Welcome to the blogosphere, Dr. Curry!

My comment at her introductory blog post:

Thank you Dr. Curry!

I know that some might try to hector you with petty complaints, like “she uncritically repeats nonsense from Wegman, Pat Michaels, CEI, and books she doesn’t seem to have actually read.” But I can’t thank you enough for really opening up the “debate” about climate change. If it wasn’t for your boosterism, I would never have seen Steve McIntyre’s published 2kyr NH temp reconstruction, Anthony Watts’ plot of “reliable” surface station temp trends and how they compare to the total average, Tom Fuller’s quotes from polar bear and ice sheet dynamics leading researchers, and so on. I know that some might say that you’re legitimizing anti-science voices for no good reason but they simply haven’t seen the incredible published results you have. Perhaps those (epic results) can be your first postings? I’d also be interested to hear about your latest Antarctic sea ice paper in light of previous work, but I understand that the relevant conversation is happening at WMC’s blog. Cheers!

UPDATE: I followed up with this post:

Judith Curry writes: I refuse to label as “anti-science” anyone that is questioning scientific evidence.

As well you should. Such a label would imply that they only attack science, rather than build it up with their own positive contributions. But as I mentioned, thanks to your tireless promotion of people like Steve McIntyre, I became aware of his own, self-proclaimed “expert” published reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere temperatures for the past 2000 years. Far be it for anyone to accuse him of tribalism and bias! He is truly a productive addition to the field of paleoclimatology. Similarly, through your attempts to legitimize Anthony Watts’s blog, I have learned that we’re actually experiencing cooling, that we’re warming because of the sun, that we’re warming because of CFCs, that we’re warming because of cosmic rays, that we’re cooling, that we’re warming because of ENSO, that we’re warming because of PDO, that we’re cooling, and that we have no idea whether or not we’re warming or cooling because the surface temperature record is worthless. On that last point, I also found Anthony’s published temperature record from sites that have his expert approval to be quite revealing, especially as compared to the so-called “real” surface instrumental record. Through Anthony’s very informative and not at all mendacious blog, I also found some of Tom Fuller’s journalism. Tom has made it quite clear that he contacts experts in the field in order to accurately convey the state of science to his audience, so I found his recent interviews with polar bear biologists and glaciologists to be the very opposite of dishonest and misleading. To label such upright, hard-working members of the blogscience community “anti-science” just doesn’t do them justice, does it? When might we look forward to your discussions of their productive, published work? That certainly would still the wagging tongues who bizarrely think that their actions to date constitute little more than an attempt to delegitimize the field of climate science.


UPDATE: And another reply:

Judith Curry writes: I think the auditors and citizen scientists in the blogosphere have made a remarkable contribution in stimulating public interest in climate science and actually raising and addressing issues that the public is interested in and cares about.

Quite so! They certainly have done much to prolong the public debate about things that have long since been agreed upon in the field itself. I’m sure that I’m not alone in marveling at your useful role in adding a veneer of respectability to their efforts.

On a completely unrelated note, I believe that you have referenced Conway and Oreskes’s latest book, Merchants of Doubt, and have attempted to draw a sharp distinction between the actors and activities laid out in that book and the “not anti-science” crowd that you are tirelessly promoting. I recently read the book as well, and I have to say that I’m in agreement with you!

One of the key tactics in MoD was not a direct denial of the main aspects of a problem (like tobacco-cancer or acid rain), but rather the continual stressing of uncertainties and disagreement at the expense of what was not really in question. This had the effect of manufacturing doubt in the public discourse that simply didn’t exist in the relevant scientific fields. Thankfully, this is nothing at all like the dynamic that you’ve been fostering. How crazy would that be, right? If someone on the one hand could recognize this tactic for what it is when applied to other fields and groups, but not himself see that he was doing exactly the same thing…

But listen to me prattling on about hypotheticals that would never actually happen in the real world, completely off topic in a thread devoted to your creation of a climate blog that promotes positive contributors to science like McIntyre, Watts, and Fuller. I can’t for the life me imagine how I got on such a tangent…

23 responses to “Welcome to the blogosphere, Dr. Curry!

  1. I went over to see if anyone had responded and…it’s not there. I’m guessing moderation will be a bit on the slow side at the moment, or you may be in the spam filter, or…

    • Right now comments #213 and #215 to #229 are unpublished, all others up to #230 are published. #230 is a repeat commenter.

      So everything does look like plain-vanilla moderation filtering at work, hold everyone unless approved at least once in the past. No need to pull a Tom Fuller.

      • “No need to pull a Tom Fuller”.
        Glad someone spotted the reference. I’d come here from MT’s blog & CRUhack Tom’s bleatings were fresh in my mind.

  2. Since we now have a way to ask her directly about specific details of things she’s said, I certainly hope that a bunch of people don’t avail themselves of said opportunity and do something so cheeky. That would be simply tribal, one might say.

    • I’m really, really, really considering asking her a simple question, of which I already know her answer.

      The question: “In a recent interview you claimed papers were kept out of the scientific literature because they contradicted the IPCC position. Could you name one such example?”

      The answer: “Read Andrew Montford’s book”

      Upon which I *could* start a long discussion pointing her to the false narrative in Montford’s book on that topic, upon which the goalposts will be moved, in classic Judith Curry style (see collide-a-scape, where she did so repeatedly).

  3. Well said.
    Eli was being almost avuncular in his advice.
    I was particularly taken by Mosher’s offer in the comments to assist in the moderation task.
    If the thinness of Dr. Curry’s latest paper is a predictor, I would not expect much from the technical blog. She dismisses the discussion of it at Stoat as just “who said what, when”.

  4. I like the header graphic.
    Is it symbolising the sun setting on Curry’s ‘honest joe’ pretensions?

  5. I just skimmed over most of the comments. Mostly piffle, with a healthy leavening of phrases like “open mind” and “honest”, as if deniers are either. Plus the usual repetition of the usual denier memes, plus a few crackpots.

    I suspect Judy’s blog, unless very tightly moderated, will sink into the same morass that most denier blogs have become – obsession with stolen emails, smears and slurs against climate scientists, and *ad nauseum* parroting of other denier blog’s baloney. It’s too bad Judy is taking the time, and providing yet another sewer for the deniers to spew their bilge.

  6. Maybe poor Judith has succumbed to a denialist version of Ampulex compressa, the mind-controlling parasitic wasp? We can only hope.

  7. Certainly her objectivity will not be influenced by her financial interests. Follow the money: Climate Forecast Applications Network

    • I disagree vehemently that what she’s doing is motivated by anything other than a severely misplaced belief that she can build bridges with people who only use her to attack the mainstream. I think that it’s best to assume good faith on someone’s part until they’ve clearly demonstrated that they’ve started shilling.

    • “As principal founders of CFAN, Judith Curry and Peter Webster have assembled an international team that includes experts on subseasonal, seasonal, and decadal scale climate forecasting, information technology, and decision support tools. Our team includes experts in climate behavior across all continents and ocean basins, and is complimented by experience in decision management within the private and public sectors.”

      Anyone have any idea who this international team of experts are? Perhaps I should ask her.

  8. I think you utterly fail to understand the reason why McIntyre will probably never publish a reconstruction and why you can draw no rational scientific conclusion about him or the field from the absence of publication. Using accepted methods, the conclusions one can draw about the MWP ( if you hold your nose and accept the proxy data as is, a serious comprise to begin with) are spectacularly vague and of no scientific interest. If you “innovate” new methods, refuse to test those methods adequately, refuse to disclose all the steps of those methods, then you could get published, although you would be overstating the certainty. So, pointing out that McIntyre refuses to engage in what scientists criticized Mann for is hardly a killer debating point.

    From: Ed Cook
    To: Keith Briffa
    Subject: Re: Esper et al. and Mike Mann
    Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 13:20:40 -0400

    Hi Keith,

    Of course, I agree with you. We both know the probable flaws in
    Mike’s recon, particularly as it relates to the tropical stuff. Your
    response is also why I chose not to read the published version of his
    letter. It would be too aggravating. The only way to deal with this
    whole issue is to show in a detailed study that his estimates are
    clearly deficient in multi-centennial power, something that you
    actually did in your Perspectives piece, even if it was not clearly
    stated because of editorial cuts. It is puzzling to me that a guy as
    bright as Mike would be so unwilling to evaluate his own work a bit
    more objectively.


    >I have just read this lettter – and I think it is crap. I am sick to
    >death of Mann stating his reconstruction represents the tropical
    >area just because it contains a few (poorly temperature
    >representative ) tropical series. He is just as capable of
    >regressing these data again any other “target” series , such as the
    >increasing trend of self-opinionated verbage he has produced over
    >the last few years , and … (better say no more)

    • Interesting to see a McIntyre-acolyte quoting the opinion of Keith Briffa (and Ed Cook) on Mann’s wrk, but neglecting the criticism of that same Briffa when it is aimed at Steve McIntyre’s work…

      • I don’t neglect Briffa’s criticism at all.

        I merely note this. As an analyst I have often made the choice not to analyze data that did not meet the standards prescribed by the data collection protocals. I have also refused to publish results where the result was uninformative. ( If you want to see the list, you’ll need a security clearance (TS/SAR), sorry, but there is some unclassified stuff out there if you know where to look and have the money)

        1. when looking at tree ring proxies it is not evident from the metadata that the rings were collected using standard protocals described in the literature. I’d reject those out hand or clearly disclose that the analysis contained unestimatable uncertainty due to lack of rigor in the collection and preservation of metadata.

        2. The underlying assumptions of linear responses are not supported by the biology. Who knows what that does to uncertainty

        3. The accepted methods ( those accepted in expert statistical literature) when applied to proxies give floor to ceiling CIs. Not very informative and not publishable. Recent baysian work appears to hold some promise, however, the CIs are also much wider than Mann’s untested approaches.

        Simply, refusing to follow mann’s folly ( there no signal in the proxies, see jeffid) by running suspect data through more suspect data grinders, is hardly a flaw.

        Again, from a logical and scientific perspective, the refusal to engage in suspect work, is hardly confirmation that the suspect work is correct.

        Then again, you didnt read all the mails or publish a book on them, therefore by your logic I am correct.

    • Rubbish. He’s just a scaredy cat who doesn’t want to play with the big boy’s in case he gets hurt.

  9. Holy crap, but you’re a boring one, aren’t ya?

    McIntyre has done his own 1-2kyr reconstructions. He knows full well what they show, error bars and all. He knows that if he were to try to *produce* he would have to make choices, and he knows (regardless of the bluster otherwise) that he’s a dilettante and he has basically zero grasp of physical climatology. I know you remember a time when CA was basically a site dedicated to mocking the idea of teleconnections! Seriously! That’s amusing, but not at all for the reason the audience believed. McIntyre doesn’t “need” to publish because he has sycophants like yourself and Watts and lately JC to tell him what a valuable *cough* service he’s provided to blah blah blah.

    Reality has a hockey stick bias. McIntyre, deep down, knows it. That’s why he tries so cringingly hard to discredit any chronology that tracks the instrumental record, despite the inconvenient fact of us, you know, having the instrumental record. There was a sort of medieval warm period. That it was temporally, hemispherically (let alone globally) coherent and as warm or warmer than the present is not supported by the available evidence. That’s why bullshit “studies” such as Soon and Balliunas’s had to be sneaked through “review” by ideological fellow travelers.

    I think you utterly fail to understand the reason why McIntyre will probably never publish a reconstruction

    He doesn’t like the results. And it’s several orders of magnitude easier to be the equivalent of a grammar nazi than it is to be an actual Editor, much less Author. Done in two. Any other “deep mysteries” you need answered?

  10. Pingback: Curry’ed Tripe and other recipes « Greenfyre’s

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