Sunday, June 03, 2012

Judith Curry Doesn't Wants to Know

UPDATE:  Well, some, not Eli to be sure, perhaps Roger Pielke Jr., would point out that Judith already has done the Sgt. Schultz with respect to what happened at the 1995 meeting.  In the comments one of Eli's friendly anonymice points to Curry Quotes, where Judy prepeats:  (Schultz is the guy in red on the right)
 I do not have any knowledge of this situation beyond what is reported in the standard sources. This issue has been widely discussed and disputed. There is no particular reason to rehash it here, i brought it up as a key issue in the history of the IPCC and the debate surrounding it.

 Gavin Schmidt was moved to call her out
The facts remain that when you make broad and unspecific statements alleging ‘corruption’ or a ‘lack of integrity’ you simply feed the blog-chorus, while the people involved, or those who know the people you appear to referring to, are just left puzzled about what you are talking about. Because of course, no-one with integrity would make such serious allegations without some evidence.

However, when you have brought up specifics, they are generally warmed over talking points without any actual substance. Your latest comment about Ben Santer’s role in SAR is a case in point. There is a very readable account of what happened available on RC, and indeed in Steve Schneider’s last book (chapter 5). Neither account supports your, frankly, defamatory, claim, which instead appears to be based on the letter from the late Fred Seitz, someone who wasn’t there, and who invented a whole conspiracy out of the whole cloth on the op-ed pages of the WSJ. There is no question in mind who, between Fred Seitz, Ben Santer and Steve Schneider had a problem with integrity. Hint, his name doesn’t start with Ben or Steve.

(Yes, the update has been artificially enhanced.  Wanna make something of it?)
Judith Curry is not one waste another libel against her colleagues without using it to passive aggressively kick some climate scientist,  and, sure enough, having spotted the n+1st reprise of Fred Seitz's lies about Ben Santer, she goes, oh gee, "This article paints a disturbing picture.   I would like to hear a defense/critique from IPCC principals."  Fortunately for Google challenged Judy, Eli knew about Ben Santer's  recent Close Encounter of the Absurd Kind, which dealt with this nonsense, but thanks to the Google he came across a contemporaneous report on the affair written by Stephen Schneider and Paul Edwards in 1997, which, the Rabett invites you to go read, but there is an important and inspiring section which the bunny will quote in full
At Madrid, Santer presented Chapter 8’s conclusions to the national delegates of 96 IPCC member nations. The conclusions were not presented alone, but followed a presentation to the plenary session of the scientific evidence contained in Chapter 8. Nevertheless, several countries objected to the Chapter 8 conclusions. Most of the objections came from OPEC or less-developed nations. One delegate, from Kenya, moved to have the chapter entirely dropped from the final report.

In response, the meeting’s chair — following procedures often used at IPCC Plenary meetings to resolve disputes — called for a drafting group to revise the chapter as well as and the detection and attribution section of the Summary for  Policymakers. Nations complaining about the Chapter 8 draft were invited, indeed expected, to meet with Lead Authors, first to discuss the scientists’ point of view and then to fashion new, mutually acceptable language.

This breakout group worked for the better part of a day. Delegates from over half a dozen countries — including the Kenyan who had publicly advocated dropping the chapter — met with about half a dozen Chapter 8 authors, including Santer, co-Lead Author Tom Wigley, and scientists Kevin Trenberth, Michael MacCracken, John Mitchell, and me (SHS). The Kenyan sat next to me.

Initially, he was confused by the discussion and somewhat hostile. We had many side conversations about what was being discussed: models, data, statistical tests and various climate forcing scenarios. Although he was not a front-rank climate researcher, this delegate was a trained scientist. He began to grasp the nature of the Lead Authors’ arguments, listening carefully to about half of the breakout meeting.

Ironically, the Saudi Arabian delegation sent no representative to this most controversial drafting group, even though Saudi Arabia had led the opposition in the plenary meeting. During the Chapter 8 debate, Saudi delegates often issued objections soon after receiving notes from the Global Climate Coalition representative. (Non-governmental organizations were also represented at Madrid. For example, S. Fred Singer — President of the Science & Environmental Policy Project and a self-proclaimed contrarian — raised a number of issues from the floor.)

Later in the plenary meeting, when Santer presented the drafting group’s revised text, the Saudi delegates once again objected. Santer forcefully challenged them. Why, he asked, had no Saudi attended the breakout group — if their objections had some basis in science? The head Saudi delegate haughtily announced that he didn’t have to account for his decisions about which drafting group to attend.

Besides, he said, his was “only a small delegation” of a few people. At this point the Kenyan delegate rose to speak. (I held my breath.) “I’m a member of a small delegation too,” he said. (He was the only Kenyan representative.) “But somehow I managed to attend this most important drafting session. As a result, I am convinced that Chapter 8 is now well written and I have no objections to its inclusion in the report.” (I paraphrase his words from memory.) The impact of his intervention was stunning, stopping with a few words what appeared to be a mounting movement of OPEC and LDC opposition to Chapter 8 before it could garner any further support.

Later on I privately congratulated the Kenyan for having the courage to object publicly, observe privately, and then re-evaluate his position before the entire plenary. He said he wasn’t sure his country would approve of his stance, but having witnessed the debate process for several hours, he had become convinced it was honest and open. That was all he needed to change his opinion from preconceived skepticism to support of the Lead Authors’ conclusions.

What this courageous delegate did was the essence of good science. He allowed his initial hypothesis to be subjected to new evidence, tested it, and found it wanting. He then listened to arguments for a different point of view, subjected them to the tests of evidence and debate, and reached a new conclusion.
 This scene has been described by several who were at the meeting, but Eli could not find the name of the Kenyan scientist who was his country's delegate.  Perhaps others might have more success.

In a less friendly way, the Rabett would like to point out that our friend, S. Fred Singer, was at the meeting, he witnessed all this and he has been unembellishing the truth ever since.  S. Fred, of course, is responsible for at least a ten year delay in taking action against environmental tobacco smoke, lead the charge against the Montreal protocols and is the Heartland Institute's main guy, having sucked more than 100K$ from them for various tasks like writing their NIPCC report.

Way to go Fred.


Anonymous said...

Alas, she does not have any knowledge of this situation beyond what is reported in the standard sources:

Anonymous said...

I took some anti-emetics and actually started to read the Quadrant piece. Dr. Curry should have stopped reading right when the "John Theon was Jim Hansen's supervisor" canard appeared. (Actually, that canard gives webbed feet a bad name.) Dr. C. is right--that article does paint a disturbing picture" ---of Tony Thomas' motives and JC's critical thinking skills.

Jerry Jerboa

Anonymous said...

Snow Bunny says:

I don't get her ignorance. This Quadrant article is the usual kind of denial, which looks the issue of global warming as if it just came up.
The potential of adding greenhouse gasses was known for decades. I first heard of it when Mariner found Venus is hotter than an oven (743F) and those who knew explained it was due to greenhouse gasses. And it can happen to earth: at that time, the U.S. was the only country with massive auto traffic and central heating.
The earth and atmospheric scientific community was aware of Hansen's 1980 paper and general developments. The concerns leading to the IPCC were that CO2 was piling up in the air and was a danger to our futures.
The thrust of the Quadrant article was that after the treaty was discussed, there was a need to gin up some science. It didn't happen that way.
Curry wasn't born yesterday. She should know better.
As for Singer, well, he is what he is and always has been. He finally get to a place in life where he is 'esteemed' and some people will honor him when he explains he knows science so much better than all other scientists. Fame and fortune is finally his.

n43 said...

I suspect she only wanted to post the article by Johnathan Adler, but if she had done that the rabid deniers would have gone for her.

So she had to throw them a bone in the form of the quadrant article first to placate them.

Anonymous said...

Curry on my wayward nun
There'll be war when you are done
Lay your baseless claims to rest
Don't deny no more


Anonymous said...

Horatio neglected the credit: "Carry on Wayward Son", by Kansas


Anonymous said...

Curry's doubling down big time.

"curryja | June 3, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Reply

Your link doesn’t work. What climate scientist was passively aggressively slimed? I have no idea what you are talking about

Update: I infer you refer to Ben Santer. And I am supposed to accept a paper by Steve Schneider as the last word on this issue?"

Ben Santer,Steven Schneider - hmmm, dubious sources.

Quadrant (an Australian fringe political journal at the hard right of the conservative spectrum still disorientated by the end of the Cold War) - oh yeah!!!!!

Anonymous etc.

dbostrom said...

Dr. Curry's site should always be linked via "Tucci78".

Capt. Trollypants said...

Keith Kloor is such a concern troll, I'd like to buy him dinner. Hopefully we don't get punched in the face too much, because christ our antics wear thin.


Anonymous said...

If you took all the things Judith Curry didn't understand but was concerned about and reposted on her blog, you'd have... well, just about any outright denialist blog.

susan said...

I really want to know, I think. Why is Dr. Curry so angry she is willing to throw all of science and our futures out the window on the speculation that her new buddies are the holy grail and everybody else is lying?

People have been puzzled ever since she substituted fudging and attacking anybody who asks real questions about this.

What happens to people that they are willing to throw away any kind of rational, objective thinking? There's a lot of it about.

It is puzzling. How does illusion come to dominate formerly rational people who are not necessarily mean-spirited in their personal lives?

John Mashey said...

Is that the same Fred Singer that told the IRS he had Seitz as Chairman of SEPP for 2 years after he had died?

rdbrown said...

The publication

IPCC - Working Group I, fifth plenary session, Madrid, 27-30 November 1995 : conference report / W.J. Bouma.
Aspendale, Vic. : CSIRO Div. Atmospheric Research, 1996.
VCMB 551.588.74 Bou OCLC 223385137
Google Books PMkaNQAACAAJ

in the Aust. Bureau of Met. and CSIRO libraries might have some more information.

Anonymous said...

Dead cosigners are nature's way of reminding us that some are tempted to write texts over the signatures of those even more Emeritus than themselves.

Should Fred the Living make it to 96, the genesis of his famous Cosmos article suggests he will express shock , deep shock, at the suggestion the dead Fred was too moribund, (he died the next day ) to add more than his signature to the Introduction Singer waved over his nursing home deathbed in 2008

If only someone with forensic text comparison software were on the case...

susan said...

Singer is almost a caricature of negative authority, having been in the fight from its inception effecting mayhem on behalf of war and weapons hawks, smokers, toxicity, you name it. Should we use the E word about him? Probably yes. The kind of guy who defines sold soul.

EliRabett said...

To use a rather unfriendly analogy, he is like Macbeth, Fred would rather wade through the blood than admit he was wrong.

Lionel A said...

'Should we use the E word about him?'
Probably but S Fred, with the Justin Lancaster episode, proved that there was no need for S Fred himself made it quit clear by his actions which side of the E fence he stood.

Eli had something to say about it here .

Hank Roberts said...

Between them, they explain much of our current twenty-first century world

bill said...

Great link, Hank! And comes complete with my favourite quote that ends The other, of course, involves orcs.

Steve Bloom said...

Susan, Judy's turn to the dark side coincided more or less with her (with hubby Peter Webster) launching a for-profit climate consultancy. Given the sort of private sector connections they would have been likely to make at a place like GTech, attacking the "consensus" may be seen a a credibility-bolstering exercise on Judy's part.

susan said...

Steve Bloom, right 'tchar. She was heard to say it "plays well" in Georgia. Almost couldn't believe she would own that. Hypocrisy for sale.

So she is really stupid enough to not count the consequences for her own future, her family's, etc. and to believe in the giant worldwide conspiracy of her erstwhile colleagues. Montford and Monckton before Mann et al., so to speak ...

Gavin Schmidt was wasting his courtesy, it seems. And she didn't even return the favor.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

Eli explain to me why earth is below GAT and average atmospheric co2.

Anonymous said...

I smell a Dr Jay brain fart.

Anonymous Etc

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Would not the good doctor need to be possessed of a central nervous system to exhibit cerebral flatulance? Alas, I suspect it is the more common variety--although given the colocation of Dr. Jays head and tuckus, the mistake is a natural one.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

well ho ho ho! We know Frederick Seitz has an integrity problem because Eli said so! Seitz said that the studies linking second hand smoke to cancer were dubious and we know that cannot be true! We have a machine, where if somebody gets cancer, we can scan them and determine the cancer was from second hand smoke. We can determine the brand of cigarette, and the exact day the victim was exposed to second hand smoke.

Dr. Jay asked Eli a question he can't answer, what an idiot!

ho ho ho ho!

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Thank you, Jaybird, for proving my point.

EliRabett said...

Singer, not Seitz, can't you keep your Freds straight?

Hank Roberts said...

I guess all the really smart spectroscopists quit pointing their equipment at the cold empty sky and started trying it out on measuring skin changes targets, for challenges like this.