unfortunately my first wedding was the next day. I decided that a night of drunkenness and intake of illicit substances was not a good start.

    I was wrong! I should have gone! Bert

  15. Heaven help us, even the gummint is reading Curry,

    " I AM a city councilman in the state of Texas and I can assure you the subject of global warming or imagined consequences of same has never been an agenda item and there’s not much likelyhood of that changing in the future. Texas is a conservative state. Global warming is a liberal narrative.. We don’t give it any official attention at all."


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