David Appell : Mann Is An Excellent Scientist

Would you keep Mann or Jones as an employee?

Based on what I know, or what anyone has proven that I’m aware of, yes, certainly. They are excellent scientists with long track records of high quality work.

– David Appell June 12, 2012

Richard Muller had a different take.

You don’t do this in science….I now have a list of people who’s papers I won’t read any more.

– Richard Muller.

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113 Responses to David Appell : Mann Is An Excellent Scientist

  1. Marian says:

    So faking it. Is good science practice. Not a track record of good science is it?

  2. Sean says:

    Universities are grant factories. I suspect as long as a researcher is bringing in lots of money, he’s a good scientist in the eyes of the university administration. His boss likely thinks he’s brilliant.

  3. Kaboom says:

    If by high quality work he means bringing in the money to produce more drivel that has only a very weak correlation with reality he’s right. But that’s just a polite way of saying “they’re hallucinating prostitutes.”

  4. Eric Simpson says:

    What’s with David Appell? Let’s not obsess. Obsession is sometimes the greatest complement, just my ho, my 2 cents. Speaking of Hide the Decline, sometimes it’s fun to revisit the video:

  5. Mann has a track record of calling critics of his works all kinds of nasty names and engages in all sorts of conspiracy theories about their motives. He actually sounds like a bit of a crank. I wonder when David Appell will demand he resign from his post? Or is David a hypocrite?

    • Scott says:

      Or is David a hypocrite?

      He demands evidence that a man was dismissed/not renewed for his beliefs against CAGW, even when if such an event happened there might not be actual evidence of it. Yet he says that written death threats were issued to CAGW researchers, something that absolutely would have hard evidence of having occurred, when no evidence of such a thing occurring has come forward yet, and it appears never will.

      Unlike many of the people here, I actually have no problem with his stance on this OSU instructor, and my own thoughts probably are more similar to his than to many of the people here. But his approach in this case is completely opposite of that in the death threats’ case. Thus, the total lack of consistency, obvious bias, and unwillingness to admit when he’s wrong turn me off. I guess I see that enough on both sides of the fence that I should be used to it by now.


      • That’s true… I read or hear a climate sceptic make a claim and I try to locate the source materials. Often I find the statement is exaggerated in some sense or open to multiple interpretations. So the climate sceptic is basically wrong. That’s fine. It happens. But in David’s world, it never happens on the other side of the fence.

  6. He has brought a lot of money in with his Hockey Stick. So, yeah, there are people who think he’s great.

  7. scizzorbill says:

    Gag!. Mann & Jones are science whores. Money is their God. Calling them scientists is a stretch..Their work is all about the AGW agenda. Long track records of lies, and manipulated data,

  8. Dave N says:

    Should have asked him about Hansen. I wonder if being arrested for civil disobedience on multiple occasions is worse than some lame ramblings on a website?

  9. From a letter by Steve McIntyre on the Gergis retraction versus Mann’s 2008 hockey stick.

    “BTW the problems in Gergis et al are no worse than Mann et al 2008, which should have been retracted for its use of contaminated upside-down data for his centerpiece no-dendro reconstruction. By conceding the problem, Karoly and Gergis have suffered some loss of reputation, while Mann’s obfuscation has been extremely successful within the field. It seems unfortunate that people suffer for doing the right thing and are rewarded for the wrong thing. (But not the only place in the world where this happens.)”

  10. omnologos says:

    Remember the South American dictators: “he’s a bastard, but he’s our bastard”

  11. Sundance says:

    Appell has been Mann’s waterboy for years why would he changw now?


      • “I believe climate scientists are honest people trying their best to do honest jobs, like almost all of us*. They’re not frauds or liars or data manipulators…”

        Most aren’t David, that’s true. But some of the key players in this field play more politics than objective science. They are bullies and many are incompetent or grossly exaggerate how certain they are or should be. Does that make them liars? Depends on your definition I guess. Such individuals always will exist. The key question is to what degree do we as a society pay attention to them? And to what degree as critical thinkers should we hold them to account? Or you can play the hypocritical lap dog game, which is the option you’ve chosen.

      • David Appell says:

        If I’m a lapdog, why am I receiving notices from the IPCC Legal Officer to remove documents from my site?


      • So you’re telling me you’re moving to the Dark Side?

        David, you’re playing a game here. I was trained scientifically in a field that is full of junk science and rubbish claims. Psychology. But I can tell you right now that the vast majority of people working in that field are hard working, honest, blah blah blah. That tells me nothing about the credibility of claims relating to, say, repressed memory syndrome or anything equally egregious. But it’s easy to play the rhetorical game, conflate different issues, and wave your hands about.

      • David Appell says:

        There are “bullies” and “incompetent” people and organizations in all fields of human endeavor, including science. There always has been, and there always will be. But — and this is especially true in science — knowledge progresses. Unpopular but better ideas do not stay suppressed (or whatever the case may be), Science is self-correcting, which is the most glorious thing about it, and truth comes out one way or the other.

        AGW contrarians simply haven’t made a convincing case that there is anything untoward about the data or methods or ideas. They try in all kinds of ways, but in the ways that count in science, a proof that convinces most people, that fundamentally shifts the debate, hasn’t been made.

        By all means, keep trying (but honestly). But AGW is different than most scientific ideas in that it, if true, it has potentially large implications for societies. This isn’t, unfortunately, like a debate over phlogiston or plate tectonics, or even like tobacco use. There probably isn’t time to eliminate every last uncertainty in climate science, to calculate everything to the 12th decimal point like the magnetic moment of the electron. Like the human body and tobacco use, the vast complexity of the system means it’s about multiple lines of evidence, few of them as clean as would be ordinarily preferable. That’s what makes AGW unique — but also, interesting.

      • David Appell says:

        I was trained scientifically in a field that is full of junk science and rubbish claims. Psychology.

        Many people would not agree that psychology is a science, but in any case it’s certainly not a science like physics — and climate science is applied physics.

      • Yes David, the same old talking points… Climatology is NOT “applied physics”. You don’t get computer models that predict almost zero warming over the next 100 years and others that predict 6C or higher and everything in-between, and then declare they all just work with same “applied physics”. They implement critical parameterisations (guesses) as to how the various aspects of the climate system works. Even very specialised models (as opposed to GCM’s) can’t accurately predict ENSO 3-4 months out from the actual event. Why make stupid claims like this? Read the papers, David. Nobody in climate modelling is making the sort of nonsense claims you just made in your response.

        And all the other work and claims that the IPCC make don’t count then? The ecological claims? The environmental impact claims? The economic claims? This all just “applied physics” too are they?

        First you need to understand the actual basic science and separate your fantasy/political perspective from what the science can and can’t do. Until that happens, you will continue to delude yourself.

        Yes David, hah hah, I can point to work in neuropsychology and lecture on how it’s all “basic chemistry” and “basic physiology”. Then I can point to other work in the psychological literature that argues that “Republicans” have sub-average intelligence (or maybe it’s Democrats) or are deluded in other ways. These claims all follow from the “basic chemstry” don’t they? Yeap, you’re a very clever fellow. How childish.

      • David Appell says:

        Of course climatology is applied physics — it’s an attempt to solve the underlying equations that describe the system in terms of basic physical principles.

        It’s an extremely complex system — the most complex physical system ever studied — and so the solution is very, very difficult. As in any solution of a physics problem, one has to make certain assumptions, simplifications, and choices. Those all give different answers. The same thing happens in many other areas of physics — say, gravitation, both theoretical and numerical — and they are comparatively much simpler.

        It’s no different than any other problem, just much more complicated. But if your training is in psychology and not physics, you might not understand that.

      • What scientific training do you have David?

        Do you have the slightest idea that you have no idea what you’re talking about? That you’re merely spewing idealogical gibberish?

        Would you care to explain how if climate models are based on underlying physics their forecasts all vary by 6C or more, yet all of them do a basically excellent job of backcasting temperatures?

      • Another good article from an academic that debunks David’s “applied physics” claim.


      • David Appell says:

        Even very specialised models (as opposed to GCM’s) can’t accurately predict ENSO 3-4 months out from the actual event.

        Here is exactly where you, and many others, go fundamentally astray.

        You don’t need to be able to calculate ENSO to calculate climate. ENSO moves heat around in the system, but it doesn’t add new heat like CO2 does. In the long-term, ENSO averages to zero. It’s a small perturbation on climate, not vital to calculating the long-term temperature trend of the atmosphere.

        In physics there are a great many things one can predict in the macroscopic that you can’t predict at small scales, especially with the behavior of gases and fluids. That’s the whole foundation of the field of thermodynamics, which was settled long before anyone understood the microscopic nature of these systems.

        So, if you’re trying to predict climate on the scale of decades, it doesn’t matter if you get every little twist and turn right, like ENSOs or (stepping down) the weather. Sure, those would be nice to know, and people will continue to work on them. But the AGW arguments certainly don’t rest on them, but on the calculated and observed fact that heat is being trapped in the Earth’s system, and the “long-term” rate of surface warming is about 1.5 degrees C/Tg carbon.

        *THAT’S* what people are so worried about, not whether model projections were accurate for the last 10 years.

      • David Appell says:

        What scientific training do you have David?

        A PhD in theoretical physics.

      • David Appell says:

        Perhaps he would have if he had taken the time to study it, and if he had a degree in physics, he had the necessary background to understand it.

        • Perhaps if you were thinking objectively, you would realize that climate models have demonstrated almost no skill. Atmospheric models break down after about 72 hours due to chaos, and errors compound exponentially after that.

      • David Appell says:

        Atmospheric models break down after about 72 hours due to chaos

        Science can say a lot of very useful things about long-term climate change without having to determine day-to-day atmospheric fluctuations.

        You *really* should have read a few of your father’s books, because you don’t understand physics at all.

        • Nonsense. Hansen’s claims are entirely dependent on feedback, which is necessarily iterative. Errors increase exponentially and the models quickly become useless.

    • David Appell says:

      I wrote:
      …and the “long-term” rate of surface warming is about 1.5 degrees C/Tg carbon.

      Correction: that should be per teraton carbon, not per TgC. (1 ton = 1 tonne = 1 metric ton = 1000 kg)

      • According to the 1990 IPCC report, temperatures are cooler now than they were 900 years ago. Long term rate of cooling is probably what you meant to say.

      • David Appell says:

        Why are you using a reference that’s 22 years old? That’s about two generations in science.

        What did Newton have to say about it?

      • That is brilliant. Everyone is making forecasts 100 years out, but they are invalid after 11 years. Panty waste science.

      • David Appell says:

        Again: Why are you quoting a study that’s 22 years old?

      • David Appell says:

        Do you think that the distant past has changed over the last 22 years?

        Our understanding of it certainly has. So, again, why are you quoting a study that’s 22 years old?

        • The IPCC was a legitimate scientific body in 1990, before it was taken over by WWF and Greenpeace.

          Looking forward to the Himalayan glaciers being gone by 2035.

      • Glacierman says:

        “Why are you using a reference that’s 22 years old? That’s about two generations in science.”

        So you admit the IPCC was wrong then. Did you think they were wrong then? Are the right now? How long will it be before their current position is determined to be wrong? WIll you just accept it when then change the data to match their predictions/scenarios/scaretactics?

      • David Appell says:

        That is brilliant. Everyone is making forecasts 100 years out, but they are invalid after 11 years.

        [1.5 +/- 0.5]degC/TtC is the long-term warming rate. Look at the data. (11 years isn’t “long-term.”) For methodology and proof, go read the papers (Matthews et al Nature 6/11/09, Foster and Rahmstorf, Env Res Lett 2011, etc.)

      • David Appell says:

        We don’t need to be able to predict the year the last Himalayan glacier disappears to know we should be concerned about a changing climate due to carbon emissions.

      • David Appell says:

        So you admit the IPCC was wrong then.

        No, they weren’t wrong then. They utilized the best science that had available to them. We have better science now, and we’ll have better science 20 years from now. And in 20 years we will still accept atomic theory, will still accept plate tectonics, and CO2 will still be a greenhouse gas.

        There is an enormous amount of confusion on this blog about what science is, what it knows, and how it knows things. I can’t tell if the confusion is genuine or forced, but neither is worth wasting much more time on.

      • David Appell says:

        After 132 years the GISS anomaly is running less than 0.5C

        In 132 years we have emitted about 520 GtC. The resulting warming was about 0.8 C.

        At current rates, we would emit 1,140 GtC over 132 years, from fossil fuel consumption alone.

        You should have read more of the books your dad had on his shelf.

        • Angstrom showed 100 years ago that absorption by CO2 is nearly saturated. If you actually understood the physics, you would realize that response tails off logarithmically

      • Glacierman says:

        “So you admit the IPCC was wrong then?”

        David Appell replied:
        No, they weren’t wrong then.

        So, there was a MWP and a LIA before Mann deleted it from history?

      • LLAP says:

        @David: “I can’t tell if the confusion is genuine or forced, but neither is worth wasting much more time on.”

        You seem to say that a lot about this site … wasting time, that is … yet you keep coming back. Too much time on your hands?

      • When David wrote:

        ““Why are you using a reference that’s 22 years old? That’s about two generations in science.”

        Could someone ask him to explain in what way “applied physics” have changed in the last 22 years?

    • David Appell says:

      Another good article from an academic that debunks David’s “applied physics” claim.

      Nothing McKitrick writes goes against my claim that climate science is applied physics.

      Have you ever *studied* physics, Will? I don’t mean that to be snide — but I can’t tell if you have. Physics applied the fundamental properties of matter and energy to determine the properties of physical systems. That’s exactly what climate scientists do — they write down, as best they can, the underlying equations that describe a planet’s climate system, and try to solve them. But the systems are very complex, so simplifications must be made (as in all physics calculations) in order to solve these equations. And the system is very big, so choices must be made in order to solve it. These all mean that one can do a better job of calculating the long-term trend than small-scale fluctuations.

      That the solution isn’t as good as one might hope doesn’t mean the science isn’t physics.

      And, unless you or McKitrick have a better way to solve the climate equations in order to project the future, or some other way of determining the future, then stand aside and let the professionals do their work. Because the largest factors that influence climate are now known, and atmospheric CO2 is definitely one of them.

      • What I’m not interested in David are bullshit claims from the clueless that climate science is (just) “applied physics” and therefore purports to have some element of infallibility within it. That’s a grossly distorting simplification of the issues here. What I am interested in, as an old school sceptic, is validation. What do the climate models predict accurately? What can you name? Anything better than a random walk right now?

        So what’s the basis for your claim? An argument from authority, childish. Anyone can think up from their arm chair a whole bunch of excuses for why the models are good or why the models are bad. I don’t care. The public doesn’t either. What’s the evidence supporting the claim that the models are good at anything? That’s the only thing that actually counts in science. The rest is philosophy, ideology, politics or something else.


        “But the systems are very complex, so simplifications must be made (as in all physics calculations) in order to solve these equations. And the system is very big, so choices must be made in order to solve it.”

        Well that’s exactly what I pointed out before, isn’t it? Now we’ve moved from your (just) “applied physics” to these “simplifications” – what I previously called parametrizations – or what I also referred to as, essentially, guesses. Because those “simplifications” have enormous consequences in the long run for forecasting. E.g., if the cloud feedback relationship guesswork/simplifications are wrong, the models will predict nothing useful. And that is just one example among many…

        And no, sceptics should not stand aside and let the “professionals do their work”. We need to determine whether their work is of any use or not. And we should have done that before this train got rolling. If it isn’t, then STFU and come back to us in 20 years and we’ll see if you’ve made any progress. Don’t tell us the world is on the brink of a crisis but we just don’t have any good evidence to support those claims… It’s these “professionals” who need to STFU and get out of the way of trying to influence public policy. Your argument is like saying that if someone criticized the use of leeches to treat cancer a few centuries ago, that sceptic should have STFU and let the “professionals” of the day carry on with their work. You seem to be expressing the reasoning skills of a child.

        (BTW, I liked the “I’m a theoretical physicist” comeback. Nice point scored there, but I would never have guessed it from the reasoning skills you’ve presented here. 😉

  12. Robertvdl says:


    “At the time of the Norse settlement, the inner regions of the long fjords where the settlements were located were very different from today. Excavations show that there were considerable birch woods with birch trees up to 4 to 6 meters high in the area around the inner parts of the Tunuliarfik- and Aniaaq-fjords, the central area of the Eastern settlement, and the hills were grown with grass and willow brushes.[8][9] This was due to the medieval climate optimum”

  13. Sundance says:

    Paul Erlich is also an excellent scientist. We got 65 million Americans who died from starvation to prove Ehrlich new his stuff. lol Was Ehrlich fired for teaching his nonsense?


  14. philjourdan says:

    If you are ignorant of science, then you are easily fooled. Appell is easily fooled.

  15. Shooter says:

    That guy doesn’t even know proper grammar! Who’s is who is, while whose is possessive! Jesus.

    • Ben says:


      I read your post. I specifically liked the scientifically supported conclusion in mid-post which states, “bloggers have ruined everything”. That explains the burnt Cheerio I just found in my cereal.

      Darn you Steven and David!

  16. orson2 says:

    “Climate science is applied physics….” says Appell. But as the old MIT physicist pointed out, any field with the term ‘science’ applied to it, isn’t. I ought to know, since I am an ‘environmental scientist’ myself. Rather, David, there is still an intense debate over methods and the quality of data that is can or cannot support. Your dodge of calling it “applied physics” is simply a rhetorical ruse. Applied mathematician David Orrell – in “The Future of Everything: The Science of Prediction” – explains why not even better data or faster computers is going to help produce better weather forecasting, as meteorologists repeatedly claim. Oddly enough, Appell, Orrell is just as inconsistent as you: he claims that climate prediction is no different than weather. Yet somehow it will get better! And like you, he does not explain how or why it can, when weather prediction won’t….Just keeping the David’s honest.

    • David Appell says:

      Did I say environmental science was applied physics? No, I did not — I said “climate science” is applied physics.

      • Which therefore implies that environmental/economic impact studies done by the IPCC, etc., aren’t “applied physics” correct?

        Yet without the environmental impact studies, etc., as done by the IPCC, there cannot be a basis for “alarm”. You cannot have one without the other. I.e., we can say nothing about consequences positive or negative without impact studies. So this whole “it’s applied physics” claim is just a rhetorical nonsense, isn’t it?

        This is another classic example of where David wants to have it both ways. He plays rhetorical games.

  17. David also claims that climate models are fabulously complex. Maybe many are fabulously convoluted…

    Take for example the case where sceptics ‘reverse engineered’ GISS Model E and ended up with essentially the same output of the computer model, except you can run it at home using Excel… Takes a lot of the ‘super computer power’ mystic out of it doesn’t it?

    “none of the GCM’s have explanatory power for observed temperature additional to that provided by the radiative forcing variables that are used to simulate the GCM…”

    Or in other words, a climate model is essentially a bunch of data inputs (the ‘radiative forcing variables’) and a bunch of calculations that guess how the climate system might behave. Through some bizarre reasoning process David has thought up or dug up, he has concluded that these calculations are ‘infallible’ in some ‘sense’ ? WTF you might ask? Well, because they are ‘based on applied physics’. (sigh)


    • David Appell says:

      Wow, you really don’t understand physics, do you?

      Yes, the big GCMs are complex. But there is a huge range of models — AS IN ALL PHYSICS. Some of them you can do in a one page of algebra. One of them is a single line: sigma*T^4 = S(1-alpha)

      All models have different assumptions. And they have different uses, and they are useful even if they are wrong. (In fact, for scientists, they are often the most useful *when* they are wrong.)

      • Please tell us which climate model incorporates the behavior of the West Antarctic ice sheet.

      • David Appell says:

        Please tell us which climate model incorporates the behavior of the West Antarctic ice sheet.

        I’d have to go and study this (I’d start with the IPCC 4AR WG1 Ch 4), but this isn’t relevant to the purposes of this discussion or what I’ve been saying, which is that models have varying degrees of complexity, but they’re all applied physics.

        • Yes it is. Hansen’s scaremongering is based on WAIS collapse. No one has ever done any physical modeling which supports Hansen’s claim of “dead certain multi-metre sea level rise”

      • David Appell says:

        I’m not discussing whatever Hansen has said, I’m talking about models, their assumptions and complexity, and their use.

        He and others have physical arguments behind their estimations of the consequences of WAIS melting. Those arguments are applied physics.

      • David, you want to address the technical point I raised as opposed to opening with an insult? Because when someone responds with an insult that basically means they are unable to address the technical point made.

        “And they have different uses, and they are useful even if they are wrong.”

        Which is the same way as saying models may not be 100% useless. OK, let’s grant you that. But if that’s the best you can do, don’t you think it’s an incredibly weak position to defend? I can argue that aromatherapy may be nearly completely wrong, yet nonetheless useful. (face palm)

  18. Dear David Appell:

    Astrology is just applied physics.

  19. Andy DC says:

    AGW is not settled science. It is a doomsday cult based on predetermined dogma. If data doesn’t fit the dogma, adjust it or hide it. Also punish or excommunicate all non-believers.

    As with all such cults, fear rather than reason is the primary manipulative tool. Primative peoples believed that when weather was bad, it was the wrath of God and the end of the world. Sound familiar?

    • Elements of it have been taken over by a doomsday cult. While there is very little evidence to support the idea that GCM’s can predict the long term behaviour of the climate system, the people building these models are at least *trying* to do science. The problem is not with the science, it’s with people like David who want to claim this type of work has a level of certainty it doesn’t possess; while simultaneously conceding it doesn’t. That way he can make any claim he wants, then point to something he previously wrote that supports his position. It’s called arse covering, but I suspect he is only fooling himself.

  20. If David Appell understood physics, he could explain physics. David Appell cannot explain physics, ergo David Appell does not understand physics.

    Thus, when someone as ignorant of physics as David Appell claims that “climate science is applied physics” he is saying that Climate Science is something that he does not understand, or petitio principii, as they say in ancient Scotland.

    • When David wishes to argue that the climate models are in some unspecified sense infallible, he tells us they are based on “applied physics”

      When Steve points to a model we can actually validate for accuracy, David complains:

      “Why are you using a reference that’s 22 years old? That’s about two generations in science.”

      Either applies physics is changing every decade, or it’s not just applied physics after all. 😉

      • Well, now, we know for a fact that all of physics regularly overturns itself every 11 years, since David Appell (PBUH) hath so said. So I don’t have to worry about silly things like PV=RT, & R=V/I: those have ben overturned 9 or 10 times by now. Right?

      • It’s even more stupid than that. What David claims:

        ““Why are you using a reference that’s 22 years old? That’s about two generations in science.”

        Now from the latest issue of Nature. What Professor Mark Maslin and Dr Patrick Austin claims (BTW, Patrick is from the UCL Environmental Change Research Centre and Mark from the Geology Department and are NOT sceptics)

        “None of this means that climate models are useless….Their vision of the future has in some ways been incredibly stable. For example, the predicted rise in global temperature for a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere hasn’t changed much in more than 20 years.”

        Who to believe, eh?


        (Yes different models predict different things and it’s not as simple as I’m portraying it here, but I think the point has been sufficiently made that David is FOS.)

      • Me says:

        😆 that’s nothing new Toshinmack is so full of it no one knows where it begins and if it will ever end.

      • LLAP says:

        Speaking of applied physics … I wonder if David has read this?:


  21. David Appell says:

    stevengoddard says: June 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm
    Angstrom showed 100 years ago that absorption by CO2 is nearly saturated.

    Angstrom was wrong. I’m amazed someone who thinks they know something about climate science doesn’t know that.

    Read “Infrared Radiation and Planetary Temperatures” by Ray Pierrehumbert, Physics Today, Jan 2011. He has a sidebar titled “Saturation Fallacies” (pg 37) that discusses this and where Angstrom went (twice) wrong.

  22. David Appell says:

    Will Nitschke (June 15, 2012 at 2:30 am) wrote:
    Now from the latest issue of Nature….

    Do you think this is the first time anyone has wondered about the future of climate models?

    And do you have a better way of projecting future climate and the impact of anthropogenic emissions? So far your attitude seems to be that, because there are a lot of problems doing it, we should act as if the impact is zero.

  23. David Appell says:

    stevengoddard (June 14, 2012 at 4:47 pm):
    Hansen’s claims are entirely dependent on feedback, which is necessarily iterative.

    Paleoclimate studies make it clear that feedbacks exist. To ignore them would be scientifically incorrect.

    • LLAP says:

      @David: The article “Infrared Radiation and Planetary Temperatures” states that cloud feedbacks are positive. Wrong … they are negative:

      This is based on satelite observations that show that cirrus clouds (ice crystals) dissipate after rain events.

      • David Appell says:

        As you know (or should know), Spencer has his views, and many others have theirs. Most scientists in his subfield do not agree with him (Dessler et al), and the editor-in-chief of Remote Sensing resigned last year after he felt hoodwinked by the Spencer and Braswell paper.

        One paper rarely proves anything in a science like climate science. Stop acting like it does just because you are pulling for that point of view.

      • LLAP says:

        @David: “Most scientists in his subfield do not agree with him …”

        Consensus, eh? Just like those two Australian morons who said stomach ulcers were caused by bacteria; most scientists in their sub-field didn’t agree with them. Oh wait … the consensus was wrong.

      • David Appell says:

        Yes, consensus. It matters, even in science, especially in a complex science with huge societal implications. It has been right far more often than it has been wrong.

        I understand how that is inconvenient for you.

      • LLAP says:

        @David: “Yes, consensus. It matters, even in science …”

        “Historically,the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to
        avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear
        the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet,
        because you’re being had.
        Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus.
        Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one
        investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that
        are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant.
        What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are
        great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”

        – Michael Chrichton, January 17, 2003

      • David Appell says:

        Do you have a real scientist you can quote? Because consensus is a very big part of science. There is a consensus that F=ma. That E=mc^2. That CO2 is a GHG.

        Isn’t it funny how deniers hawk the Oregon petition — 31,000 signers and all that — then in the next breath try to say consensus doesn’t matter?

      • Me says:


      • LLAP says:

        @David: “Do you have a real scientist you can quote?”

        If I did, would it matter? Would you change your mind? Regardless, here is Roy Spencer on “consensus”:

        Also, pay attention on how difficult it is to get views against AGW published.

  24. LLAP says:

    @David: “There is a consensus that F=ma”

    Did/do scientists defend it by saying, “there is a consensus” or “the debate is over”? No. Scientific laws become established by proving previous work wrong and withstanding the test of time (that is, other scientists give up trying to prove it wrong). The issue I have with “consensus” as it applies to AGW is people like Mann, Gore, Gleick, etc invoke “consensus” to shut down debate and push forward with their political agenda. Science isn’t settled when the “herd” says it is; it is settled when other scientists give up trying to prove it wrong because they can’t.

  25. kim2ooo says:

    Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings and commented:
    David Appell : Sings the MannBoy – JonesBoy tunes = Mann Is An Excellent Scientist. BUT CAN HE GET A GIG WITH Obamaboy?

  26. philjourdan says:

    David Appell says:
    June 16, 2012 at 1:20 am

    Yes, consensus. It matters, even in science, especially in a complex science with huge societal implications. It has been right far more often than it has been wrong.

    Sorry, that is patently false (and shows a gross misunderstanding of science and calls into question your very education). Consensus has no meaning in science. It is the lone wolf that pushes the boundaries on new discoveries, not the consensus. The consensus believes the status quo, which is a retardation of science.

    Consensus belongs in committees, not science. Where did you get your degree? Cracker jacks?

    • LLAP says:

      @ Phil: I recently got an e-mail from a friend of mine who is doing his post-doc in California (he finished his PhD in physics about a year and a half ago); this is what he had to say about “consensus” in science:

      ” Every time I read someone (usually in a climate change debate) saying that
      “the science shows X” I shake my head. Science does show some things pretty conclusively, but for the most part these days what “science shows”
      is what two peer reviewers and an editor have agreed to publish after a quick read-through of someone’s work. Which is good, but certainly not
      something to hang one’s hat on.

      Shoehorning data is very common too, and in my opinion it’s pretty hard to avoid. Whenever someone gets a noisy set of data, they’re going to
      try to make sense of it by finding a pattern that they can explain…..of course, the pattern may be a product of their imagination, much like
      seeing faces in the clouds.”

      By the way, this friend of mine is one of the smartest guys I know. He did his liberal arts degree (which he started at the age of 16) before doing his BSc (then his PhD) and is also very well read in terms of classical literature.

      • philjourdan says:

        @Latitude – your friend is a man after my own heart! I hated the liberal art courses I had to take in College – being I was in the school of Sciences, but after graduating, I found myself valuing those courses very highly. It seems he did not have to learn it late as I did, and learned it early. His liberal arts courses will go far in helping him to become a complete scientist.

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