Thursday, February 3, 2011

More Lisbon stories

Here in the NewScientist you can read Fred Pearce's report from the Lisbon workshop. It is kind of sober and disillusioned, and it gives some fine examples of the topics discussed: the 'uncertainty monster', the 'totemic' hockey stick, ocean osscilliations ('pet subject')  and the 2 degree limit. He also writes  'Much time at the meeting was taken up bitching rather than conciliating.' Totems, pets, monsters and bitches...quite an assembly in good ol' Lisbon!
Thus, his dry conclusion comes as no surprise:
Public trust in climate science had collapsed and had to be rebuilt through reconciliation, they said. Of course, mainstreamers would claim it is hypocrisy for "sceptics" to lash out at mainstream climate science and then invoke the resulting public confusion to demand a seat at the table. But have they a better idea?
It is interesting to read this in comparison to Judith Curry's, Gerald Traufetter's or other observations; each one has a different take on this event.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ein gelungener Artikel des im Zuge von "climategate" viel gescholtenen Fred Pearce.

Seine Überschrift "Climate sceptics and scientists attempt peace deal" deckt sich zudem noch schön mit meiner Sichtweisen, wo die Trennlinie der beiden Lager verläuft.

Sehr interessant ist folgender Satz:
"They agreed with von Storch, who told a public meeting after the workshop that "too much climate science is done not out of curiosity but to support a preconceived agenda".

Ich bin mir sicher, dass sich Herr von Storch sehr viel differenzierter ausgedrückt hat. Aber dieser Satz wird es sein, der seinen Weg in die Blogosphäre finden wird.

Genau das meine ich mit "gefährlicher Gratwanderung", nämlich der Gefahr, vom Skeptikerlager vereinnahmt zu werden. Mit solchen Aussagen ist es leicht, sich Respekt bis Zuneigung im Lager der Skeptiker zu verschaffen.

Wenn man aber den Konflikt als Konflikt zwischen Science und "Antiscience" begreift, dann erscheinen mir appeasment-Strategien als blauäugig.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, sollte nicht anonym sein, der letzte Beitrag war von mir.

Andreas

Marco said...

I 'love' the comments. It shows that "reconciliation" with a significant group is not possible as long as climate science does not tell people it's all natural.

Note also that I tried to ask Fred Pearce to substantiate the claim about Gavin Schmidt (Schmidt's response on Rabett Run suggests that "the science is settled" is NOT why he declined to participate). Answer? No answer, my simple request to substantiate the Gavin Schmidt quote was simply not published...

Oh well, I guess I should now look for Fred Pearce's e-mail address, if I thought it would actually mean he'd correct his story if he had no evidence. But I don't think it will (Pearce still hasn't corrected his garbled story about Latif's supposed projections of cooling).

Anonymous said...

Marco,

you wrote:

      "I 'love' the comments. It shows that 'reconciliation' with a significant group is not possible as long as climate science does not tell people it's all natural."

Did you make that arguement up, Marco? One could think you are not interested in reconciliation. There are 37 comments so far to this New Scientist article and I found f.ex only one comment which referred in that direction you mentioned or to "nature":

      "Science and Immortality by Charles B. Paul 1980 University of California Press. In this book on the Eloges of the Paris Academy of Sciences (1699-1791) page 99 says: 'Science is not so much a natural as a moral philosophy'. [That means drylabbing [fudging data] will get you fired.]
Page 106 says: 'Nature isn't just the final authority, Nature is the Only authority.'

You wrote further:

"[M]y simple request to substantiate the Gavin Schmidt quote was simply not published..."

5 other comment(er)s on this Schmidt-issue are published. Maybe it was a matter of your wording, Marco?

namenlos

Anonymous said...

Andreas,

you wrote:

      "Wenn man aber den Konflikt als Konflikt zwischen Science und 'Antiscience' begreift, dann erscheinen mir appeasment-Strategien als blauäugig."

Spiegelt dieser Vorwurf des "Blauäugig-Seins" die Meinung des Autors wider, dass diejenigen, die bisher nicht überzeugt vom AGW(c) sind, in diesem Konflikt "Antiscience" eingestellt sind? So eine übersimplifizierte "Schwarz-Weiß-Strategie" kann meiner Überzeugung nach der "Realität" nicht gerecht werden und trägt schwerlich zu einer nachhaltigen Konfliktlösung bei.

namenlos

Anonymous said...

@ namenlos

Ich weiß nicht, was die Meinung des Autors Fred Pearce genau ist, nach Lesen seines Artikels und der zitierten Überschrift scheint er aber eine schärfere Beobachtungsgabe zu besitzen als W. Krauss, der in einem anderen thread schreibt:

"Sein [Traufetters]scharfes journalistisches Auge erfasst die vielfältigen Scheidelinien im heillos verstrittenen Stamm der KlimaforscherInnen."

Bei Ansicht der Teilnehmerliste sollte man doch bemerken, dass sich da keine zerstrittenen Klimaforscher versammelten, um strittige wissenschaftliche Thesen zu diskutieren.

Klimaforscher (leider etwas spärlich vertreten) trafen auf Nichtklimaforscher, da verläuft die Trennlinie.

Sie streben eine Konfliktlösung an?

MacIntyre könnte man sicherlich befrieden, indem man ihm bestätigt, dass Manns Rekonstruktion bodenlos schlecht und die statistischen Methoden stümperhaft waren.

Lindzen würde sein Grummeln sicherlich einstellen, wenn wir per Gesatz den Wert der Klimasensitivität auf rund 1°C festschreiben würden.

Anderen würde es guttun, wenn wir uns darauf einigen, dass der Einfluss der solaren Aktivität bei weitem den von CO2 überwiegt.

Leider werden wir die Singers, Moncktons, diverse Institute in den USA nur dadurch befrieden können, dass wir versprechen, sämtliche Reduktionsbemühungen einzustellen.

So, jetzt ist der Konflikt gelöst und alle sind glücklich.

PS:
Ich weiß, das war jetzt ziemlich überspitzt. Aber vielleicht half es, zu verstehen, warum ich schon das Ziel einer Konfliktlösung für blauäugig und naiv halte.

Möglicherweise hilft es auch zu überlegen, was die Motive der verschiedensten Gruppierungen von Skeptikern sind. Dann kristallisiert sich schon von alleine heraus, mit welchen Gruppen Gespräche möglich und sinnvoll sind und bei welchen der Konflikt unlösbar ist.

Einziges realistisches Ziel kann sein, Verständigung mit den Gruppen zu finden, die aufrichtige Motive haben wie z.B. Entideologisierung der Wissenschaft oder Streben nach größtmöglicher Transparenz. So verstehe ich auch die Bemühungen Herr von Storchs.

Die Kernfrage, der sich die Wissenschaft aber stellen muss, lautet: Wie verbessert man die Kommunikation mit der Öffentlichkeit?

In den USA hat man ja fast schon das Gefühl, Fox News und Watts hätten die Deutungshoheit wissenschaftlicher Fragen übernommen.

Andreas

Anonymous said...

Andreas,

dass sie Pearces Meinung kennen oder wiedergeben können, habe ich nicht erwartet - es ging um ihren Vorwurf des "Blauäugig-Seins", Andreas.

Also noch einmal verständlicher/persönlicher gefragt, falls Sie meine Frage bisher nicht verstanden haben sollten:

Spiegelt dieser Vorwurf des "Blauäugig-Seins" deine/Ihre Meinung wider, dass diejenigen, die bisher nicht überzeugt vom AGW(c) sind, in diesem Konflikt "Antiscience" eingestellt sind?

So eine übersimplifizierte "Schwarz-Weiß-Strategie" kann meiner Überzeugung nach der "Realität" eben nicht gerecht werden und trägt schwerlich zu einer nachhaltigen Konfliktlösung bei. Kann es sinnvoll sein, sich mit jemanden verständigen zu wollen, der diesen Konflikt lediglich als einen Konflikt zwischen Science und Antiscience "begreift" (vgl. auch hier), oder möglicherweise als einen Konflikt begreift, der eine einzige Konferenz betrifft?

Sie haben wohl recht damit, Andreas, "dass Manns [berühmteste] Rekonstruktion bodenlos schlecht und die statistischen Methoden stümperhaft waren"; dies wurde ja auch schon mehr oder weniger von professionellen Forschern offiziell vor langer Zeit bestätigt, aber eben leider nicht von Michael Mann selbst und auch nicht vom "Hockey Team". Und wie Sie, Andreas, richtigerweise festgestellt haben, sind viele Wissenschaftler leider garnicht erst zur Lissaboner Reconciliation-Konferenz angereist...

Aber, Andreas, die unsachlichen Bemerkungen zum "grummelnden" Lindzen, Monckton und Singer stellen eine Art Nebelkerze dar und sind leider einer konstruktiven Verständigung abträglich. Und ich glaube nicht, dass jemand etwas gegen eine Schonung der Ressourcen und der Umwelt oder gegen "Reduktionsbemühungen" hat - meiner Ansicht dreht sich der Streit eher um die "Methoden", mit denen diese Bemühungen "wissenschaftlich" und globokratisch durchgesetzt werden sollen.

namenlos

Marco said...

Namenlos: I guess all those "hoax!" (nicely pacakaged in the Y2K comment), "will cost us trillions!" and the several attacks on Gavin Schmidt did not register with you?

And note that I wrote my comment really, really early already. It was not the wording, perhaps my link.

Anyway, we now know that Gavin Schmidt did not say what Pearce claims he said, which makes one wonder how much else he got wrong...

Marco said...

While I may be missing some of the finer details of what Andreas said (comment 1), I too would like to hear some comment from Hans von Storch about Pearce's claim he said
"too much climate science is done not out of curiosity but to support a preconceived agenda".

Let's start with the simple question "Did you really say something that is appropriately summarised as in Pearce's description?"

Follow-up questions depend on the answer. If yes, I'd ask for examples and quantification. If no, I'd like to know if Pearce/New Scientist can expect more complaints from scientists feeling misrepresented.

Werner Krauss said...

@Andreas #6
Sie schreiben über mich:
"scheint er aber eine schärfere Beobachtungsgabe zu besitzen als W. Krauss"

Einfach mal eben so kurz Noten verteilen, mal eben kurz in die Eier treten, nur so, im Vorübergehen? Cool!

(Ich moderiere mit der von Ihnen inkriminierten Stelle einen Artikel von Traufetter an. Das Zitat spiegelt meines Erachtens einen wesentlichen Punkt in G. Traufetters Artikel wieder.)

_Flin_ said...

I am always amazed about the chutzpa to present some opinions as facts. The part about "public trust in climate science has collapsed" is a lot more opinion than it is fact. This is a soundbite repeated again and again by "sceptics", and the factual basis for this statement is porose at best.
At least in the UK, this is a lot more false than it is true, as a recent poll by the Guardian and ICM shows.

Werner Krauss said...

here the link to the comment on Pearce's article in ClimateProgress:
http://climateprogress.org/2011/02/03/new-scientists-fred-pearce-jumps-the-shark/
There might be reasons for the Gavin Schmidt - Fred Pearce controversy. I don't know. But even if the complaint is just and Schmid was mis-represented, there is a frightening lack of respecting the limits of what can be turned into an argument and what not.
This is best represented in a remark about Peter Webster:

"Yes, Webster was certainly the most serious scientists to attend the conference — but he is Curry’s husband! Seriously."

That's what he writes. And how he argues. He must be a very lonely guy. Somehow, I feel sorry for him.

You also learn that the workshop was funded by the oil industry.

ghost said...

hm, when I read both articles (Pearce and Romm), I must say, both articles are really bad, Pearce DID misrepresent Gavin Schmidt. Why ever? The rest is certainly similar bad. And, Romm is too screechy, has too much conspiracy stuff (oil funded, so what?).

The only good part is written by Gavin Schmidt. I agree with Gavin Schmidt, his invitation letter certainly did not find the right point. I can totally understand that he did not go.

PS: funny is his PS. Sometimes the language of "skeptics" is really interesting. Another interesting word is "citizen scientist". May be in another post.

PPS: sorry, that Werner lost the chance to compare both articles in an open way. Are the honest brokers dead?

Werner Krauss said...

@ghost #12
I don't get your 'honest broker' point.
With my comment I just wanted to indicate that there are certain boundaries I don't want to cross. I am simply shocked that Romm (right, it is Romm?) makes an argument like this. Maybe I am naive, but I consider this as completely uneducated. It directs my attention away from the climate debate and makes me think about the guy who wrote this. I really feel kind of sorry for him. What does people drive to talk like this?
The intention for Lisbon was "reconciliation". A way to this is "non-violent communication". I think this is indeed an issue, and it was addressed during the workshop. "but he is the husband of..." Come on. There is nothing to compare. Pearce wrote nothing comparable. Maybe everything is wrong that he writes, maybe he mis-quotes, whatever, but he doesn't use other people's marriage as an argument. You can correct mis-representation, you can correct arguments, but you cannot argue about other people's marriages. What would a just answer be? Impossible. That's why it is of a different kind and so problematic.

ghost said...

@Werner
okay, you are right about the marriage. That is simply bad.

However, I think Pearce's article is not better in any way, if it is comparable. I cannot understand setences like that one about Gavin Schmidt. I read a lot of interviews and articles by and with Gavin Schmidt. NONE of them even remotely showed such attitude as described by Pearce.

I think both articles are just embarrassing crap.

I have never been a fan of Joe Romm. IMHO, he is so aggressive. Maybe I am also too aggressive sometimes. But, I hate only very few things in this world. And one is dishonesty. And I certainly read to many lies, distortions, and personal attacks in the climate change debate. The articles are just some new sad examples. I cannot stop me to rant about it. Sorry.

And about the conference: I do not like it. Reconcilation in science works differently. Little example: in 2009 Steig et al published a study about Antartic temperature trends causing lots of noise in the blogs. Anyway, after insult over insult, they reconciled. Some bloggers (Jeff Id, McIntyre, and forgot, sorry) published a paper about it. Now, they actually discuss the scientifics problems and might even get a progress. And of course, they still have differences. That is scientific reconcilation, not talking in Lisboa. Therefore, I understand Gavin Schmidt that he did not go.

Hans von Storch said...

Ghost, allow me three comments.
1) Climate is no longer a purely scientific issue; it is to large extent, and for many even dominantly so, a political issue (a common feature in post-normal situations; see also our survey among skeptics).
2) Dishonesty - a term closely related to the concept of Truth (with capital T). Often a cultural construct, i.e., two subjectively honest people may appear to each other as dishonest, would you agree?
3) You are right about your ranting. But please keep in mind that you cause work on my side, because I have to take it out. First you exploit my time, and you frustrate me by your egocentric behavior. I do not like that. If you think attempts to build bridges are doomed, then why not saying it once and then let us others try, even if possibly to no avail?

Anonymous said...

@ werner krauß

"Einfach mal eben so kurz Noten verteilen, mal eben kurz in die Eier treten, nur so, im Vorübergehen? Cool!"

Sorry, but I'm just an "interpreter of interpretations" ;-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wmuhKzYp4s

Andreas

Anonymous said...

Wo hier dauernd von Nebelkerzen geschrieben wird. Was Gavin Schmidt zur Konferenz schreibt ist eine einzige Nebelkerze:

Zum Thema "settled science" auf realclimate:

"The reason why no scientist has said this is because they know full well that knowledge about science is not binary – science isn’t either settled or not settled. This is a false and misleading dichotomy. Instead, we know things with varying degrees of confidence ..."

Und weshalb nahm der an der Konferenz nicht teil???

"Since, in my opinion, the causes of conflict in the climate change debate relate almost entirely to politics and not the MWP, climate sensitivity or ‘ice’, dismissing this from any discussion did not seem likely to be to help foster any reconciliation."

Also sagt er implizit dass auf dem Gebiet der Klimawissenschaft die "science" "settled" und die Diskussion bloss noch politischer Natur ist.

Er ist also sowohl ein Nebelkerzenwerfer wie auch ein Mensch der nicht wirklich die Wahrheit sagt, wenn er behauptet dass:

"This is completely made up."

Er reitet bloss auf der Uminterpretation von Begriffen herum, was weder etwas philosophisches, dekonstruktives, postmodernes noch sonstwas an sich hat. Was er tut hat eine klar umrissene Definition in der deutschen Sprache. Ich darf das böse L-wort bloss hier nicht benutzen, muss mich aber dauernd von den guten Klimawissenschaftlern beleidigen lassen.

Tut mir leid. Das ganze ist bloss eine riesengrosse Farce.

Yeph

Marco said...

Andreas, apparently so is Fred Pearce. On Judith Curry's blog Tallbloke indicates that he's the one responsible for Pearce's summary of Schmidt's reply to the invitation. He admits that it was his interpretation.

More interesting, Tallbloke claims to have been an ad hoc member of the organising committee. If true, that really baffles me: a web content editor at a University with absolutely zero expertise in any of the issues to be discussed at the Workshop as member of the organising committee??

P.S.: I think Romm's comment was meant to indicate that you hardly could expect Peter Webster to make much noise in terms of 'defending' climate science, with Judith Curry, his wife, present at the same workshop and such a vocal supporter of 'reconciliation' (and failing miserably so far). Poorly phrased by Joe, and not substantiated (however plausible), but he isn't exactly known for being subtle.

ghost said...

@Prof von Storch
there is a honesty in every debate: you have to talk about the actual arguments of your discussion partners and must not make up some stuff. I just require this little thing: not to distort others views, not to misquote or put quotes out of context, or create straw men, etc. And I have the feeling, some persons and organizations do not make this very low cut. I cannot ignore this behavior.

PS: of course, there are misunderstandings and but I try to distinguish carefully.

PPS: I change my posting style in the future: I wait always some hours and re-read. Maybe, I will be more constructive. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

@ marco

I've read some blog articles and comments criticizing Fred Pearce.

Of course, as a professional journalist he made a big mistake not having contacted Gavin Schmidt before writing such nonsense, but the reactions seem to me too harsh.

Pearce ist a journalist, not an expert in scientific issues. He learned, that good journalism is always "balanced" and experience teaches, that "Die Wahrheit liegt meist in der Mitte" ("the truth is most of the time in the middle").

The better way of subtly influencing a journalist is to treat him respectfully and talk, talk, talk...

I think, he wrote the sentence about schmidt, not because he's a sceptic, but because he is a journalist.

And last, but not least, there are also good parts in his article.
Look at the headline, for example. It's a point, SPIEGEL's Traufetter and Werner Krauss missed completely in their comments about the conference.

PS:
Please don't tell WK about the "tosser" thing in Stoat's Fury Blog ;-)

Andreas

Deep Climate said...

Hans,
I think Marco asks a good question. Let's consider Pearce's paragraph:

"Few at the meeting doubted that climate change was a real issue that the world had to address, but they said the science had been corrupted. They agreed with von Storch, who told a public meeting after the workshop that 'too much climate science is done not out of curiosity but to support a preconceived agenda'. "

Do you agree "the science" has been "corrupted"? Can you give examples of climate science done to "support a preconceived agenda", since there is so much of it that does that, according to you?

How about the Wegman Report or the Fraser Institute ISPM? Weren't those done to "support a preconceived agenda"?

Thanks in advance.

Hans von Storch said...

Ghost/19. Thanks for your understanding. I would certainly subscribe to your standard "not to distort others views, not to misquote or put quotes out of context, or create straw men", but this applies also to our view about our opponent - with the problem that in our debate, we often do not know our opponent, but have only a certain perception based on limited evidence and experience. Also the "context" will usually be different for me and my opponent.

I suggest as a solution - or a step towards solution - to start direct communicating with the opponents.

Marco said...

Andreas, yes, Pearce seemingly picked up some things Werner and Traufetter missed. But it's getting a pattern that he attributes things to people he has not spoken to at all, only for others to point out that he mangled that person's words. That means even his good points are questionable, because they are framed around "quotes" from other people (which we cannot be sure to be accurate).

Werner Krauss said...

@Marco 23
By the way, Judith Curry also picked up things that Pearce, Traufetter, and Krauss missed, whiled von Storch picked up things that Pearce, Traufetter, Krauss and Curry missed. Tallbloke by the way picked up things that Curry, Pearce, von Storch, Krauss & Traufetter missed. Only Gavin Schmid missed it all, but does not hesitate to pick up things that all the others missed.
It's great surfing through this plethora of perspectives; it is as if we all attended a different workshop. This even includes you and Andreas and all the others who were not in Lisbon but are invited to participate in form of comments and discussion on the blogs. This is also part of the workshop and its impact, and its a kind of responsibility, too. Thanks to Traufetter, Pearce, von Storch, Tallbloke, Curry, me, you and many others who made this event a public affair.

Anonymous said...

@ werner krauß

Langsam kommt es mir fast wirklich so vor, dabei gewesen zu sein. Vor allem, wenn ich so nette Videos sehe mit Judith Curry und einigen Skeptikern in geselliger Runde:

http://shewonk.wordpress.com/2011/01/29/a-cadre-of-dogmatic-scientists-trampling/

Sehr interessant zu beobachten, wie es Curry gelingt, reconciliation zwischen Wissenschaft und Skeptikern zu praktizieren:

Man einigt sich auf einen Vergleich des IPCC mit einer Mülltonne und schon ist die Stimmung prima, von Feindseligkeit keine Spur mehr. Ok, Curry sieht nicht gerade begeistert aus bei der Präsentation des Tshirts, aber sie spielt das Spiel tapfer mit, man will doch nicht die Versöhnungsfortschritte gefährden, oder?

Und wer von uns beiden hätte gedacht, dass diese Konferenz die Blogosphäre in solche Aufregung versetzen könnte? Ein richtiges Wespennest. In der Blogosphäre tobt wirklich eine Art "Krieg" und ich verabschiede mich jetzt besser, bevor ich selbst noch hineingezogen werde.

Herzliche Grüße

Andreas

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hans von Storch said...

Yeph, da ist Ihnen wohl der Gaul durchgegangen. Waren schöne Zitate in Ihrem Kommentar drin, zugegeben. Aber bitte bedenken: Romm ist kein Wissenschaftler, sondern vielleicht ein schwer zu ertragender Polemiker, aber das ist kein Grund, wirkliche Wissenschaftler unter Namensnennung zu beleidigen. Sorry, Kommentar muß weg. - Hans

Anonymous said...

@ yeph (#17)

Ihren entfernten Beitrag kenne ich nicht, möglicherweise hat es aber mit ihrer Sichtweise in #17 zu tun.

Sie unterliegen meines Erachtens demselben Missverständnis wie Tallbloke, der die Geschichte um die vermeintlichen Gründe um Schmidts Absage ins Rollen gebracht hat.

Beide haben sie vorausgesetzt, sie bzw. ihre Gruppierung wären ein Teil der scientific community und haben deshalb ihre Probleme mit Schmidts Meinung, Diskussionen um Manns Rekonstruktion o.ä. seien abgeschlossen.

Unter der Perspektive Schmidts, der diese Gruppierung außerhalb der scientific community ansiedelt, werden seine Aussagen aber plötzlich schlüssig und stimmig.

Alles eine Sache der Perspektive.

Nur: Wenn Sie Schmidts Worte interpretieren, sind Sie gezwungen, diese aus seiner Perspektive zu deuten, nicht aus ihrer.

MfG
Andreas

deepclimate.org said...

Hans,
I think I saw a partial answer to one of my questions (on the Wegman Report).

However, I don't see any discussion of the rest of my questions about your "preconceived agenda" remark?

Perhaps one at a time will be easier:

I contend the Fraser Institute ISPM was written to a "support preconceived agenda". Do you agree or not? Thanks!

Hans von Storch said...

Deep Climate/29.

I gave you an answer about Wegman, which I read. Why do you ask for more? - the significance of your question was seemingly that you wanted to have evidence for the validity of my assertion. Is it relevant then if the Fraser institute provides more examples - by the way, I not know the Fraser institute and any of its reports.

An example of alarmist preconceived agendas: what about the Delta case in the Netherlands?

I do not like your inquisition-like tone, and will therefore not continue to answer to your requests.