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Judith Curry takes on the climate establishment

If you are interested in seeing the polemics around climate giving way to improved climate science – and lets face it, a lot of the comrades around here find the polemics more fun – do not miss the storm being kicked up by Judith Curry on her blog Climate Etc. Curry is ‘Professor and Chair’ of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a bête noire (or at least a ‘crazy aunt’, as she puts it) of climate alarmists, as she is one of those competent insiders who keeps putting spokes in their wheels. She has three threads running on the topic of ‘Hiding The Decline’, referring to Phil Jones’s notorious Climategate email. The basic message to her fellow climate researchers is: stop trying to defend the indefensible. Some money quotes:

It is obvious that there has been deletion of adverse data in figures shown IPCC AR3 and AR4, and the 1999 WMO document. Not only is this misleading, but it is dishonest (I agree with Muller on this one). The authors defend themselves by stating that there has been no attempt to hide the divergence problem in the literature, and that the relevant paper was referenced. I infer then that there is something in the IPCC process or the authors’ interpretation of the IPCC process (i.e. don’t dilute the message) that corrupted the scientists into deleting the adverse data in these diagrams.

McIntyre’s analysis is sufficiently well documented that it is difficult to imagine that his analysis is incorrect in any significant way. If his analysis is incorrect, it should be refuted. I would like to know what the heck Mann, Briffa, Jones et al. were thinking when they did this and why they did this, and how they can defend this, although the emails provide pretty strong clues. Does the IPCC regard this as acceptable? I am sure do not.


The subject of climate change is a complex and important topic; the public is counting on scientists to provide the best available information. When the public saw … climategate, with “hide the decline” being its slogan, there was a substantial loss of public trust. This is not a good thing for climate science, nor for policy deliberations.

The response to climategate (of which hide the decline is the slogan) of the climate scientists and the broader climate establishment has been to say to the public “not to worry, the science is still sound, nothing has changed.” No one is standing up to acknowledge the problems and talk about addressing them so that this kind of thing does not happen in the future. Restoring trust would have been easier a year ago than it is now.

Referring to supposed parallels between the hockey-stick controversy and a controversy over the relationship between hurricane intensity and global temperature:

When I ponder the hockeystick debate, and its differences with the hurricane debate, and then I read those emails, well, I don’t have much sympathy. They could have taken a different path in all this. The hurricane group (and certainly myself) are no saints, but they did the right thing and it didn’t take them all that long to do it.

It takes courage to take on her own profession’s establishment like this.

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4 comments to Judith Curry takes on the climate establishment

  • RRS

    Shades of Raimond K. Popper

  • Gordon Walker

    Judith Curry is an honest member of the “Climate Establishment”
    An oxymoron in other words.
    However the Lord required ten just men before he would stay his hand against Sodom and Gomorrah.

  • Plamus

    Damage-control, flow-of-grants-preservation mode engaged.

  • Stonyground

    Judith Curry does appear to be the only really honest blogger in the warmist camp. She does at least acknowledge that the sceptics sometimes have a point, rather than dismissing them as deniers or numpties.

    The star of the comment thread beneath her article seems to be a character called Gavin Schmidt who runs an alarmist blog called Realclimate. The issue with Schmidt appears to be that on his own blog he moderates out any posters who disagree or ask inconvenient questions. When he ventures out onto Judith’s blog, where dissent is allowed, he tends to get spanked rather a lot.