12 December 2009

A Bad Climate

[UPDATE: I've been asked about the 2005 paper mentioned in the article. Here is some backstory on that.]

In today's Denver Post Vincent Carroll discusses how my work has been received among the activist scientists associated with the clique of the CRU emails. Carroll does a very nice job in accurately presenting my views. Here is how it starts:

If you don't think some climate scientists have lost their bearings, consider their treatment of the University of Colorado's Roger Pielke Jr.

Pielke is a professor of environmental studies who shares the mainstream academic conviction that rising levels of greenhouse gases threaten us with global warming. Just this week on his blog (rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com), Pielke praised New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman's statement "that CO2 buildup has the potential to unleash 'catastrophic' warming" as being part of the "settled science."

Yet Pielke is despised by a number of influential climatologists. And no wonder. He refuses to ignore those who overstate or misrepresent data to further a policy agenda. He bridles when scientists pretend to speak "for science" when advocating political positions that will actually be determined by the interplay of social and economic values and judgments. And he calls out scientists who indulge in these tricks.


  1. "He refuses to ignore those who overstate or misepresent data to further a policy agenda."

    So do I.

    So, Dr. Pielke, I’ll ask again -- where is your "data" demonstrating "that CO2 buildup has the potential to unleash 'catastrophic' warming"?

    You know very well where to find my evidence to the contrary.

  2. -1-SBVOR

    We will simply agree to disagree.

    A key difference between our positions is that I am willing to admit that you might be right. You position does not allow you to reciprocate.

  3. Wow! A reasonable article! Merry Christmas!

    Vegas Odds are 20 to 1 the AP will never reprint that article!

  4. -2-Roger,

    Respectfully, until you present your evidence, how could I possibly know whether you might be correct?

  5. Dr. Pielke, I just read some of the Michael Crichton speeches on Global Warming, Science, Peer Review etc. , and was wondering if it wouldn't be better to allow more inclusion of adversarial views into Papers submitted to Journals? Perhaps a two page appendix for a critique of the paper, and a follow on section for an author response. Perhaps this would allow for a more conservative process for scientific papers in general. I think this would certainly have helped if the IPCC included something like this. Something like a minority opinion? I'm sure the details would be hard to hammer out, but I think it would be good for science as a whole. Thoughts?

  6. I'm guessing the "opposing opinion" idea has already been thought of. Your book looks intriguing. Thanks for your blog. It's very interesting.

  7. Roger - You call others as many names as they call you. You make as many accusations against others as they make against you.

    Yes, I know that you think that your argumemnts are supported and theirs aren't. That is typical of people doing what you're trying to do.

    To the degree I've been able to look into your accusations, I can't say that they all seem well-supported to me. Some are, some aren't. As such it is not surprising that you have become a lightning rod.

    Those in the media who think that you are a mistreated moderate need to understand that when you throw stones, stones get thrown back. In one sense, your acceptance of the fundamental science of AGW does make you a moderate. But like many othesr out there, your behavior on the blogs and the internet is anything but moderate.

    Your name in that article could easily be replaced by the names of many you have made accusations against and many would think it accurate.

  8. -7-Dean

    Absent specifics, this is a hard comment to respond to.

  9. Dennis Miller’s 12/11/2009 Op-ed on ClimateGate from the Washington Examiner. Good stuff!


  10. eleanor_on_burns describes “a minority opinion”.

    And, I wonder…
    Minority? According to which permutation of “new math” -- or, perhaps, according to which propagandist posing as a so-called “journalist”?

    -8-Roger: Welcome to my world! ;-)

  11. -7-Dean said: "Your name in that article could easily be replaced by the names of many you have made accusations against and many would think it accurate."

    Ironically, I fear that may be true. It seems there are too few people like Roger -- a person who has the humility to put the integrity of science ahead of his own ego and personal convictions. As Roger notes in another post, many people (IMHO, like Dean) confuse truth and "truthiness".

  12. -10- Lighten up SBVOR. No slight intended to whatever POV you have. Does "dissenting" make you feel better? :)

  13. Hey! Roger!

    You think you get abused on the net?

    Try being Jodi Miller (see the second clip in this link). ;-)

    Sorry, just inquiring.
    Or, is that no longer allowed in this post-enlightenment “the debate is [perpetually] over [before it ever began]” world?

  14. Roger,

    I have been an on and off reader since around 2006 (from the Prometheus site). I book marked you because of your interest (among others) in planning for adaptation to climate change, whatever it may be. This seemed to me a most enlightened view compared to other proscriptions.

    You have made some statements you are certain GHG is driving AGW. I am not certain what ranking you would assign to this effect.

    Would you be willing to provide some links to papers or sites/posts you think make good primary arguments for AGW via GHG? As a layman, what I mostly find are either too simplistic, or state from authority with no background reasoning, or are so deep into scientific discussion of minutiae even what I can follow is of little use to me.

    I have read quite bit of AR4, mostly the Technical Summary, but I would value any other sources you deem useful.


  15. -14-jdwill07

    "you are certain GHG is driving AGW"

    don't think that is how I put it -- On your question:

    "Would you be willing to provide some links to papers or sites/posts you think make good primary arguments for AGW via GHG?"

    I'll ask my scientists friends and see what they say.

  16. -14-jdwill07,

    Don’t hold your breath.

    I’ve been waiting since 7/31/09.

  17. Roger - This is not the first time I've brought this issue up here. You ask for specifics, but I refer to the totality of all the accusations you have made against others. I'm not asking you to defend them, as you made your case with them initially. My point is that you are portrayed by many as somebody doing his science whog ets attacked. But you do a lot of attacking as well. You give as well as you get.

    I also find it ironic that gmcrews uses the term "humility" to refer to Roger's actions. I believe Roger is doing this because he believes in it, but humility does not describe going after the IPCC and many top scientists in the field. It is hard charging, aggressive, and very self-confident. Nothing wrong with any of those qualities, but humble they ain't. Most of the people who are the targets of Roger's attacks also think that they are defending science from his delegitimizing attacks.

  18. Roger,

    I love your blog, mostly because it is one that is not polarized. Suitably down the middle, very few of those around here. I would consider myself a skeptic, naturally because I'm a scientist, and a free man.

    From what I've studied the AGW hypothesis seems to have little "trustworthy" data support, and plent of data to draw it into question. Can you list me a reference or two that you find to be strongly and "honestly" supportive. I'd respect your paper selections on the matter.

    Best Regards,
    University of Guam
    Water Environmental Research Institute

  19. -17-Dean

    I don't think anyone portrays me as quietly doing science getting innocently attacked ;-)

  20. That's quite a good summary, but I wonder why a mainstream figure doesn't just outright oppose emissions trading which is what this is all about.

    In addition to taking Shell's money to promote emissions trading, UEA climategate employee Mick Kelly said this

    “Acceptance of the carbon trading provisions of the Kyoto Protocol represents an article of faith, faith in the free market and faith in the process of globalisation. It rests on an ideological stance


    Follow the above link to see what Greenpeace and FOE think of carbon trading.

  21. Dean,

    Roger demonstrates humility in several ways: he addresses issues within the bounds of his own understanding and avoids making derogatory comments about things which are beyond him; he accepts reasoned criticism of his own work with an open mind; and he is willing to openly correct mistakes.

    I've spent enought time reading what has been said by those he "attacks" and you defend to know that they do not demonstrate the same qualities.

    These are some of the reasons I like coming here, even when I disagree with Roger. At one time I had thought that I could get the same experience at Real Climate, but I couldn't stomache the childishness over there.

    You continue to defend them, and it really doesn't do your credibility much good. I think most people see that you are arguments are shallow and misbalanced.

  22. -14-jdwill07

    For a short summary of scientific evidence of AGW via GHG, I would start here:


    and also look here:


    For a more detailed compilation of sources, look here, with lots of external links:


    -1- SBVOR

    Given that you are apparently holding new information that you are quite certain about, I would expect you to be out and about at some of the more technical debate sites. Here, Roger seems to focus on the advocacy/honest-broker issue most, and will have lots of more interesting grist than debating the relatively settled science, since it is pretty straightforward chemistry and physics at the macro level. Perhaps starting with convincing the IPCC and the climate community would be the quickest way to change his mind on AGW. Good luck with that.

  23. Tamara #21

    I have only paid serious attention to a few of the technical issues related to AGW for a few months.

    Based on reading some of the relevant literature and on reading blog posts and comments of Roger and of those who believe that "the science is settled," I concur with your evaluation.

    Roger tends to approach these issues with humility and with an appreciation of the bounds of his expertise. As a rule, the zealous proponents of the AGW consensus do not behave in a similar fashion.

  24. #22 Sam

    Thanks. I have started to look at newscientist - a lot to digest. I had been to realclimate quite a bit before but was hoping to find some other sources as to the basic rationale behind the GCM modeling and how CO2 was isolated in said models.