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A Well Deserved Honor

Filed under: — group @ 18 October 2011

The rest of us here would like to congratulate Gavin on a well-deserved honor. He is the recipient of the inaugural AGU Climate Communication Prize. Since co-founding RealClimate back in 2004, Gavin has emerged as the de facto leader of RealClimate, having written the majority of our posts–and many of our best ones. One of his very first contributions “Michael Crichton’s State of Confusion” remains one of our most highly cited posts. One of his most recent, about what the recent CERN experiments do (and don’t) tell us about cloud processes, is a good example of his characteristic knack for explaining complex scientific issues with clarity and wit. Gavin also takes the lead role in dealing with the comments on RC posts. His almost non-stop, patient, response to the flood of comments that ensued in the week following the CRU email server hack in late 2009 impressed us all.

Gavin’s communication efforts, of course, go well beyond RealClimate. He is frequently quoted in mainstream news venues and often appears on radio and television news programs, to help communicate key aspects of climate science to the public. Here he is in an interview articulating both the science and the history of the science, and putting the recent politicizing of climate science into context. (It’s worth watching this interview to the end, by the way, for some thoughts on what you can do to improve communication of climate science.) He’s also produced a very accessible and beautiful book, Climate Change: Picturing the Science (with photographer Josh Wolfe).

Gavin’s efforts go well beyond the classic ‘public understanding of science’, since what he so successfully promotes is the ‘public understanding of research’. He makes it understandable and tangible how scientists work and think, not just what their results are. Gavin is a champion of easy access to data: see our Realclimate section on data sources. And, of course, a champion of making good use of the available data: see his many articles where he explains how particular questions (such as whether climate models agree with data) should not be speculated about but can be answered by anyone with basic skills simply by using publicly available data archives. Gavin’s work is often about empowering people to draw their own conclusions.

All of this is based on a solid foundation of his own scientific research: Gavin is a top-notch climatologist with an excellent publication record (h-index: 33), and we and our colleagues refer frequently to Gavin’s numerous papers in our own research and teaching. We only sometimes wonder whether his days have 30 hours, or how he finds the time to achieve all this.

Of course we’re a bit biased here at RealClimate, but it is truly hard to imagine a more deserving recipient for this award than Gavin.

Congratulations, once again, to our colleague and friend.

Mike Mann, Eric Steig, Stefan Rahmstorf, Jim Bouldin, Ray Pierrehumbert, David Archer, and the rest of RealClimate

167 Responses to “A Well Deserved Honor”

  1. 101
    Susan Anderson says:

    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!

  2. 102

    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.

  3. 103
    Peter Adamski says:

    Congratulations Gavin. A well deserved award.

  4. 104
    Edward Greisch says:

    I congratulate AGU for inventing the prize as well as Gavin for being the first winner. The prize announcement is a way to get into the news.

  5. 105
    Steve Brown says:

    Congratulations and well done, Gavin! I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank you for helping me learn new things through your posts over the past few years.

  6. 106
    mrlee says:


  7. 107
    MS says:

    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…:-)

  8. 108
    Horatio Algeranon says:

    Congrats Wyatt …erp Gavin

    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

  9. 109
    Geoff Wexler says:

    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.

  10. 110
    Ruedi Harms says:

    Congrats Gavin!
    When will we see you side by side in an Al Gore event?

  11. 111
    Maya says:

    Outstanding! Congratulations, Dr. Schmidt!

  12. 112
    Phil Scadden says:

    No one has done more for raising my level of awareness in this area. Congratulations.

  13. 113
    Rick Brown says:

    What Phil Scadden said. And thank you.

  14. 114
    Andy says:

    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]

  15. 115
    Joe Cushley says:

    Andy 114 – I don’t believe yoooouuuuu.

  16. 116
    Dan says:

    Congratulations Gavin! Well deserved.

    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.

  17. 117
    spyder says:

    I would like to congratulate the AGU for choosing someone so well versed and informed as Gavin, for its first annual award. This speaks very (very) highly of both. Congrats to Gavin as well.

  18. 118
    Susan Anderson says:

    Andy, 5:21 20th Oct:

    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.)

  19. 119
    Ray Ladbury says:

    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.

  20. 120
    Steve Eshbaugh says:


    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.

  21. 121
    Anand says:

    Ray LadBury to Andy:

    You are here, after all, aren’t you.

    That works both ways. One hopes the AGU is not giving $25,000 just to communicate with an echo-chamber filled with Ray Ladbury clones.

  22. 122
    WVhybrid says:

    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!

  23. 123
    miffedmax says:

    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

  24. 124
    Marshall Chrostowski says:

    Contratulations from a long -time admirer.

  25. 125
    Ammonite says:

    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!

  26. 126
    Septic Matthew says:

    121, Anand: That works both ways. One hopes the AGU is not giving $25,000 just to communicate with an echo-chamber filled with Ray Ladbury clones.

    You don’t need to worry about that, in my opinion.

  27. 127
    Andy says:

    “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.



  28. 128
    Dr Tom Corby says:

    Congratulations Gavin,
    on a personal level you’ve really helped me understand some of the science of climate change and have made a great contribution to public understanding in the round.

  29. 129

    Great work, and well-deserved recognition.

    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]

  30. 130
    Ray Ladbury says:

    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.

  31. 131
    MMM says:

    “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…

  32. 132

    “(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.

  33. 133

    “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.”

  34. 134
    Horatio Algeranon says:

    Susan, there’s actually more to that poem and also a photo of Wyatt …erp Gavin taken at the O Curry Corral (after the fire burned it down)

  35. 135
    Andy says:

    You ask, “who said the science is settled?”
    The following people claimed it is:

    The EPA’s Lisa Jackson:

    Al Gore:

    The Sierra Club:

    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.”

    Whilst no sceptic says Earth’s climate hasn’t changed (it’s always in a constant state of chaotic flux), we sceptics refuse to accept science being ruled by ‘consensus’. AGW predictions have also been failing to materialise – Hansen’s iconic A,B, and C scenarios being a rather important example of failed predictions:

    As an aside, I would also like to congratulate Gavin on his award. Gavin, will you be keeping the monetary prize, or donating it to charity? If you are donating it, then kudos to you.

  36. 136
    Andy says:

    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)

  37. 137
    chris says:

    Have to add my congratulations to Gavin – much deserved!

  38. 138
    lucien says:

    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.

  39. 139
    t_p_hamilton says:

    Andy said:”Ray,
    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”.

    [Response: Here. – gavin]

  40. 140
    Ken W says:

    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.

  41. 141
    SecularAnimist says:

    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.

  42. 142
    Septic Matthew says:

    114, Andy

    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.

    (Steps down off soapbox, takes oath of silence.)

  43. 143
    Ray Ladbury says:

    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.

  44. 144
    Steven Franzen says:

    @Andy 135,

    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 ;).

  45. 145

    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

  46. 146
    Martin Vermeer says:

    [edit – OT – please let it go]

  47. 147
    Ed Beroset says:

    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.

  48. 148
    Susan Anderson says:

    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.

  49. 149
    Susan Anderson says:

    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?

  50. 150
    Lynn Vincentnathan says:

    Well deserved award. Congrats, Gavin.

    Before 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 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)?