BEST is fun

When I said BEST is boring I was primarily thinking of the science. I’m not too surprised to find that many other people aren’t. For such folk, there is much fun to be had, so I suppose I’ll join in too.

I was going to take the piss out of Watts (h/t KK) for Nature pans BEST and Muller PR antics, prints letter from Dr. Singer, which he wrote in response to a Nature editorial that said

Global warming is really happening — really. There was no conspiracy or cover-up. Peer review did not fail and the scientists who have spent decades working out the best way to handle and process data turned out to know how to handle and process data after all.

but Watts is dull, so lets take the piss out of Curry instead.

The next bit is really wacky, and apparently evolving as we speak. So its a good idea to start off with some science – Tamino has an analysis of the analysis of the last 10 years of the BEST data. Since that data is essentially the same as everyone else’s (as I thought we had now agreed we all knew from the beginning 🙂 so inevitably it shows the same upward trend (once you remove the obvious broken data; and really, it is obvious, and Tamino even finds the error stats to show it).

Proceeding, again h/t to KK for his A Climate Soap Opera. Which is what it is, so don’t read on if you want edification. The Mail on Sunday, which is full of lies, and David Rose, who is full of lies [see end – W], run a story claiming the familiar GW-has-stopped meme can be seen in the BEST data – and they quote the GWPF, who are also full of lies. The GW-has-stopped meme has been around for a while, has been debunked many a time, and the Tamino link above debunks it once again. All very dull, but then Rose gets Curry to say some dumb things, or possibly he just says “wouldn’t you say X”, and Curry says “yes” (apparently this is the way journos get people to give them the quotes they want). We could do Kremlinology over who really said what, but happily Curry says on her blog “In David Rose’s article, the direct quotes attributed to me are correct”. Which is nice, so we know that ‘There is no scientific basis for saying that warming hasn’t stopped,’ she said. ‘To say that there is detracts from the credibility of the data, which is very unfortunate.’ is direct from her. As is As for the graph disseminated to the media, she said: ‘This is “hide the decline” stuff. Our data show the pause, just as the other sets of data do. Muller is hiding the decline.. And as you’ve all read Taminos article, above, we know that Curry is talking drivel.

Why is Curry doing this? Because the only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about. And Curry, despite being a BEST team member, was invisible. She is direct about this: “I was contacted by a few journos last week, I made my points, but they were interested in the implications for trend analysis, UHI effect, station quality. I made the point that these were complicated issues, and that I regarded the BEST papers (which were as yet unpublished) to be the first of many analyses on these topics using the new data set. This wasn’t what the journos found interesting, and I don’t think any of my quotes on this made it into print.” And I think she got bored and lonely on the sidelines, and decided she had to say something outrageous in order to get her piece of the action.

[Update: Curry has now resorted to redefining the language in a doomed attempt to rewrite her past nonsense into a favourable light. Tamino in understandably unimpressed]

[2013 update: the link I put in to “” no longer works (I hate it that ScienceBlogs broke a pile of old links, they should know better). The internet archive tells me that the state when I wrote it was: so you can see what I intended.]


* Nick Stokes noticed that the “bad” month only has Antarctic stations in it.
* Quark Soup

It has to get worse before it can get better

This is actually a comment made at Early Warning about the current Eurozone crisis. Any number of people, too numerous to mention, believe that the situation there (or here? We’re not part of the Euro, but are economies connect closely) is a slowly unfolding train wreck, but that as so often elsewhere, the politicians don’t fully understand the problem, and/or institutional inertia prevents effective action. And this will continue until the problem becomes so bad that pretending the problem will go away if we talk a lot is demonstrated to be wrong by reality rather than just careful analysis.

Which is just like GW. Doing something about GW will cost money, and will upset powerful interests, and the effects are in the future and aren’t clearly understood, and “why don’t we just quietly do not very much for a while” is so much easier. By contrast, the Eurozone problems are about as acute as they can possibly get without being completely fatal, and yet people are still flailing.


* Looks like Reiner Grundmann reads stoat

Congratulations to Gavin

I know, I know, I’m late. Never mind. Gavin Schmidt has won the inaugural “AGU Climate Communication Prize“; RC has a nice toast.

He looks pretty sexy, I think we can all agree, though not well centered (sometimes he looks more like some street crazy). He is clearly right-leaning, unless its a mirror photo. What little hair he has is off the top of the shot; I think they need a better photographer.

I remember now, there was a reason why I wrote this: to point to A Conversation with Gavin Schmidt at Climate Sight. Notice how measured Gavin is about the impacts.

Famine: impacts and adaption

Never blog when pissed [*] they said…

So, Kloor and Romm are having a dust up over stuff, and if you care you can read the details or even take sides (I’m with Kloor, you won’t be surprised to learn). But we can take a step back and consider a more generalised problem, in the context of Doctors Warn Climate Change is “Greatest Threat to Public Health”: suppose we care about famine in the third world (in the sense of wanting to do something about it, rather than in the sense of finding it interesting material to blog about it): what might we do?

* stop climate change (reduce impacts)
* improve their governance (adaption)

Obviously the two are not exclusive, but more importantly it is likely that one factor is more significant than the other. Which might it be? I’ve been pretty skeptical about the chances of future famine in the past (pardon?) and I’m still skeptical, so my vote goes to choice 2: their big problem is governance. Climate might well be an aggravating factor, but in comparison to being shot up, attacked and generally having your entire civil society destroyed by armed gangs, climate comes a pretty poor second.

So temporarily ignoring the problem that “improve their governance” doesn’t have a glorious recent past (Afghanistan and Iraq being our most recent disaster areas; but we could look to Sierra Leone, or possibly Libya as better examples) I’d say option 2 is distinctly a better bet. Plus the associated externalities are positive too (not only do they not starve to death, they don’t get shot either).

[*] In the English sense, which is to say, when drunk.

[Update: AG reminds me that I really ought to have mentioned Civil conflicts are associated with the global climate. And you can read his blog on it, too.]

Occupy Wall Street?

economu-could-be-more-fair I was going to write something about “occupy wall street” – I even found their statement, and was going to analyse it. But really all I was going to do was snark. So instead I’ll point you at Anarchists for good government
which has the benefit of being by someone who was there. I agree with it all. Principally, with the assertion that although people think something is wrong, no-one has any idea how to put it right. And secondly, with the observation that this helps unify the protests (and the implication that the protests would fragment if there was an idea of what to do).

Updates: well, we now have “Occupy SX” and they too would like the world to be full of fluffy bunnies [*] and everyone just to be nice to each other. But they too have no clue as to how to achieve this. More interestingly RP has some practical experience.

[*] I.e., not Rabetts :-).
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