the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Naughty Step

Posted by Jeff Id on September 5, 2011

At Judith Curry’s blog, Jonathan Jones put together a rather concise statement:

With a tiny handful of exceptions (Judy, Richard Betts, Hans von Storch, Eduardo Zorita, surely there must be a few more?) the whole of “mainstream” climate science seems to be going into collective meltdown. To ordinary scientists their behaviour just gets more bizarre with every day.

I have worked in all sorts of areas of science, some really quite controversial, and I have never seen this sort of childish throwing of toys out of prams in any other context. I can’t see any solution beyond some proper grown ups getting involved and telling Trenberth and Gleick and friends to sit on the naughty step until they learn how to play nicely.

There are quite a few good climate scientists out there, but with few exceptions, they are not of the mainstream variety.  Trenberth is one who from climategate knows what message must be projected to the unwashed masses despite reasoned (yet capitulative) conversation behind the scenes.  There is plenty of evidence for this in the climategate emails but the naughty step is the key for his sort.  Unfortunately, the IPCC money is the parent, and we all know MOM makes the rules and decides who sits on the naughty step.   I wonder how long it will take Spencer to make a rebuttal to the paper we expect tomorrow, rebutting their work.   I’m told the paper had literally two weeks of review time.  Hell, most papers don’t even find reviewers in that timeframe.

Our world is not sane anymore.  Poeple are still rationalizing this stupidity, but we are the race which developed nihilistic philosophy — so you get what you deserve.

h/t Barry Woods and Bishop Hill.

24 Responses to “Naughty Step”

  1. Bruce said

    Follow the money

    “Wagner is apparently the director of a group that wants to start a Soil Moisture Network. For this, they have asked the help of the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX).

    GEWEX in 2010 announced the appointment, by acclamation, of Kevin Trenberth, as its new Chairperson. (page 3 of this newsletter). On Page 4, is the announcement that the Soil Moisture Network (which is the department Wagner runs) is looking for help. Not, coincidentally, on Page 5 is an article on how cloud albedo is overestimated in models, thus it’s worse than we thought.”

  2. diogenes said

    spelled out here

  3. #1
    That’s pretty old news – it’s in a Feb 2010 newsletter. But the funding agency is the European Space Agency (not run by Trenberth). GEWEX is a coordinating body.

  4. diogenes said

    right on cue!

  5. Jeff Id said

    It should say,

    “developed (and paid for) nihilistic philosophy”

    How about an acronym contest? What does MOM stand for?

    Mother of Money

    Master of the Masses

    Money or Meat 😀

  6. #4
    Yes, I like to think that getting a few facts into the discussion helps – the sooner the better.

    It wasn’t a big money deal – they have set up an internet database for sharing soil moisture data. We approve, don’t we?

    And they don’t “want to start”. It’s up and running – the Jan ’11 announcement is here.

  7. “Our world is not sane anymore. Poeple are still rationalizing this stupidity, but we are the race which developed nihilistic philosophy — so you get what you deserve.”

    I agree. Over my career, I watched in wonder as experimental data were manipulated, hidden or avoided.

    Al Gore, the UN’s IPCC and world leaders provided the key to the mystery with their AGW scam:

    Experimental observations after ~1971 were trashed if they violated the Bilderberg assumption that the Sun is a stable heat source – in equilibrium – a giant ball of hydrogen steadily fusing H into He and releasing a steady stream of heat to Earth [Solar Physics 3, 5-25 (1968)]:….3….5G

    The SSM (Standard Solar Model) and AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) are two peas in the same pod!

    NASA Headquarters promised to release video recordings of the constantly changing Sun:

    I seriously doubt that any spin added to actual observations made on waste products surrounding a violently unstable pulsar can successfully shield the AGW story, the SSM fable, and the reputation of world leaders, Al Gore and the UN from serious damage.

    What do you think?


  8. Bruce said

    Nick, GEWEX is a big group. Lots of money to spend. Careers to be made or broken.

    Implying that a guy like Wagner won’t encounter Trenbeth or money Trenbeth influences or controls is quite silly on you part – par for the course.

  9. stan said

    As a practical matter, the existence of GEWEX is of little import. In the context of his resignation and explanation, Wagner’s bizarre choice to make a direct apology to Trenberth is all that one needs to conclude that Wagner was desperate to curry favor with him. Might have been a particular project (perhaps GEWEX) or hoped for future projects. Perhaps just a general worry that he might be blackballed or had his career harmed in some other way. Specifics don’t matter. The facts that we know about are all we need to see that he was deeply concerned about Trenberth in a way that had nothing to do with the pros or cons of some paper that was published and had everything to do with trying to gain forgiveness for pissing off the wrong people.

    The direct apology tells it all. I can’t imagine that even Nick is so base as to try to come up with some BS that purports to turn that turd into gold.

  10. Carrick said


    Yes, I like to think that getting a few facts into the discussion helps – the sooner the better.

    “That’s pretty old news”… is a “few facts”.

    If you keep the emphasis on “few”, you’d be right.

  11. Carrick said

    Jeff ID, this is a case of “let them talk” and watch them bury themselves in their own bullshit.

  12. #10
    On the contrary, Carrick, you might like to tell what facts remain in #1.
    Follow the money? No, that’s from ESA.
    Wagner wants to start a Soil Moisture Network? No, he’s done it already.
    Maybe some facts remain, as per Bruce in #8? No, Trenberth isn’t even Chairman of GEWEX. He’s Chairman of their Scientific Steering Group.
    So what’s left? Any ideas?

  13. Mark T said

    Stan… Speak of the devil, eh?


  14. […] de The Air Vent [–>] un breve comentario que no pude ver el lo de Judith Curry. Es el resumen perfecto. Jonathan […]

  15. M. Simon said

    Lovely slide show by a physicist debunking Wind, Global Warming, Renewables. It is long (220 pages) and worth your time. It is probably old news to most of you but the presentation is excellent.

  16. M. Simon said


    Follow the money? No, that’s from ESA.

    I can go one better in obfuscation.

    Follow the money? No, that’s from government.

    I could go many levels deeper into obfuscation. What would be the point (other than amusement)?

    The question Nick is who has to sign off to get the money flowing to me? Do I have to wear knee pads or will a hug do? Or maybe just say something nice to the press. Perhaps make a public fool of myself. What?

    Looks like an integrity failure cascade to me.

  17. M. Simon said

    Integrity failure cascades are not unfamiliar to me. As a contractor I see a LOT of that.

    At one company that shall remain nameless I encountered the following.

    1. A poorly designed circuit board that did not follow design rules for its logic components. Lines at least double the maximum length.
    2. I pointed this out. Showed the people (managers, engineers) the references.
    3. The company men pointed out that the prototypes were working fine and I was just being an “old lady” about the matter. Besides it would cost $100K (because of the burn rate) and one month to do a new spin. Customers wouldn’t like the delay.
    4. Ten pre-production prototypes were built and they worked perfectly – boy were they laughing at my unwarranted concern. The rest of my work was excellent so they just wrote off my concern as “engineering perfectionism”.
    5. Production started – 90% production failure rate. That is when I left. They wanted me to stay on to work production to get the pass rate up. I declined.
    6. Of those that passed production tests 99% failed in the field
    7. They lost $3 million on that one and it cost them a lot of customer good will.


    You can only violate the rules so long until it comes back to bite you.

    I think the lack of integrity in climate “science” will follow a similar path. The wheels are already starting to come off. Only big wobbles for now. But it won’t be long before the wobbles turn into collapse.

    I will then have another opportunity to LMAO. I’m looking forward to it.

  18. Derek said

    re – ” The wheels are already starting to come off. Only big wobbles for now. But it won’t be long before the wobbles turn into collapse. ”

    Water vapour – the “vehicle” never had any wheels. LOL.

    Just a shame so many have not realised. LOL.

    What is a heat pipe anyways, and what is a refrigerant? LOL.

    Just like so many do not realise a disc has two sides, not only one. LOL.

    Or, that you can not divide an instantaneous law, and then, spread it over 4 times an initial unreal “surface area”, supposedly over 24 hours ie, Stefan Boltzman and P/4. LOL.

    Or, to deny that earth has two variable heat sources. LOL.

    I am glad I wasn’t infected irretrievably with the present “radiation obsession”. LOL.

    “BACK RADIATION” warms the earth’s surface – snigger – REALLY, who thinks that????… LOL.

    I could go on, but I’m laughing too much.


    REPLY: I retrieved this from the spam filter. It seems that it wasn’t worth my time as you have learned nothing yet.

  19. Carrick said

    Nick, there can be things wrong with papers without requiring the resignation of the chief editor, and his embarrassingly smarmy resignation and ass-kissing apologies to various scientists who deserve no such apology, and who themselves have have twisted themselves up into epistemological knots over inconsistent definitions used in climate science and distinctions between words that contain no useful meaning. None of this implies I think that what Spencer has done with respect to his cloud feedback paper is right, but that is utterly irrelevant to the question of how the “mainstreamers” who are in fact more entrenched in the political ramifications of a given paper, than the underly scientific verity or quality of it, are behaving, and in case you hadn’t noticed, it is this politicization by the principals of the climate science industry that have led to a degradation in trust both within the science community and with the public community at large and their reaction to their critics, and not the comments of the critics themselves.

    It’s indeed remarkable how you’ve yet once to ever comment on how you think what the mainstreamers are doing at times may be poorly behaved at best, and probably even counterproductive, but rather go on to state this enabling behavior on your part in the form of your glowing approval of their every action and even robust defense of their every word could most aptly be described as “getting a few facts into the discussion”.

  20. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Like Carrick says above, Wagner has revealed much about the politics of climate science with his overreaction to a single paper. It matters little whether potential financial gain is involved or we argue about the size on an organization or other nit picking issues. Wagner’s actions were rather transparent and his reasons for what he did are rather apparent, or at least rather easily surmised, and gives outsiders a good insight into the thinking and dealings behind peer review in a political atmosphere.

  21. Carrick #18
    “It’s indeed remarkable how you’ve yet once to ever comment on how you think what the mainstreamers are doing at times may be poorly behaved at best, and probably even counterproductive,”

    There is no shortage of such comments on this blog.

    There is a shortage of accurate facts, which I sometimes try to remedy.

  22. Kenneth Fritsch said

    If I can assume that Nick Stokes is diligent in his auditing of the facts of the matters on some of the blogs that might be considered skeptical by those of the consensus, I would judge those facts, and the general points being made from those facts, by the points Nick attempts to make and the way he goes about it.

    When the discussion gets lawyerly and nit picky without addressing the main issues of contention, I can only conclude that Nick has no reasonable counter but rather is honing his auditing skills.

  23. bob said

    What’s the difference between a fact and an accurate fact? There is only one set of facts.

  24. Perhaps worth pointing out, to any casual passer by that:

    Jonathan Jones is a Professor of Quantum Physics at Oxford University:

    HE also supported Judith Curry, when she tackled ‘Hide The Decline’ on her blog, where Gavin AND Michael showed up….

    Jonathans thoughts on ‘Hide The Decline’ at the bottom of this article..

    “…….Far more importantly most scientists are reluctant to speak out on topics which are not their field. We tend to trust our colleagues, perhaps unreasonably so, and are also well aware that most scientific questions are considerably more complex than outsiders think, and that it is entirely possible that we have missed some subtle but critical point.

    However, “hide the decline” is an entirely different matter. This is not a complicated technical matter on which reasonable people can disagree: it is a straightforward and blatant breach of the fundamental principles of honesty and self-criticism that lie at the heart of all true science. The significance of the divergence problem is immediately obvious, and seeking to hide it is quite simply wrong. The recent public statements by supposed leaders of UK science, declaring that hiding the decline is standard scientific practice are on a par with declarations that black is white and up is down. I don’t know who they think they are speaking for, but they certainly aren’t speaking for me.

    I have watched Judy Curry with considerable interest since she first went public on her doubts about some aspects of climate science, an area where she is far more qualified than I am to have an opinion. Her latest post has clearly kicked up a remarkable furore, but she was right to make it.

    The decision to hide the decline, and the dogged refusal to admit that this was an error, has endangered the credibility of the whole of climate science. If the rot is not stopped then the credibility of the whole of science will eventually come into question.

    Judy’s decision to try to call a halt to this mess before it’s too late is brave and good. So please cut her some slack; she has more than enough problems to deal with at the moment.

    If you’re wondering who I am, then you can find me at the Physics Department at Oxford University. Feb 23, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    I liked the sign off, ‘If you are wondering who I am….”

    Idid send him an apology to ‘outing him and that comment to a wider audience, liitle knowing, he was behind the FOI request for relase of Crutem data at the University of East Anglia, so I supposed he knows the consequences of raising his head above the parapett…

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