As a lurker here, I hope its acceptable to use this forum to congratulate Dr. Schmidt on receiving the AGU’s inaugural Climate Communications Prize. Thank you for your efforts as well as the other members of the realclimate team.
I add my congratulations to Gavin for his well-deserved award.
I’ll also add that in addition to his expertise, clarity, and wit, Gavin has a cool head and gentlemanly demeanor in responding to even the most foolish (and most hostile) of comments). It’s an equanimity I (and most bloggers) can only aspire to, not match.
BTW, you can find a brief interview with Gavin on ClimateSight.
Congratulations, Gavin! In addition to your clear and knowledgeable articles, I especially look forward to your inline comments for redirecting and explaining the science within the flow of a comment thread, and to your matter-of-fact recognition of silliness when you see it. I extend this compliment to the whole team, but Gavin is the one who most frequently takes the bull by the horns (pun intended). Steve
Congratulations! The clarity of your postings, and the admirable patience you show with some very hostile commenting is truly admirable. Also the time spent dealing with comments and abuse must be considerable, especially during such episodes as the hacked emails. A thoroughly deserved award.
Congratulations Gavin! Well deserved indeed. Without your many inline comments I would understand less about so many things.
Comment by Pete Dunkelberg — 18 Oct 2011 @ 7:38 PM
I can’t stop thinking, what if Michael Crichton was right and climate change turns out to be a non issue, What if our generation wasted prestigious resources on wind turbines and carbon sequestration, while we let millions to die of hunger and diarrhea. I am sorry, but I grew up worrying about malnutrition and illiteracy that completely faded away as we started to worry about climate change. I can’t stop thinking of the Occupy Wall Street protesters, who are angry at those who earn 7-9 digit figures and don’t realize that their 5-6 digit salary might be just as outrageous for those who live under 3 digit annual income. I am sorry to say, but I would rather have my taxes spent on aid programs in Africa than biofuel subsidies in Kansas or Iowa.
[Response: Don’t confuse policy issues with science. Michael Crichton is not right, nor will he turn out to have been right, on the science. Your worries about what society should be doing policy wise is an entirely different question, and you cannot assume that any of us would argue that taxes should be spent on biofuel subsidies rather than aid programs; indeed, I would certainly not make such an argument. As for your comments re protestors on Wall Street .. huh??–eric]
[Response: Re biofuels: The German Advisory Council on Global Change (of which I am a member) has written a thick report on this issue and we recommended to our government to scrap support for biofuels. Nevertheless, large investments will have to be made to make the transition to a sustainable energy system – but why on Earth do you think this money should come off aid programs in Africa? How about (just to give another idea) off the ~ $500 billion government subsidies for fossil fuels that we still have around the world? stefan]
Yes, indeed: hearty congratulations, Gavin! One thing that so impresses me is your ability to comment authoritatively and in depth on so many dimensions of climate and climate change. I would imagine your work in modeling requires such a comprehensive knowledge. That you do possess such expertise is evidenced by the comments made by outside experts who occasionally post here.
And, yes, your untiring, patient, and detailed responses during climate gate were an educational tour de force.
When the really big climate impact happens, John Q Public will still say: “Why didn’t you tell us?” The only answer is: “We did. Why weren’t you listening?”
John Q will then say: “I saw 2 experts on TV. One said “A” and the other said “Z.” How am I supposed to know the difference?” The average person really can’t tell the difference. We have Texas governor John Perry to thank for screwing up badly enough that more people are now on our side. [How strangely……!!]
We can hope that publicity from the award will help get the message out. I know that scientists are shy and do not like to be the center of attention. I surely don’t like to be the center of attention. Forgive the attention this time, please. The public needs the information.
Comment by Edward Greisch — 18 Oct 2011 @ 10:52 PM
Woops! DID I get the Texas Governor’s name wrong?
Comment by Edward Greisch — 18 Oct 2011 @ 10:54 PM
Heart felt congratulations Gavin, and by extension to Real Climate. This site was my first and foremost source of information when I first ran into the climate denial rethoric. It remains at the top, along with Skeptical Science, recently awarded by the Australian Museum. Keep up the good work.
Comment by Philippe Chantreau — 18 Oct 2011 @ 11:10 PM
Congratulations, Gavin. Well-deserved!
Comment by Ted Kirkpatrick — 18 Oct 2011 @ 11:21 PM
Well done, well deserved, and please keep up the important work you do!
Congratulations, Gavin, on an honor well deserved. You are a special teacher. Your seemingly tireless efforts during the CRU/Climatology smear campaign is something that will always stand out in my mind. You have extraordinary patience. You have great insight into the science that identifies the issues humanity now faces and the psychology of those that prefer shadows. In these dark times you carry a torch that ever so brightly illuminates both, and hopeful steps along a path to a more sunlit future.
Congratulations – but as far as effective action to mitigate the buildup of fossil-fuel sourced gases in the atmosphere, it’s been a complete failure so far, hasn’t it? All academic awards aside, that’s what you find if you sample the atmosphere. Hardly reason for celebration, I’d say. Many of the putative solutions being promoted by government academics, from cap-and-trade to “clean coal carbon capture” consist of little more than fraudulent disinformation tactics aimed at continuing business-as-usual. Without an aggressive roadmap for the complete replacement of fossil fuels with renewables, nothing will change, will it?
This is one of my favorite web sites, and it never fails to excite my interest in a very complicated field of study. Congratulations to Gavin on a well-deserved reward, and a thank you to all of the rest of the RealClimate authors and scientists who add tremendous depth to the articles and the discussions.
I am very politically active on this issue. At this point, I have sat through hundreds of hours of public hearings at the local, state, and federal level. Having this resource helps to add the power of scientific truth to my public statements, and helps keep me inspired to do more. RealClimate is making a real difference!
Comment by John Little (Cambridge UK) — 19 Oct 2011 @ 3:00 AM
Congratulations to Gavin. I’ve been reading RealClimate since the first post, and his expertise, hard work, and patience are exemplary. Both this award and last month’s to John Cook remind us just how high the bar is for excellence in climate science communication.
Well done Gavin. I’ve learnt such a lot from this site, even if I don’t always understand all of it. It’s a really valuable source of real information and science. A really big thank you to you, and ‘the team’ for all your hard work.
Congratulations, Gavin. Your efforts here are much appreciated by this non-scientist. I was hugely impressed at how you handled the CRU dramas, and your clear, calm posts and comments and on Real Climate are of great value. Many thanks!
Congratulations Gavin, well deserved indeed! I hope the other regular contributors to RealClimate appear on the list of winners of this prize in years to come, as it would be well deserved for them as well!
Comment by Dikran Marsupial — 19 Oct 2011 @ 3:54 AM
Many congratulations. Like the site so much, I bought the book.
I see that the “worldwide conspiracy” amongst scientists continues then.
How can Dr Schmidt have been awarded such an accolade when “everyone’s favourite weatherman”, who fronts what idiots Bloggies voted “Best Science Blog” in 2011, doesn’t get a mention in dispatches? The said weatherman’s arguments and articles have done more to convince me of the truth that is AGW than any other communicator.
… which is a roundabout way of saying what a well-deserved recognition this is from the non-potty peers.
Adding my congratulations – a thoroughly deserved prize for a great communicator. Keep the good work up!
Comment by Anne-Marie Blackburn — 19 Oct 2011 @ 4:51 AM
So, for publishing material in support of scientific orthodoxy rather than asking questions, and for controlling the flow of comments, by deleting, delaying and ‘moderating’ the conversation, Gavin Schmidt gets an award? Well, congratulations indeed.
I remember; what ought to have been a simple exchange dragged on for weeks because the moderator would release my replies slowly. Those who were interested in answering/responding, simply dropped away. Who could blame them! We are told that the award is for ‘communication’.
I doubt that anyone can lay a finger on Dr Schmidt’s scientific abilities. But good science does not translate to a good strategy for communication. I am thinking of the number of bloggers and commenters whose words were trampled upon, and what they think of Realclimate (and by extension, Gavin Schmidt). Just as in science, as a blogger, credibility is what you have with your peers, and not the accolades showered by people who don’t know how the climate debate is made to work here. I think we know what people think of Realclimate in this respect.
[Response: Nobody’s against you Anand. I’m always willing to take your questions, within the constraints of time available. You have had some good ones.–Jim]
Congratulation Gavin – thoroughly deserved. In the wake of the CRU email hack I found your posts the most authoritative and insightful commentary available. You helped me and no doubt many others make sense of what was really going on at that time. For that you have my personal and heartfelt gratitude.
I think we know what people think of Realclimate in this respect.
Yes, some of us think that Realclimate has let us down by not boreholing your post.
So, for publishing material in support of scientific orthodoxy rather than asking questions
Oh, yeah, just what we need, another blog with endless streams of people claiming that everything we know about physics is wrong, typed on computers that only work because everything we know about physics is mostly correct (though in some areas incomplete).
Congratulations, Gavin, on your well-deserved reward and … don’t lose the “moderate” key on your keyboard!
Heartfelt congratulations, Gavin. The award is highly merited, but even it cannot begin to match the importance of your contributions to the intelligent discussion of climate science. In particular, your patience, consistency and endurance in the face of the email flap was truly inspirational and, I suspect, was enormously encouraging to climate scientists who were under direct attack.
Even if Gavin retired from blogging today, he’d be leaving behind an enormous trove of invaluable posts describing what the science says AND how the science works, which would all be useful for years to come. I only hope Schmidt and the rest of the Real Climate crew keep at it the way they’ve been doing it.
Thanks for making it so accessible; you deserve this award.
Being a retired engineer (aviation) I shake my head when I see comments on the blogosphere from other engineers criticizing this place for its distortions of fact. It is the only defence they can muster when confronted by your superb take down of Crichton’s distortions for example, that piece is like a red rag to a bull. I have learned much, and continue to learn, from reading comment threads and studying the literature published by yourself and your colleagues. Thank you.
Being an engineer and not an active climate scientist I don’t tend to post here but I consider your efforts invaluable in our battle to obtain a viable future for our children and grandchildren.
Congratulations, Gavin! This award is well-deserved! Communication with the public is usually not rewarded, and sometimes discouraged. Although I don’t comment that often here, I read this blog regularly, and Gavin’s contributions over the years have been free education for me.
Congratulations to Gavin and Real Climate. A well-deserved honor. Like so many others, I come to Real Climate to learn and even though much goes over my head, I am always rewarded with some measure of greater understanding. Thank you.
Comment by Laurie Dougherty — 19 Oct 2011 @ 1:57 PM
69, Anand: So, for publishing material in support of scientific orthodoxy rather than asking questions, and for controlling the flow of comments, by deleting, delaying and ‘moderating’ the conversation, Gavin Schmidt gets an award?
Yes! This is a very well run site!
I am disappointed that a few of my posts were deleted or boreholed, but that’s no more important than stubbing my toe while hiking in the forest.
I particularly like Gavins inline comments starting with “Oh, please.” :o)
Congratulations for the awesome work and this site, which has become a daly visit for me and clearly helps to develop understanding of climate issues, and simply stay up to date.
More congratulations. I was left in awe after the climategate episode when day after day I dropped by to read comments and there was Gavin, patiently answering questions, over and over again. I copied many of his answers and links to a Word file so I could review them in preparation for the inevitable questions I would be asked about it. Thank you very much, not just for the work you did, but for making me look like I actually knew something. :-)
Comment by Daniel J. Andrews — 19 Oct 2011 @ 2:43 PM
Gavin Schmidt´s communicative talents would be second to none by any standard and in any discipline, but in a politically infected field as climate science, there are no other so active, so insightful, so honest and so (sometimes undeservedly) polite and patient communicators. Congratulations from one of many JALFs (Just Another Lifetime Fan)!
Comment by Christoffer Bugge Harder — 19 Oct 2011 @ 3:34 PM
Re #69, Ya know, Anand, the orthodoxy is all on your part — same boring denialist blather. Just take your head out of [the sand] and every month you’ll find something new here at RC and, occasionally, something astonishing.
Adding my thanks to Gavin and all on RC for disseminating serious science to us laypersons.
As someone who refers to RealClimate regularly for information with respect to combating climate science denial on the internet (mostly at Huffington Post and Salon.com) I too wish to congratulate Gavin Schmidt.
Also thank you Gavin and the rest of you at RealClimate – your contributions are invaluable.
(As are your contributions and thank you too, Eli Rabett. And also to Tamino, Tim Lambert, Deep Climate, John Cook and the others at Skeptical Science, and many others whose names escape me at the moment.)
I am a scientist/teacher, and admittedly less of the former and more of the latter as time whizzes by. I just want to say that Gavin and the Real Climate crew make me proud of science and proud to be a scientist, of any stripe. Congratulations and thank you.
One of the most important aspects in communicating any science to the public is maintaining a high level of signal to noise. I am afraid that many of your posts run toward the noise end of the spectrum. Gavin has been astoundingly tolerant of dissent, allowing personal attacks against his competence and even his honor. Most would have boreholed a much higher proportion of the denialist comments.
Understand this. There are no two sides in this debate. It is science. There are scientists and there are pudknockers, and there are those of us who watch the show and try to learn. You would do well to decide which camp you want to be in. Hint: you can only choose between the latter two.
Now pull the stick out and join me in congratulating Gavin on an exceedingly well deserved recognition.
Yes, very much a shining light with infinite patience. Age cannot wither nor custom stale … and all that. Sorry, couldn’t resist, though I find the ref is Cleopatra – fun for us sillies (and with sufficient imagination, the others that cloy!). There are many kinds of charm, and Dr. Schmidt’s is of the finest, heavily woven with integrity.
I sometimes wish silly types like Anand were treated with less consideration, but the consideration itself gives the lie to the assertion. Noone who actually follows these exchanges could honestly claim that prejudice trumps truth at RealClimate.
I belong with those who study this material hoping its quality will rub off. Thanks!
Gavin is great! Unbelievably awesome for being almost always correct. I doubt he needs an award for continuing. But there should be an award for contrarians who turn to the reasoning side. Would be incredibly newsworthy and motivational for the remaining AGW skeptics. Celebrating a guy who is selfless is nice, finally getting some action done on AGW is the ultimate prize we all strive for.
My heartfelt congratualtions to Gavin and the rest of the Realclimate team.
I have been wondering why I keep visiting this and other climate blogs like Open Mind, Sceptical Science, Arctic sea ice… (I could go on) almost every day.
The easy answer is that I learn a lot every day, and that is fun, interesting and important.
The more disturbing answer I have come to, is that I really enjoy visiting a place with sane, rationally thinking hosts and commenters.
Thinking of climate change can be depressing. But knowing that so many people care and work hard on the science and communication of the results, almost can make you forget for a moment how little the politicians are doing and how little a lot of people care.
So my thanks go to Gavin (a real superhero of science communication) and the rest of the heroes of this and other climate-blogs. You do a great job of gathering people to whom scientific arguments really matter and who contribute a lot in the comments.
Only it is a little addictive…:-)
As those above have all observed
The badge of honor is well deserved
The climate of Dodge was gettin’ mean
Before you arrived upon the scene…
As local sheriff, Wyatt Schmidt,
Wasn’t going to idly sit
While lies were spread about Science Dudes
Poisoning public attitudes
Wyatt set out to tame the border
To restore the physical law and order
So lacking with the Cowboy crowd
Where bunk and slander are both allowed.
In the end, he’ll win this fight
For the science determines who is right
Physical law is like a bullet
You can’t dodge it, and you can’t fool it
Comment by Horatio Algeranon — 20 Oct 2011 @ 11:45 AM
Congratulations to Gavin and all the others.
Excellent research news, excellent noise cancellation * and excellent green inline comments.
I tend to agree with you Ike at #52 with one proviso that lack of action is partly caused by poor knowledge among scientists coming from other fields, as well as non scientists. It is probably better to separate the different areas, science, mitigation, politics and economics.
Have you ever tried Ike, to contribute to e.g the Guardian above the line?
* e.g. over the stolen Emails from the CRU when RC was streets ahead of the BBC and Guardian.
Whenever I have tried to post on RC (polite) comments that disagree with ideas put forward by Gavin and others I have had every single comment deleted by the moderators. However, when I have posted comments on sceptic sites that disagree with the sceptic author none of my comments have ever been deleted.
I hope this award will allow you to reflect Gavin, and hopefully accept that truly effective communication always allows both sides of the debate to be heard at all times.
[Response: Hmm. To the extent this is true (which I very much doubt), I suspect it has to do with very different understandings of what ‘polite’ means.–eric]
As for comment #114: It figures that a “drive-by” denier shows up. What hateful rubbish. Skeptic sites routinely delete scientific facts that undermine their anti-science agenda. The list of such sites is quite long in fact. This is a site for science (note that means *peer-reviewed* science, as science has been done for hundreds of years).
“Debate”? That has already been done. Through peer-reviewed journals and conferences. Try reading and understanding what the “scientific method” is. The science behind global warming research is extraordinarily strong. Every major professional climate science organization in the world (yes, in the world) agrees that the warming that has occurred since the 1970s can only be explained when the additional forcings from greenhouse gases are included.
you appear to have missed the boat. Truth will out and the planet will vote last despite your desire, however guileless it might be, to escape reality. For example, you should check out the original exchange with Judith Curry, where Gavin Schmidt’s unflagging courtesy was met with accusations of persecution. Typical, and unfortunately dangerous.
Not sure why you felt moved to rain on the parade, but those of us who try to think about the material find that serious questions and factual responses are often diverted by accusations of persecution. Nonsense.
Algeranon, I “adore” that poem. (I think you might get the ref.)
Andy, maybe it has to do with the fact that you are a lying little weasel. (After all, Gavin has allowed comments that could be grounds for legal action. I rather doubt he would single out your silly little comments.)
Or maybe it is that you don’t know what you are talking about. This is after all a site about climate education–how educational have your comments been.
Again, pull the stick out and congratulate the man. He deserves it. You are here, after all, aren’t you.
There are no two sides to this issue–unless you consider antiscience idiocy aide.
Have you really spent any time reading Real Climate? I am trying to launch a climate change branch of my organization and visit here often for ideas/thoughts/reflection. There are many, many dissenters voices on here, and most of them, like yours, are nothing but nonsense.
Congrats to Dr. Schmidt for an honor well-deserved.
Congratulations are due to you Gavin for his award and for everyone on this site for the superb work you have done for years. What has truly amazed me over the years is the good humor and patience that Gavin especially has shown to the many who comment.
Congratulations Dr Schmidt. I really believe the award you deserve is an order of magnitude greater than the award you won!
Thanks for breaking it down so even a borderline innumeraqte, sciencephobic artsy-fartsy person like me can understand. The award is much deserved and a reflection not only on the great work of Gavin, but all the team at RealClimate
Comment by Marshall Chrostowski — 20 Oct 2011 @ 11:34 PM
Congratulations to Gavin, the RC team and all who contribute on behalf of scientific endeavour. This site performs an indispensible educational role and provides a healthy sanity break from the ‘CO2 is plant food, warming is good, nobody can predict the weather, technological innovation can cure anything’ crowd. Extremely well done!
“drive-by denier” “hateful rubbish” “guileless” “lying little weasel” “silly little comments” “antiscience idiocy” “nothing but nonsense”.
Having made my previous comment (the first one that the mods have let through, which I thank them for), I went to bed for the night. I wake up this morning to read the thread once more, only to be greeted by the barrage of comments I have highlighted above. I could start returning insults, but that is not what I’m here for.
I had merely asked Gavin to keep the doors of discussion open. The true scientific method insists that no science is ever ‘settled’, and therefore the debate will never be over (in any branch of science and with any theory). I am not currently convinced by the AGW position and nor are many scientists all around the world – it is every scientist’s right to take a view that is contrary to others, without meeting a wall of derision (I implore you not to use the word ‘denier’ – whilst it doesn’t particularly upset me, Jewish sceptic friends of mine find it extremely offensive, for reasons that are hopefully obvious)
Now the mods have let one of my comments through, I hope they will allow more of my comments through on other threads here at RC. I look forward to having meaningful, constructive, and polite discussions with other visitors to this site.
Those who don’t do science have little appreciation of how hard it is not only to find the time to do this kind of blogging, but to take hard science topics and distil them without dumbing down for a general audience.
Meanwhile the BBC is reporting a project over at Berkeley (BEST) that reads to me as a failed attempt at taking down CRU. While the results look good (a re-interpretation of the data, and a check that factors like substandard weather stations and UHI haven’t biased the trend), the rhetoric is very much along the lines of CRU was wrong to hide data etc. when in fact what they have done is verify that CRU’s results hold up to independent investigation using freely available data. So nothing significant hidden. Nothing to see here. And the BBC is reporting this though they haven’t published the work yet. I wonder if this stuff will even be publishable if it’s essentially just reproducing results that have already been produced at least 3 different ways.
There was some discussion of BEST in comments here a while back. Seems it has at least not muddied the waters as much as it could have. It’s amusing though that a project whose leader extols the virtues of Watts and McIntyre has ended up confirming the mainstream. That they have funding from the Koch Foundation makes it all the more interesting that they have only been able to confirm the mainstream so far. Of course the point of all this is to stall policy, not to improve the science. Prove me wrong a publish a good paper: it shouldn’t be hard with a team of 10 scientists and over $600k in funding.
Just a small indication of why it’s so important for Gavin et al. to keep going.
[Response: Thanks. We will have a post up soon on the latest BEST news.–eric]
Anand and Andy, Who ever said “the science is settled”? That doesn’t even mean anything in science. Science is about evidence. There are mountains of evidence–literal and figurative–supporting the consensus theory of Earth’s climate–of which anthropogenic global warming is a prediction. And on the anti-science, denialist side, we have… well, bupkis. You guys can’t even manage a pair of deuces. Hell, I’d love for you guys to get into the game–it would at least force you to look at the fricking evidence.
Your contention that dissent is not allowed here is on its face absurd. That you would come on here and levy such a charge on a thread devoted to congratulating your host on a well deserved honor merely illustrates the lack of substance and integrity characteristic of the anti-science side.
“truly effective communication always allows both sides of the debate to be heard at all times. ”
Wrong on several counts. First, the reference to “both sides of the debate”. There are a multitude of views and opinions on the science – at least one per scientist working in the field – of course, 98% of those views happen to cluster near where the RealClimate authors lie, and 2% are off at the WUWT end of the pool. Second: “heard at all times”? Really? When we discuss the pros and cons of sending a manned mission back to the Moon, does it really improve communication to allow Moon-landing deniers to contribute to the conversation? When we discuss how the structure of the active site of a membrane protein reflects evolution, is it useful to let creationists fill the discussion space? Sometimes, yes, there is value to directly engaging even the craziest people. But most of the time, if you want to communicate with the broad 90% of the population, including comments from the 1% that makes up the very vocal contrarian community doesn’t add to effective communication, it just adds to noise…
Congratulations again to RealClimate for doing a great job…
“(I implore you not to use the word ‘denier’ – whilst it doesn’t particularly upset me, Jewish sceptic friends of mine find it extremely offensive, for reasons that are hopefully obvious). . .”
Sorry, no such change is forthcoming; it’s been debated here previously, and in any case the term is far too well-established generally for any edict RC might put forth to have much effect.
I sincerely regret any mental distress your friends may suffer, but “denial” is an accurate term to describe the psychological state in which objective evidence is rationalized away. It has been applied in many, many other fields than in regard to the Holocaust–for example, personal grief (cf., Kubler-Ross), the health effects of tobacco, and ozone depletion.
My late mother certainly exemplified denial in reference to the dangers of smoking–push her hard enough with logical argument or question and you’d hit a layer of solid-gold nonsense–utterly incoherent emotional responses that completely defied reason. And it’s quite possible (though unprovable) that smoking had something to do with her encounter with cancer, or the more diffuse (though intensely distressing) health challenges that degraded the quality of the last years of her life. (So you see, I too, have some strong personal feelings around the issue of denialism and the dangers it can pose.)
Perhaps it might afford your friends some psychological comfort to recognize that the terms “denial,” “denier” and “denialism” do apply more widely than just to the travesty that is Holocaust denial–it would let them feel that the term is not so pointedly ironic as they seem to be taking it to be. Perhaps they might even consider that it’s a phenomenon that is both insidious and potentially lethal.
“truly effective communication always allows both sides of the debate to be heard at all times. ”
Truly effective communication generally avoids “debate.” (“Discussion” is much more effective.)
I should know; I used to be a competitive debater. Any good debater knows that on the negative side, you can always make a case that a given argument is either a) ineffectual; or b) off-topic. The whole mindset of “debate” is not about truth; it’s about winning. It’s quite evident that that is the mindset of most deniers.
For instance, a recent comment on a study examining the idea that global warming is causing many species to exhibit decreasing body size argued that only 30 years of warming were really anthropogenic. But the paper isn’t about anthropogenic warming–why should organisms respond differently to specifically anthropogenic warming, after all? And it’s widely agreed that warming basically spans the last century, though causation is another question.
But of course in the commenter’s mind the only point of such a study could be to support “the team’s” “side” in the “debate.” They couldn’t just be curious, could they? Who does that? Another commenter on the same thread even made it more explicit in a way by referring to the paper’s authors as “social engineers,” a comment that only makes sense given the denialist assumption–should I say, “prejudice?”–that everything must be about “the debate.”
You also say (before you start to use words like ‘fricking’, ‘denialist’ and ‘bupkis’):
“Science is about evidence. There are mountains of evidence–literal and figurative–supporting the consensus theory of Earth’s climate–of which anthropogenic global warming is a prediction.”
As I don’t want this thread to be turned away from its main aim of congratulating Gavin, and instead become a ‘face-off’ between myself and others here, I will respectfully withdraw from the thread.
Many thanks to Gavin and the mods for allowing me to get involved with RC
(Kevin, your comment at no. 132 made a good point about the benefits of the curiosity of scientists. I agree that science should always be driven by curiosity and we must not assume that studies are carried out to support ‘the team’ – such an assumption is a trap that some sceptics can easily fall into)
Just tell me where to send a far more tangible award….(the sense of taste alone)…my killer black bean and avocado salsa, known to make grown men weep and nuns give up their vows. There will be enough for all the RC clan as well. All well and good to receive such a prestigious award, as noted by the previous 132 commentators (and counting) but can you eat it? I dread the lecture I will probably get from you on the obscene CO2 footprint same day delivery will cost the environment, I will curtail the equivalent cost in daily activities, which seems to me like a good way for all of us to atone for our transgressions. Congratulations to one and all.
You ask, “who said the science is settled?”
The following people claimed it is:”
You should read the article written by the AGU award winner on this, called Unsettled Science. It would be the courteous thing to do, and then you could understand what is meant by “settled” or “unsettled”.
Andy, giving you the benefit of the doubt (i.e. assuming you actually attempted to post polite comments that didn’t see the light of day), what makes you think Gavin hand-picked your comments to filter? Any long-time reader of this site has seen many, many dissenting views. So I can only think of 2 possible explanations:
1) You don’t understand the definition of “polite”
2) The problem is technical (e.g. your browser settings, this web-sites security measures, your ISP, etc, etc.) Any of a number of technical issues could result in what you type never making it to Gavin’s eyes. So your initial accusation was unfounded unless you have evidence that Gavin saw and rejected your comments because they disagree with him.
Congratulations Gavin. Your work has long been appreciated by many readers. It’s nice to see you get the additional kudo’s.
Congratulations to Gavin, and my gratitude to Gavin and the rest of the RC team for their scientific work and for their additional hard work in maintaining this excellent and valuable site.
In their honor I will stifle my urge to respond with appropriate derision and contempt to the tiresome and vapid denialist talking points with which “Andy” has been spamming this thread. His comments do, I suppose, provide a very pointed demonstration of just why RealClimate is so important.
Please. In this thread let us be happy that our host (in his role as team leader of hosts!) has won an award recognizing the work. You can learn a lot by reading here regularly, it takes work for the team to prepare all that good stuff and moderate the discussion, and the award recognizes the work and the presentation of science.
Oh ferchrissake, grow up. This wouldn’t be “a face-off” between you and others if you stayed, either. And if you stayed, it’s at least conceivable you might learn something.
For instance, you might actually learn what scientists mean by “scientific consensus”. It is not a “vote”. Rather, at some point, the evidence for a proposition, technique, idea, etc. becomes so strong that rejecting it actually hurts your ability to understand your object of study. At this point, reject the useful idea, lose influence because they can no longer publish useful papers that advance understanding (viz. Lindzen or Spencer). Meanwhile the majority see the utility of the idea advance the science around the laggards. At the point where it is simply silly to reject the idea–that is where you have scientific consensus on it.
Some might also say that aspect of the science is settled at that point, although I would use the term “established” as I think it is more descriptive.
Look, Andy, there is no “theory” of anthropogenic climate change. Rather, it is a prediction of the current consensus theory of Earth’s climate. The warming is evidence for the theory, not the theory itself. All of the evidence–and I do mean all of it–points to greenhouse gasses being responsible for that warming.
Your argument is not with the scientists, it is with the evidence… good luck with that.
And here I was thinking that science was ruled by a desire to further our knowledge about the universe. Or was the consensus jab just another straw man? Real skepticism is actually desirable in science, not the skepticism that is doublespeak for denial. One must question evidence that confirms one’s expectations with as much, or perhaps even more rigour than evidence to the contrary.
To Gavin and all of the RC crew, congratulations from an avid but silent reader for this recognition of your unrelenting hard work. Ironically though, even this thread shows that you are not done yet ;).
This is well-deserved. RC is a model for communicating difficult material clearly and patiently. It also manages to communicate what I guess you could all a scientific worldview–a strong glimpse into the way scientists think, collaborate, contend. Thanks so much for the hard work it clearly requires
Climate scientist Gavin Schmidt,
With his patience, knowledge and wit,
Was awarded a prize,
For countering lies,
And not stinking while rolling in... comments.
Seriously, congratulations for a well deserved recognition! Especially whenever some sensationalized climate story gets published, RealClimate has become my go-to source for intelligible, credible and knowledgeable explanations on the complex and fascinating world of climate science.
Personally, I’d love to see lots of Ray Ladbury “clones” (well, not exactly, but people with his quality, understanding, and verve). He does sterling work, posts factual information, if with a bit of verbal bite, and calls out nonsense (including at least one of mine, which was helpful as I sometimes go over the line and get things wrong – speaking of which, it would be helpful if some “skeptics” occasionally admitted they were sometimes wrong).
As to deniers, personally I prefer the label fake skeptic, because it points up the wrongness of calling people who cheerlead the side of misleading information that promotes short-term interests at the expense of their own futures and diss any information that comes from the “side” that continues to investigate the facts about our finite home. True skeptics are more open minded. However, denial has a definition in the dictionary, and I’d bet that most Jewish climate scientists have no trouble with the association, which is, after all, artificial. For example, consider the Bible, which was not originally written in English despite the claims of some fundamentalists. Or the impressionists, who embraced the supposedly insulting label they were given.
Thanks Horatio Algeranon. I think humor is one of the best ways to deflect all this mishigass and your poems are both literate and amusing.
How Dr. Schmidt spends his award is none of our business, and the suggestion that he should donate it to charity is out of line, whether or not he does so. He is already involved in the charitable work of trying to improve our future by spending countless hours promoting honest information in the face of considerable nastiness. We are all in danger, and he is on the front lines with patience and compassion trying to get people to think about honest information. I don’t think he got a whole lot of sleep during the days after the CRU theft and promotional efforts to show that snippets of personal comments made by humans with real lives and feelings taken out of context constituted a body of evidence that denied (that word again) reality. He was too busy sifting through thousands of comments and providing careful answers to some of the more egregious, looking at what really happened, and no doubt restoring his site after it too was hacked.
Consider executive bonuses, for example. I’d guess those of you claiming Dr. Schmidt should spend this “huge” windfall according to your preferences are not out there being outraged about the misspent millions given to our looting classes. (well, no doubt out of line here and too political, but the amounts are staggering and our home health aides and others in the workforce work a lot harder for a lot less.)
Fake skeptics, what would you do if your every private word and action was subjected to this kind of scrutiny?
Before RealClimate.org I pretty much thought science & scientists could be bought by the powers and money that be. I had done my thesis on Environmental Victimology, and had noted many many cases of such re toxic pollution, and then noted how the U.S. media treated AGW — mostly the “silent treatment” except for a Nightline program in 1995 (the year the 1st AGW studies reached .05 on the null), “Is Science for Sale,” featuring Singer, Michaels, etc (not as sell outs but as credible climate scientists saying AGW was not happening). It was sponsored by Texaco. I wrote to Koppel saying that whether or not science was for sale (and I thought it was), the media sure were.
So RealClimate.org has restored my faith in humankind. Tho I still point out the difference between scientists seeking to avoid the FALSE POSITIVE (of making untrue claims) and environmentalists (& others concerned about life on earth) seeking to avoid the FALSE NEGATIVE of failing to address problems that could end most if not all life on earth. Nevertheless, my respect for scientists, esp those beseiged by denialists yet still standing firm, has grown and grown over the years & is quite high.
RE @28 Balazs, you should understand that the main impetus that got me into mitigating in my small ways 21 years ago (down to a 50% reduction in our GHGs from our 1990 levels) was the impact of AGW on contributing to severe droughts and famines in Africa. Since then I learned of many many ways in which AGW is and will be harming food productivity and causing famine and death.
So, since mitigation saves $thousands, why not use some of that money to feed the poor (as long as food productivety around the world has not severely severely declined, which it will by 2050, due to AGW)?
Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 22 Oct 2011 @ 10:02 AM
Gavin, congratulations, and thank you. Your public outreach provides an example to all, thanks to your hard work, patience, clarity of message and wit. And all of this while doing pretty well with your day job.
On “hearing both sides”: why don’t people insist we have a pro-cancer position whenever cancer is discussed? Why is the markets report in the TV news not followed by a Trotskyite rebuttal? Summarising pro and anti capital punishment arguments after a debate, the moderator said, the truth is no doubt somewhere between. Make sense of that if you will.
I am not sure how much of what I have liked at RealClimate has been
directly and solely of Gavin’s provenance over the past 6+ years. I
have appreciated the new archive organization so prior posts can serve
as a reference library of sorts, as climate science morphs dynamically
in these times.
I have appreciated Gavin’s specific glosses debunking commenters who
sought to promulgate specious mathematics and statistical methods.
The posts I enjoy most are those which gather inputs from many
scientists, as, often, the multiplicity of concurrent experiments
makes conversations over the latest report nearly as valuable as the
new report itself, and further experimental concepts can grow from
I would like to add a note of recognition to an occasional poster
here, Dr. Hansen; who, if newspapers are accurate, is engaged in
public political personal “action”.
Several of the prominent writers on RealClimate themselves have
websites and have produced papers which are essential reading to
understand our options, and our condition.
My time is at a premium these days, and I have missed many articles at
RealClimate, I am certain. Yet, I would like to suggest a topic for a
post, if it has not been covered specifically: namely, a review of
the performance and lifetimes of anticipated functionality of space
platforms and other technology based instrumentation which serves as
infrastructure providing sources for data.
So, congratulations to G.Schmidt, and to the RC Group. I only wish
much more of the technical literature were as available for free
online, and as well organized and closely, expertly moderated as RC.
I want to add my congratulations to Gavin and the whole group at RealClimate. I am a retired engineer, and I have been reading the articles and comments for about 3 years. I feel that I have been well educated on the subject. I particularly appreciate the patience that Gavin shows when answering the trolls that comment. I may skip some of the comments, but I always read the posts from Gavin and others.
… while it was in recognition of work already done, it was at the same time intended to be an encouragement for further achievement on the part of the recipients and a stimulus to renewed effort on the part of others.
Congrats. We are all indebted to Gavin, and the others at RC, for the work you’ve done. You’ve been real models for the rest of us wrestling with how to communicate effectively about climate change.
FYI At http://www.ClimateBites.org we just posted a blog on Gavin’s marvelous juggling segment from NOVA “Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers” segment, with mention of the award and a link back to this page at RC.
Hope to cross paths in SF at the award ceremony.
P.S. If you see fit to add ClimateBites to your sidebar list of related sites, we’d be honored!