Curry and Crook

As far as “Climategate” goes, most of the left is in denial (NOT holocaust denial!) about the gravity of the situation. While the emails that I have read are not evidence of guilt (some one needs to pin the mails and the code down to specific papers, or actions, of the scientists involved, and only then will we have the “smoking gun”), they do show the mentality of the scientists under the cloud. There are a few voices on the AGW side though, that speak about this. Judith Curry is one of them. And you should read her latest interview

NJ: Is the outside scrutiny from the skeptics making the science stronger?
Curry: Scrutiny from scientific skeptics makes the science stronger, either by identifying problems that can be addressed or by increasing confidence when problems and errors are not found. Scrutiny from [politically motivated] contrarians and deniers and the noise generated by such people do distract scientists from their real work… The scientists involved in the CRU emails are dismissing certain people as skeptics, assuming that they all have political motivations. Well, the motivation of the skeptic isn’t really the point. The point is whether or not they have a valid argument.


NJ: Since you’ve begun to speak out on this issue, what reaction have you heard from your fellow scientists?
Curry: Somebody who was named in those e-mails e-mailed me and was rather upset about my lack of support and my speaking about this. Out in the blogosphere, a lot of people picked up my message and seem to like it. But in terms of the people that I would see at conferences, they have not spoken out publicly and I’ve received only a few e-mails. I’m getting e-mails from people with Ph.D.s in chemistry or physics saying, “Thank you for what you’re doing, can you come give a talk at my professional society meeting?” So I’m getting favorable feedback from serious people in other branches of science who are interested in the climate issue and see too much politics in the science….Nobody [in the climate-science sector] wants to talk about this. When I put my essay out on, I thought I would be one of 500 people out there making statements, but oops, I’m out there by myself.

And Clive Crook

Leaving the realm of epistemic speculation, what many climate scientists do actually say is that the Climategate correspondents were true to their justified conviction about the larger picture, and did not want to confuse the public with their little local difficulty with tree-rings, or whatever. Some are happy to go even further than that, and tell you, on or off the record, that the main thing is to get the public scared enough to act. Exaggerate for the public good. Propaganda becomes the responsible scientist’s duty. Whatever it takes, including cooking the books. A question to keep Tyler [Cowen] entertained would be: is that dishonourable behaviour?

Still reeling over what is in those emails, I can’t say that question interests me much. Once scientists set out to mislead the public, they can no longer expect to be trusted. End of story.

While talking about propaganda, one cannot forget head propagandist, Pachauri. He, while claiming to do so, is not concerned with the science at all. His interest is in the politics. Control. The WSJ has a scathing piece on him-

What he has chosen to talk about instead is instructive. It seems what most concerns Mr. Pachauri now is not climatology, or glaciology, or oceanography—but the way we live. “Today we have reached the point where consumption and people’s desire to consume has grown out of proportion,” he told the Observer, also on Sunday. “The reality is that our lifestyles are unsustainable.”

Mr. Pachauri’s actions speak even louder than his words. Last month, he branded the Indian environment minister “arrogant” after his office released a study that called into question whether climate-change is causing abnormal shrinkage of Himalayan glaciers. The IPCC’s line is that Himalayan glaciers could be reduced by 80% or disappear entirely by 2035—but for this factoid, it cites no scientists, only the activist group, World Wildlife Fund. Now, the meteorologist and expert IPCC reviewer Madhav Khandekar says on Roger Pielke Sr.’s blog that the 2035 date may have been derived from a typo, based on a 1996 paper on snow and ice edited by V.M. Kotlyakov, which estimates the glaciers could be severely depleted or gone by 2350.


[O]n his personal Website last week he made clear that the science, for him, comes second. Conceding that Copenhagen was “clearly not making much headway,” he advocated a focus on “the larger problem of unsustainable development, of which climate change is at best a symptom.”

And Curry too is not pleased with his “crazy” ideas-

I staunchly support the IPCC, but when [chairman] Rajendra Pachauri comes out making all these really strong policy statements, such as the developed world has to cut back its energy use… and stop putting ice cubes in their water, and other crazy stuff… I don’t like that. These guys should pick people who don’t want to be advocates and will shut their mouths about advocating for policies. Otherwise, we don’t look credible.

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  • yet_another_hindu_infidel  On December 5, 2009 at 12:27 am

    bottom line. were not scientists. were ordinary people making “in my opinion” statements based on stuff we read on the internet or in the newspapers.

    my opinions are political and so are yours as you mentioned in your previous editorial though we don’t make IMO statements out of anything. here, our underlying’s are based on what others say, especially what the scientific community says because that’s science and those people know the facts. everything else is political. an IMO. whatever you and i say on this topic is and will be an IMO.

    The stand of these scientists are divided in these blocks
    # 1 Believe global warming is not occurring or has ceased
    # 2 Believe accuracy of IPCC climate projections is questionable
    # 3 Believe global warming is primarily caused by natural processes
    # 4 Believe cause of global warming is unknown
    # 5 Believe global warming will not be significantly negative

    my IMO fits between 3 and 4. i.e., i think climate change is real and happening though i don’t blame the transition entirely on humans cause this phenomenon has happened several time in the past is what i read. it is inevitable. my IMO is that human activity is speeding this process.

    • Aristotle The Geek  On December 5, 2009 at 4:22 am

      # “whatever you and i say on this topic is and will be an IMO.”
      On the science, yes. But the final “decisions” cannot be left to science. Science gave you the atom bomb. The “decision” to use it was political. Even if science proves AGW, prescribing policy is not the scientist’s job. From my post on “green fascism” to this one, I have always written about the politics behind AGW. Most scientists, including Hansen, are behaving more like politicians and less like scientists. And that is evidence of a consequentialist, and authoritarian, mentality. That’s the worrying part.

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