Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Another big week in climate and politics, and an apology

Sou | 10:28 PM Go to the first of 64 comments. Add a comment
There has been so much happening this week, particularly in the USA, but elsewhere as well. The reason for the apology is because, although I have some articles in the pipeline partly written, I won't have time to finish them for another day or two.

So - if you're able to continue helping out in that regard, like you've been doing in the comments on earlier articles, that would be terrific. Whether it's keeping the blog updated with any or all of these:
  • The latest developments from Lamar Smith and his Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and its attempts to intimidate scientists and shut down climate research.
  • Any insight into why a scientist called John J. Bates would resign from NOAA only to join the climate conspiracy nutters at Judith Curry's place, and then tell big fat lies to a tabloid science-denying writer, David Rose, from a smutty UK rag, the Mail on Sunday. Why he would suddenly turn on his colleagues who supported him when he needed it, and make up stuff to try to discredit them and their work. Why he would ruin any chance of developing trusting relationships with other professionals and businesses he wants to work with in his new career.
  • Whether the bill to shut down the US EPA will get anywhere, what costs that will add to US states, and what damage it will do to the air, water, soil and other natural resources Americans rely on. (See Greg Laden's article and the comments.)
  • Whether the Australian government will be able to get anyone to buy the coal they want to burn, in their effort to bring on global warming.
  • How much cooler this year will be than last year, given the incredible temperatures in the Arctic and elsewhere.
  • Whether Donald Trump will succeed in his attempt to shut down the judicial arm of the US government and install Steve Bannon as the USA's tyrannical dictator.
  • Whether Donald Trump's war ambitions will involve China, Australia, the UK, the Middle East, Germany, Europe, or the world as a whole.
  • Or whatever.
I will be writing more about some of the above, and more, over the next few days, but won't be able to get back to writing for at least another 24 hours. 

So again - if you can help out, please do so in the comments. If you've got a lot to say and would like to post an article here - let me know.


  1. I think Eli already has explained Bates:

    Some of the things Bates says are likely not lies (i.e. Bates knew they were not true), but are more a matter of interpretation, where Bates' prior run-in with Karl may well have coloured his interpretation quite a bit. For example, If Karl said that he knew NOAA was missing warming (based on comparisons with others and also already well-known known biases in the underlying data), and that people should look at how to resolve these biases to stop false narratives...Bates would easily interpret that as Karl telling people to 'create' warming, because his prior run-in with Karl made him automatically assume bad motives in anything Karl said.

  2. Only a complete biased ignoramus morob would assume that from such a conversation...

  3. I guess morob > moron ?? Keyboard had other ideas...

  4. Thank you, Sou, for making your biases so plain for all to see.

    1. You're welcome. And ditto, Mark.

    2. Mark Ulmer.

      Yes, I've always been struck by how biased is Sou toward truth, evidence, real scientific fact, and a nuanced and detailed understanding of some of the more profound issues that affect the human condition. Contrast this to some of the ridiculous faff that frequents the back alleys of the interweb, such as WUWT and the reconstituted-meat Curry House.

      It's good that you recognise this too. I hope that the information to be gleaned at HotWhopper helps you to see past your own potential blinkered ideologies, cognitive scotoma, and motivated reasonings. If you ever have any difficulties in this regard don't be afraid to ask here for help: there's a wealth of wisdom to be had from the many knowlegable trained and experienced scientists that post here.

      Good fortune in your journey.

    3. Jesus made his "biases" fairly clear (as best we have them 2nd/3rd...hand). So did Hitler. So did Ghandi. So did the Unibomber (well somewhat clear). So did Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln. So has the API.

      The point isn't the "biases". The point is what is the person biased towards? Truth? Dishonesty? Evil? Personal gain at all costs? Promotion of acceptance? Promotion of difference? War? Peace? A living planet for future generations? A Blade Runner future planet?

      Sou's biases are quite clear: She is interested in honest science communication. She may even be biased in favor of truth, justice, and the Australian way, I don't know. But for sure she is biased towards honest communication of science.

    4. Trump accuses MSM of bias. So now, for every mindless Trump fanboy out there, bias is the new meme to be parrotted.

    5. Millicent: Yes. It's just another example of throwing around words which sound like they mean something but which don't stand up to even the simplest of thinking or analysis.

      Scientists are strongly biased to accept only certain kinds of data and inferences in their areas of expertise by virtue of long and arduous training. (Outside of their areas of expertise, scientists often do as poorly as any other amateur.) That Trump and Trump supporters try to make the fact of this very strong "bias" sound negative is revealing.

      Further, it's about as indicative of their language/propaganda strategies as denying science and then reeling in pretend horror when someone labels what they are doing as denial and as such they are being deniers.

      Twist language into pretzels and you twist thought itself into a pretzel. We see this happen every day with the various denier language strategies.

    6. I readily admit to being biased against stupidity, idiocy, ignorance, avarice, and pseudskeptics. Having written that I now realize 'pseudoskeptic' is redundant. Oh well, I've hit 'Publish' - too late now.

    7. Feynmann was biased against spoon benders and witch doctors. As far as I can tell there are no skeptics who are not one or the other.

    8. Wow, you folks are really full of hate. I read this blog specifically to understand the arguments against the posts on WUWT. But it's often hard to get past all the personal and political biases to find the scientific arguments here. Exhibit A is the list posted by Sou in this blog post - it has nothing to do with science.

      By the way, I am a registered Democrat in the USA and NOT a Trump supporter; nor am I an Evangelical Christian.

    9. Mark Ulmer.

      Tone trolling? Give me a break.

      This is a mostly political post.

    10. Harry, I don't speak your lingo. What are you trying to say?

    11. What he is saying Mark Ullmer is that you have not mafe any constructive points or asked any searching questions. You are in fact dealing with the previse trait you accuse orhers. Harry has very kindly called it tone trolling.

    12. Mark, if you want to comment on a science article there are lots to choose from here, and plenty of other places too (e.g. try the blog list in the sidebar). This particular article was to let people know I'm still around, though busy.

      Do you complain on every blog you visit when the most recent article isn't on a subject you desire? Do you normally let your frustration out in the manner you did, and then tell everyone they are "really full of hate" when they respond to your attack?

      Some gratuitous advice - which is worth whatever you want to pay for it (in time or discomfort or gratitude):

      a) use the search bar up top to find a science topic that interests you

      b) treat others as you would like to be treated by others, and assume that this is what people expect (that is, assume others will treat you as you treat them, and be happy about that)

      c) beg, borrow or steal a larger vocabulary. (Conflict, dispute, disagreement and responses to personal attacks aren't generally based in "hate".) Mostly we are a very tolerant caring bunch of people, though intolerant of intolerance and science denial :)

  5. James Dellingpole, mendacious misrepresenter of the truth and of actual real science, displays yet again his uncanny ability to perfectly mimic an execrable piece of human trash:


    This specimen of whatever he is couldn't lie straight on a rack, with a rod... well, you work it out...

  6. "Any insight into why a scientist ..."

    Perhaps I don't have any special insight, but I do spend time doing two things (1) researching on how to simplify climate science and (2) trying to understand why supposedly well-credentialed scientists such as Curry and Lindzen buck the tide of consensus. Like what happened to famed physicist Ludwig Boltzmann trying to understand thermodynamics, it's possible that the mysteries of the climate have made these people go bonkers.

    Paraphrasing David Goodstein, professor of physics at Cal Tech, "Perhaps it will be wise to approach the subject cautiously."

    1. @ Whut

      ultimately we are dealing with humans and humanity - it comes in all shapes and sizes and "takes all sorts" as they say

      furthermore its' a classic conspiratorial failing that they (CT'rs) assume perfection in everything - anything less and they shout "conspiracy"

      because climate science isn't perfect ergo it must be wrong

      The NIST reports into 911 contained a few errors - it was controlled demolition and an inside job

      with that in mind - it would actually be odd if a few high profile scientist did not sway from the mainstream position or even have genuine professional (good faith) disagreements

      Deniers and CT'ers see these as a "slam dunk" - when in fact it is the opposite

      a bit like people who say "spooky" when they turn on the radio and hear the song they were thinking about

      in fact the opposite is true, it would be spooky if that never happened

    2. The issue is that their contrariness almost always intersects with their politics. Even look at someone like the hack McIntyre -- he claims to have liberal leanings but that's just a facade and its obvious he is Trump-like in his real views.

  7. This just my take...

    Bates and Smith have manufactured a false level of conflict between Karl and Fyfe. These scientists have very few disagreements. Hopefully Fyfe et al are rushing to the defense of Karl... offering to all testify in front of Lamar Smith's committee to refute the Smith and Bates misrepresentation.

    K15 is all about the IPCC's statement on the warming hiatus, which used 90%.

    In Bates' CargoCult Etc. article he claims he asked a co-author why they did not use 95%. He uses ominous language... implying it was done to enhance warming. The answer was obvious to anybody who had actually read the IPCC statement and the Karl paper. So it appears Bates had not read and understood either of them. He then uses his misconception to build his "thumb on the scales" lunacy.

    The 95% argument he uses is a three-legged-stool argument. The Karl paper and the IPCC statement clearly kick all three legs out from under his argument... leaving a stool argument... otherwise known as a turd.

    Karl 15 does not address any other definition of a warming hiatus. Fyfe came up with an argument that is different than the one presented in the IPCC statement. The scientists, Karl et al and Fyfe et al, have no real disagreement on the Fyfe definition.

    1. Bates reportedly (by Rose) also claimed that ERSSTv4 throws out "perfectly good" buoy data, which is a rather well-known pseudoskeptic canard. So it appears there is a lot more that Bates didn't quite understand.

    2. Yes, how exactly do you throw it out and then weight it... whatever... I think it's 7 times?

  8. I see that Anthony Watts has published another article about David Rose and John Bates false claims. Once again he shows that he doesn't know the first thing about the different temperature data sets, implying that HadCRUT only uses GHCN data. He's very wrong:


    These are the data that CRUTEM is based upon:

    Anthony also wrongly states that the GHCN algorithm is "very unstable". If that were the case, then it would come out very differently each month.

    I hope Tom Peterson sues the pants off him. (I don't suppose he will, but it's a nice thought.)

    1. Watch Lamar Smith repeat David Rose's lies in the House Science Committee hearing "Making the EPA Great Again" to try to get them on the record. Rush Holt CEO of AAAS (the only witness from the Dems) did a great job and was well prepared to refute Lamar's lies.

    2. Ceist, that is a long video. When in the video does this occur?

    3. Watch the video at 1.5x or 2x speed and it's still very comprehensible. Basically every time Holt opens his mouth his is sensible and reasoned. You can skip to those parts, but at high speed there is less necessity.

    4. Around minute 58. I don't agree that Dr. Holt was successful, though he was thoughtful, intelligent, and honest. He talked like a reasonable tolerant man, and that is easily repressed these days.

  9. A quote from DailyKos article

    "Good job, Dr. Bates. You deliberately picked the most trashy, destructive imaginable to settle your score over professional slights. But you knew that’s what sells in the era of Trump, so you wasted no time capitalizing on that. Hope you’re enjoying having the attention and influence that you feel always eluded you. In your bitter retirement you’ve rendered your entire career meaningless, laid waste to your scientific legacy, and screwed us all."


  10. It seems possible Karl et al 2015 cooked the books, just like Bates claimed. I suspect we'll see more people coming forward in coming months, turning in colleagues who did naughties.

    1. Bollocks. Bates did not say that at all. I do question why Bates decided to do an interview with the trashy Daily Mail and post on Curry's blog right before Lamar Smith's "Making the EPA Great Again" hearing on Feb 7.

      Note that Lamar Smith tweeted about the Daily Mail story 6 times and brought it up in the hearing to get it 'on record'. AAAS CEO Dr Rush Holt was prepared and refuted Smith's claims (with objections from Smith).

      I'm also not surprised that Judith Curry is the only 'scientist' that Lamar Smiths House Science Committee twitter account follows.

      Was there collusion going on between Lamar Smith and Curry to do this right before the hearing?

    2. It seems possible that unicorns exist. It seems possible that anything is possible.

      How probable is the more relevant question. About as near to zero as you can get I would hazard.

    3. " I suspect we'll..."

      Last I heard, numpties like Eric still thought Climategate had some significance.

    4. John Bates walked back on the Daily Mail trash claims in interview with E&E news:


    5. ROFL. Just 16 minutes for poor Eric to get egg on his face.

    6. Oh yes.

      "Whistleblower' says protocol was breached but no data fraud"

    7. "cooked the books, just like Bates claimed"

      Eric making shit up as usual. From an AP interview with Bates

      >However Bates, who acknowledges that Earth is warming from man-made carbon dioxide emissions, said in the interview that there was "no data tampering, no data changing, nothing malicious."

      >"It's really a story of not disclosing what you did," Bates said in the interview. "It's not trumped up data in any way shape or form."


      I wonder how long Watts and Worrall, the Larry and Moe of climate science denial are going to be able to hide that admission from the ignorati.

      It appears that Bates' procedural complaints are also starting to unravel. The editor of Science magazine has said that publication was not rushed - rather it was extensively reviewed before publication. It also appears that NOAA had previously investigated ex employee Bates' complaints about procedure and dismissed them.

    8. Eric

      Sorry, but I think this particular story is a storm in a tea cup. It is not another climategate, a bombshell or even a smoking gun.

      Bates probably said more than he intended in the original mail on sunday article. It is flattering when someone askes you soft questions about your favourite subject The headline writers, not David rose, gave it a sensational headline which made bates suddenly realise the story had longer legs than he had intended.

      He mentioned thumbs on the scale in both articles but in the second one in EE it was much more geared towards the hiatus rather than any general warming that had been the emphasis in the mail article.

      Bates seems to be a stickler for protocol and seemed to resent it when karl didn't follows procedures to the letter, as Bates saw it. I can't see there has been any outright accusations of fraud, merely an unfortunate use of 'thumb's on the scale'

      I can't see that this has been worth the millions of pixels expended on it. Unless you know something I don't?


  11. My opinion on Curry's and Bates' motivations? I think it is significant they both run private consultancies - you have to wonder who their clients are. My suspicion is these "consultancies" are actually performing as lobby groups.

    If both parties had honest gripes about some aspect of climate research, they did not have to use a blog and yellow journalism platform to get a hearing. I think this is also significant. Like Climategate, NOAAgate sounds like it is being orchestrated by someone, probably a PR firm.

    1. I forgot to add. Climategate and NOAAgate make NO difference to the science, only to public opinion.

    2. I think this saga needs to be renamed HouseScienceGate

    3. Interestingly it was “climate gate” that actually reinforced my opinion that the science was robust and the people rabidly promoting it where simply conspiracy theorist

      I was already very interested and active in combating the daft claims of various conspiracy theorist / false flaggers and flat earthers

      Before “climate gate” I was only aware of the climate debate in terms of the media “faux” false balance that was prevalent at the time, so by a sort of cultural/media osmosis I accepted the narrative (to some extent) of the “skeptics”

      But “climate gate” was a slam dunk for me tbh

      It was naturally promoted by the “deniers” as the silver bullet, the AGW Hoax blown wide open, fraud etc etc etc

      Thousands of private emails – and all they found was a bit of professional rivalry/bitchiness, a smattering of “prima donna” syndrome, an understandable amount of defensiveness amongst the protagonist and finally some undeniably shoddy practices around the use of data yada yada

      Wow – who knew!!!!!!!

      It would actually be amazing if the 1000’s of stolen emails did not show up something, now THAT would be a sign of a conspiracy

      All it showed was in reality no more nefarious doing and probably less than if you data mined the emails of any group of “movers and shakers” from any global organisation in the private or public domain

      You see the conspiratorial mind works this way, - clear CCTV footage of a plane hitting the exact spot on the pentagon – mmm a bit fishy and definitely evidence of a conspiracy

      No clear CCTV footage of a plane hitting the exact spot on the pentagon - mmm a bit fishy and definitely evidence of a conspiracy

      if the deniers had found nothing - it would have been

      "what are they hiding"

    4. I have been aware of the reality of global warming for as long as I can remember, it was already old news when I was growing up. Later I saw documentaries about it back in the 1980/90s.

      I was then made aware of "The Great Global Warming Swindle", and I soon discovered how dishonest the climate change deniers were and what they were prepared to do. I was not really surprised because I saw the same thing happen with the smoking/health denier lobby.

      I "debate" with the Conspiracy Theory types all the time, I am aware of people and their delusions. But the thing is I don't believe the people running the Conspiracy Theory blogs actually believe it, they just create product that panders to the Conspiracy Theory fans.

    5. "I don't believe the people running the Conspiracy Theory blogs actually believe it, they just create product that panders to the Conspiracy Theory fans."

      yes I agree to an extent - I have made the point before that they seem to "play to the gallery"

      for some of them it seems more like a tribal affinity thing

    6. Tadaaa.

      "for some of them it seems more like a tribal affinity thing"

      You mean the 9/11 Truthers, Nibiruians, Flat Earthers, and Young Earth Creationists like being jerks? You betcha.

    7. I don't think Bates and Curry are comparable. Bates just seems to be the not-so-typical procedural person (exactly this way or no way), and then let his, somewhat understandable, antipathy towards Karl rule his thinking.

      Curry seems to be a case of someone who briefly got attention (in her kerfuffle with Gray, IIRC), and then saw herself passed by numerous others. Climategate gave her attention again, she loved it, and off she went, into the deep end, and still not aware she can't swing and is drowning.

    8. "Interestingly it was 'climate gate' that actually reinforced my opinion"

      Climategate didn't change my opinion about the science. It did convince me that your typical climate change denier is not merely deluded but is, in fact, a scumbag.

    9. @ HT

      you obviously forgot the Chemtrailers - but yes

    10. @Harry - my take on this FWIW.

      Judith went after a level of adoration she couldn't get from her peers. (No-one could. She wanted more fame and worship than any normal person would or could expect.)

      John has a people problem (not well-adjusted) and didn't think things through. (He's not a climate science denier, unlike Judith.)

      Judith already has some clients that she picked up while still at Georgia Tech, though I doubt she'll be able to deliver what she's indicated she wants to deliver. She's mathematically and scientifically deficient. She's even had to rely on her sorry lot of blog readers to prepare her powerpoint presentations for her. She can probably find people who can deliver the goods, and get them organised. Whether she'll be able to pay them (or understand their work) is another question.

      John Bates will suffer professionally because he's just starting out, so he's got to try to develop new relationships with new colleagues and clients. He'll probably get some work, but although he's quite clever in certain areas (unlike Judith) he'll find it hard to get good people to work with him. Those that do won't trust him far, if they know about this. He'll be battling one assignment at a time. With luck, from time to time he'll find some people who didn't read about this episode who'll take him on.

    11. In hindsight NOAAgate has turned into an own goal against Dr Curry, Dr Bates, David Rose and the Daily Mail. It was rebutted very quickly, the "gate" suffix was sneered at as a sad attempt media sensationalism, and now Potholer54 has done an excellent video on the matter.

      Even Bates said in some articles that he did not say what David Rose said he said. He has gone on record saying he didn't think data was manipulated, or even misued.

    12. Yeah, but its just as the NIPCC report and the CAS, or Lennart Bengtsson and the GWPF. For deniers, with their selective amnesia, there is only the initial faux scandal.

    13. And, of course, as a prime example of this selective amnesia we have Eric who informs us without any hint of irony:

      "I suspect we'll see more people coming forward in coming months, turning in colleagues..."

      He can have no memory of past events and how they turn out every time if he genuinely believed that.

    14. Indeed, Millicent. There are a lot of climate scientists coming forward, but they are coming forward in support of science, not against it.

      Eric is a climate disinformer, remember.

  12. Why hasn't there been a big stink about Spencer and Christy's UAH tropospheric satellite dataset? It's still beta version 6.x and has been used for almost 18months now. Their paper explaining the underlying changes has still not been published.

    RSS updated their satellite data set to Version 4 last year. They waited until after their paper has been published to release the data set. The old Version 3 (which is closer to UAH 6.x beta) runs colder because of various issues outlined in their paper.

    Yet Judith Curry, Ted Cruz etc run around claiming "The satellite data is the best data we've got!" (referring to UAH). Despite the satellite data having much higher error range than land based temperature data.

    1. Ceist, may I quote you? Do you have any links to share for further background? Or anything else to add. Pretty sure I'll be posting about this at my blog, would love a bit more info but my free time to search it out is limited.

      Thank you,

  13. Clearly John Bates doesn't have enough to do in his retirement! I suggest that he be given the task of doing a full software engineering analysis of the Spencer and Christy/UAH satellite data processing system including its development over recent years. That should really keep him busy!

    1. As long as the software and data has a CDR, he probably is just fine with it (as Tom Peterson noted on Climate Etc, Bates preferred to use satellite data known to be wrong (by those making the satellite record), because the software checked all the boxes of being verified and validated).

  14. John Bates linked profile states:

    John Bates Consulting Inc., National Climatic Data Center, NOAA"

    What does that mean?
    Is he saying he's working for both?
    Is he a contractor for NOAA's data center?
    Does he simply claim that as his speciality?
    Or is he simply blowing smoke by listing them on the same line?
    after all, the next lines are:
    National Climatic Data Center, NOAA/NESDIS, Environmental Technology Laboratory, Climate Diagnostics Center, NOAA/ERL"

    "John Bates Consulting Inc. started November 2016"

    hmmm, cashing in and going for the big bucks?
    Wouldn't it be fascinating to peek at this guy's professional emails for the past half year.

    1. Many government employees in the US retire (with reasonable retirement payments), but then continue as a consultant...often being hired as consultant by the same organization from which they retired.

      I strongly doubt Bates makes any big bucks with his expertise. His type of expertise is not widely sought after in industry.

  15. Okay the above is looking at John Bates in the worst possible light. After looking at more articles including the cool ones shared above, it seems it might well be a case of the jilted innocent consorting with predators only to be taken advantage of and ripped a new one. Roughed up and hopefully wiser for the experience.

    We shall see how this plays out. Only his emails know for sure.

    Still once Republicans grab a hold of a good meme they hold onto it with a religious zealot's tenacity.

    1. Yes, it does rather seem he didn't quite mean to do what he did, but since the result is the same and the hornet's nest was obvious to begin with, he's not innocent.

  16. There's an interesting exchange with Steven Mosher over at aTTP's about his part in ClimateGate. I thought it was nice of him to be so considerate in his reply to my effort, which was one of my "fools step in where angels fear to tread" efforts. My comment is just before his reply:
    aTTP Mosher link

    For some further argument you can scroll down over there, it's a bit off topic but I had always wanted to know exactly why Steven Mosher helped with ClimateGate and then changed his position and this is straight from his keyboard in direct reply.


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