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« Carbonundrums | Main | Culpability »

The big cutoff

Fred Pearce is on the receiving end of the full fury of the warmosphere for his article about the Lisbon conference in New Scientist. Pearce, discussing who had agreed to turn up, said this:

But the leaders of mainstream climate science turned down the gig, including NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, who said the science was settled so there was nothing to discuss.

Schmidt has now said that this is not true and that his decision not to attend was rooted in the premises of the conference:

This is completely made up. My decision not to accept the invitation to this meeting was based entirely on the organiser’s initial diagnosis of the cause of the ‘conflict’ in the climate change debate. I quote from their introductory letter:

“At this stage we are planning to have a workshop where the main scientific issues can be discussed, so that some clarity on points of agreement and disagreement might be reached. We would try to stay off the policy issues, and will also exclude personal arguments.

The issues we have in mind are Medieval Warm Period, ice, climate sensitivity, and temperature data. We would hope to have smaller groups discussing these in some detail, hopefully with scientists who are very familiar with the technical issues to lead the discussion.”

Since, in my opinion, the causes of conflict in the climate change debate relate almost entirely to politics and not the MWP, climate sensitivity or ‘ice’, dismissing this from any discussion did not seem likely to be to help foster any reconciliation.

A letter complaining to New Scientist has duly been issued, with all the usual suspects in the warmosphere flinging brickbats at Pearce. No doubt the big cutoff awaits.

Meanwhile, conference participant and blogger Tallbloke has revealed himself as Fred Pearce's source, and he has some interesting things to say on the subject of Gavin Schmidt's objection.

To set the record straight:

Because I was an ad hoc member of the invite committee I got an email asking my advice on who to invite in lieu of Gavin Schmidt and some other prominent people who had declined. The organisers inadvertantly included Gavin’s response on that email, and when I was asked one evening in Lisbon why certain people weren’t there I gave a quick [precis], including a brief reference to Gavin’s response. This made it’s way to Fred, hence the reference in his blog piece reporting on the conference.

I would just stress at this point that what I said constitutes my opinion and not what Gavin said verbatim. However I would also like to say that Gavin’s complaint to the New Scientist does not include any [precis] of the passage in his original response which gave rise to my brief summary. I therefore reject Gavin’s claim that I ‘made stuff up’, and respectfully suggest that we can lay this one to rest if in a spirit of openness Gavin simply reproduces his response so people can see for themselves what he said.

If I am assailed by accusations that I have wrongfully maligned Gavin with my brief summary comment I may feel obliged to defend myself with a closer paraphrase.

Further down the thread, Gavin invited Tallbloke to publish his email explaining why he didn't want to attend, and Tallbloke has now published it at his own site. Gavin's response was as follows:

I’m a little confused at what conflict you feel you are going to be addressing? The fundamental conflict is of what (if anything) we should do about greenhouse gas emissions (and other assorted pollutants), not what the weather was like 1000 years ago. Your proposed restriction against policy discussion removes the whole point. None of the seemingly important ‘conflicts’ that are *perceived* in the science are ‘conflicts’ in any real sense within the scientific community, rather they are proxy arguments for political positions. No ‘conflict resolution’ is possible between the science community who are focussed on increasing understanding, and people who are picking through the scientific evidence for cherries they can pick to support a pre-defined policy position.

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Reader Comments (204)

I'd been slugging this out over at KK's blog for what seems like a lifetime.

Anyone who invokes the "climate consensus" meme - that thing Gavin trots out regularly, and has done so for as long as I can remember - is attempting to shut down the debate in a way that is entirely indistinguishable from either flatly stating, or surreptitiously implying, that "the science is settled".

Has Gavin explicitly stated that the science is settled? No, I don't think so. In point of fact, in the face of mounting ridicule in the weeks following Climategate, he finally (FINALLY!!!!) stated categorically that he does not believe the science is settled at RC.

Has Gavin implicitly asserted that the science is settled? Absolutely, yes. BOTH the "science is settled" and "97% of climate scientists" are synonymous. They are interchangeable in both meaning and in intended effect. They both imply that the scientific case has been made and, by extension, that only the specific policies to address climate change remain undetermined and not set in stone.

Whether or not Pearce was correct to use the words "the science is settled" in paraphrasing Schmidt's position is moot because, in the absence of a direct quote stating that "the science is settled" from Schmidt, there is a body of "consensus" quotes from him that amount to precisely the same meaning and, in context, are served up for precisely the same reason as "the science is settled".

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Hopkinson


Believe what the Gulbenkian Foundation say about themselves,if you like. It's so much easier than seeing the link between fossil fuel money and the denyosphere. Great effort to take the heat off the central question of who is making stuff up to discredit a climate scientist.

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterhengist mcstone

B Kindseth

The documents you are looking for may be here:

Try 'Words that Sell', 'The Rules of the Game' and 'Sell the Sizzle' for starters.

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


So, the Gulbenkian Foundation is lying too, is it?

What a frightening world you inhabit.

Nobody is making stuff up to discredit Gavin. Have you actually read the account of what happened re Pearce? It's hard to reconcile you rather wild take on things with reality.

Has it ever occured to you that you may be in error?

BTW, please avoid the use of the word denier, or any derivation of it. I am not one (I understand the physical basis of AGW) and I find it extremely offensive.

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

B Kindseth, Atomic H, and BBD, more here

Swiped from "turning-worm", (thanks).

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterXplod

@golf charley

I really don't see how you bringing up the moderation policy on a different website helps to clarify anything. Your statement "That the AGW supporters have tried to stifle debate, with terms such as "consensus", "the debate is over", and "settled science", is clear." is opinion NOT FACT. It is not an opinion I share (obviously , otherwise I wouldn't be here would I ?) so I don't intend to answer your question .

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterhengist mcstone

I fear that Richard Pearse is about to be thrown off and then under the school bus by Gavin and his unruly mates who sit down the back, where they can smoke and leer through the windows and make rude hand-signals at passing traffic. Are Gavin and his crew getting their scripts from Richmal Crompton, the late author of the 'William' series of books? Is McStoned post-normally on the bus with them?

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K


You repeatedly talk of opinion vs fact but you don't deal in facts. In this exchange I have seen nothing at all from you except unsupported assertions.

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

An other battle is lost. This is a tactical victory for the Warmists. Any reconciliation must be initiated by somebody. The Warmists did not initiate it. The other side has shown weakness by desire to recocile. The Warmists did not go. Clever moove. As for most of you, the argument is lawyerly interpretation. Other than the interpretters, who cares?

The Warmists are brazen dishonest protagonists. But the ScepticalDeniers are naive incompetents. More intersted in stylistic analysis and a good moan than wnning battles. Never mind winning the war.

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Steiner

Just been over to Real Climate, typed "science is settled" into their search. Quite a few hits!

"Rather, Bush adopts an attribution sceptic position: warming yes, but is it caused by humans? This position is equally out of step with science, where the debate over this question has also now been settled." Real Climate March 2006

Hengist, Gavin is one of the main players behind Real Climate

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

@BBD No , I didn't say the Gulbenkian Foundation is lying , you are putting words in to my mouth now.

I can't stay on this forum if parts of the english language are going to be made out of bounds. What's wrong with the D word? It is distinct from 'skeptic' which is not an exclusive group, or is it? I have no objection to the term warmist or derivations thereof as included in Mr Montford's post at the top of the page.

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:53 PM | Unregistered Commenterhengist mcstone


@BBD No , I didn't say the Gulbenkian Foundation is lying , you are putting words in to my mouth now.

You said:

Believe what the Gulbenkian Foundation say about themselves,if you like.

You clearly mean that the foundation is lying.

If you cannot debate here without using offensive terminology, or facts, or logical consistency, you should go home.

Now, up your game 100% or go away.

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I get the feeling Gavin doesn't realise how the rules of the game are changing, but Dr Curry does. As do some of the other Lisbon attendees. There has been rising scepticism, there is uncertainty, there have been significant failures to communicate and it's unhelpful and unhealthy for science. I was a bit disappointed that some of the more famous alarmists didn't attend, but not that suprised. Despite the damage the Team has done, they do not recognise there is a problem, and until they do, there can be no reconciliation with them. There's little point trying to build bridges if their attitude and opinions are so embedded that they'll refuse use the bridge, or deny the bridge even exists or needs crossing.

Ultimately though, it shouldn't matter. The uber-alarmists will simply get marginalised and ignored because there's an emerging consensus and better co-operation between 'sceptics' and 'alarmists' forming elsewhere. From following the debate at Climate Etc, most of it still seems to be a failure to communicate, ie confusion over what PNS means. Failure to communicate though has been the root cause of much of the divide. The problem is still how to effectively communicate complexity and uncertainty to a wide audiience. The Team position still seems to be to downplay uncertainty. The Lisbon position is more positive and looks at how sceptics and scientists can work together to identify and communicate more effectively to policy makers and the public.

Formalising this in some fashion provides a far more powerful vehicle and channel. The fact that sceptics and 'alarmists' are working together and agreeing on areas of uncertainty, and how to address that uncertainty is far more useful to policy makers than vehicles like RC, who's communication and policy advice is far more 'robust' and one dimensional. Some of this is what the IPCC should have been before it got hijacked, and is what AR5 may be if the IAC's advice is taken on board.

Feb 5, 2011 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

Hey, I know. Let's have a competition! Best summary of Gavin's letter wins, the Bish can adjudicate.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Thank you, Hengist McStone, Atomic Hairdryer and BBD, for responding to my question. A search on “Futerra climate science settled” yielded a wealth of information. The involvement of the PR firm, Futerra, is described in a RealClimate post and a Delingpole article. Though neither Gavin nor Futerra state that the science is settled, they both appear to me to use that approach. But don’t take my word for it; please check out the links.

The “Rules of the Game” from Futera are here. These were apparently found in the release of Climategate files, although the link is to a Futera site.

Another article:

Do the skeptics have a similar “Rules of the Game”?

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterB. Kindseth

unsupported assertions? Ive made every effort to cite my sources, such as the reference to Eli. I am still waiting to see an original reference to Dr Schmidt claiming "the science is settled" as asserted by Fred Pearce and numerous other posters here.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterhengist mcstone


Could we have another draft cartoon, with blog submitted amendments, or was the last one too much of a headache?

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:05 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

Hengist says:

I can't stay on this forum if parts of the english language are going to be made out of bounds. What's wrong with the D word?

I find it hard to believe that he is not being monumentally disingenuous, but just in case it is simply bone-headedness, here's a good explanation of why the D-word is out from philospher Edward Skidelsky:

“Denial” is an ordinary English word meaning to assert the untruth of something. Recently, however, it has acquired a further polemical sense. To “deny” in this new sense is to repudiate some commonly professed doctrine. Denial is the secular form of blasphemy; deniers are scorned, ridiculed and sometimes prosecuted.

Where does this new usage come from? There is an old sense of “deny,” akin to “disown,” which no doubt lies in the background. (A traitor denies his country; Peter denied Christ.) But the more immediate source is Freud. Denial in the Freudian sense is the refusal to accept a painful or humiliating truth. Sufferers are said to be in a “state of denial” or simply “in denial.” This last phrase entered general use in the early 1990s and launched “denial” on its modern career. “Holocaust denial” was the first political application, followed closely by “Aids denial,” “global warming denial” and a host of others. An abstract noun, “denialism,” has recently been coined. It is perhaps no accident that denial’s counterpart, affirmation, has meanwhile acquired laudatory overtones. We “affirm” relationships, achievements, values. Ours is a relentlessly positive culture.

An accusation of “denial” is serious, suggesting either deliberate dishonesty or self-deception. The thing being denied is, by implication, so obviously true that the denier must be driven by perversity, malice or wilful blindness. Few issues warrant such confidence. The Holocaust is perhaps one, though even here there is room for debate over the manner of its execution and the number of its victims. A charge of denial short-circuits this debate by stigmatising as dishonest any deviation from a preordained conclusion. It is a form of the argument ad hominem: the aim is not so much to refute your opponent as to discredit his motives. The extension of the “denier” tag to group after group is a development that should alarm all liberal-minded people. One of the great achievements of the Enlightenment—the liberation of historical and scientific enquiry from dogma—is quietly being reversed.

I hope this helps him clarify his thinking on the subject.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

B. Kindseth, not written, no. But absolutely, yes. The rules are: Use science not spin; show data, don't delete; be honest, not underhanded; acknowledge uncertainties, don't conceal them; use science for discovery, not for advancing ideological policies..... the list goes on.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

Sorry the links in my previous posting didn’t come through.
The RealClimate link is:
The Delinpole article is :
And the link to the Futera Rules of the Game is:

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterB. Kindseth

IF the science is not settled THEN what are the deniers denying?

The conference is having its intended effect, post-conference.

I was surprised that Keith Kloor is trying to settle issues of whether Gavin implied that the "science is settled" by a mere literal "show me the actual quote" exercise (vide hengist) rather than analysis.

This is what fundamentalism breeds - literalism and loss of a sense of irony.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub


Refering to Eli's nonsense about the Gulbenkian somehow being directed in its actions by Big Oil does not count as supported assertion (do read its mission statement - I posted it up for you).

You are not impressing me at all.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

The conference was sponsored by the EU as well.

These things are unrelated to the issue at hand, and smack of insinuation rather than direct statement. Better left where they belong.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

The good news, as Judith Curry alluded to, is that "the science is settled" as an exact phrase, is now being recognized by virtually everyone as a ridiculous term. Not so good is that weasel words have taken its place, but are used to mean the same thing. Presumably, an effort to better "frame" the message.

Can anyone point out to me how the dicing and parcing of Schmidt's e-mail has any difference in meaning from this?

The science is settled, and the damage has already begun. The only question now is whether we will stop playing political games and embrace the few imperfect options we have left.

I think there is a lot of hyperventilating over what really amounts to a distinction without a difference.
I'm continually amazed at what thin skins climate scientists have. After decades of fawning coverage by the likes of Pearce and Revkin, and actively lobbying for a more pubilc voice through the media, they suddenly discover to their horror that journalists paraphrase. OMG!

They really don't get out much, do they?

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn M


For 6 days of the week, I am prepared to deny it is thursday. For one day of the week I do not deny it is thursday.

Clearly I am irrational and confused

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

To say "the science is settled" is deceptive at best. To say this and mean that "what we know is what we know on any given day" is kind'a, sort'a true. To say it and "mean" or "imply" that "what we knew 5 years ago is what we know now and will remain so forever and ever more" is an outright lie. So what does Herr Doktor Schmidt Das Wetterobermensch, et al, mean? Me thinks he's (they's) being a might deceptive and the biggest reason has to do with his (their) Earth changing plans for a New World Order (might they share a "philosophy" for a better future, might this be the actual reason they are so unwilling to attend such conferences with the enemies of his/their Cause?).

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterPascvaks

Gospel according to Gavin. My ball, my rules.
Who cares what the WEATHER was like 1000 yrs ago lets talk policy.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartyn


Please, please no more nazi references.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Thanks for the Skidelsky quote. The crucial point is "It is a form of the argument ad hominem: the aim is not so much to refute your opponent as to discredit his motives."

The distinction between global warming denier and global warming skeptic as far as I am concerned is all about motivation. A true skeptic is engaged in a search for truth and he (or she) must be dispassionate in that search, a denier has already got his weltanschauung and is searching for evidence to support it.

I haven't called anybody here a denier. But I have used the term Denyosphere. That's because a kind of groupthink is going on here supporting the erroneous assertion that Dr Schmidt said something he didnt. By doing so I have simply used a word to describe context . If BBD truly finds that offensive then I will have to make my excuses and leave.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:29 PM | Unregistered Commenterhengist mcstone

I don't know who invented "the climate is settled", but in the UK we have had several environment ministers, climate change ministers and PMs who have written that "the science is settled", presumably following advice from their scientific advisers (such as Bob Watson). I have never heard any of the "top climate scientists" correcting the politicians for believing that the science is settled, so I would assume that they advised the politicians of this or believe it themselves or they are dishonest.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

The funding for the Lisbon conference according to Fred Pearce was from both the European Commission and the Foundation, he doesn't clarify in what proportions. Hengist is saying that any connection with oil money, at whatever remove, taints the money and hence makes whatever outcome occurs by use of that money discredited and suspect motivationally.

So, a lot of tax money comes from oil. A lot of science funding comes from oil (including for 'climate scientists'). To take the position that 'fossil fuel' money is tainted is frankly idiotic. As Mother Teresa used to say, the source of the money is irrelevant, it's what you do with it that counts.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

Can anyone guess what the lapse rate is in the warmosphere? (this can equivalently be expressed as the apostate creation rate, or ap-rate for short). And is it related to the relative vitriol levels (observed level of vitriol / saturation level)?

Topical storms are often observed in the warmosphere, and yet have received very little study. Are they becoming more frequent or intense? Do they affect the ap-rate? Does the ap-rate actually influence the intensity of these storms, which can appear, rage, and be gone again over timescales lasting from a few hours to a few days.

Our knowledge of the warmosphere is so poor that predictive models of any utility have yet to be created. But one theory suggests that a self-destructive tipping-point is imminent due to an accumulation of X-gates, where X is almost anything you care to mention, and 'gates' are substantial injections of negative energy associated with primary-error-surges. These PE-surges can be linked to natural features such as glaciers or icecaps, or to lifeforms such as polar bears, and even to transient phenomena such as hurricanes, as well as to man-made constructs such as principal components analysis.

The sudden appearance of the warmosphere, in the blink of an eye on the millenial scale, has brought so much disruption and loss to the sociosphere, that many must hope that it will disappear at least as suddenly. Others argue that it is such a special phenomenon, the likes of which has never been seen on this scale before, that we can learn much from the careful study of it.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade


You are being disingenuous to a fault this afternoon.

You do something. I object and explain my reasons at length. You twist it round to try and make me seem unreasonable:

If BBD truly finds that offensive then I will have to make my excuses and leave.

Meanwhile you continue to contribute nothing of interest to the thread.

A while back I suggested you upped your game or took your leave. I reiterate: sharpen up or sling your hook. This is boring.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Pearce's summary of Gavin's response blunts his (Gavin's) nastiness. Gavin should be thanking him for that, not attacking him.

It's typical of Gavin to think Pearce's summary is worse than his actual response.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:36 PM | Unregistered Commentermovielib

Im only following this thread now because I am waiting to see a citation of Dr Gavin Schmidt saying"the science is settled" .

@Cumbrian Lad Please don't put words into my mouth.

I am probably going to cite this thread as evidence that people that call themselves skeptics but can't see that their motivations really make them something else cannot be trusted to paraphrase and hence to debate with.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterhengist mcstone


I discourage use of terms like denier and ecofascist. That includes variants like denialsphere and so on. Please don't - it just makes the threads deteriorate.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:43 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Hengist, what on earth are you talking about?

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BTW Hengist, Cumbrian Lad didn't put words into your mouth.

He just pointed out that your 'point' re oil money is nonsensical.

It is.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

hengist, dude, you are just reaffirming your own prejudices.

Why not discuss the matter at hand, without labels. Your distractedness perhaps makes the point that your arguments are weak.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub


One last thing. You say above that people here cannot be 'trusted to debate with'. Apart from the fact that your entire last paragraph at 3:42pm is hard to understand, you are absolutely not here for a debate. There's half-a-thread's worth of evidence of that now.

But it's always someone else who is wrong, at fault, putting words into your mouth, voicing opinion not fact etc etc. Although you apparently have nothing substantive to contrubute yourself and deal entirely in opinions not facts.

I see that in desperation you have chewed this down to a silly nub: 'show me the bit where Gavin says 'the science is settled' or I win!'

This is not debate. If you think it is, then you are mistaken. Really.

Feb 5, 2011 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I only made an observation about oil money , I don't think I went so far as making 'a point', you have done it for me.

The D word is off-limits , right. But warmist is OK. And mainstream science is the warm-o-sphere. That's something of an assymetric argot we have to use.

BBD your complaints that I am both boring and offensive seem incongruous to me. No one is forcing you to read this.

Feb 5, 2011 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterhengist mcstone

'Im only following this thread now because I am waiting to see a citation of Dr Gavin Schmidt saying"the science is settled"

Well you're not going to, so run along now.

Feb 5, 2011 at 4:09 PM | Unregistered Commentermingmong

Oh Hengist, I give up.

Still being pettily disingenuous in everthing you say above, eg: 'I don't think I went as far as making 'a point'. You introduced that nasty little bit of disinformation into the discussion here. No-one else. But now you won't accept responsibility for what you have said.

You may think that you are terribly clever, but fortunately there are witnesses and the evidence is in writing.

Should you 'cite' this thread as evidence of something or other, do be sure and redact your own comments, won't you?

Feb 5, 2011 at 4:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Hengist. I have already posted that you will find "science is settled" on the Blog Real Climate, where Gavin is a major player. Even if he did not write the articles involved, he did not amend them to remove what he is now saying is false

BBD, your patience amazes me! Hengist was the ancient Brit in Carry On Cleo, who was trying to invent a square wheel, trying to promote a theory, that was clearly flawed.

Feb 5, 2011 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

golf charley

Enough rope. Enough time. You need patience for that.

Feb 5, 2011 at 4:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Says Hengist....
unsupported assertions? Ive made every effort to cite my sources, such as the reference to Eli. I am still waiting to see an original reference to Dr Schmidt claiming "the science is settled" as asserted by Fred Pearce and numerous other posters here.

Hengist please, that is hardly aprpoer reference is it a reference to Eli Rabbit, who is making this own unsubstaniated claims..

Eli is a rabid rabbit alarmist....

It was organised by Ravetz and the EU and that foundation. who would appear to be getting rather worried about where all the AGW alarmism is going wrong for them.

Feb 5, 2011 at 4:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Gavin: "The fundamental conflict is of what (if anything) we should do about greenhouse gas emissions (and other assorted pollutants), not what the weather was like 1000 years ago."

Err...isn't the point paleo-climatology/phrenology past temperature? If I remember correctly, this is not a conflict free (or cherry picking free) area.

Feb 5, 2011 at 4:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterZT

(OT - feel free to discard)

"Hengist" is Old Saxon for horse or stallion. McStone's inability to see what is presented to him leads me to suspect that he is the posterior part of a pantomime horse.

Feb 5, 2011 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterCrusty the Clown

Gavin is saying that in his opinion there are no causes of conflict in the science related to the MWP or climate sensitivity. I find that quite a remarkable statement. I find the fact that a 'climate scientist' will not attend a conference unless only politics is discussed equally remarkable.

Is Dr Schmidt unaware that there is controversy over the degree and direction of climate sensitivity? Is he not privy to what I gather are quite extended attempts to generate reconstructions of temperature over millennia, and very heated debate over the accuracy and usefulness of such? Does he believe that scientists should discuss and formulate policy (which then makes them politicians, not scientists) or would he take a more traditional view that science should inform, not lead policy?

Feb 5, 2011 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterCumbrian Lad

I can't help wondering why, if 'what the weather was like 1000 years ago' is unimportant, we have had to spend all this time and money researching it? Keith Briffa eat your heart out!

Feb 5, 2011 at 4:39 PM | Unregistered Commentermingmong

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