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10 years on

Filed under: — gavin @ 17 November 2019

I woke up on Tuesday, 17 Nov 2009 completely unaware of what was about to unfold. I tried to log in to RealClimate, but for some reason my login did not work. Neither did the admin login. I logged in to the back-end via ssh, only to be inexplicably logged out again. I did it again. No dice. I then called the hosting company and told them to take us offline until I could see what was going on. When I did get control back from the hacker (and hacker it was), there was a large uploaded file on our server, and a draft post ready to go announcing the theft of the CRU emails. And so it began.

From “One year later”, 2010.

Many people are weighing in on the 10 year anniversary of ‘Climategate’ – the Observer, a documentary on BBC4 (where I was interviewed), Mike at Newsweek – but I’ve struggled to think of something actually interesting to say.

It’s hard because even in ten years almost everything and yet nothing has changed. The social media landscape has changed beyond recognition but yet the fever swamps of dueling blogs and comment threads has just been replaced by troll farms and noise-generating disinformation machines on Facebook and Twitter. The nominally serious ‘issues’ touched on by the email theft – how robust are estimates of global temperature over the instrumental period, what does the proxy record show etc. – have all been settled in favor of the mainstream by scientists plodding along in normal science mode, incrementally improving the analyses, and yet they are still the most repeated denier talking points.

Sure, there has been some change in community awareness of how email can be weaponised, and consequently a greater separation (thankfully) between official email and more casual fare. There are better support networks for scientists caught in the “firehose of shit” than there used to be (CSLDF!). There is surely less naivety about how politicised climate science can become. But the drive of right-wing ‘think-tanks’ like CEI and the American Tradition Institute, to FOIA their way to more email-related scandal has run aground – the political appetite for more ‘revelations’ of scientists doing science and being human has apparently evaporated. Meanwhile the hacks involved have resorted to suing each other over whose hands should be in the dark money cookie jar.

There are still folks insisting that the ’emails speak for themselves’ without ever being able to articulate what they say without getting the context or timing or people totally wrong (see here for a typical recent example of absolutely certainty coupled with almost total ignorance). This is an indication that for some, ‘climategate’ has simply become a banner to be waved around on the battlefield to encourage the troops. Obviously, that has nothing to do with science, or scientific practice.

The bigger changes over the last 10 years have nothing to do with ‘issues’ in climate science either. The ‘facts on the ground’ have shifted dramatically. The warmest years on record, increasing influences of climate change on wildfires, hurricane intensity, heat waves, coastal flooding, coral bleaching, etc. have meant that outright denial of science isn’t as marketable any more as the wider conversation has moved to solutions. The issues associated with how we actually reduce emissions involve mostly a different group of people, with different (and diverse) expertise and controversies that revolve far more around theories of political change and questions of equity, than they do arcane issues in paleo-climate or weather station homogenization. Some people will continue to obsess of two-decade-old minutae which even at the time were obscure and irrelevant, but now I don’t see why anyone sane would want to even bother.

As I said more than a decade ago, no political decisions have ever been made based on 15th Century trees – not even in the 15th Century. The development of the politics of climate over the last 10 years simply underlines that.

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85 Responses to “10 years on”

  1. 51
    nigelj says:

    Titus says “Agree context needed for understanding. What was the context behind Jones telling the team to delete emails?”

    Probably knowing a huge horde of denialists will take things out of context, and selectively quote things, and cause climate scientists a headache and waste their time. You have to remember we are dealing with denialists determined to be stupid for the sake of their twisted crank science, and / or their political motives.

  2. 52
    Mal Adapted says:

    Titus:

    Agree context needed for understanding. What was the context behind Jones telling the team to delete emails?

    For those who haven’t seen Titus’s occasional comments on RC in the past ten years, here he is in 2010:

    These sorts of discussions are great and healthy for science to thrash out; however, they show that the science is still in very early stages of development and understanding. Add to this the constant media drip of scary scenario’s and politicians using it to raise taxes, and increase control, IMO, this is where the public starts to loose faith.

    and 2011:

    Of course climate changes (by its very nature) but linking current trends to AGW appears very tenuous (even by your research) and bearing in mind the uncertainties and the media and political need for the correlation to stick, its very dangerous ground to attribute anything. We just do not know.

    And a couple of months later:

    I live in a chaotic place where we don’t know doodly squat about anything, Every time we look we just unearth another can of worms. Cause and effect is nice but we don’t understand the basics. Just a pile of unproven theories based upon other unproven theory upon theory.

    IMHO Titus makes the over-pluralization error, as what he knows of climate science may be uniquely doodly-squat. Scientific culture is evidently alien to him, otherwise he wouldn’t be surprised by Jones’s reaction to McIntyre’s bad-faith FOIA crusade. His fear that politicians will use AGW to raise taxes and his expectation of “professional” behavior from Jones and colleagues, but not from McIntyre, mark Titus as a partisan culture warrior; while his failure to recognize that some scientists know more than doodly squat about climate even if he doesn’t, is diagnostic for the Dunning-Kruger effect. One suspects arguing with him will be unproductive.

  3. 53
    Romain says:

    JCH, and Kevin McKinney:

    “The paper is about a reconstruction of the NH temperature. It’s not about proxies. Want to read about divergence problems with proxies, read a scientific paper about divergence problems with proxies.”

    I don’t understand this. What is the reconstruction of NH temperature about, if it is not proxies? How do you reconstruct without proxies? That is all what we have…

  4. 54
    jgnfld says:

    “You have to remember we are dealing with denialists determined to be stupid for the sake of their twisted crank science, and / or their political motives.”

    If only that were true. But it’s not. What we are actually dealing with is concentrated wealth using quite successful (in the short run) business models to extract even greater amounts.

    Just as in the case of tobacco, they will not change these models without a huge, decades long fight. They are too short term alluring. And they will use every lever possible to maintain those money flows. Mobilizing cranks is only a small
    part of the whole effort. And cranks are nowhere near the root of the problems we face.

    I still remember arguments to the effect that reducing tobacco would “devastate the economies” of tobacco states. Sound familiar?

  5. 55
    Roly says:

    As the documentary highlighted, the last word should be given to the Koch brothers (now just one – as Tolstoy said “Everything ends in death, everything.”) and their Berkeley Earth hockey stick….indistinguishable from that of Michael Mann http://berkeleyearth.org/summary-of-findings/

  6. 56
    b fagan says:

    #5 Robert Bradley says: Why not mention Judith Curry’s take?

    OK.

    She says: “On the ‘skeptics’ side, there is a general paucity of younger scientists, with the center of mass being scientists in their 60’s and 70’s (and even older).”

    Seems these older scientists aren’t convincing anyone. Who would want to be in their labs? The fellows at UAH have bemoaned the same problem of attracting people to continue their work. They don’t seem to reflect that their track record isn’t inspiring.

    JC goes on: “On the ‘alarmed’ side, there is a steady stream of younger scientists fueled by propaganda in K-12 and hiring practices and professional rewards in the universities.”

    So someone who quotes Delingpole, “the pause”, and other nonsense feels that it’s the young scientists flocking to productive labs who are the ones zombified by propaganda since kindergarten.

    She quotes Delingpole’s misstatement on the cause of an Australian blackout as if it were true, promotes the typical deniers, massively overstates the role of actual climate scientists in the policy suggestions that are made by POLITICIANS. And for someone with a career in uncertainty, she’s somehow so darned certain that cleaning up our energy systems will spread ruin.

    Then she tries to pretend that it isn’t her frequent, unscientific activism, and her promotion of unsubstantiated doubts about the energy transformation [not her subject] and lack of exciting, groundbreaking work that makes her less than appealing for people wanting to study the science:

    “I’ve exchanged academic advancement that now seems to be of dubious advantage to me for a much more interesting and influential existence that that feels right in terms of my personal and scientific integrity.”

    It’s uncertain in what field she could have advanced scientifically at the point after getting to where she even left out mention of her own work in presentations to Congress because it didn’t match the goals of those that invited her.

    How does someone gain “academic advancement” when she was happy to contradict a paper she was second author on, in Congressional testimony, the better to pretend warming couldn’t explain the then-current increase in Antarctic winter sea ice? Eli covered that. https://rabett.blogspot.com/2014/01/curry-vs-curry.html

    But now she feels comfortable being “influential” to people who share her views of scientific integrity. And like Spencer, she blames young scientists lack of interest in joining their side on propaganda.

  7. 57
    Karsten V. Johansen says:

    As long as around 17,5 pct. of the votes of the american electorate suffices to get a majority there etc., i.e. as long as the antiparliamentarian US constitution belongs in the beginning of the 19th century, making the Senate a kind of aging soviet polit bureau for the global oiligarchs at Wall Street, and the owners of the socalled “social” media a kind of upcoming new roman Caesars, things will change only further towards hell on earth.

    “The international agency that regulates global telecommunications agreed to new radio-frequency standards on 21 November. Meteorologists say the long-awaited decision threatens the future of weather forecasting worldwide by allowing transmissions from mobile-phone networks to degrade the quality of Earth observations from space.

    Wireless companies are beginning to roll out their next-generation networks, known as 5G, around the world. The new agreement is meant to designate the radio frequencies over which 5G equipment can transmit. But some of the frequencies come perilously close to those used by satellites to gather crucial weather and climate data.”

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03609-x?

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/11/08/the-real-constitutional-crisis-the-constitution/

    “As the House holds hearings to impeach Trump for “abuse of power,” Pelosi just rushed through an extension of the Patriot Act, giving that very same president vast, unchecked powers to spy on American citizens. This makes sense only in Washington…”

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/11/22/roaming-charges-high-nunes-on-capitol-hill/

    “It appeared as if the whole world was one elaborate system, opposed to justice and kindness, and set to making cruelty and pain” (Upton Sinclair).

  8. 58

    I must echo the frustrations of other commenters; I can’t view comments newer than 11/24, even though they’ve been showing up in the Index for a couple of days now. Like other commenters who have weighed in, this is true across multiple devices. And unlike past episodes, I’ve so far been unable to find a work-around.

  9. 59

    “The paper is about a reconstruction of the NH temperature. It’s not about proxies. Want to read about divergence problems with proxies, read a scientific paper about divergence problems with proxies.”

    I don’t understand this. What is the reconstruction of NH temperature about, if it is not proxies? How do you reconstruct without proxies? That is all what we have…

  10. 60
    Charly says:

    So, it is 10 years. How bad has the weather got since then? Personally, during this time I have traveled all around the world and climate change (AGW?) always happened next door, never where I landed. Meanwhile a kid savior rose to show us the way. It gets boring.

  11. 61
    Al Bundy says:

    Mal Adapted on Titus: One suspects arguing with him will be unproductive.

    AB: Depends on your definition of “productive”. Sparring with a self-made moron can be both entertaining and addictive.

  12. 62
    Ray Ladbury says:

    For those having trouble with the concept that the Hockeystick paper was not about proxies, but about reconstructions:

    Do you think Moby Dick was a story about whales? One can use a tool without the entire work being solely about that tool. As to the decision to omit the portion of the reconstruction where the bristlecone estimates turn downward, the explanation of CO2 fertilization is quite plausible. We know bristlecones show this phenomenon. It explains the phenomenon. And the reconstruction is irrelevant BECAUSE WE HAVE INSTRUMENTAL MEASUREMENTS.

    The papers that were about this reconstruction technique had already mentioned this issue, and only complete morons were troubled by it.

  13. 63

    Charly,

    You might want to learn the difference between anecdotal evidence and scientific evidence. And the difference between weather and climate.

  14. 64
    Mal Adapted says:

    Charly:

    So, it is 10 years. How bad has the weather got since then?

    Have I got a document for you: Global Climate in 2015-2019, published by the World Meteorological Organization. The short take is in the sub-title of the press release for the report: “Climate change accelerates”.

    Charly:

    Personally, during this time I have traveled all around the world and climate change (AGW?) always happened next door, never where I landed.


    Barton Paul Levenson:

    You might want to learn the difference between anecdotal evidence and scientific evidence. And the difference between weather and climate.

    Ditto BPL. Any fool can come up with an anecdote. Science, OTOH, is a way of trying really hard not to fool yourself. Perhaps you should give it a try! In case you’ve missed it, climate is average weather. We know climate is changing because weather statistics are changing. You just haven’t landed in any of the multiple locations where record-breaking extreme weather is costing people their homes, livelihoods and lives: see the WMO report.

    And one more time, for cryin’ out loud: both “anthropogenic global warming” and “climate change” are correct in appropriate contexts. Each is used by climate scientists without intent to mislead. Even more correctly, it’s “climate change due to anthropogenic global warming”. It works out in the physics.

  15. 65
    CCHolley says:

    Charly @60

    So, it is 10 years. How bad has the weather got since then? Personally, during this time I have traveled all around the world and climate change (AGW?) always happened next door, never where I landed. Meanwhile a kid savior rose to show us the way. It gets boring.

    It only gets boring for those who lack scientific and intellectual curiosity and therefore are unwilling to make the effort to actually study what is really occurring. Better to hide behind ignorance and believe nothing is happening so we can keep justifying the status quo.

  16. 66
    Al Bundy says:

    BPL: Charly, You might want to learn

    AB: There’s a greater chance that I’ll win the lottery tomorrow by finding the winning ticket blowing across my path. As Tamino says, “He’s proud to be stupid”. And then there’s my take: “He’s a self-made moron”.

  17. 67
    Peter T says:

    Charly might like to take a trip to eastern Australia. The locals will be only too keen to tell him about climate change. I would recommend, for his own safety, that he not flash his “scepticism” in public.

  18. 68
    Romain says:

    Ray,

    “One can use a tool without the entire work being solely about that tool”

    Ok but in our case, the proxies are not “a” tool, it is “the” tool. What other tool can you use to reconstruct the past?
    Or more precisely what other tool did Mann use?

  19. 69
    CCHolley says:

    Romain @68

    What other tool can you use to reconstruct the past?

    Apparently you did not read my post 43. There are numerous other temperature proxies all of which confirm Mann’s conclusions. In fact, there are close to forty peer reviewed papers using multiple proxies and methodologies that confirm Mann. Even if Mann’s work were suspect (it is not), questioning Mann is moot. It is a red herring. Is it that difficult for you to do some basic research? There are text books written on the subject of temperature proxies. One was noted in my previous post.

  20. 70
    Al Bundy says:

    CCHolley,

    You and Romain are both right. Paraphrasing… He asked, “What is it besides a proxy that can inform past temperatures where thermometer records aren’t available?” You responded, “Many proxies”.

    I don’t see a conflict.

  21. 71
    Mal Adapted says:

    Karsten V. Johansen:

    As long as around 17,5 pct. of the votes of the american electorate suffices to get a majority there etc., i.e. as long as the antiparliamentarian US constitution belongs in the beginning of the 19th century, making the Senate a kind of aging soviet polit bureau for the global oiligarchs at Wall Street, and the owners of the socalled “social” media a kind of upcoming new roman Caesars, things will change only further towards hell on earth.

    Speaking as an American voter: ouch. I can’t say you’re wrong, but what hopes I have for capping AGW short of a final tipping point, presently rely on around 17.5% plus one of us. Our non-parliamentarian Constitution allows collective decisions to be made by a plurality, which can be less than a majority as you observe. A governing plurality need only be large enough to overcome impediments like the Electoral College and partisan gerrymandering. That is, our system is sensitive to relatively small margins of votes in key districts.

    Every nominally democratic society has its plutocrats. Ours, in possession of dismayingly vast resources, nonetheless tend to concentrate them on likely voters in critical places, as they did in 2016. US climate realists, OTOH, were caught with our pants down, complacent with our numbers among eligible voters nationwide. As we saw, a few thousand votes more or less, in a couple of states, could have given us a POTUS who publicly accepts the consensus of climate science: imagine that! In our national numbers game, any short-term, marginal advantage is IMHO worth the effort. We can’t match the resources of the Koch club, but what we have should be focused on motivating enough of those who stayed home last time, to just go to the freakin’ polls next year!

    Meanwhile, majur meejah is improving its coverage of AGW, including the connection with increasingly dramatic weather over the past five years. Unanticipated global cultural phenomena like Greta Thunberg, emerging along with technological developments permitting her to bypass traditional mass media altogether, also appear meliorative. I’ll cling to my hope for at least slowing the onset of hell on earth while I’m alive, thank you.

  22. 72
    Titus says:

    Mal Adapted @52

    I must have had an impact on you to remember my comments nearly 10yrs on. Wow, that’s made my day:). Thks.

    It was the release of the emails that actually confirmed my denial status. At the time I was working for a large CA company setting up an Executive Environmental Management Committee. Needed to be at least aware of the data which I had to present/work with. The objective was to ensure we maintained the subsidies from the CA government/taxpayer for reducing emissions from the expanding IT operation. We achieved our goal through deceitful scamming which left a bad taste with me. The company was okay with this as everybody was doing it and my project was actually used by other companies as a blueprint.

    Climategate and this project were the turning point for me. I see this repeated in many of my colleagues who agree in conversation but not in work or polite company.

    Thks again Mal. Look forward to you reposting this comment in 10yrs time:)

  23. 73
    JCH says:

    Say I made three table legs with a chisel and a string-operated lathe. Then the string breaks. I go a modern tool store and they no longer sell strings for string operated lathes, so I buy an electric lathe and a set of sharp lathe tools and go home and make the fourth leg.

    It’s a deceptive table because I didn’t tell you the string broke? Are you nuts?

  24. 74
    Mal Adapted says:

    Titus:

    I must have had an impact on you to remember my comments nearly 10yrs on. Wow, that’s made my day:). Thks.

    Don’t flatter yourself 8^|. I’ve been following RC since 2008. Your brand of denialism caught my early attention for its superficially “reasonable” tone, with your cognitive biases breaking through only occasionally. And in case you haven’t figured it out yet, the Internet never forgets. You can look yourself up the same way I did.

    Screw tone. Your unfounded suspicion of the collective intentions of climate scientists notwithstanding, anyone with a highschool science class or two can confirm AGW from a few key facts, by a simple working out of basic physics. The next analytic step is tougher for ostensibly “conservative” volunteer deniers: if you recognize the class of economic problems labeled the Tragedy of the Commons, you’ll acknowledge that your experience in the profit sector actually supports the case for collective intervention in the ‘free’ market, which otherwise socializes the marginal climate-change cost of fossil fuels out of their price.

    Believe it or not, politicians everywhere are highly sensitive to the political risks of raising government revenues. Nonetheless, your private reluctance to give anyone your money is the very reason the right kind of carbon tax can effectively reduce CO2 emissions. The Devil, as always, is in the details. Earlier this year a bipartisan group of leading “market-oriented” economists published a letter in the Wall Street Journal (paywalled), calling a revenue-neutral US carbon fee and dividend with border adjustment tariff “not controversial” according to the Washington Post. Note: “revenue neutral” means the gubmint don’t git none, and “dividend” means you’ll make money as long as you use less fossil fuel than the national average! Once a CF&D/BAT is in place, good old private thrift and the profit motive will build out the US and eventually global carbon-neutral economies with alacrity. If that seems unreasonable to you, argue with the bill in the US House, not me. Now is the time to call your own Congresscritter with your input. It’s their job to be polite to you.

  25. 75
    Al Bundy says:

    Mal Adapted: Our non-parliamentarian Constitution allows collective decisions to be made by a plurality, which can be less than a majority as you observe. A governing plurality need only be large enough to overcome impediments like the Electoral College and partisan gerrymandering.

    AB: You’re forgetting about the Senate. Couple the 2/3 rule with the vast inflation of rural voters’ voting rights as compared to urban voters’ rights (aka small states over large states) and it takes perhaps a, I dunno, a 75% ultra-landslide to get anything progressive done. Get 50.1% of the vote in the smallest 17 states and you can block just about anything, especially if your goal is to destroy the government. Note that that means that deficits become grand because they both weaken the beast and allow one to scream about the need to cut non-military spending.

    And not just the government. Many of the GOPpers’ goal is to destroy the biosphere, too (or at least said destruction isn’t a “problem”). Revelations demands it and what God-fearing GOPper doesn’t want to experience the Rapture ASAP? Validation and meeting God while bypassing death. Sweet, eh?

  26. 76
    nigelj says:

    Titus @72, so because your company ripped off the government over carbon credits, you assume all companies rip off the government. This is a huge step too far. As to climategate, much ado about nothing, no fraud, no smoking guns, no bad science, just scientists frustrated with the sceptics. But despite all this you keep on believing what you want to believe. Why?

  27. 77
    Ray Ladbury says:

    And the sole adversary in Moby Dick was the whale. That doesn’t make Moby Dick about whales!

    The sole tool used in the construction of an IKEA bookcase may be an Allen wrench. That doesn’t make the bookcase a tool chest. The subject of Mann’s original paper was temperature reconstructions using MULTIPLE data sources AND the modern historic record. It was not about any of these sources. It was about temperature reconstruction.

  28. 78

    Romain, #53–

    What is the reconstruction of NH temperature about, if it is not proxies? How do you reconstruct without proxies? That is all what we have…

    Of course the reconstruction *used* proxies, and of course it talks, some, about them. No-one intends to imply otherwise. But the paper is not *about* the proxies used as a tool; it’s primarily about the results achieved by the use of that tool. It’s a matter of focus.

    This may sound like a small thing, but it’s not, because frequently it is necessary, in order to understand a given paper, to understand a whole ensemble of related, previous papers. Scholars *must* be familiar with the relevant literature, because you can’t summarize everything previous every time you reach a new conclusion. Literature reviews in the body of a paper can help, and are not uncommon, but at some point there must be a cut-off, where in effect the researcher gets to say, “OK, everybody knows that, I don’t have to talk about it.”

    Computer users are famously advised to “read the effing manual.” (RTFM) Scientists–and other scholars–must “read the effing literature.”

    Take the case of MBH 1999, which you can find here:

    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/Mann/research/res_pages/ONLINE-PREPRINTS/Millennium/mbh99.pdf

    (It’s a relatively brief paper; really an appendix to the much more substantial 1998 paper. And it’s relatively readable, as such things go.)

    You do in fact find discussion of proxies in the “Data and Methods” section, which is comprised of four paragraphs, the last quite lengthy. That last paragraph discusses the divergence of the problematic series (ITRDB PC#1), and why the authors believe their correction of it to be justified. (Mainly, it’s the CO2 fertilization effect previously described by Greybill and Idso, as I discussed above, and the intercomparison with the “NT series” as well as the instrumental temperature record.)

    But if you really want to understand all the issues with that, you need to go back and read the Greybill and Idso paper, not to mention the original MBH 199*8* paper, which lays out the statistical methods used. They are all properly cited in the references–along with much else, including Lamb’s original “Medieval Warm Period” paper back in 1965.

    The rest of the paper then goes on to discuss the uncertainties associated with extending the reconstruction back to a full millennium, and draws some conclusions.

    It does contain, of course, the famous “hockey stick” graph. The superposed temperature data stand out clearly (it’s plotted in a bright red.) You could criticize the labeling, I guess, since it only says “raw data”. But if you were paying attention at all in reading the paper’s introduction section, you already know that the whole point of this paper, and MBH 1998, is to calibrate the proxies with instrumental temperature records, so you’ll know it means temperature data.

    Hope that helps…

  29. 79
    Mal Adapted says:

    Al Bundy:

    AB: You’re forgetting about the Senate.

    No, I know the Senate is a particularly severe impediment at this juncture. I dare to hope it’s not insurmountable.

    AB:

    And not just the government. Many of the GOPpers’ goal is to destroy the biosphere, too (or at least said destruction isn’t a “problem”).

    Yep, the ruling party’s official AGW-denial is still sustained by an electoral plurality of actual voters, though admittedly there may be reasonable doubts about that. Thankfully, evidence the last presidential election was stolen isn’t being ignored. Assuming the vote counts were accurate, however, they show the people are not like yeast, which rises in a single mass. GOPers whose goal is not to destroy the biosphere, for example Katharine Hayhoe, are making inroads on denial in the party base; while Frank Luntz, having advised party leaders to adopt AGW-denial as a policy plank in the early 2000s, is now urging them to abandon it in the face of growing rejection by younger voters. Building a governing plurality of climate realists will take more than one election cycle, and it ain’t over ’til it’s over. Ultimately though, I place my meager hopes in our implementation of popular sovereignty only because there is virtually no hope otherwise.

  30. 80
    Titus says:

    Mal @74 Your right. Back then I was “reasonable” and came to this site (and others) to help me with the project I mentioned. As I said, I personally reached a tipping point which confirmed my denial status which so far has deepen with time.
    I’m honored that you remembered me and took the trouble to check me out. Obviously made an impression. Thks for mentioning…

    nigelj @51,76 “scientists frustrated with the sceptics”. They were only asking for the data which is supposed to be the way science works. If they can’t handle that they had better give up being scientist. Under the circumstances of committing trillions$ and draconian policies that should be the encouraged and expected norm.

    My two cents….

  31. 81
    Mal Adapted says:

    Titus:

    nigelj @51,76 “scientists frustrated with the sceptics”. They were only asking for the data which is supposed to be the way science works. If they can’t handle that they had better give up being scientist. Under the circumstances of committing trillions$ and draconian policies that should be the encouraged and expected norm.

    I suspect Titus is among the AGW-deniers convinced it’s all a hoax, launched two centuries ago by mysterious parties with ulterior motives and superhuman foresight, and sustained under tight discipline by generations of trained competitive skeptics around the world. If you’re still pretending to be reasonable, Titus, I have three questions for you:

    1) Can there be costs of economic development driven by transferring fossil carbon to the atmosphere, that aren’t included in the market price of fuels?

    2) Does merely acknowledging the scientific case for AGW necessarily entail “committing trillions$ and draconian policies”? You’ll need to disambiguate draconian for us, I’m afraid.

    3) Should your private notions of “the way science works” determine the “encouraged and expected norm”? Let me put it another way: knowing that science is a centuries-long, global collective enterprise by competitively skeptical individuals, with a whole system of internally developed norms, what makes you think they were violated?

    Before responding, please educate yourself at least on the broad range of fallacies you’ve offered us to date. You may find you don’t actually have an argument.

  32. 82
    patrick says:

    #74 Mal Adapted > the…market, which…socializes the marginal climate-change cost of fossil fuels out of their price.

    Nicely put, thank you.

  33. 83

    Fascinating. Now when I click on this “10 years on” thread, and then the “unforced variations” thread, the “recent posts” sidebar toggles between different views–the latter with recent comments by Titus and Mal, and the former having my previous comment here terminating the “10 years” thread.

    Of course, I can’t actually view the Titus and Mal Adapted comments; I can only view their notifications when UV is up. Very weird.

  34. 84

    But never mind; posting that comment seemingly resolved the condition. Or maybe it was just coincidence. At any rate, now I can read those comments.

    Carry on.

  35. 85

    Titus, #80–

    “[Skeptics] were only asking for the data which is supposed to be the way science works.”

    Uh, no. The data is by and large highly available (though it’s true that some of the Hadley data discussed in Climategate was legally encumbered by various national met services.) And since then, data has only become more and more available; I should know; every now and again I download some myself and play with it. Given the file sizes involved, some datasets are pretty cumbersome to handle, and you need the right software and skills to do anything with them. But that’s not the result of some dark conspiracy; that’s just reality at work.

    And no, in my experience, it’s not just data ‘the skeptics’ want. I just spent 4 years in dialog with a self-described skeptic. I listened patiently to all manner of argument and responded in a civil manner, no matter how poorly-founded that argument was. (And some was pretty poorly founded indeed.) But when that person claimed that the instrument data was faked I broke off contact. When denial becomes denial of the data itself, there’s not much point.

    So my fairly extensive experience of “skeptics” is NOT that they want data, or good science, or truth. My experience is that all they really want is for an inconvenient conclusion to go away, no matter what the cost. For most, it’s a deeply emotional thing, as far as I can judge. The hallmark of that is that if you can cut through the repetitive rebunking and the shifting of goalposts–not easy, admittedly–then eventually you get a resort to complete nonsense, or complete fantasy.

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