Ok, another “me, too”!

Its just too much to sit back and watch without comment.  By now everyone is familiar with the SB/Dressler brouhaha.  Dressler thoroughly embarrassed himself and the team.  A small feat, but noteworthy.  As I stated on my previous post, I’ve little to add to the critique of Dressler’s paper, so I’ll just re-refer people to these two blogs. 

http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/09/andrew-dessler-clouds-dont-reflect.html
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/09/06/desslers-spencer-rebuttal-scuttled/

One doesn’t need to dig into Dressler’s paper any further.  Its tripe.  It doesn’t even rise to psuedo-science.  Sadly, but predictably, this is the part where the ‘luke warmers’   skeptic apologists come scuttling out to mitigate the damage.  How does one mitigate the damage?  Two things, first, completely ignore the strawman arguments, lack of logic and contradictory writings and pretend Dressler’s paper is of equal validity as Spencer’s.  Then, attack Spencer’s paper with spurious criticisms.

Steve McIntyre has really nice, yet funny, take on the issue.  http://climateaudit.org/2011/09/06/the-stone-in-trenberths-shoe/  .  I recommend reading it.  Though, I’m wondering why it was presented in such a manner?  Steve Mac completely destroys the technical part of Dressler’s paper.  Personally, I found nothing compelling to venture that deep, but, Steve’s a statistician, so…….  But, here’s the thing.  While Steve Mac does entirely destroy Dressler, there’s no follow through.  No coup de gras.  Steve, put these people out of our misery!  While I can certainly appreciate civility, there is a time and place for everything, and in  this particular instance, Dressler and Trenberth et al are deserving of the civility and sense of decorum they’ve extended to others, which would be none.

Then there is the self proclaimed dialoguer Judy Curry.  Apologists love her site.  it reinforces their belief in compromise and moderation.  One critique of Spencer’s paper is that he didn’t put all of the models tested on a graphic…….. sigh.  The implication is that Spencer was trying to hide something.  Section 2.2 of SB11 clearly states, “While we computed results for 14 of the models archived, here will present results for only the 3 most sensitive models (MIROC3.2-hires; IPSL-CM4; MIROC3.2-medres), and the 3 least sensitive models (FGOALS; NCAR PCM1; GISS-ER), where their sensitivity to transient carbon dioxide forcing was
estimated by ….”
Apparently, he was suppose to include all of the models on the graph to have some nonsensical graphic representation.  This is simply another attack on Dr. Spencer that carries no validity.  It doesn’t matter if some other models may appear more appeasing and appealing on the graph.  There isn’t a model out there that is worth a damn.  Spencer was suppose to include all of the useless models on a graph?  That’s the dumbest thing …… ok, maybe not the dumbest, but it is a vapid proposition.

I’ve read both papers.  There is no doubt as to which one was a scientific endeavor and which one was nothing but an intellectually and morally void attempt at discrediting other people.

I don’t know why people insist on trying to moderate the greater CAGW discussion.  Maybe its their way of hedging their bets.  It isn’t a smart thing to do.  It lends validity where none exists and makes it more difficult for skeptical science to be accepted into the mainstream science.  This is something we expect from the team.  Not anyone else.

Maybe Steve Goddard is onto something.  Maybe it is Sencer’s religious beliefs that we see coming into play here.  I hope not, but I can’t find any legitimate reason for SB11 to be lowered to the level of Dressler11 .  It simply isn’t accurate to view the papers in an equal manner.

UPDATE!  Spencer responds.

Spencer has given his one day response to Dressler at WUWT .  It was a short one, which, would be expected, because Dressler was pretty much content free.  But here’s something he shared that I thought was interesting…….  apparently, Dressler used something called AMIP models.  Evidently, these models don’t allow for cloud changes to change the temps.  So, presto! Proof that clouds can’t change temps.  ……… because the models used don’t allow for clouds to change temps.  Sigh……..  its worse than I thought.  He addresses other things that have already been discussed here and elsewhere and does so quite well.  But, I hope he revisits some to spend more time on them.  I’m sure he will.  I’d share more of what he stated, but I always think it best to go to the source.   Just click on the link to read Dr. Spencer in his own words.

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10 Responses to Ok, another “me, too”!

  1. tallbloke says:

    Hi Suyts and thanks for the link.

    I’ve met Judith Curry in person and think she is very smart. I trust her to be of genuine good heart and to be moving the debate in the right direction. It takes all sorts to make a world, and although to your and my eye it might superficially look like she lends legitimacy to bad science, the underlying drive is to clean up the mess. There are plenty of people who are not yet ready to take the more ‘hardline’ attitude of the sceptics who have been around longer and become more battle weary and less even tempered…

    Same goes for Steve McIntyre to a large extent.

    • suyts says:

      TB, thanks for dropping by. What I was trying to state, and probably missed my mark, is that I think it is time to change approaches. You also probably have a point about some of us who’ve been at this a bit longer and have become battle weary. But, I keep reading SB11 and Dressler11. Dressler11 was nothing but a headline grabbing hit piece of no value. And while SB11 may not have it all correct, it advances a line of science that needs addressed, specifically the characteristics of clouds and quantifying the effects of clouds on our climate.

      But, as I stated earlier, Dressler’s paper wasn’t worthy of publication, or even an op-ed piece as far as that goes. Giving it much more consideration than you have, IMHO, lends it a bit of credence that it doesn’t possess. And, I think we, as a skeptical community, tend to do this more than what we should. At this point, what we should be doing, IMHO, is demanding Wagner to explicitly state what the false claims were in the SB11 paper. Specifically, what were the fundamental errors. We should be demanding the GRL retract Dressler’s paper. My goodness, it was flawed in the introduction!

      I know some people may see this as a criticism of Steve McIntyre and Dr. Curry, and, perhaps, in a way it is. I like Steve McIntyre. I just wish sometimes he’d drive his point home with a little more force. As to Dr. Curry, I’m sure she does genuinely believe she’s furthering the discussion. But, let’s examine her bottom line quote in her latest…….“Bottom line: S&B and LC papers do have flaws, as discussed on previous Climate Etc. threads. Dessler (2011) adds relatively little to this debate. None of these papers are particularly useful in evaluating the sign or magnitude of the cloud feedback.”

      Now, seeing that I’ve never read a flawless paper, I’d have to agree with her. But TB, she is a climate scientist. If anyone is able to speak to the issues, it should have been her. She acknowledges that much of the ado has little to do with the specifics of science but the discussion outside the science……if both papers are flawed, they are flawed on such fundamentally different levels it is gobsmacking to me that she basically calls them of equal value.

      While I don’t expect people such as Dr. Curry to go on about Dressler’s apparent lack of cerebral capacity, I would have expected her to at least state something to the lack of character and professionalism displayed by many of that group, to include, but isn’t limited to, Dressler, Trenberth, Abraham, Gleick and Wagner. It isn’t anything that Dr. Curry did that bothers me, its what she didn’t do that bothers me.

      As long as the greater community on the blogosphere and science accepts the nearly slanderous and libelous tactics employed by such people, the tactics will continue to be utilized.

      James

  2. Mike Davis says:

    What is to debate?
    Science theory based on testable Hypothesis! Models are based on a hypothesis and have failed their tests. Surface temperature records have failed real world tests. Paleo Proxy records used by the IPCC have failed their tests.
    There is no science to debate!
    The only thing left is for them to continue attempting to justify the money spent on their salaries by claiming they are doing “Science”! They are showing the validity of the axiom GIGO!

  3. Mike Davis says:

    Actually, Spencer and Dressler should have had a running discussion on a neutral web site such as Pielkie sr’s. The difference in turn around times for the opponents deters from the discussion. The other distraction was the need to change journals by Spencer due to gatekeeping.
    The cloud issue should be represented by the major proponents on each side and leave minor league players like Dressler to watch from the side lines. There were people on JC’s blog that showed more knowledge of clouds than Dressler displays!

    • suyts says:

      There were people on JC’s blog that showed more knowledge of clouds than Dressler displays!
      =====================================================
      Yes, but the same could be stated about my grandson’s kindergarten class.

  4. Mike Davis says:

    Any time the discussion turns to clouds, this comes to mind:

  5. Pingback: Delusional Scientists and bloggers fail at character assassination attempt | suyts space

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