Curry Quotes

Bits of wisdom and denialist chum from Judith Curry

Curry doesn’t have any knowledge of this situation beyond what is reported

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Once the UNFCCC treaty was in place, there was pressure on the IPCC to back this up with science. Hence the “discernible” in the SAR. Ben Santer has taken huge heat for that, but look at where the pressure was coming from. The whole UNFCCC treaty wouldn’t make sense unless there was at least “discernible” evidence that this was actually happening.
– Judith Curry

Moderation note: no discussion of emails or individual scientists on this thread (keep that on the other thread, if you haven’t had enough yet.)
– Judith Curry

I now understand what caused such a blogospheric fuss over my post. People can’t seem to get away from the narrative of individual scientists, and think the whole climate issue can be boiled down to Mann vs McIntyre. Not even close: this is noise, a symptom of much deeper and more fundamental and more important issues.
– Judith Curry

Judith,

Can you elaborate on your points about the SAR, Ben Santer, and the “discernible” claim a little more?

Are you claiming that there was no justification made in the SAR WG1 for the “discernible” claim?

In the main post you say “Once the UNFCCC treaty was in place, there was pressure on the IPCC to back this up with science. Hence the “discernible” in the SAR. Ben Santer has taken huge heat for that, but look at where the pressure was coming from.”

By “heat” do you refer to the Seitz WSJ article? Or are you referring to wider criticisms from the scientific community?
– Paul H

Paul, see the wikipedia page for Santer, points you to the basics of the controversy. Others can chime in.
– Judith Curry

I’m well aware of the of the publicized attacks made against Santer i.e. the ones mentioned in the wikipedia article. I’m interested to hear if there were any criticisms made within the mainstream climate community at the time. Perhaps you can provide some comment on this? I’m only interested in this because you seem to be alleging the motivation for the “discernible” comment is political not scientific. Therefore, I’m interested in whether Santer and the “discernible” statements are out on a limb scientifically. The presence of mainstream scientific criticism would support the politically motivated narrative.

Continuing on the scientific vs. political motivation for the “discernible” claim, you say that the discernible statement was made in the SPM of the SAR and that it was not supported by the other lead authors. Can you provide evidence of this? I can see that the WG1 of the SAR concludes with the statement that:

“The body of statistical evidence in Chapter 8, when examined in the context of our physical understanding of the climate system, now points towards a discernible human influence on global climate.” With a following qualifying statement that due to uncertainties the magnitude of this effect is limited.

Therefore it’s not just the SPM that is suffering from the alleged political interference and lack of support from the other lead authors. Given the wider presence of the “discernible” claim and its apparent justification in the WG1 I would really appreciate your comment on this; are you claiming that there was no justification made in the SAR WG1 for the “discernible” claim made in the SPM?
– Paul H

I do not have any knowledge of this situation beyond what is reported in the standard sources. This issue has been widely discussed and disputed. There is no particular reason to rehash it here, i brought it up as a key issue in the history of the IPCC and the debate surrounding it.
– Judith Curry

“I do not have any knowledge of this situation beyond what is reported in the standard sources.”

I thought you might have been aware of other criticisms, oh well.

“There is no particular reason to rehash it here, i brought it up as a key issue in the history of the IPCC and the debate surrounding it.”

Based on the letter written by Santer endorsed by 3 lead authors of chapter 8 your “key issue” appears to be founded on baseless accusations. I’m surprised that you’re not willing to discuss this issue since it formed an important part of your narrative that the politics was driving scientific statements in IPCC reports. Surprised because if the premise is a false one, as the letter indicates, then the argument you put forward falls down. Consider me un-persuaded.
– Paul H


The facts remain that when you make broad and unspecific statements alleging ‘corruption’ or a ‘lack of integrity’ you simply feed the blog-chorus, while the people involved, or those who know the people you appear to referring to, are just left puzzled about what you are talking about. Because of course, no-one with integrity would make such serious allegations without some evidence.

However, when you have brought up specifics, they are generally warmed over talking points without any actual substance. Your latest comment about Ben Santer’s role in SAR is a case in point. There is a very readable account of what happened available on RC, and indeed in Steve Schneider’s last book (chapter 5). Neither account supports your, frankly, defamatory, claim, which instead appears to be based on the letter from the late Fred Seitz, someone who wasn’t there, and who invented a whole conspiracy out of the whole cloth on the op-ed pages of the WSJ. There is no question in mind who, between Fred Seitz, Ben Santer and Steve Schneider had a problem with integrity. Hint, his name doesn’t start with Ben or Steve.
– Gavin

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Written by cquo

November 20, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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