Gollum (who’s he? see this post on the political witch hunt of scientists) wrote yesterday to announce that a group of us made the “Climate Denial MVP” List.
I admit to being just a little proud of the distinction. I replied to Gollum saying, “When the hysteria ends and Science returns to the Real World, we’ll all be able to look upon this list and be satisfied that while everybody else had lost their way, we stayed on the path of Truth.”
The List (which is published under another name) appears at a site called “Inside Climate News” by one Katherine Bagley. Who’s she? A writer whose “print and multimedia work has appeared in…YouBeauty.com…” Here is what she wrote for my mini-biography:
Briggs is a statistician at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and a consultant at New York Methodist Hospital. More than two decades ago, he spent a year as a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. He is listed as an expert on the Heartland Institute’s website, where he wrote, “Climate change is of no real interest to anyone except climatologists.” Earlier this year, he co-wrote an article in the peer-reviewed Chinese Science Bulletin with fellow climate denialists Christopher Monckton and Willie Soon arguing that the IPCC’s models are inaccurate and the world won’t warm dangerously this century.
I also for one year drove a 1964 Plymouth Barracuda with a 273 cu. in. V8 automatic, red with curved rear window, chrome gas pipe, and AM radio, which I rebuilt and repaired and which I loved. Had to sell it when I got orders to PCS to Okinawa. Ah well.
How is my owning this gorgeous muscle car relevant to the work I’ve done in climatology? It isn’t. Neither is it relevant that Bagley wrote for YouBeauty.com to her announcing my coveted status on this MVP list. Whatever I or Bagley says on any subject must be judged by the merits of our arguments, not on who we are.
Our professional qualifications are interesting only to the extent that they tweak your interest into considering what we might say, or as possible reasons why what we have said was true or false.
That’s why I’m sure Bagley won’t mind that I pulled the same trick she pulled on me and left off a few of her more pertinent accomplishments. Those include also writing for “Popular Science, OnEarth, YouBeauty.com, Audubon, The Scientist and Science Illustrated, among others” and that she “holds master’s degrees in journalism and earth and environmental sciences from Columbia University.”
Since I’m guessing Bagley won’t be available to make corrections, here’s more about me.
My ties to Cornell are looser than Bagely lets on—I’m a Adjunct there—but I am a part-time consultant at Methodist, among other places (and why haven’t you hired me yet, dear reader?). I did spend a year launching enormous hydrogen filled balloons for the Weather Service. It is also true that climate change is of no real interest to anyone except climatologists, and I do say the world won’t warm dangerously this century (Bagely’s implication is that, of course it will).
Here’s what was left out (and which was available for a click). Both my Bachelor’s and Master’s are in the atmospheric sciences; my PhD is in mathematical statistics (with dissertation angled towards the atmospheric sciences). I served for several years on the American Meteorological Society’s Probability and Statistics Committee. I was also for several years an Associate Editor at Monthly Weather Review (if you don’t know what that is, you shouldn’t be reading Inside Climate News).
I have published in the Journal of Climate, and in several other like sources. On what subject? How to measure forecast goodness. And how to quantify how useful and valuable predictions are. Mixtures of physics, phrobability, and philosophy (yes, phrobability).
This is how I know that long-term climate models aren’t of much value. Models which predict out a handful of months ahead, however, have modest usefulness, diminishing as lead time increases. But those IPCC-like models which predict years ahead aren’t any good. You’d do better with persistence, which is the forecast that next year will look like this year. If a model can’t beat persistence, it shouldn’t be used. Simple as that.
Gollum didn’t mention if there’d be a trophy or honorarium. I’m guessing not. Climate science does not pay well to those unwilling to toe the Government Consensus line.
Note I’m growing concerned about Gollum. He predicted the DOJ would enter the witch hunt, but so far it hasn’t. But he made that prediction before Senator Inhofe’s blowback; plus the DOJ is spending a lot of time trying to get their new rights-rights-rights boss installed. So stay tuned.