Monday, November 14, 2016

Alt-Right Pro-Trump ex-scientist Judith Curry sez climate science is a hoax

Sou | 3:23 PM Go to the first of 24 comments. Add a comment
If you've visited Judith Curry's blog in the last few months you'll have noticed she has fully completed her switch to climate science denial. Most of her articles are from guests who reject science. She hasn't written much herself lately, but her latest article (archived here) confirms that she is now a hard core climate science denier.

What Judith has declared is her support for the alt-right anti-semitic populist Hitler wannabe, for the sexual predator and woman-despising President-elect, Donald Trump. She has also declared, again, her position as a climate science denier. Judith was arguing that Donald Trump was correct when he said that climate science is a hoax. She wrote a definition of the word "hoax" and then wrote this:

With these definitions in mind, here are two examples that qualify as hoaxes that I have previously written about:
  1. The UNFCCC definition of ‘climate change’ arguably qualifies as a hoax: climate change is a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods. [link]. This perversion of the definition of ‘climate change’ was designed to mislead people into thinking that all climate change is caused by humans.
  2. The propaganda from the UNFCCC that misleads people into thinking that the planned emissions reductions will have any discernible impact (that emerges from natural variability) on the 21st century climate [link], even if you believe the climate models.
So in terms of climate hoaxes, perhaps it is NOT Donald Trump’s whose pants are on fire.

Judith's UNFCCC conspiracy theory

Seriously. I mean a person can criticise the UNFCCC for its original narrow definition of climate change.  However one has to be a nong, or assume one's readers are stupid, to pretend that the words "in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods" wasn't about natural climate change, and was "intended to mislead people". And  there's no excuse for Judith launching into one of her favourite conspiracy theories -  that all the 160 plus signatory nations of the UNFCCC (at the time) were perpetrating a hoax. What Judith also failed to point out was that the IPCC itself, in its subsequent reports, broadened the definition to:
Climate change Climate change refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g., by using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings such as modulations of the solar cycles, volcanic eruptions and persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use. Note that the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in its Article 1, defines climate change as: ‘a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods’. The UNFCCC thus makes a distinction between climate change attributable to human activities altering the atmospheric composition, and climate variability attributable to natural causes. See also Climate change commitment, Detection and Attribution. 

Judith Curry claims the CO2 greenhouse effect is "misleading" and "propaganda"

Even worse, if you can imagine this from an ex-scientist, is that Judith believes, or is pretending to believe, that CO2 is not the major greenhouse gas that influences climatic change. She effectively claimed that emissions reductions won't have "any discernible impact" on climate. I mean this is something that has been solid in science since the middle of the 1800s, and Judith "believes" it's a misleading piece of propaganda from practically every country in the entire world. All 196 State Parties to the UNFCCC plus one regional economic integration organization.

Think about it. So far human activity has caused an increase in atmospheric CO2 of more than 40%. So far the average global surface temperature has risen above pre-industrial by more than one degree Celsius, even without allowing for this year's extraordinarily high temperatures:
Figure 1 | Global mean surface temperature anomaly for the 12 months to September each year. The base period is 1951-1980. Data source: GISS NASA

And that's instantaneous. There is more in the pipeline. How do Judith and Donald think we can hope to contain this incessant temperature rise and associated change in climates without cutting CO2 emissions?

Judith might blame climate scientists and bloggers for pushing her into the arms of the anti-democratic Trump and his disturbing (and disturbed) fans. That would be an abdication of personal responsibility. Surely something repugnant to an individualist in the USA, even one who's gone round the bend.

Donald Trump is not just a huge danger to the USA, he is a huge danger to the world. Not just in regard to climate and the environment, but in terms of global stability and progress. The difference between Trump and Hitler was that Hitler was a fan of science and technology, although he abused it. Donald Trump and the anti-knowledge / anti-everything and everyone crowd are more comparable to those that brought down Rome way back when.


  1. So the UNFCCC in its definition was presumably attempting to make clear that its brief is to deal with

    "change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere"

    and not the
    "natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods"

    That was the reason it was set up

    >The UNFCCC objective is to "stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system"

    And as you say, there has been a number of IPCC reports which look at the relative contributions of natural and forced climate change. So it is some conspiracy given that it has been discussed openly and extensively for years.

    Curry is probably attempting to prove to the alt-right that she is upstanding and loyal member of the climate lunatic fringe and deserves to have a job or at least a few bones thrown her way from the new Administration. There will probably be a feeding frenzy for a while as snouts attempt to get their go at the new trough.

    1. Judith has had her entire career to figure out that nations around the world are very concerned about humans causing dangerous climate changes. Yet the penny still hasn't dropped, or she pretends it hasn't.

      The question is: is Judith playing a hoax on her readers, or is she as dumb as she makes out?

      It could be the latter. Remember, she had a lot of trouble trying to determine the difference between 50% and a half. I don't know if she ever managed to figure it out. :)

      That might explain why she thinks that politics is a better career for her in her twilight years than her day job. The grass is greener and all that. If she's any sense she'll hang out for the odd bone, not full time employment. Working in government is one of the toughest and most demanding jobs you could have. Double that if you work in the White House - which Donald Trump might be about to find out. (In his case, he'll probably get his advisers and family to run the country in his stead, while he trips around trying to drum up crowds to shout their adoration and feed his unflagging ego.)

    2. I personally think she is playing a hoax, the same sort of hoax as Dr Roy Spencer and Dr Christy. Her loyalty is to her US Republican ideology, not to science. She MIGHT also have a financial conflict of interest, but I have never been able to work out what her side business is exactly.

      You only have to see how climate change denying US Republicans behave - they have NO issue with lying publicly. Sounds familiar?

  2. Voyeuring a '"science" assistant advisor'-position somewhere in the red states?

  3. It's all very bizarre. The UNFCCC writes something to make clear what they mean by the term "climate change" and Judith regards it as misleading. You really can't make this kind of stuff up.

    1. The pursuit of clarity is an oppressive elitist trick designed to mislead.

  4. So Curry is fully out of the closet now, with the last shred of plausible deniability discarded. From a psychological point of view it would be interesting to see what motivates a former scientist to follow such a path; from a political and career point of view I think Sou is right and the trigger was the Trump election and the potential opportunities Curry senses.

    1. One gets to a certain time in one's shell gaming career when the speed of one's shell is so slow, the nut is left with nowhere to hide.

    2. Or the success of the US Republican Party.

  5. It's a post-truth age... anything and everything is both true and a hoax....
    Wonder what Karl Popper would make of it...

    1. 1984 comes to mind as a description of the mind set where big brother is worshiped and everything is seen through the lens of the party. How can a person knowingly say the opposite of the knowledge they possess? George Orwell explained it well I feel and it seems this is an example of the outcome for one person. I fear it may not go very smoothly in the oncoming years for the followers of the one truth doctrine of science is bad etc.

  6. In a way it is good that she now is fully out of the closet. It should be clear to everyone now why she does what she does. That that has nothing to do with science and everything with hard right politics. Racists naturally want to delay mitigation to see many poor people die. That is what they see as natural order. That is their idea of eugenetic progress.

  7. Climate revisionism is so recognizable one can probably point date and even hour when Curry switched.
    There was always a measure of sleaziness in climate revisionism and Curry is no exception.

  8. Sou's death rattle continues.

    1. Did you see a falling star Mike, whilst mummy and daddy thought that you were tucked snugly in bed?

    2. Yet here you are, still reading what she has to say.

    3. Mike: demagoguery is a route that leads to gestapos and gas chambers. At what point along that route would you want to call halt?

    4. Mike, it's hard to stay upbeat when Americans from the far right and far left have elected Donald Trump. Not only will he risk the fate of the world as far as climate change goes, he is another sign that a large number of people in the world want destrucive, fascist leaders. His election is also a sign that people aren't able to distinguish fact from fiction. Despite, or because of the huge amount of information now available, many people aren't able to filter out the lies from the truths.

      I hope it's a "phase" that humanity will grow out of. The signs are not good. Even some moderate progressives aren't able to tell fact from fiction:

      The Myths Democrats Swallowed that Cost Them the Presidential Election

      However, as I said in a previous article, now is not the time to give up on the world. Fighting for what is right is now more important than ever. So if you were hoping the HW would close sometime soon and that I would give up on humanity, you'll be disappointed.

    5. I don't even understand the point of that post. Is it abuse? What is it referring to? Has the election of Trump changed the laws of physics?

      I guess people like Mike think they have "won" the (political) debate and that means they were right. Unfortunately the physical world will not notice that non-event and will carry on BAU.

    6. But hey Mike, it turns out there is a link between climate change denial and holocaust denial after all.

    7. Mike my dear boy, you are a fucking poet. You encapsulated your desperate idiocy in just 4 words. Poets strive their whole lives to achieve that kind of economy.

      Mike you are so good at words you can almost make them speak.

  9. Normal discourse at Curry's:

    "Islam is a cancer on the body of humanity."



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