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    James Hansen's Deficit Thinking
    By Hank Campbell | June 5th 2013 10:16 AM | 88 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0®.

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes...

    View Hank's Profile
    A few years ago, I wrote a piece for Communicating Astronomy with the Public outlining how to more effectively reach the public.(1)

    I have some credibility. Science 2.0 has become a well-known movement despite not having media conglomerate backing, a marketing department, a sales force or any government funding, Not many can do that - or they probably would.

    The biggest problem I saw among people who wanted to do science outreach was that they didn't always want to do science outreach - they wanted to correct the mistaken beliefs of other people.  They were engaged in deficit thinking, the idea that anyone who did not agree or accept certain things was simply uneducated and needed the correct information. One of the other pitfalls I itemized was advocacy.

    In Science Left Behind, I wrote a chapter on The Death of Science Journalism and those were two of the three nodes on the triangular corpse.(2) Combined, advocacy and deficit thinking are the road to science despair because when the deficit thinking of someone cannot be fixed no matter how much you advocate it, it is easy to become convinced there is an elaborate, opposing machine blocking you.

    In the case of Dr. James Hansen, director of the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies and famed global warming hawk, he believes that a well-funded insidious campaign to undercut climate science is in force.

    "The science has become stronger and stronger over the past five years while the public perception is has gone in completely the other direction. That is not an accident," he told Richard Gray of The Telegraph

    So it was arson? Well, that's all we are left with. The data is right there so if people do not accept it, they're being manipulated by companies spreading fear and doubt.(3) This same deficit thinking was in full force during last year's Proposition 37 effort to label all genetically modified foods not used in restaurants, alcohol or organic fod. When the initiative first made the ballot and only one side was spending money promoting their position, advocates trumpeted the awesome wisdom of crowds for its high approval rating. It was going to win, they gloated. Then once the opposition spent money noting the lack of any real benefit and the many flaws in how it was written and the initiative failed, the election was 'bought', according to critics.

    Back to Hansen and his last five years; he's right, the science has become stronger since the 1990s and even beyond.(4) The problem is that the science was so settled in 2001 that anyone who disagreed was thrown off the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The few people in the whole field of climate science who disagreed were bogged down in nuisance Freedom of Information Act requests and hate mail campaigns and blocked from larger journals. If they ever took any expense money from a fossil fuel company to be on a panel about the environment they were a 'shill'. 

    'Follow the money' arguments are mostly bogus - and people recognize it, unless they are about the political opposition. So if a climate researcher at MIT got $5,000 from an oil company in the early 1990s and disagrees on feedbacks, follow the money, he is a shill. But if James Hansen got paid $1.2 million to fly around and talk about global warming, above and beyond his government salary over those 5 years he is now complaining about, well, those were prizes for telling the truth.

    ClimateGate, the release of East Anglia emails showing a conspiracy to prevent any opposing studies from making their way into peer-reviewed studies and how to 'hide the decline', has a nefarious source also: "Who knows how the East Anglia email fiasco came about?" Hansen hints conspiratorially.

    What is missing from his concern? That the emails were proof of exactly what people worried about. The scientists didn't make up any data, they weren't engaged in fraud, they didn't need to be, the evidence was there - but they were out to insure nothing a secret clique did not approve of made its way into publication. Hansen never mentioned how their behavior was 'not an accident', he defended their actions.

    Deficit thinking, and outright sanctimony, have led to green fatigue.  'Well, at least he is on our side against pollution' rationales about Hansen only get him so much patience from the general public. By the time he started showing up outside the White House protesting natural gas - the thing that caused American CO2 energy emissions to plummet back to the 1990s levels, exactly what Hansen said we needed - the public had enough. They have tuned him out. Deficit thinking makes him believe the public tunes him out because Exxon spends some money.

    It isn't a big conspiracy by oil companies but it is partly the weather. Due to promoting every weather event as a global warming data point, the media have trained people to react to climate science like it is part of a 24-hour news cycle - belief goes up and down with the events of the Weather Channel. Hansen was fine with that - when all media was corporate, and on his side.

    Live by hype, die by hype.  Now, 25% of British adults do not think any climate change is happening at all. Not just right-wing people, not climate change versus global warming or level-of-severity splitting hairs, 25% of the adult public thinks the whole idea is bogus. 33% think the environmental threat is simply exaggerated.  That's not good.

    What to do? Hansen tends to change tack and note it is not just a science issue, but a moral one.  

    A moral issue also? What's the third point on the Science Outreach Pitfalls triangle?  Preaching to the audience.

    NOTES:

    (1) I also moderated an AAAS panel on the same topic in 2009, with PLoS co-founder Mike Eisen, science journalist Greg Critser, National Center for Science Education Executive Director Eugenie Scott and biologist Mike White.

    (2) It's no surprise that a guy who spent the bulk of his career modeling with triangular meshes loves the things, and if you read my CAP article you will note that both the Perils and the Pitfalls are also three points of a triangle.

    (3) Unfortunately, that logic also applies to all anti-science groups. When it comes to climate, food, energy and medicine, 'we are doomed if the bad guys aren't stopped' is the primary advertising technique.

    (4) "Have we learned a great deal since the IPCC 2001 report? I would say yes, we have. Climate science, like any other field, is a constantly evolving field and we are always learning," said Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground in 2011, when asked why the increased snowfall and winter storms disagreed with the projections of the 2001 report. To people in science, well, that's science, to advocates it is either a crippling weakness or a reason to raise more money to do 'awareness'.

    Comments

    logicman
    You must know how much I hate to say this, but ...

    I agree with you.
    Hank
    We don't disagree on the science...well, ever, I think. But how he goes about it is all wrong. And saying anyone who doesn't accept his conclusion is being manipulated by Exxon is patronizing and a little kooky. I think the world is a lot more skeptical and a lot more scientifically literate than 10 years ago, they are just filtering data through their political positions more now because they don't think climate scientists are neutral participants for the public good any more.  Climate scientists have become for the right wing what Monsanto is for the left - a fetish for conspiracy theorists.
    John Hasenkam
    And saying anyone who doesn't accept his conclusion is being manipulated by Exxon is patronizing and a little kooky. 
    Somewhat unfair Hank. Advertising works even when it is full of crap. Humans en masse are like that. As you stated in another post: we must rely on certain authority figures, we have no choice. But people will often choose authority figures that accord with what they want to hear, which isn't necessarily the truth. For example, in Australia the climate debate has all but disappeared. There is a good reason for that: we survived the GFC because of all that coal we have. We don't want to hear that our money making is also driving possible climate catastrophes. Mining companies here spent 10 of millions in advertising against Rudd's mining tax and he was thrown out of office by his own party because they feared the impact of all that advertising. We now have a serious structural budget problem that would not exist if that mining tax had been introduced. We now cannot fund education improvements and a national disability scheme in part because that mining tax was thrown away with Rudd. The mining companies advertising campaign was an outstanding success for them but not for Australia.  

    Hank
    I agree that people pick and choose their spots and have a certain default level of acceptance based on experience. But Hansen is doing something beyond that; he only finds an education issue with anyone who disagrees with him. And he believes he just needs to push out the Exxon public relations from their brains and replace it with his knowledge and things will be fine. 

    Advertisers know this is not true, you can't spend 0.1% as much as the popular brand and steal people over to a new company.  Yet Hansen believes all of the people who do not see what he sees have been manipulated that easily - yet no one on his side has. That's deficit thinking.
    John Hasenkam
    Sorry, misunderstood you. Hansen should have hired Patrick to do the PR. His updates were first rate and highly accessible. I used to post the links on my little blog and send out the links via email to friends etc. I suggest the Arctic is done, perhaps time to look at the Antarctic?  
    MikeCrow
    John, This comment is a lot unfair.

    I suspect that the "deal breaker" was over the tax, not the science (even though I think the science as it applies to climate is plain wrong). And to then blame voting down a huge energy tax for not having enough tax revenue to do all of the feel good government spending is, a joke.

    A lot of the lack of acceptance of the science is that many people just see it as a way for the Gov to take more of their money, and all of the promises of "Oh, we'll give it back with less taxes someplace else" falls flat to most adults who have heard those kinds of promises before, and in this case it's plain to see they don't have the tax money to give it back anyways.
    Never is a long time.
    Mr. Campbell should read a copy of Mark Bowens book, "Censoring Science: Inside the political Attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of global Warming".
    To bring up "Climategate" once again just displays Campbell's "deficit thinking" and smear campaign that is baseless.

    Hank
    To not bring ClimateGate up would be the very thing I criticize journalists for - advocacy and cherry-picking facts to suit an agenda - for two reasons: The first reason is that Hansen brought it up, not me. The second is that it actually happened, so it is part of the record, but even that was implied to be part of a vast Big Oil conspiracy, though East Anglia scientists and their colleagues were the ones doing it.

    Finally, you didn't actually read the article or you would know what deficit thinking is. Criticize me for not being partial enough for your liking, but you can't say I engage in deficit thinking - I don't claim Hansen will change his methods if he just reads Science 2.0.
    logicman
    Jeremy, you may have got a wrong impression.  I am on record as what anti-science people call a warmist.  I've even had the hate-filled emails and the spam-bombing, so I must be doing something right. :-)

    Hank and I often engage each other in friendly debate, but you will see that he said in a comment that we don't disagree on the science.   That includes climate science when it is real science and not advocacy.  The reason why I reluctantly agreed with his article is this:  James Hansen is a very good scientist but a bad publicist.  Every time James Hansen jumps on a soap box he risks handing ammunition to the anti-science brigade.  What Hank wrote is no more intended as a smear than what I just wrote in this comment.

    Plug: I wrote this article back in March 2009 heavily influenced by Hansen's paper: Scientific reticence and sea level rise.
    MikeCrow
    Patrick, I'd love to get your opinion on this. While I know your feelings about GW, I believe the scientist in you will respond to reason, even if it will require you to moderate your views.

    I'm working on something new, which will show that making the models keep a constant Relative Humidity
    (1)For example, it was not until 2009 that satellite measurements showed definitively that Manabe’s idea of simply holding relative humidity constant as the temperature increased did describe quite exactly how the global atmosphere behaved.

    Is not what the surface station data shows. This alone drastically reduces amplification, and without this forced increase of water vapor the models don't generate enough warming to match the temp record, which points to the models being wrong, wrong as they are now, and wrong after undoing this linkage because it will eliminate a lot of the warming they generate.
    Never is a long time.
    MikeCrow
    Let's also note that Hansen got his hands slapped when he tried to give his advocacy position the Government/NASA seal of approval, when he had no such approval.
    Never is a long time.
    Must be a world climate conference meeting somewhere (Bonn, Germany perhaps). We'll be seeing many of these rants coming online to divert attention to what really needs to be discussed. Still giving the veil of "debate" and James Hansen earned his recognition and those monies by his outstanding work and contribution to his field.

    Hank
    Michael, the science is not under dispute.  What is unfair is saying an MIT climate scientist who took $5K 20 years ago is a shill while Hansen got $1.2 million for "outstanding work and contribution to his field" - and your only criteria for those distinctions is that you agree with one of them.

    Is Hansen alleging Big Oil hacked into a 4-person group at East Anglia CRU and can manipulate the stupid public (those who don't agree with him) so easily with almost no money a rant? Maybe. Like many who age, he is getting a little goofier, as getting arrested protesting his own employer over natural gas showed.
    MikeCrow
    Well except it's wrong :)

    Climate Sensitivity is falling, and it's pretty much low enough to make any warming an inconvenience at worst, and definitely not a crisis. What you're going to start seeing is as the real scientist realize this, they'll start to moderate their position, and the advocates will will become even more hysterical.

    You'll be able to tell them apart by looking for the people all red faced with their arms flailing about.
    Never is a long time.
    MikeCrow
    Dr Spencer has new post.

    Never is a long time.
    Hank
    I have to chuckle that you refer to Dr. Hansen as 'Hansen' but Spencer is "Dr. Spencer".  This tells us how you vote!  :)
    MikeCrow
    lol, While you can, there's a lot more nuance too it than you might think. And as many of us who came to voting age in the second half of the 70's I'm still a registered Democrat. Maybe subconsciously I'm hoping I can someday vote for them again. I do generally try to show respect, Dr Hansen threw a lot of his away with all of his antics.
    Never is a long time.
    logicman
    Mike: I reached voting age back in the 1960s when it was set at 21 in the UK.  I am not registered or affiliated with any party: I will vote for any politician who has a brain, if that isn't a contradiction in terms.   ;-)

    Thank you for inviting me to read your article.  I have read it together with the comments.  Let me say first of all that I admire the effort you have put in and your clear attempt to avoid observer / methodological bias.  Kudos!  What I propose to do rather than comment in any depth here is to write a blog in reply to your article.  I hope we can generate a useful discussion.  I may need a few days because I am doing some physical work in what I laughingly call my garden.  I am also trying to finish my translation of Volta's paper on his battery.
    MikeCrow
    I'm looking forward to it.
    Never is a long time.
    That is who you call a real scientist... A creationist !!!... You must be joking, right ?
    If you feel that you must defend your opinion please do so. But use good arguments and credible references. I am not well verse in climate science. So you can be right, but nobody will listen to you if you use the work of somebody that promote creationism as science.

    MikeCrow
    I think it must be you that's joking, I think Dr Spencer is a credible source:
    Roy W. Spencer received his Ph.D. in meteorology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981. Before becoming a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2001, he was a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where he and Dr. John Christy received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites. Dr. Spencer’s work with NASA continues as the U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite. He has provided congressional testimony several times on the subject of global warming.Dr. Spencer’s research has been entirely supported by U.S. government agencies: NASA, NOAA, and DOE.
    And apparently so does the US government.

    But really, a chart of actual measurements vs the output of models is somehow invalid because the guy is a creationist?

    Is that bigotry or just being prejudice?

    Bigotry is the state of mind of a bigot: someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats other people with hatred, contempt, and intolerance on the basis of a person's ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics.

    Prejudice definition, an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason.
    Never is a long time.
    I was merely pointing to a weakness in your arguments. You can view my opinion as bigotry if you want to. It will not change the fact that a vast majority of people on this planet will dismiss Dr. Spencer because he is a creationist. And a PhD is not an absolute value for credibility neither; Theodore Kaczynski and many other lunatics have PhDs.

    MikeCrow
    Then tell me what's wrong with the data in the chart.
    It seems to me that it should be clear to an idiot. Now, if you want to question the validity of the data fine, go do some research, it's not my job to do that for you.
    Or you can say, I don't like what it tells me, it disturbs my worldview so I'm going to close my eyes and say "la-la-la-la-la" until the bad thought go away.
    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    Science, despite expending enormous amounts of time, is actually further away from an explanation as to how non-living chemicals can accidentally and spontaneously come alive than it has ever been. All the evidence on hand, both in nature and in the laboratory, points to the fact that life only ever comes from life. The Bible credits the origin of life to the power and design of a 'living' creator God.
    http://theevolutioncrisis.org.uk/testimony2.php
    We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory.  Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.
    http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2012/09/can-a-creationist-be-a-good-scientist/
    So much for "Dr. Spencer".
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    So what, it's a chart of measurements vs model output.

    Maybe we should dismiss all of your opinions because you're a rabid anti-capitalist and your position on GMO crops?
    Never is a long time.
    Hank
    Yeah, I am not buying the notion that religious people can't be scientists. 40% of AAAS members are religious and that figure has not changed much in 70 years. Are they all bad scientists?  Sorry to anyone who thinks they are better at biology than NIH Director Francis Collins because he is religious, but that is just nonsense.

    Dr. Hansen is not a climate scientist, he is an astrophysicist. So it seems strange to invalidate someone for what he does on a Sunday morning when education does not seem to matter.

    Now, if someone were an evolutionary biologist and did not believe in evolution, that is a problem. But while I don't agree with Dr. Spencer on almost anything, I wouldn't use his religion as the reason.
    MikeCrow
    Now, if someone were an evolutionary biologist and did not believe in evolution, that is a problem.
    Absolutely.
    But while I don't agree with Dr. Spencer on almost anything, I wouldn't use his religion as the reason.
    I get you may not accept his position on AGW, but do you disagree with his science (satellite temperature measurements is mainly what i know about)?

    Never is a long time.
    Hank
    Right, I was being too broad in that comment. Numbers are not being fudged, by him or other climate scientists. I used to worry more about the numerical models used to process the numbers and make projections, but even that has gotten a lot better.
    Gerhard Adam
    Who's using his religion?  This comment alone should raise red flags:
    ...created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence...
    Do you really think he's going to consider that anything man does can supercede God?  He's compromised the science all by himself.

    But rather than work through the issue in the peer-reviewed literature, the bulk of his efforts have been spent in convincing the public of his side through his blog and books, largely not engaging the rest of the climate scientists. It’s not that he hasn’t tried period, but sometimes his papers are rejected; he’s convinced that this is due to a real conspiracy against him by a small cabal of “alarmists,” to keep his work out of the literature and keep dissenting opinions from circulating. Not unlike attempts by anti-evolutionists to smear the scientific establishment and accuse them of being censorious gatekeepers, rejecting any paper that criticizes evolution. For the last few years he has intentionally avoided submitting his work to rigorously peer-reviewed outlets in favor of a faster-turnaround, refereed Letters-type journal, because of his imagined conspiracy. We see a similar retreat from peer-review when researchers adopt an anti-evolution mindset.

    Other troubling signs of losing his grip on scientific methods include a diminishing willingness to criticize his own ideas. He apparently ranks his own expertise very highly, to the point that the introduction to his popular book included musings that either he is smarter than all of the rest of his peers, or they must be dishonestly avoiding the conclusions he has reached (he favors the latter). He did not mention that he could simply be mistaken. He’s been fond of criticizing climate models because he believes them to be largely exercised as curve-fitting without real physical merit, but that didn’t stop him from attempting to create a simple model which turned out to be an exercise in curve-fitting without real physical merit. Despite several deep criticisms of his approach, he continued to develop the model in all the wrong ways. (When a paper based on an earlier model was held up in review, and then not given much attention immediately afterwards, he took it as evidence that his message was being censored and suppressed instead of any kind of issue over the paper’s validity). How many times have Dembski, Sewell, Behe, and so on. pushed papers that they claimed demonstrated evolution as impossible and Design a superior explanation by using a bogus model of information, complex systems, 2LoT, etc.? Even after being called out over the fatal flaws, they either dismiss the criticisms or attempt to “fix” the model by changing something other than what was criticized?

    http://bbickmore.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/roy-spencer-the-anti-scientist/

    Mundus vult decipi
    I'm not asking your opinion on Dr Spencer, I'm asking you to look at the data, stop attacking the messenger.

    Gerhard Adam
    He has no credibility among his peers.  Why on earth should I give a damn about his data.  It's no different than when Seralini and Mercola are dismissed out of hand.  Where is your voice of reason then?

    He has no credibility.  He doesn't choose to publish in peer-reviewed journals.  He believes that there is a conspiracy to stop his "message" from getting out.  He's a total whack-job.
    We deny that Earth and its ecosystems are the fragile and unstable products of chance, and particularly that Earth’s climate system is vulnerable to dangerous alteration because of minuscule changes in atmospheric chemistry. Recent warming was neither abnormally large nor abnormally rapid. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human contribution to greenhouse gases is causing dangerous global warming.
    http://www.cornwallalliance.org/articles/read/an-evangelical-declaration-on-global-warming/
    So, he believes that God created the ecosystems as they are.  That's a blatant denial of science, so I'm not particularly interested in anything else he has to say.

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2011/07/29/282584/climate-scienists-deb...

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Dessler-2011-Debunks-Roy-Spencer-And-Ric...

    http://climatecrocks.com/2011/09/07/bad-week-for-roy-wrong-way-spencer/
    Mundus vult decipi
    The same peers his work shows to be wrong? The same ones collecting millions in grants? I suspect they are going to milk AGW for all they can get.

    BTW, its not his data, much of it is NASA's data, the researchers who run the weather balloon data collection, and the results of the various GCM'S.

    Gerhard Adam
    The same peers his work shows to be wrong? The same ones collecting millions in grants? I suspect they are going to milk AGW for all they can get.
    Now you're just talking crap.  Is this really Mi Cro?
    Mundus vult decipi
    You know, the same peers responsible for Climategate
    " What is missing from his concern? That the emails were proof of exactly what people worried about. The scientists didn't make up any data, they weren't engaged in fraud, they didn't need to be, the evidence was there - but they were out to insure nothing a secret clique did not approve of made its way into publication. Hansen never mentioned how their behavior was 'not an accident', he defended their actions."

    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry ... you just dove headlong into conspiracy land.  Sorry ... it's bullshit, he has no credibility and if you're going to climb on the "everyone's against the truth" bandwagon, then it clearly indicates that you don't have any data either.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Yes, it's me.
    And the Climategate quote if from Hank's article, and while he might be making a sarcastic remark, I don't think it is.
    And of you think I haven't provided other data, you're not paying attention, or nothing I link to will matter.
    Want to see my data, follow the link I pointed Patrick to.

    Gerhard Adam
    There's nothing to say.  You've already stated that you think it's a conspiracy and that all those that Spencer disagrees with are essentially "milking" the AGW phenomenon.

    We're already on opposite sides of this one, so there's really nothing to look at.

    As you well know ... it's not about the data.  It's about the interpretation of that data.  After all, the mere fact that it's common knowledge is hardly much of an attempt by anyone to hide measurements.  However, I suspect you're no more qualified to interpret that data than I am, so you've simply chosen to follow your own bias.  That's fine ... but there's nothing to discuss then.
    Mundus vult decipi
    It is all about good data, the problem in climatology is there isn't enough good surface data, and we barely have enough satellite data, some don't trust it because its not showing the expected Co2 finger prints. Which is what this graph is, and there's enough balloon data to show satellite mid troposphere(or whatever it says on the graph) matches the balloon data and doesn't have the expect warming finger print.

    My "bias" is based on years of studying the actual data, as in I have copies of I think 4 complete datasets. I your view of evolution biased?

    It has nothing to do with religion. Although I admit to be agnostic, I grew-up in the catholic tradition. My very religious 82 year father in all his wisdom would not oppose faith with science. Creationism is different. My understanding is that they reject the scientific conclusion of astrophysics, geology, paleontology, evolution... and substitute their own. How is that for science?

    Hank
    Ah, well, you have hit on a big problem.  The real militant atheists conflate all religion with creationism as part of their culture war.  And at it's heart I suppose it must be, but they mean Young Earth Creationism, the wacky belief that the planet is 6,000 years old or whatever and that is really only held by a tiny minority.  And their PR campaign against religion has worked quite well. Even here it happens and I have stopped noticing.

    I grew up in a small town (200 people) that had 5 churches and no bars and never once heard of a 6,000 year old planet. I learned biology and geology and everything else from people who went to church every week.

    You are correct, making the two synonymous is intellectually dishonest and we should correct it when it happens here. Has Spencer said the Earth is 6K years old? If so, I agree all of his conclusions are suspect. Some mistakes are too big not to be a sign of a real problem.
    Roy Spencer is a signatory to An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming. Now explain to me how this does not oppose faith with science. Good luck ;-)

    MikeCrow
    I wonder if you'd feel the same way if he and his considerable knowledge of the climate agreed with your position.

    You know I'm going to presume you went to Wikipedia and read Spencer's page until you found something to wave about to dismiss a chart of measurements that you can't accept without calling into doubt a strongly held belief.
    Never is a long time.
    Hank
    I don't see it. Opposing science would be saying that the Earth is 6,000 years old. Religious people - and I rarely miss a chance to deride evangelicals, since in both American political parties they make up the bulk of the anti-evolution contingents - are saying in their manifesto that slashing CO2 without an alternative solution would unfairly harm the poor. The rest is philosophical mumbo-jumbo no different than any other philosophical mumbo-jumbo so it harms no one.

    That slashing CO2 would unfairly harm the poor I agree with, as all liberal, scientifically literate people do. The agricultural 1% who happen to live in places where food is easy to grow can afford to be anti-science also. Slashing CO2 without an alternative means slashing energy and energy solves almost all of the problems we have in meeting the basic needs of people. And there is no alternative yet. Solar and wind are not ready.

    In America, we have an alternative that has worked quite well - energy sector CO2 emissions are the lowest in 20 years. But Dr. Hansen hates natural gas also.  Other countries wish they had it.
    MikeCrow
    I'm not asking you to even support his conclusions, just look at his data.

    When pressed, I'm an atheist, my wife's Catholic, and the kids all went to Catholic Grade school, but did not attend Catechism.
    Never is a long time.
    Thor Russell
    Come one guys, data presented recently is not Mike's or Spencer's but common knowledge. I don't know about the exact source of the graph that Mike has, but the temperature rise has been slower than expected as shown in many data sets. That has caused me to update my estimate to more like 2.5C then 3C for temp sensitivity along with many other scientists. I also think 4-6C is much less likely than before. Now as you know I don't agree with Mike on much else, however data is data. I still think the 2.5C best guess is worth avoiding etc..
    Thor Russell
    Gerhard Adam
    Come one guys, data presented recently is not Mike's or Spencer's but common knowledge.
    ... what does that have to do with anything?  Do you think Spencer has lost his credibility among his peer's because he published a graph of commonly accepted data?

    There have been plenty of links posted as to why he lacks credibility.  If everyone still wants to jump to his defense, it's not my problem.  Given how everyone likes to howl at anyone that they can even touch with the "anti-science" label, this guy is sure getting a lot of slack.

    So, while I'm not completely sure that those posts were Mike's, but if so ... then I would strongly suggest laying off the "everyone is trying to milk AGW except Spencer". 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Reading comprehension please. I think Spencer has no credibility. Before the thread degenerated it seemed like real data was ignored because of who raised it.

    " who raised it."
    Me or Spencer?

    And as far as I know no one has compared daily warming to night time cooling like I did.

    MikeCrow
    Do you have some disagreement with his data? Are you accusing him of Scientific fraud or defrauding the US government for willfully altering satellite temperature data to suit his religious views?

    Because that is what you're saying he's doing.
    Never is a long time.
    MikeCrow
    I found this:

    Scientists are working to understand why the lower atmosphere isn't heating up as fast as some global warming models predict.

    shows that temperature change varies through the layers -- warming on the surface, slight cooling in lower Troposphere, warming in upper Troposphere, and cooling in lower StratosphereJuly 21, 2000 -- The question sounds like a Zen koan: How could the globe be warming and not warming at the same time?

    That's the riddle posed to climatologists by satellite and radiosonde data which show that while the Earth's surface has been warming over the past decades, the lowest layer of the atmosphere shows a weaker warming trend.

    The measurements are surprising, because computer simulations of the world's climate predict that the two lowest layers of the atmosphere -- which together form the "troposphere" -- should be warming faster than the Earth's surface.

    Here.

    Which is exactly what 10 years of additional data continues to shows.

    Gerhard, maybe you should check what the religious views of the authors of this article are.
    Never is a long time.
    Hank
    It's confusing stuff, for sure.  I'll be on the Glenn Beck TV show tomorrow to clear up this and other mysteries about the weird intersection of science and policy, 5-6 PM eastern time.  

    I think this has ended up exactly where I predicted it would end up once religion was erroneously invoked.  'Follow the money' is a bogus methodology and 'religion impacts climate data' is higher orders of bogus. We are in polynomial bogus territory now. If this were evolutionary biology, as I said, not believing in evolutionary biology due to religion would be an issue (and it happened - the guy got fired and sued for religious discrimination. My question was how he got a PhD and a post-doc job while denying evolution), otherwise, not so much.
    Gerhard Adam
    Gerhard, maybe you should check what the religious views of the authors of this article are.
    That's not necessary as long as their paper doesn't include a reference to this demonstrating the validity of Genesis or that it supports the notion of God's good intentions in creating a balanced world for his chosen.
    Mundus vult decipi
    The first chart of data had none of those, but that didn't stop you from using religion as the reason you wouldn't discuss the data, and until you brought his views up I didn't know that was even his position. And the new link says the same thing, there's an issues where models fail to reproduce actual measurements, with the models exaggerating warming.

    Gerhard Adam
    While you conveniently ignore all the papers that blast Spencer for being wrong.  That's fine.  He supports what you believe, despite numerous others pointing out the errors in his analysis. 

    I get it.  You think that all the climate scientists are just taking advantage and "milking AWG" for all its worth, so go ahead and invoke your conspiracy.  Go ahead and use your maverick scientist and his data.  Doesn't matter one iota to me.

    In the end though, you know and recognize the problem.  But more importantly you know that he's likely wrong even according to your own beliefs.
    Mundus vult decipi
    You keep saying he's wrong, I didn't point to anything he said. I pointed to measurements, some of which he produces from satellite measurements for his employer from their satellite. I then pointed to a page from his employer saying that said measurements seem to not agree with simulations of how the atmosphere is suppose to work.
    Now all of those people who you say I should be listening to say I should believe the simulations, and ignore the measurements, because thay can't be right, they don't agree with us and our hypotheses.

    And you say I'm the one who's wrong.

    Gerhard Adam
    What employer?  University of Alabama has its own satellite?

    If you're going to use an argument from authority, make sure you know who the authority is.
    Mundus vult decipi
    He produces the satellite data for NASA.

    Gerhard Adam
    Are you claiming he is employed by NASA?  That he is under contract to NASA?  What exactly are you claiming his access is?

    You're the one that referred to his "employer's satellite" despite the fact that NASA is not his employer.  He resigned in 2001.

    Yet, even if he did obtain the data from a NASA satellite because of his previous work, how does that lend credibility to his paper and its conclusions?  How does that data render his model valid?  How do you address his critics that claim he was a bit squirrely with the parameters that went into the model?
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    Before becoming a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2001, he was a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where he and Dr. John Christy received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites. Dr. Spencer’s work with NASA continues as the U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

    Dr. Spencer’s research has been entirely supported by U.S. government agencies: NASA, NOAA, and DOE.
    The Satellite data which has been corroborated by the radiosonde data shows a distinct different temperature profile for the Lower/Mid Troposphere compared to expected Model output. This is one of the key predicted signatures for Co2 warming. There have been many attempts to claim Satellite temps are incorrect, and therefore his conclusions are wrong. But the Satellite measurements have been confirmed with actual readings.
    The dismissals, want to direct you to surface records data set, which have all been "adjusted" and then homogenized for spacial irregularity, in many cases it appear that large percentages of the data is not used. Unfortunately none of the major temp sets (GISS, CRU) show their work, BEST was an attempt to show this, but did the same thing, and got the same results.

    I'm glad you brought this up, because it allows me to link to my work, which shows that in general temperature drop at night in most cases more than they go up during the day.

    Add this to all of the new papers pointing to a much reduced CS value, The NOAA link (I added) to their interactive sea level chart show most location have a projected century rise of 0-1'/century. There is also a recently found set of polar maps from 1900-1956 (a set of years are missing) that show extensive areas of open water on various years (I suggest looking at 1910,1914,1916,1921,1930,1933,1934,1935,1938,1948,1952,1956). Even if they aren't as open as recent years, they do show that long before Co2 was a "thing" Arctic ices varied a lot. I believe what we're seeing in the ice melts is warm tropical waters being routed to the poles to cool, some years it runs from the Atlantic towards the Pacific, other years it's driven from the Pacific towards the Atlantic.



    From here, there's a nice animation.

    Never is a long time.
    Hank
     Dr. Spencer’s work with NASA continues as the U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite.
    It won't go anywhere attacking the messenger rather than the message - though you two are welcome to have it, and at each other - but it's forgivable if Gerhard doesn't know that most NASA experiments are done by people who are not actually NASA employees.  He could be a little less smug about what he doesn't know, but that is a style issue and not a substance one.

    James Hansen also no longer works at NASA. Are we invalidating everything he says now because he does not work at NASA?  I hope not.

    The fact is, the bulk of the papers written using NASA experiments are not written by NASA employees and never have been.
    MikeCrow
    I'm pretty much done, I find it both tiring, and useless.

    But I have a parable.
    I think you know, but I work on data, almost everyone reading this has something that came from my customers data that I touched at one time or another. When doing customer work, much like Rumsfeld's unknown unknowns, when you programatically update a million, 10 million, 100 million bits of data, testing the data can be a larger task than changing it. I warn my customers to worry about the undetected errors that their users can't tell good from bad, for it's this data that will cost them.

    This is why I bother.
    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    I pointed to measurements, some of which he produces from satellite measurements for his employer from their satellite.
    Yes, and I've pointed you to numerous links that indicate that (1) his interpretation is wrong, and (2) the data doesn't support what he claims it does.  You are the one that chooses to ignore what others are saying.  That's precisely why you have no other references besides Spencer and Braswell.
    There are some other key problems in the paper.  It doesn't provide enough information for other scientists to repeat the study.  When two other climate scientists (Kevin Trenberth and John Fasullo) tried to replicate its results as best they could with the information provided, they found quite different results...
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/roy-spencer-negative-feedback-climate-sensitivity.htm
    So, you can argue that everyone except these two are wrong, despite having a poor track record of being correct.  Or you can consider that Spencer is wrong again.

    Professor Wolfgang Wagner has stepped down as editor-in-chief of the journal Remote Sensing. The reason for his resignation was his journal's publishing of the paper On the misdiagnosis of surface temperature feedbacks from variations in Earth's radiant energy balance, by Roy Spencer and Danny Braswell, which we examine at http://sks.to/negspencer. Wagner concluded the paper was "fundamentally flawed and therefore wrongly accepted by the journal".

    Some key excerpts from Wagner's editorial:

    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    Yes, and I've pointed you to numerous links that indicate that (1) his interpretation is wrong, and (2) the data doesn't support what he claims it does.  You are the one that chooses to ignore what others are saying.  That's precisely why you have no other references besides Spencer and Braswell.
    There are some other key problems in the paper.  It doesn't provide enough information for other scientists to repeat the study.  When two other climate scientists (Kevin Trenberth and John Fasullo) tried to replicate its results as best they could with the information provided, they found quite different results...
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/roy-spencer-negative-feedback-climate-sensitivity.htm
    So, you can argue that everyone except these two are wrong, despite having a poor track record of being correct.  Or you can consider that Spencer is wrong again.

    While I didn't try to find a negative feedback, I did analyze nightly cooling, if you'd like to replicate it, I'll provide you the code. But as I said above (with a link to my results), There's no reduction to nightly cool in the surface temperature record data set, night time cooling is an almost exact match to day time warming, and varies as the length of day changes throughout the year as expected. I base this on over 100 million daily station records from NCDC for 1950-2010/2011, the same QA'd data the other surface temperature sets are made from.

    As for the Professor, I have to laugh at his reasons, did you really read them, or just find something to cut and paste? BTW, you did that in another post(not on this blog though), where you quoted a guy who doesn't believe in Greenhouse Gas Warming Theory.
    Never is a long time.
    Silly article. Seen it many times before, can't attack the science, attack the messenger.
    Never mind the so-called 'engineer" of Exxon-Mobile, CEO Rex Tillerson, was just given a 30% raise of a total 40 million dollars in compensation last year! Seems old Rex has dished out a few morsels of thought regarding climate change this past year in public forums. It's an "engineering problem" with "engineering solutions". Seems old Rex is part of the IPCC group (he states as such and has input and reviews all the projections). So much for exclusion!
    Sure, listen to his interview on YouTube, will you.
    This whole article was just a setup and contrived smear.

    "TILLERSON: Well, let me -- let me say that we have studied that issue and continue to study it as well. We are and have been long-time participants in the IPCC panels. We author many of the IPCC subcommittee papers, and we peer-review most of them. So we are very current on the science, our understanding of the science, and importantly -- and this is where I'm going to take exception to something you said -- the competency of the models to predict the future. We've been working with a very good team at MIT now for more than 20 years on this area of modeling the climate, which, since obviously it's an area of great interest to you, you know and have to know the competencies of the models are not particularly good."
    Taken from the interview at the Foreign Relations Council event with CEO of Exxon-Mobile Chiel, Rex Tillerson

    logicman
    I have written before criticizing Roy Spencer for claiming that his Excel spreadsheet model somehow refutes the many more complex models running on supercomputers.  I also disagree with most of his ideas about warming cycles and trends and their causes.

    However:  I have written before about human heat inputs to the atmosphere.  These tend to be localized, especially along or very near coasts.  These heat 'islands' must, I suggest, affect local weather systems by modifying or even reversing the sea-breeze / land-breeze diurnal cycles.   I cannot therefore act irrationally in dismissing everything Spencer says on the grounds of his religious views.

    We are not alone in lambasting what we see as kooks.  I am sure that everyone who has commented here on Roy Spencer will agree with what he has to say in this article.  Enjoy!

    Now let’s see how long it takes for someone to post a comment that I shouldn’t be poking fun, since I’m a believer in the greenhouse effect which is obviously a “conspiracy” of misguided physicists.
    Roy Spencer
    Concerning climate science, most people are laymen and so am I. But the rapid melting of the polar caps and of the glaciers on all the continents is telling me that something is going on that probably should not. I do not understand how so many people choose to dismiss that.
    On the science front, I am not qualified to make a proper assessment of Dr. Spencer’s work. But as a very down to earth man, I will never take the words of somebody who is telling me that there is nothing to worry about, because the climate cannot go wrong “by God’s design”. There is nothing irrational about that.

    The issue is compared to what? We didn't have satellites to take pictures with 80 or 500 years ago. The Danish have maps from the beginning of last century to the 1950's, various years show lots of open water, but they also have areas that they didn't explore. But there were Viking colonies on Greenland that are just coming out of the ice, and someone is growing 400 yr old lichens from under a glacier.

    While past millennium polar ice data for comparison are inexistent, sea level studies are telling us that they were pretty stable in past centuries.

    Sea level is rising at an increasing rate

    There is strong evidence that global sea level is now rising at an increased rate and wil continue to rise during this century.
    While studies show that sea levels changed little from AD 0 until 1900, sea levels began to climb in the 20th century.
    The two major causes of global sea-level rise are thermal expansion caused by the warming of the oceans (since water expands as it warms) and the loss of land-based ice (such as glaciers and polar ice caps) due to increased melting.
    Records and research show that sea level has been steadily rising at a rate of 1 to 2.5 millimeters (0.04 to 0.1 inches) per year since 1900.
    This rate may be increasing. Since 1992, new methods of satellite altimetry (the measurement of elevation or altitude) indicate a rate of rise of 3 millimeters (0.12 inches) per year.
    This is a significantly larger rate than the sea-level rise averaged over the last several thousand years.
    NOAA
    http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/sealevel.html

    MikeCrow
    I'll see your NOAA Facts, with NOAA's online trends map
    Please notice how many arrows are Green(0-1'/century).
    I'll add to this the trend line for the last 100 or so years:


    So there's a slight uptick after about 1995, but it's in line with 1935-1950, which is before any significant increase in human Co2.
    Never is a long time.
    I will abstain to comment on the science for reasons mentioned earlier on this tread. The reason of this discussion, that we started a few days ago, was in reaction to your citing of Dr. Spencer. And I gave you my reasons to dismiss him. Your reaction would be, understandably the same if I would try to convince you of the validity of Michael Mann’s work.
    While Roy Spencer and Michael Mann are good to keep their sheep in the herd, they are useless for changing the minds of reasonable individuals. Now, take the time to read this article of Judith Curry http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/01/what-exactly-are-we-debating/ . While I am more on the cautious side, her approach has much more influence on me. Hope my suggestion serves you well.

    logicman
    I forgot to link to Roy Spencer's article on human heat.
    Prof Hansen, speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, rejected both arguments. "In the last decade it has warmed only a tenth of a degree compared to two-tenths of a degree in the preceeding decade, but that's just natural variability. There is no reason to be surprised by that at all," he said. "If you look over a 30-40 year period the expected warming is two-tenths of a degree per decade, but that doesn't mean each decade is going to warm two-tenths of a degree: there is too much natural variability."

    Prof Hansen said the focus by some on "details" was a smokescreen. "This is a diversionary tactic. Our understanding of global warming and human-made climate change has not been affected at all," he said. "It's because the deniers [of the science] want the public to be confused. They raise these minor issues and then we forget about what the main story is. The main story is carbon dioxide is going up and it is going to produce a climate which is going to have dramatic changes if we don't begin to reduce our emissions
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/may/17/global-warming-not-sta...

    Hank
    Times sure have changed.  When I was a lad, an adjunct professor did not get to be called 'professor' - especially since Dr. Hansen actually works at NASA and not Columbia. 

    There was once a reason why all those different titles - assistant, adjunct, associate and then just professor - existed, but I guess they are all the same now, which is going to terrify universities.  Damian Carrington at Guardian must be young. Or he's a fanboy.   It makes me want to get an unpaid, part-time adjunct professor position at a local college so I can make you all call me professor too.
    MikeCrow
    I think for the fine line you're walking we should all address you as Dr Campbell.
    Never is a long time.
    http://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/3077

    Sounds like some sour grapes envy low blow smear...
    Get his background and you'll have no problem Hank Campbell

    Hank
    Not sour grapes, it is asking that words and terms mean what they are supposed to mean.  If a journalist or you uses 'begging the question'  incorrectly next, I will criticize that also. 
    Come on Hank, don't get on your high horse, we clearly can see what you driving at....if that's what you going to go after...well, let's just say you are meeting your standards of "critical thinking".

    Hank
    Yes, professor, you see right through me. I mean, your excellency. Since we are just making up titles, you can be anything you want. 
    Your projecting your foolishness on Dr. Hansen, who, by the way, have no part in writing the article.
    If that is what you focus on, your nit-picking it is pretty pitiful.

    Hank
    Not at all. Again, you are going out of your way to read something into this that isn't there. I wrote
    Damian Carrington at Guardian must be young. Or he's a fanboy. It makes me want to get an unpaid, part-time adjunct professor position at a local college so I can make you all call me professor too.
    But I get the feeling you are some kind of fanboy too.
    Not at all, just the facts; you are fabricating your own "story" to satisfy your own inflated ego. Hope it helps you feel more important.

    "says on the grounds of his religious views."

    It's not someone's specific religious views, the only concern should be is the person able to keep his religious views separate from science. In the case being discussed the answer seems to be no, so I think dismissing is valid.

    "begging the question" I've been paying attention to this mistake for some time now and after seeing dozens of incorrect uses by journalists and not one correct usage, at what point do we accept the incorrect usage (people seem to love using the phrase). Isn't this how language evolves?

    Hank
    I suppose. "Ain't" didn't make it into a dictionary until the 1970s and I first heard journalists - who used to be more literate than the public - start using begging the question as to mean 'demands that the question be asked' in the 1990s. It became one of those faux-logic fads, like 'false equivalence' did a decade later.  It's a problem that can't be unmade, it's true, so I should be less cranky about it.

    There is a reason the medical and science community prefers Latin when it really counts. It is not evolving. :)
    MikeCrow
    In the case being discussed the answer seems to be no, so I think dismissing is valid.

    Does Dr Curry have religious views you'd dismiss her over?


    Never is a long time.
    Hello Mi Cro,

    For Some reason, I could not reply beneath your last comment on ocean level. So I reply here.

    I will abstain to comment on the science for reasons mentioned earlier. The reason of this discussion, that we started a few days ago, was in reaction to your citing of Dr. Spencer. And I gave you my reasons to dismiss him. Your reaction would be, understandably the same if I would try to convince you of the validity of Michael Mann’s work.
    While Roy Spencer and Michael Mann are good to keep their sheep in the herd, they are useless for changing the minds of reasonable individuals. Now, take the time to read this article of Judith Curry http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/01/what-exactly-are-we-debating/ . While I am more on the cautious side, her approach has much more influence on me. Hope my suggestion serves you well. Good Luck.

    MikeCrow
    Thank you, I tend to like Dr Curry. I have passed my work off to Dr Curry, I hope to hear back from her.
    Let me quote this:

    C.  Matters on which we think the evidence does not support the scientific consensus

    3.  Predictions of increasing humidity and temperature in the tropical troposphere, a key prediction of rapid greenhouse warming, have been falsified by experimental data casting doubt on whether the warming of 1980-2000 was man-made.
    Dr Spencer's chart I posted about, goes directly to item 3, that chart is of tropical troposphere temperatures vs models results (regardless of how I misspelled it multiple times).

    And:

    D.  Why alarm is not secure

    3.  Policies to decarbonize the economy using today’s technology are likely to be harmful to human welfare and natural ecology.
    Why I bother.

    If policy wasn't attempting to apply unsettled science, I would just let others argue about the science.



    Never is a long time.