Archive for March, 2011

Andy @Revkin Points To The End of The Line For The IPCC And Its Lot

2011/03/27 10 comments

Thanks Andy!

Beginning in the 1980s, [University of Pennsylvania Professor Philip] Tetlock examined 27,451 forecasts by 284 academics, pundits and other prognosticators. The study was complex, but the conclusion can be summarized simply: the experts bombed. Not only were they worse than statistical models, they could barely eke out a tie with the proverbial dart-throwing chimps. […] The least accurate forecasters, [Tetlock] found, were hedgehogs: “thinkers who ‘know one big thing,’ aggressively extend the explanatory reach of that one big thing into new domains” and “display bristly impatience with those who ‘do not get it,’ ” he wrote. Better experts “look like foxes: thinkers who know many small things,” “are skeptical of grand schemes” and are “diffident about their own forecasting prowess.”

So there we have it…experts of the “big thing” called “climate change”, aggressive (to the point of hiding declines, preventing publication of competing ideas, inserting unsubstantiated critiques in the IPCC report, etc etc) and definitely “impatient” with us little humans wondering aloud about their certitudes (any post at RC, Connolley, Deltoid, Romm, etc etc keeps confirming this point).

Note how none of the above can be defined as “gross negligence” or “conspiracy”, and yet despite all the whitewashing by the Climategate inquiries, there is a scientific consensus, and the best of our scientific knowledge demonstrates, that all that bunch, and pretty much all the bigwigs around the IPCC, they ARE “least accurate forecasters”. QED.

For more discussion about “wrongology”: here and here. Read also here a critique-essay by Tetlock himself, listing a set of criteria suggested by David Freedman, author of Wrong: Why Experts* Keep Failing Us—And How to Know When Not to Trust Them as signs of claims we should be “especially wary of”

  1. dramatic (“claiming to have invented the psychological equivalent of the telescope qualifies”)
  2. a tad too clear-cut (“devoid of qualifications about when propositions do and do not hold”)
  3. doubt free (“portraying findings as beyond reasonable doubt and one’s measure as 100 percent pure”)
  4. universal (“implying that one is tapping into powerful unconscious forces that, hitherto unbeknownst to us, drive all human behavior”)
  5. palatable (“likely to appeal to one’s favorite ideological constituencies”)
  6. receiving “a lot of positive” media attention (“widely covered in the mass media and millions have visited the website”)
  7. actionable implications (“claims about what employers now need to do to guarantee true equality of opportunity in workplaces”)

Let me now make a statement that is dramatic, very clear-cut, doubt-free, universal, palatable (to most of my readers), yet likely media-ignored and hardly actionable: the “scientific consensus” on climate-change (rather, the unscientific stuff that constitutes the IPCC–led propaganda bandied about as “scientific consensus”), scores 7 out of 7 on the Freedman scale and therefore should lie at the bottom of anybody’s trust level:

  1. dramatic (having reached the computational power needed to project future climate just as CO2 emissions got to a previously-unknown “dangerous” level)
  2. a tad too clear-cut (with climate change almost completely due to a “thermostat” called CO2)
  3. doubt free (the IAC spent an inordinate amount of time complaining about the absurd IPCC policy of underplaying uncertainties)
  4. universal (everybody will feel the (bad) consequences of climate change, and everybody is guilty of it)
  5. palatable (as it happens, the usual evils of capitalism and freedoms are the underling cause of climate change)
  6. receiving “a lot of positive” media attention (shall I really comment this?)
  7. actionable implications (every ha’penny worth of a politician understands how many things can be pinned upon the bandwagon called “climate change”)

And I find one sentence by Tetlock as especially relevant to the climate debate:

Whatever may be the merits of the underlying science in the peer-reviewed literature, in the public forum, the ratio of pseudoexpertise to genuine expertise is distressingly high.

ps Yes, I might be wrong. On the other hand, I am not asking for billions of dollars for dubious research, have never attempted to restrict anybody’s liberty, don’t use the ‘net to show off my superiority complex, do let almost every comment free on this website, etc etc)


Turning All Lights On Against “Earth Hour”

2011/03/25 8 comments

Like in 2010, I will definitely not turn the lights off for “Earth Hour“. I will do the exact opposite.


Because I don’t want this to happen. And even if it will happen, still I will be the last one standing with a house full of lighting.

Earth Hour? No, thanks

"Earth Hour"? No, thanks


Grist Who? A Challenge For The Yulsmans And Kloors Of The World

2011/03/14 3 comments

Having asked “How Long Before Romm Blames The Christchurch Quake On Global Warming?“, and having tweeted my disgust at Grist’s shameless attempt at linking climate change to the Sendai quake

This is why @mims and @grist will forever be the smog instead of the beacon #tsunami #climate #agw #japan #quake

…little did I expect of having tapped (for once!) at a currently spreading meme, namely the abject absurdity and dubious ethics of linking crustal movements to CO2 emissions.

As noted by Shub Niggurath though, the problem is not Grist, or TreeHugger or anybody else. The problem is that the collection of “yellow journalism” about climate change is constantly enriched by blatantly absurd climate change claims going in all directions.

The challenge to the Yulsmans and Kloors of this world is to make good use of the experience with Grist, and have no more qualms at criticizing whatever is written about climate change, when it is completely speculative and especially when it is just or mostly a manipulative attempt at changing public opinion with half-truths and baseless conjectures. Where to start from? Well, Numberwatch is as good a list as any.

Perfectly Accurate UK Spring 2011 Weather Forecast

2011/03/07 9 comments

Maurizio’s Office Initial Assessment of Risk for Spring 2011

This covers the months of March, April and May 2011, this will not be updated monthly through the spring given the nature of the computations.


3 in 10 chance of a mild start

4 in 10 chance of an average start

3 in 10 chance of a cold start


3 in 10 chance of a wet start

4 in 10 chance of an average start

3 in 10 chance of a dry start

Many thanks to the Met Office for the leading role in disseminating such fool-proof forecasting skills.

“Glory” a loss to Climate Modelling, not Science

2011/03/05 4 comments

Seems like global warming is such a primary point of concern, satellites vital for its study always get booked on dodgy rockets, with predictable results.

Bye bye Glory? In truth, it’s not “climate science” that will suffer from the loss. It’s climate modelling. Because, as in previous circumstances, with an operational lifetime of 3 years instead of 30, Glory was not meant to study the “climate”, rather to provide supplemental information to climate models.

And that’s no “Earth observation”.

Disasters Caused By (Fear Of) Climate Change

2011/03/04 4 comments

Climate change has caused incredible suffering already.

Actually, climate change hasn’t done much, or perhaps anything at all (yet?). The reason for the “incredible suffering” has been the fear of climate change. For example:

How many more victims of AGWers are needed, before the catastrophists see what they’re doing to our world?

Nuke The Toxic Humans!

2011/03/03 19 comments

Recent entries from the Warmist camp:

  1. Genghis Khan was good regarding CO2 emissions, in particular due to his mass-killing attitude
  2. Nuclear war is good for global warming, as it reverses it for a while (no prob there, we can start a new war when needed)
  3. Exploding people including children is good for action against global warming/CO2 emissions/climate change

Who’s going to join the dots and push the appropriate nuclear button, for the good of the planet of course?

So You Believe In Computer Models…

2011/03/01 4 comments

Shub Niggurath tries to explain what makes Nature magazine reluctant from asking authors to make their computer code public. I am not too convinced by the arguments listed as possible reasons, and prefer to blame sheer ignorance on the part of people with little experience in programming.

On the other hand, SN’s post has made it very clear to me what’s wrong with my approach to “climate science”. The problem is that I became a “computer scientist” before I became a “scientist”. This makes any computer code highly suspicious in my eyes, and therefore it also makes next-to-impossible for me to trust “computer models” of any kind.

Nowadays, more than 18 programming years later, I am amazed at learning that there are intelligent people out there unaware of the infinite range of results that can come out of a relatively simple group of programs. Those people have never supported an application written by somebody else. They have also never experienced the frustration of having to debug a piece of code.

A computer, as the saying goes, is an ass, i.e. it will only do what asked and will only do it literally. Anybody programming it without the necessary level of expertise is bound to be lead around by the ass. In other words, the vast majority of scientific papers based on computer models are very likely to be elegantly-thought garbage.

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