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ClimateDialogue: Exploring different views on climate change

Filed under: — group @ 15 November 2012

This is a guest posting from some Dutch colleagues on a new online experiment in fostering dialogue on climate change. Bart Verheggen has asked us to host this quick introduction. We are interested to hear if you think this is a good idea.

Guest Commentary by Bart Strengers (PBL)

ClimateDialogue.org offers a platform for discussions between invited climate scientists on important climate topics that have been subject to scientific and public debate. The goal of the platform is to explore the full range of views currently held by scientists by inviting experts with different views on the topic of discussion. We encourage the invited scientists to formulate their own personal scientific views; they are not asked to act as representatives for any particular group in the climate debate.

Obviously, there are many excellent blogs that facilitate discussions between climate experts, but as the climate debate is highly polarized and politicized, blog discussions between experts with opposing views are rare.

Background


The discovery, early 2010, of a number of errors in the Fourth IPCC Assessment Report on climate impacts (Working Group II), led to a review of the processes and procedures of the IPCC by the InterAcademy Council (IAC). The IAC-report triggered a debate in the Dutch Parliament about the reliability of climate science in general. Based on the IAC recommendation that ‘the full range of views’ should be covered in the IPCC reports, Parliament asked the Dutch government ‘to also involve climate skeptics in future studies on climate change’.

In response, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment announced a number of projects that are aimed to increase this involvement. ClimateDialogue.org is one of these projects.


We are starting ClimateDialogue with a discussion on the causes of the decline of Arctic Sea Ice, and the question to what extent this decline can be explained by global warming. Also, the projected timing of the first year that the Arctic will be ice free will be discussed. With respect to the latter, in its Fourth Assessment Report in 2007, IPCC anticipated that (near) ice free conditions might occur by the end of this century. Since then, several studies have indicated this could be between 2030-2050, or even earlier.

We invited three experts to take part in the discussion: Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology; Walt Meier, research scientist at the National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado; and Ron Lindsay, Senior Principal Physicist at the Polar Science Center of the University of Washington in Seattle.

Future topics that will be discussed include: climate sensitivity, sea level rise, urban heat island-effects, the value of comprehensive climate models, ocean heat storage, and the warming trend over the past few decades.

Our format


Each discussion will be kicked off by a short introduction written by the editorial staff, followed by a guest blog by two or more invited scientists. The scientists will start the discussion by responding to each other’s arguments. It is not the goal of ClimateDialogue to reach a consensus, but to stimulate the discussion and to make clear what the discussants agree or disagree on and why. 
To round off the discussion on a particular topic, the ClimateDialogue editor will write a summary, describing the areas of agreement and disagreement between the discussants. The participants will be asked to approve this final article, the discussion between the experts on that topic will then be closed and the editorial board will open a new discussion on a different topic.

The public (including other climate scientists) are also free to comment, but for practical reasons these comments will be shown separately.

The project organization consists of an editorial staff of three people and an advisory board of seven people, all of whom are based in the Netherlands. The editorial staff is concerned with the day-to-day operation of researching topics, finding participants for the discussion and moderating the discussions between the experts. The main task of the advisory board is to guard the neutrality of the platform and to advise the editorial staff about its activities

The project leader is Rob van Dorland of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), a senior scientist and climate advisor in the Climate Services section and is often active at the interface between science and society. The second member is Bart Strengers. He is a climate policy analyst and modeler in the IMAGE-project at the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) and has been involved in the discussion with climate skeptics for many years. The third member is Marcel Crok, an investigative science writer, who published a critical book (in Dutch) about the climate debate.

We welcome comments here and are happy to answer any questions regarding this project. You can also send an email to info [at] climatedialogue [dot] org.


282 Responses to “ClimateDialogue: Exploring different views on climate change”

  1. 51

    That will finally put to rest some of the misinformation surrounding drought occurrences.

    So are you saying the science of global drought is settled with this one paper? Rich.

  2. 52
    Jim Larsen says:

    I remember Pielke Jr and Gavin “debating” right past each other on this site. I don’t remember a single resolution or significant point of agreement. Your attempt to enforce logical discussion sounds great but risks draining the already shallow pool of possible “skeptic” scientists willing to contribute. That said, I think you’ve got a grand experiment started.

    Public comments are either gems or chaff. Perhaps you could let comments expire after a week, with select comments made permanent.

    And if you’re going to have balance, you need all three viewpoints: “denialist”, mainstream, and “alarmist”. Did you invite Dr Maslowski? Surely any discussion on sea ice must include his thoughts. By limiting things to moderates and lowballers, you’ve produced a biased first attempt. You ended up with a 50(+-20) to 70% attribution spread, when the real range might be what? 50(+-20) to 110%?

  3. 53
    Steven Emmerson says:

    I expect that the utility of this effort will depend strongly on the process for selecting “experts”: the more scientific the selection process, the better this effort will be received.

  4. 54
    Chris Korda says:

    Sorry but I’ve heard quite sufficient from Judith Curry and her ilk. This type of lukewarm dissent gets too much bandwidth already, and contributes to complacency which there’s no time for. Wake me up when the forum includes Kevin Anderson or Dan Miller.

  5. 55
    Deep Climate says:

    Based on the IAC recommendation that ‘the full range of views’ should be covered in the IPCC reports, Parliament asked the Dutch government ‘to also involve climate skeptics in future studies on climate change’.

    So can Bart or someone else provide an example of a climate science topic where the IAC found the “full range of views” was not covered in AR4 WG1? Was the “full range of views” regarding arctic sea ice decline not covered adequately according to the science of the time? (I take it we are discussing “views” actually represented in the peer-reviewed science).

    And why assume that the problem is solely one of giving “skeptic” views more prominence, especially if it turns out those views are scarce in the literature? There are many scientists who feel AR4 was overly conservative in a number of areas. Shouldn’t the views of those scientists be sought too?

  6. 56
    prokaryotes says:

    Re public opinion and climate change

    Per Espen Stoknes: Why and how can psychology be applied to the issue of climate change? http://climatestate.com/climate-state-blog/videos/item/why-climate-and-psychology-2.html

  7. 57
    MMM says:

    Curry objects to how James Annan frames his critique – “and of a tone that does not promote reasoned dialogue” – possibly because of his use of the word “nonsensical”. While I might agree that that word was unnecessary, it is interesting to see how Curry then uses phrases like, “incomprehensible”, “very poorly argued”, and “Our old friend ‘model calibration’ I assume, whereby 5 wrongs might make a ‘right.’”

    And when it comes down to it, she never answers the question, which is whether she expects “the future observed trend to be half the historical one, albeit with substantial uncertainty”… the closest she comes to an answer is, “My point is that I DONT KNOW with any high level of confidence what the sea ice will look like”.

  8. 58
    Len Conly says:

    To include Judity Curry is a mistake.

  9. 59
    Aaron Lewis says:

    The details of climate science are technical facts like the gravitational constant or the mass of an electron. They are either correct or they need to be re-measured and reanalyzed. There is no need for a dialog.
    Such reviews are carried out in the journals and society meetings, and the most conservative and defensible consensus becomes the IPCC reports. Then, there are experts working with real time observations and analysis. When you work with “Now”, there are fewer data points, and conclusions from less data are less defensible. Thus, the only useful dialog would be between the IPCC guys using data from yesterday and the guys using the more limited “Now” data. However, that reveiw is ongoing in the journals and society meetings.

    The proper subjects of a dialog are ,“Is our economic analysis correct?”, “Are we doing the proper risk analysis?”, “Are we considering the cost and risk in our infrastructure planning ?”, and, “Are all of these issues considered in every aspect of our policy planning?” These are points where reasonable minds may differ, and dialog is useful

  10. 60
    SecularAnimist says:

    Jim wrote: “The fossil fuel interests have nothing to do with this initiative or dialog.”

    I’m not saying that they did — directly.

    But the very existence of pseudo-skeptics, and the fact that they have been given inordinate amounts of attention and undeserved credibility for decades, can be attributed to the influence of the fossil fuel interests on the public discourse about AGW.

    The very fact that as late in the game as 2010, there could be “a debate in the Dutch Parliament about the reliability of climate science in general” resulting in a political mandate “to also involve climate skeptics in future studies on climate change”, can be attributed to the influence of the fossil fuel interests on the public discourse about AGW.

    Jim wrote: “Give it a chance.”

    With all due respect — give it a chance to what?

    What possible good can come of this? What possible value can it contribute?

    To convince a handful of pseudo-skeptics to grudgingly accept what the entire world’s scientific community has accepted for decades — so that they can move on from the no longer tenable strategy of denying basic scientific reality to other strategies of deceit, delay and obstruction?

    [Response:OK, you've decided to prejudge the whole thing and you're sticking to your guns on that. Got it.--Jim]

  11. 61
    Edward Greisch says:

    Your [RC's] article appears to be about at least 2 and possibly 3 or more different kinds of discussions/debates.:

    1. Discussions that are really science, such as: Is the melt rate of Antarctic ice 30 billion tons/ year or 248 billion tons/ year? What new spacecraft or expeditions do we need to know for sure? There are no Gish Gallops. Only real climate scientists are invited.

    2. Like the book “Why We Disagree About Climate Change” by Mike Hulme. Social scientists and brain researchers are invited, but denialists are not invited. Pascal Boyer, who wrote “Religion Explained” is invited as a brain researcher. Noam Chomsky is invited as a social scientist.

    3. Denialists with faculty appointments are invited, but RC corrects them line by line. Judy Curry and Lomborg are invited.

    4. Free-for-all. Denialists and people with serious mental problems are invited. Moncton and Anthony Watts are invited. Preachers are invited.

    1 and 2 are good ideas. 3 and 4 are bad ideas.

  12. 62
    Chris Colose says:

    Unlike most here, I actually think ClimateDialogue has a very good format, and I’d take Jim’s advice to give it a shot before throwing it in the gutter. I do agree that it would be unfortunate if it devolved into a “skeptics vs. warmists” type of false balance that dominates the blogs, but there’s a lot of room to encourage scientific discourse without doing that. In essence, it becomes an interactive journal which might not contribute to the field (due to the lack of rigor and checking), but allows much more flexibility for interaction and learning than does the glacial pace of scientific journals. That serves a different but equally useful purpose.

    The only consequence is that the level of discussion can quickly become similar to what Isaac Held is hosting (graduate student or expert level) which is good but encourages a small audience.

  13. 63
    SteveF says:

    “Why was Judith Curry invited as an expert on arctic sea ice? She’s not.”

    To be fair, she has published on Arctic sea ice:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/109/11/4074.long

    But I don’t think she is appropriate as a voice in what otherwise looks like an admirable new project.

  14. 64
  15. 65
    SteveF says:

    Curry objects to how James Annan frames his critique – “and of a tone that does not promote reasoned dialogue”

    Given the stuff that goes on on her blog, this is extraordinarily hypocritical.

  16. 66
    David B. Benson says:

    My opinion is quite similar to that of Susan Anderson and several others.

    And incidentally I project that Arctic sea minimum reaches zero about 2040 CE, a linear extrapolation. Does that qualify me to join is such an internet discussion?

  17. 67
    BillS says:

    Re: #63 and others.

    A quick glance through scholar.google.com does not turn up much regarding Dr. Curry’s expertise on sea ice.
    Among my list of experts: Julienne Stroeve, James Malanik, Mark Serreze, Donald Perovich, R. Kwok, Torgny Vinje, J.C. Comiso, and Bonnie Light.

  18. 68
    sidd says:

    The article states:
    “… discussions between experts with opposing views are rare.”

    There is a reason for this. Experts know and acknowledge the vast body of climate science. To use the dread word, they have consensus. There are minor points of disagreement, that do not need more than the peer reviewed literature fora to settle.

    The forum is a concession those who accurately perceive, as Naomi Klein points out, that fossil carbon mitigation is a threat to their lifestyles. As such it will achieve nothing but delay on mitigation efforts, as it is designed to.

    [Response:OK, so just so we're perfectly clear on this, you're accusing ClimateDialogue of conscious intent to delay mitigation efforts with what they're doing.--Jim]

    If this forum would have a discussion between mainstream climate scientists, and the so called catastrophists, for example who see WAIS destabilizing in human lifetimes, it might be more relevant. O that Mercer were alive today…

    sidd

    [Response:For the record, I don't think you (sidd) were saying what Jim seems to think you were saying. You weren't talking about "intent" were you, merely effect, right? Call me a cynic but I tend to agree with you here, rather than with my RC compatriot.--eric]

  19. 69
    Hank Roberts says:

    ignoramus … from Latin, we do not know, first person pl. present tense
    thefreedictionary.com/ignoramus

    “there is not any clear mathematical consensus as to whether the results … give definitive negative solutions or not, since these solutions apply to a certain formalization of the problems, a formalization which is quite reasonable but is not necessarily the only possible one.
    uk.ask.com/wiki/Hilbert%27s_problems

  20. 70
    Toby Thaler says:

    I am another well-educated, long time follower of this debate (and not a scientist). I heartily agree with comments 25, 30, 40, 45 (conveniently all multiples of 5!); the purported “climate dialogue” is not helpful. I also strongly agree with Les Porter’s comment 47, and especially his connection between this failed dialogue and the need for “redistribution of wealth” on a global scale. We will probably not find a “climate solution” until we find a “social justice” solution.

    In that vein: Jim responds to SecularAnimist (#45), “The fossil fuel interests have nothing to do with this initiative or dialog.” I think this is a naive statement.

    The fossil fuel interests don’t have their fingerprints on every action that obfuscates and turns the debate away from solutions and back toward whether AGW even exists! But they do have a huge role in creating the political climate that causes such actions to be taken, as has been thoroughly documented here at RC and in a number of well researched books. What political forces do you think motivated the Dutch Parliament to force this dialogue into existence in the first place? The research that should be done by RC followers and allies is to uncover and publicize the specific linkages and dynamics that led to their vote.

    I also note that of the three experts’ pieces at climatedialogue.org, Curry’s is the only one without a single citation to the peer reviewed literature (or any literature). There are some citations in her secondary references, but why should readers have to slog through her blog to find and evaluate the relevance and merit of support for her arguments? The unsupported conjecture and irrelevancies in the last two sections of her contribution strike me as absurd (“Recovery (?)“?!).

  21. 71
    Thomas says:

    What any discussion needs are some epistemological ground rules. There is a whole area of philosophy devoted to understanding how we can know things, and how to best avoid common logical errors. Science with peer review is one rather successful method. Law is another, although less perfect methodology for truth determination. In a courtroom there are rules for admissible evidence and permissible forms of argumentation, and the judge holds the lawyers accountable. Without skilled moderation you find that skilled debaters can simply overwhelm careful thinkers with mostly irrelevant attacks. I’ve seen far too many “debates” where experts on subject are beaten by rhetorically skilled charlatans. You need to pay careful attention to how things are conducted in order to avoid such a result.

  22. 72
    dhogaza says:

    [Response:OK, so just so we're perfectly clear on this, you're accusing ClimateDialogue of conscious intent to delay mitigation efforts with what they're doing.--Jim]

    Actually, I think at least some of the people in charge are doing the best they can, given the government mandate to include “skeptics” (including outright denialists like Curry) for balance. I think the reason the Dutch government set this up, with the “include skeptics” mandate, is indeed to delay mitigation. You may hold another position, for instance “include Curry to speed up mitigation!”. My guess is you’ll be laughed out of town if you think this.

    (I say “some of”, because Crok, if John Mashey is right, authored a piece entitled “Crok, Marcel (2005) ―Proof that mankind causes climate change is refuted”. “refuted” … fair and balanced? Please …)

    And how is including Curry, who has personally attacked a slew of people in the field, mostly out of personal jealousy AFAICT, useful?

    We know, from past experience, that she never backs off when shown to be wrong, but simply dives into conspiracy theory.

  23. 73
    sidd says:

    “…you’re accusing ClimateDialogue of conscious intent to delay mitigation efforts…”

    No. I argue that the very existence of Climate Dialogue as sanctioned by the Dutch government is a concession to those who, as I said, “…accurately perceive, as Naomi Klein points out, that fossil carbon mitigation is a threat to their lifestyles.”

    [Response: You said: "...it will achieve nothing but delay on mitigation efforts, as it is designed to." Perhaps you can explain to us all what other possible meaning "as it is designed to" might have?--Jim]

    The participants in the Dialogue might have the best intent, and the arguments there might be superbly informed, nevertheless I wish all that attention and energy went toward immediate mitigation effort. But that is my opinion, the Dutch government clearly differs, and it’s their money after all.

    sidd

  24. 74
    David B. Benson says:

    Highly relevant to the question asked here is
    http://www.desmogblog.com/2012/11/15/why-climate-deniers-have-no-credibility-science-one-pie-chart

    [The reCHAPTCHA oracle offers Great jonalhec for those who can interpret.]

  25. 75
    tamino says:

    It’s a fine idea to have climate scientists discuss points of contention in a public forum. Unfortunately this first effort completely fails to do so. Instead, Judith Curry has used your forum to repeat a ludicrous litany of FUD. Your forum has been abused.

    Her comments about albedo are just one example. Apparently she only raised the issue to denigrate the idea with an offhand, ill-thought-out remark about low sun angle during the September minimum, quite ignoring that the strongest ice-albedo effect is around midsummer, a season during which ice has also declined significantly. And, her raising the issue of snow albedo is lame beyond belief. Apparently she is not aware that spring and summer snow cover reduction is stunning, while there’s no trend in snow cover during fall or winter. The net effect of snow albedo is warming, not cooling — but either she hasn’t done any calculations, or hasn’t even looked at the data. All she did was spout nonsense in order to increase the FUD.

    Seriously, consider the impact of this first “discussion.” For those sincerely interested in the science it contributes nothing. Absolutely nothing — there is no insight whatever to be gained from Curry’s “counterpoint” about sea ice decline. But for those interested in pushing a denier agenda, Curry has helped them immensely.

    To those who created this forum: I don’t blame her for the sorry state of your first foray, I blame you. First, if you want to present skeptic viewpoints you should find a real skeptic, not a fake one. Second, you should have in place some process to prevent nonsense like hers from seeing the light of day.

    I repeat, that having scientists seriously discuss points of contention in a public forum is a fine idea. But providing a venue for fake skeptics to push fake skeptic views is worse than nothing, far worse. I hope you can “up your game,” because your first attempt is shameful.

    [Response:Tamino. I agree with you entirely but.. What the F* does "FUD" mean? Perhaps I'd get it if I'd read all the comments, but I didn't. Please enlighten me! -eric]

  26. 76
    Russell says:

    To further degrade the signal to noise ratio in ClimateDialogue’s neighborhood,

    Fred Singer has taken to self-publishing in German

  27. 77
    Philippe Chantreau says:

    The principle is to have 3 expert,s representing the full range of views, to debate a given subject. Two of the “experts” have abundant peer-reviewed litterature on the subject of Arctic sea-ice, one has zilch. Why is she included as an expert? It is very hard for me to take this experiment seriously if the standards establishing one’s expertise are not consistently applied. What are these standards anyway?
    Looks like another of these misguided attempts to be “fair and balanced” between the ones arguing that the Earth is round and others who don’t really understand what round means when applied to a planetary body. Yuck!
    I say shame on you for caving to political pressures. Reality does not vote but it always makes the important decisions and we can’t impeach it…

  28. 78
    Philippe Chantreau says:

    FUD: Fear, uncertainty, Doubt.

  29. 79
    David B. Benson says:

    On FUD for Eric:

    Fear
    Uncertainity
    Doubt

    The claim from early days of digital computers is that salesmen from a well-known company would use FUD to fend off the competition.

  30. 80
    tamino says:

    What the F* does “FUD” mean?

    I guess I should have followed the advice to define acronyms when they’re first used. It stands for “Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.”

  31. 81
  32. 82
    Bob Brand says:

    Eric, “FUD” stands for “Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt”.

    It is a military tactic widely employed to promote confusion and chaos in the ranks of the enemy, usually before an attack or campaign. The propaganda designed to instill FUD in the other party does *not* have be consistent or factual in any way; it just has to confuse and cause uncertainty so the enemy footsoldiers will have no idea what is true and what is not. Actually, inconsistent and contradictory messages make for better FUD.

    This is a particularly apt description if inconsistencies, when pointed out to the FUD’er, cause him (or her?) to wave her arms and exclaim: “Well, so actually we know nooooothing!” Just like ‘Manuel’ of Fawlty Towers fame.

  33. 83
    Craig Nazor says:

    Eric – When FUD is typed into Google, Wikipedia comes up with “Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.” That seems to fit.

  34. 84
  35. 85
    Anonymous Coward says:

    Invite Judith Curry, lose your credibility.

    Surely BP has a few reasonable-sounding lobbyists with a science background on tap. Unlike academics or think-tank ideologues, people who officially represent such corporations have an incentive not to be painfully silly in public. Instead of a smokescreen, they might provide the semblance of a debate on the real issues.

  36. 86
    Craig Nazor says:

    OK, I had a chance to read the “Dialogue.”

    Here is my reaction to what I read. In general, the Meier and Lindsay statements were concise and statements of fact were well documented. In the Curry statement, however, statements of fact were not well documented. Because of this, it became more difficult to tell the difference between fact and conjecture (one has to wonder if this was, on some level, intentional). Since the Curry statement touched on a much wider array of parameters, this became a significant problem in evaluating her argument.

    Of course, if your basic argument is “We really don’t know,” then the lack of documentation actually supports that point of view. But this is a debate technique. As logic, it fails miserably. Are we really not supposed to notice?

    So I guess I would have to agree with Tamino here – because one of the participants tried to win the implied larger argument (we don’t know enough about global warming yet to take action – essentially, FUD) through an appeal to emotion (be afraid of taking action before we “know enough”) using flawed logic, people who make decisions based more on emotion than logic are going to listen to the argument that appeals to their habitual way of dealing with the world. The stalemate continues, and the danger increases.

    So how does this dialogue with invited “skeptics” move the debate forward? It doesn’t. It does exactly what those who clamor for this approach want it to do: by equating logical arguments with emotional ones, it postpones action, so that the richest corporations that have ever existed can continue to profit from their vast investments, to the detriment of all life on earth.

  37. 87
    CM says:

    I share the apprehension of many (most?) commenters here over adding to false balance. However, I think a forum for reasoned public discussion between mainstream and contrarian scientists could be a nice addition to the climate blogosphere. It won’t resolve anything, but it could help to hold bad work and unsupported soundbites up to scrutiny.

    It’s not clear to what target audience it’s supposed to communicate the science. As a very interested layman, though, I learned new, useful things from Meier’s helpful laying out of the argument. Curry didn’t rise to the occasion, and I’m not going to go sift her four blog posts for the supposed evidence and references that she couldn’t be bothered to repeat. I realize the project depends on the voluntary participation of very busy people, but if it doesn’t hold contributions to a higher standard than Curry’s, it will fail.

    Potentially a nice project, then, but judging by your account of how it came about, it was initiated by the Dutch parliament and government for wrongheaded reasons. IPCC authors represent a range of views anyway. A bunch of denialists signed up as reviwers, and failed to spot e.g. the Himalaya error. Seating more of them around the table will not improve accuracy, but only give impetus and legitimacy to a political campaign against inconvenient science, and add more bogus objections for IPCC authors to respond to instead of checking their own work.

    Having said that, of the things the IPCC has trouble getting right, the under-predicted Arctic sea ice loss was certainly an appropriate choice for the first post!

  38. 88
    Nick Palmer says:

    I very much like the idea of this climate dialogue forum. Concern has been expressed about the “balanced” nature of the participants possibly biasing public perceptions of the relative numbers, and strength of arguments on each “side”.

    How about, stated at the beginning of each discussion, having the lead participants come up with a list of prominent scientists whose work supports their contentions. Thus, for example, if the topic was on sensitivity, Lindzen might list Spencer and Christy and then start to struggle a bit – whereas Gavin Schmidt might be spoilt for choice…

    Worth considering?

  39. 89
    Martin Vermeer says:

    FUD

  40. 90
    Nick Palmer says:

    Further to my last post, the general format of the roll of honour on any particular topic would be numbers of “warmists”, numbers of “lukewarmers” and numbers of “it’s something else, so CO2 won’t affect the climate” types.

  41. 91
    dhogaza says:

    PAber:

    I would advise to invite th sceptics (deniers, if you prefer) INTO YOUR RESEARCH teams. Write to Antony Watts…

    Anthony Watts shows no sign of even having passed grade school algebra, given the basic arithmetic errors he has made (“changing baseline changes trend”, etc).

    What would you expect him to do on a research team? Make the team’s morning coffee? Put up a website for them?

    We’ve already seen what happens when a research team reaches out to him, i.e. BEST. He decided BEST was great until BEST came up with answers Anthony didn’t like, then BEST was awful, a travesty, screwed up, the scientists had never been skeptics after all, blah blah blah.

    The rest of the list similarly insists that research is only valid if it matches their preconceived desired results.

    That’s not how science works. And your suggestion that a consensus on climate science exists only because of grant-seeking and a broken peer-review process is insulting to scientists. Insulting and wrong.

  42. 92
    Didactylos says:

    This thread seems a lot shorter than it was yesterday.

    And I see nobody suggesting how the new site can find reputable, informed sceptics with expertise in a specific field capable of debating these topics on an equal footing with real scientists. Such people exist, of course. But they can be numbered on one hand, and do not include people like Judith Curry*.

    * Except perhaps in her very narrow field – but definitely not in the vast array of subjects she has pronounced upon.

  43. 93

    I agree with Gavin’s comment in #23 ” Actually this statement is meaningless.” as the most serious reason why Curry’s opinion should be downgraded as mere speculation from a non expert. An expert would not put meaningless statements unless there is significant lack of knowledge on the subject in question. It is not a serious dialogue when fibs and fairy tales are presented at the basic premise. Now people will be dealing with the this nonsense presented, reducing the chance of achieving a better debate, passing a great deal of effort dealing with errors, in the end after all said and done, leaving this forum more confused and puzzled, exactly the contrairian goal. Therefore I support Tamino’s comment that this effort has failed from the get go, unless
    an expert can be recognized as fibbing, and therefore be removed from the debate unless a retraction is done.
    The other experts are very polite and kind and this has been a great weakness when dealing with people not so inclined.

  44. 94
    Dikran Marsupial says:

    @Didactylos one way would be to focus the discussion on a paper that had appeared in the peer reviewed litterature and had resulted in a peer-reviewed comment from the opposing view. The authors of the paper and of the comment provide a source of experts from each side, and the fact that there was a comment paper suggests it is a question where there is some controvery worth discussing. There are plenty of such papers around.

  45. 95
    Dan H. says:

    PAber,
    I tend to agree. The basic tenet of science, is a search for the truth. Any theory that does not pass this test, will be discarded. Any theory that needs revising, will be revised. And any theory that stands its ground will be accepted. Invite tham all, and see what passes.

  46. 96
    cRR Kampen says:

    Re comment 60 and Jim’s response, I would like to repeat that question by SecularAnimist, because it does not beg but positively shriek for an answer:

    With all due respect — give it a chance to what?

    /cRR

    [Response:With all due respect, if I have to try to explain that to you, it's not likely that you're going to accept it anyway--I've already tried upthread. Go to their site and read is all I can tell you.--Jim]

  47. 97
    Lynn Vincentnathan says:

    I think the debate should NOT between non-skeptical and skeptical scientists (the first group saying we need .05 on the null or 95% confidence before making a claim, and those saying we need .01 even .001 (or 99%, 99.9% confidence), or some even saying we need 101% confidence to establish that ACC is happening.

    I think the debate should be between the scientists striving to avoid the FALSE POSITIVE (requiring 95% confidence that ACC is happening before they make a claim…..the 1st of such claims coming in 1995) and environmentalist, people living on planet earth, and policy-makers who want to avoid the FALSE NEGATIVE of failing to address a very serious, life-threatening (perhaps all life-threatening) catastrophe.

    Or, better yet, let’s just get beyond the debate and solve the problem :)

  48. 98

    Dear all,

    It is very interesting to read the discussion here on our initiative. Later tomorrow I will try to comment on several topics raised but for now, I have two questions for you:
    - Since it is indeed difficult to find qualified ‘skeptic’ scientists (or scientists that are among the most critical ones) I would like to know who you think we should invite to take part in the discussions on our site. The next topic will be on Sea Level Rise: who would you suggest?
    - Is it OK, in general to copy the scientific parts of your comments to the comment thread on our site? I think you raise important issues that should be picked up in our discussion.

    Thanks in advance

  49. 99
    SecularAnimist says:

    Jim replied to sidd (#73): “You said: ‘…it will achieve nothing but delay on mitigation efforts, as it is designed to.’ Perhaps you can explain to us all what other possible meaning ‘as it is designed to’ might have?”

    According to the article, the overblown and trumped-up controversy over inconsequential “errors” in AR4 led to “a debate in the Dutch Parliament about the reliability of climate science in general … Parliament asked the Dutch government ‘to also involve climate skeptics in future studies on climate change’.”

    In short, absolutely baseless attacks on “the reliability of climate science in general” led to a political mandate to include so-called “skeptics” in “future studies on climate change”.

    If that’s not a prima facie case that this “dialogue” with “skeptics” results from political interference with the conduct of science that was designed to undermine the scientific case for prompt and urgent mitigation efforts, I don’t know what is.

    If US Senator James Inhofe managed to push through a similar mandate requiring US scientists to include pseudo-skeptics in “future studies on climate change”, would you not consider that the purpose of such interference was to delay mitigation efforts?

  50. 100
    Pete Dunkelberg says:

    > Or, better yet, let’s just get beyond the debate and solve the problem

    + 10


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