Judith Curry’s Testimony: Where There’s Smoke…

January 20, 2014

The practice of marching out credentialed spokespeople to front for a destructive, rapacious industry is time honored, having been perfected by the Tobacco industry in past decades – as the nauseating video above reminds us.

These clips came to mind as I was reviewing recent hearings before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.  I posted Dr. Andrew Dessler’s testimony in support of the scientific community last week.

Congressional Climate deniers have, in recent years, presented classics major “Lord” Monckton as their “expert” witness, so those of us that follow such things are always eager to see who will debase themselves by following in His Sublime Excellency’s exalted footsteps.

The selection of Dr. Judith Curry as tool of choice was not a huge surprise. Deniers will claim that Dr. Curry has some kind of status or respect from her peers, or that her views carry weight, or that she presents science in the spirit of inquiry and dialogue.

The video below, however, (posted by denialist “Steve Goddard”) of Dr. Curry receiving an award from a table full of the anti-science activists should speak volumes as to who she is, and how she views her own work – “dumpster diving”, as her new Tee shirt depicts.

Ok, I’ll start.
One of Dr. Curry’s early talking points is that “Increasing Antarctic sea ice extent” somehow weakens the science of global climate change.
You’re never surprised to hear this kind of thing from Marc Morano on Fox & Friends, but to see someone who should know better try to throw that against the wall is jarring, and revealing.
It’s a bald faced cut and paste of a popular, and not-too-bright – climate denial meme, that I took apart in a video some time ago – by interviewing specialists in the field who know well what Antarctic ice is doing, as well as what it means.

Rabbett Run adds:

..Prof. Curry really does not believe that increasing Antarctic sea ice extent casts any doubt of the AR5’s conclusions because she knows why the sea ice in Antarctica has been increasing (or perhaps not increasing as much, that may be another interesting tale of whom do you believe, theory or observation, as a recent preprint casts doubt on the magnitude).  In a 2010 PNAS paper, Accelerated warming of the Southern Ocean and its impacts on the hydrological cycle and sea ice Prof. Curry’s abstract reads:

The observed sea surface temperature in the Southern Ocean shows a substantial warming trend for the second half of the 20th century. Associated with the warming, there has been an enhanced atmospheric hydrological cycle in the Southern Ocean that results in an increase of the Antarctic sea ice for the past three decades through the reduced upward ocean heat transport and increased snowfall. The simulated sea surface temperature variability from two global coupled climate models for the second half of the 20th century is dominated by natural internal variability associated with the Antarctic Oscillation, suggesting that the models’ internal variability is too strongleading to a response to anthropogenic forcing that is too weak. With increased loading of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere through the 21st century, the models show an accelerated warming in the Southern Ocean, and indicate that anthropogenic forcing exceeds natural internal variability. The increased heating from below (ocean) and above (atmosphere) and increased liquid precipitation associated with the enhanced hydrological cycle results in a projected decline of the Antarctic sea ice.(emphasis added)

More below.

OurChangingClimate:

A key distinction in the two senate hearings was that Andrew Dessler focused on what we know, whereas Judith Curry focused on what we don’t know (though “AndThenTheresPhysics” made a good point that Curry goes far beyond that, by e.g. proclaiming confidence in certain benign outcomes (e.g. regarding sensitivity) while claiming ignorance in areas where we have a half-decent, if incomplete, understanding, e.g. regarding the hiatus). I have argued before that emphasizing (let alone exaggerating) uncertainties is not the road to increase people’s understanding of the issue, where what we do know is much more important to convey (if your goal is to increase the public understanding of scientific knowledge). Alongside that I argue that much more attention is needed to explain the nature of science, which is needed to e.g. place scientific uncertainties in a proper context.

quantum

Herman Daly said it as follows, in a quote I’ve used regularly over the past few years:

If you jump out of an airplane you need a crude parachute more than an accurate altimeter.

HotWhopper:

Judith starts off by signalling her intent with the following – all excerpts are from the first page of her testimony:

I am increasingly concerned that both the climate change problem and its solution have been vastly oversimplified…

…My testimony focuses on the following issues of central relevance to the President’s Climate Change Program:

  • Evidence reported by the IPCC AR5 weakens the case for human factors dominating climate change in the 20th and early 21st centuries.
  • Climate change in the U.S. and the importance of natural variability on understanding the causes of extreme events
  • Sound science to manage climate impacts requires improved understanding of natural climate variability and its impact on extreme weather events

Right from the beginning you can tell that Judith is about to launch an attack on the science and sidestep the action plan itself.  She’s also going to misrepresent the science. For example, Judith’s first dot point is wrong, plain and simple. As each major IPCC report is published, the evidence that it’s human factors which dominate climate change emerge more strongly.

I’m not about to rebut every one of Judith’s denialist talking points. Most of them were just her misrepresentation of one or other IPCC report or highlighting some detail or other that is still the subject of research.  Her testimony had little or nothing to do with the topic of the hearing.  She appeared to be using the hearing to preach from the pulpit to her denier fans. However I will highlight a couple of points she made.
The first is that her whole argument seems to be a giant straw man.  The climate action plan is about action.  It has only a few paragraphs on the rationale in a section headed The Case for Action on pages 4 and 5.  Instead of referring to the rationale for action as set out in the action plan, Judith refers to a speech made by the President:

The premise of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan is that there is an overwhelming judgment of science that anthropogenic global warming is already producing devastating impacts, which is summarized by this statement from the President’s Second Inaugural Address:

Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms.

And then she goes into a long spiel about how the science is not settled.  It’s all uncertain. Her mostly unstated message is that the government should sit on its hands until every last bit of climate science is known, packaged and gift-wrapped with a pretty bow and passes the scrutiny of science deniers like herself. Fortunately governments don’t wait for 100% + certainty on any other matter before them or there would never have been a single policy initiative made by any government ever.  Unfortunately they do give science deniers like herself a platform.

77 Responses to “Judith Curry’s Testimony: Where There’s Smoke…”

  1. NevenA Says:

    Dessler was really good.

  2. fortranprog Says:

    Judith Curry’s International Geophysics Series volume 65 (Co authored with Peter J. Webster Titled Thermodynamics of Atmosphere and Oceans 1998, explains the differences between Arctic and Antarctic very well in Chapter 10, Sea Ice, Snow and Glaciers and in my opinion it is an excellent book

    books.google.co.nz/books?isbn=0121995704

    Here is a clip from her blog (Climate etc) where she is rather upset with Michael Mann:

    “Well, I do like the title of Mann’s op-ed. Here is what I see. I see a scientist (Michael Mann) making an accusation against another scientist (me) that I am ‘anti-science,’ with respect to my EPW testimony. This is a serious accusation, particularly since my testimony is part of the Congressional record.
    If Mann is a responsible scientist, he will respond to my challenge:
    .
    JC challenge to MM: Since you have publicly accused my Congressional testimony of being ‘anti-science,’ I expect you to (publicly) document and rebut any statement in my testimony that is factually inaccurate or where my conclusions are not supported by the evidence that I provide.
    .
    During the Hearing, Senator Whitehouse asked me a question about why people refer to me as a ‘contrarian.’ I said something like the following:
    .
    Skepticism is one of the norms of science. We build confidence in our theories as they are able to withstand skeptical challenges. If instead scientists defend their theories by calling their opponents names, well that is a sign that their theories are in trouble.”

    Interesting to see what if anything develops .
    .


    • “If instead scientists defend their theories by calling their opponents names, well that is a sign that their theories are in trouble.”

      Nope, that has nothing to do with where the science stands. That’s a sign that they are humans and not robots doing science. Curry and Mann’s dislike for each other is splattered all over the Internet. Curry seems to think her voice is somehow being ‘suppressed’ because others like Mann question her conclusions and her motives. If you’ve ever been around scientists, one of the most striking things you’ll notice is how Strongly they state their opinions. They call things preposterous. They tell others they’re idiots. It’s not their (our? not sure I can call myself a scientist anymore) best feature, but it’s definitely true of us in general.

      So these public statements Curry and Mann make against each other are just bluster and personal differences being aired in public, in my opinion.


      • Yup. History is replete with examples of famous scientific rivalries. We seldom know, because they are not taught in science, and rarely in history. While scientific papers omit personal hostility, the same is not true of letters and correspondence. Case in point Tesla vs Edison. Cope and Marsh, feuding paleontologists generated a book.
        It’s sad but true–Jerry Springer’s roots go deep in American culture. Even scientists of the Victorian era could jump on stage and start slugging, as we learn in The Bonehunters’ Revenge. This smart, adventurous book by nature writer David Rains Wallace examines the long-standing feud between paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, and especially their month-long 1890 death match in the pages of the New York Herald. The bizarre–by modern newspaper standards–series of interviews, letters, and editorials, promoted and escalated by publisher James Gordon Bennett (a kind of proto-Hearst), threw accusations of theft, forgery, vandalism, plagiarism, and worse back and forth until both men fell back, exhausted and nearly broken.
        Wallace gives his readers far more than a simple freak show, though; he shows us that behind the controversy lay a crucial political struggle for control not just of fossils but the fate of the western territories. The methods Cope and Marsh used to control and divert fossils inevitably guided the expansion and settling of these lands, and Wallace argues forcefully that this competition started the boom of unsustainable growth that we are only now beginning to recognize. So by all means enjoy watching the fists fly in The Bonehunters’ Revenge, but remember what happens to those who don’t learn from the past. –Rob Lightner –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

        • toby52 Says:

          You could go back even farther to Newton and Leibnitz in the 17th century, squabbling over who discovered the calculus. Newton even wrote savage polemics about his rival and persuaded his associates to publish them over their own names.

          The best thing is still to avoid the personalities and focus on the evidence, though my personal sympathies are with Mann.

      • andrewfez Says:

        In the late 1700’s to early 1800’s you had folks like Werner, Hutton, and Cuvier all promoting different earth formation hypotheses. It was Neptunism versus Catastrophism versus Plutonism. Cuvier would accuse Erasmus Darwin of arguing for ‘deep-time’ only because it happen to fit his hypothesis of transmutation and not because he had empirical evidence for such (even though Hutton, decades earlier put together a pretty convincing hypothesis that wasn’t that far off from reality which included deep time, as sedimentary rock formation, erosion, metamorphism, angular unconformity, etc. all could be explained only and simply with deep time). Folks would call Hutton an atheist, which was kind of a big deal back then.

        Later, a fellow whose name I can’t remember was able to put together a pretty strong prediction for what are now know as Milankovich cycles. He was working as a janitor for a science school and it was sort of an old-school, real-life Goodwill Hunting story. He projected out temp time series using only first principles. I think Milankovic just improved on his ideas for his theory.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          James Croll is the guy who foreshadowed Milankovitch, and it turns out he was a bit more than a “janitor”. Google him on Wiki and read his interesting story.

          • andrewfez Says:

            I did indeed a long time ago. Something makes me think he was also an insurance salesman, but that might not be right…


    • Calling someone a prostitute can be extremely defamatory. But if that person time and again offers strangers sexual favors in exchange for money . . . ? Not defamatory. Not name calling.

  3. omnologos Says:

    A low point in Crocks life as a blog. The conspiracy theorism at the top is either irrelevant or a sign the rest isn’t convincing enough.

    • uknowispeaksense Says:

      ummmmmmmmm…………..ahhhhh…ummmmmmmmmmmm are you denying that tobacco shills didn’t exist? Is that really what you are saying? Are you also suggesting analogies cannot be drawn?

      The big difference between the conspiracy ideation that goes on amongst the denial community and discussing paid shills is one of evidence. Pecuniary interests of tobacco shills and climate shills is all on the public record. It’s not theorising when there is concrete evidence. Guess what? Man landed on the moon. Obama wasn’t born in Kenya. Elvis is actually dead. Jewish bankers aren’t taking over the world. Climate scientists are not making shit up for money. AGW is real and there’s no such thing s shapeshifting aliens, HAARP or chemtrails…..oh and fossil-fuel funded ‘experts’ exist…as do trolls and I’ve been sucked in to feeding one yet again.

      • omnologos Says:

        Why do you always go off a tangent? This post is about Judith Curry. Unless anybody’s got proof she’s paid like people were paid by the tobacco lobby (a shameful chapter in human history, if you ask me), then the attempts to associate Prof Curry to a so-far-undiscovered secret campaign by not-sure-whom against climate warmists, are conspiracy theorism.

        If Prof Curry said something silly, there is no need to fall for the conspiracy theorism, or even to mention it.

        • uknowispeaksense Says:

          “I do receive some funding from the fossil fuel industry. My company…does [short-term] hurricane forecasting…for an oil company, since 2007. During this period I have been both a strong advocate for the IPCC, and more recently a critic of the IPCC, there is no correlation of this funding with my public statements.” Judith Curry

          I’m reminded of a guy I used to work with in North Queensland, Australia who said, “Mike, I’m not a racist. I just don’t like Indians and coons.”

          or “I have homosexual friends but….”

          or “I’m not opposed to teaching evolution but…”

          or “I used to accept the scientific consensus on climate change but…”

          Curry has been demonstrated on numerous occasions that she cannot be taken at her word. She is deliberatley dishonest. Perhaps you believe a dishonest person when she says she has no conflict of interest but I don’t.

          • omnologos Says:

            More conspiratorial meaninglessness on your part. Shell ads on the Guardian? Dana’s day job?

            Forget conspiracy theorism, concentrate on the real topics. Unless you have proof of a conspiracy, and by that I do not mean two or three people.

          • uknowispeaksense Says:

            I’ll leave conspiracy ideation to you. The real topic is accepted by more than 97% of actual experts. Judith Curry falls is not one of those. Feel free to put your money on that dead horse but I prefer to run with facts rather than behave like some sort of pseudointellectual ostrich.

          • omnologos Says:

            uketcetc – please leave the flawed 97% argument to lesser minds


        • Omnologos,
          The more interesting question, in my view, is why you’ve decided to focus on this one issue. We’re considering here a situation in which someone has presented scientific evidence about what may be one of the most important issues we face. The interpretation of this evidence (as presented by Judith Curry) not only contradicts the mainstream interpretation but also appears to contradict some of her own published research. Her interpretation of some of what is said in the IPCC documents is extremely hard to understand (how can an increase from 90% to 95% be a reduction in confidence, for example).

          So, here we have a scientist in front of a senate committee presenting an interpretation of the evidence that many would argue (myself included) is completely wrong and that person (who is a qualified and published scientist) should be able to do this properly. It’s either ignorance and a very short-term memory, or dishonesty. Why then have you then decided to focus on the comparison with the tobacco industry?

          How does that address the issue of whether or not it is acceptable for a well published climate scientist to present a narrative to the US senate that appears to be entirely at odds with the scientific (in fact, at odds with the scientific evidence she used herself)? Isn’t that the bigger and more important issue?

          • uknowispeaksense Says:

            Welcome to Omnologelot. It’s a silly place.

          • omnologos Says:

            ATTP – if all you said is relevant, then my question remains – why would Crocks start with conspiracy theorism, when all those questions need be answered first?

            That’s why I have decided to comment on that one issue. As the (distorted) saying goes, the blogger doeth protest too much.

            Ps If anybody wants to take issue with whatever Prof Curry has said in the past vs now, I don’t think she has problems writing many words to answer that. However it is both worrying and telling that so many people were ready to jump on the Curry Is Evil bandwagon. Is it possible to look at the same data and come with different conclusions, in all honesty, perhaps at different points in one’s life? Whoever answers ‘no’, they are not into science really.


          • uknowispeaksense,
            I’m aware of Omnologelot, but thanks for the warning 🙂

            Omnologos,
            You really haven’t answered my question. A senior climate scientist present evidence to a senate committee that not only disagrees with the interpretation that most other scientists would draw (using the same evidence) and disagrees with some of her own earlier work, but you think the first few lines of this post are what we should focus on. Why?

          • omnologos Says:

            For the n-th time, those first few lines, combined with the title of the post, introduce a conspiracy theorism that undermines everything else, because there is no proof to it.

            If you have a strong argument you do not need conspiracy theorism. If you feel the need to add conspiracy theorism it means you do not have a strong argument. So Crocks today told us there are questions about Prof Curry’s testimony but there are not on solid grounds.

            Now it’s back to you to explain why if a scientist changes her mind (assuming she has changed her mind) then it’s a sign that the scientist is evil, dishonest, paid by evil forces, unreliable or whatever else you are implying.


          • Now it’s back to you to explain why if a scientist changes her mind (assuming she has changed her mind) then it’s a sign that the scientist is evil, dishonest, paid by evil forces, unreliable or whatever else you are implying.

            No it’s not, as I’ve never said that. I’m not trying to justify the beginning of this post. I’m asking you why you think it’s more important to focus on that than on a senior climate scientist presenting evidence to a senate committee that, in most people’s view, misrepresented our understanding of global warming/climate change.

            For the n-th time, those first few lines, combined with the title of the post, introduce a conspiracy theorism that undermines everything else, because there is no proof to it.

            Why? In what way do those lines undermine everything else? There are many other places where you can read about how Judith Curry’s testimony mis-represented our understanding of global warming/climate? So, you still haven’t really answered my question as to why you’re choosing to focus on this rather than on the main issue (in my view at least) of the evidence presented by Judith Curry.

          • omnologos Says:

            I have explained my reasons. For me that’s more important than the rest, for you it is not.

            We are all free to focus on whatever we want to focus on. You are free not to focus on the problem of so many people writing as if Prof Curry were really a dishonest person.


          • Omnologos,
            I guess it’s a reason. It still doesn’t explain why focusing on that aspect of this issue is more important than on the possibility that a senior climate scientist presented misleading (knowingly or not) evidence to a senate committee. Each to their own I guess.

          • omnologos Says:

            There is also the point of where my contribution to the discussion here might be. There are so many things we disagree upon, I and Peter S, that I would find it both time-wasting and inappropriate for me to focus upon them (iow I’d be a troll here if I did that).

            OTOH in matters of logic and strength of the arguments there is a possibility of dialogue and that’s what I focus on. This has mostly a negative effect on people with the wrong disposition.


          • Omnologos,

            OTOH in matters of logic and strength of the arguments there is a possibility of dialogue and that’s what I focus on.

            I don’t really want to extend this discussion too much further, but why? How does that help to improve our understanding of climate science? How does that aid the discussion. Admittedly, I see it regularly – people focus on a few words in a discussion, rather than on the broader point. It very much seems like a diversionary tactic, but you maybe you can convince me that my interpretation is wrong.

            So, I fail to see how what you claim to be doing improves the dialogue or helps to improve the general understanding of global warming/climate science. How can you claim to be focusing on the strength of the arguments while completely ignoring the interpretation of the scientific evidence? Where’s the logic in that?

        • Jason Says:

          “Why do you always go off a tangent?” ~ omnologos

          Says the guy who for some reason only wants to talk about whether Curry’s mouth is directly in receipt of dirty money ~ Look, squirrel! ~ despite that not being the topic of the article.

          Pot… Kettle…

          Anyway maybe Curry is just someone’s useful idiot. Maybe she was wheeled out at the behest of the G.O.P. because she’s useful for their interests. Maybe it’s the G.O.P. who spends much time snuggled up in the back pocket of the fossil fuel industries. Hmmm I wonder.

          But as you now say – let’s not dwell on any of that or other squirrels and instead concentrate on the topic of the article ~ just how intellectually flaccid her testimony to the U.S Senate really was.

          And it really was.

      • omnologos Says:

        By the way…I subscribe to this all Man landed on the moon. Obama wasn’t born in Kenya. Elvis is actually dead. Jewish bankers aren’t taking over the world. Climate scientists are not making shit up for money. AGW is real and there’s no such thing s shapeshifting aliens, HAARP or chemtrails…... Now what?

        • Gingerbaker Says:

          “By the way…I subscribe to this all Man landed on the moon. Obama wasn’t born in Kenya. Elvis is actually dead. Jewish bankers aren’t taking over the world. Climate scientists are not making shit up for money. AGW is real and there’s no such thing s shapeshifting aliens, HAARP or chemtrails…… Now what?”

          Now what?

          How about a documented one billion dollars a year spent on anti-AGW propaganda?

          You act like there is no such thing as a conspiracy! Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, we are following the money trail.

          Judith Curry, a climate contrarian, gives Congressional testimony which is clearly false re the IPCC AR5. Why ?

          Is it because she is incompetent? Is that it?

          Is English her second language?

          Has Greenpeace drugged her morning organic tea?

    • fw134 Says:

      Lobbyists will lobby, and sometimes hire experts(?) to promote thier views? Hmmm.

      As conspiracy theories go, that’s pretty lame. A good conspiracy should be about some vast, secret and powerful cabal that has *complete* control of what happens in the world. And above all, there should be a rediculously elaborate effort to keep the secret. A good conspiracy villain should have almost God-like powers.

      But industry shills just doing thier jobs in plain sight…? Meh. Not nearly enough cloak-n-dagger.


    • A low point is a post with too many Mr. Know it all troll comments. A high point would be a discussion free of trolls shouting look at me! I’m an irrelevant, off topic distraction. Now a reminder. This is a post about Judith Curry’s testimony before the senate. It features a video of her with her friends mocking global warming. Apparently, this shows her contempt, and reluctance to admit, even before congress, that global warming is real. This comes out as hedging, expressing doubt, backtracking on her own written papers, and attempts to drag in politics by discussing a presidential speech and policy, rather than GW science.

      • omnologos Says:

        That’s fine, exactly because there is no conspiracy theorism. It is an opinion based on what one believes are ‘facts’. QED.

        As for anybody craving attention, it’s all in your mind. I suggest yoga.


  4. […] The practice of marching out credentialed spokespeople to front for a destructive, rapacious industry is time honored, having been perfected by the Tobacco industry in past decades – as the nauseat…  […]

  5. uknowispeaksense Says:

    Dumpster diving own goal. Classic self awareness fail. Brilliant.


  6. Spencer, Michaels, Muller, the list goes on. Scientists have to follow scientific principles or they will lose status as an expert. Spencer went on with satellite confirmation bias mistakes until someone else found the error. Michaels told a crowd of deniers to admit the globe was warming, … but hedge on something else. Thats how it is now. Instead of raw denial, its foot dragging. Everybody resists change. Some have moved from outright denial to resistance. So they speak like Curry. They have to mumble the correct answers, but note what she did was to step right into the politics and talk about presidential policies and speeches. Thats not what scientists do. Thats what ideologues do with a captive audience and a microphone.

    • HG54 Says:

      “Thats not what scientists do.”
      That’s precisely what Michael Mann does several times a day.
      That’s exactly what he’s advocated in his latest NYT article.
      One rule for him and another for the lady?


      • There is a distinct difference between being asked to give scientific testimony as opposed to opinion. It is important for a scientist to differentiate the two. If asked to give science, they should clearly delineate. As anyone watching Perry Mason would know, the witness is always requested to differentiate opinion from fact, and professional advice from personal opinion. Testifying to Congress concerning science is certainly a case where scientific report should be adhered to. There is no law or reason why scientists cannot campaign or proselytize privately. The distinction is the audience, the purpose, and the scientists duty for scientific truth. We can differentiate by behavior, not personality. Talking about presidential speeches heads in the direction of politics and opinion, not science. Let’s not mush the distinction. Further, let’s not make the mistake of comparing ills as an excuse. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Based on your disapproval of Hansen, you must disapprove of Curry to be consistent. Be careful throwing stones in glass houses. And I will, also.

  7. HG54 Says:

    “Pecuniary interests of tobacco shills and climate shills is all on the public record.” Indeed it is. For example, the UK Tyndall Centre alone attracted £10 million of investment in climate change activism in the last two years. With UK universities attracting well over £70 million p.a. in order to fund climate change research projects, it’s wise advice to follow the money.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      Apparently,when scientists teach and do research, that’s bad. This is the mantra of the anti-science movement.
      btw, exxon’s profit in 2012 was almost 45 billion.

      • uknowispeaksense Says:

        How’s that new comments policy coming along? I don’t have any morons at my blog anymore and my readership has doubled since I sent them packing.

        • greenman3610 Says:

          I’m thinking, and have made a few small trims.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Don’t stop “trimming” yet. A great post on Curry, and several good comments quickly overwhelmed by the presence of the one “driving the wrong way who thinks everyone else is doing so”. I then scanned quickly and deleted the whole thing. I have trolls to feed on other Crock threads.


          • They may change names to get back in.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Just changing names (handles) used on a site is not enough if a site has a policy of aggressively banning folks for whatever reasons suit them. At a minimum, you would need to change your email address/identity, and that doesn’t always work either.

            I have seen sites where they identify the IP address of a particular computer and ban ALL messages from that computer. That means that if five people in a family used the same computer to access a site, one of them could get all five “disenfranchised” if they displeased the site moderator/owner. In order to get back on that site, you would have to attempt it from a completely different computer.

        • omnologos Says:

          Reminds me of the joke about the lady calling her husband – Dear, there’s a madman going the wrong way on the motorway!

          To which he replies – One? There’s dozens of them!!

          • uknowispeaksense Says:

            I said, “I don’t have any morons at my blog anymore and my readership has doubled since I sent them packing.”

            Maurizio, feel free to come over to my blog and comment….no wait……

          • omnologos Says:

            No worries, you can drive any way you like as far as I am concerned 🙂

      • HG54 Says:

        “Exxon’s profit in 2012 was almost 45 billion” … And it paid over 31 billion in income tax. Yes, I know. Any idea what good that did?

        • andrewfez Says:

          The tax money was funneled into the defense budget so that the U.S. can continue to police the globe to keep the world economy stable enough that Exxon can continue to reliably sell their product.

          That 31 billion almost pays for the naval fleet that keeps crude oil shipping from the middle east in perpetual motion. That then keeps Exxon’s refineries busy. It may or may not help their upstream stuff in the Black Sea (I’m too lazy to find out).

          • HG54 Says:

            10/10 for imagination.

          • andrewfez Says:

            west coast oil imports – 0.2M bbl/d from Iraq, 0.2M bb/d from Saudi Arabia; about 40% of imports from these two countries.

            TX region imports – 0.9M bbl/d from Saudi Arabia, 0.3M from Iraq, 0.3M from Kuwait; about 36% of the imports from these three countries.

            —————————————–

            It’s true Exxon itself only owns a handful of refineries in these particular regions of the US, but they do have refineries all around the world (which is why they’re relatively successful right now; as other companies sell off their refining assets); and there are plenty of other companies’ refineries in the two US regions I’ve mentioned.

            —————————————–

            Did you not notice the uptick in crude prices when Iran was pulling shenanigans a while ago? One country that supplies only a few percentage points of crude to the world has the ability to affect global prices. And when those prices spike, that can put a dent in economic activity.

            —————————————–

            Why do you think the US has a presence in the middle east?
            Why do you think Jimmy Carter in the 70’s pronounced that the middle east oil is ‘our’ oil?
            Why do you think the price of oil jumped on the speculation of war in Syria?
            What do you think the price of oil would be if we put a moratorium on our military action in the M. East?

            Do you not see that an increase in volatility in oil prices creates uncertainty which slows investment in all sectors of the economy? And when the spikes occur, discretionary spending gets thrown down into the black pools in the ground?

            —————————————-

            Tax money just going to ‘ongoing operations’, a subset of defense spending, is larger than all tax money going to Medicaid. It’s kind of a big deal.

            —————————————-

            Incidentally it was the US’s ability to cut their energy use overnight that gave them leverage against OPEC, back when they were out to screw us in the 70’s. If we had just continued on our energy use reduction trend for one more year, we would have been free from M. East oil. Then Reagan got elected and decided oil addiction was a good thing for his friends in high places. But even if we didn’t use any M. East oil, we’d still want power over it: it’s our ability to inflict imperial power on others that keeps us rich, not some free market fantasy….

          • andrewfez Says:

            I can see how you got confused though:

            You think I literally meant that all of that money went to defense spending by some conspiratory means of funneling. I was just playing with words: only the prorated amount (~20%) goes towards defense stuff. I had an expectation that if i used the word ‘funneled’, everybody was knowledgeable enough to know that such meant 20% went toward defense, per the usual means of arbitrarily dividing up spending.

            But because oil companies in general benefit from our oil war spending, I was creatively ‘rearranging’ the accounting where one could imagine all that Exxon money would go into the defense, whilst some other company, say, McDonald’s money went all toward Medicaid, to make up for the loss concerning arbitrary proportional division. Kind of like if we both put in $5.00 for a pizza, I could jest that my money went all towards the cheese and olives, whilst yours went all toward the crust and green peppers (discounting the service cost).


    • Actually, I beg to differ. In the US, companies launder black money to non profit groups with the shield of anonymity. Heartland is a good example. It’s supposed to be illegal for them to lobby. They get away with it anyway. When heartland donors were exposed, they ran for cover to distance themselves. Heartland lost funding. Are you really for open reporting of funding? I am. I detect a distinct asymmetrical imbalance in favor of FF companies funds, being the richest companies in the world. Throwing stones in glass houses again?

    • andrewfez Says:

      And yet the deniers keep saying, ‘We need more evidence’, implying that more studies must be done.


  8. “… the climate change problem and its solution have been vastly oversimplified …”

    Just now I watch a movie about cutting out rainforests in Borneo in order to create palm plantations for the production of palm oil as a subsidized biofuels …

    • omnologos Says:

      The climate change problem has been hijacked by too many people going for the quick bucks of subsidized energy production, and palm oil.

      This is exactly what happened when the Carter-era energy worries became the Bush-father-era Energy Act of 1992, establishing the now-discredited ethanol production fiasco.

      That happened because of all the compromises the bill’s proponents had to do to get it passed.

  9. omnologos Says:

    What diversionary tactic? I present my point of view, and if nobody’s interested I’m ok with it.

    I find it obvious that if somebody presents an argument and I can spot a flaw in the way the argument is built, I can contribute to making it a better argument by pointing at the flaw.

    In this case there is a post with a lot of words about Curry’s testimony. They are all wasted for people like me who don’t tolerate conspiracy theorism. My contribution is to remind Peter that all the preamble was unnecessary and dis-useful.

    Maybe he will avoid that mistake in the future, maybe not. I am ok with that.


    • Omnologos,
      Was that a response to me? If so, maybe we should leave it at that, because I’ve rather scared the people in the offices near me with my shrieks of laughter.

      • omnologos Says:

        ATTP – there is a good reason why yours is the one and only blog I have actively unfollowed. Your hysterics confirm that.


        • I didn’t realise that you were following it in the first place. I will admit that my previous comment may have been a little mean. Apologies for that, but it was difficult to avoid given that you seem to be implying that your were just trying to help Peter avoid such mistakes in future.

          • omnologos Says:

            Apology accepted. I am also here to learn, and to see things from a warmist POV.

            I find consensus quite boring. So eg I subscribe to the NYT and sent them back a couple of copies in protest. And still subscribe to the NYT 😉

  10. Gingerbaker Says:

    ” They are all wasted for people like me who don’t tolerate conspiracy theorism.”

    So says the self-proclaimed honest man despite the billion dollar a year anti-AGW propaganda war. No conspiracy here, nothing to see – move along.

    • omnologos Says:

      GIngerbaker and all – there are many things I find strange about this place.

      One of them is my supposed ability to derail the discussion. If I express my opinion on a topic, nobody is forced to reply. If it is of no interest, just don’t reply. If you think it’s spamming or trolling, contact Peter and get me removed.

      When I exaggerated in the past, like in the suicide thread, the blog owner aksed me to stop and I complied.

      Of course if this becomes a self-help group for the psychologically weak, I will be removed even without being a spammer or troll.

      OTOH I see that when I comment on something, some challenged minds de-evolve and start writing comments about me. I find this almost pure trolling on their part, and senseless. But again, some brains might need all the help they can get.

      I have no interest to talk about me.

      • MorinMoss Says:

        ” I am also here to learn, and to see things from a warmist POV.”

        There’s more than a single “warmist” POV here as you should have learned by now.

        And are you not a warmist yourself? Or are you thrashing back & forth between camps.


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