Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cook, et al. The prequel, the teeth gnashing, the recursive fury

Some time ago, like in about 2007, Brian came to Eli offering a poisoned pawn.  Eli, said, well actually wrote, Brian, how would you as a tip top climate blogger, like to take part in an Oreskes redo, with a bunch of other usual suspects (they are welcome to out themselves).  Sounds interesting saith the bunny, only to find out that it would involve reading something like 200 abstracts from 2002-2007 selected from 664 by random chance (Didn't know that Random Chance was Brian's other name did you).  The idea was to apply some granularity and different eyeballs.  Brian and helper bunnies pulled down the abstracts and set them up in a data base and assigned four eyeballs to evaluate each for fit into several categories

  • Explicitly endorse
  • Implicitly endorse
  • Discusses AGW
  • Implicitly reject
  • Explicitly reject
there were two other categories which were treated as besides the point or neutral
  • Methods
  • Paleoclimate
and the dreaded
  • Disputed
Suffice it to say, they were strongly in line with what Cook, et al, have come up with, but not nearly so well done.  Also those early bunnies were querulous, something that Eli has never, never been accused of.
Now some, not Eli to be sure, have been trying to trash Cook, et al., which has just been published as open access, even before it appeared.  The recursive fury has been something to see.

Before the reveal, Eli needs to talk about the teeth gnashing and the recursive fury that Cook's on line survey open to all has stirred.  The curious thing is that  it's the self styled lukewarmers who are going bats, lead by Lucia and Brandon Shollenberger.  Rank Exploits has something like ten posts on the survey, trying to get people to muck it up, doing the McIntyre on John, accusing him of mopery and today postulating all sorts of ethics violationsVictory has been declared because the open survey closed.  All sorts of IRB reasons given by the folks at Lucia's but John says it was simply because the original paper will be published this week. 

One might ask why the fuss?  As has become clear from recent work (not just Lewandowsky, et al.) climate change, because the damage arises in the future presents ethical threats to future generations with a global reach, presents a dilemma for those who object to national and international responses.  They can't stand it and they really can't stand the fact that increasingly those who study climate are becoming more convinced that climate change will seriously damage our earth in the future.
UPDATED:  The graph, clearly shows that denial remains low, explicit endorsement increases in the published literature.(So Ei got this backwards.  As somebunny pointed out to him Eli,

There's a problem with the sentence below your graph explicit endorsement decreasing in the published literature, as one would expect, since "no position" increases, as one would expect since taking boiler-plate positions is not abstract-worth
Separately, of the subset of papers that do take a position, the fraction of endorsers increases somewhat, as per one of the graphs in the SkS post, but that's not what your chart is on about.
No bunny is perfect

Skeptical Science has more details for those interesting in picking nit or not, but the take home abstract is that
We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11,944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics 'global climate change' or 'global warming'. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus. For both abstract ratings and authors' self-ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time. Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research.
The Rabett Run and friends survey was done late 2007 into 2008 for 664 abstracts.  36% endorsed AGW,  31% partially endorsed, 2%(16) rejected AGW or doubted it and the remainder appeared to be neutral, unconcerned or besides the point.  About 2% were subjects of violent disagreement.

It might be amusing to post the list of those that the prequel team (played by Jar Jar Binks) thought rejected AGW

Shaviv (2005) On climate response to changes in the cosmic ray flux and radiative budget
Zhen-Shan et al. (2007) Multi-scale analysis of global temperature changes and trend of a drop in temperature in the next 20 years

Berliner (2003) Uncertainty and climate change
Gerhard (2004) Climate change: Conflict of observational science, theory, and politics

Rejects or Doubts
Dorman (2005) Estimation of long-term cosmic ray intensity variation in near future and prediction of their contribution in expected global climate change
Karner (2002) On nonstationarity and antipersistency in global temperature series
Lai et al. (2005) Global warming and the mining of oceanic methane hydrate

Partially Rejects or Doubts
Belov et al. (2005) Prediction of expected global climate change by forecasting of galactic cosmic ray intensity time variation in near future based on solar magnetic field data
Bryden et al. (2003) Changes in ocean water mass properties: Oscillations or trends?
Chappell et al. (2004) Modelling climate change in West African Sahel rainfall (1931-90) as an artifact of changing station locations
Dorman (2006) Long-term cosmic ray intensity variation and part of global climate change, controlled by solar activity through cosmic rays
Guglielmin (2004) Observations on permafrost ground thermal regimes from Antarctica and the Italian Alps, and their relevance to global climate change
Hubalek (2005) North Atlantic weather oscillation and human infectious diseases in the Czech Republic, 1951-2003
Lahsen (2005) Seductive simulations? Uncertainty distribution around climate models
Leiserowitz (2005) American risk perceptions: Is climate change dangerous?
McDonagh et al. (2005) Decadal changes in the south Indian Ocean thermocline
Raghavan et al. (2003) Trends in tropical cyclone impact - A study in Andhra Pradesh, India
Staeger et al. (2003) Statistical separation of observed global and European climate data into natural and anthropogenic signals
Tiwari et al. (2006) Paleomonsoon precipitation deduced from a sediment core from the equatorial Indian Ocean
van Poppel et al. (2005) Electron tomography of nanoparticle clusters: Implications for atmospheric lifetimes and radiative forcing of soot
Vandergoes et al. (2003) The Last Glacial-Interglacial Transition (LGIT) in south Westland, New Zealand: paleoecological insight into mid-latitude Southern Hemisphere climate change
Vitas (2004) Tree rings of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karsten) in Lithuania as drought indicators: dendroecological approach
Zhang et al. (2003) Archaeal lipid biomarkers and isotopic evidence of anaerobic methane oxidation associated with gas hydrates in the Gulf of Mexico

Oh yes, the carping has started


Anonymous said...

"Oh yes, the carping has started.

I note that Shollenberger's silliness starts with nanoWatts admitting that there's a wrinkle in the Denialist perception of Space-Time.

It seems that in his belly he knows that he can run, but he can never hide...

Bernard J.

[Catpcha chuckles "higgrat hor"

Anonymous said...

Those triangles corroborate what I've long thought to be true about the denialosaurs: that the saying "As empty vessels make the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest blabbers" is indeed apposite.

Cymraeg llygoden

tonylearns said...

Fascinating looking at the comments on "the blackboard". there is no interest in the actual results, whether they are valid or not. Lucia seems to be trying to be neutral, but most others seem to be solely concerned about how the raters COULD be using bias to skew the results> And that it is not a pristine perfectly double blind assessment.
I never assumed it would be anything close to that or really care if the raters have a bias. ALl the comments that i have seen posted by Lucia, show the raters trying to do a fairly objective job.
This appears lost on the deniers commenting.
This is such a politicized issue now with ideology trumping almost anything, that it would be hard to find anyone interested in the issue that was not biased.
Who is this Brandon. I read a long series of comments about Lewandowsky, on SKS and on the retraction site where he was up in arms about how awful the paper was with horrible egregious errors, but again it seemed like there was no interest in whether the paper was showing a valid result. My experience on denier sites make the conclusion almost inescapable, from having viewed thousands of posts and comments where a high percentage were clearly conspiratorial

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Shollenberger a lukewarmer? He's a full on passenger in the clown car. I ran into him on a Facebook thread that I started when I questioned one of our esteem legislators here in MT. He of course wanted to deny what the effect of the deeply stupid law this man had proposed would be. I shot him down when he took something the legislator had said at face value and I shot back with a direct quote from the law which showed that the legislator had been full of it.

The funny thing is, there doesn't seem to be anyone of that name living in Montana.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

It might also be useful to note for the purposed of Willard Tony and friends knowledge, that a paper about global warming which takes no position on the cause is sort of like a cosmology paper on gravitational lensing not taking a position on relativity. It is the sea in which they swim. Of course Willard Tony doesn't seem to understand that the degree on consensus is so large -- he seems to think that only ~33% of scientists agree with the statement that "global warming is happening and it is caused by increasing CO2 levels".

Sou said...

Shollenberger is trying to drive the clown car. He's getting himself all tied up in knots though, just like Willard Tony did. Confusing independence and objectivity. And being inconsistent in regard to which conspiracy is the current one; and other stuff.

Bunch of raving ratbags, the lot of them. Including Lucia whose veneer of sanity keeps slipping. Plus she lets the inmates run riot.

Apologies for all the mixed metaphors. Hard to keep track of that lot.

Victor Venema thinks their audiences numbers are dropping. Not a surprise really. I guess when a carbon price/tax or whatever gets close to reality in the USA their numbers will shoot up again. (That's based on experience here in Australia.)

Albatross said...

A word of advice...just let the poor deniers and "fake skeptics" fester in their own cesspool of spit and venom. Much bigger developments are afoot :)

Sou said...

Sounds intriguing, Albatross :D

Can I just add one more funny?

Poptech is going apoplectic. "Only 78 papers by deniers" (He called them by the denier euphemism "skeptics".) "Get the papers" he pleads. "Someone, anyone, get the papers."

EliRabett said...

Ooooo....someone ripped Roger Jrs name out of Andy's Roladex? Even better.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the papers that did not express an opinion:

The judges unanimously dismissed arguments from industry that the science of global warming was not well supported and that the agency had based its judgment on unreliable studies. “This is how science works,” they wrote. “The E.P.A. is not required to reprove the existence of the atom every time it approaches a scientific question.”



andrew adams said...

Yes, but cosmic rays!


"Our analysis shows that, although important in cloud physics the results do not lead to the conclusion that cosmic rays affect atmospheric clouds significantly... Recent measurements of the cosmic ray intensity show that a former decrease with time has been reversed. Thus, even if cosmic rays enhanced cloud production, there would be a small global cooling, not warming."

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I try usually to get myself as far as possible from "skeptic" sites, therefore I'm naive but ...
they are apparently in this case so retarded that they do not get "independant" means "independant from the authors of the rated article". Is it always the case, or did cosmic rays temper with their brain that particular day ?

Dada and Magritte would have had so much fun ...


Anonymous said...

"Oh yes, the carping has started."

The Blackboard is currently down - ergo the conspiracy is censoring their concerns.


EliRabett said...

Eli thinks it pretty well established that the limiting factors are aerosols, controlled by SO2, and dust.

Anonymous said...


At least they are not completely retarded, as they can spell independent correctly.

Funny how independent reviewers can discuss on a web blog how to review an abstract during the review process and come out calling it independent. I would say some were independent and some reviews were collaborative.


WHT said...

my take on Brandon is that he desperately misses his high school debate team.

Lucia is trying to create an impenetrable fortress out of her web server, whut's up wid dat?

Neven said...

The delusion over at Lucia's knitting club has hit the nauseous level a while back for me. I'm glad I'm not hanging out there anymore. I wonder why I ever did.

Pinotgraves said...

Well, if they disagree with the methodology--seems like the hypothesis is falsifiable, no? So instead of carping, whining and generally behaving badly, redo the survey...

John Mashey said...

Well, along these lines, but earlier, on Oreskes':

a) Benny Peiser tried once, didn't go too well.

b) Then Monckton tried again, using his endocrinologist KM Schulte as a front, with help from Rob Ferguson of SPPI (well, really Craig Idso's CSDCGC, where Ferguson has been the highest paid employee, although SPPI is really a PO Box in a suburban UPS store near his house). That didn't go so well either. :-)

Needless to say, the SkS effort took a lot of work by those folks.

willard said...

> Who is this Brandon.

Someone who says "You make no sense!" a lot:

bill said...

Hey, Number One - do your own study! As JM points out, that hasn't gone well for your lot.

Did you do Cook's public rating survey? Can you seriously doubt the figures on the distribution of papers are correct?

No. So the Rejectionist teleprompter now reads 'throw mud', as is traditional when confronting a despised but irrefutable result.

The discussion on your 'gotcha' is here. Note that it's based on reading the paper.

John Mashey said...

I will add a bit to the history. Back in 2004, when Oreskes' folks did their quick survey, they were surprised by the results. Why?

Naomi had written The Rejection of Continental Drift: Theory and Method in American Earth Science (1999), which traced the detailed evolution of scientific thinking on that. There was a long history of argument, especially between Europeans and most Americans, and then with post-WW II data, the issue got resolved relatively quickly.

So, in looking at 1993-2003, they expected to find a much higher fraction of rejections in 1993, decreasing either slowly (or perhaps with sharp breaks sometime). They were surprised to find that within science, already by 1993, the number of rejections was already low, i.e., the basic argument was over and people were spending their time on all the other remaining issues.

Anonymous said...

Number 1, I may spell independent incorrectly (merci les faux amis entre langue française et anglaise), but I know enough english to try and understand people on teh Internetz. And, frankly, your short intervention is on the level of the board I've read : I don't get it.

I'm sure you will type a lot on your keyboard to demonstrate that, because some people dared to share their thoughts about the criteria, the whole study was totally biased on the warmista side and therefore is a propaganda tool, while a "totally honest" study would have seen the number of "skeptic" papers skyrocketing.

Oh wait, most advices on the web log tend to be more convservative than the initial rating.
Oh wait bis, the true "skeptic" papers are still scarce, mainly because Watts "groundbreaking" paper is still waited for

And whining that people discuss on a board, and not saying anything about someone on another board explicitely advising to throw a wrench in the study by making random ratings , is quite ... prioeless.

Once again, Dada would have been proud of you.


Anonymous said...

Brat and Bill,

All I said was based on the web blog collaboration during the review process, that some reviews would probably fall under the collaborative category and some independent. I said nothing of the paper and its results, because in the grand scheme of things it contributes very little as far as new knowledge or insight.

Do you like your Straw Men with blue or green jacket? I am guessing green. I did not realize I was on some team and must stand in lockstep with their every move, that actually seems to describe you better than I.

Oh and Brat it was not a problem that you spelled independent incorrectly, it was that you called a group of people retarded. I found that humorous.


EliRabett said...

#1, that is a pile of dead fish that Lucia and what's his name are peddling. No ABSTRACT was rated collaboratively, what happened was that the specifications for each category were discussed early in the rating process. If that had any effect it would show as a differential between the earliest and the later ratings.

In the prequel we did this after the training set.

willard said...

> what's his name


Speaking of whom, here's a pea and thimble game.

First, the pea:

> Remembering AGW stands for anthropogenic global warming, or global warming caused by humans, take a minute to let that sink in. This study done by John Cook and others, praised by the President of the United States, found more scientific publications whose abstracts reject global warming than say humans are primarily to blame for it.

Note how Chewbacca's trying to define AGW as "50% or more".

Note also that the abstracts do not reject anything like Chewbacca's pea.

Now, Chewbacca's thimble:

> The “consensus” they’re promoting says it is more likely humans have a negligible impact on the planet’s warming than a large one.

Note how "negligible" characterizes "less than 50% or less".


Chewbacca might have a tough time parsing his way out of this pea and thimble game.

Perhaps bunnies should ask Chewbacca where he took his characterization of AGW.

I can't do it myself, since Lucia restricted my contributions to her blog:

> If you have more to say on this subject (or any other), please post at your tumblr blog and provide the link here.

Yes, but RC moderation.

willard said...

Link to Chewbacca's pea and thimble game:

willard said...

An erratum:

> Note how Chewbacca's trying to define AGW as "50% or more".

Should read:

> Note how Chewbacca's trying to characterize AGW as "more than 50%".

Here's where we can read this implication:

> The only time an abstract is rated as saying how much humans contribute to global warming is if it mentions: "that human activity is a dominant influence or has caused most of recent climate change (>50%)."

As if we should expect more quantitative attribution studies than rejectionist (T/M Eli) papers.

Gator said...

I tried to post this over at Lucia's but her site is too slow. Must be under attack from the warmists.


Steve Mosher wrote:
"2. Lukewarmer: explicitly or implicity endorses AGW with
no quantification of portion of warming due to humans"

That is not a valid category title. A paper might accept that the planet is warming due to human action but not discuss quantification of the portion due to humans. That does not describe a "lukewarmer" -- that describes scientific consensus. Consensus means a part of your theory is so widely accepted you don't need to offer evidence about that part. For example, a discussion of the behavior of SQUIDS (super-conducting quantum interference devices) will not talk about justifying quantum mechanics.

bill said...

No. 1 - if you're not on a team, why toss out squishy morsels from their chum-bucket?

As Eli points out, this 'critique' is simply asinine carping.