Political Climate
Jun 22, 2017
The American Meteorological Society @ametsoc falls into the consensus trap in a letter to Rick Perry

By Anthony Watts

Yesterday, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) published a letter yesterday to U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, admonishing him for having the temerity to doubt that carbon dioxide is the “primary driver” of global warming.

Here is the letter.

Here are a few of my thoughts.

The AMS, in their letter, say skepticism is welcome:

In the interview you also mentioned that it should be quite acceptable to be a skeptic about aspects of the science. We agree, and would add that skepticism and debate are always welcome and are critically important to the advancement of science.

Yet, the very letter they sent contradicts this, suggesting that there is no debate nor room for skepticism about carbon dioxide being the primary driver of temperature change.

The fundamental problem of our knowledge boils down to the sample size. We only have about 100 or so years of temperature records that are worth anything and even the most recent records on all that good because they’re terribly polluted by the infrastructure of human existence itself. And further our understanding of atmospheric and oceanic cycles is even more limited in time than the case of global temperature data.

If you were to line up our period of first-hand scientific knowledge of Earth’s processes, against the period of humanity’s intelligence, it would just be a small speck on the timeline. To assume we have certainty in knowledge about Earth’s processes, when new processes are still be discovered, is pure folly.

Even today, we are discovering more about our atmosphere than we knew 30 years ago in June 1988 when Dr. James Hansen first declared it a problem, and there are studies that show that recent record breaking warmth, such as a paper just published in Nature, Yao et al. Distinct global warming rates tied to multiple ocean surface temperature changes. covered here on WUWT.

For the AMS to admonish Perry that there’s no room for debate on Carbon Dioxide as being the primary driver, is essentially to deny the process of science itself. Science is often right, and also often wrong, but just as often, it is self-correcting. If global warming hadn’t become such an entangled and messy social and political issue, it’s likely that science would have done some levels of self-correction on the issue already.

For example, it was once believed that the Earth’s plates did not move, until plate tectonics came along. Alfred Wegener proposed continental drift in 1912, but it took until the 1960’s for it to become generally accepted, when a drastic expansion of geophysical research, driven by the cold war, produced evidence that reopened and eventually settled the debate.1 Science self-corrected, but it took decades because scientists are often reluctant to embrace change which threatens the validity of their own work. It was also generally believed that stress caused stomach ulcers, until a clinician, exasperated by lack of attention to his pointing out that the real cause was the bacterium Heliobacter Pylorii infecting the stomach lining 2, had to prove it against the consensus, and drank a bacterial cocktail and developed an ulcer himself. He won the Nobel prize for defying that consensus 3.

Science that fails to account for the possibility of being wrong is of no virtue.

The AMS should lead in science by setting an example, by showing that even in the face of overwhelming consensus on an issue, there must be room for doubt, and thus room for self-correcting science. It only takes one finding in science to refute consensus, no matter whether it’s 97%, 99%, or 100%. Science is not infallible.

Anthony Watts

1. Link
2. Link
3. Link

Nicely done, Anthony.

Shortly after the post, Ryan Maue, a fellow WeatherBELLian wrote:

Rick Perry said the following:

Asked whether CO2 emissions are primarily responsible for climate change, Perry told CNBC’s “Squawk Box”: “No, most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in.”

“The fact is this shouldn’t be a debate about, ‘is the climate changing, is man having an effect on it?’ Yeah, we are. The question should be just how much, and what are the policy changes that we need to make to effect that?” he said.

The AMS statement says this is indisputable: “It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases ...”

Now, an eagle eyed reader with some nuanced knowledge of climate science could interpret Secretary Perry’s statement as rather profound.  He posits that the oceans are acting as the “primary control knob” responsible for (recent) climate change.  With the now voluminous literature on the hiatus and consensus view that the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO) phase changes result in “pauses”, one could look back to the 1976-77 Great Pacific Climate Shift as the beginning of recent global warming as we know it.  It’s not exactly clear to me how CO2 concentration changes causes these rather dramatic, decadal scale Pacific Ocean heat distribution changes. 

See also Ryan Maue and Michael Bastasch story on the Daily Caller on The New Consensus On Global Warming here.

Nicely done, Ryan. My compadre at WeatherBELL, Joe Bastardi agrees:

Spot on right Ryan.  I have argued and do so in the patriot posts in 2 main blogs, the Grand Slam of Climate and a short summation of my climate position, the same thing, There is nothing irrational or radical about simple observational data of the past, which by the way has support from Greenland Ice cores and tree ring study.  I have the sun, the oceans, stochastic events and the VERY DESIGN OF THE ENTIRE SYSTEM (land and ocean configuration, wobbles on its axis in an elliptical orbit around a somewhat inconsistent start dwarfs the affect of CO2 given the entire planetary history of CO2/temp.

I have coauthored a series of reports covered here that the natural factors are the real drivers that has the deep state climate world throwing the big guys to try to discredit, but they simply use a call to authority.  I have done a series of 5 videos called the Winds of Change : CO2- the Demon gas?, Taking the Earth’s Temperatures, Weather Extremes, The Man-made and Natural Factors (not including CO2) that really drive the climate changes and Renewable Energy and the Paris Accord. I will post links to them all here after they air on local cable. Here is the relevant part IV.



For a lifelong member of the AMS, a Fellow of the AMS, a CCM, former Chair of the Committee on Weather Analysis and Forecasting and the only private meteorologist to be elected by my peer to be a councilor, it is a sad day to see a former Texas Governor to know more about the scientific method and the science of climate than the AMS Director. I dearly miss Ken Spengler more every day.

Jun 11, 2017
Trump’s EPA Chief Backs Approach to Science That Could Upend the Global Warming ‘Consensus’

Michael Bastasch

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt reignited a long simmering debate over a method of scientific inquiry that could upset the supposed “consensus” on man-made global warming.

In an interview with Breitbart’s Joel Pollak on Monday, Pruitt said he supported a “red team-blue team” set up to test climate science. Pruitt was inspired by an op-ed by theoretical physicist Steven Koonin, but others have been pushing this idea as well.

“If truth is what we are all after, why would any scientific organization object to an independent look at the claims of the climate establishment?” climate scientist John Christy said.

Christy has testified on the value of red teams” for climate science many times in the past decade. This time, however, environmentalists and “consensus” scientists are worried Congress will take him seriously.

Red teams would challenge blue teams on global warming hypotheses on “what do we know, what don’t we know, and what risk does it pose to health, the United States, and the world,” Pruitt told Breitbart.

The military commonly using this method to challenge strategies and improve their overall effectiveness. Many climate scientists, however, say it has no place in their field. After all, 97 percent of climate scientists supposedly believe humans are the main cause of global warming.

“Science already has a red team: peer review,” David Titley, a climate scientist and retired rear admiral in the U.S. Navy, told The Washington Post.

ICECAP NOTE: Peer review is a failure - even Nature magazine is recognizing this according to the BBC which has reported 71% of the results reported is peer accepted papers in the medical journals proved not to be reproducible, the litmus test for a theory or product and 50% of the papers not even reproducible by the original authors. It is no better in climate science

“This just feels to me… like another way to skirt the tried and true scientific process that has worked for years in our field and many others,” said Marshall Shepherd, an atmospheric science professor at the University of Georgia who called the idea a “gimmick.”

ICECAP NOTE: to folks like Shepherd whose career have benefited greatly from this scam, applying the ‘scientific method’ is a gimmick?

Consensus scientists say the red team setup could manipulate public understanding of the science, giving a false impression of uncertainty and delay action on global warming. Skeptics, like Christy, say the other side is afraid the method will expose the weakness of the supposed “consensus” on global warming.

“My own analysis concerning 102 climate model runs is as clear as it can be - the theory has failed the simplest of scientific tests,” Christy said. “None of the august scientific societies crunched through the huge volumes of model output and observational data to perform such tests.”

:In the normative scientific method, when our theory fails, we are supposed to go back and modify or reject the theory and test again,” Christy said. “In this modern way of doing science, as best I can tell, the proponents of a failed theory simply yell louder, schedule marches on Washington, and attempt to quash any dissent.”

Consensus scientists say peer review works just fine, but skeptics point out the problems with climate models and many of their predictions. In fact, many articles have been written about the problems with scientific journals and peer review.

Climate scientist Roger Pielke Sr. says peer review has become politicized, where “gatekeeping” plays a role in who gets published and who doesn’t. Skeptics usually get the wrong end of that deal.

Pruitt can only do so much to change how the EPA conducts research, and it’s uncertain how much traction this idea will gain in Congress, especially with other major issues, like the Russia investigation and Obamacare repeal, sucking up political capital.

“I can understand why political organizations would object - because their deeply held beliefs may be shown to be in error and thus set a foundation to undo their attempts to set rules for the ‘hoi polloi,’” Christy said.

“Claiming that the truth has already been determined regarding ‘climate change,’ and thus red teams are not needed, is an argument made by someone who has not examined the theory,” he said.

Jun 03, 2017
A Climate Scientist Is Smeared for Blowing the Whistle on ‘Corrected’ Data

By Julie Kelly

The scandal is growing, as Congress investigates and NOAA brings in outside experts to review a key study. Less than 72 hours after a federal whistleblower exposed shocking misconduct at a key U.S. climate agency, the CEO of the nation’s top scientific group was already dismissing the matter as no biggie.

On February 7, Rush Holt, head of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), told a congressional committee that allegations made by a high-level climate scientist were simply an “internal dispute between two factions” and insisted that the matter was “not the making of a big scandal.” (This was moments after Holt lectured the committee that science is “a set of principles dedicated to discovery,” and that it requires “humility in the face of evidence.” Who knew?) Three days earlier, on February 4, John Bates, a former official with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - he was in charge of that agency’s climate-data archive - posted a lengthy account detailing how a 2015 report on global warming was mishandled.

In the blog Climate Etc., Bates wrote a specific and carefully sourced 4,100-word expose that accuses Tom Karl, his ex-colleague at NOAA, of influencing the results and release of a crucial paper that purports to refute the pause in global warming. Karl’s study was published in Science in June 2015, just a few months before world leaders would meet in Paris to agree on a costly climate change pact; the international media and climate activists cheered Karl’s report as the final word disproving the global-warming pause. But Bates, an acclaimed expert in atmospheric sciences who left NOAA last year, says there’s a lot more to the story. He reveals that “in every aspect of the preparation and release of the datasets,… we find Tom Karl’s thumb on the scale pushing for, and often insisting on, decisions that maximize warming.’ Karl’s report was “an effort to discredit the notion of a global warming hiatus and rush to time the publication of the paper to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.”


Agency protocol to properly archive data was not followed, and the computer that processed the data had suffered a “complete failure,” according to Bates. In a lengthy interview published in the Daily Mail the next day, Bates said: They had good data from buoys. And they threw it out and “corrected” it by using the bad data from ships. You never change good data to agree with bad, but that’s what they did - so as to make it look as if the sea was warmer. Instead of taking these claims with the level of scrutiny and seriousness they deserve, most in the scientific establishment quickly moved to damage-control mode. In more testimony to the House Science Committee last week, Holt pulled one sentence from an article published in an environmental journal that morning, quoting Bates as saying, “The issue here is not an issue of tampering with the data but rather really of timing a release of a paper that had not properly disclosed everything it was.” (I guess that alone isn’t enough to raise any red flags in climate science.) Holt went on to tell the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, which has been investigating the Karl study since 2015, that “all [Bates] is doing is calling out a former colleague for not following agency standards.” This man of science intentionally overlooked the damning charges in Bates’s own post to search out a tiny nugget in a biased article. Apparently, discovery and humility in the face of evidence are valid only when they result in politically desirable outcomes.

I asked the AAAS (which publishes Science, where the Karl study first appeared) why the head of their organization selected that one quote and failed to address the other issues Bates had raised: not vetting experimental data, failing to meet agency standards, and rushing to publish the report. Science editor in chief Jeremy Berg told me that Holt’s statement to Congress “was consistent with impressions from other private communications that had been conveyed to Holt” (emphasis added). Apparently, discovery and humility in the face of evidence are valid only when they result in politically desirable outcomes; impressions and feelings carry more weight otherwise. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the AAAS and Science are trying to downplay the conflict.

Bates says that Science violated its own policy for archiving and making data available when it published the Karl study. The policy states that “climate data should be archived in the NOAA climate repository or other public databases.” Bates maintains that there is an urgent need for a “systematic change ... to scientific publishing.” The science media also went into overdrive to twist Bates’s words and allegations. Science ran its own article on February 8, with the headline “How a culture clash at NOAA led to a flap over a high-profile warming pause study.”

The magazine suggests that Bates’s actions are due to a personal grudge. In a post on his website RealClimate, climatologist Gavin Schmidt downplayed the scandal as a “NOAA-thing burger” and accused Bates of adding “obviously wrong claims to his litany” and of “let[ting] his imagination run beyond what he could actually show.” And in a completely misleading article, a climate blogger for The Guardian claimed that Bates feared that climate “deniers” would misuse his information (although Bates did not say that). The Guardian blogger also lamented that “consumers of biased right-wing news outlets that employ faux science journalists were grossly misinformed by alternative facts and fake news.” Don’t expect this to stop any time soon.

Climate alarmists and profiteers will only intensify their smear campaign as this unravels. Congress is now expanding its investigation of NOAA, Bates has indicated that more information and documents are forthcoming, and NOAA is now saying it will bring in outside experts to analyze the Karl report. As Holt told the House Science Committee, “when one’s cherished beliefs and partisan ideologies and wishful thinking have turned out to be wanting, scientific evidence is most likely all that remains.” No doubt he completely missed the irony of his own statement.

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