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”
- dramatic (“claiming to have invented the psychological equivalent of the telescope qualifies”)
- a tad too clear-cut (“devoid of qualifications about when propositions do and do not hold”)
- doubt free (“portraying findings as beyond reasonable doubt and one’s measure as 100 percent pure”)
- universal (“implying that one is tapping into powerful unconscious forces that, hitherto unbeknownst to us, drive all human behavior”)
- palatable (“likely to appeal to one’s favorite ideological constituencies”)
- receiving “a lot of positive” media attention (“widely covered in the mass media and millions have visited the website”)
- 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:
- dramatic (having reached the computational power needed to project future climate just as CO2 emissions got to a previously-unknown “dangerous” level)
- a tad too clear-cut (with climate change almost completely due to a “thermostat” called CO2)
- doubt free (the IAC spent an inordinate amount of time complaining about the absurd IPCC policy of underplaying uncertainties)
- universal (everybody will feel the (bad) consequences of climate change, and everybody is guilty of it)
- palatable (as it happens, the usual evils of capitalism and freedoms are the underling cause of climate change)
- receiving “a lot of positive” media attention (shall I really comment this?)
- 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)
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.
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 http://bit.ly/g02bVe. #tsunami #climate #agw #japan #quake
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.
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
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”.
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:
- Billions of euros stolen from European citizens to give away free money to major polluters in the ETS scheme (not to mention outright fraudsters and money-launderers), with no positive result whatsoever
- Yes more billions thrown away in the support of “green” dictatorships
- Increased risk of famine, plus impoverishment of the already-poor, thanks to the massive use of corn for biofuels especially in the USA
- Hundreds of more billions wasted for no good reason at all (eg in Japan)
- The upcoming all-lights-out energy crisis in the UK, primarily caused by the silly idea to build no more power stations of any kind apart from useless wind turbines
How many more victims of AGWers are needed, before the catastrophists see what they’re doing to our world?
Recent entries from the Warmist camp:
- Genghis Khan was good regarding CO2 emissions, in particular due to his mass-killing attitude
- 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)
- 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?