Thursday, February 03, 2011

Through a Glass Darkly

Eli a trusting sort of bunny, likes to believe everyone, but favors cutting the cards. Porky Pearce over at Nude Scientist is taking a shellacking for, as they say, making it up. Gavin might even get a few bob out of it if he were Monckton Minded, but as for now all we have is Dr. Schmidt's (still unpublished as we go to press) letter sent to the editors

In the piece entitled Climate sceptics and scientists attempt peace deal, Fred Pearce includes a statement about me that is patently untrue.

"But the leaders of mainstream climate science turned down the gig, including NASA's Gavin Schmidt, who said the science was settled so there was nothing to discuss."

This is completely made up. My decision not to accept the invitation to this meeting was based entirely on the organiser's initial diagnosis of the cause of the 'conflict' in the climate change debate. I quote from their introductory letter (6/Oct/2010):

"At this stage we are planning to have a workshop where the main scientific issues can be discussed, so that some clarity on points of agreement and disagreement might be reached. We would try to stay off the policy issues, and will also exclude personal arguments.

The issues we have in mind are Medieval Warm Period, ice, climate sensitivity, and temperature data. We would hope to have smaller groups discussing these in some detail, hopefully with scientists who are very familiar with the technical issues to lead the discussion."

Since, in my opinion, the causes of conflict in the climate change debate relate almost entirely to politics and not the MWP, climate sensitivity or 'ice', dismissing this from any discussion did not seem likely to be to help foster any reconciliation.

At no point have I declared that the 'science was settled' and that there is nothing to discuss. Indeed, I am on record as saying the exact opposite.

Pearce might well note that even I am included in the "spectrum" that "disagree[s] with Schmidt"!

Fred Pearce did not interview me for this piece. I should like to request that in future, if my views are of interest, that he (or anyone else) should actually ask me directly. I am not hard to contact.

Yours respectfully,

Gavin Schmidt

PS. I am not a 'leader of mainstream climate science' either.

Many have placed their bets on Fred. Eli is not quite so sure, where, better put, from whom would Pearce have gotten his information. Jerry Ravitz who is trying to muscle his way in springs to mind and, of course, luminaries such as the Steves are right up there.

Discussion of this Workshop to be continued


Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, over in Curryland...

Curry: Juoakola spotted an interesting new paper

Martha: I am really surprised by any discussion of this as a ‘new’ paper. This Rial et. al. paper is not new or undiscussed. It is 7 years old and at this point familiar to many undergraduate students, Judith. It is a reference in AR4.

Pat Casen: Agreed. Something about this paper made me check the acknowledgements immediately: “This paper resulted from a Workshop…”

Not that its value as such is diminished, but one’s expectations should be adjusted accordingly. It is no doubt useful in describing what attendees agreed upon (at the time) was important regarding current understanding and potentially fruitful approaches for future research, but new and/or surprising insights will probably not be found here.

Ron Cram: A quick observation – I do not think this paper would have been published prior to Climategate. I am thankful to the leaker inside CRU (or the hacker).

Fred Moolten: It was published in 2004.

Anonymous said...

I don't know Eli-- it seems to have been a "wild party" that night in the restaurant, so perhaps McIntyre (in the loo). ....Moshpit (in the alley) ....Curry (in the kitchen)....

Damn, could have been any one of those and other 'skeptics', contrarians or denialists......that is what they do.

I'm surprised that they did not burn any effigy of Mann or Hansen in the street afterwards.


Anonymous said...

comment too many links --> spambox?

dhogaza said...

Fred got a free trip to LIsboa, perhaps he's just paying his ticket price ...

Meanwhile, I've heard that Goddard has proven the CO2 snow falls on the interior regions of Portugal. If I'm wrong, why would they invite him?

Deech56 said...

Dhogaza, I believe the title of the resulting manuscript will be "The precipitation in Portugal plummets primarily on the plateau." (MAD magazine, late 1960s)

By George, he's got it!

EliRabett said...

Not really sure on the comment thing, but Eli just pushed your stuff out of the spam box. The system may simply need a bit more training. Given the lazy bunny's habits allow a max of 8 hours (sleep). Don't worry about double posting Eli will just kill one of them.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

ML, since it was deniers they would have burned an effigy of "Hanson", whoever he is...

Anonymous said...

"ML, since it was deniers they would have burned an effigy of "Hanson", whoever he is..."

"MMMBop" was caused by global warming, but burning an effigy of Hanson would only add to it. Denialists never learn.

Robert Murphy

Anonymous said...

Please feel to abuse me for this, but I cannot figure out how to view all the comments at NewScientist. Tried Safari and Firefox. I'm probably missing the bleating obvious, but some bunnies are not getting enough rest because of the nano bunnies.


dhogaza said...

"Eli is not quite so sure, where, better put, from whom would Pearce have gotten his information."

Tallbloke claims he summarized Gavin's e-mail declining the invitation for Pearce, but refuses to post the e-mail he claims to have gotten (despite Gavin having given his permission for Tallbloke to do so).

Curry defends Tallbloke's behavior;

Details can be found by chasing links on Tamino's post on the NS article ...

dhogaza said...

Oh, if you're wondering why Tallbloke would've seen Gavin's e-mail declining the invitation, he was on the "ad hoc organizing committee".

Who the hell would pick him for that role? (well, considering he was invited in the first place, I guess it's no surprise, but good grief, what a clusterf***)

Horatio Algeranon said...

"he was on the "ad hoc organizing committee".

Maybe Tallbloke misread and thought he was on the "ad hom organizing committee".

But that's neither here nor there.

It doesn't matter much where Pearce got the "quote".

Any good journalist would have verified it first before "going with it", especially given that "the science is settled" is a claim that is so commonly (and falsely) attributed to scientists by deniers.

Pearce is also certainly aware of how scientists have been misquoted and/or quoted out of context (or at least he should be. He has done some of it)

John Mashey said...

a) The organizers authorized Tallbloke to disclose/interpret invitees' replies OR

b) they did not, and his view of ethics is that it's just fine to disclose material accidentally included to him.

The organizers should be asked whether it was a), anf if b), what public comments they will make about Tallbloke's action.

Anonymous said...

From Deltoid,

"It is so very unfortunate of the 'skeptics' and contrarians cannot being themselves to acknowledge that they erred and correct a wrong. They cannot even, to my knowledge, bring themselves to say "sorry" when they have knowingly damaged someone's reputation and been the source of a myth that will be used by people with agendas to continue to smear Gavinn Schmidt.
It is this dogmatic behaviour that will ensure that the 'skeptics' and contrarians will continue to have a serious credibility issue, will not be trusted and will be alienated. They have no-one else to blame but themselves.

Today Roger had a chance to break that mould, he chose not to, at east not yet.

PS: And if Tallbloke is so concerned about his employer's take on this, then he should not have indicated his official affiliation as he did; instead he should have indicated that he was attending as a private citizen. It seems that he was not there in an official capacity on behalf of his employer-- that is his error in judgement not that of others."


Jakerman said...

Maple Leaf writes:

"Please feel to abuse me for this, but I cannot figure out how to view all the comments at NewScientist. Tried Safari and Firefox."

Happy to oblige, let me expand the list posted against greenmans crock of the week, I'll add number six to cover the womanly apple users:

"Find me a Full professor of Atmospheric science or climatology that thinks global warming is a real Conservative (sic) who also…
1) Always votes republican
2) Carries a gun.
3) Believes in God.
4) Has big muscles.
5) Eats meat
[6) Doesn't use Apple notebooks]
You can’t.
All you can find is dwarfed democrats that are womanly.
That is because global warming is political and religious and not at all science.
There is an attempt to cloak it in science. But it does not fit."