24 October 2010

What Little Has Been Learned

Almost a year has passed since the release of the East Anglia emails.  And despite all that has happened, there are some repeated indications that the climate science community just doesn't get it.  One example can be found in Michael Lemonick's apologia delivered in response to criticisms from climate scientists aghast that he would give the "crank" Judy Curry a forum in Scientific American.  Curry is a professor at Georgia Tech, and a widely published and well-respected atmospheric scientist (at least in most circles). 

Lemonick includes a section in his blog post titled "Is it Irresponsible to Discuss Curry's Views?" and he writes:
Some people see Curry as a whistleblower; others (including many climate scientists) think she’s a bit of a crank. . .

Simply by giving Judith Curry’s views a respectful airing, I’ve already drawn accusations of being irresponsible — and it’s valid to raise the question of whether giving her any sort of platform is a bad idea.
Lemonick makes clear in his blog post that he doesn't think much of Curry's views and that he sides with her critics.  But at the same time he offers some subtle but good advice to the climate scientists who have been apparently lobbying him behind-the-scenes:
I also argue, as you’ll see in Scientific American, that the vehement reaction of climate scientists, while perfectly understandable, might be akin to the violent reaction of the human immune system to some bacteria and viruses — a reaction that’s sometimes more damaging than the original microbe.
What are these guys so afraid of that they continue to seek to stage manage public debates?  Lemonick doesn't name names and I am not aware of any climate scientists who have gone public calling for the silencing of Judy Curry.  So far that action is all behind-the-scenes.  Have these guys learned nothing?  It seems that way.

Curry blogs here.  You can judge for yourself if her views are irresponsible or should be silenced. 


  1. Is this reaction a reflection of the academic environment. I have had experience coordinating multiple academic projects to contribute to the objectives of a sponsoring organization. Each group is in competition with the other for funding, tenure and stature. They are loath to cooperate even in the most trivial of matters. To suggest that the students should talk to each other is considered as heresy.

    That being said, I have seen programs in which this has succeeded. However this success was created by a dynamic and decisive leader. other programs degenerated into "professors' clubs" which served the individual purposes of the professors but produced little to no useful output.

    So is the problem is not the professors since they are what professors are. It is the strcuttre of eh IPCC which does not provide the necessary leadership to create the conditions for a useful output. That the professors in the IPCC have created in groups who try to stifle contrary views is in my experience not surprising. What is surprising is that this condition is tolerated and the unsatisfactory output has been accepted for so many years.

    Perhaps some groups should be allowed to "flunk out" of the IPCC to encourage the others.

  2. Lemonick's posts appear to side so much with the climate apocalypticist community that my jaw dropped when he identified himself as a journalist.

    Professor Curry's heresy looks to be that of having gone from AGW to discussion and engagement with critics rather than stonewalling and eye-rolling.

  3. "Lemonick's posts appear to side so much with the climate apocalypticist community that my jaw dropped when he identified himself as a journalist."

    Lemonick isn't a journalist, he is a cypher for a German mega corporation that owns both Scientific American and Nature. I think we can assume he is told what to write by megacorp management. Either that or every corporate journalist on earth is part of an alien single consciousness organism.

    These climate scientists' salaries are paid from grants. If they don't lie about their climate models, they wouldn't get any more grants. That isn't science in the way Newton understood science, it's hustling.

    Dude, we gave you three zillion dollars to create that computer model. Does it do what we asked it to ?

    Sure man, we are all going to die. Yesterday.


    "At our request, Scientific American has brought this story outside of the magazine’s paywall. Anyone can read it, and make their own judgment. "

    They are trying to save the foolish, selfish and self destructive human race from itself. So noble.

  4. The most unsettling passage of the Scientific American article (below) is the reference to an obligation to subordinate personal judgement to the IPCC. Is this a common position in the climate sciences?

    “Not to say that the IPCC science was wrong, but I no longer felt obligated in substituting the IPCC for my own personal judgment,” she said in a recent interview posted on the Collide-a-Scape climate blog.

  5. Roger wrote:

    "So far that action is all behind-the-scenes. Have these guys learned nothing? It seems that way."

    Quite so, at least from where I'm sitting! It's almost as though "the in-crowd" has been working from the same playbook they've been using for so long (in order to delegitimize any who have the temerity to diverge from the party-line).

    This playbook has worked so remarkably well for them for so many years, that they cannot conceive of the possibility that it might have outlived its usefulness - and, not unlike that atrocious 10:10 video, it's now backfiring on them, BIGTIME!

    In some ways their response is not unlike that of those in so many sectors whose resistance to change and progress is expressed as, "But we've always done it this way".

    But, slightly O/T, and speaking of outliving usefulness ... the events in Tianjin, Busan and now Nagoya (all under the auspices of the UNEP) suggest to me that perhaps there's some sibling (IPCC vs IPBES, the new kid on the scaremongering block) rivalry afoot.

    Is it possible that CO2->"dangerous climate change" is about to be superceded by "unprecedented biodiversity loss compounded by climate change"? ... This new "scare" comes with its very own "tipping points" and "mechanisms" such as "biodiversity offsets or other schemes to mitigate and/or compensate...". Not to mention TEEB ("inspired by" the Stern Report), potentially a multi-volume "new testament" for the Climate Bible.

    I've written about these developments in three recent posts, and would be interested in knowing how others might view them:




  6. dljvjbsl
    The IPCC is a political organisation, it's got no role whatsoever in producing an open debate, just the opposite.
    Take away the bogeyman of CAGW caused by human CO2 output and there's a lot of Governments left trying to explain to their electorate, why punitive taxes should be levelled on coal, oil, etc and billions spent on various "Mitigation Strategies".
    The few scientists who raise doubts about the major role of CO2 in the atmosphere, who can have the label "Climatologist" applied to them, are a major threat to the process, as their views can't be dismissed out of hand.
    Thus they must be marginalised, vilified and silenced.

  7. Two questions: Who's Michael Lemonick? And why does his opinion matter?

  8. In the C-a-s comments, I remarked on this puzzling statement by Mr Lemonick --

    “What I found out is that when [Curry] does raise valid points, they’re often points the climate-science community already agrees with..."

    After reading gleeful "jumped the shark" catcalls on pro-Consensus blogs and the testy exchanges between Drs. Curry and Schmidt, I don't know what Lemonick is getting at. My guess is that he doesn’t know what he means, either.

  9. "So far that action is all behind-the-scenes."

    When do you think the nefarious buggers will show their hand?

  10. -9-bigcitylib

    At least one has at c-a-s ;-)

  11. Dear Dr Pielke Jr,

    Lemonick's public revelation that some see JC as a "crank" is extremely uncharitable.

    Dr C has only pointed criticism for the IPCC and the decade long close-minded behaviour on exhibit via the emails.

    No one group or a scientist should feel any special affinity for the IPCC or the consensus that they should reflexivly spring to its defense everytime someone points out something obvious. Dr C's approach is constructive, but the climate science community cannot digest even this miniscule amounts of criticism? This is unbelievable.

    It is perhaps understandable that scientists will turn against anyone who will say hurtful things about them, but it is quite another thing to spring to the defense of the IPCC as though it were a very embodiment of climate scientific enterprise. It is not.

    It is fair and rational to expect that the harshest criticism of the IPCC come from within the community.

  12. I suspect another has at Judy's blog. Gavinesque offensive defence of RC, belligerence and condescension. Goes by the name "Michael". Could be wrong, of course...

  13. Oh my! You mean someone has made nasty comments about her ON A BLOG! Stalinism must be just around the corner.

  14. A better comparison than an immunal response to that of the climate science establishment to Drs. Curry, Pielke, Sr., Lindzen, Spencer, etc. etc. would be to think of the college of Cardinals to Martin Luther.
    By the way, reading your book it is interesting that you end up having to cite so many intances where AGW promoters rationalize misleading people by using the end justifies the means argument.

  15. Oh my! You mean someone has made nasty comments about her ON A BLOG! Stalinism must be just around the corner.

    Snarky comments on blogs are unfortunately quite common.

  16. And BCL is one of the "masters" of this form...


  17. Actually the final straw was when Dr. Curry told the RC crowd and Gavin they should read Andrew Montfords "Hockey Stick Illusion" for themselves and make up their own minds instead of the warped ramblings of Grant Foster aka Tammino . See comments #168 and 185 here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/07/the-montford-delusion/comment-page-4/#comments

    You can also skim through the crud if you like but that basically sums it up and caused the alarmists to brand her a heretic. Also see this article here: