New Deletions — Funding and Bias

A number of posts were deleted over at CA, specifically regarding how funding does or does not bias research.

I did graduate work on the pharmaceutical industry and problems with bias, so I am familiar with the literature on how funding from industry sources results in more favorable results than studies that have no industry funding. So I am suspicious once a scientist receives any kind of industry funding. This does not mean that all scientists who receive industry funding are producing biased research and untrustworthy results, but that one has to look at those studies that do have industry funding with that in mind.

Hence when someone refers me to Lindzen, I have to state outright that I am less able to trust their opinions as compared with someone who has no industry ties.

The farther a person is away from a funding source, the better, in my view so if climate researchers are getting direct funding from industry, their work will be viewed as such.

Here are the relevant posts: Apologies for the wacky formatting but I am new to Mac and Pages and have a difficult time adjusting to my new MacBook. Sigh.

  1. Susann
    Posted Jan 2, 2010 at 11:32 AM | Permalink | Reply
    CityTrader, it seems to me that some people here are not as interested in the science per se as the scientists.
    It appears to me that they are busy focusing on the scientists perhaps expecting that if/when they fall, the data will fall as well — by association.
  1. Doug Badgero
  1. Posted Jan 2, 2010 at 12:20 PM | Permalink | Reply
    OT
    • pastedGraphic.pdf
    • Susann
      Posted Jan 2, 2010 at 1:47 PM | Permalink | Reply
      Once a scientist accepts money from the petroleum industry to speak against AGW, they have passed from skeptic and into the contrarian/denialist category in my view.

      • pastedGraphic_1.pdf
      • Garet
        Posted Jan 2, 2010 at 2:01 PM | Permalink | Reply
        By that logic then once a scientist accepts money to speak for AGW – they have passed from being independent to being compromised. I suggest you read this story in the Wall Street Journal titled “Follow the Money” – http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703939404574566124250205490.html Exxon spent about $7 million or 0.00027% of Exxon’s 2008 profits funding anti AGW – it also mentions Phil Jones “Mr. Jones was the recipient (or co-recipient) of some $19 million worth of research grants, a sixfold increase over what he’d been awarded in the 1990s.”
      • pastedGraphic_1.pdf
      • Michael Smith
        Posted Jan 2, 2010 at 2:02 PM | Permalink | Reply
        Re: Susann (Jan 2 13:47),
        Do you apply this same standard to those who accept money from the petroleum industry and speak out FOR AGW?
        CRU has accepted funding from the petroleum industry. Have CRU and the people that work there, Jones, Briffa, etc — have these people lost credibility with you?

        • pastedGraphic.pdf
        • shewonk
          Posted Jan 2, 2010 at 2:12 PM | Permalink | Reply
          For you to equate the two shows a fundamental lack of understanding. Thanks for the moment of mirth though. pastedGraphic_2.pdf

          1. pastedGraphic_3.pdf
          2. Michael Smith
            Posted Jan 2, 2010 at 2:16 PM | Permalink | Reply
            Re: shewonk (Jan 2 14:12),
            What is it you think I fail to understand?
            The petroleum companies are covering their bets by contributing to both sides of the AGW debate — much as they often contribute to both political parties here in the U.S.
            So why is it not a legitimate question to ask Susann whether she is consistent — or selective — in her judgment of the parties involved?
      • pastedGraphic.pdf
      • Doug Badgero
        Posted Jan 2, 2010 at 2:15 PM | Permalink | Reply
        While I see the irony of those who have already responded, your argument is a priori absurd. The scientific validity of any argument from any side must stand, or fall, on it’s merits.

        • pastedGraphic_3.pdf
        • Michael Smith
          Posted Jan 2, 2010 at 2:18 PM | Permalink | Reply
          Re: Doug Badgero (Jan 2 14:15),
          Absolutely correct — and all these attempts to dismiss skeptics as being “industry-funded shills” is sheer ad hominem and completely fallacious.
      • pastedGraphic_1.pdf
      • ZT
        Posted Jan 2, 2010 at 2:16 PM | Permalink | Reply
        ‘Once a scientist accepts money from the petroleum industry…’
        Weren’t the CRU team soliciting money from Shell, e.g. 0962818260.txt?
        What about when an AGW proponent accepts money from an organization which benefits from carbon trading, such as a carbon trader, or a government?
      • pastedGraphic_1.pdf
      • ErnieK
        Posted Jan 2, 2010 at 2:22 PM | Permalink | Reply
        Re: Susann (Jan 2 13:47), t should be the integrity of the scientists receiving the money that counts, not the source of the funds. Since government funding and funding from “Institutions of Higher Learning” seem to only be interested in funding one side of the debate (and we are quickly learning about the integrity of that side), then funding for the other side must come from somewhere. However, if you think the source of the funding drives the debate, then what is the source of funding for RC? And why should it also not be suspect?
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61 Responses to “New Deletions — Funding and Bias”

  1. Susann,

    The OT comment of mine that you responded to was, in part, a reference to Lindzen’s comment that it is intuitively implausible that our climate is dominated by positive feedbacks. Of course, positive feedbacks are required, and included in, the GCM’s used by IPCC since CO2, by itself, cannot cause catastrophic warming.

    Do you have a response to this issue or will you continue to ignore it because it was brought forth by Lindzen?

  2. Your concern about science being influenced by Industry funding pales in comparison to my concern about scientists being funded by Government.

    Governments have much deeper pockets, much more nefarious goals and are far more powerful and dangerous than any company.

    The whole global warming thingy is a perfect example of Believer Scientists who have will sell their souls and professional integrity for a few Research Grant crumbs, a couple of trips to Bali and an interview with Letterman or Oprah.

    The Climategate emails are enough evidence to terminate their careers. They can never be trusted again. Once a cheat, always a cheat.

    • The whole global warming thingy is a perfect example of Believer Scientists who have will sell their souls and professional integrity for a few Research Grant crumbs, a couple of trips to Bali and an interview with Letterman or Oprah.

      No doubt that some climate scientists are egoists out to promote themselves. Most are like any other scientist — they actually enjoy the pursuit of science and do so in fields that interest them. They are probably no more or less ethical than any other academic.

      However, the interests of government funded scientists is likely quite different from industry sponsored or funded scientists, and if you don’t understand that, might I suggest a few courses in politics and economics?

      I would suggest that government motives and industry motives are apples and oranges.

      I suspect that the governments around the world are funding AGW research for very different reasons that you might suspect — some of them want to get ahead of the game and be prepared to act, and some of them want to look like they’re doing something when they have no plans to act.

      I have to admit that I trust them far more than industry-funded scientists working for front organizations funded by the petroleum industry only because I have studied government as part of my graduate education in public policy.

      You and I will have to agree to disagree. :D

  3. Lindzen’s comment is a red herring and only appeals to those who must rely on intuition rather than science to make a judgement. He should know better, but the fact he uses this red herring suggests that he is being selectively amnesiac to put it charitably.

    No climate researchers I am aware of are claiming that CO2 alone will cause catastrophic warming without feedbacks, so if you can find one, please point me in their direction so I can document it. Sure maybe a few nutjob extremist non-scientists have said something along those lines, but that comes from ignorance rather than from the science. The scientists I’ve read say that CO2 may initiate warming, and then other feedbacks will kick in, such as water vapor and albedo effects that will enhance the warming caused by CO2.

    • Susann,

      My post exactly stated what you said – that positive feedbacks are needed for significant warming to occur. I was deferring to Lindzen’s words, not his expertise. That the earth, or any stable system, is NOT dominated by positive feedbacks is basic control theory.

      1. The contention on positive feedbacks dominating uncouples cause and effect – if CO2 caused warming causes positive water vapor feedback then ANY forcing natural or man-made would cause this same feedback mechanism. If so, how did we ever get to an ice age after the warm “age of the dinosaurs?”

      2. Something MUST provide a negative feedback in any stable system, natural or man-made, or the system is not stable.

      3. Since the earth has “operated” at much higher and much lower temperatures than we are now experiencing there is a strong case that there are significant negative feedbacks at work at current temperatures. The existence of a strong negative feedback also helps to explain what Carl Sagan referred to as the “ancient faint sun paradox.”

      I do not wish to put words in Dr. Lindzen’s mouth but I believe these issues are what he was referring to.

      • Doug, if you’re willing and interested, please explain to me how the AGW dominant scientific paradigm is wrong about CO2 warming and feedbacks and how Lindzen is right. I’m not a scientist and so I need it spelled out in clear terms. You can’t rely on assumed knowledge.

        • In fairly simple terms suppose water vapor feedback is positive and strongly so. CO2 leads to more water vapor, more water vapor leads to more heat, leads to more water vapor, and so on. Some negative feedback, or some physical limitation, must stop this positive feedback. The obvious physical limitation possibility would be that all water was in gaseous form – this is obviously not the case and never has been. Therefore, some other negative feedback must exist. It seems more plausible that water vapor itself is the negative feedback. Since this explains how earth’s climate has been as stable as it has been. It also may help explain the “faint sun paradox”.

          No none has adequately addressed this IMHO – although I freely admit given new evidence I could be convinced that I am missing something.

          • Sorry I missed responding to your post.

            If we assume a period of relative stability with minor excursions up or down in temperature over shorter periods due to natural variations then there must be some kind of balance between incoming and outgoing solar, and between carbon dioxide released and absorbed by carbon sinks and sources, and clouds and water vapour feedbacks. Change one of those parameters enough to impact the equilibrium, and I expect the system will respond and will be thrown off kilter (excuse the non-scientific language here) and will take some time to re-stabilize given the new level of input. That’s my very simple layman’s understanding of the kindergarten climate system.

            Equilibrium exists due to balance between input and output, forcing and feedbacks, negative and positive. When those forcings and feedbacks or input / outputs change in some way (natural or anthropogenic) that is significant enough, everything else must adjust before a new equilibrium is achieved.

            CO2 is both a forcing and feedback from what I have read in the literature. Therefore if you increase the concentration of it in the atmosphere, either through natural warming of the oceans due to Milankovic effects, or through burning of fossil fuels, or by the release of clathrates, it seems pretty duh that at some point, the equilibrium will be upset and everything will have to adjust to the new conditions.

            The salient science questions seem to be at what point is the system destabilized, what will transpire as it reaches a new equilibrium? The salient policy questions seem to be can we/what can we do to intervene in this process and at what cost and benefit? The salient social question is what will the effects be on our civilizations as we intervene and if we don’t intervene?

            • Susann,

              Depending on the scale you look at our climate is never stable, strictly speaking, since forcings are always changing. My skepticism on the IPCC models comes about because any system dominated by positive feedbacks will result in large swings in temperature due to small changes in forcings. I do not think this describes the planet we live on. A good example of this is in the post containing Burt Rutan’s presentation on AGW over at Watts. One of his slides contains temperature proxy data from Vostok this data shows a strong second derivative negative feedback during each interglacial during the last 400000 years or so. Obviously, this negative feedback had to be natural.

    • I feel I must also defend Dr Lindzen. No one I am aware of, including Dr Lindzen, suggests that CO2 by itself can cause significant warming. All agree positive feedbacks are required. Dr Lindzen believes the existence of those positive feedbacks is not plausible – and I happen to agree with him. There is no selective amnesia on his part that I am aware of.

      • The negative feedback that answers your question is the increase in outgoing radiation. It is proportional to the fourth power of temperature, so as the temperature rises, the outgoing radiation increases relatively quickly; this enables a new high temperature equilibrium.

  4. Susann,
    I feel compelled to respond by pointing out the Steve McIntyre bans any comments about policy. Climate Audit is a science blog, not a policy blog. Your problem with Steve seems mainly to be that you are at cross purposes. He wants to discuss science and you want to advance a policy agenda.

    The charge that certain people or companies cannot honestly fund research is wrong and it has a policy objective – to silence those who disagree with you. Of course, it is possible for conclusions to be biased because a researcher is bending to the desires of a funding source, but you cannot discredit science purely on the basis of who funded it. If you believe a particular research paper is wrong, point out the error. Besides, no big oil company or big coal company is funding climate change research anymore and they have not for years.

    You have to understand that Climate Audit is focused mainly on auditing climate research papers fundamental to IPCC conclusions. If you think McIntyre is going to audit a paper by Lindzen, Christy, Spencer or other skeptics – don’t hold your breath.

  5. You have to understand that Climate Audit is focused mainly on auditing climate research papers fundamental to IPCC conclusions. If you think McIntyre is going to audit a paper by Lindzen, Christy, Spencer or other skeptics – don’t hold your breath.

    This is something I have a real interest in – this discrepancy between the alleged objective interest in only auditing data and the minute — almost vendetta like — focus on Mann, Jones, et al their motives and their treatment of him. Oh, McIntyre’s coy, as someone wrote on a thread, but those on his blog can’t help but feel the “nudge nudge” and see the “wink wink”.

    I am highly curious about why a former policy analyst and strategic advisor to a gas exploration company refuses to discuss policy and its implications, and instead focuses on “auditing” climate papers fundamental to IPCC conclusions. Something just seems very curious about it. Knowing policy analysts the way I do from working with them for about 15 years, I know they cant help but think about issues in terms of policy implications etc. and so I can’t help but want to connect the dots blinking like marquee lights in front of me.

    Is he qualified to audit climate science research?

    Why this silence on policy?

    Do his interests in the petroleum industry influence his approach?

    • Susann,
      You have a very curious understanding of Steve’s business background. He was an executive with a hard mineral exploration company. He was never an executive, policy analyst or strategic advisor to an oil company. I think he did serve as a technical advisor to an oil company for a very short time as a condition of the sale of his company, but his ties to the oil industry are practically nil. The “blinking marquee lights” in front of you are your imagination.

      McIntyre focused on IPCC research because it is driving policy. Minority research is not interesting to him because no one is planning to spend trillions of dollars of public money because of it. The first paper McIntyre looked at, in a very non-formal way, was MBH98. He requested and received data from Mann. When it did not add up, he asked for more data and Mann refused. When he told some people what he had found, they told him he was looking at research in a new way and he should stay with it. With that encouragement, he stayed with it until he has published a couple of papers in peer-reviewed journals and would have published more if not for CRU gatekeeping. In addition, he has found errors at GISS. Every climate scientist who has had a paper examined by McIntyre has lost.

      You ask if McIntyre is qualified to audit climate research. The answer is obvious. His mathematical abilities were recognized as a student. He was offered several prestigious scholarship and choice of colleges included Oxford.

      Why the silence on policy? Because it does not interest him at this point. He thinks policy should be based on good science and the science is not good yet. That said, McIntyre does believe policymakers should act on the advice of reports such as IPCC. He just does not think the IPCC report is very good.

      McIntyre has no interests in the petroleum industry. He is not policy analyst. You have completely misjudged him.

      • Steve’s Wikipedia entry indicates he was a policy analyst for the Ontario government and Government of Canada. As well it shows the following:

        “He was the president and founder of Northwest Exploration Company Limited and a director of its parent company, Northwest Explorations Inc. When Northwest Explorations Inc. was taken over in 1998 by CGX Resources Inc. to form the oil and gas exploration company CGX Energy Inc., McIntyre ceased being a director. McIntyre was a strategic advisor for CGX in 2000 through 2003.[5]

        If the Wiki entry is wrong, I would think Steve would fix it.

        • And in fact Steve’s own Biography indicates that what I have written is factual.

          From his bio:

          I have worked in the mineral business for 30 years. For the last 16 years, I have been an officer or director of several small public mineral exploration companies. This has required at various times: the acquisition of exploration properties in Chile, Guyana, Venezuela and Canada; the financing of exploration and development projects, including specific responsibilities (on the company side) for the preparation of several prospectuses, qualifying reports and feasibility studies and numerous offering memoranda; general corporate management, including specific oversight of company audited financial statements, annual reports, numerous corporate disclosure documents; oversight of exploration programs; direction of several corporate re-organizations. Previous to that, I primarily worked for a large international mining company, but also worked for several years as a policy analyst at both the governments of Ontario and the government of Canada.

          So, again, I was correct about the policy analysis background and his involvement in minerals exploration companies. Steve doesn’t mention his presidency of Northwest, nor his links to CGX in his short bio, which I find curious.

          • And you question is ability to audit but dont mention his activities and capabilities in that area. I find that curious

        • Susann,

          This whole thread speaks to the illusion of objectivity. Everyone has economic interests. In addition, everyone has preconceived notions of good and bad and right and wrong. These facts all effect our judgment and opinions. For my part, I think the latter issues have more influence on us than the former one. None of this changes the fact that to rely on possible sources of subjectivity as the sole source to discount an argument, scientific or otherwise, is a logical fallacy of the worst kind. It is hard to argue that Mann, Jones, et al didn’t have a vested interest in promoting the AGW agenda. This fact does NOTHING to refute their science just as Lindzen taking a few thousand dollars from fossil fuel companies in the ’90s does NOTHING to refute his science.

          Our “work” activities are, for most of us, where we gain most of our experience from. In your world, the only people we would be allowed to listen to are those that know nothing of the subject.

          • This whole thread speaks to the illusion of objectivity. Everyone has economic interests. In addition, everyone has preconceived notions of good and bad and right and wrong. These facts all effect our judgment and opinions. For my part, I think the latter issues have more influence on us than the former one. None of this changes the fact that to rely on possible sources of subjectivity as the sole source to discount an argument, scientific or otherwise, is a logical fallacy of the worst kind.

            Of course everyone has interests that potentially affect their appraisal of a particular issue or event. And yes, people do have ideas of right and wrong that affect their conduct. That you chose to give more weight to moral / ethical influences than other sources of bias is curious. I would give more equal weight to them.

            I agree that relying solely on issues of potential bias would be short-sighted — you say a logical fallacy — but it is one factor that can’t be discounted when appraising the players in the game and their strategies and tactics based on their interests. This does affect everyone in this little (or big) drama, both climate researchers and their critics.

            The scientific method is supposed to train practitioners about potential biases and sources of error, and has processes in place to try to minimize them and/or account for them. One of the first things that science students learn about are sources of bias and error, and spend lots of time trying to determine both.

            I have a lot of trust in the scientific method, but I do recognize that scientific frauds can occur — one of the first lessons science students learn is “Piltdown Man”.

            I agree that the science rises or falls based on the its merits alone, not on the interests of those involved on the inside or outside. It’s either valid or it isn’t. However, this is not just your ordinary scientific discipline. It is highly politicized due to the implications for economics, politics and society. Interests come into play in the public campaigns on the part of those who support AGW and want to see action taken to address warming those who reject AGW and want to prevent action. The thing is everyone couches their actions in terms of “truth and beauty” etc. and claim to be only interested in the truth.

            This is a political battle between opposing camps over what the truth is. Those involved want to influence policy. I am not sure where CA fits in this more public battle whether its being pulled or pushing. It’s a perfectly legitimate question to ask as one who is interested in this as a social / political phenomenon.

            In your world, the only people we would be allowed to listen to are those that know nothing of the subject.

            Sorry – I have no idea what you mean or how to respond to that. Can you clarify?

            • First, I agree with the thrust of your post. You must always consider the source but you can’t exclude every opinion that may have a vested interest in a particular outcome. What I had a problem with was the discounting of Lindzen solely on this basis. I think we may *gasp* have come to agreement on this subject now.

              The last sentence was based on my belief that your logic would not allow me to ask a mechanic for his opinion on an issue with my car. An absurd example but you get the idea.

      • Both CA and WUWT have degenerated into non-scientific hate fests.

        Both went seriously wrong from the first Mole posts (refering to a file left on an open server at CRU). I do not understand what they were trying to accomplish with this childish prank.
        McIntyre is very careful not to go too far over the top – he allows other blogs to link and use the word FRAUD. At one point he even had to write to a UK (telegraph?) paper saying that he had not accused anyone of fraud.

        WUWT has no such self-regulation. FRAUD is now commonly thrown about. And this from a science blog that once posted that CO2 would freeze out in antarctica and other hoots!

        I am very surprised that the defamed scientists have not taken out writs in the UK. The just need to write a simple Particulars of claim pay £1700 to the courts and it is underway. No need for lawyers at the early stages!
        Mike

        • If anything, the CRU event has given Steve McIntyre the opportunity to rally the troops and rouse the rabble. His recent posts can be seen as bringing up old wrongs and massaging them for as much sympathy — or public exposure — as possible.

        • SO many strawmen; so little time to refute, debunk and falsify.

          TFP, we look forward to your posts on CA, they are at times true comedic relief.

          I don’t recall you ever showing up at WUWT either, to set the unwashed masses on the one true and correct course either.

          Shame, you might just have some potential if there weren’t so much angst as the basis for your drive.
          .
          .

    • Suzann, I think you’re mis-characterizing Steve’s old “day job.” As I understand it, it was performing due diligence on various mining prospectus’ – lets say I’m an explorer and/or landowner looking for funding from a mining company to mine for a given mineral (or minerals, or oil, or whatever) on a given site – I use as input some soil core samples, the history of the area, surrounding geography, and create a prospectus based on what I find. Very much like an academic paleo paper doing varve analysis, using much the same methods, creating very similar output (i.e. a write-up including a bunch of statistical diagrams, and a conclusion).

      In the case of a mining claim, someone is paid to determine whether or not the claim is worth an investment, and what the risks are, or if the explorer/prospectus writer are using statistical tricks (for lack of a better word) in order to make the investment look more attractive and downplay the risk. That was his day job.

      Anyway, that’s my understanding. If correct, you can see where there is a very close parallel to that and to his current “hobby.” It has nothing to do with policy, politics, or industry influence, but everything to do with dissecting a “claim” and deciding whether or not to call bullshit.

      • See my posts above. I’m not mischaracterizing his background. Policy analysis, president of a minerals exploration company, director of same, strategic advisor to a gas exploration company with business interests of an unspecified nature.

        I’m not doubting his math skills or skills as an auditor of mining companies. I am questioning whether this background qualifies him to review and provide unbiased analysis of the validity of climate science research.

        People talk all the time about the “confirmation bias” in climate science among scientists. I acknowledge that this is a real issue, but it also applies to those outside climate science.

  6. Susann,
    The fact Steve was ever a policy analyst is news to me. Why not ask Steve about this directly on the Unthreaded thread? It would be interesting to know how many years he served as a policy analyst, who he worked for and what his focus was.

    You were not correct about Steve’s involvement in minerals exploration business. Northwest Explorations was exploring for gold and other hard minerals, not oil. Do you not understand the difference between oil and hard minerals? Steve was never an oil man. He never drilled for oil. When Steve sold Northwest Explorations to CGX, Steve was no longer a director of the company. When someone sells a business, it is typical for the owner to act as an advisor for a limited period of time. Steve did act as an advisor, as I mentioned before. That’s it.

    • I posted his bio above. You can argue it with him if you don’t think it’s correct.

      As to minerals exploration vs fossil fuels exploration, gold mining produces up to 76.7 kg CO2-e per gram with an average of 12.1 kg CO2-e per gram so it’s not inconsequential and such industries would be affected by any legislation that regulated CO2.

      He was a strategic advisor to CGX for a few years after leaving it as a director, and he claims to have some remaining business interests, but has not clarified which.

    • Ron Steve did work as a policy analyst quite a while ago, primarly stats.

      The correct answer to Susann’s stupid innuendo’s is this:

      1. She has to attack the man because she can’t be bothered to read the papers.
      2. If she read the papers she would see that Steve Always provides code and data.

      A. he is not the source of the data, the climate scientists are.
      B. no working scientist has ever found a clear example of bias in his work.

      But susan can’t be bothered with facts. heck she can’t even read and understand blog policies. If she read the mails she would find several of mann’s associates agreeing with McIntyre.

      • I am situating him as a player in the political and economic context of the climate debates. To do that, I have to understand his background and his linkages with other “skeptics”, as well as contrarians and denialists. Your hero Wegman did something called “social network analysis” which looked at the connections between the climate scientists in order to suggest they were too closely linked, shared common biases and were self-referencing and self-reinforcing. I’m interested in doing something similar with the “skeptics” – to see how closely related they are and how they might share biases and interests. It’s a way of understanding their role in the climate wars.

        • My hero? Tool. Personally, I don’t make much of what Wegman had to say. Occasionally, one tosses him out to annoy people, but seriously you don’t even need to look at what he wrote. In fact, I’ve never read anything but excerpts. he just doesnt matter to me or my position. Nothing turns on his position.
          I didnt need him to tell me that

          1. mann should share data
          2. mann should share code
          3. mann should not de center when using PCA
          4. The selection of PCs was arbitrary
          5. you need to calculate r^2
          6. Bristlecones are wacked
          7. Suspend judgment on manns results.

          hehe, he’s a multiple line of evidence, but seriously totally superfluous to my position.

          The whole network of friends and collegues was the stupidest piece of crap in his presentation. OF COURSE there would be overlap. It raises suspicions but its not dispositive. However, once you see the mails, once you see actual words exchanged between the members of the network, ONCE you have internals and well as externals ( yup I used to do intelligence work ) then you can begin to reconstruct a group conscious. But with externals only, you have an underdetermined theory.

          But you would not understand that.

  7. Wait, you started a blog because you’re pissed off that some of your comments were deleted on another blog? That’s completely pathetic.

  8. Staying on topic like Susann always does Reply January 3, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Here’s how the scam works, how the head of the UN’s IPCC is steering Public Policy so he & his buds get really rich. The whole Global Warming thing is the next Bre-X . . .

    “Companies from developed countries that export operations to places like India leave unemployment at home and reap a hefty profit from selling their carbon permits in the global carbon trading market. Consider what happened to 1,700 steel workers from Teesside in northeast England. They lost their jobs when the steel giant Corus announced plans to close two plants and expand operations in India through its parent company, the Tata Group. After the move, Tata sold its English carbon permits for £1.2 billion, as reported by the Express. Unencumbered by carbon restrictions in India, Tata continues belching CO2 into the atmosphere at a rate that would make Pachauri’s head spin — with delight. You see, the head of the IPCC is also director-general of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), a privately owned climate change think tank established by Tata in 1974.

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/world-mainmenu-26/europe-mainmenu-35/2683-pachauris-lucrative-world-of-climate-change

  9. More so, is the the whole Generation Investment Management CCX and ECX:

    http://www.chicagoclimatex.com/

    http://www.ecx.eu/

    http://blog.nj.com/njv_paul_mulshine/2009/07/capandtrade_bill_blood_and_gor.html

    I find that this would put someone into a position that if the paradigm were to collapse, they would loose a lot of money.

  10. Thanks for the links.

    Meh, people have seen the writing on the wall with respect to GHG emissions and anticipate policy designed to regulate it and are making the best of it. They are merely doing what capitalism does best — develop a commodity, exploit a market, and make mucho dinero. Are you stating that you are anti-capitalist! ;)

    The science is only one part of the equation in this whole chaotic phenomenon, and when it comes to politics and economics, science isn’t really all that important. What is important is perception and opinion and supply/demand and unmet or uncreated need and new markets. The paradigm could collapse but once the market is in place, it could lumber forward on its own volition regardless of its validity — as recent frauds in the market have shown.

  11. Susann,

    I think you misread the political climate. Cap and trade is unlikely to pass IMO. The EPAs endangerment finding will move forward and probably be struck down by the judicial process. Absent a scientific breakthrough strengthening the AGW case, a possibility I consider remote, cap and trade will die. We will still probably throw money at some renewable energy ventures and maybe even nuclear.

  12. Ah, you’re talking America, but there is the ROTW to consider.

    So, I take it you’re not all that pessimistic about the US spending needless billions on catastrophic AGW mitigation policies and regulations? You’re that confident that the science is a scam and is in the process of falling?

    I guess the next decade will teach us all what’s what.

  13. The American Government will no doubt spend needless billions on many things in the next decade. However, I think it is unlikely the American private sector will misallocate trillions to carbon mitigation – that was always the more dangerous issue.

    I have little idea what the ROTW will do, except China and India are unlikely to do anything that would limit there own economic growth. Which means their emissions will go up unless their economies contract for other reasons.

  14. It’s interesting to see what governments claim they are going to do and then check up on them to see what they actually did. One could place bets but no one would probably take the wager. I agree with you that absent legislation, the American corporate world is not likely to do anything wrt carbon mitigation. That’s the rub, isn’t it? Will there be legislation? I doubt it. Have you seen the research on climate change lobbying?

  15. I think it is generous to claim that The Center for Public Integrity produces “research” on lobbying. They wear their political opinion on their sleeve. As we discussed previously everyone has an agenda. I have absolutely no issue with Government lobbying everyone has a right to their voice in Government. I am more than capable of considering the source.

    They did get one thing wrong:

    It is in the interests of most if not all coal fired utilities for cap and trade to occur. When you are allowed a regulated ROE it makes sense to maximize your equity. Suppose a company invests 10 billion in CCS on their power plants and they are allowed a 10% ROE. They will now make an extra 1 billion per year at the expense of ratepayers. The only downside would be the effect on the economy in their service territory – it would likely reduce demand.

    • <blockquote.They wear their political opinion on their sleeve

      But that’s good. Better to be up front about your biases than to hide them behind a mask of objectivity.

      I have a problem with government lobbying when there is a fundamental inequality between those with the money to lobby and those without.

      • “I have a problem with government lobbying when there is a fundamental inequality between those with the money to lobby and those without.”

        I don’t, the only cure – limiting free speech – is worse than the disease.

  16. First off all funding, including government funding and university funding, biases the questions that get asked. Tyndall center, for example, is funded by the government to study certain questions that presuppose the existence of AGW. They can’t ask questions which would deconstruct their mission, so they don’t.

    Second, I have no issue with industry funded research as long as it is open. Since it’s industry funded I know that the results will be biased, principly by framing ( the questions they ask) and perhaps by methodology. What is more pernicious is research conducted by scientists with hidden personal motives who refuse to make their data and methods open. That kind of bias is only exposable through events like Climategate.

  17. “I would suggest that government motives and industry motives are apples and oranges.”

    How so? It’s TRIVIALLY TRUE in one regard, but at it’s heart there is no difference.
    Government funded research is open to the same kind of framing bias as industry research.

    “I suspect that the governments around the world are funding AGW research for very different reasons that you might suspect — some of them want to get ahead of the game and be prepared to act, and some of them want to look like they’re doing something when they have no plans to act.”

    In both cases the MOTIVE will frame the research and bias the answer. It’s the questions that get asked Susann. You should know this from looking at medical research

    “I have to admit that I trust them far more than industry-funded scientists working for front organizations funded by the petroleum industry only because I have studied government as part of my graduate education in public policy.”

    The petroleum industry doesnt fund any climate science. Why do you keep inventing this foe that doesnt exist?

  18. The petroleum industry doesnt fund any climate science. Why do you keep inventing this foe that doesnt exist?

    And you know this based on what?

  19. Steven Mosher,
    One important early paper (1974) by Gordon Manley, about the CET, was funded by the oil company Shell. He says so in the acknowledgements. See

    http://www.rmets.org/pdf/qj74manley.pdf

    But we don’t hear anyone saying that his work should be dismissed because of this.

    Susann/Shewonk, as I am sure you are aware, some posts were removed because they were completely off-topic. The thread was about sending station data, and you posted something about funding from the petrol industry! In fact your original comment is still there at CA.

    • Posts are often left up that are OT – on the thread I was moderated, I counted 7 successive posts on the topic of personal ancestry. Might I suggest that those posts which are OT and which Steve likes are left, but those that are OT and Steve doesn’t like are snipped. That’s fine. As I said, it’s his blog, but it’s rather curious.

      In my case, in response to my comment, someone posted a link to the Lindzen paper and suggested I read it. I did read it, and found it lacking. I noted that the author had been in the employ of the fossil fuel industry and said that in my view, when one is paid by the fossil fuel industry to deny AGW, one has moved from skeptic or contrarian to denier. The original OT post suggesting I read a paper was snipped, and I was chastised for OT posts. :D

      • Correction – mine was the original OT post and there was no paper referenced to read. I referred to a simple quote from Lindzen from an opinion piece in the WSJ. A quote – referenced above in my first post – on the subject that brought me to this issue in the first place.

    • Mosher,

      “The petroleum industry doesnt fund any climate science.”

      LOL. Care to substantiate that? They do fund the enemies of climate science though– example, “Friends” of science (go to deepclimate and learn) and Fraser Inst. in Canada. Heartland Inst. also has ties with FF indiustry, and many denialists have ties with the Heartland Inst. them, including your friend McI.

      Maybe you are right, they (FF industry) do not fund real/true climate science per se, they fund the utter BS that idealogues such as Inhofe et al. try to use to maintain the status quo and be obstructionist.

  20. Susann, (cross post from toerh thread on your blog) the zealots over at CA will hunt you down and threaten you just like they have done with others. They are no more than a bunch of hypocritical egocentrics who believe that they know more than anyone else, and hold nothing but contempt and hatred for anyone who dares question their self-proclaimed authority. They already ganging up on you here and lecturing you. Think of CA as a meeting place for people suffering from Dunning-Kruger. What really drives me crazy is that it is all done under the pretence/guise of “ethical” science. OMG.

    According to CA acolytes, when RC deletes posts they are guilty of a litany of crimes, but when SteveM does it they willl rationalize and defend their leader, no matter what it takes. Bizarre.

    Has SteveM shared with everyone how many FOIA requests he and his henchmen (e.g., McKitrick) made to UEA/CRU? On that note, he (McI) should be formally cross-examined and investigated as part of the CRU hack investigation. His email accounts should also be audited. If he does have nothing to hide, what is the problem?

    Susann, you are rght about McI’s language revealing his true colours. He is the one who chose to use “jihadist”, and “crack cocaine” after all. That is the problems with trying to deceive people 24/7, you ultimately , invariably screw up or slip.

    CA is reading more and more like WUWT these days, mostly rhetoric and opines and less and less substance. Well, maybe that is not true, there has always been a vacuum of real, solid science there. Me saying that will drive them absolutely nuts, but my reply to that is, well where are all the damn papers stemming from the supposed brilliant research they conduct at CA then?

    What they are very good at is obfuscating, being obstructionist and feeding the denilaists with and endless source of misinformation and propoganda, that and making mountains out of molehills.

    You did a fine job of auditing McI’s piece, as did DeepClimate recently– McI shoud be subjected to the same scrutiny and “standards” that he expects of others, and I encourage you to keep it up should you feel so inclined. Do not be deterred by their bullying.

    CA are becoming increasingly desperate. Until recently they were almost militant in their discipline, but recently the cracks have started to show. The blatant editing/deleting of your posts is the most recent example.

    If more and more people did what you have been doing, McI’s empire would unfold very quickly. Especially, if they shared with everyone that they too have had posts deleted for dissenting views. Maybe you could start a blog where people can post their comments which have been deleted over at CA. You might also want to share your experience with some of the Canadian rags– McI is their darling.

    So keep your cool, and keep prodding and soon the self-proclaimed sheep (McI) will start to reveal the real disingenuous and mendacious wolf he is.

    McI does not like critique, PERIOD, that is why he is on a decade plus witch hunt for Mann. So very sad.

    As for the discussion of feedbacks here, the events that unfold during the passage of seasons are evidence of the existence of feedbacks for goodness sakes; feedbacks whether they be positive or negative are real, and do not translate by default into a runaway feedback. Those are not my thoughts but those of scientists who are qualified to speak to the science of feedbacks and who do not have an agenda as Lindzen does. Lindzen should know better, paloclimate records also clearly demonstrate the existence of feedbacks, no wonder Lindzen’s reputation is becoming increasingly tainted, especially after the Lindzen and Choi fiasco. When did he take his last dole fromt he oil industry, he climas it was some time ago, but his beahaviour of late seems to suggest otherwise. Maybe SteveM could audit Lindzen’s work and financial records. LOL.

  21. Susann “Might I suggest that those posts which are OT and which Steve likes are left, but those that are OT and Steve doesn’t like are snipped. That’s fine.”

    Actually, no, it is not fine, it smacks or hypocrisy. McI wants to create the impression that everyone supports his propaganda and “brilliant insight”. So those other OT comments which did not do that stay. Yours on the other hand did challenge him, so…snip!

    Sorry for typos in my lengthy post, I need to learn to be a proficient typist.

    Your posts have been very insightful. McI and others have been tellling lies when they say CA is open and fair and that they do not delete posts like those nasty “warmers” at RC do.

    • It’s fine to moderate a blog — there was a lot of really boorish material in some of the posts directed at me but this is just a personal blog meant to argue issues. However, to delete topical comments just because they are critical is highly suspect.

      My experience does raise interesting questions about the blog though.

  22. Rolling Stone, with zest, gusto, and a catchy title, THE CLIMATE KILLERS:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/31633524/the_climate_killers

    • From the ‘story’:

      But Buffett, whose investments have the power to move entire markets, is doing far more than bad-mouthing climate legislation — he’s literally banking on its failure. In recent months, the Oracle of Omaha has invested billions in carbon-polluting industries

      Since when do ‘the warmers’ get to invent their own terms, redefine terms and other wise invent out of whole cloth ‘straw-men’ for the purpose of herding the masses in a direction of their own choosing?

      START THE STAMPEDE I don’t want ‘pollution’ either; but hell, this inventing of one’s own ‘terms’ and continued re-defining (contrary to clearly, priorly agreed upon terms and definitions that have HISTORY and LEGACY going back generations in the sciences) to support single-issue causes is – call it what appears on its face – madness.

      Does anyone here, still in possession of their facilities and knowledge in science and of our past and the progress from that past actually agree with the above excerpted paragraph from the article?

      It would seem so … so mankind begins his slow backwards walk towards ‘the caves’ from whence he once emerged … forces even now are at work to dull his finer senses of observation and logic as seen by the outstanding ‘work’ by Insight as posted above.

      I ask: Where is the counter, where is the balance, where is the cross-examination of sites such as RC (which is HEAVILY, HEAVILY – did I say a HEAVILY censored site as desired by the Fenton Communications folks), Deltoid (ever read the “Ray Thread” over their Susann?) or CP (Climate Progress) or the NEWS media who continue the steady drum beat of CAGW?

      Crickets …
      .
      .

      • Jim, I don’t see carbon as CO2 is not a pollutant per se. To me, it’s a necessary part of the earth’s biosphere. It is a pollutant when we produce it in excess of what is healthy or leads to acidification of the oceans and/or warming. That seems a no-brainer to me.

        I am not bothered by redefining it as a pollutant if the need arises. Humans have created all categories and definitions and we alter meaning of established terms all the time. It’s what we do.

        I know that some people in the AGW camp talk like moralists, claiming that we need to go back to the garden and live more simple frugal lives, etc. but I am not one of them. I think we have to develop better energy sources — my God the energy from the sun is practically boundless and if we could invest our minds and energy into harnessing it, we’d be set. Not to mention fusion but it always seems 50 years away from practical use. The energy in our climate system itself is awesome if we could just harness it. But the short term extraction of profit from development and exploitation of fossil fuels has prevented the development of alternatives that could be far more freeing, and not carry with it so many political and climate issues.

        RC may delete posts heavily. I am not against heavily moderated blogs, depending on the purpose and that the moderation is fair. I haven’t been to RC enough to know how much fails to get through or what quality it is. I’ve often thought they, like CA, should have more of a strict commentary policy — maybe restrict commentary to blog members who have science / tech credentials and only have a few threads were laypeople could post questions about content so that the cheering section wouldn’t be so prominent and it wouldn’t be such a denier/contrarian magnet. I imagine to a skeptic or someone not decided, it would be as irritating to them as CA’s chorus was to me.

        I mean, if you’re going to allow people to comment, be fair in who you delete and moderate. The appearance of fairness matters to most readers, regardless of what side they are on.

  23. Willard, I guess the CFC lobby didn’t have deep enough pockets to prevent the Montreal Protocol from being signed and enforced and that’s why it was successful. There’s too much black gold — liquid or solid — in them thar hills to let it sit. Too much profit to be made. So despite the evidence being actually much stronger for global warming than it was for the ozone hole and CFCs, we have no agreement and it looks as if it will be BAU. Let’s hope it is all just a big hoax…

  24. Whenever someone finishes a blog post with ‘crickets’, my BS filer goes off. Jim seem to be another Dunning-Kruger sufferer and believe yourself to be all knowing.

    For the love of God, do you not understand that the global temperature is blissfully ignorant of whether or not RC or Deltoid edits posts, or what terminology RS uses? The global temperature does, however, “care” whether your friends in big coal like Buffett and McI and Watts obstruct the development of clean and sustainable energy future (i.e., a mostly carbon free future), b/c by doing so the CO2 in the anthro CO2 in atmosphere keeps going up, and through its well understood radiative forcing the global temperature goes up (globally and long term, and more CH4 is released and warms things even more) and in the end we all pay– especially those poor sods in the developing world. All so we can keep our fat arses warm in an Escalade and live in a 2000+ sf ft house for two, perhaps four of us? Jim, I suspect that you are grey haired and do not give a damn about what debt future generations will be saddled with because of your myopia and willful ignorance. Have you ever hear of intergenerational equity? My guess is no, b/c that would require way too much foresight and way too many sacrifices of the beloved “American way”. If you want to be a true “patriot”, do the honorable and right thing, and that as often is the case is not always the easy thing and means making some sacrifices.

    You climate to want clean energy, well then put your money and vote with those parties who are trying to achieve that goal, rather than spouting niceties on blogs about how you want clean energy BUT…… Either you mean it and are willing to put your money where your mouth is like the rest of us, otherwise you are just trying telling lies. You are also giving false choices, this is not an either we address AGW at the expense of pollution, the two need to be done in tandem. Reduce CO2 emissions and you also reduce pollution. Smoke stacks from coal fired power plants produce all kinds of nasty pollutants (Hg, SOx), as well as GHGs such as CO2 and NOx. There is a very real coast associated with doubling CO2, and until now we have willfully ignored that, and you are doing whatever you can by supporting, say Inhofe, to maintain the comfy status quo.

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