Thursday, February 25, 2010

Judith, I love ya, but you’re way wrong …

Here is a response to Judith Curry's post On credibility of climate research - towards rebuilding trust by Willis Eschenbach.

.....OK, now what’s wrong with Judith’s picture?

Can The Trust Be Rebuilt?

First, let me say that the problem is much bigger than Judith seems to think. Wiser men than I have weighed in on this question. In a speech at Clinton, Illinois, September 8, 1854, Abraham Lincoln said:

If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. You may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

So it will not be easy. The confidence is forfeit, that ship has sailed.

The biggest problem with Judith’s proposal is her claim that the issue is that climate scientists have not understood how to present their ideas to the public. Judith, I respect you greatly, but you have grabbed the wrong end of the stick. The problem is not how climate scientists have publicly presented their scientific results. It is not a communication problem.

The problem is that 71.3% of what passes as peer reviewed climate science is simply junk science, as false as the percentage cited in this sentence. The lack of trust is not a problem of perception or communication. It is a problem of lack of substance. Results are routinely exaggerated. “Scientific papers” are larded with “may” and “might” and “could possibly”. Advocacy is a common thread in climate science papers. Codes are routinely concealed, data is not archived. A concerted effort is made to marginalize and censor opposing views.

And most disturbing, for years you and the other climate scientists have not said a word about this disgraceful situation. When Michael Mann had to be hauled in front of a congressional committee to force him to follow the simplest of scientific requirements, transparency, you guys were all wailing about how this was a huge insult to him.

An insult to Mann? Get real. Mann is an insult and an embarrassment to climate science, and you, Judith, didn’t say one word in public about that. Not that I’m singling you out. No one else stood up for climate science either. It turned my stomach to see the craven cowering of mainstream climate scientists at that time, bloviating about how it was such a terrible thing to do to poor Mikey. Now Mann has been “exonerated” by one of the most bogus whitewashes in academic history, and where is your outrage, Judith? Where are the climate scientists trying to clean up your messes?

The solution to that is not, as you suggest, to give scientists a wider voice, or educate them in how to present their garbage to a wider audience.

The solution is for you to stop trying to pass off garbage as science. The solution is for you establishment climate scientists to police your own back yard. When Climategate broke, there was widespread outrage … well, widespread everywhere except in the climate science establishment. Other than a few lone voices, the silence there was deafening. Now there is another whitewash investigation, and the silence only deepens.

And you wonder why we don’t trust you? Here’s a clue. Because a whole bunch of you are guilty of egregious and repeated scientific malfeasance, and the rest of you are complicit in the crime by your silence. Your response is to stick your fingers in your ears and cover your eyes.

And you still don’t seem to get it. You approvingly quote Ralph Cicerone about the importance of transparency … Cicerone?? That’s a sick joke.

You think people made the FOI (Freedom of Information) requests because they were concerned that the people who made the datasets were the same people using them in the models. As the person who made the first FOI request to CRU, I assure you that is not true. I made the request to CRU because I was disgusted with the response of mainstream climate scientists to Phil Jone’s reply to Warwick Hughes. When Warwick made a simple scientific request for data, Jones famously said:
Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?
When I heard that, I was astounded. But in addition to being astounded, I was naive. Looking back, I was incredibly naive. I was so naive that I actually thought, “Well, Phil’s gonna get his hand slapped hard by real scientists for that kind of anti-scientific statements”. Foolish me, I thought you guys were honest scientists who would be outraged by that.

So I waited for some mainstream climate scientist to speak out against that kind of scientific malfeasance … and waited … and waited. In fact, I’m still waiting. I registered my protest against this bastardisation of science by filing an FOI. When is one of you mainstream climate scientist going to speak out against this kind of malfeasance? It’s not too late to condemn what Jones said, he’s still in the news and pretending to be a scientist, when is one of you good folks going to take a principled stand?

But nobody wants to do that. Instead, you want to complain and explain how trust has been broken, and you want to figure out more effective communication strategies to repair the trust.

You want a more effective strategy? Here’s one. Ask every climate scientist to grow a pair and speak out in public about the abysmal practices of far, far too many mainstream climate scientists. Because the public is assuredly outraged, and you are all assuredly silent, sitting quietly in your taxpayer funded offices and saying nothing, not a word, schtumm … and you wonder why we don’t trust you?

A perfect example is you saying in your post:
Such debate is alive and well in the blogosphere, but few mainstream climate researchers participate in the blogospheric debate. The climate researchers at realclimate.org were the pioneers in this …
For you to say this without also expressing outrage at realclimate’s ruthless censorship of every opposing scientific view is more of the same conspiracy of silence. Debate is not “alive and well” at realclimate as you say, that’s a crock. Realclimate continues to have an undeserved reputation that it is a scientific blog because you and other mainstream climate scientists are unwilling to bust them for their contemptuous flouting of scientific norms. When you stay silent about blatant censorship like that, Judith, people will not trust you, nor should they. You have shown by your actions that you are perfectly OK with realclimate censoring opposing scientific views. What kind of message does that send?

The key to restoring trust has nothing to do with communication. Steve McIntyre doesn’t inspire trust because he is a good communicator. He inspires trust because he follows the age-old practices of science — transparency and openness and freewheeling scientific discussion and honest reporting of results.

And until mainstream climate science follows his lead, I’ll let you in on a very dark, ugly secret — I don’t want trust in climate science to be restored. I don’t want you learning better ways to propagandize for shoddy science. I don’t want you to figure out how to inspire trust by camouflaging your unethical practices in new and innovative ways. I don’t want scientists learning to use clever words and communication tricks to get people to think that the wound is healed until it actually is healed. I don’t want you to learn to use the blogosphere to spread your pernicious unsupported unscientific alarmism.

You think this is a problem of image, that climate science has a bad image. It is nothing of the sort. It is a problem of scientific malfeasance, and of complicity by silence with that malfeasance. The public, it turns out, has a much better bullsh*t detector than the mainstream climate scientists do … or at least we’re willing to say so in public, while y’all cower in your cubbyholes with your heads down and never, never, never say a bad word about some other climate scientist’s bogus claims and wrong actions.

You want trust? Do good science, and publicly insist that other climate scientists do good science as well. It’s that simple. Do good science, and publicly call out the Manns and the Joneses and the Thompsons and the rest of the charlatans that you are currently protecting. Call out the journals that don’t follow their own policies on data archiving. Speak up for honest science. Archive your data. Insist on transparency. Publish your codes.

Once that is done, the rest will fall in line. And until then, I’m overjoyed that people don’t trust you. I see the lack of trust in mainstream climate science as a huge triumph for real science. Fix it by doing good science and by cleaning up your own backyard. Anything else is a coverup.

Judith, again, my congratulations on being willing to post your ideas in public. You are a rara avis, and I respect you greatly for it.

w.

PS – In your post you talk about a “monolithic climate denial machine”?? Puhleease, Judith, you’re talking to us individual folks who were there on the ground individually fighting the battle. Save that conspiracy theory for people who weren’t there, those who don’t know how it went down.

This is another huge problem for mainstream climate scientists and mainstream media alike. You still think the problem is that we opposed your ideas and exposed your errors. You still see the climate scientists as the victims, even now in 2010 when the CRU emails have shown that’s nonsense. Every time one of your self-appointed spokes-fools says something like “Oh, boo hoo, the poor CRU folks were forced to circle their wagons by the eeevil climate auditors”, you just get laughed at harder and harder. The CRU emails showed they were circling the FOI wagons two years before the first FOI request, so why haven’t you noticed?

The first step out of this is to stop trying to blame Steve and Anthony and me and all the rest of us for your stupidity and your dishonesty and your scientific malfeasance. You will never recover a scrap of trust until you admit that you are the source of your problems, all we did was point them out. You individually, and you as a group, created this mess. The first step to redemption is to take responsibility. You’ve been suckered by people like Stephen Schneider, who said:
To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.
That worked fine for a while, but as Lincoln pointed out, it caught up with you. You want trust? Disavow Schneider, and STOP WITH THE SCARY SCENARIOS. At this point, you have blamed everything from acne to world bankruptcy on eeevil global warming. And you have blamed everything from auditors to the claimed stupidity of the common man for your own failures. STOP IT! We don’t care about your pathetic justifications, all you are doing is becoming the butt of jokes around the planet. You seem to have forgotten the story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf. Read it. Think about it. Nobody cares about your hysteria any more. You are in a pit of your own making, and you are refusing to stop digging … take responsibility.

Because we don’t want scientists who are advocates. We’re not interested in scientists who don’t mention their doubts. We’re sick of your inane “simplified dramatic statements”. We laugh when you cry wolf with your scary scenarios. Call us crazy, but we want scientists who are honest, not scientists who balance honesty and effectiveness. You want trust? Get honest, kick out the scoundrels, and for goodness sakes, get a clue about humility.

Because the truth is, climate science is one of the newest sciences. The truth is, we know little about the climate, we’ve only been studying it intensely for a couple decades. The truth is, we can’t project the climate of the next decade, much less that of the next century. The truth is, we have no general theory of climate. The truth is, we don’t know if an average temperature rise of a couple degrees will be a net benefit or a net loss. The truth is, all of us are human, and our knowledge of the climate is in its infancy. And I don’t appreciate being lectured by infants. I don’t appreciate being told that I should be put in the dock in a Nuremberg style trial for disagreeing with infants. You want to restore trust? Come down off your pedestals, forsake your ivory towers, and admit your limitations.

And through all of this, be aware that you have a long, long, long climb back up to where we will trust you. As Lincoln warned, you have forfeited the confidence of your fellow citizens, and you will be damn lucky if you ever get it back.

5 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

Its very simple really, all you have to do is to follow the stench of the money.

Let me re-cap.
Marxism is when you have a classless, homogeneous, non nationalist society(proletariat) ruled by the elites.

Capitalism turns into super-capitalism when you have a debt driven economy. In a super capitalist society you have an ever decreasing number of huge corporations owning more and more of the world. The rich becomes richer and the poor poorer. Eventually a super capitalist society and a Marxist society will end up being almost similar.

These conglomerates are MULTI-national organizations and this is why NATIONALISM in any form is a hindrance, as it prevents business. These conglomerates tend to focus on multiculturalism and egalitarianism, because the whole world is one huge market to them.
This of course assists in the creation of the classless, non-nationalist proletariat.

This in turn lessens the gap between the super-capitalists and the Marxists even more.

When these corporations start to exercise their power through politics, they become full fledged Marxists.

In the West politics had advanced to the point where the conglomerates are influencing policy, which is a very scary scenario, because most multinational companies find that their loyalties lie more with their shareholders than with the voter.

Since these companies are multinational they NEVER have the interests of the nationalist at heart. They care only for the shareholder and a nationalist voter is an undesirable element. Ask Geert Wilders.

Profit is the main concern and thus when it was realized that there is a lot of profit to be made from the utilization of a carbon based taxation system through global warming, it became critical that global warming be empathized.

Let me put this to you bluntly. Even if all the people of the world agree that global warming is a farce, we will still end up paying the carbon tax. They will not allow this taxation system to fail and it has already been implemented. I paid carbon tax on the car that I bought the other day.

Scientists conform or they are ostracised.
The most important point to remember is that very often it is these very same corporations that are funding the scientists in the first place. To not agree with your peers could be career suicide.
Ask Dr. Watson. He claimed that people differs quite a bit genetically, which is a nationalist viewpoint and totally against the egalitarian drive. Thus he was crucified.

Considering where we are in terms of the Marxist/super capitalist scale, anything that is peer reviewed should be viewed with suspicion. Rather be the lone voice than part of the group and chances are you'll have the truth by the neck.

FishEagle said...

Anon 6.39. Thanks for that interesting input. You sound like A4, one of our regular followers.

Anonymous said...

Yeah sorry.
Was me. You know me. I don't see many small conspiracies, nope, just one big one.

The climategate scientists ask the question of whether the trust can be rebuilt?

The question in itself implies that they know a betrayal has been committed. You don't lose trust in another person or group if they bring you cold coffee. No sirrrr.

Thus the question implies that they, the scientists, know that they have betrayed the community.

Knowing this they still have the gall to ask: "Is there a way that I can make it up to you, so that you will trust me again?"

hahaha

It is like stabbing someone in the back then asking then to trust you not to do it again.

WTF is wrong with liberals?
Do they truly have shit for brains, as I have been suspecting for a while now?

I always just thought they don't like antiperspirant due to ozone layer implications.

A4

Anonymous said...

It is one thing when someone you love betrays you. They may beg for forgiveness but they would never feel as if they can demand forgiveness.

It is another thing entirely when it is someone that you don't even know.

Like they say, it isn't personal its business and in the case of climategate it is ONLY business.(taxation)

Thus the scientists truly feel that they may be forgiven, after all it wasn't personal.

Fawking morons.

Anonymous said...

The only difference between Marxism and when the process to the creation of super capitalism has run its course, is that one group refer to themselves as a government.

A4

Read more about supercapitalism here...
http://www.lessig.org/blog/2007/10/supercapitalism_super_1.html