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Throw your iPhone into the climate debate

Filed under: — rasmus @ 19 February 2010

Who says that the climate debate is not evolving? According to the daily newspaper the Guardian, a new application (‘app‘) has been written for iPhones that provides a list of climate dissidents’ arguments, and counter arguments based on more legitimate scientific substance. The app is developed by John Cook from ‘Skeptical Science‘. It’s apparently enough to have the climate dissidents up in arms – meaning that it’s likely to have some effect? Some dissidents are now thinking of writing their own app.

Here on RC, we have developed a wiki, to which I also would like to bring the reader’s attention. Furthermore, I want to remind the readers about other useful web sites, listed at our blog roll.


532 Responses to “Throw your iPhone into the climate debate”

  1. 401

    Daniel C. Minetter (376): if, as he was quoted admitting, a primary data set was knowingly discarded, that violates one of the first rules of good experimental technique that I was taught in graduate school when I started working towards my physics Phd.

    BPL: Pay attention:

    1. 95% of the CRU data has always been in the public domain.

    2. The other 5% is covered by nondisclosure agreements with national met. services.

    3. The CRU destroyed ITS OWN COPIES of the original data from the NMSs. The original data itself is intact. No data has been lost.

  2. 402
    SecularAnimist says:

    Rudy Petorelli wrote: “The past 3 months have shown the IPCC and some universities involved in Global Warming or Climate Change to have major question raised about the science and findings re man-made warming.”

    That’s not true. None of the events of the last three months have cast the slightest doubt on the overwhelming scientific evidence that human activities are causing the currently observed rapid and extreme warming of the Earth system.

    Rudy Petorelli wrote: “There is no crisis.”

    That’s not true. The rapid and extreme warming of the Earth system that is already occurring as a result of the CO2 pollution that we have already emitted is indeed a crisis.

    Rudy Petorelli wrote: “We have paid scientists and organization hundreds of millions of dollars over 20 to 30 years to prove man-made global warming, and they are farther from the truth than when they started.”

    That’s not true. No one paid scientists to “prove” anything — climate researchers work very hard, in some cases risking their lives, to understand what is happening to the Earth’s climate, not to “prove” any pre-ordained notion (unlike the frauds and cranks paid by ExxonMobil to “prove” blatant falsehoods with sophistry and pseudoscience). And as a result of decades of diligent, difficult, painstaking work, climate scientists have a much better understanding of anthropogenic global warming than “when they started”.

    Rudy Petorelli wrote: “If it were a crises, they would have demanded the research stop and action be taken. They did not.”

    That’s not true. While no one in their right mind would demand that “the research stop”, many major scientific organizations and many climate scientists, individually and in groups, have in fact called for urgent action to be taken. (And of course when they do so, people like you scream that they are being “political”.)

    Rudy Petorelli wrote: “We cannot cripple our economy with trillions of dollars of additional burdens based on questionable scientific information.”

    The actions needed to phase out CO2 emissions will not “cripple our economy”. However, unmitigated global warming will.

    In short, you have posted a litany of fossil fuel corporation-scripted falsehoods, accompanied by the ill-informed denier’s usual arrogant sneering at the climate science community.

  3. 403
    Dan M. says:

    Doug in post # 307 you state that I repeat baseless accusations. I have seen a quote from the head of the CDC. I state my source, and allow the opportunity for someone to give another reference that it is a mis-quote, and the primary data set that was collected by the CDC is still in place. Rather, you personally insult me, without providing such a reference.

    Second, I have seen multiple quotes of the emails discussing using a “trick” of substituting one data set for another for the last decade or two. Are you claiming that those emails do not exist? That the multiple cites of them are false. Can you give me a reference that states that they are?

    Now, I was careful in what I claimed. The substituted data sets are real, and are the origional data. The technique of substituting one partial data set for part of another series when the primary source contains a variation that is inconsistent with other data without explictly stating the known problems with the first set is not good science…as I had been taught.

    [Response: That is not what was being done. We have real temperatures and we have extensions of those records based on proxy data. One particular set of proxy data (not all of them) showed bizarre behaviour post 1960 that indicated that it was no longer working (for some as-yet-to-be-discovered reason). If you want to know what the best estimate of temperatures were doing however post-1960 you would not used a compromised proxy data set, you would use the real temperatures. All of the problems with that proxy data have been examined and picked over in dozens of papers in very obscure locations (like Nature), so the issue was very 'explicit'. The specific graph mentioned in the email was a single picture on an obscure report in 1999 that no-one had ever mentioned or noticed prior to the email release. Similar (and more 'explicit') graphs have appeared in dozens of publications including the IPCC reports warts and all. - gavin]

    I admit, as a physicist, I consider physics the paradigm science. Electroweak, for example, explains electromagnetic and weak interactions over 30 orders of magnitude in scale, is the foundation of chemistry, etc. I was taught experimental technique by first rate particle physicists, and have tried to practice as best I could it for the last 30 years.

    It’s not about helping the other side; its about technique with science. If someone can give me data that shows that the information I’ve seen is faulty, then that will change my opinion. Nothing hurts science like someone using it’s authority without adhering to its techniques. For example, when Carl Sagan assumed that in an all out nuclear war, weapons would be deployed in a manner that maximized burning, instead of in a manner that is consistent with war strategy (e.g. hitting the rainforests in Brazil with bombs that would probably hit missle silos in N. Dakota) he did a great disservice to science. The ideal of science is that it is amoral and apolitical, it merely tries to model the observed.

    So, if you think that my belief the techniques for doing good physics are the basic techniques for doing good science, so be it. I just think that rigor is vital.

    BTW, Doug, what is your background in science? What did you learn as good scientific technique, and where? I showed my cards to be as straight as possible discussing this. Would you also, please?

  4. 404

    wilt (383),

    The evidence that globally averaged relative humidity tends to stay constant is pretty good. Please read:

    Gettelman, A. and Q. Fu 2008. “Observed and Simulated Upper-Tropospheric Water Vapor Feedback.” J. Clim. 21, 3282-3289.

    “Satellite measurements from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) in the upper troposphere over 4.5 yr are used to assess the covariation of upper-tropospheric humidity and temperature with surface temperatures, which can be used to constrain the upper-tropospheric moistening due to the water vapor feedback. Results are compared to simulations from a general circulation model, the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM), to see if the model can reproduce the variations. Results indicate that the upper troposphere maintains nearly constant relative humidity for observed perturbations to ocean surface temperatures over the observed period, with increases in temperature ~1.5 times the changes at the surface, and corresponding increases in water vapor (specific humidity) of 10%–25% °C^-1. Increases in water vapor are largest at pressures below 400 hPa, but they have a double peak structure. Simulations reproduce these changes quantitatively and qualitatively. Agreement is best when the model is sorted for satellite sampling thresholds. This indicates that the model reproduces the moistening associated with the observed uppertropospheric water vapor feedback. The results are not qualitatively sensitive to model resolution or model physics.”

    Manabe, S. and R.T. Wetherall 1967. “Thermal Equilibrium of the Atmosphere with a Given Distribution of Relative Humidity.” J. Atmos. Sci. 24, 241-259.

    Minschwaner, K., and A. E. Dessler, 2004. “Water vapor feedback in the tropical upper troposphere: Model results and observations.” J. Climate, 17, 1272–1282.

    Soden, B.J., D. L. Jackson, V. Ramaswamy, M. D. Schwarzkopf, and X. Huang, 2005. “The radiative signature of upper tropospheric moistening.” Science, 310, 841–844.

  5. 405

    Rudy P (395): There is no crisis. We have paid scientists and organization hundreds of millions of dollars over 20 to 30 years to prove man-made global warming, and they are farther from the truth than when they started.

    BPL: There is a crisis, and they know enough of the truth to know that if we don’t act fast, we are SCREWED. Which would you prefer–carbon taxes, or the destruction of human civilization? Because that’s the choice you’re faced with.

  6. 406
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Phil, when it comes to detail and ESPECIALLY when it comes to complex systems, there’s ALWAYS an argument for something being insufficiently accounted for.

    It’s rather like saying that the calculation of Pi is inaccurate.

    Technically true but pointless.

    The question to ask (and one I do not think is addressed by Spencer or Watts or any of the selectively credulous “skeptics”) is: are the unaccounted effects enough to change the result significantly? And if so, in what direction.

    This was the same reasoning that the CLOUD experiment was hailed as wonderful on BOTH pro-science and anti-AGW sides: a real put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is skeptical position.

    However, the experiment failed to discern an effect, let alone the much more rigorous test needed to say it was enough to explain warming, or counter CO2′s effect.

    This did not stop the selectively credulous saying that GCN and clouds could explain or mitigate AGW.

    Likewise normal clouds. Originally considered (and really still is) a huge unknown. But what IS known about them is that they seem more likely to amplify warming than abate it.

    So the question to ask is NOT “are there effects not sufficiently accounted for” but “could these effects be big enough to make a difference to the bottom line picture? And if so, in what direction?”.

  7. 407
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “398
    Septic Matthew says:
    23 February 2010 at 2:50 PM

    In that quote, she does not disaggregate CO2 accumulation from land use changes including deforestation and urban heat islands.”

    And you do not say that these effects change the bottom line: we must reduce CO2 production.

    Mostly because they don’t.

  8. 408
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Rudy: “The EPA wants to act outside of Congress to impose major constraints on the US economy and future. They SHOULD NOT be allowed to do this”

    Why?

    Warrantless Wiretaps, extraordinary rendition and torture were fine, but cleaning up the pollution is a step too far???

    If you believe CO2 not to be a pollutant, please sit in a sealed room with 2% CO2 already extant.

    Enjoy that “we call it life” CO2.

  9. 409
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “393
    Rod B says:
    23 February 2010 at 2:28 PM

    Ron Taylor, Heisenberg himself, e.g., had major difficulties with complex non-linear systems. ”

    However, this did not mean that quantum mechanics was pointless or wrong.

    Even though they require nonlinearity.

  10. 410
    Josie says:

    On the subject of what to call skeptics/ deniers/ contrarians:

    I understand that scientists don’t like to call them ‘skeptics’ because ‘skeptic’ has a special complimentary meaning in the scientific world. But in popular usage it doesn’t mean someone who is particularly rational. When I say ‘John thinks that the cafe will still be open but I am skeptical’ I don’t mean that I have approached the issue in a specially rational way. I just mean that I don’t think it will still be open.

    I suggest calling them sceptics if you want to engage in dialogue. It is necessary to have a neutral non-aggressive term for those people who have just been misled, and most non-scientists understand it to be a neutral term, not a positive one.

    For those with whom dialogue is impossible, ‘denier’ was always too weak a term anyway. Better to call them ‘liars’.

  11. 411
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Rudy Petorelli,
    Might I suggest that you start with your own review of the peer-reviewed science. Go to the “Start Here” button and start reading. I would suggest that you start with Spencer Weart’s History of Global Warming.

    Start unlearning the lies you’ve been told. Then you can start learning the actual science.

  12. 412
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “389
    Rod B says:
    23 February 2010 at 2:15 PM

    Ray (339) says, “How likely are ALL OF THESE to be wrong and still give the same value?”

    That’s actually not odd at all. All are looking at roughly the same input and forming reasonable conclusions ”

    1) It’s also inevitable if the reality is that, yes CO2 doubling causes 3C warming

    2) All of them use different mechanisms. From different fields and via different proxies. The age of civilised man is well understood because of carbon dating matching up with other radioisotope measures, DNA genetic drift wrt speciation rates and archeological old timers like “how much mud is it under”.

    Carbon dating has NAFF ALL to do with DNA genetic drift. Nor is its decay isotopes and ratiospecies the same as other isotopes that are used. And none of them affect how much mud falls on the artefacts.

    So when they conclude pretty much the same age as each other, we are more confident that something hasn’t thrown a spanner in the works or that our knowledge is broken. Either it “just happened” to still give the same answer (so in what way is it broken?), or they “just happened” to all do the completely different wrong thing that “just happens” to come to the same answer.

  13. 413
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Rod B., Your ignorance of the sensitivity papers is showing. Start with the review by Knutti and Hegerl that David Benson cites. There are also additional analyses if you want to look at them. They are not looking at “the same input”. They are looking at various climate perturbations and paleoclimate data.

  14. 414
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Josie, a laudable aim, but your example shows why you’re incorrect.

    When you suppose someone saying “John thinks that the cafe will still be open but I am skeptical” that means you don’t think that Johns right.

    This means you belittle John’s work or reasoning.

    But where skeptic is right is in thinking WHY John may be wrong. Is it 11pm? Sunday 4pm in a village? Or 10am Saturday in a major city?

    The way these credulous act is just to stop at “John’s wrong”.

    “Better to call them ‘liars’.”

    You have to make sure they actually lie, though. In the main, only the dumbest do that. Most have been given the right weasel words to say. Not *technically* wrong or lies, but misleading.

    Watch Beck sometimes when he goes into “I’m not saying anything, I’m just asking the question”. He isn’t saying you abused puppies in your spare time, he’s just *asking* if you do.

    But where they do lie, yes.

    Twice yes.

    But most of the time, they don’t lie. They either weasel or just deny. They’re not lying about they don’t believe it. But they ARE denying it has any possibility of being right.

  15. 415
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Another fine list of evocations of some names on this board.

    http://www.urban75.org/info/conspiraloons.html

    Though “conspiraloons” sounds rather too close to “pantaloons” to me.

    A good read and fairly applicable to some talking heads high up in the denial camp. The stock phrases are different, because this is a different site with different coverage.

  16. 416
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Secular Animist: “Rudy Petorelli wrote: “We cannot cripple our economy with trillions of dollars of additional burdens based on questionable scientific information.”

    The actions needed to phase out CO2 emissions will not “cripple our economy”. However, unmitigated global warming will.”

    And I wonder where those who decried hyperbole and histrionics have gone…

  17. 417
    Mac Crawford says:

    Septic Matthew – just because the limits to growth weren’t reached when Holdren or Ehrlich or Malthus or Meadows et al. predicted does not mean there are no limits. Read William Catton’s Overshoot. We are subject to ecological limits, like any exuberant species feasting on apparently unlimited detritus before growing its population size into collapse.

  18. 418
    Dan M. says:

    Gavin, thanks for responding on the proxie data set. I have a clear understanding than what the quote implied. I have no problem with the word “trick”, I’ve heard that used a number of times, and have used that myself as a substitute for “technique.” What bothered me was the word “hide”. Personally, I would have felt an obligation to show my audience the discrepency, even if I then used the temperature data, simply to let them understand the difficulties seen with the proxie technique. Do you see why that’s important? I can close my eyes and hear my grad. school profs. sharp questions concerning the validity of doing that.

    Instead of doing that, if the proxie data set were to not match data for the last 50 years, then I would call it into question for time periods for which we cannot get a better measurement. How do we know that problem doesn’t exist at earlier dates? I also have gotten the impression, partially from investagations made available here, that the combined proxie set for at least one investigator does not show the real temperature rise of the last 40 years properly, and that it was possible that the Medieval warming period had higher temperatures than indicated by the proxie data because the problem might be a function of not properly calibrating higher temperatures.

    I certainly wouldn’t use the proxie set of data to indicate the temperature for the last 50 years. But, I would use the proxie’s disagreement with the actual temperature for the last 50 years as an indication of difficulties with the proxie technique and, at least mentally, lower my confidence factor in the proxie data until I determine the cause. FWIW, I’ve done that type of thing with my own data.

    BTW, I realize that the origial data still exist, but my understanding is the data set took a lot of effort to compile as an entire set….and that the number of similar robust sets of data can be counted on one hand. Under those circumstance, I can just imagine the horror on my mentors faces if one of the 300 Phds on a typical high energy physics paper were to do something like that. Everyone else would be shocked and appaled. I was trained to always always always keep your copy of the rawest data you can.

  19. 419
    Rod B says:

    Tinkerbell (379), Politicians accepting airplane rides and hotel stays from lobbyists and the like??? Who’d of thunk it??!!

  20. 420
    Completely Fed Up says:

    That last link to me to this (apologies for linking thetimes):

    http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/the_way_we_live/article6187493.ece

    However, this is interesting because the times is completely on board that conspiracy theories are dumb here.

    Pity they don’t apply logic like that elsewhere.

    (Edit this out if you like for OT) IMO, there could be a conspiracy. Just not the one 9-11 truthers think: buddies of people in power goofed up and cut corners on the twin towers, pocketed the difference and hoped that it wouldn’t have to survive a 747 crashing in on it. Embarrasment (ESPECIALLY after using it as a causus belli for getting Saddam killed, but also the dismissal of intel on the event as ridiculous [it was at the time]) is all the conspiracy needed.

    Conspiracies just go far too far. They’re more a theme of a James Bond movie.

  21. 421
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Dan: “What bothered me was the word “hide”.”

    But how do you hide a decline (presumably in temperatures) by using real thermometer readings? Thermometers are generally considered more accurate than trees. This is why nurses and doctors don’t take you out to the woods to take your temperature..!

    Dan, you’re manufacturing scare.

    Please stop.

  22. 422
    blueshift says:

    Completely Fed Up #388,
    Thanks for the reply. I realized I shouldn’t have said “supposed to” regarding the logarithmic response.

    You say:
    “But because CO2’s concentration is cumulative AND its use has expanded exponentially AND we still have the feedback from when oceans warm up enough in bulk to equilibrium when MORE CO2 is exhausted from the oceans, this doesn’t mean that we would never see accelerating warming.”

    I guess I made a couple assumptions about the oceans C02 equilibrium. First, the net out gassing would be relatively slow and wouldn’t show up significantly by end of the century. Maybe that’s because the paleo changes were generally slow (but that’s probably a poor comparison).

    Secondly, I assumed that the GCM’s would be very conservative about predicting when the oceans would go from a net sink to a net source. I base this simply on the fact that the modelers seem conservative in other current unknowns (e.g. ice sheet dynamics). So I expected they would assume this parameter wouldn’t change, but maybe they worked out the chemistry and I just didn’t know.

    Do you know a more detailed source on this?

  23. 423
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “419
    Rod B says:
    23 February 2010 at 4:48 PM

    Tinkerbell (379), Politicians accepting airplane rides and hotel stays from lobbyists and the like??? Who’d of thunk it??!!”

    And politicians like Monckton, Watts, McIntyre, Tim Ball, Fred Singer, …

    Who’d'a thunk it…

  24. 424
    Henk Hak says:

    re 378 Hi Ray,
    Couldn’t find Spencer’s name on the Tamino references you gave. Would have been surprised to find him there because he understands the concept of temperature anomalies. He is in a different category from Watts’. On his Feb 20 blog he does a recalculation of CRUTem8NH data and comes to the virtually exact conclusions as P.Jones.
    Also he didn’t have a problem to mention that Jan2010 was the warmest Jan on record yet. So I don’t know what crap you found , please enlighten me.

    Regarding your 3 questions: you define settled science as:

    “Once a theory or a technique or an idea becomes so indespensible to understanding a phenomenon that there is very little published that advances the field that doesn’t implicitly assume that theory, technique or idea, we have scientific consensus”.

    OK, agreed. But scientific consensus is not the same as settled science. In scientific consensus there is room for debate. In settled science the debate is closed we are told. That is the ONLY problem I have with that terminology.
    As you probably are aware there is more debate than ever regarding the nature of gravity. And you have no argument at all from me regarding the “CO2 is a greenhouse gas” statement, but you will from some physicists as wrongheaded as they probably are. Agreed, evolution is the best and really only scientific explanation we have regarding speciation. Yet there is plenty of debate there as well, and I don’t mean the metaphysical debate which is not science. I’m quite stale on this but I used to like Stephen J Gould’s “punctuated equilibrium” to explain the explosion of speciation shortly after mass extinctions. He got a lot of flack for that, probably for good reason but I’m sure the debate is not over.
    Cheers
    Henk

  25. 425
    CFox says:

    Rudy Petorelli
    A quick google search provides quite a few of your Letters to the Editor (Naples, FL). I apologize if I have you confused, but your rant above appears similar to quite a few letters. I wager that you have no intention of learning and instead, are intentionally disseminating as much false information as you can find. Feel free to correct me and by all means, tell us who your employer is and where you are getting your data.
    CFox

  26. 426
    Completely Fed Up says:

    Henk “OK, agreed. But scientific consensus is not the same as settled science.”

    This is again not news.

    “In scientific consensus there is room for debate. In settled science the debate is closed we are told.”

    No, what science is settled means is that the unknowns do not change the bottom line conclusion.

    It doesn’t matter that gravity is still unsettled. Your car will STILL roll down hill if you don’t put the handbrake on.

    As far as the purpose of the park/hand brake, the science of gravity (and friction, etc) is settled.

    Same with the question “Is BAU a good or bad idea, and should we take measures to severely cut back CO2 emissions?”.

  27. 427
    Mike says:

    421
    Completely Fed Up says:
    “But how do you hide a decline (presumably in temperatures) by using real thermometer readings?”

    And this kinda thing dosnt do much to dispel my skepticism.. He clearly said it was the divergence from the proxy data and temperature record as what he was referring too… as anyone who has read up on this whole affair will be well aware that that is what that email was about. As im sure you are well aware. And lets be honest, if proxy data has no uniform correlation to the instrument record, how can you possibly assume it did during periods when you dont have the luxury of a comparison? Even if it is just one of the reconstructions…why are you trying to muddy the waters?

    Now i say im a skeptic, but ill be clear, not of the greenhouse effect, or that co2 is a green house gas… or that we contribute, or that it will lead to warming. But more highly skeptical o the more catastrophic predictions that are regularly in the news(e.g the study that predicted up too 2m(approx) sea level rise by end o century)

  28. 428
    Completely Fed Up says:

    blueshift: “Thanks for the reply. I realized I shouldn’t have said “supposed to” regarding the logarithmic response.”

    OK, so sorry for jumping on it so quick. But this is why you shouldn’t really use loaded language.

    “I guess I made a couple assumptions about the oceans C02 equilibrium. First, the net out gassing would be relatively slow and wouldn’t show up significantly by end of the century.”

    That could be one of the unknowns. There haven’t been people sitting around measuring CO2 levels to see what happens when CO2 in the atmosphere changes so quickly. The 800 year lag seen from natural changes in ocean temperatures would indicate that it is multi-centennial scale. However, the year-on-year change was low and so the ocean never really got so far out of equilibrium it sucked up more CO2 because of the differential in concentrations.

    Whether it’s still multi-centennial or not is for someone who does REALLY long term modelling like over millennia, where even the 800 year lag effect has to be included.

    Michael Mann may be a good source here. One reason to come to RC.

    “So I expected they would assume this parameter wouldn’t change, but maybe they worked out the chemistry and I just didn’t know.”

    I would expect this would HAVE to be the case. If not, then there wouldn’t be much need for a separate ocean and atmosphere model in the past. Chemistry is a big thing in the atmosphere because of all the biology in it and the speed of response available to such a tenuous and thin system. The ocean is much thicker and really quite sparse per volume (the deep open ocean are considered the greatest deserts on earth because of the lack of life in them).

    I would therefore assume one reason to have them separate AND to so desire to combine them they were willing to take two steps back to gain one step forward on this, is that the ocean chemistry and how those gasses in the atmosphere are exchanged in the deep and surface oceans must be a big part of it.

    But I don’t know either. I know a fair bit of the physics, some of the maths and a little of the chemistry. I mostly know how hard models are to get WORKING never mind to subvert, rather than how to write one. I suppose you could call it negative know-how (I know you don’t want to do it “this way”…).

    Here Gavin or Ray may be a good fit.

    See how much better it is to have a blog written and contributed by active scientists in the field?

    The downer is how much time people waste of theirs on this project. Including the ones *trying* to help with maybe at best mixed success.

  29. 429
    Henk Hak says:

    re 426 Hi Completely,
    Maybe we almost agree. I would say the science is settled enough rather than settled. NO, not BAU. Severely curtail CO2 emissions? I would love to see that but how? Anyway that is a different discussion and I’m not going there. Still waiting for your response on Spencer. Take your time, I’m going to be busy for a bit.

  30. 430
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Dan M. says: 23 February 2010 at 3:51 PM

    Dan, it does not appear to be of any relevance other than posturing, but I majored as an undergraduate in geology. I’m certainly not as lettered as are you. And let me say “thank you” for backing up your words with your identity, by the way.

    Just for the record, I did not insult you, unless you feel that being accused of inadvertently repeating rumors is a direct insult. To my mind that is not an insult, though nor is complimentary. Now, if I misunderstood what you meant by “primary data”, as was apparently revealed to be the case by your later post, I apologize for my charge that you were repeating a “baseless assertion.” I took you to be saying that original records on which CRU relied were irretrievably lost, which they were not.

    Nonetheless, your post to which I responded seemed to me reflective more of emotions than it was any particular issue with actual scientific results. I saw essentially nothing in your essay concerning actual research results, as opposed to what you had to say about the squirmy feelings you have regarding the conduct of researchers. It does not appear that your bad feelings are based on any evidence that researchers have misconducted themselves in a way that affects their conclusions; you refer to a couple of matters that have been extensively discussed and dismissed as irrelevant to the consensus position of scientists practicing in fields related to climate change.

    In order to make the tone of this present post less pejorative, let me say that there is presently a “fad” infecting our popular media. This consists of a fascination with extracting various minutia of error or careless speech from the overwhelmingly robust collective endeavor known as “climate change research” and then subjecting these iota to an inordinate amount of attention and sanctimonious criticism.

    If you spend much time on sites such as Real Climate, you can easily see the result of this fad. Seemingly endless words have been spent here discussing “hide the decline” and other such trivia, while attention to more important matters is sapped.

    Even though we know that silly private indiscretions of scientists and a handful of errors in peripheral portions of the IPCC reports do not carry any weight when assessing the broad message that climate change research is communicating, these matters are dominating public discourse on this topic just now. This is in spite of the fact that serious consideration of public policy responses to the C02 pollution problem is finally being taken up. That in itself is a distorted perspective.

    There’s another problem with this strangely focused perspective. The present fad for badgering researchers is entirely in keeping with the objectives of a powerful, politically connected, amply funded and extremely highly motivated faction with overtly political objectives much more plausible than any that might be attributable to a disparate mass of researchers. This special interest is of course the fossil fuels industry. Yet in comments such as yours, we see none of the doubt and mistrust you feel about researchers on exhibit regarding those who would most benefit from such fears. This I find highly ironic.

    Fossil fuel interests have an enormous stake in public perceptions of climate change research. These interests have a demonstrated record of funding numerous think tanks and associated pundits in their quest to sway public opinion on this matter. These interests are also identified as funding public relations efforts that are known to seize on and publicize any feature of climate change research that might promote doubt or uncertainty in the mind of the public. Your post is I feel exemplary of the efficacy of this work.

    Devoting overweening interest to the relatively tiny peccadilloes of climate change research while at the same time ignoring the realpolitik of the public square as it is practiced by fossil fuel interests is very naive.

    In sum, the worst I can say with a reasonable degree of confidence is that your original post seemed to me naive. I’m sorry if you feel insulted by my reading of what you wrote.

  31. 431
    Ron Taylor says:

    Kate 348: When Gavin talks about a cliff hiding in the fog, he is talking about abrupt (and unexpected) climate change that is observed many times in the paleoclimate record. Google “abrupt climate change”, or have a start here:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/abrupt/index.html

    The cliffs are definitely out there.

  32. 432
    flxible says:

    CFU – Yes, some visitors here need a specific nomen, -noid or -bot should be included:
    “conspiranoids” “conspirabots” “regurgibots”

  33. 433

    #424 Henk Hak

    Roy Spencer brings up several denialist arguments in his talk largely by inference or argument by ignorance.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePyyqjQgCgA

    - He says there is trouble getting work published and then complains about the reviewers that say this (inferring his work) is garbage and that paper is gone. thus inferring the conspiracy and setting up the interviewer to say so you think there is a ‘climate change consensus conspiracy’.

    Spencer says about the consensus:

    “Well, I don’t know what consensus means?”

    That of course is obvious, although consensus is actually in the dictionary. Consensus means general agreement, not that everyone has to agree on every single point. Someone should help the poor man out and show him a dictionary sometime.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/consensus

    He goes on to say:

    “The only consensus I know of in the science community about global warming is that it has warmed. Or at least up until six years ago it’s warmed. You know. And the big question is so what, or how did it happen, that’s where there isn’t a consensus. But you notice when people say the scientific consensus on global warming, they wont’ specifically say what they’re talking about.

    Of course this is not true.

    - There is a consensus on the general sensitivity range
    - There is consensus on greenhouse effect
    - There is consensus on spectra opacity at various altitudes
    - There is consensus the earth is warming
    - There is consensus the warming is human influenced/induced
    - There is a consensus on the isotopic signature of industrial Co2
    - There is a consensus on the amounts of GHG’s industrially emitted
    et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. . .

    Then the interviewer tries to bring up conspiracy again. Spencer then says he doesn’t think there is a conspiracy and brings up the stomach bacteria issue, which of course is probably where you picked up on that lovely straw-man argument.

    He then talks about ‘this thing’ in a correction and on a paper.

    “You usually don’t see that level of intellectual honesty in the scientific community. I mean typically we’re all pretty protective of our theories and our work and we really hate being wrong. That’s true of all of us.”

    The interviewer then says but isn’t that how science is supposed to work. and Spencer then agrees with the interviewer saying that’s how science works.

    So he contradicted his own statements from just seconds earlier in the interview. Hypocritical? Or just plain foolish?

    Personally, this is not a man I would trust with a slide-rule.

    Spencer continues to push a low sensitivity hypothesis but his studies seem to only consider certain segments of analysis and data; not the global system ground, ocean and sky together. Of course he is in love with satellite data. This is typically known as cherry picking. My read on his work is that it is myopic and absolutely conforms to his stated confirmation bias.

    And I must admit that I am dumbfounded that a scientist of his ‘supposed’ stature does not know what a contextually relevant trend is? Is Spencer’s head really buried that deep in the sand/myopia?

    He states:

    “I am predicting today that the theory that mankind is mostly responsible for global warming will slowly fade away in the coming years as will the warming itself and I trust you would agree madam chair that such a result deserves to be greeted with relief”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qzf6z-oHP8U&NR=1

    He unfortunately has committed himself to confirmation bias in the face of the consensus on the established science that contradicts his opinions. This combined with myopic analysis (like Svensmark), puts him into a category that he has already proclaimed he will have trouble backing down from. That being his own confirmation bias:

    we’re all pretty protective of our theories and our work and we really hate being wrong. That’s true of all of us.”

    Narrow-mindedness and unsubstantiable bias is not a good attribute in a scientist. Essentially he is saying he is biased and then claims all other scientists are biased in the same way he is. In a sense, he is saying he is a bad scientist. With that I will not disagree.

    WOW!!! He is essentially saying that all scientists are basically dishonest or misrepresenting the truth about science to support their own bias, just like he is. That’s quite a statement, even if only by extrapolation.


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  34. 434
    Doug Bostrom says:

    Further to my remarks to Dan, here’s what happens when too many of us inadvertently become rumormongers:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/23/british-public-belief-climate-poll

    Nothing significant has happened to net research results in the past few months, other than if anything we’ve seen more publications congruent with anthropogenic climate change. Yet public opinion has shifted. Partly it’s down to weather and fashion journalism, partly the swing is about relatively better orchestration of messages on the part of interested parties. None of the opinion shift is down to science.

    Words matter.

  35. 435
    Tim Jones says:

    Re: 395 Rudy Petorelli says: 23 February 2010 at 2:37 PM
    “It is way past the time for all Americans to come together on the man-made Global Warming issue.”

    This is true!

    You write:
    “We need a MAJOR independent investigation into all of the science and actions of all major players in this debate, including the IPCC.”

    That would be fine with me if you include an in depth investigation of the corporations and their hired guns and fellow travelers intent on lobbying and propagandizing meaningful climate change legislation out of existence.

    You write:
    “Investigation is the most sensible route to take. Let true, peer-reviewed science take us wherever it leads.”

    As long as sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander your demand should be looked into, with retribution falling according to the gravity of the crime perpetrated by either side of the so called debate.

    But this isn’t what you mean, is it?

    What your investigation would do is push us past the point of dangerous climate change crossing the point of no return.

    The fact is that climate science is under constant peer review, even to the point of private emails having already been rifled through by thieves only to find superficial impropriety or the merest misdemeanor of mistakes.

    If you looked into the way the fossil fuel and related industries and their dupes have fueled anti science and anti progressive measures with mendacious propaganda to thwart climate change action you would be disgusted by what they get away with.

    If you’re honest you would be, anyway.

    Why aren’t you demanding that they drop their efforts until the whole thing is squared away?

  36. 436
    Edward Greisch says:

    356 Bill Teufel: “I do not think its very beneficial to make claims such as extinction for mankind without action, because it would take centuries for this to occur.”

    What makes you think that? Uncertainty is a 2 edged sword. It cuts both ways. We can’t prove that we won’t be extinct in 5 years or that we will be extinct in 100 years. It is way too risky to take that chance. There is most definitely no reason to expect it to take more than one century. “Climate Code Red” by David Spratt and Philip Sutton says the following:
    Long term warming, counting feedbacks, is a least twice the short term warming. 560 ppm CO2 gets us 6 degrees C or 10.8 degrees F. We will hit 560 ppm before mid century.

    Per “Climate Code Red”, we need ZERO “Kyoto gas” emissions RIGHT NOW and we also need geo-engineering because we have already gone way beyond the safe CO2 level of 300 to 325 ppm. We are already at 455 ppm equivalent and we have tripped some very big tipping points. We aren’t dead yet, but the planet needs critical intensive care if we humans are to have a chance of survival.

    “The Vanishing Face of Gaia” by James Lovelock has identified a 9 degree lurch in the temperature that happens at 450 ppm equivalent.
    Looks like we are not going to make it. We HUMANS could be EXTINCT by 2050 because politicians are not considering sufficiently strong action.

    See also: “With speed and violence : why scientists fear tipping points in climate change” by Fred Pearce.

    I have listed the kill mechanisms so many times on RC that it is your turn to search RC to find my previous posts. There are multiple major kill mechanisms. Any one of them could make us extinct.
    And I am ahead of you in science education, which is irrelevant. NATURE is the judge whose judgement is final. I am terrified and you should be terrified too. If you are not terrified, you just don’t understand the situation.

  37. 437
    Radge Havers says:

    Josie @ 410

    Deniers aren’t skeptics. They want to be called skeptics because it gives them an air of legitimacy which they don’t deserve. Caving on that point would be to tacitly endorse their campaign of deliberate disinformation. While it’s true that being contrary and confrontational is the way some people learn, most of those being called deniers here are not arriving in a spirit of dialogue, however twisted. They’re simply pounding away in a relentless and malicious war of attrition.

    ===

    Elsewhere:

    “I admit, as a physicist, I consider physics the paradigm science.”

    “Sheldon: I’m a physicist. I have a working knowledge of the entire universe and everything it contains
    “Penny: Who’s Radiohead?
    “Sheldon [after twitching for a minute]: I have a working knowledge of the important things”
    The Big Bang Theory, Episode 18

  38. 438
    Hank Roberts says:

    > Mike, 427
    > if proxy data has no uniform correlation to the instrument record,

    Ah, see, there’s your assumption — you haven’t actually read about this or you’d know that it’s only one proxy, for only some trees in some locations, and this is much discussed in the literature, it’s of great interest.

    > how can you possibly assume it did during periods when
    > you dont have the luxury of a comparison?

    Same problem. They don’t assume — you do, and you’re mistaken in this.
    You should be reassured if you look into it. Want to try?

    Seriously, just take half an hour and read about this in the science journals (search Scholar for divergence tree proxy, if you don’t trust anyone else to help you find the information; if you do, look up the blog by Delayed Oscillator for example).

  39. 439
    Septic Matthew says:

    417, Mac Crawford: We are subject to ecological limits, like any exuberant species feasting on apparently unlimited detritus before growing its population size into collapse.

    How soon? How much mitigation required to avert catastrophe? Holdren et al predicted imminent disaster and they were wrong. They are still predicting imminent disaster, and it looks to me like they are wrong again. It matters a lot how soon these things (80% of the populations of London, New York, and Tokyo underwater) will likely happen. Hence my questions about Gavin’s cliff metaphor.

    395, Rudy Petorelli: We cannot cripple our economy with trillions of dollars of additional burdens based on questionable scientific information.

    What to do in the meantime while the investigations that you recommend are carried out? They might take decades. In the meantime some combination of new energy sources and CO2 reduction should be implemented, don’t you think?

    You wrote: We could use that money to start projects to find and implement clean energy sources, develop safe methods to access our vast oil, coal and natural gas resources and develop cleaner ways to use them.

    Wouldn’t you add at least some tens of billions of dollars for CC&S R&D, in case AGW should be proved to be true? And why use up all of our oil and gas as fast as possible? Why not save it and use it as a reserve for dire emergencies while we develop alternatives for general use?

  40. 440

    “”"”"Rudy P (395): There is no crisis. We have paid scientists and organization hundreds of millions of dollars over 20 to 30 years to prove man-made global warming, and they are farther from the truth than when they started.”"”"”"

    I don’t think the mainstream, peer reviewed, juried, refereed published literature that holds up over time agrees with you (from the type humanity has sucessfully used since the 1600s to advance and protect our civilization).

    “”"”Conclusion. Society may be lulled into a false sense of security by smooth projections of global change. Our synthesis of present knowledge suggests that a variety of tipping elements could reach their critical point within this century under anthropogenic climate change.””” (TM Lenton, et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, … 2008 (200 citations). This is very unsettling when a reputable mainstream juried, peer reviewed, source writes this and it is backed up by a lot of other studies.

    Reasons we might have a “problem” with climate change. I know of no, I repeat no (but there might be some) published mainstream, juried, peer-reviewed world wide works on the science of human-caused global warming that hold up over time that holds up that human caused climate change is not an immediate problem.

    “Uhhh, Houston, we have a problem…” (Some published mainstream evidence backed up by the mainstream peer-reviewed juried,refereed world wide published literature that holds up over time).

    1) There is about a 30 year delay between when we do anything and the climate finally responds (Ocean thermal inertia/heat sink, like why the hottest temperatures don’t happen at the peak of summer, or the coldest temps at the peak of winter…the oceans effectively delay that. IPCC 2007 and the peer reviewed scientific literature that holds up over time.

    2) Elements of carbon dioxide (CO2) stay in the atmosphere for over a thousand years. It is vibrating at the same frequency as heat [around 600 wavecycles per centimeter] (CO2 stops the heat from leaving the Earth’s atmosphere and going into space). What is going into the atmosphere is going to effectively stay there for a good chunk of human history. It will keep making the Earth’s systems more and more out of energy balance- currently out of balance by about 1 watt per square meter and climbing. IPCC 2007 and the peer reviewed scientific literature that holds up over time.

    There are tipping points of no return out there…we know they are there because they have happened in the past: (Rahmstorf S Et al, (2001) in Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences, eds Steele J, Thorpe S, Turekian K (Academic, London), pp 1–6; Lockwood JG (2001) Int J Climatol 21:1153–1179; National Research Council (2002) Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises (Natl Acad Press, Washington, DC); Alley RB rt al., (2003) Science 299:2005–2010; Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (200 citations); Rial JA et al., (2004) Clim Change 65:11–38.).

    Greenland Ice sheets-once melted, dark land underneath gets warmer, so melting more ice. ([RW Lindsay, J Zhang - Journal of Climate, 2005, (134 citations); ([Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (200 citations) ;,)]
    ]

    Methane in permafrost and tundra…and much later methane clathrates on ocean floors…especially the shallow Arctic Ocean. ([Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (200 citations)]

    Amazon forest catches fire…
    ([Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (200 citations); Y Malhi, et al., science, 2008,)]

    Canadian boreal forests, pine bark beetles kill forest…already worse than known and huge fires literally burn all of it down. John Holden publicly when head of AAAS reported Paul Kennedy. http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/features/climate-wars/index.html
    ([B. J. Stocks et al., Climatic Change, 1998 (232 citations); JA Foley, JE Kutzbach, MT Coe, S Levis - Nature, 1994 (306 citations); J Pastor, WM Post - Nature, 1988 (93 citations); ([Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (200 citations) ;,)]
    ].

    Oceans warming so can’t absorb CO2 and become source instead of sink.
    marine methane hydrates (probably not in 2000s)
    East Antarctic ice sheet (probably not in 2000s)
    Arctic Sea-Ice melting Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (200 citations); M Winton – Geophysical Research Letters, 2006); MM Holland, et al, – Geophysical Research Letters, 2006
    El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (200 citations)
    Expansion of the tropics
    Indian Summer Monsoon changing Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (200 citations)
    Sahara/Sahel and West African Monsoon (WAM). Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (200 citations)

    Land warming so becomes a CO2 source instead of sink.

    P. FRIEDLINGSTEIN ET AL. Tellus, 2003 (312 citations) vegetation and soil carbon feedback
    J.-L. Dufresne et al., GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 2002 (110 citations) decline of tropical forest and a widespread climate-driven loss of soil carbon leading.
    V Dakos et al., Proceedings of the National Acadademy of Sciences, 2008 ( climate tipping points).

    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/6/1786.full

    If these natural eco/bio feedbacks come into play, there is nothing we can do by changing our burning of oil, coal and gas.

  41. 441
    Mike says:

    438
    Hank Roberts

    I was aware, and did actually specifically say it was one series to quote “Even if it is just one of the reconstructions” This dosnt change the fact that, that series is questionable(and should have been dropped, it wouldnt have greatly effected the end result, so why keep it?)… I believe you are misinterpreting my point… Which is that trying to dismiss by misrepresenting what the taken issue is with the divergence… dosnt lend it self to an impression of honesty. There are issues that have been brought to light, i know there have been bad misrepresentations in the media… but they are the media, thats what they do. But pretending that there is nothing untoward unsurfaced dosnt help the public(me) perception.

    But in saying that, i shall take your advice, and go have a further look into this.

  42. 442

    #429 Henk Hak

    As to curtailing CO2 emissions… Herein lies the quandary. We need to keep the economy functioning while rapidly phasing out CO2 emissions.

    In case you had not noticed, I have a link that I post on the bottom of all my posts lately. Here you can get direct links to Dr. Hansen’s perspectives and information regarding the Fee & Dividend approach vs. the Cap and Trade scheme.

    My general thoughts:

    1. Consumption reduction is fastest and easiest but requires people to be aware of the reality of the problem.
    2. Progressive Fee & Dividend
    3. Rapid development of sustainable renewable energy.

    It’s a simple plan but hard to get started.

    Learn the issue, and join the fight. Sign the Petition!


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  43. 443
    H Hak says:

    re 433 John Reisman.

    Thanks for your reply. I was not aware of that first interview,only the second one. No I did not get my H.Pylori story from Spencer. It came to mind because at the time it was quite an eye-opener for me (I graduated in 1978) and I was just as convinced by the literature as most prior to Marshall. And the interesting part for me was how exactly I got fooled.

    As you also well know now, there is not a lot of interest in a large part of the IPCC in alternative views. Henk Tennekes just resigned from the KNMI in Holland, you can read his reasons in an interview in the Dutch newspaper de Telegraaf (it is different from his farewell note; it clearly explains how he was shunned for even questioning the group think). No there was no open mind on the official side of the climate group in Holland.
    The CRU e-mails show a circle the wagons mentality among some inner circle reviewers, even to the point of trying to isolate journals that published articles they did not agree with, or to try and get rid of an editor. And a bias mentality? Read the e-mails, some of the statements are a lot more biased than your quotes of Spencer.

    I think you are too harsh on Spencer, these interviews are often ad hoc and the response may not always be very thought out. Read some of Michael Mann’s interviews , not the most thought out either. But if that is all you need to dismiss Spencer so be it.
    Cheers
    Henk

  44. 444
    John Mashey says:

    Dan M:
    SO, how about a quick comparison.
    Please read the first few pages of Plagiarism? Conspiracies? Felonies?, whichever PDF has the highest version number, currently 1.1, with the next version soon.

    Now, consider the behavior described there in excruciating detail, especially the preparation for and execution of the Wegman Report, but the attacks on Ben Santer as well.

    How would you compare that to the bad behavior you seem to ascribe to CRU? (at least some of which your words seem to indicate you didn’t really understand well).

    Also, how do you feel about climate scientists getting threats of physical violence (including death threats?) I know at least 5 such people offhand, and I’d guess there are more. How do you feel about people misusing government mechanisms via DDoS-like attacks to waste scientists’ time to the point where they get very little actual research done? (I know a few cases like that, also).

  45. 445
    Molnar says:

    Bill Teufel (369):

    “The water is still in the system, just in a different state of matter. Nobody can say if it could possibly return to a solid state at a later date.”

    Yes, and if you cut someone’s head off, you can sew it back on, but that does not make it a “reversal”.

    This debate would be much better if you tried to make a scientific point, instead of a rhetorical one.

  46. 446
    llewelly says:

    Richard Ordway
    23 February 2010 at 9:18 PM:

    If these natural eco/bio feedbacks come into play, there is nothing we can do by changing our burning of oil, coal and gas.

    Not true. More greenhouse gasses will always make things worse. If additional positive feedbacks come into play, than the impact of human-produced greenhouse gasses will be increased. Even if we reach a point where a large and rapid warming cannot be prevented, more greenhouse gasses will still make it worse.

  47. 447
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Dan M., OK, so your objection sounds to me like one of chartsmanship. The researchers clearly state what they did in the paper–so in reality nothing is hidden. What is more, I think one can make a very good argument for using the pre-1960 data, since 1)it agrees with the instrumental temperature record quite well over the calibration period; 2)it also gives the same answer as the other proxy data; and 3)the current era is quite different environmentally from the rest if the instrumental era and so one might expext divergent behavior for this portion only.

    It sounds as if your background might be experimental particle physics. That happens to have been my thesis topic as well. Let me try an analogy. Let us say we are tracking particles through a series of drift chamber. We find two series of hits that seem distinct, with one straight-line trajectory disappearing and the other seeming to appear out of nowhere. The lines intersect and it looks like a “kink”. We can posit that we’ve seen a decay of the original particle into a charged particle and a neutral particle that did not register in the drift chambers. Rather than construct a “best-fit” to all the data, we will use the energy and momentum of the pre-decay portion in subsequent reconstructions. Would you be similarly apalled that we are trying to “hide the decay”?

    Likewise, if we have two stratigraphic columns, each with massive disconformities at different places in the strata, but otherwise coinciding, would you be apalled if we used a reconstructed column in trying to determine the fossil record?

    I really don’t see anything here that I isn’t analogous to common practice in a broad range of sciences–including physics.

  48. 448
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “427
    Mike says:
    23 February 2010 at 5:39 PM

    421
    Completely Fed Up says:
    “But how do you hide a decline (presumably in temperatures) by using real thermometer readings?”

    And this kinda thing dosnt do much to dispel my skepticism.. He clearly said it was the divergence from the proxy data and temperature record as what he was referring too”

    You mean “referring to”.

    But that isn’t the “hide the decline” that gets posted on WUWT and CA and thetimesonline or the daily mail pages.

    Is it.

    It’s a “”hide the decline” therefore they’re hiding the decline in temperatures that’s the PROOF that AGW is false and we’re now in a cooling trend like we’ve said since 2003!” hide the decline.

    Funny how that hasn’t built any skepticism of you for WUWT et al.

  49. 449
    Completely Fed Up says:

    HH: “The CRU e-mails show a circle the wagons mentality among some inner circle reviewers”

    They do?

    Specifics, please.

    The only ones I’ve seen characterised as such is the frank appraisal of a reviewer of a POS paper as to whether it’s good or, indeed, a POS and whether it should be included in a gestalt work.

    If a reviewer cannot say that a POS work is, in fact, a POS, what purpose a review?

    The only other statement was about a journal that enacted fiat policy (that the journal owner has stated specifically has a political, not scientific, aim) that allowed a terrible and un-peer-reviewed piece of work to be published and, having refused the request of the editorial staff (who ARE scientists and whose reputation is tarred with the mistakes of the journal) to post a clarification that peer review was not done on the paper printed.

    These editors then resigned en masse.

    If editors are overruled in editorial business, what does that show for the probity of the journal itself?

    And if the a journal descends into “National Inquirer” status, how can SERIOUS science limit the damage done? Newspapers have editorial control over being able to badmouth or make fun of such papers. Nature has no such avenue.

    So what do you suggest?

    Kill the journal in the press (how?) or advice any serious scientist that this journal should be starved of attention and let the market decide?

  50. 450
    Geoff Wexler says:

    [Not off topic]

    Rudy Petorelli wrote: “We cannot cripple our economy with trillions of dollars of additional burdens based on questionable scientific information.”

    Yesterday on BBC2 Newsnight, there wasa discussion about UK’s defence strategy. The topic of the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system was dismissed in a few seconds because there was almost a consensus in the room. This involves a decison to spend billions of UK pounds now for installing and operating the renewed system between (2020 or 2030?) and 2050.

    The justification for this decision was that nobody knows what the world will be like at that time.


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