Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hypocritical psychology professor Lewandowsky: Climate science is, like, super-transparent, only with lots of "confidential" documents; climate science is like gravity

Human role in climate change now virtually certain: leaked IPCC report
Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, a researcher of climate change denial at the Cognitive Science Laboratories at the University of Western Australia, said the premature leak of the report was “dishonourable.”

“Science is one of the most transparent endeavours humans have ever developed. However, for the transparency to be effective, preliminary documents ought to remain confidential until they have been improved and checked through peer review,” he said in an emailed comment.

“The leak of a draft report by a reviewer who has signed a statement of confidentiality is therefore regrettable and dishonourable.”

“However, what is worse than the leak itself is the distortion of the content of the draft chapter by some deniers (no, they are not skeptics),” he said.

Prof Lewandowsky said that the report’s statement that humans have caused global warming was a “virtual certainty” meant it’s authors had 99% confidence in that view.

“That’s up from ‘very high confidence’ (90% certain) in the last report published in 2007,” he said.  [Hey Stephan:  How, specifically, were those 90% and 99% numbers calculated?  What, specifically, changed between 2007 and now that accounts for the alleged 90% reduction in uncertainty?]

“In other words, the scientific case has become even stronger and has now reached a level of confidence that is parallelled only by our confidence in some very basic laws of physics, such as gravity or thermodynamics.”

To claim otherwise by cherry-picking part of a sentence out of context is absurd, he said.

“Although it illustrates the standard approach by which climate deniers seek to confuse the public. Climate denial lost intellectual respectability decades ago, and all that deniers have left now is to misrepresent, distort, or malign the science and the scientific process.”
Stephan Lewandowsky
For the last few years, my new passion has been rock climbing...Most airlines [Wait, with the fate of my grandchildren allegedly hanging in the balance, this guy still takes unnecessary fuel-guzzling trips to climb on rocks?!] can handle that, whereas few take sailplanes as check-in luggage


Anonymous said...

I've been in many, many technical reviews with management over the years. Before we get to a final, go-decision we show preliminary work in its developing stages, with following presentations showing both updates and answers to questions raised earlier. What is clear to those creating the presentations, is that as time goes on the certainty of outcome and the purity of the project increases. By the go-decision point, there is no question about success, and the technical work is so pretty you could put it into a picture frame for the wall.

What really happens is: 1) the unproveable aspects become unquestioned assumptions, not discussed any more, 2) the "sharp" edges that lead to discomfort as they make you think something is "off", become smoothed, and the variables become balanced internally so that not one is off by too much to make you twitch.

Uncertainty is replaced by comfort. If you can't kill any one feature, it's all good: our minds don't look at the 10% question on 10 variables and see the final certainty of all things working is miniscule. We see the uncertainty of all together at the uncertainty of the most uncertain.

Sound familiar? Eigjt (?) things are uncertain about the CAGW narrative, but any warmist will say the overall uncertainty is 90% or so. Which is what they claim for each item.

Lewandowsky mistakes comfort for certainty, and certainty in one, well-known portion as reflective of certainty of the entire entangled project. He thinks as do most of the managers I have dealt with: as a human being committed to a successful outcome of something that is close to his heart and personal view of himself.

CAGW, war on two fronts with winter coming on: the risk we see is that of pieces, not the whole. We move forward into risk by creating comfort. We think that comfort comes from a logical analysis of factors, and it may, but primarily comfort comes from tricking ourselves so that we can work towards what we want to have happen.

Lewandowsky only needs to watch what happens when his University discusses raising money from corporate sponsors so they can afford to give the professors a salary raise. After three meetings, there ain't no problem, and Lew is going rockclimbing in the Outback with the new money.

Anonymous said...

I guess the irony is using gravity as an example. The problem is that we don't even know what gravity *is*. We still teach it as a force under the Newtonian conception. But Einstein conceived gravity, not as a force, but as a warping of the time/space fabric (so to speak).

The hubris is that we think we know and that science will have all the answers. It certainly does not. And yes, I am an engineer with a training in science, and I know enough to admit that there are some things we will just never know.