the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Reader Background

Posted by Jeff Id on April 21, 2010

Kendra on the last thread suggested a discussion of our various backgrounds and how we came to be interested in climate science.  It’s not my normal around here but neither is arguing for the true warming effects of CO2 to be recognized by skeptics.  I think it would be interesting to hear from some of you on your backgrounds and what got you into the science.

—–

My background education is Aeronautical Engineering BS and a partial Masters, after running out of money trying to pay my way through school I left college.  So I’m sitting at a party a couple of years ago and someone tells me something about AGW. I told him I thought the whole thing was a political scam. That was the end of the conversation as he agreed with me, but at the time I’d only looked into the basics.   I thought if I’m going to shoot off my mouth about it, I had better learn some more.

I searched the internet and started reading.  The first person I asked questions to was at RC, gavin – who I had no idea who the guy was other than he seemed to think he knew what he was talking about – answered a few questions on ground temp data.  I kept looking and reading and decided after a while to blog on it.  Blogging is like teaching, which I’ve done a little of, in that you are forced to learn the subject better than you otherwise would before you can write a thing.  Half the people here are equally or more educated as myself in different aspects of AGW.   It was really unfortunate that one of the first things I ran into was Mann’s 08 work.  I mean that guy stinks to high heaven and for that work to go through peer review, is absolutely unconscionable.

So instantly I’m seeing fraud rather than stepping into uncertainty first.  I really see his work that way but there is always the possibility he’s just incompetent.  I have a great deal of difficulty accepting that he doesn’t know what he is doing.  There are too many papers of his which use bad math to create unprecedented warming.  I’ve learned one proxy type after another for temp thanks to CA and there isn’t one single proxy which doesn’t completely suck.

Despite my rocky introductions to climate science, I’ve continued reading and have had enough background in science to know that you have to force yourself to accept results as they are.  Climate science has obviously lost that aspect of reality to politicization.  Today, my interests in climate science revolve around the math being used and the meaning of the data collected.  It’s like I’ve learned enough to know all I really wanted and am messing around in the corners for entertainment.

My opinion is that we don’t have a single thing to worry about with respect to climate change.  It’s not dangerous or controllable in any way, our technology will change whether the government gets involved or not.  The sea ice, won’t melt, Antarctica land ice is in no danger of melting whatsoever, we couldn’t flood the Maldives from CO2 if we tried, acidification data is bogus, sheep aren’t shrinking, fish aren’t shrinking, hurricanes aren’t increasing, droughts aren’t happening, not one single disaster paper I’ve read is true in any way whatsoever and whole sections of the IPCC report are therefore bogus – including economic impact sections.   If we created enough warming to change the climate, we might produce some flooding (from rain) or drought but nothing else of consequence and I’ve seen no evidence that we are producing any measurable warming whatsoever outside of models, which are nothing but reasoned guesses by people with a bias.  The bias is created in the (potentially correct) assumptions of aerosols and water vapor feedback.

Most likely any warming we would experience would be entirely beneficial, opening up farm land and resources for easier usage.  Unfortunately, even if I’m wrong, we cannot and will not stop producing CO2 in the near term and reductions with respect to the populations energy consumption (potentially not total reductions) will happen naturally in the next 100 years as technology improves with or without government involvement.

It is absolutely no coincidence that the single solution to global warming presented is reduction of economic output and strengthened governments.  My preferred solution to climate change is to remove any regulations on CO2 and stay the course until we need to change.  My guess is that by the time anything needs to change, it already will have done so.

So this is a bit of an open thread, I’m curious how you all got interested in climate science and  what you’ve learned since starting the adventure.


256 Responses to “Reader Background”

  1. I am an Electrical Engineer by education and profession, a weather hobbyist part-time. Even before I starting closely following the AGW debate, I was skeptical, thinking that there was absolutely no way that anyone could prove that the current warming was unprecedented given the length and breadth of the instrumental global temperature record. What I have observed with the weather is that weather patterns move with a daily, monthly and decadal patterns. I strongly hold to the position that it is impossible for a region to be warmer than “normal” for hundreds of years without it being a global event. Which means the claims that the MWP was a regional event rather global are bogus.
    Once the blogosphere came into being, what I read confirmed my initial suspicion especially reading CA and WUWT. tAV, the Blackboard, the Pielkes, ICECAP et al have been great to follow as well, especially with the Climategate furor.

  2. AMac said

    Carrick Carrick Carrick

  3. Leonard Weinstein said

    Jeff,
    I was interested in space flight from an early age (well before the actual space age) and directed my education toward that interest. I obtained a BS in Physics, a MS and ScD in Aerospace engineering and went to work for NASA for 45 years. I retired from NASA in 2007 and went to the National Institute of Aerospace part time to taper off my work load. I tend to get interested in many different problems that have possible technical solutions. In the late 1990’s I observed the AGW issue was heating up and started to read up on it. My objective was to see if I could come up with ways to help reduce the problem. After a relatively short while, I came to the conclusion that the issue was not settled, and the hype was not well founded. I started reading the blogs on both sides of the issue, and found the pro AGW side was one sided and often nasty to skeptics to a large degree, with only a few reasonable blogs. The skeptics side had a mixture of views, but was generally more balanced and reasonable, although there were some unreasonable positions and ignorance there also. I read up the literature in far more detail and drew my own conclusions from the literature. I do accept that there has been some warming since 1850 or so, and CO2 and methane have increased, with human cause likely. However, I concluded the total human effect was small and almost certainly not a problem. I wrote several short papers on my analysis and you kindly put them in your blogs. I am more convinced than ever that CAGW is not valid, and AGW is small and not a problem. However, I also fear the oncoming ice age and loss of Earth’s magnetic field are potentially very big issues, which should be examined more.

  4. GregO said

    I have been a practicing Mechanical Engineer since 1980; BSME after two years of pursuing an undergrad degree in Financial Analysis. I have been running my own engineering/manufacturing company since 2000. Before Climategate I referred to AGW as “that Al Gore thing” as in “what do you think about Global Warming?” “Oh, you mean that Al Gore thing? Not much.” Then Climategate. Wow. I have not emerged from shock – I can’t believe science has been so terribly bastardized and politicized, and the Climategate topic either mauled or ignored by MSM. I am working on getting up to speed on the science and am grateful for all the good people who have independently and on their own time and dime worked on replicating/falsifying AGW assertions, conjectures and claims.

  5. timetochooseagain said

    I’m just a young Right Wing Extremist who has always had an interest in the Sciences. I think I first stumbled on all this Climate Biz when my interest was in theoretical physics and I happened to find Lubos Motl’s blog. I suddenly found myself reading CA posts and fascinated by all of it.

    From the beginning, I had serious doubts about AGW but was perfectly willing to admit that it might be serious. Over time, I became increasingly skeptical as I learned more. By now I think that I have a pretty informed opinion, and I am (mostly) in agreement with Jeff about climate impacts (Yes Jeff, there COULD be harmful hydrological changes (droughts/floods) it’s just that so far, it ain’t happenin’) as well as the general plausibility of the AGW physics (CO2 warming, solid; ultimate warming, unknown). I agree completely with Jeff about the politics.

    Maybe it’s because he is trained in aeronautical engineering, and that’s what I’m going into?

  6. Tom Bakewell said

    I’m a retired geophysicist. Mostly I did seismic stuff, but I also did bits and daubs of using the darker arts (potential field data) as well. Data integrity was paramount. Lots of money and sometimes lives depended on correctly interpreting the data. Work was always jointly reviewed to be sure no errors existed, so there was/is an atmosphere of data transparency from acquisition thru processing and interpretation. Basically, one’s work could be questioned and one had better be well prepared to justify the observations and conclusions.

    I grew up overseas. The history of cultures and their diffusion has always been of interest to me. Quite a while ago I became interested in the populating of the Americas. That lead me into studying climate history. Being of a technical bent that sent me into learning how proxies could be used to measure and understand past climate events.

    When I learned that raw data and methodologies used as evidence for supporting AGW in key papers were being withheld by government institutions for various reasons, I smelled a rat. After the CRU emails appeared it seems like there is more than one rat loose, each peer reviewing each other’s papers in selected journals.

    From prior experience I’ve not had a very high opinion of most UN projects. After all they are a political body doing what all political bodies do to survive. So the recent revelations of non-peer reviewed ‘documents’ being cited in the latest IPCC reports is not a surprise. Neither are the responses offered by Dr. Patchauri. Whatever the IPCC report is, it is not an example of science as practiced by or reviewed by competent technicians.

    In my mind, it all gets back to replicability. Let someone else use the posited techinques on the raw data to see if they can come up with similar conclusions. The best research lets one pose ever more directed questions. And surprises can really offer insights.

    Tom Bakewell

  7. Jeremy said

    I was finishing a masters in Physics. During some web browsing downtime I was reading various news aggregate sites and I read about Stephen McIntyre having trouble replicating the hockey stick graph. This was interesting to me since previous to this it was just accepted as fact. It’s always interesting when someone cannot replicate someone else’s research. You can sometimes learn a lot from these sorts of failures, if only as to what the best way to run your experiment is. I started halfheartedly following the story of him attempting to do this, and I discovered his blog site only several months after he had started it. When I rediscovered McIntyre, He already had the gem of, ‘Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to find something wrong with it.’

    From the moment I read that, I was hooked. Here was a career scientist/professor who was publicly funded trying to keep someone else ignorant, and publicly stating his desire to do so. There is no excuse for that, none. That kind of bold and published effort at creating darkness in society by not revealing all that is knowable to someone simply based on personal disagreement is like a singularity to anyone with any curiosity whatsoever. Such an area of human knowledge begs for you to get involved with it, it’s irresistible.

  8. Bad Andrew said

    I’m a computer network admin and programmer and I volunteer teach a free computer class for seasoned citizens. I am interested generally in all kinds of science. I am fascinated by the weather and stuff. Years ago, when I first heard of Global Warming on the TV news, I was instantly dubious. (ex. The Governator: “The science is in, man has created The Global Warming”) Everything I have learned since then (from reading books, blogs, parts of papers, and conversing with Warmers) has confirmed my denialism.

    So, for me, it’s all about gleaning information- embracing what’s true and remembering what is false.

    Andrew

  9. John F. Pittman said

    I have a BSE engineering degree (chemistry minor) making me a chemical engineer. I also have a BS biology degree with math minor. I thought AGW was real. I still think it has the potential to be real, the measurement methodology, and attribution are too poor to support the claim of 90%, or even 50/50 for that matter. I started reading and was interested in how they separated the natural response from the anthropogenic response, since I had a problem at work where I needed to seperate two conflated temperature sources that had one temperature signal. I couldn’t find it in AR4 WG1, so I went to RC. Unfortunately, asking specific questions as to the methodology led to being told I needed 8 eight years of college work and a couple of degrees. I already had that. Futher questions led me to being banned, since I have a temper and if you don’t answer me, I assume you don’t know. In this case, I found out that I was right. It still amazes me how many on both sides have not read what the IPCC say in terms of their methodology. An example of an argument that refutes the IPCC is that it doesn’t matter about the MWP, LIA, because we have models. It appears few on the proponents side realize just what the methodology for claiming that the last part of the century temperature rise was anthropogenically caused, actually is.

  10. DaveJR said

    I’m a biological scientist who didn’t really pay much attention to AGW until I saw it being argued on a web forum. Initially, I approached sceptical arguments with scepticism because of “the consensus” so I thought I would weigh in and add my voice. The first thing I did was look at the arguments being made, ostensibly so I could rubbish them. The first port of call was Climate Audit. SM produced lucid arguments and presented logical evidence to support his conclusions. However, the way these criticisms were handled by “the team” appaulled me. This was not the behaviour of dispassionate scientists confident in their science. Maybe scientists confident in their conclusions and the strength of their cause, but not in their supporting evidence to back them up. It just went from there!

  11. Skip said

    I’m a software developer with many years of experience – I first really started paying attention to this stuff when the news reports came out that some Canadian guy had found a problem with the temperature record that was described as a ‘Y2K’ problem…in 2007. Having spent a year or so dealing with actual Y2K issues, I was curious, and started looking into it, and have been following the issues consistently since then.

    Catastrophic global warming, whether human-caused or natural, always had seemed to me to be very unlikely – longer growing seasons over much of the farmland and ranch land in Europe, Asia and North America could only be a net benefit, and it seemed nonsensical that a swing of a few degrees C in the average could really be devastating since everywhere on the planet sees a much greater swing every day.

  12. Kenneth Fritsch said

    I have a MS in inorganic chemistry and worked mostly in manufacturing businesses in the areas of R&D, manufacturing support and senior executive. I have always been interested in statistics and was attracted to blogs doing some relatively serious statistical analyses of investment strategies and then climate at CA.

    I enjoy getting into these analyses of climate related papers, and particularly in doing sensitivity analyses for satisfying my own curiosity and making my own judgments about the “robustness” of the papers’ conclusions.

    I judged that my views on AGW are much the same as Jeff ID’s, but as a libertarian I am probably more concerned about the unintended consequences of any government mitigation attempts than most who post here.

  13. ArndB said

    I am a trained seaman, and from my early days at sea I was convinced that the oceans are the ruler of climate, and I was ship master of the ship „Boa Nova“ in the late 1960s, to become a lawyer thereafter. In the late 1980s I wrote a book on the “UN Convention on he Law of the Sea, 1982 ” (UNCLOS); at: http://www.bernaerts-sealaw.com, and when James Hansen told the US Congress GW is inevitable, and CO2 is the cause, I thought that that must be a misunderstanding, as no one can talk seriously about climate change if he does not understand the oceans, and if he does not understand the oceans he has no idea were the climate is heading to, and should seriously implement and apply UNCLOS, as it is the first global constitution, AND the best legal instrument the prevent anthropogenic climatic changes .

    So I wrote a number of papers in the early 1990s (see e.g. here: http://www.oceanclimate.de/ ), including a letter to the Editor of NATURE, Letter to the Editor, NATURE 1992, “Climate Change”, Vol. 360, p. 292; saying that (extract):
    ____ Climate should have been defined as ‘the continuation of the oceans by other means’. Thus, the 1982 Convention could long since have been used to protect the climate. After all, it is the most powerful tool with which to force politicians and the community of states into actions. (full letter at: http://www.whatisclimate.com/1992-nature.html )

    While searching for a clue, why climate science was not able the give the oceans and seas the role they deserve, the two most prominent climatic shifts during the last century (1919-1939 , and 1940 –1970) came in focus, and both are at least strongly correlated with the two naval wars during the last century. As I regarded these events as a opportunity to highlight the possible impact of human activities in the marine environment that influences the weather and climate, I did research and was writing on it, which has meanwhile quite a volume, for example:
    ___http://climate-ocean.com/ (ditto: http://www.seaclimate.com/ , http://www.warchangesclimate.com, dating back to 2004/2005.)

    Last years my book on Arctic Warming 1919-1939 was published:
    ___http://www.arctic-heats-up.com/ , http://www.arctic-warming.com/
    and this weblog kindly published a corresponding conference paper of about 10 pages:

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/past-arctic-warming-also-created-by-currents/

    Remains to be mentioned the climate-change-definition matter. Also here Jeff Id was so kind to publish the OPEN LETTER dated 12th November I had sent to the 18 US scientific organisations, HERE on 13 November 2009; http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/11/13/open-letter/ ; and for those interested in newer history they can find in Comment 10 the famous letter, which started CLIMATEGATE:
    “FOIA said
    November 17, 2009 at 9:57 pm
    We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps.
    We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents.
    Hopefully it will give some insight into the science and the people behind it.
    This is a limited time offer, download now: http://ftp.tomcity.ru/incoming/free/FOI2009.zip
    Sample:…..extract end“
    Although I had hoped that the “endorsement” by “FOIA said” would give my complain about the a science which is not able to define what they are talking about, namely CLIMATE ( see my OPEN LETTER (12 Nov. ; here at the AIR VENT or at: http://www.whatisclimate.com/ ,) a helpful impulse, and would be taken up by those not happy with the AGW discussion, to pressure WMO, IPCC and consorts to demonstrate that they are capable to do what every academic is trained to do, to provide reasonable and workable definitions, did unfortunately not materialize. The definition matter remains neglected by AGW supporters and sceptics alike. A great pitty. A further conference paper from January 2010, available at: http://www.whatisclimate.com/ explains this in more detail.
    Regards
    A-Bernaerts

  14. Josualdo said

    I’m a M.D. Ph.D., more exactly, I have a doctorate (european thing) in biochemistry and physiology. Now I’m retired as what, to the US, would be a tenured assistant professor (we call it auxiliary professor here), if I’m right. I taught normal biochemistry for about half my working lifetime, then computer use for medical students, and did several other stuff, which includes statistical processing and decision and instrumental analysis such as spectrometry.

    For quite a long time I didn’t criticize GW and just went with the flow, promising myself to look into it one day, as I didn’t know a thing about it. When that day happened I was horrified to know that it was all about half-baked computer models based upon the awfully little knowledge of a half-baked newcomer into science, climatology.

    The more I scratched the surface, the worse it became. Models failed previsions, almost all of them, or otherwise the measurements that might (in)validate the previsions were questioned. Weather (yes, not climate) is known as being a hard thing to forecast, and there they were making catastrophic previsions for 100 years and even more.

    Finally, all the shouting, media coverage and politics involved suggested it couldn’t possibly be too serious.

    Of course I kept on looking on the subject and, as I did that, the worse it got.

    The last straw was when I discovered that my students were being brainwashed on GW during their secondary schooling. At that point I decided to have my own blog too.

  15. Mike said

    I have a B.S. in Ocean Engineering, but have worked primarily in software engineering for the last 16 years. I’ve also taught calculus and statistics at the university level, and my stats courses always included one lecture on many of the ways one can misuse statistics to “prove a point” which isn’t really supported by the data.

    I don’t remember where I first heard about CAGW (Catastrophic AGW), but I remember that while searching for more info, I ran across the Junk Science site. I wasn’t sure how far to trust what they said, but they had a link to the IPCC TAR, so I figured I could check it out directly. It was reading the SPM and WG1 papers for myself which first convinced me that the IPCC didn’t have a clue. Not that I could follow everything, but what I could follow had too many holes and non sequiturs. Later, I found some good skeptical sites (including this one), which helped me better understand the bounds of that cluelessness.

  16. Banjoman0 said

    I am a chemical engineer (with a PhD: there, I said it). I was interested in the global cooling scare from the 70s, although a little too young to delve too deeply. I have slipped back and forth since then; I think I still have Al Gore’s Earth in the Balance. I try to be environmentally conscious, but I have never been able to embrace the alarmism. I do have some value for the position of Pielke, that there are several other anthropogenic, non-CO2 forcings that may have a more regional climate impact. I followed Climate Audit early on. Being fresh from the university, I was disheartened (but not surprised much) by his shoddy treatment. I tried Real Climate too, but soon tired of the dismissive, snarky, and content-free presentation. With the arrival of children, I backed off for a while.

    Climategate has renewed my interest. My position now is that I’m not sure I can trust any of these “scientists” and need to better understand the science for myself. I have been trying to get educated, but it is proving a slow process. My family and my day job seem to demand all my time, especially in the current economy. I’m trying to decide where I should focus — statistics, physics, modeling, or something else. Of course, some of the policy aspects interest me, too.

    Thanks for the opportunity to clarify this for myself.

  17. Bio:
    I entered Northwestern University as a Physics and math major, got bored and switched to English and Philosophy and Linguistics so I have 2.568 BAs, honors in English and Philosophy. Then grad school for a Phd in English, completed all the course work, never wrote the dissertation which was going to be on Measuring Novelty in texts ( an application of Shannon’s work on Information theory) I got interested in NLG ( natural language generation.. basically having a computer write poems automatically given a set of rules ..chomsky’s Transformational Grammar and various rules for types of poems–haiku is easy, sonnets are a bitch) so I quit the Phd and took a job in Aerospace: Northop; worked in advance design on the YF23 and other things I can’t talk about: wrote war games, did data analysis on man in the loop air combat simulation, RCS studies, IR studies, all sorts of stuff. Engineering degree by osmosis. Mostly programming, mission effectiveness studies, data analysis. Then moved to a small water tunnel company ( they studied high angle of attack Aero– cool vortex stuff) where I built their flight simulation business up. Designed flight sims for USAF. Figured out an algorithm to simulate pilot behavior ( a few flight sim games use it today) then moved to Silicon valley to do 3D graphics, marketing ( hung up my keyboard) At Creative labs I did the first 3D graphics for the PC, then the first Hard disk Mp3 player. Lost that market to the ipod 2 years later. ( jobs copied us..douche, hey we got 100M settlement) did Web cams, wireless audio, have a software patent on music selection. played around with voice recognition for a bit, then onto Open source mobile phones with Openmoko. it all makes sense.

    Climate wars: found RC one day was mesmerized by the idea of a GCM. love simulations, reality sucks. Got severely mistreated for asking questions about SRES and about peak oil and feedbacks. Found CA. I just resonated with Steve Mc.
    My years at Northop taught me that RTE works. Taught me that big models can fool you, even when they do have loads of physics. Taught me that the guy who controls the data going into the analysis controls the results, if he wants to.

  18. Funny thing Jeff. if you look at demographics.. we got more education that the typical person on RC. But as a quitter in grad school I can say that Phd’s are over rated. At least in the humanities where its very political. Male, libertarian, and straight was a huge minority in liberal arts. like a singleton.

  19. RickA said

    I am an electrical engineer who went to law school.

    I practice as a full-time patent attorney.

    At my law firm, in order to keep up on science generally, we suscribe to Nature, Science and a bunch of technical journals and like to sit around at lunch and argue about stuff (science, law, politics, religion etc.).

    I got into climate science by reading articles about climate models, and trying to learn what these models were based on, to make their incredible projections to 2100 (and doubting their validation).

    Naturally, as with any group of people, some are skeptical and some believe in AGW – so lots of fruitful and fun discussions.

  20. Roddy Campbell said

    I’m a Brit Fund Manager / Trader, age 50, used to be a mathematician but where I went to school statistics was considered low maths, it was for actuaries and common people, so I’m weaker in that area. Also read politics philosophy and economics, so the whole combo makes me feel cleverer than I am.

    1 Almost all environmental/scientific stuff in my life has been hyped and exaggerated, from swine flu to mad cow to killer bees to HIV, you all know the list. On the other hand, the anti-pollution legislation has been terrific, air is clean, water clean, brain damage from lead all gone etc, on my farm we had to stop pouring slurry into the river system back in the 70’s sometime.

    2 Vociferous greens are nuts, and so anti-libertarian it makes one weep. And they will believe almost anything, they seem to have no filter, and can be staggeringly ignorant about their subject.

    3 But so long as they were confined to the WWF and Greenpeace and stayed away from me, and every now and then did something good like saving the whale or annoying the French, it was ok.

    4 But then ‘they’ increasingly wanted things to be bad, and wanted it to be man’s fault, the Michael Crichton ‘environmentalism the successor of Judeo-Christianity’ essay. We had to be sinners, even though on any measurable basis the developed world was doing rather a good job of not sinning, from where I stood.

    5 And along came the IPCC and Al Gore, and over a decade the whole thing went crazy, the planet was endangered by our sinning, local went global, the scientists and activists and teepee dwellers and ngo’s and G7 protestors and anti-globalisation campaigners and wind turbine manufacturers and doomsters and politicians all got in a big tent together, and started taking acid and going to Copenhagen.

    6 With the result that if you even made a joke about the actual cost-benefit to the planet of recycling a milk bottle you were asked to leave the room.

    7 And this was becoming rather annoying, because it began to affect selfish me. It probably wasn’t all true, my children shouted at me if I left the tap running while brushing my teeth, my taxes would go up, British jobs would be exported as we ‘did our bit’, and total a-holes would make a fortune, and people who had annoyed me since 1975 would crow.

    8 Then, whoopee, whoop whoop, tAV, CA, WUWT and so on came into my ken, and, oh joy of joy, climategate shortly after.

    On re-reading the above I sound like a biased religious nutcase myself, I see. But really, that is not the case. I’m a Pielke-ist, please show me why we should do this, and show me the numbers, show me the cost and benefit of mitigation, and of adaptation. And don’t tell me that the UN should use sanctions against any emerging country that builds a coal power station, it’s just stupid, impractical, and inhuman.

    Pip pip.

  21. T G Watkins said

    I’m a recently retired anaesthetist (anesthesiologist) who practised in the UK and Sydney, Australia, for nearly forty years. I certainly have no expertise in the component sciences of climatology,but I have always been an avid reader of popular science outside my field. In addition, I am a keen reader of history.
    Initially, I believed more or less everything put out by IPPC, Hansen, Houghten et al, but the sudden disappearance of the historically well documented MWP and the repeated mantra that “the science is settled” gave me serious doubts about the whole AGW hypothesis.
    Via Christopher Booker (Sunday Telegraph), I discovered the first Heartland conference, WUWT and all the other informed and hardworking bloggers. Three people that I found most impressive were Richard Lindzen, Bob Carter and Don Easterbrook. Only later did I become familiar with the other pro-science protagonists; those with a rational view of data, its interpretation and its relationship to a given hypothesis.
    I agree with Jeff that you only start to really understand things when you have to teach (or explain) concepts to others. I am sad that a part of science has been so badly corrupted but on the bright side I have learned so much from the blogosphere about both the science and the political machinations behind the headlines.
    Hope your baby is doing well.
    Regards

  22. Steve Koch said

    I have a BS in Math, MS in computer science, and all but dissertation on a Phd in computer science. My career was spent developing and managing the development of systems and scientific software. I have several years experience in modeling using quite sophisticated math to do realtime predictions (using realtime sensor measurements as inputs) with potentially life and death consequences.

    Climategate got me really interested in the fiasco of climatology/IPCC. The behavior of Drs Jones, Mann, and Hansen is appalling.

    After reading intensely about climate science for about a month, I’m a lukewarmist. Doubling the CO2 exerts an upward forcing of 1.2 degrees C but it is likely that this is mitigated somewhat by negative feedbacks. The IPCC report is quite clear that they don’t have much of a clue about most of the feedbacks. In any event, to double CO2 (currently a bit less than 400 ppm) at the current rate of CO2 increase (currently 2 ppm per year) will take one or two centuries. That is plenty of time to deal with an increase of 1.2 degrees C.

    The science is not close to being settled. It is distressing that few climate scientists have had the courage to speak up as Judith Curry has. Climate science is way, way too political. The IPCC has failed and it is time to reorganize the way the state of the art in climate science is summarized, this time without UN or government input and plenty of input from the whole spectrum of climate science.

  23. PEHarvey said

    DSc Chemistry. Retired. I always preferred the lab over the desk. In Chemistry, you have to test your hypotheses in the lab before you file for the patent (or the Nobel Prize!). Computer experiments are fun, but they do not yield data.

  24. Phil Brisley said

    Hello Jeff and fellow climate change fanatics. I’m a portrait artist with an amateur’s obsessive interest in our current ice age, plate tectonics and anthropology. I enjoy the climate change debate with its connection to homo sapiens sapiens’ journey. My preference is optimism. I search the blogs (like yours) for salient understandable scientific comments on the subject. This is my favourite, from solar scientist Timo Niroma:

    “The rise of the CO2 in atmosphere from 0.03 to 0.04% does not have any meaning in this play where water vapour is far the greatest player. I’m a statistician and this is a statistical study, but a remark for those, who urgently for years have asked me what I think about the physical link: The Earth’s magnetic field is very sensible to variations in the solar magnetic field. This may have far greater effects to Earth than just the aurorae or breakdown of man-made electrical grids. I find the Svensmark theory (2006) of cosmic rays oscillating to the rhythm of the Sun’s magnetic field as the most promising. More cosmic rays leads to more clouds in the lower atmosphere, which cools the Earth. The CERN investigations in 2010 probably will settle the issue. As I understand it the water vapour is the most forceful greenhouse gas. Although in the beginning a positive feedback when the water vapour changes to clouds the feedback changes to negative thus keeping a balance, where a 0.01% increase can’t have any discernible influence. If water vapour feedback wouldn’t in the end change to negative the Earth would eons again lost its oceans. There are also indications that the UV spectrum of the solar radiation oscillates many times more than the visible part. A sizable drop in UV plus sizable drop in TSI (Total Solar Irridiance) plus sizable drop in the spots’ magnetic power combined with on-going cycle switches with bottom values creates thus an environment where all preconditions for a Maunder Minimum type minimum are set.”

    I thought the good folks at Real Climate could use some cheering up (they are sometimes quite gloomy) so I posted this quote on their current thread this morning, it was nixed.

  25. DeWitt Payne said

    BS Chemistry, PhD Analytical Chemistry (Electrochemistry). Most of my career was spent doing atomic spectroscopy for chemical analysis: flame and graphite furnace atomic absorption, plasma emission and mass spectrometry and x-ray emission spectrometry for Eastman Chemical Company. I also spent some time calibrating thermometers against an NIST calibrated standard platinum resistance thermometer. I retired in 2004. I’ve been reading science fiction and fantasy since I learned to read starting with Tarzan and John Carter by ERB and the Oz books. I lean towards libertarian politics but not the LP. I have two bumper stickers on my car: Cthulhu 2008, why vote for a lesser evil and Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Cthulhu. I’ve been interested in AGW off and on since I heard a talk by Hansen at the Pittcon in 1988 (I think). It wasn’t until I was accused of being a global warming denier, though, that I started studying the science. It turned out that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did, but my instincts that there was some science and a lot of hype proved to be correct. So I guess that makes me a lukewarmer.

  26. ScorpionDas said

    I have an MS in Mechanical Engineering and lead a battery product development engineering group. Although I seldom contribute to the discussion, AGW has kept my interest since stumbling on Climate Audit during the intial hockey stick discussions. If there is one thing I like, it is math, science, and the peeling back the layers of an onion.

  27. dearieme said

    I’ve done quite a bit of mathematical modelling of physico-chemical systems, starting over 40 years ago. I have also, however, done a lot of experimental research and so am not prone to the professional failing of falling in love with my models. I happen to have accumulated lots, or a little, experience in quite a few relevant areas – stats, Computational Fluid Dynamics, IR spec, radiative heat transfer and so forth. BSc, MA, PhD. I first got interested in weather when I took made the local measurements for part of a summer when I was a schoolboy. Next, I noticed in a seminar in the early 70s that meteorologists were a bit off the pace (at that time) in the numerical solution of Partial Differential Equations, but were at least having a go. After a hiatus of more than 30 years I got interested again when the Global Warming hysteria became impossible to ignore. My first thoughts were that the hypothesis that anthropogenic CO2 could heat things up a little wasn’t impossible, but I was puzzled at how you could say much with confidence when we had not much more than a hundred years’ worth of noisy data, prone to God-knows-what sorts and sizes of errors, and – of course – the result of mere observation rather than controlled experiments. The more I read, much of it on the web, the more I realised that (i) the observations weren’t being analysed critically by people who thought hard about the instruments, (ii) the proxy studies were being pursued by seriously dud scientists, (ii) the math modelling was at least hubristic, and probably essentially crooked – a farrago of lash-ups and guesses, never propery tested, and (iv) the solemen pronouncements of the Awful Consequences to be expected from any warming that might happen were pretentious and silly. And so I came to the conclusion that the whole thing is a mess of zealotry, charlatanism, incompetence and dishonesty. Mind you, I’m still curious as to whether man’s release of CO2 is warming things up – it’s a pity that 20 years of extravagant expenditure seems not to have extended our understanding to any useful extent.

  28. Kendra said

    I won’t put my two cents in yet, I’m feeling too euphoric from reading all these incredibly interesting and thoughtful comments (hint – one of my biases is really being interested in hows and whys). So far, I’m pretty much the non-tech-background outlier – so anyone else like me, please go ahead and speak up – I’ll be sticking my neck out soon.

    But, in my time zone it’s pretty late (Zulu +1 haha) so I’m going to put it off (all that late evening stuff to do) til tomorrow.

    Thanks, Jeff, for starting the thread, it’s really already been more than I hoped for.

  29. Tom Fuller said

    Well, I hate to pull down the educational attainment average here, but I learned my science from the US Navy, being taught physics on the road to being an electronics technician and later a cryptographic technician. I studied anthropology and journalism at university, but left without even a bachelors, although the Navy told us (with a straight face) that our training was the equivalent of a BSEE.

    I drifted into market research and became fascinated by demographics, so when The Skeptical Environmentalist came out I was hooked and started reading everything I could. My first blog experience was Real Climate and I spent about 10 days reading their basic introduction. I couldn’t understand their hostility to Lomborg, and then McIntyre, and most especially the Pielkes. It really seemed bizarre, so I toured all the blogs and formed the frame of reference I have today.

    That frame of reference is that global warming is real and will pose a problem to us over the course of this century, but it is almost certainly going to be regional in nature and much less extensive than the consensus holders maintain. The proper policy response at this point is to take all available ‘no regrets’ actions to move towards a greener energy mix and better conservation measures–things that would make sense no matter what the ultimate answer is regarding global warming.

    And what informs my writing is my sense that this will be a 30-year war, with ups and downs for either ‘side’ of the debate. 2009 was a great year for skeptics. I think 2010 will see the Empire Strike Back, in ways already illustrated by the findings of ‘investigations’ into Climategate.

  30. Robert Austin said

    I am a retired civil engineer. I didn’t pay much attention to the CAGW thing until I read “The Deniers” by Lawrence Soloman. It struck me that the CAGW promoters were always pushing the “science is settled” and the “vast majority of scientists concur” mantras but here were examples of qualified scientists who were skeptical. In addition, on seeing Al Gore’s movie, my BS meter went off the scale. From there it lead me to WUWT and Climate Audit and I was hooked. After “Caspar and the Jesus Paper”, I added the Bishop to my favourites and seeing Jeff’s posts on CA, I now visit tAV daily. I only occasionally post on these blogs because many of the other participants are more knowledgeable than I. I see my role is to take what I learn from these blogs and present the skeptical viewpoint in my local newspaper. I also have rebutted the CAGW position a number of times in the Engineering Dimensions magazine which is published by the Professional Engineers Ontario.

  31. AMac said

    I have a B.A. in Earth Sciences, then ended up getting a PhD in Cell/Molecular Biology. Bench science (academics and industry) is my first love; home issues led me into the financial services field (interesting in its own right, but a queasy roller-coaster ride since 2008). Statistics is the hole in my education, some day I’ll find a way to progress beyond linear regressions.

    Till 2009, climate issues were in the background for me, though study of the Ice Ages had left me with a great respect for paleoclimate reconstructions. I stumbled across the AGW Wars through, unfortunately, Mann08. It seemed very unlikely that the outlandish claims of the skeptics could be correct. The partisans at Stoat convinced me otherwise with their strict adherence to doubleplusgoodthink. Not the intended outcome, perhaps, but the AGW Consensus may have more trouble with people who have personal experience with the practice of science. We want to accord scientists the respect and deference they’ve earned, without forgetting the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes. Or the first-year grad student who naively asked the best question at the weekly departmental seminar.

    My current view is that paleotemperature reconstructions on the scale of thousands to hundreds-of-thousands of years have a great deal of validity; the proxies seem information-rich. Unfortunately, I suspect most of the Consensus picture of the past 2,000 years is invalid. The noise in tree rings, lake varves, and other high-resolution proxies is too high, and the practitioners are full of hubris as well as statistically naive. Put another way, the uncertainty intervals are so much greater than what is claimed, that no meaningful quantitative interpretation can be supported.

    On the other hand, following the WUWT/Blackboard back-and-forth on the instrumental record has left me believing that we have a surprisingly good grasp of how land and sea temperatures have changed over the past hundred-plus years. I commend Zeke Hausfather’s posts and comments on these topics at The Blackboard as a model of blog-science at its best.

    I guess that–and finding Jeff Id’s expositions on radiative physics convincing and unexceptional–makes me a Lukewarmer. In spite or because of that, I’ve been accused a couple of times of being part of the anti-Science conspiracy to suppress knowledge of AGW. My checkbook mutters “would that it were so.” Alas, outside of blogs like tAV and Lucia’s, nobody in my circle of acquaintances is even particularly interested in Climate Change.

  32. I find it ironic that RC, backfired in such a monumental way. A good deal of it comes down to their strategy of moderation
    ( dont give skeptics a megaphone) and of course the personality of Gavin and Mann. I think they thought their readers were dumb. that’s just a dumb guess.

  33. Terry said

    I have a BSc in Chemistry and PhD in Physics/Chemistry and my area of employment is in atmospheric chemistry/physics. My interest in AGW was spurred by accidentally, about 3 years ago, coming across WUWT and the appalling state of the temperature record. The more I looked, the more skeptical I became of the whole package that was being sold to us by the IPCC. This lead to reading a truck load of original papers, going back to the early thermodynamic models in the 70’s and 80’s from which evolved the current GCMs. From there is has been a roller coaster keeping up with the huge amount of stuff that keeps on coming. I find that a few well run blog sites like this one, CA, WUWT, Lucia’s and Climate Science are an invaluable tool in keeping up with relevant works and re-works

  34. Derek said

    I’m a layman for what it’s worth, who actually does work on the factory floor. I did get a BA (hons) in Geography, from a polytechnic.
    So, I ain’t and don’t claim to be an academic, or “trained” in any relevant way whatsoever.

    I was as concenred about the next man back in the late 1990s about what we were being told is happening to our planet because of our actions. I was a conservation volunteer as well. Furthermore I was also a hunt saboteur but that’s another story..

    I knew absolutely nothing about computers, or the internet, so the BBC distributed computing climate modelling was just the ticket it seemed to me.
    Soon after joining the BBC climate modelling project (part of CPDN) I asked a question about clouds, just a simple question about how it feels cooler when a cloud gets between me and the sun. The answers I recieved were beyond derogatory. I was stunned. Things went a bit better as I capitulated a bit, by swallowing the answers provided. Then went down like the proverbial stone when I started questioning again. I smelled a rat. So, I started searching on the net for answers that might be from a different view point to see if they may hold some water. I retracted to my “teams” website and continued to question. The abuse became more and more vitriolic and personal.
    I searched the net on a wider basis and found http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info/forums/index.php – WOW. I have stayed there ever since.
    I used to go back to my old teams forum and question afresh, the abuse was amusing, and transparent to anyone reading it, in it’s purpose – SHUT UP, DON’T QUESTION THE MODELS OR THE “SCIENCE”.
    It didn’t work on me, eventually the forum owner sent me a polite email saying never to post anything that was negative to the climate models again. So, I have not been back since.

    From my GWS “home” I visit around and read around, from all sides of the skeptical views, here of occasion, WUWT, Lucy Skywalker’s Greenworld, occasionally CA (but very rarely), junk science I used to visit also. SPPI / Lord Monkton, has briliant papers, Jo Nova, etc, etc, etc.

    I’ll continue my merry way, where it will lead I know not.
    I wil also continue my habit of writing things up as I go and posting them at GWS aimed squarely at the layman.

    Politically I am not anything as such, but I do tend towards libertarian. The free market has it’s good points (I’m a bit “right”), but so does good and for the greater good governance (I’m also a bit “left”). There seems not to be a balance in most peoples political views, that would much improve the solutions the political polices could produce in my view.
    As far as the AGW is concerned in my opinion it is a lie and a scam, based upon false and falsely interpretted “settled science”.
    The data / proxies / models / CO2 measurements used to “support” or “prove” AGW are all almost wholly false, and have already been shown as such beyond reasonable doubt.

    As for what we should do, I can not put it better than Jeff has already done in the opening post of this thread, so I’ll repeat in complete agreement with Jeff’s words,
    It is absolutely no coincidence that the single solution to global warming presented is reduction of economic output and strengthened governments. My preferred solution to climate change is to remove any regulations on CO2 and stay the course until we need to change.

    I understand however, I and Jeff may have reached the same conclusion by very differing routes.
    AND, it must be said regardless of how my posts / views are so often deliberately misinterpretted and misrepresented, here and elsewhere
    by so many “mainstream” skeptics..
    I do not like to say it, but feel it must be said that many appear to have a vested interest in the present quagmire or rather status quo of climate discussions between the “consensus settled science”, and the “mainstream skeptics”.
    I am proudly niether.

  35. Gösta Oscarsson said

    Being a retired Swedish “central bureaucrat” specialised in regional economic development I am the odd man out in this connection (the domination of US and UK citizens in this group of people is remarkable). My way to the sceptic camp has two origins.

    – I have throughout my career seen transport as the key to much of what we consider economic development (the regional aspect you know). I wrote my first paper to government on the fossile fuel issue in 1970 (!) and in that I advocated that “planning” of the localisation of housing, jobs and services increasingly should be done in a way that made continued contacts between individuals possible, even if fuels (in the long run) would get very costly (Sweden has a lot of space and few inhabitants). The oil crises of 1973 and 1979 should have made that type of philosophy attractive but, alas, we gladly continued our way into the car-society.

    – When fossile fuels were “attacked” from a new angle (i.e. AGW) you could think that I should have been happy. But I began my yourney into “sceptic land” through looking at Al Gores picture. There were too many issues that I did not recognize. Began reading McIntyre a few years ago, which made Climate Gate just a confirmation of previous suspiscions. Spends a few hours every day for blog reading.

    I probably belongs to Tom Fuller’s tribe of lukewarmers (if he has any tribe). Being a Swede you are, even if you are a conservative at home, almost automatically classified as an American liberal. Believes in long term (and predictable) rising cost of energy, to encourage thrift and innovations. And I am suprised that people see the necessary changes as economically difficult – a society with an increasing economy can do a lot, especially if you have decades to do it. It is pedagogical to look back a hundred years and see what we (= mankind) has accomplished. We can meet also difficult challenges without basically changing our “way of life”. But! God bless our political systems!

  36. HLx said

    I got interested in climate science in 1997-98, when in highschool. During a “discussion” excercise in literature one “teachers pet” came with some ludicrous claims about the doom of the world. Being a skeptic I immediately got curious as to what was the truth about this subject. Thats the first I rememeber of discussing the subject.

    After that Ive taken a civil engineer diploma aka. master of science in physics.

    At the moment I work with renewable energy, though by no means to reduce CO2. Instead my motivation is purely resource based, as there is no problem to realize that our fossil resources are going to be depleted some time in the future.

    HLx

  37. RomanM said

    Ok, me too.

    Background:

    As a kid, I loved math and science, read (well, scanned, more accurately) encyclopedias and spent much of my early days in the local library reading science fiction books (Heinlein, Asimov, van Vogt, Sturgeon…). BA in Math (minor in Physics and Philosophy), MA and PhD in Stat. Should have worked harder on the studies, but the varsity sports (Soccer and Tennis) some times conflicted with Advanced Calculus classes. ;)

    Spent 40 years at two Universities doing the usual stuff: teaching, research, etc. Interestingly, in the first class that I taught (which happened to be at a post graduate level), all of the students were older than I was. Probably should have written more papers, but once the problems were solved, I tended to lose interest in writing the stuff up. As well, one of my interests was mathematics competitions and I spent a lot of time in composing suitable competition problems (and entire exams) at levels from about grade 7, through high school to (Putnam style) college puzzlers.

    Throughout my career, I have done a lot of consulting both inside the University setting (Engineering of all types, Biology, Forestry, Psych, Nursing, Kinesiology, etc.) and out (Government and Private companies). The early encyclopedia exposure came in handy in developing the skill of quickly assessing a consulting situation and knowing which questions to ask for clarification of the details.

    Been retired for almost two years (and consequently had more time to devote to doing math and other research).

    AGW CC:

    I have never been a “joiner” so have always had skepticism of any consensus operations. From my consulting experience, I have developed a pretty good appreciation of the level of statistical skill (or lack thereof) of people from other sciences. When reading some of the claims made surrounding possible climate change and the effects which may come from that change, the exaggeration was so evident that it was clear that there could not be evidence to back the claims up. Overt misuse of statistical concepts (such as quantifying the “probability of humans causing global warming”) increased the BS meter readings higher.

    About five years ago, I started researching the web for information. Like others here, my brushes with RC (and Tamino) made it pretty clear that they did not have a smoking bullet and the arrogance with which they treated newcomers pushed me in the opposite direction. Steve McI. struck me as a really sharp guy (not faint praise coming from me) and many others in the crew hanging out at CA also impressed me as intellectually honest and bright realists worth listening to and learning from.

    My current assessment of the situation is much the same as that expressed by Jeff and several others on this thread. It is reasonable that CO2 can produce some warming. However, I have seen no genuine evidence that such warming would even come close to being catastrophic, but rather that the warming so far (no matter what the cause) has been increased food production and been generally beneficial to virtually all living beings on this planet. However, there is still more to learn about this world and I would feel more comfortable if the research was driven by scientists who had fewer (political) agendas and a somewhat higher degree of personal integrity.

  38. RomanM said

    … smoking bullet??? Smoking GUN!

    (Rats! – Read twice. Post once.)

  39. timetochooseagain said

    28-Don’t feel bad about your Educational level-I’m only a college student, so not EVERY reader of TAV has a fancy degree ;)

  40. gallopingcamel said

    My background is in physics and electrical engineering, ending up in electro-optics research funded by the Department of Defense. Besides running my own company I have managed technical departments in large corporations and in a university with a top basketball team.

    Your remarks at the head of this post almost exactly describes my thoughts about climate science although my involvement is quite recent. The Mann et al. ’08 paper that gave us the temperature “Hockey Stick” is wrong on so many levels that it hard to understand why he and his collaborators have not been treated like Fleishman & Pons.

    In my opinion we are suffering from “Soft Lysenkoism” which may be more dangerous than the hard kind. Dwight Eisenhower warned us:

    “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.”

    Eisenhower was thinking about the “Military-Industrial Complex” but now government bureaucrats make university researchers “sing for their supper”. Every three years our laboratory jumps through hoops to get the next round of research funding. We know beforehand what the bureaucrats want to hear and we make sure they go away happy.

    As long as Michael Mann is receiving research funds from a government agency he is safe because nobody in academic research can afford to alienate DARPA, DoD, DoE or any government agency that disburses research funds.

  41. CrossBorder said

    I was into third year of a double major in math and economics, with quite a few geography courses, when financial problems pushed me into accounting/admin positions at an oil & gas major. I quit to become a flight service specialist, which includes hourly and special weather observations. The surface stations project led me to WUWT a couple of years ago, from which I followed links to CA, tAV, both Pielkes, Briggs and other math-oriented blogs, and became a faithful lurker. The statistics courses are the ones that have stuck in my memory although sometimes I have to think hard to resurrect enough of my math to sort of follow the arguments.

    The lack of Yamal tree ring data pushed me away from belief in the hockey stick, that and the convenient disapperance of the MWP. The systematic refusals to release model data and methodology makes it difficult to be anything more than at very most a lukewarmer, and even at that I want more data. If the small amount of CO2 in the atmosphere does any warming, to my mind it’s far outweighed by water vapor and solar effects and we’d be better off concentrating our efforts on resource conservation and ameliorating pollution.

  42. I have a PhD in nuclear chemistry and did some of my graduate research and postdoctoral studies in space physics with Professor John H. Reynolds at UC-Berkeley.

    In 1960 I started research on the origin of the solar system under the direction of Professor Paul Kazuo Kuroda:

    1. By the mid-1970’s we realized that the entire solar system formed directly from poorly mixed supernova debris: All of the material now orbiting the Sun was ejected from it in an explosion about five billion years (~5 x 10^9 yr) ago [“Elemental and isotopic inhomogeneities in noble gases: The case for local synthesis of the chemical elements”, Trans. Missouri Acad. Sci. 9 (1975) 104-122; “Strange xenon, extinct superheavy elements and the solar neutrino puzzle”, Science 195 (1979) 208-209; “Isotopes of tellurium, xenon and krypton in the Allende meteorite retain record of nucleosynthesis”, Nature 277 (1979) 615-620].

    2. In 1983 we used evidence of mass fraction across the isotopes of solar-wind implanted He, Ne, Ar, Kr and Xe in lunar soils to show that the most abundant element in the interior of the Sun is Iron (Fe), although the surface is mostly covered with the lightest element, Hydrogen (H) [“Solar abundance of the elements”, Meteoritics 18 (1983) 209-222].

    3. We had predicted (above) that the Galileo probe would observe “strange” xenon in Jupiter. The Challenger disaster delayed that mission for several years, but the probe did in fact observe “strange” xenon when it plunged into Jupiter in 1995. After a few years delay, we received access to the data in 1998 and reported that “Isotopic ratios in Jupiter confirm intra-solar diffusion” [Meteoritics and Planetary Science 33 (1998) A97, paper 5011].

    4. After many years of wondering about the source of energy in the iron-rich Sun, we finally discovered that repulsive interactions between neutrons in the core of the Sun generate more energy than is available from nuclear fission or nuclear fusion [“Attraction and repulsion of nucleons: Sources of stellar energy” Journal of Fusion Energy 19 (2001) 93-98; “Neutron repulsion confirmed as energy source”, Journal of Fusion Energy 20 (2002) 197-201];
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/x1n87370x6685079/

    5. I became interested in climate science after learning that promoters of CO2-induced global warming assumed that Earth’s climate is immune to well-documented cyclic changes in the Sun – a violently unstable supernova remnant – rather than the steady H-fusion reactor that they assumed [“Earth’s heat source – the Sun,” Energy and Environment 20 (2009) 131-144].

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

    http://myprofile.cos.com/manuelo09

  43. CrossBorder said

    Like RomanM, I find it helps to read twice, post once. I’m no longer FSS but have kept an interest in weather despite another couple of occupations since.

  44. Typo correction:

    “Strange xenon, extinct superheavy elements and the solar neutrino puzzle”, Science 195 (1979) 208-209 =>
    “Strange xenon, extinct superheavy elements and the solar neutrino puzzle”, Science 195 (1977) 208-209:

    http://www.omatumr.com/archive/StrangeXenon.pdf

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  45. Schrodinger's Cat said

    Jeff,

    Well done for asking such a searching question.

    I first felt highly irritated by news reports and politicians going on about global warming. I do not deny that each year was feeling warmer than the previous one for several years, but I knew that the earth had gone into, and out of, several ice ages, so why should one group claim a particular political agenda based on one aspect of a cyclical natural phenomenon?

    I suppose that this initial assessment made me sceptical in nature, though I do believe that my mind was not totally closed to being converted to an AGW belief if the evidence was forthcoming. To help you label me, I am a chemist who worked in the paper industry for years but has had some experience in building products and aerospace industries.

    I spent about 3 years looking at the debate (in some detail) on the blogosphere. In order to save time I’ve chosen a few comments that apply to my beliefs.

    · I think that natural cyclical effects dominate our climate
    · I believe that several solar influences exist but have not yet been understood.
    · I believe that the earth is warming from the last ice age and also from AGW
    · I believe that the AGW component is small, and not dangerous.
    · I am concerned that we may enter a period of prolonged cooling.
    · I am appalled by scientists being alarmist and linking every imaginable disaster to global warming.
    · I am disgusted by scientists jumping on to the bandwagon for funding.
    · I am concerned that the fundamental temperature data is contaminated by instrument changes, processing changes, location changes, UHI changes and being dropped altogether in favour of alternative stations that may provide preferred (hotter or UHI) data.
    · I am concerned about poor or non-existent QA practices by those agencies who “manipulate” the raw data on our behalf.
    · I am not convinced that CO2 warming creates positive H2O feedback.
    · I am not convinced that CO2 has an important warming effect on our climate and therefore the billions linked to tax income and expenditure is wrong.

    Perhaps the main thought is that our climate is extremely complex and that we are all a long, long way from understanding it. That should really be the central belief around which we can congregate and agree.

  46. j ferguson said

    Well no wonder you guys understand what appears here and I don’t. A lot of heavy iron there.

    I have BS and MS in Architecture and tried to do it for 35 years. Architects are guys who know next to nothing about a whole lot of things. It was only in later years that I realized that the sign of “next to” wasn’t always positive.

    I got into trying to understand this stuff two years ago when we received the email equivalent of a tirade from a friend that was proselytizing the C in CAGW in the Birmingham. AL area. My mistake was sending her a Fred Singer piece and asking what she thought. “In the pay of big oil.” “Fought anti-tobacco legislation.” “Settled Science.” (I couldn’t figure out how to punctuate that, but neither could she). So I thought if this perfectly reasonable guy with what looked to me like a heavy-duty scientific background might have it wrong, and our friend – without any scientific background was so sure, maybe a more accurate view was available.

    Two years later I’m still confused, but maybe less so. There’s a lot of patience here on this site, and CA, and Lucia’s for which I’m grateful.

    I suppose that some of you can comfort yourselves that you’ve explained it in terms accessible to the meanest understanding if I got it.

    Thanks guys.

  47. Dr. P said

    I have a Ph.D. in physics and spent most of my career in private industry doing computer modeling in electromagnetics.

    I was exposed to most of the climate websites via climatedebatedaily.com. I read both sides of the issue for a while, but it quickly became apparent to me that the AGW work product was being used mostly to push a political agenda and that the preferred political solutions make no sense even if AGW is true.

    I also became active suporting local schools. It upset me to see Gore’s film being used in science instruction. This film was a travesty. I was especially peeved at the linkage of global warming to a spread of malaria, considering that the de facto ban of DDT remains one of the big black marks on the environmental zealots.

    I also wondered what happened to the MWP (that little bump on Al’s graph was not the MWP I knew). This led me to the hockey stick. As I recall, once upon a time, the consensus in climate science was that the MWP was real and supported by paleo, archeological and historical records. One would think that for this to be overthrown would require extraordinary research. Instead we were presented with “trust me” science. Science doesn’t work that way.

    Suppose Michael Mann had used exactly the same methods (and level of disclosure) but instead found a prominent MWP and LIA. Would this work have made it into the IPCC report? Would he have gotten the funding and received the professional recognition he subsequently got? Of course not, so one is forced to conclude that it isn’t about the science.

    BTW — anyone interested in a nuclear technology should have a gander at
    Energy From Thorium: A Nuclear Waste Burning Liquid Salt Thorium Reactor This may be a green solution worth funding.

  48. Robert E. Phelan said

    It is a genuine pleasure to learn something about the people who have been posting here. This is a good thread, Jeff. Unlike most of you who have commented, I am not an engineer or “hard” scientist – don’t snicker…. I came to “skepticism” by way of sociology. The short form of the story is that I somehow obtained a BA and MA in Sociology, left school for a break and found myself teaching in Taiwan. I was supposed to be there for a year or two, but fourteen years later I was dragged back to the US kicking and screaming. During those fourteen years I got out of teaching and did sales, sourcing and consulting, writing for a magazine, business investigations, and computer programming and system design. Back in the States I did programming and system analysis for almost ten years and then did consulting, specializing in MRP/ERP systems. About six years ago I found myself once again teaching at the university level: Intro, Cultural Anthropology, Social Psychology, Deviance, Criminology, Community, Inequality and Religion. This time, I like what I’m doing. I’m married to a nice Filipina, have three children (daughter is an actress in musical theater and currently on tour and coming to a stage near you, middle son is a medic and paratrooper, youngest son is a medic, EMT and reservist) and until last fall played host to the Cat From Hell.

    I remember quite clearly the bitterly cold and snowy New England winters of the 60’s and 70’s and the panic about the coming ice age. I also remember how seriously everyone took Paul Ehrlich’s prophecies of population catastrophe and Rachel Carson’s vision of ecological collapse; catastrophes that never materialized. I’ve become quite cynical about doomsday scenarios and claims of vast conspiracies, especially when the solutions involve drastic changes in lifestyle or the curtailment of civil liberties. When I started teaching again I’d caution my students to study both sides of an issue before hopping on a band wagon. Apparently they were listening because a colleague sent me an e-mail noting that we had some of the same students and they were telling hum that Professor Phelan didn’t believe in Global Warming. He wanted to know if I had a bibliography to support that position. Of course, I didn’t. My position was based primarily on the social factors: AGW seemed like another millenarian movement, its proponents were acting like typical moral entrepreneurs and the deviantization of opposing views indicated that this was not just an issue of science. I decided it was time to actually learn something about the science and started looking. I found both RC and CA and later WUWT. I found RC to be… cult-like. Steve McIntyre led me to understand that even a layman could comprehend and test the science. Anthony Watts’ surface station project was quite appealing…. One of the first lessons I try to teach my students is to examine and understand the process by which data is collected. Methodology is critical in MRP/ERP system design and sociology. Taking someone else’s word for how something operates is a prescription for disaster (I remember a twenty-six million dollar inventory that took three months to rectify because a vendor of a warehouse management system swore that production could resume immediately after counting but before reconciliation because he had it covered. He lied.).

    From a social science perspective, AGW is not a scientific theory, it is a social movement. The TEAM is not practicing science.

  49. jknapp said

    I have a BA in Psychology with Science Minor, an MBA and a BS in Math. I teach in a public high school. As a long time contrarian (I didn’t smoke dope in the 60’s and 70’s because everyone else was doing it:)) I have always been suspecious of “consensus”.

    As I first became aware of CAGW theory I noticed that the proponents were the same people who had been yelling for years that we, mankind, were destroying the world and everyone should be forbiden from driving an SUV or other large car, living in a big house, driving a snowmobile, or doing anything else they thought was evil western conspicious consumption.

    The people and the message of centralized control by the virtuous elite was the constant over the years. The justification for those beliefs kept changing. So I concluded that the justification was non-essential and probably bogus. The goal was the centralized control by the self-defined virtuous elite.

    As I have read here at TAV and Climate Audit and Wattsupwith that, and yes at Real Climate too, It has become clear that the science is indeed not settled and that confirmation bias was so rampant in the field of climate science and disaster forcasting that it is hard to trust their results.

    I would probably be classified as a lukewarmer. Yeah, it’s warming a bit maybe due to CO2, but who cares. It just makes things a bit nicer.

  50. Tom in St. Johns said

    My father 40+ years ago told me to hang out with smart people. The above CV’s would make him proud.

    I come from the world of accounting and am the CFO of a mid-sized non-profit. I have enjoyed science for many years and have passed that on to a budding physics major.

    My interest in AGW first became serious when reading about the lack of access to the data behind the projections. Having done a fair amount of auditing, red flags went up which have led to many years of lurking, reading and expanding my education.

    For anyone new to the topic the best advice that I have seen was to read the archives at CA. Also have a ready bookmark for researching terms that are new.

    A hearty thank you to Jeff and all the contributors for expanding my knowledge of the world around me.

  51. John M said

    For me, BS in Chemistry, PhD in Inorganic Chemistry.

    I have a generally skeptical nature and first thought seriously about global warming when I heard a speaker present the case with such certainty in the late 80s. I thought to myself “Gosh, I conduct experiments under carefully controlled conditions almost every day, and each experiment raises more questions than it answers. This guy claims to know what happened hundreds of years ago and what’s going to happen decades from now with such certainty, and every new fact supports his case 100%. How does he do that?”

    At the time, I just noted the claims with my usual skepticism and went on with my life. Later in my career, I did a lot of evaluations of “breakthrough technologies” to see if my company could make a buck at them. After developing some skills at recognizing Science by Press Release™, I started looking at GW with renewed interest, and saw a lot of similarities.

    I don’t remember how or why, but I stumbled onto Steve McIntyre’s first web site and have been hooked ever since. Like many commenters here, the behavior of Climate Scientists and their supporters is not something I’ve ever experienced in the more “normal” areas of science and technology that I’ve been involved with, and I suppose that more than anything else has hardened by skeptical position.

  52. JAE said

    Old grouchy PhD carbohydrate chemist who started out teaching/research in a major university. Then joined industry and did R&D on coatings for several years. Then my boss bribed me with a raise to take a wrong turn and get involved in environmental issues and politics. After 15 years of that fun, I took a much more sane and relaxing job as an environmental director. Will probably retire soon.

    Having studied and worked on many dozens of environmental issues, where I witnessed a lot of very pathetic “science” being championed by “environmentalist” organizations in order to make sure there were plenty of crises to keep the money rolling in, I was naturally very skeptical from the start of the mother of all environmental issues, AGW. I became biased very quickly when I kept reading that the “science was settled.”

    I stumbled upon CA shortly after the site was formed and have thoroughly enjoyed that site ever since (I’ve probably read 90+ % of the posts, although my eyes glaze over when the statistics get heavy). I identify very much with JeffID’s thoughts and enjoy some commentary on the politics, so I read most of the posts here, also. I read some on many other blogs, including Lucia’s Lubos’, Watts. At first I read RC fairly often, but got turned off by all the censoring and other games.

    While mankind probably has altered the climate to some degree, I don’t think there is any evidenc of it being sufficiently serious to warrant “doing something” besides adapting. The evidence for the RWP, MWP, and LIA convince me that any current warming may very well be natural.

  53. curious said

    CV that looks like a spiders web after the storm. All over the place and full of holes. MEng with top grades some years ago. Long time supporter of responsible attitude towards the “environment” and always lived a pretty low consumption life. Worked on engineering design and development including some FEA work where I saw mindlessly applied models mean nothing.

    Had a very bad time some years ago due to a malpractice issue which completely blew my trust in any of the systems of justice I’d previously taken for granted. Prompted me to question and reappraise everything including my views on the environment and AGW. Took an engineer’s first principles approach and started looking for the fundamental building blocks of the arguments such as the derivation of the forcing associated with CO2. This pulled up CA on google search. Lurked for a while but couldn’t help but chip in when I saw stuff that seemed nonsense even at my level of knowledge.

    Really started paying attention when the Steig paper hit the headlines and the simplist of data checks hadn’t been done. Then followed as much as my rusty skills allowed Jeff, Jeff, Ryan, Nic et als work on it with fascination. Out in the open, warts and all posts with amazing contributions coming in from out of the blue. Total dismay at the attitude shown at RC and other “settled science” blogs. Very appreciative of the quality of responses and questions shown at tAV, CA, the Blackboard. Skimmed Science of Doom and must go back.

    About to change direction again and see if I can get some revision done. Looking forwards to Jeff and Ryan’s publication which I’ll treat as a tutorial (any dates yet?). At present I am unconvinced that we have anything substantial and quantifiable on CO2 at x00ppm concentration as a cause for concern but I acknowledge I haven’t done the numbers myself yet. Despite having had some absolute tears down cheeks moments at some of the jem responses out there I really despair at what this is doing to our standards of education and justice. I also think it is doing genuine environmentalists a great disservice.

    Often think the blogs are like having a free seat at a never ending masterclass lecture series. I share many of the comments above. Thanks to the substantive contributors and those doing the leg work, I hope to contribute more than questions in the future.

  54. Duster said

    I am a practicing archaeologist (MA). I started out as a geology major – three units short of my B. Scs. – but switched majors due to frustration with a “computer aided registration” system that ran more like a practical joke department. I never registered for class before the first day of classes during the remainder of my college career.

    Archaeology is very much a “roll-your-own” discipline and my primary interest lies in the relations between geology and human behaviour past and present. As a discipline archaeologists tend to be very interested in climate and other issues that influence our data.

    I became curious about the scientific support for AGW because of the debate over the MWP, which is well atested to in archaeology and history. I was also interested by assertions that the current warming was “unprecedented.” My geological and archaeological backgrounds both had serious conflicts with that. Thinking a little brought back recollections of lectures about changes in atmospheric composition and climate over the Phanerozoic. The catastrophic predictions emanating from AGW were in absolute and total conflict with historical geology as I learned it. Prior to that I simply assumed the climate science community knew what they were talking about. The mutation from lukewarm to skeptic was abrupt.

  55. Mike J said

    Well, this is extremely interesting and it is most exciting to be in such educated company.

    I myself am mostly uneducated. Am 51 and have been eking out a living supporting software applications and writing programs.

    Early on in the piece I became interested in the Doom Brigade’s fanaticism. I have an aversion to conspiracy theories, preferring to believe that people just aren’t smart enough to organise something of magnitude and manage to keep it under wraps. However, the more I looked at it, the more I could see the bias involved and the windfall power and tax advantages for government.

    In New Zealand we have a strong Green movement and our government was an early adopter of an Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). I seemed to be a lone voice as I made submissions to the Parliamentary Select Committee during the passing of this legislation. Although I felt like I was sticking my neck out when I asked a question on global warming during the televised leader’s debate at the last General Election, I was surprised at the level of mild support I received. I am now getting more involved in active political campaigning – to hell with thoughts of ‘sticking my neck out’. I think the silent majority generally are way too scared of imagined repercussions from imagined peers. I have just emailed 80 contacts with news about the next stage of ETS rollout on 1st July (which will cost each NZ family between $1500 and $5000 per annum in increased costs of living) and have urged them to email their Members of Parliament to stop the implementation of the ETS.

    I think this is where the pressure needs to be applied more and more. The CAGW movement has got a huge headstart on us. Sure they lost ground in 2009, but have regained a lot in the Year of the Whitewash. Over the last decade they have hugely affected global government policies. It is now starting to bite Joe Public. The science may not be settled, and probably never will be due to the polarised and entrenched positions, but the debate is largely academic now. If a politician cannot see that there is tremendous bias in the ‘science’ that has so far been reported to them (mainly via the IPCC), then he/she is not interested in the truth. Mainly their interest is in votes, and secondarily in windfall taxes, increased power and personal career enhancement by sucking up to the global power brokers at the UN.

    So that is where I am exerting some effort these days. I believe I can stand up and debate the basic tenets of the science through the education provided me by the highly educated blogoshpere as evidenced herein. The confidence to debate the science has come only after about a year of intense blogging and reading. The thing I really like about Jeff’s tAV is that he keeps it real. He is without pretense, he tells it like he sees it and he obviously does his homework.

    So having gained that basic level of education, I am ready now to start waving placards and demanding that our elected servants of the people stop dragging us down a slippery slope of increased government and increased taxation in the name of saving the planet. Hopefully others will not take so long to get up the required head of steam to do likewise.

  56. Bruce of Newcastle said

    PhD chemistry and over 20 yrs chem eng R&D. Pre-Climategate I assumed AGW was true and was mulling whether to submit geoengineering proposal based on stratospheric TiO2 dispersal, but when Climategate came I went through the available data and decided that CAGW was overhyped – I think we have about 0.3 C/century from greenhouse gases, the rest being UHI and cyclically related artefacts of the 1979 launch date of the first satellite at the bottom of the PDO cycle and of the recent increases in urbanisation.

    So I don’t bother with the geoengineering idea anymore, on the data it looks unnecessary.

  57. telecorder said

    Guess I’ll be one of the first to admit to some inside knowledge about the CAGW fallacy. As my web name would indicate, I’m a former USAF weather forecaster.

    Back in 1968, the height of Viet Nam, I found that I was due to be drafted after dropping a calculus class at the local college (messed up my full-time college student status) so I went into the USAF. Because of my college classes completed in math/chem, I was assigned to weather observing school and spent 4-years doing 24-hr/day shift work observing, encoding, plotting and maintaining weather data, including assisting in rawinsonde sampling of the upper atmosphere in the Aleutian Islands in the early 70’s. This was just at the advent of actually having access to the first satellite images of the synoptic weather systems.

    Applied for and went through the USAF weather forecasting school, graduating at top of my class. [The final exam was over 3-days where we were fed actual legacy teletype wx data in the days before a tremendous tornadic outbeak in the mid-West; Passing meant we were able to issue a tornado warning box ~2″ x 4″ on a 40″ x 40″ map of 5 states with at least one actual tornado being reported within our warning area… 0.5% of the map’s area!)

    Interestingly, I was offered an opportunity to be shipped TDY for 4-years around the world to any/all of the world’s solar observatories to learn the new field of ‘solar (Wx) forecasting’ — Unfortunately, I already had orders for a sunny southern California base and, because the solar forecasting offer included the hitch that I’d have to come back and teach solar forecasting for 4-years, I passed. Hindsight is always 20-20, eh?

    Another interesting tidbit is that one of my class room mates was sent to Randolph AFB where he helped developed the new computer models for wx forecasting. As he described it, they utilized actual upper air rawinsonde data, approximated a cube of the atmosphere at 500-mb and did a time-progression of what modifications it would probably undergo. This approach later proved to be a great improvement for increasing the accuracy of local forecasts out between 12-36 hours over our individual artistic approaches.

    I spent two years forecasting en route weather for military pilots out to Guam and local base forecasts — All with only ship reports and an occassional satellite image or two. And, yes, one of my hot & sunny summer forecasts for the day wound up being a bust with a thunderstorm and tornado touching down…

    Fast forward to today, the last 13+ years have found me involved with sampling and remediation of subsurface ground water impacted by contamination (Fluid dynamics is still fluid dynamics…) And, since 1979, I’ve been a member of an Air Pollution Hearing board in a quasi-judicial regulatory position. With this history/experiences, I believe I have some insight into the issues at hand. And, oh, I did go back to receive degrees in Math & Science…

    Call me a skeptic but lets not be so presumptuous or arrogant to assume that we fully comprehend, much less understand one of the most unique, dynamic, complex, inter-related and (highly likely) self-regulating planetary biospheres known and that we can, currently, conclusively predict, much less model to ANY degree of certainty. Gads, we haven’t even been fully able to measure/understand the historical record of our planet’s ‘Climate Change’ available much less measure/model/understand/predict the current and/or future of it. To me, geologists and their investigations of the geological record are more likely to offer the best historical insights into our past climate regimes than any purported ‘Climatologist’ of today…

    IMHO, the IPCC and CAGW is a political scam at it’s rankest and will be shown to be such…

  58. KimW said

    I have a somewhat electic background, I graduated BSc in geology under a enormously capable and forthright Professor, promptly joined the NZ Army as a professional soldier and eventually commissioned into the Royal NZ Engineers. Left as a Major after 21 years, back to academia and got a MSc(Hons) in Geology, a teaching diploma and became a Secondary school science teacher.

    I started to query the AGW viewpoint from the first time it got mentioned. My geology background and the military training kept me asking ” Where is the basis for that assumption, what is the error bar, why does this not gel with historical reports from as far back as Rome ?”. As to the Ice Ages and previous climate of the Earth being considered, all I got was this obssession with CO2. Combing the blogosphere, I found CO2 Science, Climate Audit and the like who used reasoning similar to myself. On the other side, I got appeals to authority, no rigor, and a faith based belief in CO2 and more than a taste of refusal to look at all the evidence.

    My fellow teachers swallowed the AGW line hook, line and sinker. My sister-in-law, a PhD in protein Chemistry, asked me, ” so you are right and every other scientist in the world is wrong?”.
    I would quote Oliver Cromwell back to them, ” Consider it possible that you may be wrong”. I think that the AGW obsession is the biggest scam and delusion unleashed on the human race.

  59. Curt said

    BS and MS in mechanical engineering. Graduate concentration in feedback control systems, including stochastic (statistical) controls (which gives me a head start when the discussion veers into covariance and correlation matrices). Significant course work also in thermo, heat transfer, and fluid dynamics. Professional career in electromechanical control systems, mostly industrial, but have worked on many electric and hybrid-vehicle designs and several wind-turbine generation designs.

    Father was a PhD physical chemist, older brother is a PhD geophysicist. I reckon our dinnertime conversations were not like most families’.

    I started looking into AGW issues 5 or 6 years ago, bothered by sensationalist headlines (which do not by themselves discredit the science, of course — journalists are overwhelmingly clueless about technical issues of all stripes). First found RealClimate, but it quickly put my internal BS detector into overdrive, both by its technical claims and its general attitude. Searched around some more, and found Climate Audit, which is still my favorite, as it is more careful than most skeptic and alarmist sites.

    The more I read, the more skeptical I became. My overriding conclusion is that we really don’t know squat about much of anything regarding climate. Virtually none of our measurements are good enough over a long enough period of time to say anything definitive. Even when they are, we don’t have the analytical or computational framework yet to do much with them.

    I’m also appalled at the quality of the great majority of what passes for climate science, and the mindset of the core group of climate scientists. The Climategate e-mails did not really surprise me, although it did answer my question as to whether they were true believers or not.

    If I had to put money on it, I’d bet on the “lukewarmer” camp — that our increase in CO2 has some warming effect. I’d also bet that the effect is small enough that it would be very hard to separate from natural and other anthropogenic (e.g. land-use) effects. Further, I think it’s likely that a warmer world and/or a CO2-enriched world will likely be, on balance, a better world.

  60. Bill Burk said

    I am a retired technical writer who spent 50 years doing that work that the engineers and scientists do not like to do themselves – that is technical reports! So I am obligated to them for giving me a lifetime occupation. Was trained in engineering first, then the earth sciences, later history, and finally a degree in anthropology (the archaeological side). Like Tom Fuller I was a electronic technician in the Navy, later involved with some cutting edge projects at Hughes Aircraft (THAT was a neat place to work, if there ever was one), and have always looked at scientific novelties from the skeptical viewpoint, especially since the ‘Piltdown Man’ experience had so shamed most all my comrades in the biological and social sciences. Having a great familiarity with the essence of logical fallecisms and the use of statistics in support of frauds, I was first naturally drawn to Steve Milloy’s Junkscience website, from there developing an acquaintance with John Daly’s excellent work, which made more sense than the AGW nonsense, which seemed to all originate in secret cells containing secret machines, running secret data through secret algorithms. When the attempt to remove the MWP from the historical record began, I was overjoyed to find McIntyre’s website (and see his and McKittrick’s audit reports), and realized the truth of the old adage that ‘the truth will out’. Have rarely contributed comments, and then only to register my disgust with tree-ring data being used for anything other than archaeological dating, those comments probably considered too extreme, and have been generally deleted. The entire controversy is more interesting to me from the political standpoint, and am aware as the others posting here that the outcome may be not only life-threatening for some (mainly the poorer folk) but liberty threatening for many.

  61. Dave Dardinger said

    I have BS in Chemistry with essentially a double minor in Math and Physics and a MS in Biochemistry from Purdue. I never really used my degrees, however, spending 20 years in field heat treating. Got interested in climate science about when Mann et. al. 1998 came out. Doubted AGW from the start, but figured I should go find some of the sites which I assumed existed where you could go drill down as far as you wanted to look at the science behind AGW. Funny thing… I’m still looking for such a site rather than a bunch of propaganda mills. OTOH, sites such as this, CA and WUWT do essentially from the anti-CAGW side and serve much the same purpose.

  62. Gary P said

    I have a BS in physics and work on abrasive materials for semiconductor processing. Its a interesting field as a it is often a struggle to figure out what the key variable is for a new process. There have been many humbling experiences as we tried to optimize the wrong variable that turns out to have a minor effect and missed the important variable. Kind of like trying to come up with a climate model and using CO2 as the dominant variable. I do a little modeling, just simple things in spreadsheets, and learned it was kind of fun to use random numbers to simulate measurement errors to see if our typical measurements would allow us to extract out the original inputs to the model. I was rather stunned to see that people like Mann failed to do such an elementary test and Steve McIntyre was able to humiliate him by showing the Mannomatic would create a hockey stick from sets of random numbers.

    I really got started on investigating AGW from a ridiculous article in the Skeptical Inquirer. This is a magazine that investigates the claims of the paranormal. By the time I got done reading the article I thought the rest of the magazine would be claiming UFO’s, bigfoot, and dowsing all were real. To give them a chance I decided to look up a couple of their references including one debunking cosmic rays as having an effect on climate. The peer reviewed reference article was so full of holes I went to the original paper by Svensmark and have been hooked ever since.

    Thanks to all the commentators on various sites, some of my naive misconceptions have been corrected and I am working on My Own Pet Theory. No one has had any comments shooting me down on my latest idea, so maybe this time I am getting beyond the naive stage. The latest book I am reading is “A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation.” I wish I could understand Miskolczi’s paper.

  63. chris y said

    I have a BS double major in EE and honors physics, an MS and a PhD in EE (I was at Cornell when the Apartheid shantytown took over the arts quad in the late 1980’s). I’ve been doing R&D in sensors and optics at big corporations, start-ups and now in my own business for more than 20 years, with 35+ patents and lots of publications in the peerreviewedlitchurcher (PRL). My overall impression of PRL in EE is that 90% of the articles contain errors or are plain wrong. Mushy sciences like Climatology are much worse.

    Ten years ago I thought AGW was a done deal. McIntyre’s exploration of the hockey stick convinced me that paleo climate science is for the most part absolute junk. Anything touched by Mann is most likely junk. I regularly visit here, WUWT (since its inception), ClimateAudit, Icecap, Clamor of the times, Numberwatch, Motl’s site TRF and a few others. McIntyre’s link at ClimateAudit actually exposed me to Dot Earth and Andy Revkin, which makes for very entertaining reading.

    As to the impact of Jeff’s efforts here- I had a set of ceramic tiles made with the pic-a-temp-trend-in-Antarctica that was beautifully explored here.

    Keep up the great work.

  64. Ryan O said

    BS in physics from USNA. Served my Navy time on submarines. Now work at a medical device company as the lead engineer in charge of vertically integrating metal injection molding.

    I got interested in AGW after browsing around at RC for a bit and getting curious as to why Siberia was always RED RED RED in GISTEMP, despite the fact that Weather Underground indicated an unusually cold winter.

    Then I got distracted by Antarctica. :D

  65. Actually Thoughtful said

    I really didn’t want to respond to this thread. I fear my background will be used as a reason to ignore and belittle the points I make.

    However, no one has posted to say why they lean towards AGW. So I am stepping where angels fear to tread….

    My academic background is BS in Philosophy, Economics, and Government. I entered a PhD program at Cornell in Economics, and left shortly thereafter, sans a degree, but with the knowledge that the academic world was not for me. Academics are not practical enough for me. So I got into practical economics with Habitat for Humanity.

    I had a career in Information Systems with HfH, from desktop support to database architecture to designing the information architecture for a staff of 600, spread around the world. Interesting work, but very static (sitting on my ass).

    My next career was building houses. Been there done that.

    Currently designing and installing solar thermal systems that accomplish space heating in a winter climate. We have achieved 75% of the total load, and are seeking 100% by utilizing annual storage methods. This is 40-60% of a typical families energy usage, so not a trivial exercise.

    Finally found something both fun and challenging to me.

    I started out thinking AGW made sense. I have since found out that some scientists exaggerated their claims. Most notably the hockey stick. But as my own reading indicates the whole field of paleo-temperature reconstructions is fraught with error (funny we know what elements are in the sun, but can’t tell a convincing story about the temperature of our own planet in the past).

    So I am more interested in the data since the advent of the instrumentation period. I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories. (as has been noted – people aren’t good at keeping secrets…).

    So far I find that measurable warming has occurred. That measurable CO2 is coming from man’s actions. That the beloved glaciers in Glacier National Park are retreating. That the forest I live is dieing – attributable to climate change (as far as I know). And all of this from ~1.6C

    I find the AGW theory, in general hangs together. I keep looking for a get-out-of-warming free card (and don’t worry about my career – fuel prices alone already make my work affordable to my customers – more so as the economy recovers and it becomes harder and harder to find that cheap fossil fuel).

    I enjoy cold weather (yes, from the comfort of my solar heated home). I think a few degrees (F) won’t help or hurt us very much. I find skeptic arguments are usually flawed. I find AGW arguments also flawed, but not at the big picture level. I don’t honestly know the answer.

    Maybe this will best indicate my level of knowledge and climate sophistication: I think if we find Trenberth’s missing heat inside the envelope it is time to stop pretending the planet is not heating.

    If we find it outside the envelope (ie there is no heat) – it is time to stop pretending the planet is heating.

    I am curious what other folks would find as the smoking gun that the planet is heating, to a point of concern, from AGW, and what would convince you it absolutely is not warming from AGW – maybe those questions are a different topic.

    I do appreciate honest, civil debate, and I’m not above taking the gloves off and participating in uncivil debate.

  66. I’m impressed by the backgrounds listed here. Lots of PHDs in chemistry, very interesting.

    I’m getting my BA in Political Science in a couple weeks. I became interested in AGW because of the political aspect of it. Once I investigated the science, I realized that it there was no political ‘aspect’ at all. It was entirely political. My site reflects that, I have a fairly large section on politicians and I devote some of my blogging to the politics of climate change.

    I do believe that CO2 can slightly increase temps, but the ‘solutions’ presented by politicians and governments do nothing to address this (as if they could) and the whole thing has become a poorly-veiled power grab.

    Stay skeptical.

  67. Michael D said

    I’ve never posted before but I am a frequent reader. I’ve spent the past 30 years of my career developing renewable resources. Sounds good to greenies and others. I’ve been developing the road systems for harvesting timber on Federal Lands. I have a BS in Forestry and Civil Engineering. I’ve been following some the skeptical climate blogs (CA tAV and WUWT) for the last couple of years. I tried reading the CAGW blogs but they lost me real quick after reading the comments of their posters. Seemed like a lot of attacking, name calling, and no respect for opposing views. I find some interesting parallels between climate science and a lot of the natural resource fields, much of the science appears to be advocacy with a little science sprinkled in to support their views. Hopefully lessons learned from Climategate will spur some reform from political advocacy science that seems prevalent in some fields.

    I guess I’d be a luke warm denialist. I started out as a greenie back in the seventies, but i am pretty much disgusted with them now. I still heat my house with fire wood and have an organic veggie garden.

  68. R Shearer said

    Nice to read the above.

    I’m a PhD analytical chemist. Got interested in chemistry through gun powder and bomb-making and rocketry in elementary school, when you could buy saltpeter (KNO3) at the drug store, and water-proof fuse at the hobby store. Back then the library was the internet, but I learned through experimentation, and I still have all my fingers despite a few near misses.

    When my older brother dropped out of college to get married during Vietnam war; I acquired his freshman chemistry texts. This served me well later as I advanced placed (5) out of general chemistry as an undergraduate. I was hooked and have always loved science and chemistry. I can still make a mean smoke bomb, but I avoid explosions as they are not politically correct. I tend to be a conservative Libertarian and more often than not cast my ballots for the losers (literally and figuratively) especially in Presidential elections.

    I used to defend AGW; took it for granted. I began questioning it when W Bush jumped on board. I now know that AGW is greatly exaggerated.

  69. Don B said

    These bios are so very interesting. I had not intended to comment when I read this topic this morning, as I generally comment here, and infrequently, as a generalist, not qualified to do the deep statistics.

    My degrees are in Electrical Engineering and Math, having majored in Engineering Physics for a couple of years. After school went in a different career direction and became wildly interested in finance.

    Until a couple of years ago, not having read anything but the popular press on the subject, I accepted the IPCC version of global warming, more or less. Then the Oregon State University alumni weekly e-bulletin had a few articles about George Taylor, long time state climatologist, who was leaving OSU, and some authors alleged that the Oregon Governor had forced him from his position because Taylor believed in natural cycles, not CO2 alarmism. I was apalled, and began reading blogs suggested by one of the authors, such as icecap, WUWT and some others.

    One of those blogs linked to an article that a Peter Taylor was to give a talk on Earth Day 2008 in Sussex about an alternative theory that the sun, clouds and ocean cycles had much effect on climate. The local paper had no follow-up article, so I wrote the enviornmental reporter to ask about the presentation. She replied she had not heard the speech, but was of the opinion whatever he said could not be true, or words to that effect. I passed that on to Taylor, bought his book “Chill” when it came out, and we have infrequently corresponded.

    Final vignette. Last summer, or was it earlier, Chris Mathews Hardball had a debate between an AGW supporter and a sceptic. In the wrap-up Mathews was condescending to the sceptic, and his questions indicated that a sceptic must be an anti-science, right wing Creationist. I wrote a civil letter to Mathews telling him of non-US scientists, sceptical of the alarmist view, who could not be any of the things Mathews implied; there was no response.

  70. Charlie A said

    I’m kind of late to the party. About a year ago I decided on a whim to follow up on some article on climate change. The more I looked, the more shaky the science and studies looked. IIRC, what caught my attention was Mann’s reconstruction that determined that there are now more hurricanes each year than back in the MWP.

    Looking at other articles by Mann, I stumbled into Jeff Id’s excellent Hockey Stick posts, and from that into Steve McIntyre’s blog and his efforts on freeing the data.

    Like several others on this blog, I’m an electrical engineer.
    It seems like the engineering field tends to have more than its share of climate sceptics and political conservatives. My guess is that electrical engineers are used to dealing with electrical circuits or other that don’t care about my opinions and feelings, so real observations and designs based on good engineering are what count.

  71. Frank K. said

    Wow…great posts from all.

    My background is in mechanical engineering, in which I have a BS, MS, and Ph.D. Between my masters and Ph.D. I worked in the aerospace industry, specifically in turbomachinery (aircraft engines) in the late 80s. It was there that I got interested in computational fluid dynamics. At that time, the only way you could develop codes was to go back to school to get a Ph.D., so that I did.

    I have always had an interest in the weather as well. In fact, for a class project in my graduate fluid dynamics course, I decided to write a code to solve the barotropic vorticity equation, which can approximately forecast the wind flow at altitude. It was modestly successful, and I even decided to get a book on computational meteorology to read for “pleasure”. But I never went beyond that.

    Following my Ph.D. I worked at another aircraft engine company doing CFD, then later landed a position at a major developer of general-purpose CFD software. I have been there ever since, and have basically spent the bulk of my career in the CFD software business doing support, development, and documentation.

    My interest in AGW ramped up quickly after Al Gore’s movie and the ridiculous claims made by climatologists about hurricane Katrina (people who obviously had never heard of hurricane Camille). My BS meter went full tilt, and I sought out resources from the internet. I came across Climate Audit and the climate website of Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. (whose views on numerical modeling, predictability, and anthropogenic effects on climate in general have heavily influenced mine). That’s also where Anthony Watts got started and I have followed his surface stations project ever since (which, of course, was closely was followed by WUWT).

    My interest in climate modeling (and numerical weather prediction in general) naturally led me to examine the numerical algorithms being employed by the modelers. Some groups, I found, did a good and thorough enough job documenting what they did, and I could follow most of the methodologies being presented. They actually wrote out the differential equations they were solving! Then there was the GISS Model E – what a piece of crud! After examining the source code and lack of documentation, I couldn’t believe people were actually using it for expensive climate simulations. Yet there it was being used to generate “results” so that GISS could create press release after press release of climate scare stories. I remember Gavin Schmidt famously telling us in a blog post that he wasn’t paid to document his code – he was paid to do science!

    I have since been following climategate and related misbehavior by some in the climate science community. I am fully convinced at this stage that the climate BS being pushed in the political arena is due first and foremost to the huge amount of money being spent on this enterprise (which could be much better spent, say, feeding the hungry, finding new sources of energy, curing disease, etc.). I mean, these people can’t even predict the climate ** six months from now ** much less 100 years from now…

    I look for the day when the AGW “fad” has run its course, the climate charlatans have been defunded, and we can get back to sensible strategies for sustainable living on this planet – not because the polar icecap is going to melt to nothing (it won’t) but because they will actually make our quality of life ** better **.

  72. Geoff Sherrington said

    17 Steven Mosher

    We are seeing here a lot of experience, which can come with age. Much of it is hands on. I suspect that this shows in the comparison with deltoid by Tom Fuller. Also, in the 1960s here in Oz, one had to have exceptional circumstances to get to a Ph.D., like a scholarship or family wealth, both of which were scarce so soon after WWII.

    Reading above reminds me of the story of the old bull and the young bull, when the fence fell down to the cow paddock. The young bull said “Let’s whip in and knock off a couple of them”. The old bull said “No, we’ll calmly walk in and knock off the lot”.

    I’m a B.Sc., qualified for M.Sc, submitted a thesis while bouncing a boy on the knee (Hi Jeff) but let it lapse in need of a tidy up. Had already done 2 1/2 years Aero Engineering starting 1959 at the Air Force Academy + Sydney Uni as well. Invalided out after a car crash with brain damage. This led my later careeer moving to the politics of Government Relations (set a thief to catch a thief), helping get clearances for quite large projects. Earlier, I had researched plant nutrition at junior level with CSIRO, set up a private lab to use this knowledge, thus getting exposed to spectroscopy, then when the nickel boom ended, got into mineral exploration at Chief Geochemist for a very successful and large outfit that had just discovered the Ranger Uranium deposits in 1969. Helped design and manage a large aerial geophysical survey of parts of Persia under the Shah, managed a pilot plant making synthetic rutile using 10 tonnes a day of pressurised chlorine gas at 1050 deg C in a town (ref Precautionary Principle), helped make maps from Landsat bitstream satellite data, got involved in geostatistics, gave some invited overseas lectures on geochem, took some Federal Ministers to the High Court for being naughty, did a carbon balance for our resources company of about 4,000 people about 1992 (maybe a world first?), worked with QC barristers to draft and submit a new minerals Bill for Parliament to consider (they did not), set up a polling organisation for head office staff after work, did 18 months of research with high-powered CO2 and YAG lasers, attanded monthly management meetings of our large forestry, pulp and paper subsidiary, studied natural transport of radon gas, worked with Australian Aborignal groups about land rights and archaeology, made a number of private visits to west China to set up new projects, wrote a manual on quality control of chemical analysis and a draft on corporate governance, was a Fellow or Member of about 5 Learned Societies at various times (now lapsed). Currently working informally on some projects using FLIR cameras on aerial platforms.

    Heck, It’s all mixed up, jack of all trades, master of none stuff.

    In the early 1970s, unscientific actions of groups like Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, etc re nuclear power were grouping against us and I spent considerable time with the techniques of protest. Warwick Hughes brought us a document in 1991 about shakey numbers from CRU when I was meeting monthly with the Tasman Institute think tank on selection and funding of projects. This led to closer examination of climate science, found dismal standards. We did not then forecast that the damage done by the IPCC et al would be so global because we did not believe that so many policy makers could be so gullible. Now I use the analogy of the mythical 7-headed hydra. You cut off one head and seven more worse ones grow. Fortunately, activism is running out of hydra-imagination.

    I no not find it necessary nor desirable to state a personal position on global warming, any more than there was room for a personal opinion on whether a new mineral discovery would eventually become a mine. A personal opinion does not substitute for the reality of the numbers. You work with what you have.

    From the early 1980s, newspapers had publised several hundred of my letters. Then science blogging came along and at once, Climate Audit was tops. The world would be the worse for its absence. This comment is not meant to reduce the importance of tAV.

  73. S. Geiger said

    Another erstwhile AGW believer set on the road to conversion by Gavin’s rhetorical acumen :-) It was about 5 or more years ago and I, believing RC was about ‘truth’, got caught up in a debate between Gavin and Peilke Jr (something about hurricane incidence). Anyway, it didn’t take long after that to realize that Gavin (and his flock) was arguing AGW nonobjectively and that no essentially no fault could be found in any pro-AGW paper. A while later I started digging into the dendro stuff thanks to S. McIntyre. Even if you don’t ‘get’ all the stats…you can still tell a HELL of a lot by the way folks argue their points. Gained great respect for McIntyre.

    I do believe in some degree of AGW. I’m unconvinced on the level (or sign) of feedbacks. I’m REALLY unconvinced that there has been reasonable discussion/analysis on the costs of AGW should it be realized in moderate levels (2+ deg C).

    MS Civil Eng; PhD Enviro Eng.; practicing civil engineer.

  74. Carrick said

    Ph.D. physics. My graduate work was in experimental gravity (mostly phenomenological, but I’ve got a couple of experimental papers under my belt). Since then, after a short stint in high energy physics with the aborted SSC, I’ve mostly been involved with acoustics related topics (hearing research, outdoor sound propagation, infrasound), including modeling, phenomenology and measurement.

    One of my creations.

    3 Hobo met stations, 2 Campbell Scientific CSAT-3 and 16 B&K 4191 mikes, part of a nocturnal boundary layer experiment. The tower is a ’tilt up’ prebuilt. Data collection on a Macintosh computer using 2 daisy chained MOTU-828 firewire audio interfaces. Software for data collection was written by me (fun problem–16 channels at 44100 samples/second @ 24 bits each channel). Shown are my colleagues Roger and Rick. That was a cheap Walmart-grade table, and yes it is bowing “slightly” under the weight, LOL.

  75. TA said

    I did very well in math and science in high school, and could have pursued a career in it, but chose a humanities major instead. I grew up in a very liberal family and for many years was totally convinced in the rightness of AGW. Looking back, I’m quite amazed that I was so convinced. I was basically taking people’s word for it without looking at evidence or looking at arguments from both sides of the question.

    Later, my politics changed, but my belief in AGW remained–although I was now at least open to the possibility that it could be wrong. From time to time I would come across something by a skeptic, and it didn’t necessarily seem completely nuts.

    More recently, I saw the political forces on the march with AGW, so I decided I needed to get to the bottom of it and really look at the evidence on both sides. If AGW is a credible threat to the future, then of course I would need to get behind some solution regardless of politics. However, the more I looked into it, the more the skeptics seemed to make sense. Not all of them, but it really only takes one missing horseshoe nail for the whole CAGW thing to fail.

    (As an aside, someone really should tell certain skeptics that they can’t simultaneously be arguing that CO2 couldn’t possibly make any difference because there’s so little of it AND that adding more CO2 to the atmosphere couldn’t possibly make a difference because the atmosphere has already reached saturation with CO2 absorption. Things like this prolonged my search for the truth. At the very least they should be pointing out that at most, one of those arguments could be correct.)

    I’m now with the skeptics in the sense that I don’t believe AGW people have met their burden of proof, nor that the AGW people are being honest. At this point, the AGW people have to be completely transparent first, before I could possibly be convinced they are correct. At the same time, I attempt to remain skeptical of the skeptics, too, because I do not wish to be fooled again through simply taking people’s word for things.

  76. Cement a friend said

    I did a degree in Chemical Engineering (BE(Chem)) and many years latter a MBA which took in economics, statistics, law etc. I became a consultant on a range of issues from process plant design and commissioning, alternative fuel usage, co-generation, feasibility studies to marketing and management related issues.
    I became interested in climate issues particularly CO2 emissions in recent years because of government departments setting up and requiring data from larger companies. I felt from my experience and knowledge of heat transfer, measurements, and data analysis that there was something wrong about measurements (lack of and accuracy), calculations, projections and lack of knowledge from those employed. I have read lots (please note De Witt Payne) of books and papers and happy to learn more. That is why I welcome technical discussions on this site, on WUWT, Niche Modeling, the Reference Frame, Beyond Lanscheidt, Climate Science, Physic.com etc
    However, I do not welcome abuse or people who just say to anyone they are wrong without explanation.

  77. I’ve had this in my mental background for awhile. I always had my suspicions about AGW, but it never was at the top of the list until Climategate hit the fan. Since then I’ve been appalled at what has been going on. It seems there are new problems with what is going on about every day. I’m not a scientist but I do have what I consider to be a fairly good BS Meter, and I wasn’t born yesterday. I try and look at both sides, but what I see comimg from the alarmist camp doesn’t impress me very much as it usually screams coverup and that it’s going to be a money-maker for people like Al Gore.

  78. LC said

    Well, here’s my two pennies worth. I grew up in England in the sixties (I’m 55 now) and back then you left school at 15 and went to work. If you wanted to get into Uni or any other further education, you had to stay on at school for a further year to get your “O Levels” and maybe even longer to get your “A Levels” first. I came from a very poor background and even though grant aid was available back then, it didn’t cover everything and my family was in no position to be able to help me. I was a very bright kid though and I dearly wanted to be an archaeologist. However, that wasn’t to be. No complaints though, I ended up in the construction industry and started my own little company which I eventually sold. That gave me financial security and enabled me to do other things. I now part-own a couple of restaurants (I love to cook) with an old friend and that takes up most of my time.

    I remember, of course, the “Ice-age” scare of the 70s. There was a lot more written about it at the time than some people claim. However, it didn’t last long and soon the fuss died away. I first heard about AGW somewhere around the mid 80s. Now, I didn’t know a great deal about physics, but what little I did know, led me to believe the theory. It seemed perfectly logical to me and I had no reason to doubt it. Anyway, I didn’t investigate any further and put it to the back of my mind. I assumed that the scientists knew what they were talking about and that they would eventually come up with the necessary solutions. I pretty much ignored it from then on. Gores film came and went without me ever seeing it (never have been much of a tv watcher) and much of the hooha passed me by. Then, a couple of years ago, it dawned on me that it was becoming more and more contentious and that I really ought to take a closer look. On doing so, one of the first things I found was the infamous “hockey stick”. Close inspection of this set all sorts of alarm bells ringing in my head. History is my “thing” and I knew all about the MWP and the LIA and this study had almost done away with both. That was enough to prompt me to make a really serious attempt to at least try to understand the science and thinking behind AGW. Since then, I have read dozens of studies and papers – not understanding 90% of them but persevering in order to glean the 10% that I did understand. I have read the blogs on both sides of the argument, again not always understanding everything I was reading, but picking up enough to help me come to my own conclusions. I rarely comment (I usually find any questions or comments I might have on the posts, have likely as not been addressed by one of the other commenters) but I read, read and read again.

    Now, I am no “thicko”. I may not have the qualifications of many of those on this site, but I have a higher than average IQ (used to be a member of Mensa – until I realised that they don’t actually “do” very much) and I’ve always considered myself to have clear, logical and open thought processes. I can pretty much follow an argument. Besides, I’ve been around a long time and nothing teaches you more about life than life itself :) Like many here, I would consider myself to be a “lukewarmer”. I do believe we are having an impact upon our climate, but I think that impact is small and is being overridden by natural cyclic activity. I have no problem with governments encouraging the use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind where possible (even at their current level of technology) but this should be be very much restricted to “encouragement” and not legislation. Despite what the “greens” may think, “Big Oil” is not stupid. “Big Oil” knows that eventually fossil fuels will run out. Does anyone seriously think that when that happens, “Big Oil” is just going to pack up, say “ta very much” and go on home? Of course not. They are going to want to be at the forefront of whatever technology comes next, so that they can continue to make money for their investors. I have every confidence that well before that time, we will have moved on to whatever energy source(s) that turns out to be.

    My favourites are tAV, CA, Blackboard, BH. I go to others such as WUWT and the Pielkes quite often too. I try to read RC, Tamino and Romm regularly to try to keep some balance, but they do make it hard don’t they?

  79. Cool Carrick.

    Working at Creative labs I’ve “seen” some very cool things in audio that I bet you would have loved.
    My favorite was this kids project

    And if you know what you are doing you can use the technology to make a cone of silence

  80. WillR said

    My background is eclectic – like some others here. It starts in math veers off into electronics and engineering and then veers back into math. I do have some wallpaper here somewhere, that I got many years ago. It’s still in the original envelope. I really must look at my qualifications someday. Compared to most here I’m probably the least educated. I am not a particularly good student anyway.

    Most of the last 15 years has been spent in designing and modeling large systems of hundreds of entities where each piece in the system is an independent entity with it’s own resource and scheduling algorithm and it’s own goal seeking algorithm – all reporting to a “master algorithm” with goal seeking, that sets overall resource management and time based goals. I guess there are some similarities to how climate works – maybe, I guess. Anyway for those interested it is a variation of NP problems with network and topology thrown in to muddy the water. It can be used (and has been used successfully) to model distribution, manufacturing, employee scheduling or similar in real time. The algorithms usually include real-time feedback to monitor the accuracy of the scheduling/resource allocation and of course to modify the predictions on the fly as rates of production or process changes become obvious from recorded data. It is further modified by dispatching algorithms that modify the incoming goals/production requirements as requirements change. Anyway that’s the best simple English explanation I can give of the type of work. The math can be a little convoluted. These are not demonstration systems, but live systems.

    I got there from R&D type work, and designing systems for people with manufacturing, or scheduling issues where they had dynamic environments. Originally I did math and communications projects, and later added electronics and systems design usually for universities and resource companies. As I did more projects with universities I started doing some research and design and teaching with them, and occasionally got involved (on the periphery) in climate or maybe what should be called environmental projects. From my point of view minimal use of raw materials and energy to make processed goods was a “good thing”.

    My involvement with the climate debate came when people tried to explain to me how modeling works, and why climate models are correct. Knowing what I did about models made me believe that within the bounds of the resource inputs, the dispatch algorithms and the capabilities of the process… I could make my models produce the answer my clients desired to see. Yes that is valid because we can’t produce more than the process/machine capacity or the availability of resources allowed. But within those bounds, it was always a question like, what do you value more? Time, Money, resource usage, waste, energy cost???? A balance?

    Then I started to wonder if Climate Models could be trained to give “desired answers”. Then I got introduced to Principal Component Analysis and I felt I had my answer. Mostly now, I just try to understand how the debate got where it is.

    As for research — lately I have not taken any NRC money and feel the better for it. All the work I do is paid for by me or someone else with an interest in the solution, or methodology. No public money.

  81. UC said

    MSc, PhD. Some 8 years ago I saw the MBH99 hockey stick and immediately wondered how they got so bloody accurate temperature results from tree rings. So far, I have not found an answer (MBH99 CIs remain a mystery)!

  82. HotRod said

    LC #77 – love the last line especially: ‘I try to read RC, Tamino and Romm regularly to try to keep some balance, but they do make it hard don’t they?’

  83. Dr Phillip Bratby said

    BSc and PhD in physics in the UK. Retired from working in the commercial nuclear industry.

    I got interested in the climate change debate when I saw “The Great Global Warming Swindle”, because I was at college with Piers Corbyn, and he was one of the really bright guys in our year.

    Having worked for many years with complex system computer models which were thoroughly verified and validated against a vast array of experimental data, are well documented and used under strict QA ruless, I had no faith whatsoever in the predictions (projections) of GCMs, given their lack of validation, their unsupported feedback assumptions and generally poor quality control.

    The more I have looked into the physical processes in the climate system, the more sceptical I have become of the role of CO2 in the climate, our poor understanding of the climate and the worthlessness of GCMs.

    RealClimate was an eye-opener into the corrupt world of much of climate science.

    ClimateAudit, WUWT, Bishop Hill, this blog and many others are a world of sanity. Thank goodness for the internet and dedicated amateur (but thoroughly professional) bloggers such as Jeff Id.

    I have been opposing wind farm developments in the UK for a variety of reasons, not least because they are a fall-out from the climate change scam.

  84. Layman Lurker said

    Jeff, this is one of the coolest threads that tAV has ever hosted. I see the quality of readership as a proxy for the quality of the blog. How could an AGW advocate look at something like this and dismiss this as a crank denialist blog?

    B.Sc. (Agriculture) majoring in economics. My education may have been the most inspiring and enlightening period of my life. Of the greatest influence on me were those professors who were dedicated to the spirit of science and the scientific method. It was in their hearts and they came to the classrooms every day with a twinkle in their eye. I have been fortunate to have had some modest success in business – which I am convinced would never have been possible without the influence of these wonderful individuals. I am forever grateful to them.

    After Inconvenient Truth, I had no doubts and no reason to question AGW. It was when I heard a news report (roughly 2 years ago or so) about Steve McIntyre and the hockey stick controversy that I became curious. I found my way to CA and read occasionally at first. Intrigued by the hockey stick and climate reconstructions in general, I went to RC and Open Mind to seek a balanced perspective and hoping for a point/counterpoint response to the specific questions raised by Steve. I found the science unsatisfying and was appalled at the arrogant dismissiveness of the hosts and overzeolous personal attacks on the comment threads. I saw the frustration of skeptics trying to post dispassionate, reasonable arguments only to be “screened”, while the mindless attacks and smear got a pass.

    When it comes to AGW I am most interested in the statistical methods used in the paleo reconstructions….Mann, Steig, Kaufman, Briffa, etc. because with a couple of classes in stats and one in econometrics I can work through and understand most of the posts and can participate in discussions after some study.

    I found my way to Jeff’s blog shortly after he started tAV via Jeff’s comments at CA. After reading his hockey stick stuff for a couple of months I started to comment during the NSIDC sea ice / Tamino adventure (Dec ’08).

    Jeff has a gem of a blog. For anyone who did not follow tAV since the early stages, I would recommend reading the posts on Mann ’08, then move on to Steig. Reading through the posts during the Steig deconstruction, it is especially fascinating to follow the evolution of analysis as the collaborators come on board…..Ryan, Nic, Roman.

    Seeing the quality readers which Jeff has here, there is definitely more to look forward to in the future.

  85. Graeme From Melbourne said

    Majored in the History and Philosophy of Science, with a Minor in Pure Math (Abstract Algebra, Analysis, etc) then followed up with Computer Science and a 10 year career in Software Engineering.

    I had no special interest in either weather or climate, and prior to the middle of 2008 no more awareness of “Man Made Global Warming” than the drivel that shows up in the MSM.

    I chanced across Climate Audit and the sea ice thread, as the arctic ice was ‘rebounding’ from the 2007 melt which grabbed my attention as the MSM was not reporting it. That site also switched me on to the poor (fraudlent) practices of the hockey stick team. Bad processes get up my nose (ref my profession…).

    What I have learned. [1] A huge amount of weather and climate related facts and sciences. [2] that we humans don’t know much and can predict even less about the weather and climate. [3] that there are political and financial forces at work that are completely divorced from the science, and who are using science as a fig leaf for their own purposes. [4] that the MSM mostly does not report the news and mostly does not report the facts. [5] Now I’m obsessed by the political, financial and sociological dimensions of the MMGW phenomenon and frankly, uppermost in my mind, is trying to find ways to protect myself and my family from the fallout of the utterly destructive political and financial implications of the policy solutions that are being proposed by governments.

    I’m believer in the great strengths of western anglophone civilisation, the rule of law, the seperation of powers, rugged individualism tempered by duty to society, excellence in capability, the love of freedom and courage in the face of tyranny, free speech and celebration of technical innovation.

    I fear for the west, and the current paths that we are on. I view the MMGW phenomonon as a symptom of a deeper issue of a diminishment of intellectual responsibility of people in general and the dumbing down of our culture. I do not think that our cause is lost, and we can recover, but will we? I hope so.

  86. Al Bore said

    All I see here is a bunch of flat eartheners….

  87. LC said

    What’s “eartheners”?

    If you’re gonna do drive-bys, try learning to spell first. That way, we’ll still have to guess as to whether or not you’re an idiot.

  88. Louis Hooffstetter said

    I am a registered professional geologist with BS degrees in business and geology. I completed my master’s curriculum in geology but not my thesis (wife & babies). When global warming began making news, I had about decade of experience as an environmental consultant, during which time I had seen scientific data twisted and manipulated to hide some pretty nasty stuff. I’d also read enough peer reviewed journal articles to know that good scientific papers dazzle you with brilliance, while bad ones try to baffle you with BS (usually in the form of statistics).

    When climatologists began claiming that humans were the cause of the recent warming trend, as a geologist, I was intrigued. With 5 billion of us breathing and farting and driving SUVs, AGW seemed plausible, so I decided to check it out. But after only a cursory investigation, two glaring red flags jumped out. Climate models ignored changes in the Sun (the 800 lb. Gorilla in the climate room), and AGW papers were filled with impenetrable statistics. My BS meter pegged. It seemed possible that humans might be causing global warming, but what was the truth? I decided to look at the data and methods climatologists used to draw their conclusions.

    Needless to say, it was an exercise in futility. Questions posted on the website “Real Climate” received only obfuscating and condescending answers. Gavin Schmidt made it clear that non-climatologists (physicists, astronomers, geologists, biologists, mathematicians, statisticians, engineers, et al.) are incapable of understanding how “Real Climatologists” divine true temperatures from tree rings, ice cores, and raw temperature measurements. And to top it off, the Weather Bimbo, (Dr. Heidi Cullen) publically called for revoking the professional registrations of scientists who questioned AGW. Note to climatologists everywhere: If you have to bully other scientists to believe your research, you’re not doing it right.

    But I did discover just how ‘incredible’ the science of climatology is. Because reproducibility is not a requisite part of climatology, (as it is in other sciences) “Real Climatologists” only share data and methods with other “Real Climatologists”. As a result, only “Real Climatologists” peer review each others research papers, and only “Real Climatologists” can reproduce each others findings. Additionally, “Real Climatologists” have such a comprehensive understanding of the complex interactions between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere that their global climate models are infallible. In all other sciences, when a model doesn’t match reality, IT’S WRONG!! But when global climate models don’t match reality, it’s because something is missing in the way temperature data is collected and measured.

    I still read RC (for amusement), but I focus on web sites that meet three criteria: They provide real data and studies, they are light on political spin, and they don’t censor valid dissent. And I don’t lose a minute of sleep over Climate Change because I trust reproducible measurements more than models:

    • Sea level rise has been measured (using GPS) at 1.6 to 1.8 mm per year.
    • The extent of this year’s arctic ice has been measured to be nearly equal to the 1979 to 2000 average.
    • Measurements show the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are not collapsing.
    • Records show that the number of droughts is not increasing,
    • and records show that the number and strength of hurricanes is not increasing.

    But I still entertain the possibility that if human populations continue to increase, it is only a matter of time before there are enough of us (breathing, etc.) to adversely affect our climate. And when that happens, I’m switching sides to lead the opposition.

  89. Woodsy42 said

    Trained to degree level in electronic engineering but moved into computing support and programming in an academic environment, sometimes working with datasets and statistics.
    Became interested when I noticed organisations like Greenpeace, Oxfam and WWF turning away from doing good and becoming blatant political and global warming advocacy groups, while every other organisation from the national trust to the local council started wittering on about global warming in increasingly and plainly irrelevent contexts, which simply annoyed me.
    Started reading up on the details of AGW and couldn’t believe the stupidity and naivity of the so-called science.

  90. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    My interest in science started before I was old enough to recognize that it was a field. Taught myself enough electronics to be building transistor radios by junior high school. I studied chemistry and chemical engineering (suma) in college and took a bunch of graduate chemistry courses in parallel with my undergraduate work, but decided I had no interest in memorizing the details of 900 named organic chemical reactions. That and getting married during college pushed me to get a job. I worked in polymer R&D, pilot plant engineering, and production plant engineering management. After 17 years at one company, I realized that that stupidity dominated every higher level I could see within the organization, so I resigned and started doing engineering consulting, where I worked mostly under long term contacts in about a dozen different countries. While consulting, I founded a couple of companies (one chemical, one making laboratory instruments), and this is where I devote most of my efforts now.

    I am old enough to have seen the first “earth day” on my university campus, and was shock/horrified that “earth day” had essentially nothing to do with environmental issues… it was an all-out effort by people with extreme left views to push their agenda. So I did some reading, and pretty quickly concluded that the budding “green movement” was just a bunch of intellectual lightweights trying to bully everyone else. I dismissed it all as nonsense and didn’t think about it for 25+ years.

    When politicians started talking about huge and expensive programs (read “taxes”) that would damage the world economy in order to combat “global warming”, I figured that I could no longer ignore it, and started reading some of the basics. My conclusion was that rising GHG concentrations have to increase the surface temperature by some amount, but that the science behind the claims of future doom is extremely weak and extremely uncertain.

    My first read of Real Climate a few years back convinced me that climate scientists are about as far away from being normal scientists as they could possibly be. Rude, arrogant, and 100% certain they are right about “their science”. The censoring of comments, the insults, and the shouting down of anybody who raises any doubt all gave me an odd sense of dejavu… it reminded me of the speaches I heard on that first Earth Day!

    “Climate science” is part science and part left-wing politics. When they stop the charade and start acting like normal scientists, I can return to ignoring the whole idiotic green movement. (Should I be lucky enough to live so long!)

  91. pgosselin said

    Happy Earth Day!
    (click on my URL to see 1970 predictions).

  92. Sera said

    Chemistry and Math, dropped out from lack of funds. Running and repairing printing presses since I was 14 yrs old, including all the darkroom and stripping chores. @R Shearer: Yep- saltpeter, sulphur and a little touch of sugar on top (bought everything at Eckerds Drug store). That’ll start your sisters a runnin’. First kid on the block to stick eleven C6-0’s on a rocket. Sport diver and snowboarder. Play golf at least three times a week. Currently an auditor. Came to this site from CA. Learned about Bishop Hill from here- thanks. Mild mannered luke-warmer. Hope everyone is happy and healthy.

  93. HotRod said

    re Mosher #31 – not only ironic that RC backfired in such a monumental way, but also extremely interesting how the intelligent and thoughtful people on this particular thread not only fairly unanimously took offence at it, but concluded, or maybe posited is better, that people like Gavin and Mann were likely to be wrong, simply because of their style and behaviour.

    What would a behavioural scientist make of this? Is there a correlation between rudeness/arrogance and being wrong? Are polite people actually more likely to be right? It would seem so.

  94. Simon J said

    Aeronautical Engineering degree, then 7 years designing aircraft (Islander developments) then moved into radar. Scepticism first alerted by the need for positive feedback to match theory to ‘observations’. Dealing with control systems daily, and the dangers of positive feedback, this immediately caught my eye. Never looked back.

  95. Simon J said

    Ref No 82.
    I am in two minds about wind farms. Yes, they are bloody useless as a means of generating electricity, but on the other hand thay are a very obvious symbol, and it will be shown quite soon how bloody useless they are. When that happens, the backlash will by massive, and very obvious, and yet the infrastructure they leave behind could be quite easily hidden. (once the turbines themselves have been salvaged for scrap)

  96. Chuckles said

    #90,
    Pgosselin, A happy Lenin’s birthday to you too! Many people prefer celebrating on Jan. 21 or Nov. 9 or so.

    #92
    Hotrod, Remember that old maxim, ‘Never attribute to malice, that which may be adequately explained by stupidity.’

  97. Jeff Id said

    This is definitely an interesting thread.

    Who are those idiots who hang around the Air Vent? I see a lot of the regular names here, but not all. It looks to me like I’m going to have to shape up around here. hahaha

    I hope that those who have no degree or are less intimidating than some of the qualifications above don’t fear discussing their backgrounds. It’s not the degree that makes you smart, it is what you do with yourself. This thread has forced a little introspection about why I did this much work on line. One of my favorite features of having a science blog is the quality of comments. In life, running across people who can keep up is far too rare, the Air Vent readers have made that event more common than would have been possible even 20 years in the past.

    It always bothers me when hosts thank readers because it never seemed like the thanks is meant…

    Thanks for making this a great experience.

  98. Mike C. said

    Only a BSc in geology here, but you can add to that 36 years (and counting) practice in geology and geophysics. I suppose I first got interested in the general area because my industry is one of the primary targets of attacks from the AGW folks (among others.) But I really became interested when I started seeing obviously non-predictive models being defended and statistics manipulated to arbitrarily alter results. I am involved in modeling earth processes of several types, so the concenpts of modeling are not foreign to me, and I know when somebody is BSing me on them. I also have a pretty good feel for the time scales of geological processes and don’t like being lied to about that, either. And I REALLY don’t like the use of the term “peer reviewed” as being equivalent to the term “correct.”

    In any case, this is a subject I now regularly follow, and one of my primary issues when rating politicians and policy ideas.

  99. Steve Fitzpatrick said

    Jeff,
    “Thanks for making this a great experience.”

    Ditto.

  100. Greg Smith said

    Hey heavy hitters,

    I’m just a humble Aussie petroleum geologist (never in the pay of Exxon-Mobil) who had an understanding of palaeoclimate (before the hockey stick) and the inherent imprecision of computer models (from my experience of reservoir/production modelling of oil fields dealing with just a few variables (as if we really know what’s in the earth))which lead me to be questionable about AGW. I discovered the Air Vent in 2008 when Jeff started analysing the Mann “work” and Climate Audit about the same time. Initially I visited and posted on RC and was thoroughly beaten up asking about things that I knew well such as the MWP. In fact, they even subsequently ran a blog questioning whether geologists had their frontal lobes on backwards.

    From my experience, most geologists are sceptics because we think in terms longer than the satellite record and we like to look at actual data before drawing conclusions. Climategate (although I hate the term) lead to profound disappointment in me as to the state of modern “science”. My father was an atmospheric physicist who died without publishing all his data because he couldn’t get it in a form that he was happy and which would stand scrutiny. Guess I’m tarred the same way.

    Geoff, I think you are doing great stuff and although I rarely post, I read every day

    Enjoy your latest addition to the vent progeny!

    Greg Smith

  101. TGO'D said

    A fascinating thread, well done and thank you for your hard work Jeff.
    I am a non-practicing biologist (B Sc., M Sc.,) with five years research experience as an ecologist before developing a career in marketing communications. Initially my sympathies lay with those who saw AGW as an unprecedented threat to the global ecosystem, a problem caused by man and requiring immediate, massive and co-ordinated efforts to ameliorate it.
    However, the constant high-pitched doom mongering, the inevitable linkage of any atypical or catastrophic event with humanity’s increasing emissions of CO2 and the overt political manipulation of public concern in order to enhance government control triggered an increasingly sceptical reaction.

    Like many who’ve posted, this intuitive doubt led, via Christopher Booker, to WUWT, Lucia, CA and of course the tAV. Early exposure to Real Climate was crucial and deeply depressing; the barely contained levels of contempt and downright animosity manifested by many of its stalwarts to those who opposed or questioned their views was far removed from normal scientific discourse and was a real shock. Not surprisingly perhaps, I felt that any thesis engendering this quality of support from “climate scientists” may have less to it than was claimed.

    As an intuitive sceptic and lukewarmer lacking the hard science and statistical skills needed effectively to rebut the CAGW case, it’s interesting to see so much evidence of those very capabilities amongst the responses to this thread.

    TGO’D

  102. Beth Cooper said

    I have no science background but studied Theory of Knowledge and Popper on falsification as science demarcation in my fourth year of an Arts Degree.Concerns about AGW led me to Climate Debate Daily to examine the evidence for myself. I didn’t anticipate the dramatic dynamics of Steve McIntyre’s quest for Mann’s Hockey Stick data or the revelations of the Cru emails and Mosher’s insightful commentary especially ooda loops. I’m captivated by some of WUWT’s articles eg Floating Islands and the many witty responses to them. I enjoy the libertarian commentary and free discussion of this blog.Great to be part of a sceptic community that supports open debate.

  103. Kenneth Fritsch said

    I should have added that my interest in AGW and climate science and skepticism about the apparent certainty of claims about it, from some quarters, goes back nearly to the beginning. The problems of clouds and feedbacks were unanswerable then and astonishingly remain so these many years later.

    I recall a discussion at an investment blog several years ago where a participant made the claim about the science being settled. When I pointed him to articles by consensus scientists who admitted to these uncertainties he was amazed and backed off his original position. He was bright and apparently well informed guy in other areas. It was some time ago and climate change was not as major a topic as it is now. It also points to the largest misconception by the masses: the uncertainty of some of the predictions for the effects of AGW.

  104. JeffId

    It’s not the degree that makes you smart, it is what you do with yourself.

    ditto.

  105. willr said

    Wind Power got mentioned a few times. Indeed it is becoming the front for AGW and skeptics as the “fruits of the labour” can be seen here.

    Have a look here as it acts as a clearing house.

    http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com/

    Quite a few Canadians are donating technical expertise and “publishing” technical evaluations here.

  106. HotRod:

    it had Nothing to do with them being RUDE. ask anybody around about moshpit. Over the past years I’ve been as rude as rude can be. Rudeness was never the issue. I can handle rude. fact. I figure if you dish it you better take it.

    here was the game they played: if you made a stupid comment they would let it through If you made a smart comment or asked a tough question it would not get out of moderation.

    Now, I know this game. I had a philosophy professor who handled every tough question by saying: “lets table that and get back to it later” never to return to the question. The issue wasnt rudeness with them. The issue is that they were using their moderation policy to paint a picture of what skeptics were like. So I tested this. I put in comments with obvious mistakes:
    They passed moderation. I then put in comments with those mistakes removed
    Those questions? those comments? Trash bin. See? I TESTED their moderation policy. I’ve done all sorts of neat little experiments with comments to their site.

    Comment A: Stupid question, passes moderation
    Comment B: smart question, fails moderation.

    later in 2007 when Hansen released the code I told people they owed Gavin a polite thank you. A public thank you.
    I tried to post a public thank you. Two words in my Comment: “Thank You”

    failed moderation. It didnt fail because they were RUDE. rudeness has nothing to do with it. It failed because they are trying to construct an IMAGE of what a skeptic is. It’s the sod type of thinking.

    My experiments around Fenton Communication were most instructive

  107. PaulM said

    Wow, what an amazing thread. So many science degrees and PhDs! I wonder if anyone has the energy to count up and collate the results?

    I have a Phd in Math and now teach it. I don’t have any strong political views.

    Until about 4 yrs ago I knew very little about GW. I thought that most of what we were told was true, but I thought that the newspapers sometimes exaggerated it a bit. Then I thought, this is important stuff and I ought to learn something about it. I started learning from wikipedia. I quickly saw that there was this guy there who was twisting everything and behaving like an activist, but worryingly he claimed to be a scientist. I then went to a blog that he and some other guys ran (no prizes for guessing!) and it was the same there, anyone who didn’t agree with them was viciously attacked or deleted, and the exaggeration of GW was there, only slightly more subtle. Then I went to the IPCC reports and again after some careful study I could see everything was distorted. The point is, it was not the skeptics who converted me to skepticism, but the alarmists.

  108. Sean Peake said

    I do not have a scientific degree but studied Earth Science in university, and took a shine to Invertebrate Palaeontology. After I left school without finishing my degree (the university administrators and I had a disagreement over the definition of “acceptable” behaviour) I was fortunate to find work for a short while in an Invert Palaeo lab and had a chance to assist with research on Burgess Shale materials (amazing Cambrian fossils from BC) back in the mid-’70s. Realizing soon after that Invert Palaeo was not going to be a lucrative career I eventually became an advertising copywriter and a private scholar on Canadian fur trade history (I know, no logical segue there whatsoever).

    I became skeptical about 10 years ago when I heard the claims of the “warmest” decade in history etc. because my knowledge of Earth’s history over the past 650 million years told me otherwise. Then the last IPCC report showed up and that was the final straw. No longer willing to trust Al Gore or David Suzuki’s position on the topic, once I began to investigate I started to see the underlying motivations of warming proponents. I also noticed a pattern—that disaster could (may, possibly) strike between four and 10 years from now but it can be averted if we act now. Today, as the calamitous claims continue to fall on deaf ears, the consequences of non-action have became absurd to the point of sounding like something one would find in a supermarket tabloid. While I regret my lack of skills in statistical analysis, which I blame on the diversions presented to me by my university dorm mates and not my lack of willpower as my parents suggested, I do know that stats can say anything I want them to, and I automatically discount any study that claims “statistics prove” X or Y.

    Of late, I am enjoying the screws being turned on the so-called experts and the politicians. I hope the pressure increases until they are fully exposed and shamed into obscurity—history will not be kind to these men and women.

    Finally, I believe that whomever leaked the CRU emails deserves special recognition; perhaps a statue erected somewhere or a flavour of ice cream named in his or her honour—certainly not a Nobel Prize, though, as these have become rather tawdry.

  109. HotRod said

    Steven Mosher #106.

    It got me thinking, that’s all, the frequency of comments just on this one thread about the offensiveness of RC, as in #101 ‘the barely contained levels of contempt and downright animosity manifested by many of its stalwarts to those who opposed or questioned their views was far removed from normal scientific discourse’.

    And so I thought about UK politicians in my lifetime, because we have an election going on, and whether those that I thought were good had a tendency to be courteous, and they did. Norman Tebbit (Mrs. Thatcher’s rottweiler back then) was the most courteous man imaginable. Reagan too I imagine.

    I wouldn’t suggest a one-on-one mapping of courtesy with being right, but I think there’s something there. Your readiness for a bare-knuckle scrap, or Willis Eschenbach’s, would not qualify for me as rudeness, because you’d both have a drink after the match and be extremely courteous (I presume). Is James Hansen courteous? Genuine question, I don’t know. The Pielkes aren’t shy about calling a spade a spade, but seem pretty courteous, ditto McIntyre.

    As I write another link occurs, which is libertarians also tend to be more courteous, almost by definition I guess.

  110. TA said

    LC #87:

    I think the comment about “flat eartheners” (#86) was sarcastic. I’m going by the poster’s moniker, “Al Bore”.

  111. David JP said

    Voluntary background:

    I have two degrees, electrical engineering and industrial technology management. My passion is with making useful things out of the materials found in nature. However, since the US has outsourced so much of the manufacturing jobs, I’ve spent the last decade and a half designing magnetic recording interfacing circuits in a product development group.

    I like to say that I have an astronomy minor, but nothing of the sort was ever offered. While in school I spent extra hours in unneeded electives studying things like solar evolution and emission/absorption spectrum of various elements.

    My father is a geologist/geophysicist. We are still discussing where the rocks came from and what the Earth was like when the fossil was a living creature.

    In Junior High I signed up with the ‘science book of the month club’ (thanks Dad). My first purchase was a book titled ‘Photovoltaics’. I’ve been very interested in energy generation science since then. Today, I wonder how Lonni Johnson is progressing with his Thermoelectric Generation device. Anybody heard any new news?

    Involuntary background:

    Due to my life long health issues resulting in a recent bout of cancer, I know my way around the medical library. Statistical studies are something I’ve paid particular attention to. In my case, I’m the outlier; and it has literally paid off knowing when to question my doctors about the statistics surrounding my treatments.

    Dr. Stephen Schneider and I have something in common, we both have had similar cancer treatments. I have read Dr. Schneider’s book: “The Patient From Hell”. But I concluded after reading it that he missed a few crucial points, and that his approach had flaws.

    Regarding Climate Science:

    I remember seeing the original hockey stick and wondering at the time how they figured it out. Years later, I saw in the news mention of Steve McIntyre’s work on the hockey stick reconstructions. I started reading CA and RC.

    When I was in the hospital waiting for my cancer diagnosis, I would spend my free time reading more at CA. That was in 2006 and I’ve been a regular reader since then.

    My take on on AGW is similar to my take on medical science. Ignorance is still the most common human characteristic. It’s how people deal with their ignorance that matters most. A good approach is to internally confront ones ignorance and find the courage to say: “I don’t know”.

    It’s certainly plausible to me that humans can have an effect on the climate of the Earth. However, I don’t see the evidence of catastrophic influences. Rather, I see people making value judgments based upon their own preconceived, and unquestioned notions. Which is a very normal human behavior as far as I can tell.

    It’s disappointing, because I had always believed that modern day scientists were specially trained to avoid these natural pitfalls of human behavior. We’ve made some progress, but there is still a ways to go yet.

    The bios presented here are as I had imagined for the readers of tAV.

  112. Sean Wise said

    I am a PhD chemist, in my late 50’s and have been working in science and engineering related disciplines my entire life. I have been hearing about climate change since the 1990’s but just wrote if off as the apocalypse du jour until just after the turn of the century. I will admit that when I saw the hockey stick I thought maybe there is more to this scare than others. Fortunately by the time I really started to look into it seriously, there was quite a history and analysis at climate audit and other sites. I’d been following Joe D’Aleo at Intellicast who even back then was a vocal skeptic of the global warming theory but very good at making seasonal predictions by looking at how the oceans are set up and then comparing them to an analogous year in the past. His ability to make accurate predictions more often than not told me that he knew what he was talking about when it came to the weather. When I went for an alternate view at Real Climate, I only found arrogance and no balance in discussion of the issues. (In fact I’ve claimed on many occasions that attitude, arrogance and heavy handedness from the people who run Real Climate make me suspicious that they are really double agents being funded by oil and coal companies to discredit climate science.)

    The thing that makes me passionate about this subject is if you analyze where we might be if the world really followed the advice of the consensus crowd. We’d have higher food costs and more environmental degredaton from extensive use of biofuels. The US policies alone have already lead to food riots around the world (2007) and dramatic cuts in the amount of food aid that could be purchased with finite budgets. People probably starved to death as a result. We’d have higher energy prices that would impact the rural poor most severely while enriching “green” energy barons and Wall Street bankers. The myopic view of CO2 as evil is leading us toward illogical and immoral solutions.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think there is some common ground. I believe in efficiency and that efforts to use the energy we have more wisely will make us more competitive in world. I think that higher fuel economy standards are a good thing as it makes the entire country and individual citizens more resiliant to the vagueries of oil price changes. Also, with the ascendency of the Indian and Chinese economies, the demand for fuels of all types will be going up. Efficiency allows more people to share these limited resources so everyone’s standard of living can improve.

  113. Tom Anderson said

    Jeff,

    Very interesting thread. I am very much in awe and somewhat intimidated by how smart some of these bloggers are. I am new to these blogs and have been mainly a reader/lurker for about 6 months. I have been a skeptic, however, since I first started hearing about global warming in the early 1990’s. I have a BA in Business and BS in Geology and Mineralogy. Made a career in environmental consulting, with groundwater as my particular expertise. Have been my own boss for about 12 years now. I guess it is my background in Geology that is the root of my skepticism in the whole AGW movement. Proper undergraduate work in geology provides a broad background in science; requiring serious course work in physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics. Relevant coursework in Geology also include: Geomorphology, Geophysics, Geochemistry and Paleontology. We learned of the forces that shaped the earth, on a geologic time scale of course. But for a geologist, 10’s of 1000’s of years is not a very long at all. All this talk about rapid changes in climate and how it will drastically reshape the earth and earth’s ecosystems, always seemed like crazy talk to me.

    I have really tried to ignore the whole AGW thing, hoping we would have enough cold winters to make it go away. I guess it was the current US political atmosphere (no pun intended) that has got me more interested and concerned in recent months; with USEPA passing new rules on CO2 and the congress and president fully intending to act on some kind of climate protection legislation. That and the fact that a friend had asked me to get involved in a CO2 auditing business venture. I had to tell him that while that may be a legitimate business venture to start up right now, my heart would not be in it.

    What I believe. I believe humans have contributed to increases in CO2 and Methane in the atmosphere. I understand the science behind the greenhouse effect and the theory that an increase in greenhouse gases could increase global temperatures. I am not convinced that we have sufficient scientific knowledge in regards to how our global climate works to be able to predict future changes. I have some experience modeling groundwater flow and do not trust complex models. Simple models have some use. I am not convinced there has been measurable global warming, because I have no confidence in our current measuring system. I am convinced that the climate will change.

  114. David Jay said

    Wow, what august company!

    I have been a aviation nut since about 13 or 14. Went to university in Aviation Engineering but ever found a way to make a living in aviation, ended up in Computer Systems and Systems Analysis. From there to Process Engineering in the Aluminum industry.

    I was always skeptical of the “C” in CAGW, but I really got excited by the SPM in AR4. I was amazed that the possible range of aerosols well exceeded the total net forcing, and it indicated that aerosols were not well understood.

    Two and a half years ago I was sitting around in a hotel room in rural China for three days, waiting for our customer to “prepare” for negotiations. The TV has one English channel (how many times can you watch the same Nat Geo program) so I headed for the ‘net. I somehow followed a link to CA and I read back about 18 months into the archives over those three days.

    My daily surf includes hitting tAV, CA, WUWT, Lucia and Bishop Hill. I occasionally hit Pielke Sr., Pielke Jr., Icecap and Niche Modelling.

  115. John Lohman said

    I read this site almost every day, but have never posted. This topic is so good, I couldn’t resist.

    MBA in Economics and Finance, with an emphasis in Quantitative Modeling. Started career trading options on the floor in New York. Currently a Quantitative Strategist and Fund Manager.

    My dad was a farmer and I started working for him when I was 5. By the time I left home (1988), I’d spent enough time in the fields that I could predict weather up to 3 days out just by walking outside.

    In the mid-90s (working at an investment firm in Houston), I noticed the normal short term cycles (1 to 5 days) in weather were becoming erratic. I also noticed that the climate was warming. So, I just kept trading and building financial models, and figured AGW must be true.

    In early 2009, it occurred to me that during the 00’s, the short weather cycles had returned to normal, and the temps had been cooling. Out of curiousity, I began to spend all of my spare time reading both sides of the debate and studying academic papers.

    It took all of 3 days to decide there was a 95% chance AGW was completely bogus, and a 5% chance that it was mostly bogus.

    It then took 4 months to study and collect data. One week programming. Two days of model simulation. The outcome was a very simple model using Be10, PDO, and ENSO with an 81% correlation with the Hadley anomaly.

    Yes, it’s very crude, not peer reviewed, and not fit for publication. But, I no longer lose sleep over my carbon footprint or worrying about the day after tomorrow.

  116. Earle Williams said

    I’m a daily lurker at tAV, CA, etc. and only contribute occasionally. Usually when I have some in-depth knowledge of the specific issue, or when I think my comment is exceedingly funny and clever. Those usually aren’t. :-)

    I have a US education with BS in Appliced Mathematics and a BS in Geology (emphasis on Geophysics). It was an epiphany for me when I was able to see the application of “div, grad, curl and all that” to both physics and engineering. I went on an MS in Geophysical Engineering, and spent much of my thesis effort on developing computer code to model the electrical resistivity response of arbitrarily shaped buried bodies. In FORTRAN. Hey, I was young, I needed the money. I still have unpleasant memories of a particular nightmare I had wherein I was stuck in a FOR:NEXT loop and could not break out of it until the token I received was true. Oh the horror.

    I’m not sure how I ended up at CA one day back in early 2005. I don’t think I was driven there by RealClimate directly, but I was getting a sense that the pro-CAGW activists were full of it. This was shortly after I watched the trainwreck that was The SCO Group start their public campaign to fleece the users of Linux open source software. Wiki is a starting point on that bit of drama: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCO_Group

    The similarities between SCO and the activist scientists were too much for me. I think my exposure to RealClimate then cemented it, I was a full out skeptic of the IPPCC version of man-made global warming.

    I mean no offense to the many PhDs here, but a couple of my life experiences remind me that a PhD is no guarantee of correctness. That sheepskin is evidence of a significant amount of work and dedication and a potential indicator of competence and/or intelligence. I make a point of honoring it when in the blogosphere by using the honorific tile Dr., but I’ve worked with too many PhDs to believe it means anything other than the limited rights, priveleges, and honors blah blah blah bestowed by the university.

    During my undergrad days I was taking a geostatistics class and the professor was lecturing on radioactive decay. I was a bit confused by what he was writing on the board as it seemed in error, so after class I checked my textbook and confirmed that I was right about the equation and the professor was wrong. I went to discuss it it in his office and his response was “Gee Earle, you should have spoke up in class. I was just winging it.” The man was brilliant and is the one I credit with pushing me on to graduate school. But he provided me a refreshing reminder not to take anything solely on someone’s authority, especially if it seems fishy.

  117. Earle Williams said

    Curses, I forgot to take RomanM’s advice.

    “Pillage, THEN burn!” — Hagar the Horrible

  118. best thread I’ve read…

    I have a background in electronics and am a computer programmer, AGU member, amateur astronomer, and work as a contractor for an agency that landed us on the moon. I’ve participated in meteor research as an instrument pi, for an instrument that I built from scratch which married my knowledge of electronics, mechanics, programming and video/optics; not work related but as an amateur astronomer gone off the deep end. My interests range from quantum chromodynamics to the microwave background and all points between. Plasma physics is my deepest curiosity and I bet the Higgs remains elusive but I’m close to being in a superposition state. (Once they find it, I’ll have said they would) Bigger hammer probably isn’t the solution but, I am always wrong twice before I am right once which is quite rare anyway.

    I’ve been reading about global warming since the late 80’s. This includes Sci Am, Physics Today, millions of papers, blogs, they all run together. My BS detector went off probably in the early 90s because the quantity of CO2 is so small. I’ve been an agnostic ever since and am most interested in the scientific method and how it was probably disregarded to some extent. The whole IPCC thing scares me and unfortunately gives the fringe element some credibility; seemingly, it is all about money and the economic state of things compounds that fear.

    Climategate has been the most interesting ongoing novel I’ve ever read. So, bottom line for me is the warmers who label others as ‘deniers’, need to ‘prove’ their case and I think they have a long way to go. The tide has turned in favor of the truth seekers because scientists have not behaved as scientists need to.

    -GV

  119. LC said

    TA #110

    Yes, that did occur to me immediately after I had replied. If that is indeed the case, then my apologies to Al Bore are unreserved :)

  120. bob said

    Good thread, and not a climate scientist in the bunch.

    I am a retired used car salesman who managed to pick up a BSEE and MBA along the way. The used car thing is really an admission that I sold cars for a while after retirement. The idea was that I could have some fun playing with cars and make some money, too. The car business is just no fun, though. I retired, again, when the banks went bust and the great bailouts began. Credit disappeared, temporarily, and I was not going to sit around and wait for the good times to return. I was right.

    I was a successful salesman and sales manager for about 30 years, working in sales and marketing management positions in technical areas. Recently, I have started to develop web pages and sites for small companies. Taking some programming and design courses at a local tech college helped a bunch.

    For a while, the AGW theory was perfectly acceptable, but I always thought I needed to look into it. When I did, it was because of a chance encounter on CSPAN.

    One day I surfed across a Congressional Hearing, and was annoyed by the arrogance of a young scientist named Michael Mann. Mann was not answering any questions, and was dancing around the issues. Other participants were responsive, firm, and courteous with their answers, and it turns out that these guys were McIntyre and Wegner.

    Googling climate web sites, Real Climate was the first to get a visit, and I was turned off by the tone of the responses to comments. There seemed to be a peanut gallery that applauded anything the moderators said, and were abusive to those who didn’t agree.

    Climate Audit became my favorite blog. McIntyre’s stats were ahead of stuff I did in grad school, and keeping up with all the arguments was difficult. CA became my favorite blog.

    tAV and JeffID was a pleasant discovery. I enjoy reading his stuff, but comment only occasionally.

  121. Larry Geiger said

    BS in Forest Resources Management (Forestry, UF). MS in Computer Science (KU). 23 years working everything computer from hardware to software at Kennedy Space Center. I’m a Scoutmaster and I spend a lot of time out in the climate (oooooops, weather).

    We get a fair amount of weather here in Florida and I am interested in hurricane stuff. I realize that we had a sequence of hurricane weather starting with Andrew that we hadn’t had for several decades. But I remember the 50s and 60s and we had somewhat the same sort of thing. The alarmist stuff about hurricanes just didn’t seem quite right. Somehow I stumbled on WUWT and then about 50 other sites after that.

    IMHO, if it was paid for with public money, it should be publicly available after publication. All of it. Private money, private data. Public money, public data.

  122. stumpy said

    My qualifications are in Environmental Management, Civil Engineering and Surveying. I started off working as a structural engineer in the nuclear field and later moved to environmental matters. Before that I managed a number of nature reserves and also spent time working as a gardener.
    I currently work as environmental engineer. I have always been interested in science even since a young. My first school high school report noted that I was already at GCSE science level the day I started!
    I got involved with AGW through my work, as I was often required to assess the impacts of projected climate change on estuaries, rivers, infrastructure etc…when I first started doing this there were no published projections for the UK so I spent a little time with the metoffice with their climate change scientists, I quickly became skeptical after meeting them, as they didnt follow basic modelling approaches such as balance checks and made no efforts to validate their models. They also said the models predicted cooling back in time which fell to a constant stable cold period. I knew of course this wasnt the case from working with geologists and archeologists! I also looked through their model projections for changes in predominant wind spend and direction (as this relates to wave action etc…) and the models projected every possible scenario subject to the intial conditions used etc…there was nothing but garbage being produced that then required “professional judgement” to pick one of the random results.

    That was a while ago and things have moved a long but I am still skeptical of the models, and the assumed feedbacks. I am still modelling the same stupid projected increases of both more and less rainfall! I am still assessing projected rainfall changes on catchment hydrology, infrastructure etc…

    One thing I have noticed though, very very few engineers worth their money take AGW seriosuly. Most can detect BS pretty quickly, but pay lip service to Govt publications as its a revenue stream us! I have also been told time and time again by clients to “come up with scary projections as it will get us more funding”!

  123. Kendra said

    I’m quite overwhelmed with the response, I am so impressed and fascinated. Not just by the formal qualifications but the level of insight as well. I hope for more even though there’s a new thread up!

    I have no technical education in any way shape or form! After 4 different colleges and 5 different majors, I dropped out for a few years, although I had been an honor student when I cared to and was a National Merit Scholarship finalist (which did not mean a merit scholarship at all – my parents earned just enough!) So I went to state schools and floundered – as far as science is concerned, I really loved chemistry but the class was at 8 a.m. – so I missed a number of them. Later, when I looked back at highschool, I realized the two classes that stood out for me were 8th grade physical science and 9th grade geometry. Go figure.

    When I went back to yet a 5th college, Anthropology was a possibility for the first time. I’d always been interested in other cultures so I thought, this could be fun, although I had no real ambition beyond getting a BA at last. I only took a couple of classes a semester as I also worked.

    As it turned out, it was an extremely good department and I made As effortlessly. My favorite professor took notice of me as did some of the grad students so I got welcomed into the inner circle – you know, the casual stuff like having coffee in the department conference room and being included in the beer and pizza evenings. So I was quite well positioned, however, that gave me the chance to see what the reality would be to choose to go for a career and decided against it.

    1. Field work – I didn’t want to befriend people for the sake of exploiting them. Although if I’d been a guy, I would have been able to use the same system as one of my professors. He did this in Mexico and Italy – simply hang out in the local bar and see what happens!

    2. Begging for funding, aka writing grant requests! Can you imagine a grant for impact of CAGW on the matrilineal/matrilocal indigenous peoples of Upper Wherever?

    3. Those who wanted to be taken seriously as academics spent hours studying Marxism from secondary sources.

    I did give it another thought after I moved to Switzerland and took a couple of courses at the University of Zurich but decided I preferred studying languages (by that time, I’d learned the 1 1/2 basic necessity, spoken Swiss German and written Standard German) so I submerged in French and Italian for awhile.

    My Andy Warhol 15 minutes was for 6 years with a Swiss-American business association, with the pinnacle of achievement being on panel presentations with the U.S. Embassy and Consulate Commercial Attachés. Then my husband and I opened a little translation office which was successful for some years, luckily – I needed more time to visit my ailing mother in the states. Now I work in Zurich during the week and go home to the Italian part only on weekends and vacations.

    We have spent a few years in the States but things never worked out to build up something – although 2 years sailing in the Florida Keys was great in itself. So I’ve been fairly insulated from the various hysterias I later discovered to be so rampant.

    Naturally, global warming was mentioned from time to time but English language newspapers are extremely expensive, there are few and limited English libraries and reading a serious newspaper in German was laboriously slow-going. I did occasionally see the usual sound-bite TV news. My husband and Swiss friends kept me up to date in a general sense.

    We did have Internet but no DSL until 4 years ago. Then I went absolutely wild, looking to find out about everything under the sun I’d stored up all those years. At some point, I stumbled onto “healthism,” leading to “junk science” leading to epidemiology leading to toxicology (no safe level – I almost fell out of my chair later when I came across the Schneider remark about “no safe level of CO2″). While not equipped to do it myself, I found myself fascinated by deconstructions of some of these studies – and got quite a good grounding in relative risk, confounders, confidence intervals, etc.

    Meanwhile, the steady drone of climate alarmism was building and I had already come across the Crichton speech with the curious notion of consensus science, global warming being one of 4. Then the drumbeat of the debate is over and the science is settled became ever louder and I decided to find out at least what the debate had been! And got hooked.

    My interests run the gamut, from political and social policy, to the efficiency of alternative energy to the discovery of the creature called post normal science and recently discovering 2 articles on skepticism / denialism as a mental illness (not read yet) to reading analyses of the hardcore technical stuff. I really appreciate this site because not only does Jeff present things in a very accessible and straightforward way but the discussions in the comments help to clarify things insofar as humanly possible.

    I probably spend at least 4 hours a day and I only notice how “weird” it seems when a friend calls up and says what’re you doing – oh, I’m reading about radiative physics. Silence. Oookaaay….

    I’d have liked to say a few things about environmentalism but I think I’ve gone on too long. But, like most if not all of you, my trust in various groups was destroyed when I came to the realization that they had changed – had been hijacked.

    Thanks, Jeff, and everyone.

  124. vjones said

    I was a passionate warmist until just over three years ago when arguements with my skeptic husband finally convinced me to look at the science. After “The Great Global Warming Swindle” and reading WUWT and Lord Monckton in the Sunday Telegraph, I started to see the error of my beliefs. A science background (“mostly bio” BS and PhD) meant some of the detail of the physical sciences stuff was a challenge (still is, although I usually ‘get’ the concepts). Broad experience of project management and technology testing and development across a number of sectors, and a bit of jack of all trades these days.

    Only looked at climate stuff on the web from about three years ago and immediately ‘couldn’t stomach’ RC, Tamino or Eli Rabett – which I think helped change my views. I found CA heavy going as I was so ignorant of the details being discussed (now I find it full of interesting stuff, especially the archive). Felt ‘at home’ at WUWT and commented under various names for a while. Now mostly lurk as it is so busy. Found tAV thanks to Tonyb. I seem to have a real knack for saying silly things here, so I mostly just lurk here too.

  125. BR said

    I have a lifelong interest in science but no formal training therein. Like many people having a general respect for science and scientists, however, I always just assumed AGW theory was pretty solid without ever really looking at it closely.

    Then two things happened. First, a good buddy went to see “An Inconvenient Truth”, got caught up in it, and started emailing me every time some new alarmist media report came out. Without me really understanding why these stories just kept tripping my BS detector, so I decided to read whichever the current IPCC Summary for Policy Makers was available at the time (TAR, I think?), figuring it would be reasonably digestible to a layperson. I found it to be so full of major qualifications and cautions — clearly representing the state of a science in its infancy — that I couldn’t believe anyone would even consider making multi-trillion dollar policy decisions based on it.

    Second, I got into reading the comment sections for AGW articles that made the front page of Digg. Highly entertaining stuff. Noticed that the most prolific pro-AGW people consistently used the same tactics for smearing opponents and shutting down debate as one often sees in politics. Further noticed a rather strong correlation between pro-AGW supporters and supporters of (dare I say other) hardcore left wing ideologies and began to wonder… is this a coincidence? Just how much of the AGW debate is based on science vs. politics? I decided I’d best educate myself on the subject to see if I could figure out for myself what was real and what was political.

    Today I tend to fall in the lukewarmers camp. To this layperson the science seems pretty solid around a small amount of warming being human / C02 attributable. Beyond that, who knows? Not climate scientists, that’s for sure. Maybe one day. But as of now I’ve never, ever seen anything that would cause me to think that those GCMs are anything more than the most expensive and elaborate Drake equations ever devised, and therefore that their predictions, while interesting, are useless. I marvel at the arrogance and hubris of the climate science community in promoting them, and occasionally stop to ponder what we’re going to do when the real problem hits and we finally reach the end of the current interglacial period. 12,000 or so years ago there was a 3km thick ice sheet over top of where I presently live… one of these days, hopefully not anytime soon, it’ll start coming back, and we’re going to need a hell of a lot smarter and more intellectually honest people than Dr. Mann to help us figure out what to do about that.

  126. Bob Hawkins said

    I got my Ph.D. in physics in 1981 from Ohio State, working under John Shaw. My dissertation was on the then-new technique of analyzing infrared spectra by fitting a model, in particular, how modeling errors affected the results.

    In 1987 I started a post-doc at what was then called the Air Force Geophysics Laboratory in Massachusetts (now part of the Air Force Research Laboratory). I was working on carbon dioxide data in the HITRAN database, the world standard for atmospheric transmission calculations, and the basis for infrared calculations in climate models.

    Global warming became well-known in the hot summer of 1988. I thought “This is great, now when people ask me what I do, I can relate it to something they’ve heard of!” But then I did my due diligence, and realized that I didn’t want to be associated with work of that quality.

    I’ve followed the field ever since, however. About five years ago I set the bozo bit on CAGW and classified it as pseudoscience. I went through a long period when I was interested in pseudoscience, I even had a subscription to the Flat Earth newsletter for a while, and the resemblance became undeniable. The eradication of the Medieval Warm Period was the last straw. It was so… Velikovskyan.

  127. LearDog said

    Interesting as hell group of people. Wow.

    I amongst you all represent the most biased scientist of all – in the employ of ‘big oil’. Despite having been hired for my knack of independent and creative, contrarian (sceptical) thinking, I am obviously completely unqualified to have any rational thought about these topics. Ha ha ha!

    My background is BS, MA Geoscience, MBA for fun. Made my way in this company as a Researcher and a creative explorer and honest scientist with an acute bullshit detector, a contrarian who has a nose for finding oil and gas. I can discern and help explorationists and management separate belief from reasonable interpretation – and know technical quality when I see it. And when I don’t – as in a ‘sales job’.

    I LOVE exploring for oil and gas – most exciting profession on the planet. But you MUST be a disciplined scientist in this profession – otherwise you WILL go bust from ‘comfirmation bias’ (or believing your own bullshit).

    I got pulled into this debate because I got tired of being demonized by people whose arguments can’t stand on their own merits in the light of day. Tried posting over at RC a couple of times, got spanked by the egos over there and my ‘spider sense’ got to tingling. Decided I better become informed – if not just to combat the misconceptions promulgated by the MSM in our day-to-day lives.

    I eventually learned that science wasn’t getting practiced in this debate at all. Except by the deniers – and have been watching and learning from you guys ever since. I admire the hell out of you. McIntyre should get a REAL Nobel Prize – and whomever released those CRU emails – should be Man-of-the-Year.

    LearDog

  128. Nice thread. :)

    I am a Shub Niggurath. More like a Shrub Niggurath. I am an MD trained in a discipline which deals with death and uncertainty day in and day out. Which, I see, gets the climate guys’ p’s in a t somehow!

    I got sucked into this when I asked a question to Gavin at RealClimate. I did not know anything about RC then. I got a crazy-ass answer which pissed me off. I have followed the global warming debate from the soft sciences/philosophy side of things on and off.

    RealClimate is a CIA-funded honeypot to keep the global warming cauldron bubbling. How else can you explain what goes on there? :)

  129. Kon Dealer said

    I am a lecturer in plant physiology, based in the U.K. with a first degree in Natural Sciences and a PhD from Cambridge University.
    I was a committed environmentalist with all the baggage that this brings – despising the Human race for wilfully destroying the ecosystem of one planet known to support life.
    All this changed when I spent several months down in the Antarctic on a field mission to “prove” the dangers of elevated UV-B, caused by Man’s unthinking destruction of the Ozone layer.What I found, or more importantly, didn’t opened my eyes to “politically correct” science.
    And so I began a journey from what I can only describe as faith-based environmentalism to ardent sceptic.
    Like Jeff I believe that CO2 has a (small) warming effect. I do not believe in catastrophic change and as a Plant physiologist recognise and indeed welcome the enhanced primary productivity resulting from elevated CO2 and the mild warming that will be a consequence.

  130. Apologies for posting in succession.

    Mosher
    “Comment A: Stupid question, passes moderation
    Comment B: smart question, fails moderation.

    Totally true. I’ve done experiments like this too. Posting at RC is like an art form.

  131. Layman Lurker said

    #129 Kon Dealer

    A few months ago, I asked if you would be interested in posting an article here on CO2 fertilization which you were receptive to at the time. May I humbly make the request again? Please don’t interpret as a room service order.

  132. mrpkw said

    SHEESH !!!!!!
    I’m really the low man on the totem pole. I majored in American History/Pre-law in college.
    I currently work on a data mining project and crunch numbers all day.
    I don’t know when I first heard of AGW but I knew as soon as I heard it, I called “BULL”.
    As a child I would sit near a window and watch thunderstorms and see the wind rip roofs off, knock trees over, be amazed with the thunder and lightning and knew that nature was much more powerful then humans could be.
    You really don’t need to have an advanced degree or any expertise in anything climate related to understand how flawed the entire idea of AGW is.

  133. David S said

    Degree in Maths, then a career in insurance underwriting including analysis of weather-related catastrophic risks, then retired 3 years ago. I guess I came to scepticism by observing the almost Maoist way it became fashionable, bordering on compulsory, for anyone involved in the public sector to spout about how green they were, and as time went on all the other green concerns seemed to be overwhelmed by hysteria about CO2 and CAGW. A couple of years ago a friend and I were invited to give a presentation to some grad students on how models fail in the financial industries, both banking and insurance, and we and our audience were struck by the parallels between the structure of climate models – he is a physicist so was able to fill in detail for me – and that of the pricing and risk management models that have failed so badly in investment and insurance. In both cases past events were modelled by tweaking an array of parameters, with the variety of possible tweaks almost guaranteeing that there would be minimal predictive value.
    So I started trying to find out more about climate, first port of call was RealClimate and like so many others I was struck by their sneering hostility to anyone who disagreed with them, and kept finding manifestly untrue statements in their blog. Cast around more widely and found WUWT, CA and tAV last summer, just in time for all the Climategate fun to start, then Bishop Hill and JoNova.
    I really enjoy the thoughtful and educational content here, both in postings and comments, and the courteous approach. Thanks Jeff.

  134. dougie said

    as …
    28.Kendra said
    April 21, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    ‘Thanks, Jeff, for starting the thread, it’s really already been more than I hoped for.’

    interesting to hear a bit about the people you read in comments at this & other sites.

    for me, like you i’m in Aeronautic engineering.
    as for how this progressed into being interested in climate science & posting this comment, here goes.

    in my old life(believe the expert)like many other lay people, i assumed ‘climate scientists were proffesional & therefore did not question their findings/prognosis (did’nt have the time to enquire anyway)

    then, can’t remember when/why clicked on a link ‘when harry met sally’ i think? for some reason & found CA & hence these comments.
    all linked sites by you & the rest + available unbiased science give me a chance hear all sides & more.

    hope the new family member is doing ok by the way

  135. Steve E said

    “132 Mrpkw

    “I’m really the low man on the totem pole. I majored in American History/Pre-law in college.”

    I’m not trying to “one-down” you but I’m probably lower. I’m a sales executive in the pension industry and have been in financial services for 20 years. With amazing prescience (pre-science?) I turned down a full scholarship in chemistry to pursue a journalism degree. It was, after all, the era of Watergate and Woodward and Bernstein. Took my Journalism degree and proceeded directly into sales, albeit in the newspaper business before I found my way to financial services.

    Like Steve McI, I’ve seen hockey stick curves plus I’ve seen efficient frontiers and bastardized claims made of Nobel Prize winning work–not to mention black box derivative guarantees that have been used to sell dubious “investments” to the “knowingly” unwary. My early days in financial services were all about charts and graphs and my early fascination with science led me to read everything I could to make sure I knew what I was talking about. This self-education taught me how easily statistics can be bent, misunderstood (regardless of your education) or misrepresented to say whatever it is you want to say. For example, the common belief in portfolio theory is that asset allocation is responsible for approx. 97% of returns. In reality, the research that led to this claim actually states that asset allocation is responsible for approx. 97% of the variance of returns–a substantially different claim.

    I read Lawrence Solomon’s work “The Deniers” and started digging deeper. I found Climate Audit and started reading the archives. From there I moved onto other blogs (BH, WUWT, tAV, Briggs, Lucia etc). I did include the warmest blogs, but I couldn’t help but feel I was watching the Apple 1984 ad where the masses were made into dogma zombies. I don’t have the science background, but I know when I’m being shitted.

    Still, I’m a lukewarmist because, as Jeff has presented, CO2 does cause warming. And although I’m a borderline atheist (I know!) under certain circumstances I find myself in prayer–subconsciously hedging my bets. It would all be good fun if the socio-economic implications weren’t so serious. The policy that’s being recommended as a result of the current scientific orthodoxy could have disastrous effects on the world’s economy and have real life and death impacts on people in the second and third worlds.

  136. Casey said

    What an interesting thread!

    My background is in economics and finance with heavy statistics, PhD and ten years as an academic in an Ivy, then twenty as a finance industry exec.

    One of the great things you eventually learn in my game is that it is exceptionally difficult to accurately forecast anything. The professional economics and finance journals (this is truly a massive industry when compared to climate science) are now full of hundreds of thousands of peer reviewed research that has either been contradicted by new research or whose forecasts have been proved wrong by history. Some of the empirical research in economics and finance has stood the test of time, but it is a small percentage of the peer reviewed literature. Much (indeed I think most) of the peer reviewed empirical research in climate work is “immature” in the sense that it has not been available long enough to be said to have withstood the test of time. Wrong-thinking, poor statistical technique and bad data are inevitable, and they will eventually be exposed – that is just the way we learn.

    One interesting thing about the current episode is that the primary challenge to the peer reviewed literature has come from outside the academic climate research community, which appears to have lost the ability to question itself. This important issue needs to be on the business agenda of every university president and every research funding agency. It is a mangement responsibility to create organisational structures and career/income rewards which recognize that the continual questioning of prior research is an essential part of the “research process” itself. Researchers will respond to the incentives that they face. Some universities and research funding agencies have bought much shame on themselves by neglecting this basic management responsibility.

    I do not mean to denigrate the efforts of those inside of the professional academic/research community who have acted with integrity, but it is important to recognize the role that has been played by those outside of the formal climate research community in bringing the professional academic/research to account on analytical issues and data issues. Steve McIntyre has been an outstanding contributor, along with many many others.

  137. RogerCNY said

    While mostly a lurker I occasionally post. I have a BS and MS in meteorology and am a Certified Consulting Meteorologist. I did a thesis on atmospheric deposition and got into air quality meteorology consulting after school. I worked for five years consulting firms that did work for EPA then have been working in electric generating industry for the last 29 years. Therefore everything I say is suspect so I have to provide all the numbers and justification in any of my comments on a regulation. That becomes quite frustrating when the regulatory community fails to provide numbers and justification, for example like EPA’s endangerment finding.

    I have done a lot of work with air pollution model evaluation. Those models are nowhere near as complex as the climate models but even with these simple models there were problems. Most notably, they would get the right answers (we could do field studies, measure the air pollution and compare with the model results) but frequently for the wrong reasons (incorrect pollution regimes for the predicted high values which were close to the high measured values). I also recall one graduate school project where we had to develop a simple pressure forecast model. Aside from really teaching me what calculus was all about I learned that modelers have to make a lot of assumptions. Simply put, there are more variables than equations and not many measurements to initialize a model. The modeler has to parameterize some inputs, interpolate and extrapolate a lot of data and that could easily lead to parameterization that yields a pre-conceived result. Therefore, I have always been very leery of the GCM quantitative estimates of human-induced warming fraction of the total.

    I agree that additional CO2 will cause some warming but I don’t think it will lead to catastrophic problems. I strongly agree with the idea that some of the proposed solutions will cause much more harm than good overall. Finally, I am convinced that for the most part it is imperative to know where the money is coming from because the level of vested interest in a particular position on global warming is highly correlated. The point being that the loudest of the CAGW crowd have the biggest vested interest in cashing in one way or another.

    On the other hand, I think moving away from a carbon-based economy will require an extraordinary effort so I support some of the concepts (energy efficiency and solar renewable research) that are preached as the answer to CAGW. It is a déjà vu experience – Right ideas but wrong reasons for doing them. One thing I can say based on the last 15 years working on cap and trade programs for SO2 and NOX – a CO2 cap and trade program will be a disaster. I don’t think it will work for CO2 because you cannot add controls on existing sources. Far too much money won’t go to developing the technology to replace fossil fuels but will end up making those people who lobbied well rich.

    Thanks for tAV and the folks who come here.

  138. Ancient Mariner said

    I believe that it is important for the sceptic community to establish its academic credentials. Hence this comment.

    I am a D. Phil.(Oxford) in applied mathematics. I retired from the academic world aged 28 and joined the business world so that I could afford to bring up a family, which I couldn’t do on an academic salary. As I approach retirement I am again employed at a University. Sadly, this is why I use a pseudonym.

    My interest in climate science started when I noticed similarities in the coupled partial differential equations thrown up by the Navier Stokes equation to those I had been studying in quantum mechanics (albeit without the symmetries). A look at climate models quickly convinced me that they were B/S. If you can’t handle clouds or oceans and your linearising assumptions are unproved(not to mention those on feedbacks), how can you possibly claim to model climate? I looked at Real Climate and quickly recognized it as smarm central. Climate Audit was a different matter. Consideded, open, challenging it broadened my knowledge and I must admit a degree of horror as to what would pass as significant research and how it became so. Rigour was not part of it.

    I am of similar vintage to Jones et al in the CRU, which leads to a snarky comment. When I was a student, the people who gravitated towards data collection were those who couldn’t cut it in the more fashionable hard science. The plodders. As circumstances thrust them into the scientific limelight, their lack of real ability became only too obvious.

  139. JT said

    In my 50’s, grew up in northern British Columbia in the 60’s and 70’s, have repeatedly experienced 45-55 below zero weather, well remember the (apparently credible then) coming ice-age alarm. While earning a BSc in Biology had the privilege of attending two lectures at SFU given by Richard Feynman, worked a while in a lab, went back to university for a year toward a degree in Forestry, then switched to Law and got an LLB. 20+ years as a Barrister (so some practical experience with evidence including learning the art of cross-examining experts). Became interested in AGW when following the coverage on the Kyoto protocol because of it’s negative implications for Canada (we need to heat our houses in the winter) and stumbled on McIntyre’s and McKitrick’s criticisms of Mann’s hockey stick. Read postings at RealClimate, was unimpressed with their tone and their frequent failure to actually rebut contrary arguments, and went to CA. Was impressed, both with the courtesy and the quality of the discussions. Was a luke-warmer, probably still am, but am becoming ever more dubious as the quality of the underlying data appears ever more questionable.

  140. titan28 said

    Some years back I came across RC and like so many others here was bothered by the tone. It seemed to me then and it seems to me now that the purpose of RC is to obfuscate, not clarify. Everyone over there hides behind his expertise. If RC is a search for truth, we are doomed.

    I’m a former electrical engineer who has a phd in STS, a newish interdiscplinary degree that really isn’t as squishy as it sounds. Presently I teach in a university (American Studies, Lit., Technology Studies). A good bit of what I read here and elsewhere is a bit beyond me, so I rarely if ever post. Why get in the way? But I’m listening.

    What astounds me is the quality of intellectual volunteerism going on here at TAV, as well as at WUWT, Science of Doom, Bishop Hill, The Blackboard, Climate Skeptic, the Pielkes and yes, Chiefio (don’t know if he’s right, but he sounds like Pirsig in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, so I follow him like a hawk).

    On climate change itself I am a skeptic. I never questioned the thesis until I looked at RC, but now I wonder about the whole of it. I suspect it’s true the planet has warmed about .6 C over the course of the last century or so. CO2 doubtless plays some role in this. But so what? I don’t buy the calamity card at all. Nothing unusual seems to be happening. And if Chiefio’s right, then something truly odd is going on.

    Thanks, Jeff, for getting this thread going. Impressive lot! I’m going to send the link to all the CAGW types I know. Maybe they’ll think twice before they resort to name calling.

  141. JAE said

    WOW, I marvel at just how many commenters in this thread have put down RealClimate! I’d guess it’s above 30%. I am fairly certain that Gavin and others on the famous site which advertises itself as “Climate Science from Climate Scientists,” (or “The Team” for short) are reading this, so I will ask them here (impossible to ask at RC, due to censorship, so I HAVE to ask here): Has RC done more harm than good to the AGW cause? I personally think they have stepped in RealDung.

  142. Paul Linsay said

    A Ph.D. in physics and a thirty year career in academia. The first decade was in high energy physics doing experiments to search for rare particle decays and neutrino scattering. The second decade was spent building an experiment to search for gravitational radiation. The third was spent doing nonlinear dynamics, aka, chaos theory, including building a simulator for a cat retina. Along the way I helped organize one of the major university experiments to test the claims of cold fusion by Pons and Fleischmann. It turned out they knew very little about calorimetry and even less about nuclear instrumentation, but they were geniuses compared to “climate scientists”. After thirty years I got tired of university life and left to do industrial consulting. If you know anyone who wants to hire a cranky old physicist, please contact me. If the price is right, even Greenpeace is welcome, not that I’d object to Exxon.

    I knew nothing about global warming until one bedtime I read the infamous issue of Scientific American that had four articles attacking Lomborg’s “Skeptical Environmentalist” but, surprise, no reply by Lomborg on the following page. Naturally I went out and bought a copy of the book, which convinced me once again, that statisticians know nothing about science and data. It also ended what had been, between my father and myself, a fifty year subscription to Sci. Am. including a contribution to the Amateur Scientist column.

    I then started searching the web for more information and came across the websites of the late John Daly and Warwick Hughes. Both had very interesting perspectives that made me doubt the validity of AGW both from the standpoint of data and theory. Douglas Hoyt’s pages of scientific criticism at Hughes website were, and are, quite illuminating. Even after a decade they provide critiques of AGW that still haven’t been answered. These days I follow and occasionally comment on CA, WUWT, and here.

    When MBH98 came out, it was clear that this is junk science. “We assume that tree ring width increases linearly with temperature.” A third year physics student would have been flunked for a statement like that. Assuming things are fine when you write a novel, but not in experimental science. It’s not an instrument to measure temperature until you’ve shown it, elsewhere in careful experiments. It flunks third grade biology, where everyone learns that a plant needs water, sunlight, CO2, fertilizer, in addition to hospitable temperatures to grow. And it also flunks high school algebra where you learn that you need as many equations as unknowns if you want to compute even one of the unknowns, in this case at least five. They could have asked a biologist who would have told them this was wrong (the CRUTape letters actually have this exact statement by a biologist who they seem to ignore) . If they’d asked an arborist, as I did, they would have learned that ring width depends on water and if there’s lots of water on the north side but little on the south side of the tree, the rings will be fat to the north and thin to south. If a paper that was this bad sailed through Nature and was praised to the heavens by the IPCC and the climate science community, it was clear that this was a really corrupt business and had little to do with science. There’s also M&Ms devastating demonstration that the analysis programs produce hockey sticks from stock market data though the paper should have been discredited long before that because of the the non-science.

    On the positive side, I’d studied thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and radiative physics as a student but never used them professionally and actually understood them. It’s been entertaining to relearn them from this website and elsewhere. Some real science amid all the muck.

  143. AEGeneral said

    BS in Accounting, MBA, and CPA. Weird story on how I got lured into this.

    I first became interested in AGW back in 2003 while eating breakfast at a local Cracker Barrel. Ordered my customary chocolate milk with accompanying frosty mug. They brought out the mug with the usual two half-pints of chocolate milk like they serve in school cafeterias across the country. And just like when I was a kid, the milk cartons had a game on the side. But the game I saw that day wasn’t anything like I had seen years before.

    On the side was a crossword puzzle: _______ warming is destroying the planet. A hole in the ________ layer is….whatever. Don’t remember all of it now.

    It disturbed me enough to start a website about it in short order. Over the next few years, I found there weren’t too many people who saw what I did. But that didn’t sway my opinion that none of this made any sense.

    Changed URL’s a few times, and then some guy named Jeff Id posted on my forum. By then, there were hundreds of sites like mine, so I hung it up. I don’t know what started changing people’s opinions on AGW, but it doesn’t matter now. I’m just glad people are questioning it.

    I donate where I can, participate where I can. I surveyed 4 stations for the surfacestations.org project. I educate people one at a time. Slowly but surely I’m winning them over, largely from reading sites like this. Hell, it’s taken me 4 years to win over my in-laws. I think they’re finally starting to see what I saw years ago.

    I don’t comment much on the science, I just read & try to learn, and pass it on when someone questions me on it. The political & economic parts are all too obvious. Like it or not, this is a multifaceted informational war, and science is just one aspect of it. I’ve referred to this as the first cyberwar of the information age, and I’m sticking to that.

    Think about it. If it weren’t for the internet, would there be this level of debate right now? The media would have you think there is little if any debate at all.

    Other than that, what I like about this site is when its author actually admits he’s wrong about something. I don’t trust people who always claim they’re right, or have too big of an ego to admit they’re ever wrong. Especially when it comes to science.

    And I’m no scientist, but that’s what I was always taught. There are no preconceived conclusions, the results are what they are. So when you’re wrong, you should be excited about it. You’re learning something new, making yourself better than you were just yesterday.

    Otherwise, you’ll always be stagnant. If you can’t admit when you’re wrong, you’re destined to repeat the same mistakes for the rest of your life. And you’ll never grow on any level.

    Two cents. Change, please.

  144. Mark T said

    Suppose I should…

    BS/MS electrical engineering, PhD engineering. The latter is electrical, communication theory and signal processing in particular, but the school needed a way to keep the ME and CS degrees on the table so they combined them all, the year I applied. Radar, comm, and intelligence applications, mostly hardware and system level design, but a lot of software too, and about 13 of the last 15 years doing defense related work (had a 2 1/2 year stint with a dot com company). There were about 4 years between the first two degrees slinging drinks in a nightclub, too. Convenient way to pay for the MS, hehe. I’m actually contracting now, writing software to implement some signal processing algorithm that hasn’t been developed yet. Should be fun.

    Like UC, I’m still trying to understand where the accuracy comes from. PCA ain’t doing it.

    Mark

  145. Peter B said

    BSc, MSc and PhD in chemical engineering, with a couple decades’ experience in oil, energy, and more recently “green” sectors. I’ve worked in several countries in three continents over the years. I’ve always been a history buff, and when I first heard about the hockey stick, it just felt wrong to me, since to me the RWP, the MWP and the LIA were obvious just from historical evidence. But I didn’t pay much attention to global warming until I realized that some people were serious about trying to revamp the world’s economy by force. What Bjorn Lomborg was saying seemed obvious to me, and the reaction of the “climate establishment” to him – including the MSM – just absurd. I found Climate Audit, was appalled at Mann’s “science”. I should add that the kind of arguments made by the defenders of the IPCC and of the hockey stick were what convinced me something was wrong: primitive appeals to authority, demonization of critics by attacking their motives and supposed backers, the ridiculous mantra about “peer-reviewed literature”.

    Also things like the Intelligence Squared debate with Michael Crichton, Richard Lindzen, and Gavin Schmidt were among the participants – to me it was obvious who was on the side of reason, logic, fair-mindedness and science, and who was on the side of intimidation, emotional manipulation, and appeals to authority.

  146. DJA said

    Degree in Chemistry (research in analytical chemistry) and Mathematics, 25 years as a research chemist for a major multinational, during which I used ESR, Mass spec, X-ray crystalography etc.. I built the first GLC used in the company! ( shows how old I am), did long term research in stereo specific polymers. Changed companies, moved in to marketing and eventually became business manager for another major multinational chemical company. I like to make a profit!!!!
    However I have always been involved in politics since being involved in the young conservatives in UK as chairman of the local area.
    Now residing in Australia and became involved in politics again when Whitlam became PM. I was branch president in the Liberal Party. ( yes Jeff, the Australian Liberal Party is the opposition party to the socialists and the greens)
    I became interested in AGW because I saw it as a political force. I was determined to find out the truth and went firstly to RC. What I found there was politics at its worst. Differing views were denigrated, ad hominem attacks were the norm, they turned me off AGW completely. Climate Audit became my first port of call followed by most of the links there to WUWT and here.
    I do believe the earth’s climate changes but have not yet found any positive proof of CO2 AGW. I am still looking but don’t hold my breath that proof will be found.
    Climategate just reinforced my views about the political nature of AGW. So class me as a skeptic.

    No sane sceintist

  147. Gosh, you guys put me to shame. I’m just an Oxford English literature graduate and journalist who happened to get lucky with a story – Climategate – which was broken here first. Though I’m fascinated by the science – reading blogs like this has been a real education for me – what most interests me about AGW as a libertarian is the politics of it all. I’m sure most of you would agree that AGW is the greatest lie ever told. You guys are more than capable of explaining why it’s a lie. I see my job (as the cultural critic my university degree trained me to be) as being more in the way of analysing how it is that this lie became so widely promulgated, of exposing just how deeply buried in the fabric of our culture, and of trying to suggest what the hell we might do to stop it. Scientifically, I’m not worthy of you. As a polemicist, though, I hope I do my bit. This is war, perhaps the most important war our generation will fight, and we’re in this one together.

  148. Kon Dealer said

    Layman Lurker I would love to and indeed I did start on it. Since then events have somewhat taken over.
    I have had to take on the role of Head of Department- some 50+ academic, technical and support staff and a £3 million budget to manage. (a typical “flat-earther”)
    Of course my teaching committments had already been written in so I am effectively doing 2 jobs.
    I continue to look at these blogs and occasionally make minor contributions, but at the moment I simply to do not have the time (3 young children do not help either).

    I take my hat off to Jeff who manages this blog along with his day-job.

  149. Adam Gallon said

    A degree in Chemistry (“Only a Third”, so I was consigned to life as a salesman!)
    I found the delights of AGW via Christopher Booker’s column leading me to WUWT.
    I too have paddled in the dirty pond of “Open Mind” (Surely the most tongue in cheek name ever!) and Real Climate.
    I too found the ruling clique there to be rude, patronising and dismissive of all other view points (See the way that Dr Curry’s “Going over to the Dark Side” has been treated)
    I then found Climate Audit & tAV and found the way that dissenting views were treated there/here, even obvious trolls (Where’s “David” these days?).
    Branching out into the Pielke’s, The Blackboard etc, etc, I found that although the maths was above me, the explanations weren’t.
    The “proof” behind the claims of “Warmest Ever” didn’t stand up to scrutiny, contradictory evidence ignored – OK, I could accept that certain species of tree might have indications of temperatures of yore, but the idea that only certain trees within certain species was a nonsense.
    The next few years will be highly entertaining, I’m expecting temperatures to carry on down, then we’ll see the politicians throwing their former scientific allies onto the sacrificial pyres.
    I hope this doesn’t lead to a wholesale destruction of science itself!

  150. Brian H said

    Despite an aptitude for math and science, had ‘broad’ interests and ended up with just an Hon. B.A. in Psych and Statistics. A few years work in the field disabused me of a number of illusions and got me in hot water for declining to collaborate in certain abuses. Went into computer technology, some accounting, etc. Have always followed as much science of all sorts as possible.

    A few years ago I was casually in agreement with the precautionary argument, and the “green spin-offs” argument, but somewhere along the line came across one or another of the very cogent skeptic sites on the Web. Early exposure to RC left me disgusted, and subsequently have tracked WUWT and others challenging the “consensus”.

    And I’ve become pretty hard core. I think Jeff and the lukewarmists are wrong to concede that CO2 has any current or potential influence detectable by any possible human instrumentation, or describable by any human model. I’m with Gerlich and Tscheuschner on this.

    For those not ready to follow their dismissal of the math and physics abuses of CAGW, I offer this unitary consideration: there is geological evidence that a deep Ice Age co-existed with CO2 levels over 10X higher than present. There is thus no possibility that CO2 drives climate.

    TA @75: your rebuke of skeptics, “As an aside, someone really should tell certain skeptics that they can’t simultaneously be arguing that CO2 couldn’t possibly make any difference because there’s so little of it AND that adding more CO2 to the atmosphere couldn’t possibly make a difference because the atmosphere has already reached saturation with CO2 absorption”, is misconceived. Those two arguments are entirely compatible; the influence that CO2 could have, while small, was reached very quickly at very low levels (50-100 ppm), and any subsequent increase is negligible.

    Blackbody radiation is quite capable of bypassing all the little “signature” notches that CO2 and other gasses have, and that’s always going to be true. If you want to know the actual controllers of surface temperature, look to convection, evaporation, and condensation. Without them, you have the Moon.

    REPLY: I disagree with your conclusions but I also think it would be wrong to accept some detectable warming. My point on the other thread was that CO2 captures heatflow, not that that heatflow leads to warming. This though, isn’t the thread for that discussion, I just wanted to make it clear that I don’t call myself a lukewarmer for that exact reason.

  151. Greg Smith said

    Amongst all the illuminaries posting here there is a commom thread. As scientists we assumed that other “scientists” were doing the right thing. It was only when we actually looked at the “science” that we saw how flawed it was. We all live our lives trying to avoid the intrusion of the outside world but the current miasma of “Climate Science” calls for us to recapture our professional societies and journals and to deny the activists who have taken residence there. As a petroleum geologist I am slightly encouraged that the AAPG has recentltly backed off from its Environment Committee’s endorsement of AGW

    As an aside to people like Steve Mosher, this is not a “Boys Own Annual” adventure but a campaign to recapture the Newtonian exploration of what is

  152. mrpkw said

    Jeff, it appears that you have some serious intellectual and work/life experience readers here (not counting myself).

    But how about doing a post/topic on “Radon”

    I know that radon can be carcinogenic, but also think that it is truly a major scam with the housing industry.
    (along with the “mold” issue”

  153. AJStrata said

    Jeff,

    My path to this topic is incredibly similar to yours. I have been working command and control systems for DoD, NASA and commercial space my entire career. Therefore I have a deep love and understanding of science and math, and the scientific method.

    In the 1980’s through 2000 I was ambivalent to global warming. I had serious doubts about its viability in terms of conclusion and confidence in claims because I work in the complexities of space science and systems. When you understand how difficult it is to measure anything globally today, it is clear there is no way to accurately measure or derive measurements back in time – even 20 years.

    When it became clear the ‘scientists’ in this niche market were making exaggerated claim based on shoddy math (something CRU has admitted in a backhanded manner) I was stunned. I was even more agitated that the scientific method had been jettisoned and destroyed in the mad dash to discover the end of humanity and the world. In looking back, and from a perch embedded in a real envelope-pushing and challenging realm of scientific discovery, I am actually disgusted with how shaky the claims and how self-serving and delusional the process for making the claims.

    In my field, if anyone made a claim like the melting of Himalayan Glaciers in 25 years, they would be black-balled as incompetent. The fact this has not caused heads to roll is also very disturbing.

    The science of AGW has fallen, it is now just a matter of time before it becomes apparent to all those whose grasp on science, math and engineering is subpar, as compared to the vanguard areas of these disciplines.

    The result from CRU is telling. The result is the science/math was shoddy, the claims exaggerated and the professionalism of product dismal. When this is corrected the uncertainty will eclipse all confidence in the current claims.

  154. Arnost said

    I have only posted a couple of times here – but I read the blog just about daily (thanks JeffID!). So – even though I’m probably well down the line and no-one will read my “testimony” – maybe one day someone like Tom F will use this as a sample of the “typical” CC/AGW “skeptics” reading and posting on the blogs. So I’m posting!

    Late 40’s. After 2 yrs of an Engineering degree I dropped out and finished doing a double major in HPS (History Philosophy of Science) and Political Science. [Maybe a dumb move at the time, but it was much more interesting and the girls were prettier]. Ended up joining a bank after graduation – did a post grad diploma in Trade Finance (did well / ended up lecturing part time in it) and also have a Masters degree in Applied Finance (want to price a digital derivative? Ask me!). Currently am in a financial product / product development role.

    Growing up, I was an avid reader of SciFi (I have to admit that the good Doctor Asimov’s Guide to Science got me through high school science – those two books still stand the test of time even now…). Now, Asimov suggested as far back as the 60’s that a greenhouse due to CO2 emissions was on the cards – and I looked at the science of this as far back as the late 70’s and saw nothing to doubt that. So the claims that the world was warming in the 90’s and later was (as far as I was concerned) an expected event –and the whole discussion was well under my radar till end 2006 or so.

    I also grew up in Czechoslovakia through the 60’s (ended up in Australia in 1971) – and now have a (possibly pathological) aversion to socialism in any form. If I had to explain my political leanings I would class myself as a Libertarian (believer in the primacy of individual freedom and a very small government) with very strong Austrian economics leanings (neo-Keynesianism is CRAP!). (Is in any surprise that my most re-read books are by Heinlein and Pournelle?)

    I remember the “aha” moment so clearly – one evening I ended up at the late John Daly’s site where he discussed the Isle of the Dead tide marker. Up to that time I never saw (or paid close attention to) the “hockey stick” graph as per TAR –and there it was… And when I “saw” it I (intuitively) felt it was oh so wrong. I know enough history to argue it out its impossibility; and I know enough philosophy of science, and stats to argue out the flaws in modern CC/AGW “science”. After a couple of hours of net surfing where I discovered Climate Audit, Real Climate and a bunch of other sites, I became a committed skeptic. (Though I read them regularly, sorry – but Real Climate, Open Mind and Climate Progress are “activist” sites full of disinformation and spin).

    cheers

    Arnost

  155. D Johnson said

    I’m a retired project manager in my 70’s, with a BS in Aeronautical Engineering and MS in Mechanical Engineering. I worked as a project engineer/project manager for a NASA contractor during the Apollo program, then made a career shift after the Apollo and Skylab programs were completed, into the engineering and construction business. I worked projects in the petro-chemical field, a large part of it related to catalytic cracking.

    I believe my skeptical roots can be traced to Martin Gardners book, Fads and Falacies in the Name of Science, many years ago. I was a subscriber to the Skeptical Inquirer in the early days, but soured on it when it abandoned its truly skeptical stance on so many issues. I read Milloy’s Junk Science blog for many years, which is probably where I first encountered the global warming issue. This led me to daily visits to Climate Audit, where I recall reading some early exploratory postings by Lucia, and the subsequent establishment of her own blog, the Blackboard. I also started following Anthony Watts’ surface station project, and subsequently his blog WUWT. I also read and posted a couple of times on RC and Open Mind, but found the community of sycophants there to be very uninviting and intolerant.

    I currently live on the family farm where I grew up, and have watched agricultural yields increase substantially, owing to the introduction of no-till farming, the use of genetically modified soybeans and corn, and dare I say it, more favorable weather. I have always been a proponent of nuclear energy, and regret that we sacrificed world leadership in that field because of environmentalist scare tactics, and compliant politicians. I’m very skeptical of the practicality of wind energy, and believe the government should avoid picking winners in fields where technology and economics should prevail.

    I could be classified as a luke-warmer, since I would expect a small amount of warming from increased CO2, but think it most likely that the effect has been dramatically exaggerated, and that for the world as whole, will be beneficial for this century. My math tools are too rusty to make meaningful technical contributions, but not so rusty that I can’t enjoy the spirited technical arguments that occur here, as well at Lucia’s and CA. While I seldom post (I believe this is my first post here) there’s not much on my favorite blogs that I don’t read and find interesting.

  156. Gordon Ford said

    Obtained a BSc (Geology – geophysics) from the University of British Columbia in 1964. Completed the requirements for registration as a Professional Geologic Engineer in 1974. Became interested in climate change and sea level changes through Geomorphology course. Worked in mineral exploration in Canada and Australia through the 1970’s and experienced global cooling first hand. Mainly advanced exploration and mine development in the 1980’s with much time spent on environmental assessments and permitting. Retired to government in the 1990’s as the mining and smelting expert in the BC Ministry of Environment. While researching mine related environmental impacts discovered that the ministry’s environmental data base was a mess as no one “owned the data”. (when I left government an expensive attempt to fix the problems was trending towards an even larger mess)
    When presented with M Mann’s Hockey Stick my first thought was “where is the medieval warm period?”
    Retired to Salt Spring Island in 2002 where there is a large popuation of “true belivers”. They sometimes tolerate my skeptical views.

  157. PaulM said

    Phd count so far: I make it about 34.
    Not that this means much of course :)

  158. DJA said

    (along with the “mold” issue”
    MRPKW, my wife has ABPA, (Allergic Broncho Pulmonary Aspergillosis) Mold is a serious and health threatening issue in our household.
    See http://www.aspergillus.org.uk/

  159. NHills said

    BSc in Physics, then moved into software,swapped to Software Testing & Quality Assurance which I’ve done for the last 25+ years in a range of industries from local government, through financial/risk modelling to ecommerce & online gambling, I’m now Test Mgr for a major UK charity.

    Like a lot of you I ran across some comments about global warming and ended up at RC – didn’t like the shrill defensive tone at all, got a few abusive replies to what I thought were reasonable questions and went looking for more information. Having found CA I brushed off my stats knowledge and followed along with StevMc and learnt enough to make me keep digging and the more I dug the more convinced I became that AGW was a non-problem.

    With my Software Tester/QA hat on I can say that the model code I have seen so far is deeply unimpressive, badly written, badly documented and certainly not worth risking fifty quid on let alone the billions that we are being asked to cough up.

    Now a regular reader of CA, WUWT, TAV, Bishophill, Lucia, Jo Nova etc.

    Keep up the good work.

  160. david squire said

    This thread is a blast!

    Thought it would be boring based on the title, but instead I’m totally enthralled by all the mini-autobiographies. So much so that I’m compelled to post my first comment ever. Thanks to Jeff and Kendra for motivating me.

    My story has parallels to many of yours. And I must say the sheer magnitude of anti-intellectual, slack-jawed troglodyte, science-hating, mathematically ignorant, flat-earthish denialism is astounding! In its absence, that is.

    Background is engineering. Three degrees, Nuc/ME (’70s), BioEng (’90s). No PhD. Worked in aerospace, now in medical device development.

    Learned enough fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, & diff. eqns to have a rough clue how challenging it must be for GCMs to solve the Navier-Stokes equations for 200 million sq. miles (times many miles in altitude) of earth’s atmosphere and get valid long-term predictions (oops, “projections!”). Just trying to analyze what was happening within the confines of a jet engine combustion chamber was hard enough, and we could compare theory to experiment.

    On the first Earth Day in 1970, I recall that I rode my bike to high school instead of driving my Dad’s pickup. Forty subsequent years of catastrophic environmental predictions that haven’t befallen us may have made me distrustful of such things. Not as bad as Lily Tomlin, though; I think she said, “No matter how cynical I get, I can’t keep up.”

    Still, given the media coverage for the last 20 yrs or so, I assumed there must be something to CAGW even though the “C” was likely exaggerated. I did read a skeptical book in about 1992 called, I think, “The Heated Debate” by Robert Balling of Ariz State U. He mentioned things like the rising temps in the early 20th century before human-generated CO2 amounted to much. I think he also pointed out the difficulties in measuring and calculating a “global average temperature.” (Interesting that I’ve never seen that book referred to in any blog discussions; wasn’t exactly a best-seller, I guess.)

    First time I searched the web for AGW knowledge was a couple years ago after seeing a newspaper column (might have been by Lindzen) that said, yes, Arctic ice has recently been decreasing, but the Antarctic cap may be growing. Seemed paradoxical, if “global” warming was as bad as I’d been told.

    So I Googled something about icecaps and found (surprise!) the ICECAP site, which led me to the “denier” sites you all know and love. Haven’t done much reading here at tAV, but lots at CA & WUWT.

    Slightly ashamed to admit I’ve never had the guts to read RealClimate or other adamantly pro-AGW blogs, but from many of the comments here it sounds like I would have just gotten miffed. I would be interested in someday reading a description of how GCMs work–just the math, hold the arrogance and condescension please.

    Never tackled any statistical analysis of climate data myself, but enjoy reading (if not exactly understanding) the efforts of Jeff Id, Steve Mc & others, which has caused me to wish that the “professionals” entrusted with temp data and proxy reconstructions were, well, more professional.

    So in conclusion, as you graduates go forth into the world…oh, sorry, wrong speech! In conclusion, at my current level of ignorance, here’s what I think:

    -CO2 absorbs some thermal wavelength radiation while being essentially transparent to sunlight, which probably increases the “insulating” power of the atmosphere.

    -Atmospheric CO2 has increased in the past several decades, probably mostly due to human emissions (cripes, I sound like the IPCC! Somebody hand me a razor blade), but I don’t know how much to trust the “consensus pre-industrial” level of 280 ppm. Al Gore’s description of humans having created a “thick blanket” of CO2 around the earth is just annoying to my math sense, given that we may have added something like 0.01% to an atmosphere whose total thickness is analogous to the peel on an apple.

    -Earth’s “average temperature” is really hard to measure, and might not even have much thermodynamic meaning since energy from the sun can heat air, heat water, heat land, evaporate water, melt ice, sublimate ice (what am I forgetting?)–processes that all have different relationships between energy and delta T.

    -But even with the incertainties in temperature measurement, it appears that the earth warmed during the 20th century (also the 19th). There’s probably a pretty wide tolerance band around the actual magnitude, and it’s by no means settled what fraction of it was caused by increased CO2.

    -Predicting the warming caused by the proverbial doubling of CO2 has an even wider tolerance band, and is quite unlikely to be in the “catastrophic” range.

    -No government seems to have undertaken a thorough and rational cost-benefit analysis of “fighting climate change.” If done, it would probably conclude that any realistic efforts would cost a lot and have no measurable effect on climate.

    Apologies for droning on way too long, and thanks again to the proprietor for letting me and all the commenters here spill our guts!

  161. Robert E. Phelan said

    One of the things I find remarkable here is that almost a quarter of the commenters seem to have used their real, full names; another quarter using partial names or initials have given enough information to be indentified if someone wanted to go through the trouble; and a significant number have apologized because they can’t use their real names. Only one AGW supporter has posted here, and I understand HIS reluctance to post too much identifying information… but it is easier to villify and demonize an anonymous blogger from behind your own anonyme than it is when both he and you have faces, interests, accomplishments and dreams – and like the same beer.

  162. Carl Gullans said

    I became interested in AGW because of media reports and middle/high school curricula which stank of political interference and exaggerated B.S.

    I’ve just got a degree in statistics with a few actuarial exams (US) under my belt, with hopefully more to come soon.

  163. Roger Knights said

    Tom Fuller:

    what informs my writing is my sense that this will be a 30-year war, with ups and downs for either ‘side’ of the debate. 2009 was a great year for skeptics. I think 2010 will see the Empire Strike Back, in ways already illustrated by the findings of ‘investigations’ into Climategate.

    OTOH, the cold scare of the 70s faded quickly once temperatures turned around. If there’s a strong La Nina later this year and a strong (above the long-term average) minimum ice extent, and not too bad a hurricane season, CAWG could get put on the back burner by the MSM and politicians. My fingers are crossed. A couple more years of that and it would fade away like disco.

  164. j ferguson said

    Robert E. Phelan,
    I think retirement or self-employment makes it easier to use identifiable names. On another site, most names are disguised and I sympathize with the need. These guys are airline pilots and their interests might not be entirely sympathetic to the the lines they work for.

    Is this pattern here?

  165. mrpkw said

    158
    Mold CAN be a problem.
    It is not always a problem to everyone.
    An entire home shouldn’t have to be scrubbed clean because a single micron of mold was found.

  166. Roger Knights said

    The criticisms leveled at the signers of the Oregon petition were that not all had PhDs, that only a minority were scientists (as opposed to engineers and technicians), and that few were climate scientists.

    The impressiveness of the entries above reveals how facile that caviling was.

  167. Mark T said

    What’s odd about their assertions, particularly regarding engineers, is that many of the tools/techniques climate scientists use were developed by… engineers (statisticians, too, but the climate community equally pooh-poohs them).

    Hell, wasn’t it Eric Steig calling someone (UC?) out on MATLAB? Best engineering tool ever, IMO. I’ve personally been a MATLAB user for 20 years, and I’ve seen folks like Jean S and UC discuss its use (and analyze scripts) in a manner suggesting they aren’t just casual users themselves. Scripts I’ve seen produced by the climate scientists, Mann in particular, are atrocious.

    I think one of the points that the Oregon Petition is really trying to make is that the notion of “consensus” doesn’t really mean anything when you dig deep enough. As is quite normal for large, complex theories involving overlap between several fields, consensus is all but impossible to acheive and even when it seems to be imminent, it is quickly overturned by some new information or a better solution/analysis.

    Mark

  168. Howard said

    Wow. Very impressive backgrounds all around.

    I have a BA in Geological Sciences (1983) with emphasis in field mapping and geophysics. Worked in geothermal exploration and production for 2-years, water supply development for 2-years and subsurface contamination assessment and cleanup for 23 years. Extensive experience in groundwater flow and contaminant transport modeling and field work. At the age of 50, I still play in the dirt with all of the kids. I’ve logged miles and miles of core and learned more geology from high school dropout drillers and backhoe operators than Phd’s (no offense). I know very little about statistics. I do know data quite intimately. Getting “clean” data is not a trivial exercise. My experience is that for most scientific professionals, data collection is beneath their station and is merely grunt work to be done by monkeys.

    When the grumblings of AGW began in the 1980’s, my first thought was that it was a load of crap. Started off on the net with the debunkers site which led to Climateaudit and Realclimate.

    Moshpit is right, rude or arrogant does not equate to BS. Passive aggressive behavior, slanted filtering, appeals to authority, predictions of catastrophe, taking polls on scientific consensus and hiding raw data are all pure BS signal. About 75% of the subsurface contamination industry is BS. Therefore, based on my experience, the first appropriate response to CAGW is to call BS.

    Obviously, human activity changes the environment and CO2 spewing will cause a warming input. Does the data show that CO2 is responsible for 20th century warming? That is impossible to answer until natural variation mechanics are understood and when the net effects of all of the various interconnected feedback mechanisms are quantified.

    The geologic record, however, shows that warming is generally a good thing. If the worst case IPCC scenarios are correct there is no evidence that this will be bad for human health or the environment. We do know that air and water pollution are very very bad for people, bugs, bunnies and plants. My conclusion is that the elevation of the future potential theoretical threat of CAGW to the prime environmental concern takes away money, times and brains from real environmental degradation that is killing and maiming right now. The result is an acceleration of environmental racism.

    For other reasons, I do believe that de-carbonizing energy pollution is a good thing. We don’t need to derail the world economy to do it. For planning purposes, it seems reasonable (a field geologist SWAG) that we would want to keep CO2 under 1,000-ppmv.

    That would make me a What Me Worry Warmer.

  169. Brad R said

    I have an M.S. in Computer Science and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering; I currently develop software for real-time control systems (“where Ctrl-Alt-Del is not an option!”). My first exposure to the AGW hoopla was through an undergraduate classmate who went on to get a Physics Ph.D., specializing in computational physics, with some direct experience in weather modeling. He related some horror stories of bad programming he’d seen, and in particular informed me that the “hockey stick” could be generated from random data. I also had read Lomborg’s article in the Economist, and visited the Junk Science site. I was quietly skeptical of AGW until Climategate, which I found to be deeply shocking. Since then I’ve been trying to read up on the science — in my Copious Free Time — here and at other blogs (Climate Audit, the Blackboard, WUWT, and a few others). My conclusions at the moment are that there is some global warming, but it is largely natural and only a small fraction is human-caused; that it is not enough to worry about; that adaptation is the appropriate response; and that “catastrophic” AGW exists only in badly-conceived computer models.

  170. DONALDOVITCH said

    I became interested in science at a very young age and ultimately qualified as a chemist, working in the pulp and paper industry all of my career. Managed R& D, Quality control/assurance,etc. and did a bit of tech/marketing. Great fun.
    Realised in the late ’60s that we had a genuinely polluting pulp mill situation, and became deeply involved in development of new pulping and bleaching processes to solve the problem. Lots of good ideas did not work (e.g. ultrafiltration), but persistence payed off.
    Research and good lateral thinking over some years provided a viable set of options, and with cooperation of State Governments and large capital investments the site is now genuinely environmentally “clean”.
    My nativity was exploded when, just days before the Government’s announcement that the new processes were to introduced, Greenpeace chained themselves to the mill,s effluent outfall, and then claimed credit for the good outcome!
    So I became a rabid watermelon skeptic!
    So when Al Gore announced that “the science is settled”and I saw the Mann hockey graph that refuted so much well documented evidence for the MWP I became a CAGW skeptic for real.
    However, watermelonthink is still PC, and we have a long way to go to reverse the political ramifications of the past few years.
    i believe it is up to we skeptics to continually remind others of the basic tenets of GOOD science, and to work towards it’s introduction as a basic element in our education system.

  171. Mike Goad said

    US Navy enlisted, submarines, nuclear power plant operator.

    After navy, commercial nuclear power plant operator, licensed reactor operator, senior reactor operator, senior operations instructor. Licensed operator from 1982 to 2007. retired.

    BS in Industrial Technology.

    While I’ve been somewhat skeptical for some time, a couple of years or so ago, I came across one of Steven Milloy’s junk science articles. After reading one, I wanted more.

    What finally sold me totally was coming across information dealing with the specific IR wavelengths that are absorbed by CO2. Since essentially all of the infrared in these wavelengths are already being absorbed by the existing CO2, it didn’t make any sense that additional CO2 could absorb any significant amount of additional infrared. Then I started learning about all the other fun stuff, including watching climategate unfold in the blogs and, later, inadequately in the mainstream media..

  172. Jimmy Haigh said

    I have just spent the last hour giving my story. When I submitted it I had forgotten to put my name and e-mail address in. I lost everything I wrote. Pity – it made my life seem pretty interesting!

    C’est la vie…

  173. stan said

    J.D. (i.e. law degree). Math and economics in college (couple levels of physics). I certainly lack the credentials of many here, I like to think I can keep up with a lot of the discussion. Is it too pitiful to mention that my HS team finished first in the state math contest and I turned down a merit engineering scholarship for college? Yeah, I thought so, too.

    A knowledge of Malthus’ error, the peak whale oil (non)’crisis’ of the late 18th century, and the solid track record of Paul Erlich and company for ALWAYS being wrong in their dire predicitions, gave me a predisposition to believe that Algore and his minions were simply following a well-established human tendency to worship at the altar of Chicken Little.

    CAGW proponents resemble those lawyers whose opening statements are full of broad sweeping generalizations of what the evidence will prove, but whose actual evidence is puny and often contradicts their claims.

  174. Harry said

    I started as a service technician for electronics (television sets, radio so on), learning the hard way: on the job. Later I worked for a company designing emission control of X-ray tubes used for X-ray spectroscopy, getting experience with EHT circuits and high vacuum techniques. During my military, I spent my time servicing night goggles, and I still remember the excitement when we received the first MCP based goggles. This was supported by a university study of electronics. I decided then to go for some more, and started a university study in biology, graduaded and earned my PhD after long night time experiments. I was around when the first massive DNA sequencing took off, the first microarrays were made. Data flow was booming, we generated megabytes a day at that time which all had to be archived and annotated (This is now Gb/day!). Then I switched to masspectrometry and isotopic analysis. Having run a radioactive lab for years, it was a relief to have the same sensitivity now achievable with stable isotopes. I am now involved in cancer research, working on new drugs to eradicate tumours by switching on their self destruction mechanisms.

    I came into the AGW debate by curiosity: I was wondering what the hell was going on with this? Reading the blogs, and a lot of scientific papers (all peer reviewed) I was flabbergasted by the poor data handling and almost complete lack of analytical statistical expertise. For me it is completely incomprehensible that there is no validated temperature record. The IPCC is a mess, with alot of blunders still waiting to be revealed.

    I want to have my part in this.

  175. Jeff Id said

    I just made this thread a permanent link at the bar above. This should have been done long ago at other blogs, too many interesting people with too much knowledge stop by here.

  176. Harry said

    And I want to add this:
    I think climate research should be under federal supervision, comparable to fda 21 CFR 11. This should teach them (climate researchers) a lesson in archiving.

  177. Harry said “I think climate research should be under federal supervision, . . .”

    Unfortunately, Harry, the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) reviews the budgets and thus supervises agencies like NASA, DOE, EPA, etc.

    The alliance of NAS with politicians and with other national academies of science world wide is very close to the root of the problem.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  178. Eric said

    I hope that RC is reading this. Not for the heavyweight degrees but so that they can see the effect they have on people.

    Me? BS and most of a masters degree in applied math, and eventually an MBA. I now work in the field of applied optimization software where we know the meaning of GIGO.

    I got interested in this because my liberal/enviro brother and sister sent me to RC when I started asking questions. To this day I can only believe that they had never read a word there themselves. It was just a short hop from RC to CA. The difference in the two sites was very telling. I’ve been hooked on the blogs ever since… CA, Watts, tAV, Blackboard, Pielke Jr & Sr, Fuller, Bishop Hill… RC and Climate Progress among others for balance. It is a wonder I get any work done at all.

    Thank you all very much for your contributions.

    But where is Bender?

  179. Mark T said

    Yeah, gee, let’s give control over the biggest power grab in the history of mankind to… those that are attempting to grab the power. Doesn’t sound like a very good idea to me, unless you think what is already happening is a good idea to begin with.

    Mark

  180. For many years, Mark, I shared Harry’s conviction that federal supervision would prevent the outrageous abuses of science that Climategate revealed.

    Now I look on Climategate as a blessing that finally exposed the unholy international alliance of world leaders, national academies of sciences, the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee, our most reputable news organizations and research journals working together world-wide to use science as a propaganda tool.

    At long last, after decades of frustration, I am finally beginning to understand why:

    1. NASA scientists would not consider evidence that:

    a.) The Sun itself exploded 5 x 10^9 years ago to produce the solar system,
    b.) The interior of the Sun is mostly iron, like the cores of inner planets, and
    c.) Mass fractionation moves lightweight elements and isotopes to its surface.

    2. DOE scientists:

    a.) Were unable to see evidence of neutron repulsion – the largest source of nuclear energy – in nuclear rest mass data (arguably the world’s most beautiful set of data), but

    b.) “Discovered” that solar neutrinos magically oscillate away – in exactly the right proportions needed to explain away the missing solar neutrinos and preserve the standard model of the Sun as a giant ball of Hydrogen – before reaching detectors.

    These abuses of science are basic tenets of the global warming scam [“Earth’s heat source – The Sun”, Energy & Environment 20 (2009) 131-144]

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/0905.0704

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  181. I feel out of place amongst all this male talent!

    Distaff, 63, BSc in Sociology long, long ago but at least it taught me to be unafraid of tables and graphs. I was accepting, in a desultory sort of way, of the “consensus” on AGW until three years ago when I viewed the Channel 4 film “The Great Global Warming Swindle” which jogged me awake and introduced me to many of the luminaries of sceptical science that I now hero-worship.

    After wandering the blogosphere a bit at random I finally lighted on WUWT, Climate Audit, Musings of Chiefio, Pielke Sr, Roy spencer, Lucy Skywalker, Warwick Hughes, World Climate Report and a few others. I was on-line when Climategate broke on the night on Thursday 19th November 2009 and immediately downloaded all the emails and files, feeling very reckless and brave about possibly breaking the law! Was ever so excited by this culmination of a lot of suspicions re the IPCC clique and have been in a state of heightened climatological awareness ever since!

    I have no science background apart from a bit of very basic statistics so am unable to check up personally on claims made by climatologists and others but I consider myself smart enough to judge the sheep from the goats when it comes to identifying the right people to guide me through the intricacies of the physics and stats. I believe anyone can understand climatology who has the curiosity and access to the right people who can explain stuff in clear prose. I have found such people on contrarian weblogs and now spend a large part of my day browsing them. I definitely feel part of a community engaged in a serious pursuit of information. I wish I had had the same passion for my undergrad studies as do at this relatively late stage in my “academic” career with respect to the climate!

  182. Tom Peel said

    First to my background – I graduated from university with a first class degree in maths and physics, after which I wound up in the computer industry, although I maintained a casual interest in developments in various scientific advances.
    I got seriously interested in the subject of AGW a few years back after having an unsuccessful argument with someone, and I realized I had to get my facts right. After looking at the available material on the Internet I saw that there was too much hype and not enough solid science in what you could get for free, and it was very hard to distinguish one from the other.
    So I started buying books – on atmospheric physics – the stuff you need for a postgrad course on this speciality. I have some books that were published before the hype was started, so I can be sure that there is no kind of political line being pushed. The books covered CO2 and the Greenhouse Effect as just one of many subjects.
    The experience was humiliating – I realized that I’d forgotten half the advanced maths you need, and that the stuff I learnt at university only scratches at the surface at what there is to learn about physics.
    After several months of study I can now claim that I do understand the physics and the numbers behind the AGW story- and it is real. Anthropogenic CO2 really is a problem, AGW is not a hoax, the climate scientists are right.

    T.

  183. Tom Peel said

    Just to add a postscript – to understand the CO2 problem, you need the laws of thermodynamics and the hydrostatic equation, which give you the lapse rate principle, which determines the temperature gradient in the troposphere. Then add the Clausius-Clapeyron equation to these to understand that the atmospheric WV content is essentially limited to the lower troposphere. Then add the structure of the IR spectra of non-diatomic molecules, radiation transfer theory and the radiation balance principle, stir well, leave to stand for several months and serve.

  184. Bad Andrew said

    “Then add the structure of the IR spectra of non-diatomic molecules, radiation transfer theory and the radiation balance principle, stir well, leave to stand for several months and serve”

    T. Peel,

    It’s just like makin’ pancakes, iddinit? :wink:

    Andrew

  185. JAE said

    181, Tom Peel:

    “After several months of study I can now claim that I do understand the physics and the numbers behind the AGW story- and it is real. Anthropogenic CO2 really is a problem, AGW is not a hoax, the climate scientists are right.”

    Right about what?

  186. Bad Andrew said

    “AGW is not a hoax”

    “I am not a crook”

    Andrew

  187. Derek said

    I will not attribute this quote to one person, because so many have expressed the same thought.
    My reply applies to all equally.

    ” I’ve been hooked on the blogs ever since…
    CA, Watts, tAV, Blackboard, Pielke Jr & Sr, Fuller, Bishop Hill… RC and Climate Progress among others for balance. ”

    Unforutunately those are two sides of a story with at least another side.
    It is truely amazing how many have their eyes and mind closed to the possible existence of a third, or more sides.
    There are mainstream skeptics (frequently referring to themselves as “lukewarmers” – they only question the magnitude, not the principles),
    just as there are mainstream consensus scientists, two sides of the same coin in reality.
    It’s the same answer to what is “climate”, all they do is alter the magnitude.

    This mainstream attitude that “we have the right answer, but not the magnitude”, is a complete misnomer
    in a “science” as young as climate science, that is soo politicaly powerful.
    ie, “Green”, “save the planet”, etc, etc..
    It really is that obvious.

  188. Doc_Navy said

    No worries about being bottom of the heap.. I have that covered.

    I am not a regular poster here at tAV, although I am a regular lurker. Those of you who read and post at WUWT, and Tom Fuller’s blog will recognize me. :)

    In many ways my background mirrors some of you. I started college and majored in biology…costs got a little steep so I quit halfway through my junior year to become a commercial diver. Worked for a couple of dive companies then struck out on my own. Hurricane Opal put an end to that and I joined the US Navy’s Spcial Warfare, divefarer program. Ultimately (after some more Navy schooling) I moved from diving to combat medicine and joined the Fleet Marine Force as an Independant Duty Corpsman. After three combat tours and NUMEROUS hazardous duty deployments, I decided to go back to school and become a Physician’s Assistant, which is what I do now.

    How I got involved in the AGW debate:
    I have always been sort of a fence sitter on Global Warming, but it was during my first tour in Iraq that I got a hold of Michael Crichton’s “State of Fear”, and my eyes were opened. After reading his book, I noticed that there were references in the back… having a little time on my hands I started looking them up and the scales began to fall from my eyes.

    I watched the I2 debates in which Gavin got clobbered by Crichton, and was astounded by the results of the debate. A complete flip flop in opinion. This started me thinking, but the final straw was dealt, funnily enough, by RC and Gavin himself…

    I posted (or tried to, anyways) a number of relevant questions on RC concerning CO2 residence time, Climate sensitivity, and why the Sun was unimportant to AGW; I was sincerely trying to understand. At first my questions made it through moderation, but were recieved by the community there with contempt and (what I thought was) extremely unfounded venom. “Dhogaza” comes to mind as one of the particularly rude, and mean-spirited posters. I noticed that the moderators over there seemed to ENCOURAGE the rude behaviour of their regulars in reaction to those they deemed “deniers”. Later my comments disappeared down the RC moderation blackhole. I cross posted to WUWT sometimes, but ultimately became disenfranchised with the hypocrisy of a site that purports to try to explain climate science to “the masses”, yet spends 95% of it’s time bashing “the enemy” (Deniers) and deriding anyone who dares to ask a question without first making obeissance to the almighty consensus.

    Then came Antarctica. When Gavin played the “Mystery Man” game ~with his own readers~ in an effort to deny Steve McIntyre the credit he was due… that was it, I couldn’t take it anymore. It was obvious to me that the WHOLE CREW at the top when it came to climate science was playing fast and loose with ethical practices, proper scientific method, and accurate data keeping. I no longer trusted the folks telling me to change my lifestyle because I was an over-consuming, 1st world sinner helping to bring the destruction of the Planet.

    I was entirely UNsurprised when Climategate hit. I had been expecting it. In fact, I am still expecting another event.. only bigger.

    Doc

    PS. What I find interesting is that THE most prolific poster of pro-AGW tripe… hasn’t bothered to post here. Everywhere else, but not here.

  189. Harry said

    I know it is OT, and I ask for your comprehension.

    I made a statement about federal supervision:
    I think climate research should be under federal supervision, comparable to fda 21 CFR 11. This should teach them (climate researchers) a lesson in archiving.

    The point I wanted to make was not the Federal supervision, but the rigorous description of all data that have to be supplied to the FDA in the process of getting permission to advance in clinical research. Under these rules, you are able to find out what version of software was inside which brand of digital voltmeter that the service technician from certified (and at what date the company was certified) company X used to calibrate your DVM.

    ——–
    REPLY: I have an open thread for this. Please use this thread to describe your background.

    But maybe this would be a nice topic for a separate thread. Snip as you think appropriate.

  190. Eric said

    Derek @ 168

    That quote was mine. I completely agree with you that the issues & alternative views of AGW are not binary but rather a continuum but I wish to take this chance to reframe my blog comparison.

    I suggest you can view my contrasted blog list not as Warmist vs Denier but rather as blogs that honestly and openly consider and discuss complexities and inconvenient truths (tAV, the Blackboard, CA, Pielkes, Fuller, Verheggen, WUWT, etc) vs blogs who take a top-down, condescending, with us or against us stance. I am not the first to point this out. Fuller has written whole columns on the subject.

    I believe that the open mindedness of these blogs, especially when contrasted with the alternatives, is exactly what led many of us here.

    sorry if this is too far off topic.

  191. Eric said

    last post in response to Derek @ 186.. not 168

    How come no 10min to edit like Lucia allows? :)

  192. GrantB said

    Jeff, been on hols so I would have commented earlier. Great post, please try some stats on it and maybe encourage every new reader to add her/his name to the list.

    BSc(Hons1) PhD Theoretical Physics (statistical mechanics). 20+ years with Australian Department of Defence modelling the performance of electro-optical surveillance systems amongst other things. Apart from target, sensor and human perception modelling it also required the use of standard atmospheric transmission models (LOWTRAN, MODTRAN, HITRAN etc).

    I am a lukewarmer. I’m comfortable with radiative physics. I believe an increase in CO2 will introduce an increase in temperature in a closed system. It will probably do something similar in an open system. But until someone can quantify theoretically and observe experimentally the effects of feedbacks (all types) then that’s as far as I, and surely anyone, can go. And our world politicians are going to limit the increase in “average global temperature” (smirk) to 2 deg C by 2100. Well of course they are.

    My interest in CAGW was aroused essentially by Australian ABC television. Amongst a multitude of other warmists they repeatedly interviewed, a paleo (Dr Tim Flannery) must have had a camp stretcher in the studio, because he was on air repeatedly handwringing, talking doom but most notably of all he actually said “the science is settled”. And the silver haired commentator nodded wisely and looked at him starry eyed. I smelt BS and have followed the debate ever since.

    Thank you for your efforts and for the careful and well documented details of your analyses. And to CA and BH as well.

    BTW: one month before Copenhagen our PM (Tin Tin lookalike with a degree in Chinese) announced we had to have a carbon polution reduction scheme because climate change was the greatest crisis facing mankind. Yes, he actually called CO2 carbon pollution. Today he announced that it would be put on hold until 2103 post Kyoto. Crisis averted, Australia is safe from climate change until 2013.

  193. steven mosher said

    Re 169

    I currently develop software for real-time control systems (“where Ctrl-Alt-Del is not an option!”).

    luv it.

  194. DD said

    I am a biomedical scientist doing research in cancer and immunology. I remember seeing Gore’s Inconvenient Truth and thinking this could be a big deal. Around that time, we had an election in Canada where one of the issues was a carbon consumption tax. It made sense to me that if carbon was a problem, taxing consumption would be a reasonable approach. (The candidate proposing it lost big time). Anyway, I didn’t think much more about it until ClimateGate broke. It wasn’t the snarky e-mails so much as the snippets of computer code that showed extensive manipulation of the data. I immediately thought, ‘If I manipulated my own data like that, i would be fired’. That’s when I started looking in to the skeptic arguments. Interestingly, the skeptics were making arguments using data and statistics. The ‘warmers’ were using ad hominem attacks and talking about the ‘overwhelming consensus’ of climate scientists. That really got me annoyed because as a practicing scientist, the last thing you do is rely on ‘consensus’. All it takes is one inconvenient piece of data to blow ‘consensus’ out of the water. I don’t think there was any conspiracy to defraud or anything. I’m inclined to think that the scientists got in a bit over their head, couldn’t handle the celebrity status and unconsciously started being selective in their acceptance of supportive data and rejection of contrary data. It’s easy to get caught up in looking for data to support your hypothesis when there is so much riding on it. As it stands now, I’m inclined to believe that AGW is probably the least of our worries. It pains me to see the environmentalist movement hijacked by people who are convinced that humanity is the enemy of nature. Wrong!!! Human ingenuity is our only hope.

  195. Mike H said

    I am a qualified skeptic. I didn’t think I would end up on the anti-establishment side but well, here we are!

  196. Fun thread, though I’m left feeling like a bit of a youngin’ at only 27.

    I focused on economics and international relations as an undergrad, worked for an environmental economics consulting firm specializing in assessing the value of coral reef services while doing a Fulbright in the Netherlands and picking up an incidental MSc along the way. Decided that I wanted a real grad degree (European grad schools are, unfortunately, not always up to snuff) and ended up at Yale for two years studying energy policy and economics. Started a tech company with some folks I met in grad school to build energy efficiency programs for utility companies, and two years later I’m still in NYC doing that. Planning on doing a bit of a career switch and trying for a PhD in climatology in a year or two after we sell the company (or go broke, but so goes startup life).

    My interest in the science side of things started in earnest after reading RC and diving head first into the wonderful world of climate blogging back in ’05. After spending an inordinate amount of time with this stuff for the last 5 years, I figured I’m young enough to try and turn my hobby into a career.

    I’m probably a bit more on the “warmist” side than most folks here, but I definitely think that both sides need to dramatically improve their communication and try to move discussions away from the strawmen that all-to-often characterize most of the dialogue. One of the reasons I ended up spending time over at Lucia’s place is that it serves as the DMZ of the climate blogosphere, so to speak; an area with a reasonable high signal to noise ratio with plenty of erudite folks.

  197. Jeff Id,

    Perhaps the most important part of your thinking on climate change already occurred before this party:

    “So I’m sitting at a party a couple of years ago and someone tells me something about AGW. I told him I thought the whole thing was a political scam.”

    How did you get to that thought without having looked into the topic in any depth at that point?

    Could it be that your subsequent search for information was somehow guided by the preconception that it was a scam?

  198. HotRod said

    Bart – first can I say how much I enjoy your blog, I’ve mentioned this above in general, particularly for the good manners and (relatively!) ego-less search towards truth.

    It seems to be a theme throughout most posts here that people either were suspicious, or became suspicious, which either says something about human nature, Jeff’s readers’ cussed independence, or they have a point, and they don’t seem stupidly biased to me in general.

    My brief answer to your question would be ‘Firstly I thought there was something in the science, but it seemed evident that it was getting likely politicised, seemed highly certain that policy responses would be uncertain in their effect and ill-thought-out, I didn’t like the jib-cut of a lot of the people being alarmist, and I think I was right. Secondly it wasn’t clear to me that CAGW followed AGW, so why was AGW automatically such a bad thing?’

    Personally I like the way Jeff wears his cards on his sleeve, to mix a metaphor or two. Makes it easier to filter.

  199. Tim said

    #197 – Bart

    People are automatically sceptical if someone tries to sell them something that they don’t want to buy.
    You would not see the same kind of scepticism if climate scientists did not keep pushing the CO2 reduction policy option.

    i.e. if climate scientists clearly stated that:

    1) CO2 is risk that needs to be addressed.
    2) The exact impacts cannot be predicted. They will likely be good and bad.
    3) The decision on whether to adapt, reduce CO2 emissions or both is up to society.
    4) The significant community has no opinion on the best policy.

    Unfortunately, that is not what happened.

  200. AMac said

    A brief summary of mentions of RealClimate.org in the preceding reader self-profiles is at Comment #140 of “#Open Thread #1″. (For anyone drawn to this thread from a remark on this point in Comment 387 following Kieth Kloor’s interview with Judy Curry.)

  201. HotRod, Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

    Tim,
    I’m surprised. The points you feel should be stated are pretty much stated by most climate scientists (though I would phrase them slightly differently). (Of course, many will also have an opinion about what response would be best, but that’s only personal opinion.)

  202. Jeff Id said

    Please leave off topic discussion for other threads – there are plenty.

  203. Robert E. Phelan said

    197.Bart Verheggen said
    April 28, 2010 at 3:14 am

    Bart, I’ve enjoyed and admired your thread with VS… and you’re one of the last I would have thought would attempt to hijack a thread. This thread is to introduce readers and have them explain in their own words why they came to the position of skepticism or why they feel AGW is a real and urgent concern. U don’t think it is appropriate to challenge anyone on this thread. It would be good, Bart, if you would introduce yourslf here, as you are obviously a reader and not everyone is yet familiar with your very fine blog, and summarize how you came to your position.

    Jeff, might I suggest a companion thread? AGW Smackdown? Defend your position, Knave!

  204. Barry Woods said

    BSc Applied Chemistry, Msc Information Systems Engineering (cybernetics)

    I just stumbled across all this on the 20th Novemebr (I was stuck at home for a week with swine flu – and followed it from the start), being pretty much lukewarm in the past, due to in the same month, reading HArry_Read_me.txt and deciding for myself that the whole of HAdcrut code, data integrity, adjustments was about as usefull as doggy poo (sorry to be blunt, but that was my immediate reaction).

    Given that the hadcrut world temp data set is now considered to be the ‘best’ and Phil Jones has admitted even with the highly questionable data set that there was no significant difference in temps or rates of rise to temps, historically.. That is the end of unprecedented catastrophic man made global warming.

    Unfortuanetly, no one has yet explained in words of one syllable this to any politician.

    I saw the climategate emails were damaging, but I thought that the code and the harry file were far worse… I have now discovered the context of the emails, thanks to ‘The Hockey Stick Illusion’ and Climategate the crutape letter’…

    I still think Harry_read_me.txt is far worse.. I would not have passed my Msc with this, they even admit in the emails, of not quite remebering how some of the data was adjusted by the code, and Harry’s works shows they cannot even reproduce their own published work..

    10 years plus in multi-million dollar IT systems has given me a view of computer code, but science code has plumbed new depths… After all, what do you get if you get undergards with no software expertise righting comlplex code… What qualified Tim Mitchell (the missing tim) to right all that code, or handle data, version control, quality control sanity checking, just beacause it produces the results you expect, does not mean it is correct!

    Tim Mitchell, by his own bio has a geography degree form Oxford.

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/~timm/personal/index.html

    “At Oxford University I read geography (1994-1997, School of Geography). My college was Christ Church. At Oxford I developed a special interest in the study of climate change.

    In 1997 I moved to Norwich to carry out the research for a PhD at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia. My subject was the development of climate scenarios for subsequent use by researchers investigating the impacts of climate change. I was supervised by Mike Hulme and by John Mitchell (Hadley Centre of the UK Meteorological Office). The PhD was awarded in April 2001.”

    That and the Copenhagen tidal wave video, engulfing a small child, manipulating a recent memory of the deaths of 250,oo people a few years ago caused by an earthquake(tsunami) was a shocking piece of political propaganda, repeated on the BBC uncritically.. seal level rises were ‘predicted’ to be 59cm by 2100.

    So a shocking lie aimed at closing down debate.
    And it made my 5 year old daughter have bad dreams asking about whether the girl was ok..

    The blatant scare mongering by the BBC.
    And Gordon Brown (PM) calling me a ‘flat earther’ ‘anti science’
    Ed Milliband – Minister of State – Energy and Climate – saying ‘Climate Sabatouers’ (very close to ‘terrorist’)

    There is no hope for the politicians wedded to this cause.

  205. Thank you, Dr. Barry Woods, for your very revealing story.

    I admire your courage for speaking out on the politicalization of science.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  206. Barry Woods said

    I’m not a PHD,(ie Dr)
    Bsc, Msc

    Did I mention the friend that worked for the IPCC, is part of ‘climate science’ and even has their own emails in the leak… And still HAS NOT looked at anything in FOIA2009.zip

  207. Warren said

    I’m the bottom of the ladder in this group, raised on a market garden in New Zealand, glasshouse crops, open ground crops, completed an apprenticeship in factory maintenance, then into heavy welding, boiler making, pressure vessels etc, then truck driving for a few years interstate Australia.

    Moved back to NZ and worked for a medium sized production nursery in New Zealand for 8 years, carried on in Australia and completed a course through Burnley Hort Melbourne.

    Went back to New Zealand, and taught second chance/Adult education classes for 10 years, Welding and Horticulture, moved to Ireland, that was a mix of landscaping, a year in a village bakery in West Cork.

    At present I’m in the Solomon Islands setting up a training and production Nursery to train the local people with skills, and also bulk produce coffee/cocoa trees for plantation use.

  208. Katie Tam said

    I grew up overseas. The history of cultures and their diffusion has always been of interest to me. Quite a while ago I became interested in the populating of the Americas. That lead me into studying climate history. Being of a technical bent that sent me into learning how proxies could be used to measure and understand past climate events.

  209. Jonathan Bagley said

    I’m a maths lecturer at a UK university. Unusually for an academic, I’m a smoker. When the UK smoking ban was announced in 2006, I began to investigate “passive smoking” and came to the conclusion that the claimed harmful effects were largely based on statistical fraud and junk. Until then, it had never crossed my mind, during any of the hundreds of seminars I had attended through my job, that scientists would deliberately deceive and that politicians would base policy decisions on these deceptions. That now must sound very strange. In 2006, I didn’t have much interest in global warming but was constantly being told that only odd-balls and cranks denied it was taking place. My suspicions had been aroused by my passive smoking investigation and so, in an idle moment I attempted to find an eminent, “even-ball” denier. I had vaguely heard of Lindzen at MIT, thought that fruit-cakes don’t get Chairs at MIT, and so looked him up in WP. There was a section about his attitudes to tobacco – an attempt to discredit, by association, his climate science. Furthermore, I found that this section was created by one of the half dozen controllers of the WP passive smoking page. That was a red rag to a bull.
    That’s how I set off towards becoming a climate sceptic and eventually happening upon AV. I have enjoyed looking into the subject. I get angry and emotionally involved with the smoking ban and passive smoking issue, so that isn’t fun; but reading about climate science is: I have no children, don’t care a fig for the future of the planet; and so don’t care who “wins”. I am able to look at all the evidence dispassionately. I started off with Climatedebatedaily and in my determination to be objective, started to read RC, supposedly the most scientific of the AGW sites. Their attitude to my questions was poor and there was an unrealistic lack of any criticism in the comments. One question I asked was, “If CO2 and temperature have been higher in the past, why did they not continue to increase and the earth not become more like Venus.” This was a genuine and, I thought, reasonable query. I got a smug response, but no attempt at an answer. I still don’t know. Any offers?

  210. […] important part of the email.  Feel free to discuss any suggestions or to add further knowledge.  From the sign in link above, there are a few lurking resume’s around here. I developed the enclosed technology after the […]

  211. (asee) electrical engineering!
    I feel like a light weight in with the PHds,
    I see one other in here with the same type of degree.
    Tim L.

  212. Derek said

    Barry Woods posts 204 and 206.
    I think it fair to say we have all been waiting for someone who understands and can explain the Harry read me files.
    I originally thought about climategate that the emails were “interesting”, but could (or rather would) be explained away as “bad wording” or “taken out of context”, but the read me files, well they are the real meat of climategate.
    There are the numbers, undeniably, unexplainably, AND unjustifiably, but there they are all the same.

    Maybe you would like to have a go at explaining them, someone who understnads should, and
    as far as I’m aware no one really has with gusto yet.

  213. Anonymous said

    BS, MS and PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Math Minor, meaning maybe 33 credit hours of graduate-level math plus Prelims Exam. USA system at State Schools. I got sucked up in the Great Space Race of the 1960s after one high school teacher suggested that I should consider college and one undergrad professor suggested that I should consider grad school. Worked for one year after undergrad school at an aircraft-engine manufacture. The engine, and the aircraft to which it was attached, continues to hold many world speed and altitude records.

    Focused on heat transfer and fluid flow at school. Started using computers for work in 1963 and have been doing that ever since. Got into personal computers in mid-1970s and have kept up ever since. Apple, inc. should consider me a very good customer :-)

    Got into multi-phase heat transfer ( conduction, convection, radiation, combined ) and fluid flow ( laminar, turbulent, incompressible, compressible, 1-D and multi-D ) after grad school in industry and public labs. Transient, compressible, boiling flows have been the main focus, but have dabbled in all kinds of multi-phase, multi-scale flows in engineering equipment, primarily energy-conversion systems. Multi-phase flows require careful attention to the, non-equilibrium, equation of state for the fluids, and the details of interaction between the fluids through the EOS. Also worked on turbulence models for single-phase flows in engineering equipment in the early 1970s.

    Developed mathematical model equations for these flows and processes, numerical solution methods for these models, and put them into computer software for use by everyday practicing engineers;. The latter meaning that we had customers with real-world problems that absolutely required real solutions. These kinds of customers help keep you focused so you don’t get to play in the sandbox very much.

    The wide range of important scales in these flows demands careful attention to modeling of the exchanges of mass, momentum, and energy both between the fluids in the flow field and between the fluids and the surfaces bonding the flows. These exchanges also demand careful attention to treatment of strict conservation of mass and energy, from the continuous equations down through the numerical solution methods. You don’t want to take shortcuts on the cell-by-cell scalar EOS to save a few CPU cycles if conservation of energy and mass will suffer. I’ve seen it done.

    Construction of verified computer software and validated models of physical phenomena and processes is a very hard job. You don’t just throw some code at an EWAG, tack your new piece onto the thousands of existing pieces, and declare that you’re done. Especially when your models, methods, code, and application procedures are open for examination by independent regulatory agencies and customers.

    I quit full-time, gainful, tax-paying employment and then retired. Needed something to keep me busy and my mind working. Somehow I stumbled across RC and / or CA and / or RPsr and maybe others. Read stuff on RC that was not in accord with any of the fundamental principles of sound technical work that I had learned in my career. Asked questions. Got blown off. Got mis-represented. Got labeled. Got presumptive motives assigned to me. Got funding sources paying really big bucks assigned to me ( the money never showed ). Got disparaging comments made about me personally. Read actually vulgar labels attached to other persons. Saw RC jump all over the simplest mistakes made by ‘skeptics’ while ignoring every mistake made by a ‘believer’. And this list of not-professional characteristics could go on and on. Became totally disillusioned.

    Spent less and less time at RC and more and more time studying the history and current technical issues by reading papers on the Web, books, other Web sites, and blogs, and conversations with others doing the same thing.

    I’m a potentialist. The addition of gaseous CO2, or other gaseous IR absorbers, into the Earth’s atmosphere has the potential to contribute to an increase in the energy content of the Earth’s climate systems. The Earth’s climate systems meaning the atmosphere and its various constitutes, the oceans and other large bodies of water and their various constitutes, the organic and inorganic materials that undergo chemical changes, the large bodies of ice, and various biological systems.

    By the same token, other activities by mankind, and natural phenomena and processes, have the potential to contribute to a decrease in the energy content of the Earth’s climate systems.

  214. Alan Wilkinson said

    BSc(Hons) Chemistry/Maths, PhD Physical organic chemistry. A couple of years post-doc research then got into computing as it took off in the early 1970’s. Worked as a university systems analyst, part-time computer science lecturer, statistics package writer and consultant before leaving academia to set up own computer software consultancy. Eventually helped found Marshall Software which developed Mailmarshal email content security and sold the company to much bigger US corporate NetIQ for heaps of $ which then screwed itself up and sold it in a management buyout.

    Always been interested and involved in political and environmental issues. Went to RC to learn about climate science and instead learnt about climate scientists’ invective which wasn’t any kind of science debate I respected. So went hunting for the sources they were abusing but never linking to and found more congenial, open-minded, informative and interesting company.

  215. willard said

    Hello,

    BA in philosophy, specializing in epistemology. MA in argumentation theory. Teached methodology and critical thinking; assisted in philosophy of mind and modal logic. Doctoral studies completed in cognitive science. Dissertation is a pet project (case-based-reasoning system that teaches chess) and should be finished when the kids will be grown ups. My actual job is unrelated, but is well-enough paid and leaves me with lots of time. Sooner or later, I’ll switch in translation studies or writing.

    ***

    David Stove once wrote something worth noting here:

    <>

    Source: http://web.maths.unsw.edu.au/~jim/whyhave.html

    I am certainly not one of the philosophers Stove refers to, but I met enough to have a good idea of the depth and the soundness of someone’s posture in writing. I also read enough Oxonians to recognize what kind of game is played around the so-called “debates” that I can read. In fact, what I think happens most of the times has been well symbolized by Stanley Kubrick:

    All in all, I’d say that the environment is evolving and becomes more openly political. This is a good thing, as the climate wars have mostly been proxies for libertarian piffle. Not that libertarianism can’t make sense (even though Chomsky disagrees), it just happens that most of the times it does not.

  216. willard said

    Here is Stove’s quote:

    There are philosophers who have thought longer and better about the ethics of medicine than the professor of medicine ever had time to do. There are philosophers who have thought longer and better about the two-slit experiment than physicists have. There are philosophers who have thought longer and better about the foundations of mathematics than a mathematician is ever likely to do. And so on. I am conscious that a philosopher cannot say this of his profession without betraying a certain arrogance. Nevertheless it is literal truth. And it is a sufficient justification for the existence of a class of persons especially trained in philosophy. As a class, philosophers are never well- regarded by their university colleagues. The charge against us used to be , that we were lost in cloudy generalities. Nowadays it is usually the reverse: that we neglect “the great questions” in favour of minute and pointless technicalities. This charge is not true, but it is entirely understandable that it should be made. The standard of rigour in philosophy has risen very steeply in the present century, and this fact on its own is sufficient to account for the breaking-up of single big questions into many smaller ones, and the consequent slowing down of the whole process.

  217. Anonymous said

    I’m #213 above.

    Just now thought to mention that I have all-important peer-reviewed papers. Got to fit in with the climate science types, you know.

    Then thought, I think not many here, if any, have done that.

    I’m certain that this group has several hundreds of peer-reviewed papers and reports. Several hundred presentations at professional meetings. And maybe thousands of peer-reviewed internal technical memos and white papers. And I don’t know how many reports and presentations to contract and grant managers.

    I think this is an important illustration of exactly what many well-published professional people know about the significance of counting peer-review papers.

    There is no significance. It means nothing. It carries no information.

  218. kim said

    Katie Tam is a fraud. See Tom Bakewell’s entry at #6.
    =================

  219. Bernie said

    I just found this thread. It is very useful to know the backgrounds and general disposition of so many posters here and at other primarily skeptical climate science web sites.

    I have degrees in Economics and Psychology from Cambridge & Brunel plus doctoral work at Harvard. As a consultant I have spent 30 plus years doing large scale data analysis with lots of dabbling in PCA.

    I remember being asked as a class exercise to calculate the impact on London of Antarctica melting in the 1960s after London was flooded by a freak storm. It was my first lesson in scaremongering and the power of large numbers. It helped turn me into a skeptic. As a result, I always ask for the data when people make assertions of facts that seem to support extreme actions or general political stances. My experience is that few people – current company excepted – can quickly grasp basic numerics to figure out that someone is blowing smoke, e.g., melting ice means that Antarctica will be ice free in the foreseeable future, glacier melt in the Himalayas is the primary source of water for the sub-continent, houses in your neighbourhood are worth 6 times the average family income in that neighbourhood.

    My renewed interest in Climate Science came 5 years ago when I could not understand why those who believed in CAGW were not pushing aggressively for Nuclear Power but insisted on wind and solar. This disconnect set off my BS detector. Like others I started looking for good basic climate science sites to better understand what was happening. I was astounded at the rudeness and fanaticism of AGW proponents, the reliance on GCMs, the kneejerk dismissal of all contrary empirical information.

    My general position is that man undoubtedly has an impact and potentially devastating impact on local climate. I am less sure of the global magnitude of this impact. Whatever the magnitude, the solution has to be technically, economically and politically realistic. Realism in general dictates a carefully constrained role for government. Unquestioning belief in the currently available renewable energy technologies as a realistic substitute for power generation I see as fundamentally naive and indicative of utopian idealism that should not to be trusted. (I am installing geothermal in my house, hate waste and have a zero carbon footprint.)

    My current favorite sites are CA, Briggs, WUWT, BH, Pielke Snr, Pielke Jnr, Lucia’s Blackboard and Lubos’ Reference Frame. Keith Kloor’s site is proving interesting. I am going to suggest that he take a look – especially at the level of disenchantment with RC and the esteem with which McIntyre is held.

  220. Neil said

    I have a degree in economics and started as a macroeconomist in banking and stockbroking. I have for the last 20 years worked in electricity covering a wide range of areas such as energy trading, regulation, gas exploration, power station development, M&A, PR, electriicty retailing and smart meters.

    I read many blogs and became interested in the topic due to my background in economic and investment forecasting. Economies are complex and economists are absolutely useless at forecasting them (using large statistical/computer models). I thought, “how can they be so sure over such long periods of time when most human forecasts are rubbish and the climate looks a hell of a lot more complex than an economy?”.

    To date my concern has been vindicated. Garbage in, garbage out. Even worse in climate modeling is that it appears to me that the science that is replicated in the models is so incomplete, and the models so simplified that I doubt I would trust them anyway.

    A friend who is a brilliant Professor of Operational Research and accomplished businessman always reminds me, “dont confuse correlation with causation”. And as a Harvard Business School Professor I had says, “dont confuse the number of decimal places with accuracy”.

  221. dougie said

    Kim – 218

    well spotted :-)

    they call you eagle-eye for nothing.

  222. SMcG said

    I figured I should fill this out, having been semi-lurking here for more than a little while.

    I graduated as BE (Elec) and have some completed and non-completed post-grad studies. I’ve also studied some economics and statistics along the way – but I bow my head in awe to some of the stats work we see here and over at Steve Mc’s place. I’m also a pilot (fixed multi and rotary) so have a high level of interest (as well as qualification for commercial piloting) in weather/meteorology – which I fully understand is NOT climate :-)

    I’ve been practicing in the engineering space for over 35 years (scary)… I own a small busines (about 70 employees) working mainly in communications and security engineering and project management.

    My typical day starts with a check/read of CA, TAV, Watts, Pielke Jr, Pielke Sr, Lucia (Blackboard), the Bishop’s place, Joanne Nova and more recently MOSHTEMP and Judith Curry’s new site. In order to maintain some balance in my life, I sometimes look at Realclimate to see what they are up to, but have very serious problems with their attitude.

    While I’ve never worked in academic/government research, and occasionally find some of the “niceties” there a little bizarre, we do some R&D (mainly D) in my company – but its my money that’s on the line there so we are usually trying to achieve something!

  223. Frank said

    I’m a retired PhD chemist who became interested in AGW after his son was shown Al Gore’s movie at school and wrote a short science paper on AGW. After reading that 2X CO2 should produce a radiative forcing of 3.7 W/m^2, I wanted to know the answer to the obvious question: What does this forcing mean in terms of a temperature rise. There has to be a way to convert W/m^2 to degrees (!), but I hadn’t dealt with that physics since I was an undergrad. After reviewing some concepts, struggling with details (What T and e should I use? Why defined forcing at the tropopause? What do changes at the tropopause tell us about changes at the surface?) and eventually seeing several possible answers on the web, I eventually convinced myself I had a decent idea of the correct answer. By now, I was also mad that hundreds of pages of WGI reports give readers no idea of how to translate forcing into temperature change. And I was even madder when I realized that the only “settled science” in climate change predicts a temperature rise for 2X CO2 of 1.1 degK at the tropopause (and less at the surface with lapse rate feedback). This kind of behavior does not fit with the scientific ethics I learned from Feynman’s books.

    I eventually ended up at RealClimate where I was offended by their defense of the scientific mistakes made in Al Gore’s movie. (When something is wrong, clearly say why its wrong, before you try to justify why there is some value in the mistake!) When I read a blog that belittled Steve McIntyre, I (naturally) had to see for myself what was so awful! As they say, the rest is history.

    I still have difficulty accepting that the scientific establishment could be this wrong about AGW. If the world spends trillions of dollars decarbonizing and climate sensitivity turns out to be <2, what is going to happen to the reputation of all of science? Schneider taught me to think of it as an insurance policy, but developing countries can't afford insurance.

  224. BS Math, Economics. I started out using my Economics degree, switched to computer science (programming) and the to IT (the networking part of it). I came upon this site due to my ignorance of the AGW issue, and it has lead to many other sites. I prefer the moderated ones where discourse is civil and censorship rare (so I do not go to many of the “warmist” sites).

  225. philHowerton said

    BA History (Davidson), Master of Public Affairs (Princeton), Law Degree(UVA). Practised law for many years, last eighteen years as a judge hearing many hundreds of civil and criminal cases. I am not a scientist and am not qualified to comment on mathematics or statistics. I am able, however, to spot special pleading. A few trips to Real Climate sufficed to indicate to me that those folks did not want their readers to hear fairly both sides of the disputes that have been raging around GW. I discovered CA about four years ago and have been a daily reader ever since. I find it fascinating and, many times, mystifying, but I plow through as best I can. From what I have seen, read and understand after these years, if a lawsuit was brought in my court as to the “facts” of GW, I would have little choice but to find that the case for GW is not proven. And, to be quite frank, if I received offers, after the case, to go out for a beer with the guys at RC on the one hand and the guys at CA on the other, you can bet your ass I would go out with Steve, Ross, Anthony, Bender, Mosh, Craig, Jeff, Lubos, Hu, Lucia and all the rest who make that site what it is. What an evening that would be.

  226. Don Aitkin said

    I’ve only just discovered this site, and my background is relatively unusual here. It is in history and political science. Thirty years ago I was appointed to a research grants body of which I eventually became the chairman, and also moved into a government science and technology policy organisation. Then followed ten plus years as a university president. Throughout that time I’ve been involved in assessing large projects, virtually all of them in science, both in my own country and elsewhere. I’ve also reviewed peer review systems. I’ve always been interested in science, and one of my first papers, in the 1960s, was a simultaneous equations model of national, regional and local electoral forces, so I feel able to read widely and have some sense of what is being argued, whatever the discipline. If I get stuck, I have plenty of help close at hand (one brother is a mathematical statistician, the other a neurophysiologist), and I have good friends across the universe of discourse.

    A few years ago I wrote a book on the last fifty years, and there was interest in my doing another on the next fifty. To do that I had to write a chapter on the environment and its likely direction. Almost at once I came up with two factors that needed a lot of work on my part: the green movement and AGW. I saw a good deal of religion in the first, and a great deal of puzzlement in the second. The more research I did on AGW the more sceptical I became, and finally gave a public speech on it, followed by radio talks and another speech.

    This flouting of the orthodoxy cost me a good deal of public abuse, but I am retired and am not seeking promotion or another grant! Having a great deal of real experience with ‘peer review’ I was appalled by Climategate and by the whitewashes that have followed it, let alone by the IPCC process.

    I guess that I could live with any of the ‘solutions’ to ‘global warming’, mostly because they won’t work and will be repealed in time. But, as an academic who has a fascination with the natural sciences, and indeed with all forms of human discovery, the harm that will have been done to the human Enlightenment project though the mixing of science, advocacy and religion that is bound up in AGW is really worrying.

  227. I was destined to be a scientist (probably a physicist), but something called life happened when I took some time off school. After a stint in the Army, I traveled a bit, then got married and found mechanical engineering to be a place I fit into quite easily. (Don’t tell that “easily” to liberal arts majors who failed out of architecture because of the math.)

    I progressed through the ranks to the level of Senior Mechanical Design Engineer, which is the level I am at currently, as I near retirement, with 38 years under my belt (and counting). I am broad-minded enough to not have drawn any conclusions about such things as crop circles (some are certainly faked; the rest, I don’t know). But being in engineering a long time makes one like folks in my home state, the Show Me state of Missouri – I will first of all look for all the reasons and ways something might fail. It is an engineers primary function to foresee flaws and avoid those directions – they are at best just a waste of time, and at worst they can be lethal.

    I worked 7 years in R&D, almost all the rest of the time in one-off designs and some modified designs that needed to work the first time out, so solid principles needed to be adhered to. Engineering IS science; it just isn’t theoretical science. It is what is called “Applied Science.” People don’t use that term much anymore. While in R&D I found out how much can be learned in a fairly short period by using the scientific method and asking the right questions. One without the other is pretty much going to send is in circles. So my main aim has become to find or recognize the right questions. Sometimes that takes multiple layers of inquiry, one set of answers leading to better questions, which give better answers, which… Asking the wrong questions DID send people off on wild goose chases.

    So, to me science is about learning how to construct those questions properly, so that the answers can lead somewhere useful.

    Utility is a BIG thing. Even climate: Isn’t the real reason we study it so that we can anticipate how it will affect our ability to function in the future?

    Just a glance at Don Aitkins’ bio made me want to add this: I lost the love of my life, because she thought I was an idiot for not accepting global warming. I still wonder if it was worth it. I tried to accept it. I originally did. But when I found that they never even quantified the uncertainty or ruled out definitively ANY other causes of the apparent warming, I couldn’t believe it. That should have been their first order of business. To me that wasn’t science. To this day, when I discuss it with people, almost no one knows anything about the science; they just repeat claims, but don’t even know the bases of those claims. Their parting shot has always been, “But what if they are right?” The old precautionary principle, which isn’t science at all – it is just, “We should do it based on ‘maybe’.”

    I am sorry. That just isn’t good enough for me.

  228. Hamish McDougal said

    5-sigma IQ (FWIW)
    Undergrad degree in Chemistry + Physics
    Graduate Honours degree (examined) Chemistry.
    10 years as Chemist (mainly water but some coal)
    MBA from a good school.
    7 years in business (5 at CEO level)
    5 years computer modelling (super-computer, and, boy, do I know about time series!)
    BCom – overlaps two jobs -(Economics+Applied[Statistical]Economics) by correspondence/distance learning – not a degree mill/buy a degree – I worked[!] for it).
    18 years OLAP/business intelligence rising to Technical Director of a big name y’all would recognise.
    When first heard of CAGW, skeptical (flea on back of elephant + too soon after CAGCooling). Unhinged, passionate, “we’re all going to die” advocacy made me even more skeptical – millenial cults, etc. Read a lot (books, papers, blogs – when they got going).
    Now, an informed, well-educated, confirmed skeptik. Too many (proven) lies, too much “doom and gloom”, too much politics, too many tax proposals. Lying b******s.

  229. klee12 said

    Derek @212 wrote <>

    I’m not Barry Woods but I think you might want to look at
    the following links. The author of the blog is a software professional and and you might want to look at the last 2 links here and the first link here

    Other links may be interesting.

    Hope this is what you are looking for

    klee12

  230. bobdroege said

    I grew up in a family where normal dinner table topics were the Standard Model and Cantor, so learned a lot things sooner than I would have in school.

    Went on to serve in the USN, followed by a stint in commercial nuclear power, finished a BA in chemistry and work with radioactive pharmaceuticals.

    Since the theory of AGW follows directly from the work of Planck and quantum mechanics how anyone can deny it, is frankly puzzling.

    REPLY: Most here don’t deny the first order effects.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/radiative-physics-simplified-ii/

  231. Cthulhu said

    Computer science graduate.

    I consider that the current rate of CO2 rise juxpositioned against the natural CO2 variation from ice cores should considerably alarm the world, representing as it does a significant breach above natural variation.

    I find it likely that climate sensitivity is high both from model and geological evidence and between that and ocean acidification from the CO2 rise I find it likely that our ongoing effects on the climate will have catastrophic effects.

    In fact barring peak fossil fuels or self-restraint I consider global catastrophy inevitable. It is damning on the willpower of our species that I consider self-restraint quite hopeless.

    All the GISTEMP/IPCC/etc stuff is a distraction from the simple matter IMO.

  232. anna v said

    I am a retired experimental particle physicist, doctorate and all and over 300 publications in my field. Most of my working life. since 1967, was spent fitting theoretical models to data and estimating errors.

    Like most scientists in my field, and possibly most fields, I trusted in the integrity of other scientists: the methods used, the data condition, the skepticism every scientist has to have before presenting his/her work for peer review. So I trusted when told that climate scientists foresaw an enormous problem because of the unprecedented warming due to excess anthropogenic CO2. The papers were in Science and Nature after all.

    What woke my sense of smell is that the “unprecedented heat” announcement was close to the finding of that mummy of a hunter in a high pass in the Alps. I thought ” How could it be unprecedented if the pass was open before?” Then I remembered the Vikings and Greenland, and am also a fan of Father Cadfael who had a vineyard in Wales back in the 1000s ( :) ).
    A colleague of mine in solid state had been readin Crichton, and was converted to the skeptical side. The retired people from my institute ( chemists, biologists, etc) had a lecture once a month on various topics and my friend challenged me to present the topic of warming in a lecture. I took up the challenge, and two months to read up TAR and AR4 as far as the physics is concerned.

    Reading the physics justification, chapter 8, in AR4, raised my physicist hackles. I read a bit, got upset and started walking around pulling my hair. Remember, computer models were my trade.

    So that is how the scales fell from my eyes and I am a firm skeptic, not of warming, which is self evident coming out of the Little Ice Age, nor too much of the CO2 numbers, though I give some thought to Beck’s compilations that throw doubt that 390ppm is really unprecedented either, but of the model outputs and data manipulation displayed in the IPCC reports. These last are what are used to call “wolf” on catastrophic warming.

    Then of course, even if one takes the IPCC model outputs as black box outputs, Nostradamus, I have counted 7 falsifications up to now of the predictions/projections given.

    Here I copy some of my criticisms from an older blog:

    When the physics elementary particle community comes up with a number, for example, ” there are 3 neutrinos” from the fit to the data, it uses computer programming and modeling intensively. The difference with “there is a 3C rise in 100 years” coming from the GCM models is in the error bars. Errors are strictly propagated in all particle physics modeling both statistical and systematic, and all numbers come out with an error +/- statistical , +/-systematic. No error propagation exists in the IPCC model outputs that I can find in the voluminous reports. This denotes that any numbers given are meaningless, sleight of hand, video game presentations.

    What is done instead, to fool the scientific audience:

    1) The model is fitted to the temperature data. There are so many parameters that this is not difficult to do ( Von Neumann and his elephant).

    2) In order to simulate the chaotic dynamics of climate ( they do acknowledge that climate is chaotic) they change the initial conditions as they feel like and create spaghetti lines around the optimum fit, believing they simulate chaos. The deviations from the fit they treat as errors. BUT the variations are not 1 sigma variations to give chi**2 per degree of freedom, they are just to please the eye of the beholder, because no such chi**2 is reported anywhere.
    For example, a 1 sigma variation of the albedo only would throw off the curves by 1C ( try the toy model over at junkscience.com).

    3) Then many models, which means different models of similar structure and assumptions are all put together on a spaghetti graph, again claiming the width as representative errors even though the only “valid” argument is “chaotic spread”, including the chaotic brain waves of the modelers. What amazes me is that statisticians are treating these spaghetti projection widths as if they are true errors and discuss the number of angels on the point of the needle, ( in other blogs).

    A second blow against the GCMs is what a lot of people with mathematical physics background have been trying to say, but cannot get through. The grid model of the earth cannot simulate the interdependencies of the numerous coupled non linear differential equations that enter the climate problem ( a classical dynamic chaos problem) . By construction the grid with the average values assumed in these huge blocks is assuming that the solutions to these differential equations are well behaved so that the first order terms can be used for most of the variables entering ( the average is the first order term in an expansion of any function). It is more than inevitable that this hypothesis will fail, because the solutions are highly non linear. That is why for weather and climate GCMs can only work for a limited number of time steps. After a while, the divergence of the real solution enters as the higher order terms kick in.

    The only useful modeling for the future has to be a model that incorporates these nonlinearities, as Tsonis et al have attempted, non linearly.

    The Tsonis link:

    http://www.uwm.edu/~aatsonis/2007GL030288.pdf

    also in http://www.uwm.edu/~aatsonis/ there are expositions of connection of chaos with climate.

  233. Juraj V. said

    I am a graduate of Slovak Technical University, Faculty of chemical technology, specialization analytical chemistry. That’s why I laugh when somebody tells oceans had acidified exactly by 0.1 degree pH :) since to obtain the same pH with two devices freshly calibrated is sometimes impossible.

    AGW smelled to me, since the political left so embraced it. Then few years back I read about McIntyre and debunking the hockey stick and my suspicion was confirmed. In early 2009 I decided to read more about solar cycle 24 and so it went on and on.

  234. Olaf Koenders, Wizard of Oz? said

    I read with fascination and pride here, and on many quality blogs, the sheer number of comments from graduates with PHD’s et al. The only qualifications I have after some 15,523 days of life is as a house painter, paratrooper and soldier, confined space entry permit and a few driver licences. Yep, I get by somehow in this land of drought and flooding rains.

    Born in ’68 (if I’m to believe my birth certificate), from an early age I was full of scientific bent, questions and subsequent observation. Much of what I queried about this planet and the solar system was taught to me by my own mother in the early ’70’s, some years before ACC (Anthropogenic Climate Change – in any direction) took hold of the public’s imagination in any real sense and biased funding for such research.

    She never explained to me anything as an absolute conclusion. Her answers always began with “From what we know right now..” and “We think it’s because..”. Instead of blind faith or indoctrination, this attitude led me looking deeper into everything. School lost its value and interest the moment I’d learned to read and, even way back in the early grades of primary school (elementary to our dear US alliances – G’Day Mates..), I would most often be found (deemed missing or otherwise) in the sparse library of that tiny country school building reading encyclopedias and books about space. I was never interested in “novels” or non-fiction, apart from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

    By the time Voyager 1 almost bumped into Saturn, I could rattle off all the numbers and facts even before the teacher pinned the black and white newspaper cutting of this Hydrogenous giant’s image on the notice board. I was thrilled that my fellow compatriots were taking such an interest in space and science for a change, compared to their usual religious fervour regarding ball sports – but it was, naturally, short lived.

    In any case, the “class project” about Voyager and Saturn was to be the only such paper I would ever submit in my entire schooling life.

    As a child playing with fire for the first time, you learn many things – including the unique type of pain that fire can inflict when dealt with inappropriately. Later, you learn that fire had absolutely nothing to do with the release of an invisible element called “Phlogiston” (I’m not kidding!). It’s simply another visible form of chemical reaction interconnecting 3 sources, but try to explain that to WishfulClimateDotORG without getting banned.

    Later, as a semi-spotty and rebellious teenager in a slightly larger school complex some 8Km (5Mi) away, the Encyclopedia Brittannica began to overwhelm my education, notably in the art of chemistry, where I found that by combining simple and readily available compounds of as little as two differing types could make the combined ingredients burn at a rate exceeding 8000 metres per second (26,247Ft). This I much preferred to Haiku poetry, girlie-book essays and algebra – to the complete annoyance of my instructors, educators and pedagogues.

    Chemistry became a complete bore within a year, since from the age of 8 I’d already committed to memory the entire table of elements, thanks to mother’s stoic and relentless search for an advertised (and ultimately expensive) series of books called Nature and Science. Somehow, a friend of mine who wasn’t interested at all in science and preferred to chase spherical objects on a daily basis had the entire collection. Hell yeah I was jealous! It took some years to acquire all 20 books from miles around. I relished their information at every turn of the page from Computer to Wankel.

    Interestingly, computers at that age were the size of a small room and the hard drive was a platter of magnetically-coated aluminium some 15 inches wide. The entire drive unit being the size of a washing machine, where the head floated aerodynamically just a few microns from the surface (at a relative speed of 100Km/hr) until it crashed into an also relatively mountainous surface fingerprint in a shower of sparks to oblivion. Regardless, at just 8 years old I was hooked – I wanted one, albeit that expensive opportunity never arose until the advent of the 1987 Commodore Amiga 500, with its incredibly efficient OS and inevitably practical applications that allowed me to learn assembler programming.

    During my later spotty years, I felt an itch that couldn’t be scratched by occasional (truancy) schooling, being chased by the cops on my teeny dirt bike through the bush for some arbitrary and heinous “crime”, namely unlicensed and unregistered. I had to get out and find work. This led me to house painting with my father, where even watching paint dry had a cause and effect fascination that taught me yet more about the chemistry, physics and science that’s needed in such a seemingly simple process required to adequately cover a wall.

    In all my years, extensive observation and experimentation, committing to memory even small pieces of information and, being able to interconnect these seemingly innocuous pieces of proven subject matter to form a robust conclusion of the cause and effect of new observations, has served me well. Not only in the field of orthography (which thoroughly annoyed all my English teachers due to their own failings), but in all areas of computing and programming (which automatically taught me algebra where instructors failed), mechanics, biology, physics, sociology etc., etc.

    The only thing restraining me from a PHD in anything is the cost. If there were a PHD in autodidactism I would suggest everybody strive to undertake and graduate this course, which is something that CAGWists and WishfulClimateDotORG appear to have avoided entirely, including the evidence, such as every time there’s an El Nino or La Nina, the climate shifts. 60-year oceanic cycles and solar activity dominate or climate, facts that for some reason have been lost or completely ignored by the CAGWist crowd.

    Interestingly, some of the population appear to have completely forgotten (intentionally?) everything regarding photosynthesis and the US EPA in its infinitely misguided (by the $ sign) “wisdom” have declared CO2 a pollutant. Should plants ever have the vote and declare O2 a hazardous gas thanks to its capability to enhance the effects of phlogiston vapourisation, I would invite those people to share the same room for a few weeks, noting the increased plant growth due to their own human outgassing, which is why farmers use CO2 in greenhouses to greatly accelerate plant growth.

    They have also systematically forgotten or erased all records from their impish minds of the some 10x higher levels of CO2 in the Jurassic, where life clearly thrived and delicate aragonite coral evolved in non-acid oceans. The proof of which are those pesky un-dissolved fossils of coral and shellfish overloading our museums. Those same CAGWists then erroneously chime “but.. the sun was weaker back then”, failing to understand that their linear, rather than the proven logarithmic scale CO2 effect will always lead to runaway greenhouse, no matter the temperature scale.

    Many CAGWists have heard all the arguments, but rely on sites with lists of “how to” avoid the facts, how to avoid seeking truth and independent thought, however, how to avoid questioning why these sites such as WishfulClimateDotORG don’t give accurate or complete information, including how to avoid being banned for having the nerve to ask such questions, is suspiciously omitted.

    Sounds like a lot of Chicken Little jumping to conclusions, running down friends, side-stepping responsibility, and pushing their own luck. I consider this kind of exercise vulgar. It makes people smell.

  235. NikFromNYC said

    -=NikFromNYC=- Ph.D. in Carbon (Organic) Chemistry (UofMN/Columbia/Harvard), with lab work on genetics, organometallics, and microfabrication (with lots of time in M.I.T. labs and the Harvard physics dept. during collaborations). My old lab mate is now Dept. of Chemistry chairman at Columbia, up the street from me. There was a future president of the Am. Chem. Soc. (Breslow) and a future chemistry Nobelist (Marty Chalfie) on my Ph.D. committee, prior to my winning the “top student” (Hammett) award that year. The good training I had, under five laboratory advisers, over 13 years, made my head explode when I finally delved into the standard practices in climatology! Being an experimentalist means I don’t get caught up in statistical or theoretical arguments. My inquiry in to AGW followed that of X-Prize winner Burt Rutan who exclaimed repeatedly in his anti-AGW presentations: “show me the data!”

    Instead of creating another blog I have favored creating a small package of info-graphics I can post anywhere, often in pieces, that point out very simple data sets which falsify claims that history is a hockey stick, and I add some psychological background too. The most important poster is the “NASA” one that shows a simple average of tide gauges going back 150 years that shows no trend change whatsoever. I believe that if skeptics stayed on topic about this single crucial point, it would have a great impact on public opinion.

    Here I present A Global Warming Digest:
    Denial: http://i.min.us/ibyADs.jpg
    Oceans: http://k.min.us/idAw6Y.gif
    NASA: http://i.min.us/idFxzI.jpg
    Thermometers: http://i.min.us/idAOoE.gif
    Earth: http://k.min.us/ibtB8G.gif
    Ice: http://k.min.us/ibBgw2.jpg
    Authority: http://k.min.us/iby6xe.gif
    Prophecy: http://i.min.us/idEHdo.jpg
    Psychopathy: http://i.min.us/ibubmk.jpg
    Icon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmPzLzj-3XY
    Thinker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n92YenWfz0Y

  236. Brian H said

    NicfromNYC;
    About half those links just give a blank page with the URL echoed, others a “not responding”.

    4 UR enjoyment, “cubic bubbles”:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/13/wtf-us-geological-survey-studying-rice-fungus-climate/#comment-699625 as the model for CAGW research.

  237. page488 said

    This is such a fascinating thread. I’ll try to put together my totally weird CV and post it soon.

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  240. Danangel said

    I have a BA in Secondary Education, minors in US History, World Geography, and Meteorology with several semesters of climatology. I had a climatology professor tell me that my paper on The Potential for Global Cooling had only received a ‘C’ grade, because my premise was ‘wrong’, but he refused to point out anything ‘wrong’ with the science, reasoning, or references. That was enough to prove to me that he was no scientist and the problems were with the GW side.

  241. Veritas said

    I have BS degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics and I’ve been a business software developer for way too long. I’m interested in many things, most recently the debate over global warming and whether mankind is contributing to the recent warming.

    I became aware of the AGW dilemma after reading a Dr. Dewpoint article which discussed the role of the sun and ocean cycles on warming. I originally believed the premise that our emissions could significantly alter the climate, just as our pollution immediately impacts the environment. I’m definitely not a “dyed in the wool” greenie, but I do believe in trying to moderate my consumption and preserve resources at a personal level. After looking at the data, I’m convinced that CO2 is not the predominant driver of the warming; rather it is a combination of extra-terrestrial and oceanic cycles.

    I find it fascinating that there is such divisiveness on this issue; that extremely intelligent people can view the same data and arrive at two very distinctly different conclusions. In a political vane, I see the AGW believers as liberals, wanting to save the world by foisting their ideology on everyone, even resorting to fraud to bolster their argument. They are ideological fanatics who have become blinded by their belief in “the cause”.

  242. Brian H said

    [snip]

    REPLY: Lets keep this thread on topic.

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  246. MrPete said

    Just realized I never answered this. A cool backgrounder thread (Although the spam needs to be cleaned up by somebody…)

    In too-brief terms: I’m an engineer who helped invent a lot of tech you use. Personally acquainted with folks on all sides of AGW — you’d be surprised. Married to a field biologist who laughs at the silliness of some of the climate “experts”… those who mangle data in their models while being apparently clueless and/or uncaring about field reality. Related to glaciology family that have great integrity in their work and have great difficulty even thinking about the hubris evident in today’s “wars.”

    Having dug in hard to find the truth about Y2k (to help NGO’s develop realistic plans), I got curious about AGW. Steve Mc’s early work resonated for me: I’ve become quite cautious about badly-done analysis and people who fail to ask important questions. I’m also passionate about scientific integrity (cf Feynman 1974), reproducible science aka open source (I’m one of the early open source code/data people on the ‘net), and a few other things.

    And now Real Life requires more focus so I have less time for these games.

    One thing I learned from Y2k: once people have taken action in support of a position, it is very hard for them to change positions. Thus I have limited expectations that this will work out well before reality forces a recognition that the status quo perspective is bogus. I also am very impressed by those serious scientists who have had the humility to publicly shift.

  247. Thanks for the data. Ideal

  248. I wasn’t aware of this very interesting page, but thanks to the link by RomanM in response to the Lewandowsky discussion a few days ago, here we are.

    My background? Have a BSc in industrial chemistry, but have a very broad interest in everything technical and scientific. Did some 17 years of process engineering, upgrading batch processes from laboratory scale via a pilot plant to 17 tons scale in a synthetic resin plant (raw materials for paints, printing inks, glues, polyester,… 50,000 ton/year). Shifted later the interests towards the rapid emerging possibilities of process automation, quite rare those days for batch processes… What first started as a hobby, later became my job, first at laboratory scale: resins were made at night, fully automatic (with an Apple II, for the historical minded, as “controller”), so that the paints for tests could be made in one day instead of two. The first factory batch “street” was automated a few years later. A few years later shifted the job from Bergen-op-Zoom in The Netherlands (for me, living near Antwerp, just over the Belgian-Dutch border) to Rotterdam, again in process automation, but this time continuous processes of chlorine (325,000 ton/year membrane electrolyses of a salt solution) and VCM (500,000 ton/year), the raw material for PVC. Quite a difference in processes and cleannes, after the sticky behaviour of resins… Because of chlorine and PVC, confronted with actions of Greenpeace and other “green” groups, but that is another story (lookup “Chlorophiles”, if you want to read that other background of mine)…
    Now eight years retired and enjoying too many hobbies, including travelling around the world and the automation of about everything in and around home, in despair of my beloved wife for over 40 years, who doesn’t know anymore what button to push to get some light or see her favourite TV programs…

    As a pacifist, didn’t do (at that time obliged) army service, instead wanted to have a look at the broader world as a sailor (engine room), which learned me a lot of human behaviour of a closed group in a small space for months and mechanical and electrical problems which must be fixed anyhow to reach the other side of the oceans…

    Two daughters: one follows the mother as (retired) teacher, the other the father, travelling around the world, in this case as helicopter pilot (although she has a M.Sc in geology).

    My involvement in climate cange?

    I am a “green” boy myself. Was an adept of the Club of Rome, fighting against wild urbanisation plans in my own – mostly rural at that time – community, against nuclear power (and of course weapens), against war,… was 25 years member of an organic growers association and working in the local community to rise money for third world organisations. Following more insight over the years, did go away from the dire predictions and a lot milder on nuclear power and other points. Still going organic in my own (small) vegetables garden, but pro-GGO’s insofar that helps the environment (like blythe resistent potatoes).

    My interest in climate started with reading a book (can’t remember the title) some 35-40 years ago about the role of the sun on earth’s climate: from temperature, droughts and floods to earthquakes (which seems to cluster around the upgoing flank of the sun cycle) and even human wars… Did read the IPCC reports, which were quite modest in the early years, but was really shocked by the publication of Mann’s HS and its endorsement by the IPCC. That couldn’t be possibly right. By searching the Internet, I discovered the website of the late John Daly, we still miss him… Commented quite a lot in the begin period on RC, but ended that when over halve of my comments disappeared in cyberspace, although always on topic. My confrontation with Greenpeace in the past learned me that people who don’t allow fair comments shouldn’t be trusted in anything that they say (and especially for what they don’t say…). That did become clear again, thanks to the work of Steve McIntyre, Watts and many others like this blog… But I will defend real science, as I see it: if I think that some skeptics are wrong (like in the non-human origin of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere), I will react on that as good as on what the other side says that is wrong…

    In summary, as many before and after me: the confrontation of a honest search about the truth about (C)AGW on web sites like RC has many of us driven into the skeptics camp, even if we think that there is some effect of our induced CO2 increase in the atmosphere…

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  252. ann ceely said

    I’m a retired (362 days so far…) person who’s glad to be using my technical skills on something of my choosing rather than whatever puts bread on the table. Maths degree from good UK University, career in software – thoroughly enjoying it, but finding the company politics hard to start with. I remember the “We’re going into an ice-age” of the 70s, yet didn’t really question the “carbon dioxide is causing global warming” hypothesis until I heard the unpleasantness towards sceptics – very unscientific. (Not only was I brought up that when the name-calling starts, the other person has run out of arguments; but also my career has shown me just how true that is. The more that people are caught out making rash claims with insufficient understanding, the louder they shout.) And then it reduced to claims that the ‘scientific consensus’ should be trusted! If anyone joins a consensus, then they’re not practicing science. There has to be something very wrong there.

    It hasn’t taken me terribly long to find out. They have 2 problems:-
    (1) They think the long-term climate is deterministic even though weather is chaotic. So they’ve been using 10 year averages for the historic data. But that wouldn’t account for the Roman-Warm-Period, Mediaeval Warm Period, and Little Ice Age unless they’re are local warmings in Europe /Northern Hemisphere only. As evidence is mounting that they were global, they can no longer make “never has the earth warmed so much, so fast…” type of statement.
    (2) atmospheric carbon-dioxide is saturated, with the warming prophesied being dependent upon feedback loops which they don’t fully understand.

    Personnaly, I have a feeling that Life is somewhere involved e,.g. the microbes that can seed clouds, the corals that can sequester carbon (provided humans don’t kill them all first).

    I’ve spent a career in quality s/w – including commercial aerospace, Defense, so am very suspicious that their models are what I would call ‘hacked’ or ‘spaghetti’. And when doing my degree was very suspicious of statistics as a proper mathematical discipline. I’ve involved with Baysian stats since then – so all I can say is that the discipline is getting worse. So i don’t trust computer models nor historic temperature data.

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  254. 4TimesAYear said

    I’ve got an Associate of Applied Science in an unrelated field, but I hadn’t forgotten my basic grade school education when it comes to climate. It was driving me nuts whenever our local radio station would refer to “the global temperature” – I got on the internet some time ago and typed my hypothesis into google: “There is no such thing as a global temperature” to find that others agreed. Average temps also don’t really tell you anything about what reality is. You can have a fairly cool day with an average higher than one that got hotter, but bottomed out lower. The term “global warming” also drove me nuts as it’s is an impossibility with the way our world works. The reason I got involved is because this nonsense has got to stop. We have real issues to deal with.

  255. ingvarwz said

    Ingvar Warnholtz

    I am not a scientist.
    I am a retired Master Mariner with 30 years+ observing and reporting on weather from all the oceans I have traversed.
    My experience associated with guessing a passage safe for ship, crew and cargo which involve avoiding extreme conditions like ice (stuck a few times), tropical storms (several of them) and whatever mother nature may throw up. Thus, I have gained a deep respect for nature, its forces and resourcefulness. I don’t feel scientists share my view.
    My main objection to the ‘climate change theory’ is that scientists don’t fully understand the difference between weather and climate, the latter (in my view) just being a statistical exercise.
    I will be lurking around, dropping a common man’s practical question here and there, to ensure that common sense may prevail, even in the science community.
    I hope that my little bio is accepted and the master of ceremonies gets a good laugh of my input.
    Thank you all.

  256. […] is a well-known member of the ‘tipped over by RC’ club. You hear the same repeated over and over – almost as if Realclimate were one of the engines of distrust in the online […]

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