Delusions at their finest. From Judy Curry, a frequent testifier to a generally scientifically illiterate and ideological U.S Congress:
However, the main point is that this group is rapidly self-correcting – the self-correcting function in the skeptical technical blogosphere seems to be more effective (and certainly faster) than for establishment climate science.
Curry includes a few non skeptics in her group. But she seems to be relying on the fact that some of the most ludicrous claims of skeptics are contradicted by other skeptics (as part of the process of believing they are engaging in objective, non results oriented, non advocacy, science), as evidence for her belief sealing assertion that skeptics are “self correcting.”
This sort of phenomenon also goes on at the WattsUpWithThat website that is heavily referenced in the above linked piece: A place where hard core “skeptics,” regardless of the most relevant facts, yet under fervently believed auspices of them, consistently advocate that climate change is either a hoax or trivial.
WUWT is a site that, along with a random smattering of other erroneous information sites, comes up on the first page of most google climate change related searches, and which has an astoundingly high and greatly underestimated influence on broad public perception of an issue that, otherwise, at its core at least is a pretty simple no brainer:
Namely, we rapidly and suddenly changed our earth’s insulation layer to what are geologically unheard of levels relative to the otherwise exceedingly long course of mankind’s evolutionary transition into a species.
And while conditions on earth – e.g, ocean temps, ice sheets and overall albedo – also interact with and affect that insulation layer and help drive longer term climate, the two main direct drivers of long term climate as well as those just referenced earth systems that in the long run also help stabilize and drive climate, are the sun (incoming energy); and earth’s atmosphere – its long term insulation – or, simply put, the recapture of otherwise escaping energy.
So of course climate likely has to change, possibly in (to us) geologically profound ways. And our sudden geologically relevant change to the atmosphere’s long term, and accumulating, recapture of energy presents an enormous risk range of what to us may seem “slow,” but would in fact be geologically very rapid and (again, to us), potentially severe lurches or changes that are probably still hard to fully comprehend or predict.
At the so called “most viewed site on climate science in the world,” the most hard core “skeptics” sometimes wax on about how they are debating and looking at things “objectively” in order to arrive at the best science, while in fact everything under the sun is tried out in order to most effectively advocate for this desired position.
This includes a rigorous assessment of claims to find those that can be sufficiently believed and self perpetuating in order to continue said advocacy and belief under believed guise of the “better science.”
Thus, when commenters therein suggest the idea that carbon dioxide levels have increased is wrong, or the accepted knowledge that the increase is due to anthropogenic activities is in fact wrong, many “skeptics” argue against this. For, they are, after all, “reasonable” and “objective.” (And the ability to recognize that atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen due to clear and specific anthropogenic processes, naturally, “proves that.”)
It is easy to confuse the hell out of the climate change issue, as Judy Curry’s site, along with WUWT and a near endless host of others – and with eloquent language and rhetoric almost always inversely related to the underlying accuracy of what she is really communicating – aptly shows.
And it is so easy to continue to pick apart almost anything under the sun (no pun intended) on a potentially complex issue such as “climate change,”almost all of which misrepresents the issue, gets it wrong, or wildly, almost radically, cherry picks and simply omits anything which fundamentally conflicts with pre determined conclusions drawn and assertions made, that why undermine credibility with what are obviously wacky claims even to the not very scientific?
Even for some, going to the level of simply calling NOAA and NASA outright frauds – while some of the most hard core (and usually not very scientific) Tea Party deniers literally believe this as a way to stay with their beliefs -loses credibility.
That is why in the above post Paul Homewood is looked upon as “reasonable,” and Steven Goddard, for making some of the same ultimate claims about “fraudulent” NASA, not as much, since Homewood “shows” the claims.
As Curry eloquently argues:
..Whereas Homewood more carefully documented the actual problem with the data set.
What’s interesting is that months later later, Homewood struck again. He found some temperature stations in South America (or somewhere) that had been recalibrated. He took out the recalibrations and the temperature rise for the region wasn’t as large.
He did this for a few other carefully selected geographical areas as well.
This set off an even bigger tempest among the real “skeptic” blogosphere, as well as many mainstream news sources either ideologically predisposed to the claim that climate change is all but a bunch of hooey (especially Rupert Murdoch’s ideologically driven empire, and especially Fox New there); confused about the issue; or confused about what actual “balance” in reporting is – thinking it means just parrot what everybody says without the context of relevant facts or why they’re relevant, and sort of split the difference overall. (And thus, on complicated issues, create the ability of any group to change any truth by simply claiming it vociferously and consistently enough, and with enough seemingly logical made up rhetoric in support.)
Homewood’s claims – dismissed too quickly by many who “know” climate change is a big problem and who often assume “everybody else knows it too” and aren’t much influenced by the huge cacaphony of misleading and confused information on a topic that is often poorly understood – helped to further add to the confusion and skepticism on the topic of climate change and man’s inadvertent impact on our long term climate and future climate risk range; even as ice sheets continue to melt, and the ocean gets hotter, precipitation patterns slowly become more generally intense and variable, and long term temperatures slowly continue to rise.
The problem with Homewood’s claim and the ensuing worldwide cacophony that ensued is: The temperature recalibrations weren’t represented as “mistakes,” nor the “find” by Homewood as part of the natural process of science that, aside from observation, esssentially defines it – namely, ongoing learning, adjustment, mistake, correcting, adjustment, refinement, etc.
Instead, they were represented as a “fraud.” Which is itself actually a fraud. (If a fraud can be perpetrated under guise of belief, since hard core skeptics actually believe they are being objective; and in finding ways that help to advocate their desired conclusions, self seal in their belief of those conclusions as well as their objectivity – a classic example of which is the ludicrous post by Curry linked to at the top, and the point herein.)
Temperature station recalibration is incontrovertibly considered good science. If some stations were recalibrated incorrectly, then that’s the mistake, and, as part of the process of science, it should be adjusted, corrected, or improved.
Yet the hard core “skeptic” blogosphere, picked up by much of the mainstream media, and represented basic science – routine recalibrations – to the world, as fraud.
That’s blind zealotry.
But it got worse. Homewood, as well as much of this great “self correcting skeptic community” to which Curry self convincingly refers, also neglected to mention in their constant representations that this “tampered data” (aka routine recalibrations), were not only routine, but also routinely done in both directions – upward and downward. The fact that temperature data was “changed downward” – further presenting the false impression of on its face fraud – was simply omitted as if it didn’t exist, leaving an incredibly false impression.
In essence, some of this “self correcting” skeptic community, led by Homewood, Curry’s Golden Boy for objectivity, apparently – and with zero evidence in support but for desire – broadly and repeatedly represented that routine recalibrations were tampering to raise temperatures. And did so by presenting the case to the world as if temperature station data was never supposed to be changed.
This was done when in fact a) it is considered bad science to simply refuse to recalibrate raw data – and b) such “changes” or recalibration (mostly due to lesser maintained weather gauges) were also and just about as exhaustively done in the downward direction as well.
If it was tampering, or there was credible evidence of it (some disgruntled scientist who thinks the temperature data set isn’t showing the problem and thus pulls a fast one on 100,000 plus climate, atmospheric or geo physical or paleo physical scientists, and the world round the globe, as observational indices over the years world wide, just happen to cooperate by sheer coincidence), then the non fraudulent way to allege such would be to first and foremost represent: 1) that recalibrations are part of science; not implicitly represent that raw data is what is used, so that if the raw data is “changed” it is a fraud; and 2) that the recalibrations or (“fraudulent”) changes were done upward and downward, not just that the changes were done upward alone.
And lastly, though of less import, had no recalibrations been done at all, the possibly erroneous(?) or, in the eyes of skeptics, “fraudulent” total global warming measurements would in total not even be any lower.
So the ultimate conclusion of the three part “scandal” fraud – 1) NOAA fraudulently tampered with data as opposed to recalibrated data (and, if so, with support still largely lacking, but if with support it’s simply part of the scientific process – erred on some of its recalibrations; 2) The “changed data” (again, rather than simply what it is, recalibrated raw data) was only done in an upward direction; and 3) In order to purposefully create the false appearance of a “warming world” – was also, incredibly, false.
These representations were also not just made in non stop rhetoric by politicians, comments, and an endless line of highly frequented blog sites, but in mainstream editorials and articles as well. (Most notably here, where routine recalibrations cherry picked in only the upward direction and represented as something entirely different, were in a major newspaper labeled “The Science Scandal of the Century,” in a bit of irony for the ages.)
An irony that Judy Curry, to perpetuate her own beliefs, seems completely immune to. The same Judy Curry who not long before this still largely unrecognized scandal scandal, self sealingly writes of the self correcting “skeptic” community on this issue, as opposed to the basic process of science, which she finds pales in comparison.
And still without yet coming up with a single shred of evidence, support – apart from rhetoric, hope, religious belief that a chosen God sets aside the basics laws of physics he himself created in order to keep mankind from inadvertently damaging his own interests and too radically altering the Goldilocks climate we and the species we rely upon evolved under, or misrepresentations and wild cherry picking of actual climate science itself – as to how the earth’s long term insulation layer could, as a clear result of specific anthropogenic activities, and almost breathtakingly fast, rise to levels that in Global Warming Potential Equivalent (GWPe) the earth now hasn’t seen in millions of years, and somenow not impact the climate.
While of course also cherry picking to extremes (consistently taking the far end of the far end of all estimates and leaving out other relevant facts entirely, including on Judy Curry’s far too influential blog), in order to claim that the earth isn’t really changing, or ascribe it to some mathematically fantastic coincidence that in this particular 100 year period, increasing and long term consistent signs of general changes exactly in the direction that would be expected, just “happen” to be by some bizarre coincidence.
For climate science can not be literally proven until well after the fact. (If, technically, even then.)
And since skeptics don’t want to accept it for a host of reasons and, often, broad (and often incorrect) presumptions, economic and otherwise, and have turned skepticism into an avenue for advocating against the general climate change “theory” in any seemingly plausible way possible (hence Curry’s piece above, and the delusion of the “self correcting” mechanism), the ironically misnamed”skepticism” perspective and its proponents can in fact continue to cling to that belief until well after the fact, and decades after the changes that represent what many are concerned about, are inextricably set in motion, or have already come to pass.