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Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry is a true black sheep of the climate science community. Curry is a tenured professor who had the moxie to question the Climate Change consensus.

In this interview from 2015, Judith gives a brief rundown on the factors, and many variables, surrounding this ‘relatively new field of study.’  Dr. Curry also unpacks how much trouble pushing back against the political narrative causes anyone who actually dares to apply the scientific method to the prevailing climate change hypothesis.

Curry’s explanations separate fact from fiction, giving an insider’s perspective on the function of data, discussing its interpretation, process, application and misapplication that plagues the climate science community.

The video is also doing a slow loop around social media after it was uploaded in 2017, by The Oppenheimer Project, an American high-Alpine self-sustainability experiment run by scientists, Leah Shaper and David Mauriello. In their description, Shaper and Mauriello appear to back Curry over concerns about the political bias, shutting down of opposing viewpoints, and the ‘tribal nature in parts of the climate-science community.’

The following is a transcript from the original 12 minute interview hosted by Rich Clarke, who hints that Curry’s freely expressed thoughts contributed to her resignation, noting that “approximately one year after the release of this interview Dr. Curry left her tenured position in academia forever”. You can read more of Dr. Curry’s work at her website: Climate Etc.

Clarke [Intro]: Hello, I’m Rich Clarke and I’m here today on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Joining me is Dr. Judith Curry the outgoing chair of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

She earned her PhD in geophysical sciences from the University of Chicago in 1982. Then the years following she’d find herself a professor at Purdue University Penn State; ten years in the University of Colorado Boulder, before becoming chair of the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences department here at Georgia Tech in 2002. Along the way she received numerous awards and fellowships, including the Henry G Haughton award from the American Meteorological Society, the great singer moving school forward award from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the coveted green faculty award from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Authoring and co-authoring almost 200 published peer-reviewed papers, and three books, she entered the climate change spotlight as co-author of the 2005 paper entitled: ‘Changes in Tropical Cyclone Number Duration and Intensity in a Warming Environment’, which was published in the Journal of science two weeks after Hurricane Katrina.

The paper made headlines around the world, shining light on the increased extreme weather events associated with a warming climate, she is the co-founder and president of the climate consulting firm ‘Climate Forecast Application Network’ and maintains her blog ‘Climate Etc.’ at JudithCurry.com.

Dr. Curry thanks so much for being with us today.

Dr. Curry: My pleasure.

Clarke: “So my first question for you is, according to your Wikipedia page you are part of what’s called the scientific opinion, or more commonly the 97% consensus on climate change. Yet, I’ve read on several pages that you’re referred to as a “climate skeptic” or even a “climate denier”; and when I Google your name one of the first things that comes up is an article in the Scientific American entitled, ‘Climate heretic Judith Curry Turns on Her Colleagues.’ So, why is it that people are calling you a climate skeptic or even a denier?”

Dr. Curry: “Well, Climate Science has become highly politicized, and the strategy used by the climate community to influence public policy is speaking consensus to power. So over the past several decades and they work to build this consensus, and following the 2009 Climate gate episode, I started challenging the consensus. Saying, “wait a minute, we haven’t been sufficiently transparent; we haven’t adequately characterized the uncertainties.” We shouldn’t be dismissing skeptics; I mean we have to do a better job, and I started saying things like that that I thought were completely reasonable, but I was immediately thrown out of the tribe if you will, and labeled as a “heretic”, “denier”,  whatever else. So it’s just a reflection of how politicized the science has become and how silly this debate really is at this point.”

Clarke: “Speaking of debates, you hear public figures say all the time, that the debate is over and that we need to move forward. What do you what about those comments?”

Dr. Curry: “Well, physicists are still debating quantum mechanics, and gravity, okay, things that we think … are relatively settled. Science is never settled; and something as complex as the climate system and in a relatively new field, climate change, there’s no way the science is settled. There’s a whole lot more that we don’t know then we do know.”

Clarke: “You talked about the politicization of the field. What do you see is the greatest danger of this mixing of politics with science?”

Dr. Curry: “Well, two things. You end up with science as going off on the wrong track – I don’t know if you’ve heard the joke about the drunk looking for his keys under the streetlight? – and somebody asked, “why are you only looking there?” “Well it’s the only place I can see.” The same thing has been happening at climate science. We’ve only been shining a light on one little piece of the problem – the part about increasing Co2 from human activities. We haven’t been paying sufficient attention to natural climate variability; and as a result we’re doing a great disservice to understanding the climate system; and as we fail to adequately understand the climate system, we have tremendous opportunity to mislead decision-makers.”

Clarke: “One thing I thought was interesting about another interview that I heard with you, was, you were talking about how, even if all the measures for carbon reduction were adopted, and then perfectly implemented, we might not see an effect from that – those measures would be maybe 50 years out.”

Dr. Curry: “It’s really much worse. The commitments that people have made to the UN – in terms of their emissions reductions out to 2030 – well, if you say well how much (assuming that they keep those commitments steady through the end of the 21st century) the amount of warming that would be prevented is about two-tenths of a degree centigrade. Most of the benefits wouldn’t be realized for a longer time. We’re really talking about a minuscule amount of warming that will be saved, and because of the [lags] in the climate system owing to ocean heat storage, any emissions reductions that we do now, it’s still going to keep warming; because of the thermal inertia in the oceans. So, you know the accounting is just being done. You know, as economists are reacting to; and trying to interpret all these commitments and what it actually means. But the studies that I’ve seen suggest that we’re only accomplishing a few you know a few tenths of a degree centigrade decrease in the rate of warming, and this assumes that you actually will believe the climate models, I mean I think the climate models are running too hot. If the climate models are in fact running too hot, even less warming would be saved.”

Clarke: “So these numbers these figures of projected curbing of warming due to essentially regulating greenhouse gases, these numbers are…”

Dr. Curry: “Well, they use climate models to seeing how the climate will respond to the reductions and carbon dioxide associated with reduced emissions.”

Clarke: “You know just this year there was a report released sound the alarm bells about new data with regard to sea level rise, and this report said that “sea level rise may occur ten times faster than originally thought, and that in forty five years we could have ten feet of sea level rise.

Dr. Curry: “Several weeks ago I was giving a public lecture and I was talking about sea level rise, and one of the audience members raised his hand, and said, “wow I didn’t realize that sea level rise you know was rising before humans started emitting fossil fuels”. This whole issue of sea level rise is so tied to human activities that most people don’t realize that the sea level has been rising for the last ten thousand years, since we’ve been coming out of the last ice age. The question is whether sea level rise is accelerating owing to human caused emissions. You can say, “well, obviously yes”, well it’s not obvious at all because even the most recent IPCC report published in 2013, presented a figure that showed that the rate of sea-level rise around 1940, 1950 was just as high as it is in the last few decades. So, it doesn’t look like there’s any great acceleration so far of sea level rise associated with human-caused warming. These predictions of alarming sea level rise depend on massive melting of the big continental glaciers, Greenland and Antarctica. The Antarctic Ice Sheet is actually growing. Greenland shows large multi-table variability, in when it’s growing and shrinking. So sorting out natural versus human cause variability and what’s going on with these ice sheets, you know it’s very difficult to do, but in any event there’s no evidence so far that humans are increasing sea level rise in any kind of a worrying way.”

Clarke: “If it’s true that curbing carbon dioxide in here and now is going to have very minimal effects, in the here and now, what kind of solutions are you proposing or do you have any solutions your proposal?”

Dr. Curry: “I’m a climate scientist. I’m not in the business of proposing solutions. So, I mean I can tell you which ones make more or less sense to me. The technologies that we currently have trying to pull this off using wind and solar, it’s not going to work. We need you energy technologies and additional research and development on new energy technologies; makes more sense than trying to implement wind and solar those aren’t up to the task. But I think the bigger issue is a real danger with climate change and variability, whatever its cause, is extreme weather events. You know the heat waves, the floods, the droughts, the Hurricanes – and trying to reduce vulnerability to these extreme weather, and climate events, can help people in the here and now. Whether climate change is due to natural variability or due to humans, it can help us reduce our vulnerability to these extreme events that have always happened and will continue to happen.”

Clarke: “Right, so you’re saying that we know that we’re gonna have more extreme weather events, and we should be putting our resources into preparing more for those?”

Dr. Curry: “I’m not telling; I never tell anybody what they should do, because it’s a very complex problem. There are a lot of other problems out there, so why should we spend all our resources on this problem. It’s a complex issue and I avoid telling anybody oh we should do this or we should do that. All I do is look at policy options and try to point out their unintended consequences, and whether they’ll have the intended effect.”

Clarke: “When you begin saying the things you were talking about, like more transparency in science, and in climate science, and writing about it – you are already the chair of a department at a major technical school in the United States, you had already been published at least a hundred times. Do you think that a younger Dr. Judith Curry in the kind of climate (no pun intended), but in the political climate we have now would have had a harder time doing what you’ve done?”

Dr. Curry: “A number of scientists have lost their jobs over speaking out against the consensus. I’m a tenured faculty member, I’m pretty senior. So I could afford to do it. A lot of younger people who aren’t tenured,  can’t afford to do it – I hear from scientists all the time who say they wish they could speak out of etcetera, but they don’t want to they don’t want to go through the kind of baloney that I’ve had to go through and I can’t blame them.”

Clarke: “And what baloney is that exactly?”

Dr. Curry: “Well, Google my name! And you’ll see it. Google, Judith Curry and you’ll see what I have to put up with.”

Clarke: “That’s about all the time we have for today but I’d like to thank you very much for letting us into your office and having this interview.”

Dr. Curry: ‘thank you, my pleasure.”

[Music]


First published on Caldron Pool, 18th January, 2020.

© Rod Lampard, 2020.

 

In June 2017, online economist magazine Quartz, predicted that ‘as climate changes effects become harsher and more unexpected climate change could become even harder to study’.

Quartz was buffing up an incident where scientists from Canada, out researching the impact of sea ice on Hudson Bay became hindered by what is alleged to have been large chunks of ice from the Arctic blocking their way. Quartz called these ‘severe conditions’ the consequence of climate change.

As reported by Phys.org the scientists had to abandon their trip over safety concerns. Lead researchers on the expedition were adamant that the ice was from the Arctic, saying that they ‘were able to use the state-of-the-art equipment onboard the Amundsen to confirm that a significant proportion of the sea ice present originated’ from the there.

However, as NASA’s earth observatory pointed out, Hudson Bay is well known for pack ice. The bay is ‘shallow and surrounded by land, Hudson Bay freezes over completely in the winter but thaws for periods in the summer. Usually all of the sea ice is gone by August, and the bay begins to freeze over in October or November. In between, as the sea ice is breaking up, winds and currents cause flotillas of pack ice to cluster in certain parts of the bay.’

According to NASA, this is what was happening in June, 2017, the same month the Canadian climate change research team claimed to have had to stop their research due to ice coming from the “high Arctic”. NASA not only clearly contradicted Phys.org and Quartz, but also added that the ice was good for the wildlife, because ‘the rhythms of sea ice play a central role in the lives of the animals of Hudson Bay, particularly polar bears. When the bay is topped with ice, polar bears head out to hunt for seals and other prey. When the ice melts in the summer, the bears swim to shore, where they fast until sea ice returns.’

If this doesn’t raise red flags about the apocalyptic climate change narrative, along with the fear, logical fallacies and panic it breeds, look no further than two recent incidents where climate change researchers had to be rescued because, they too, were hindered by ice.

This July, Norwegian research Ice breaker, Crown Prince Haakon, had to change direction. According to the Captain, they ran into ‘ice thicker than expected.’ Multiple sites[i] reported the news, with only one offering a different explanation, citing ‘loose bolts in the shaft seal of the propeller housing as the cause.

The second incident occurred on September 3rd, when the MS Malmo had to be abandoned after getting stuck in ice. According to Andrew Bolt of the Herald Sun, the Malmo’s current tour got ‘stuck in ice halfway between Norway and the North Pole. The ship was on an Arctic tour with a Climate Change documentary film team, and tourists, concerned with climate change and melting ice.’

This necessitated a rescue mission where all sixteen passengers (climate change “researchers”) were evacuated. Cruise Industry news also said that although it was ‘windy and snowing,  the captain and crew on board would remain on board, anticipating the ice to break up, from where they can then take the ship out into open water.’

These incidents aren’t isolated. In 2014, a Chinese Icebreaker ended up stuck in ice, while on a rescue mission to evacuate 52 people from a Russian tour ship also trapped in ice. The Telegraph’s Harriet Alexander wrote that ‘the Akademik Shokalskiy, became wedged in ice on Christmas Eve as it was heading towards Antarctica. In preparing to rescue the passengers, the Chinese owned, Snow Dragon got wedged in ice.’

The first victims of the apocalyptic climate change narrative are those who find themselves stranded at sea because they encounter ice, where they’ve been told ice should no longer be. Ignoring maritime precautions because of climate change hype and propaganda is putting lives at risk. This includes the unnecessarily risking the lives of those who are called in to respond to the consequences of such willful ignorance.

All of these examples raise red flags about the apocalyptic climate change narrative. Add to these examples the widespread misuse of the word ‘denier’ for anyone, like Scientist Peter Ridd (et.al) who question the prevailing scientific consensus turned dogma, and I’d say the real concern lies in how many people are refusing to look before they leap.

The Bolt Report illustrated this rising contemporary problem when they uncovered a 25 year old documentary that inadvertently challenges the walrus “apocalyptic climate change” claims in the Netflix, David Attenborough documentary Our Planet, which shows walruses falling off of cliffs. It boggles the mind, how so many people today leap before they look.

We need to look after our environment. I’m not disputing that. We have a responsibility to care for the creatures and earth entrusted to us. We have a duty of care to pass on healthy tradition, allowing that tradition to guide progress towards preservation, better technology and energy practices, but this must be done rationally, respectfully and with a filter that separates the sacred from absolute stupidity.

If those who hold to apocalyptic climate change tell us to trust their interpretation of the science, and yet, at the same time tell us to ignore the biological determinism which tells us plainly that there are only two genders, why should we take them seriously?

If advocates of the climate change narrative are using the same manipulative propaganda tools that were used in the push for gay “marriage”, and it’s denial of biological reproduction and physiological compatibility, why should we take them seriously?

If those who hold to this narrative are all too ready to dismiss questions and opposing viewpoints with ad hominem, straw men and abuse; where people who apply critical reasoning to the issues are hit with the accusation “denier”, a term that does immediate violence (every time it’s used) to the memory of those who suffered under the Nazi extermination of the Jews, why should we surrender and follow blindly?

If any contemporary holocaust “deniers” do exist, it’s the many who deny the biological reality of human life from conception to birth and beyond?!

Why should advocates of the apocalyptic climate change narrative (such as The Greens) be trusted when most of them deny that the duty of care for the environment first starts with care for those in the womb, the vulnerable, the aged, and the wounded? How can they be trusted with the kind of power they’re demanding, when cows grazing in state forests, or a farmer making a dam to improve land management, is made illegal, but a mother having a doctor kill and dismember her child in the womb is fair game? There’s an inescapable dissonance.

If fanatics fearing apocalyptic climate change are looking to label anything a holocaust, equal to The Holocaust of the 1930-40s, all they have to do is look in the bloodthirsty direction of industrial scale abortion, not the well-scripted, manipulative narrative of so-called anthropogenic apocalyptic climate change.


References:

[i] e.g.: Resett; Klassekampen; SOTT; Maritime Bulletin ; Climate Depot

Photo by Martin Robles on Unsplash

First published on Caldron Pool, 11th September, 2019

© Rod Lampard, 2019

Trending Exploitations

March 2, 2016 — 2 Comments

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There’s inelegance to this new ignorance,

                             The pompous promotion

                             of itself as intelligence;

         “Fall into line with self-interest”

                              Pride paraded as humanitarian deliverance.

The ones who dare to disagree,

           speak from worn, but true hearts

The ones that don’t,

            “Sigh”, make noises, raise fists and tweet        d[f]arts.

From pampered platforms these boasters repress.

Roasting their enemies over the dark,

                                     widening pit of “progress

Science manipulated, is fact concocted;

             the false substantiality

                                  of a contortion of reality.

Allegiances, that political commodity,

               is

brought and sold for approval and vain popularity.

Like sex, it sells and makes

                 “all experts [have-to] agree.”

Such is the trending exploitation

                                    of tolerance by a minority,

When finding outrage is all the rage,

                                                   Pride legislated spite

                                                   hijacks true civil rights .

                  Feelings over thought;

                  Appearances vs. deeds

Society remolded by neo-Stalinist greed.

         “Convert, pay lip service or pay the ultimate price.”

These new cultural laws;

                 create justified outlaws.

Responsible freedom and fair speech,

          locked up behind gates,

are sent to camps

                 both labelled bigoted and hate.

Yet, these bold political prisoners of war

continue to solemnly state,

                    nowhere in, tolerate,

                    is there the command, to celebrate.


(RL2016)

Relgion and Science Peter HarrisonPeter Harrison, the director of Queensland University’s Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, recent book, ‘The Territories of Science and Religion,’ counters the myth of a conflict between science and religion. Uncovering long hidden connections, Harrison concludes that the perceived conflict between science and religion involves a fabrication of historical facts. This work is best described as an in-depth treatise that locates the origins of the conflict myth, surveying concepts, categories, and the shifting definitions of religion and science.

Harrison states that when the information is more closely reviewed, any perceived hostile exchange is in fact contained within each respective sphere. Science was, and perhaps because of its very nature, is still in some ways at conflict within itself. For instance: the divide in the science community about “global warming”. Therefore an historical war between religion and science, or the Church and the Enlightened, as the popular assumption goes, did not exist.

Correcting the often used polemic against religion, Harrison invokes the Galileo controversy, arguing that any perception of a conflict between science and Christianity, at that time, ignores the differing and predominant scientific views of the day. This along with other similar examples that Harrison provides, gives clear evidence of a conflict myth that is being pushed forward by a ‘distortion of historical and conceptual contexts which are projected back over history.’ (p.172)

Harrison’s points are strong. Working his way up through Greek antiquity to modern liberalism, he shows that the conflict between science and Christianity was invented. This invented narrative maintains the perceived supremacy of science by painting religion, in particular Christianity, as the antagonist. Harrison suggests that this is not without agenda. Science is always in flux, for it to stay a unified boxed up entity, a crisis is needed. This crisis unites the populace, conscripting them in a stand against a perceived common enemy, hence the need for a conflict between science and religion.

‘The modern moral program is fed by an ersatz eschatology which points to environmental crisis, demanding repentance and contrition […]This is connected to there being a need for science to have a unifying narrative with some kind of moral or aesthetic vision to promote its relevance to the public’ (p.179)

As for progress and the progressive, those who invalidate Christianity tend to validate the science vs. religion conflict, deploying an easy to sell utilitarianism. As first espoused by Thomas Huxley and later Social Darwinism, science, it is claimed, is the only sure answer; the only certain way to manage vice, ensure freedom, progress, purpose, meaning and moral development. By way of selling a concentrated narrative of material solutions to the human condition, science and all that is squeezed into this modern narrow definition of it, is forced to dismiss its own origins. As a result it is cut off from its historical connection with philosophy and theology.

Harrison’s argument here flows well because of the way in which he unpacks the dialogue from the mid-19th Century up until now. This enables him to connect the presumed conflict between science and religion with evidence to support the conclusion, that this presumed conflict is built on a dubious distortion of context, concept and category. This includes the modern liberal fusion of science to progress and it’s all encompassing, go-it-alone, promise to bring about the general betterment of all humanity. Something Harrison suggests is in need of honest critique:

‘The generally considered neutrality of the public space of Modern Liberalism, where no single religious tradition is favoured, needs to be brought into question. This is because Modern liberalism [as opposed to classical liberalism] might be thought of more along the lines of a competing ideology or religion, asserting its own supremacy at the cost of other traditions.’ (p.190)

The problem, as Harrison outlines, is that progress implies the teleological. Meaning and purpose has to fit in somewhere because for progress to be progress it must have an end or a goal to move towards, otherwise it’s simply just change. Science has its own limitations and vices. That the modern progressive pushes to disallow room for taking the theological or philosophical seriously, means that the current concept of progress is without any real direction.

‘There is something inherently unstable in the modern understanding of progress. Progress had once been thought of as the movement of human beings toward certain given ends. But without at least an implicit teleology (which was precisely what the new natural philosophical approaches sought to dispense with) the notion of progress is difficult to sustain. Progress, in other words, is goal dependent; progress is toward some end. Without goals, progress is just change.’ (pp. 143-144)

Harrison moves through a chronology of historical facts,  identifying influential events and key historical players. Such as the significant role natural theology and natural philosophy played in the development of natural science from the early modern period. Starting with Aristotle, Harrison works his train of thought up through to Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and then John Locke. Stating that the conceptual context of natural theology for Augustine and Aquinas is vastly different to that of the natural theology of early modernity.

The redefining not just of the roles, but the concepts of natural philosophy and natural theology accompanied the newly created, one-size-fits-all categories of religion and science. The latter groupings were no longer aligned with the valuable theological virtues of religio and the ‘complimentary role’ (p.133) of the intellectual virtue of scientia. Faith seeking understanding was gradually replaced with the fabrication that faith is historically hostile to understanding.

In sum, ‘The Territories of Science and Religion’ is a well stated counterpoint to the long-held assumption that science and Christianity are inherently at odds. I am in agreement with Harrison’s conclusions. His overview of the changing concepts of religion and science, which encompassed the redefining of religio and scientia are a clear highlight. Another standout is in how Harrison illustrates the slow transformation and later dismissal of pre-enlightenment natural theology and natural philosophy for the new categories of science and religion.

Of importance is the light Harrison shines on the instability of the ‘modern moral program’ (p.179), which employs the perceived conflict between science and religion in order to sustain superiority. To do this modern liberalism, new atheism and even creation scientists focus on selling science, marketing the obvious benefits of science to suit a particular agenda. Rather than taking up an ancient fight against religion, they instead create a conflict where historically one did not exist.

For new atheism and modern liberalism this is achieved through perpetuating confusion about categories, concepts and definition. Through a fabricated narrative and distortion of historical events the supposed superiority of modern liberal constructs is bolstered. The aim to control what is labelled religion and what is labelled science, a success. Controlling the role of science to demonise, and undermine the legitimate and historical role of theology and philosophy.

The value of ‘The Territories of Science and Religion’  is that Harrison counters this. While maintaining that clear boundaries exist between natural science, and the science of theology and philosophy, Harrison opens up an in depth enquiry into the conflict myth. In turn encouraging a review of popular assumptions about a perceived conflict because historically, it was in fact a complimentary relationship, dominated by civility and discourse, not vitriol and conflict.


Source:

Harrison, P. 2015 The Territories of Science And Religion, The University of Chicago Press, Kindle Ed.

Related post:

Despite Popular Opinion The Historical Conflict Between Christianity & Science Is a Myth

I’ve just started reading Peter Harrison’s new book, ‘The Territories of Science and Religion.‘ So far it’s been worth the effort.

Harrison is the director of Queensland University’s, Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. Formerly, The Centre For The History of European Discourses. His career also includes being the Idreos Professor of Science and Religion and Director at the University of Oxford. (source)

Harrison has a clear understanding of the history of Religion and Science. Showing how that history is blurred by the modern issues surrounding the hostility played up between them. One of the chief aims of his new book is to help along a better understanding of the differences between modern and classical definitions of the two. E.g.: the classical-medieval understanding of ‘religio’ and ‘scientia’ is not the same as the 17th Century division of religion and science into two opposing spheres of influence.

Insecurity complicates things. It’s issued out from both sides of these relatively new spheres. This insecurity is Harrison’s target as he presents an informed corrective addressing the predominant assumptions about the origins of each. By doing so Harrison counters a false dichotomy between Christianity and science, challenging assumptions and half-truths that fuel misconceptions, and which are all conveniently left in place in order to stoke antichristian, anticlerical sentiment.

With a term break fast approaching, I’ll aim to do a more complete review. In the meantime, here are two of twelve brief, but outstanding, Q & A sessions he recently did with Australia’s John Dickson, from the Centre for Public Christianity.

Case Study One:

 

Case Study Two:


 

Source:

CPX: The Centre For Public Christianity