September 26, 2017

"I stand entirely behind the above footnote: behind every sentence, every phrase, every word and every syllable."

"I made no mistake, intentional or inadvertent. I retract nothing, and I do not intend to retract anything.”

Swore Seth Barrett Tillman, a lecturer at Maynooth University in Ireland, who has described himself — in a court filing — as a “lonely scholar with unusual ideas, who is unaffiliated with the popular, the organized and the wealthy.”

He has written an amicus brief — in the case accusing President Trump of violating the Emoluments Clause — presenting historical evidence for the proposition that the clause doesn't apply to the President.

As Adam Liptak describes in "‘Lonely Scholar With Unusual Ideas’ Defends Trump, Igniting Legal Storm" (NYT):
The reaction was swift and brutal. Legal historians and a lawyer for members of Congress suing Mr. Trump said Mr. Tillman had misunderstood, misrepresented or suppressed crucial contrary evidence in a second document.

Jed Shugerman, a law professor at Fordham, wrote a blog post urging Mr. Tillman to issue a correction. “One might expect,” Professor Shugerman wrote, “that when a brief before a court contains significant factual errors or misleading interpretations of evidence, the authors of that brief will offer to correct their briefs or retract the sections if they are no longer supported by the evidence.”

In another blog post, Brianne J. Gorod, a lawyer with the Constitutional Accountability Center, which represents lawmakers suing Mr. Trump, said Mr. Tillman’s account was “not accurate, not even remotely so.”

Five legal historians, including Professor Shugerman, filed their own friend-of-the-court brief. They said Mr. Tillman’s had “incorrectly described” the evidence in a footnote in his brief.
But the brutal experts were wrong, and in the end they had to concede and apologize.

So let this be a lesson to you who count the experts, those of you who hooted and guffawed at this comic bit:



UPDATE: On October 3rd, all 5 of the historians retracted a footnote and apologized.
Each of us would hope for more generous treatment from another scholar who criticized our own work in this fashion, so it was unfair not show the same level of respect to Professor Tillman.

133 comments:

dreams said...

Facts, yeah put them up for a vote.

AJ Lynch said...

Now, do one by bringing in all those scientists who told us salt, butter, coffee, fat, meat etc were bad for us.

Sebastian said...

"So let this be a lesson to you who count the experts," What evidence is there that political fanatics can learn such lessons? What evidence is there that they want to? What evidence is there that they will refrain from abusing "expertise" any way they need to when they seize power?

jaydub said...

When 99% of the 97% of scientists who agree on AGW are political or social scientists their consensus is somewhat moot.

When 100% of the climate models that predict catastrophic global warming cannot predict today's average global temperatures based on historical observed data, then the models are fundamentally unsound or the theory is bogus.

If the current spate of major hurricanes are caused by increased levels of C02, then why not just prevent them by reducing C02 to the levels of the last 12 years when there were zero major hurricanes to strike the US.

Is a puzzlement!

Assrat said...

Well, good for having the courage of his convictions.

Laslo Spatula said...

"“I was wrong to suggest that Tillman misused sources, and I was wrong to question his credibility,” Professor Shugerman wrote. Tillman is a diligent, creative, intelligent and learned scholar who deserved more respect than the way I handled these exchanges. I’m sincerely sorry for any trouble or hardship I caused for Mr. Tillman and his family.”

An apology that is actually an apology.

Refreshing.

I am Laslo.

Kevin said...

“Lonely Scholar With Unusual Ideas’ Defends Trump, Igniting Legal Storm" (NYT)

NYT buries lede has become the 21st century equivalent of dog bites man.

tim in vermont said...

The only way to learn anything about "Climate Change" is to directly read the science. What we hear is filtered through the modest IQ and purblind political vision of the likes of John Oliver and the rest of the partisan media.

The actual experts are still deeply mired in discussion of an extremely complex problem that may be beyond solution and opinions vary widely even within the "97%."

If you are interested, the IPCC's reports, not the politically edited "Policy summaries" but the actual reports, is the way to go. They are remarkably different from John Oliver's take on them.

AJ Lynch said...

Jaydub: my father, a retired math teacher, was well schooled in weather lingo and weather science. He actually understood when the weather guy spoke about barometric pressure etc. Well, he died a week before Katrina [in 2005] and you are right, there haven't been any notable hurricanes for the last 12 years until these two big ones. So yeah, the climate change folks are full of soup in my opinion.

rhhardin said...

The emolument protest kneeling hasn't started yet.

Laslo Spatula said...

"I’m sincerely sorry for any trouble or hardship I caused for Mr. Tillman and his family.”

No "MAY have caused."

No "MIGHT have caused."

It's like he actually means it.

I think Althouse should add her 'apologies' tag.

I am Laslo.

rhhardin said...

I'm not sure what a legal fact is though. Anything a judge thinks, roughly.

tim in vermont said...

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/02/95-of-climate-models-agree-the-observations-must-be-wrong/

- February 7th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D. <<---- Actual credentialed climate scientist who does actual science!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...Swore Seth Barrett Tillman, a lecturer at Maynooth University in Ireland

Ireland?!? Foreigners attempting to influence American Politics?!? That's bad this week, right?!?

Owen said...

Laslo: agree. That guy stood up to his mistake and set an example, entirely too rare today, in how to rescue a debate from what had started to become a lynching. I read Tillman's amicus brief defending his reading of Hamilton's report to Congress and I highly recommend it, both for the scholarship and the glimpse at the forensic methods used to interrogate historical documents --does this pencil annotation refer to X or to much later proceedings by Y. Tillman's amicus is also a powerful blend of righteous anger at the sloppy and arrogant attacks made on him, and a deft summoning of the court's power against those who have wasted its time as well as his own in what was at best a negligent and at worst a fraudulent effort to challenge his work.

As for climate change and the "97% consensus," Oliver does stand with Nye as a great fool and bully. Nice analogy, Professor A.

Todd said...

I was going to watch the clip but saw that John Oliver was in it. Can't stand to watch that little twat.

traditionalguy said...

Mobs are powers totally unto themselves because they remove all fear of the law and replace it with unrestrained power in each mob member to kill whatever or whomever p the mob leader points them at. No truth is ever relevant to a mob drunk on its own unrestrained power to kill.

Mob leaders call themselves The Community Organizers. Their enemy is the police that enforce the laws. The chants continue: FEAR THE MOB. KILL THE WHITES. CALL THE WHITES NAZIS AND REMOVE THE LAW ENFORCERS RESTRAINTS.

And Obama smirks.

Ann Althouse said...

"I think Althouse should add her 'apologies' tag."

I will add the apologies tag, but you should realize that the intensity of the apology is related to how incredibly heavy-handed this person had been in trashing the little guy, the lone scholar, and how blatantly wrong he was about his basis for the trashing.

The NYT is underplaying how bad the scholars who attacked Tillman were.

Laslo Spatula said...

"I will add the apologies tag, but you should realize that the intensity of the apology is related to how incredibly heavy-handed this person had been in trashing the little guy, the lone scholar, and how blatantly wrong he was about his basis for the trashing."

I'm sorry to hear that. I knew it was to good to be true.

I am Laslo.

traditionalguy said...

The insanity is intentionally turning our colleges and law schools into community organized mobs of truth killers at every level.

Owen said...

Tim in Vermont: thanks for citing Roy Spencer's 2014 piece. I thought it was an absolute smack-down of Cook and Lewandowsky's "97%" canard. Yet the canard persisted and proliferated. A sobering reminder of the power of the Big Lie.

M Jordan said...

I value expertise greatly ... in auto mechanics, bridge-builders, and airplane pilots. In fact, I value experts in any area where political bias is not a major contributing factor.

But introduce that factor and the expertise becomes worse than ignorance: it becomes a club to club the baby seals of truth with.

Exhibit A: Global warming.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Lab coats make manmade climate science REAL. (and good makeup)

JPS said...

Hadn't seen that John Oliver clip, but it is amazing how consistently he challenges his audience's opinions, finding the best and sharpest representatives of a point of view he opposes. The man is performing a great intellectual service.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The great Hillarywood dumb-down. Tune in every night for your dose of late night TV comedy dumb down.
Thank you.

M Jordan said...

Lasso: "I'm sorry to hear that. I knew it was to good to be true."

it was still a sincere apology. Truly a rarity.

M Jordan said...

JPS: you forgot he /sarc tag, right?

JPS said...

M Jordan,

I didn't think it was needed. But yes, thanks!

Skipper said...

And here I thought the scholarship ("science") was settled.

M Jordan said...

JPS: Wew, lad! Thx.

HT said...

AJ, at least debate on the terms you are criticizing the climate changers on. The point is that hurricanes are not necessarily more common, but that those that do occur and make landfall are stronger mainly but not exclusively due to water temperatures. This has been repeated so much in accounts that I find it incredible you did not cite it. No one with any knowledge, that I have heard, has said that evidence of climate change is simply that there are more hurricanes.

"For the past decade, those winds were coming from the west, pushing hurricanes away from land and out to sea, rendering them largely harmless."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2017/09/23/harvey-irma-maria-why-is-this-hurricane-season-so-bad/?utm_term=.41bca73209e8

BDNYC said...

Did the authors of the other amicus brief file anyhing with the Court once they realized their mistake?

Michael K said...

"Lab coats make manmade climate science REAL. (and good makeup)"

When Obama had his White House lawn rally for Obamacare, they handed out white lab coats for the "doctors who supported it."

Two of the 40 white coated "doctors" had actually graduated from medical school and were fully employed by a hospital.

William said...

In support of M. Jordan, I would say that political bias causes more errors than math mistakes. I wonder how many of that crowd believed in the value and virtue of a low fat diet at one time.......If you live long enough, you see that a lot of truths accepted and propagated by the cognoscenti are simply not true. There are many, many examples of where the wise men and the best and the brightest got it wrong, but this time you may be absolutely certain that they're right.......I think a lot of the fanaticism that used to be associated with religion has now attached itself to political causes. John Oliver should be thankful that there's no verse in the Koran decreeing death to any who question God's power over the weather.

Crazy Jane said...


This is America. The country was founded by little guys who took on and wore out a British Empire that only truly collapsed almost 150 years later, after World War I.

We root for the underdog. In a culture of groupthink -- which most countries' cultures eventually become, either by elite consesus or outright enforcement -- this is refreshing. More often than might be expected, the underdog resembles the child who observed that the emperor was wearing no clothes.

All hail the “lonely scholar with unusual ideas, who is unaffiliated with the popular, the organized and the wealthy” who understands parts of our Constitution better than imperious legal experts. He may be Irish, but he's our kind of guy.

Crazy Jane said...

conseNsus. Sorry.

AJ Lynch said...

HT:
Keep moving the goalposts but suggest you read this:

Looking back, it’s easy to see how wrong the networks were.

"In 2008, The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) responded to climate change assumptions about hurricanes saying, “There is nothing in the U.S. hurricane damage record that indicates global warming has caused a significant increase in destruction along our coasts.” As the years passed, the more obvious it was that fewer major hurricanes were hitting land. In April 2015, the American Geophysical Union reported that the United States has been in a nine year Atlantic hurricane landfall drought. A record low. AGU said, “Such a remarkable ‘hurricane drought’ has never been seen before – since records began in 1851 … the last major hurricane – of Category 3 or higher – to make landfall in the U.S. was Hurricane Wilma in 2005.” Research by meteorologists Anthony Watts and Ryan Maue, and environmental studies professor Roger Pielke, Jr. showed the same hurricane drought and an overall slump in tropical cyclone activity throughout the world. Chris Landsea, who is the Science and Operations Officer for the National Hurricane Center at NOAA, tweeted skeptically about a hurricane/climate change link in May 201..:

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Whenever the media trots out someone as "an expert" on whatever topic, I am immediately skeptical if not downright dismissive of experts.

Now, do one by bringing in all those scientists who told us salt, butter, coffee, fat, meat etc were bad for us. Exactly.

We have been fooled, lied to, manipulated by so called "experts" over and over. 90% of these expert opinions have been later proven to be false. Nevermind that people who actually took their opinion as being truthful and changed their behavior to comply have been harmed and even killed ***(the biggest instance is the manipulation of people to consume high carbohydrate/low fat diets and drink artificial sweeteners to avoid sugar. Causing obesity, increased diabetes and other lovely side effects. Oooops..the experts say. Our bad. Sorry about that.) Don't even start me on Global Warming!

Science has been so politicized that it is hardly worth listening to or changing your life over it. I take a wait and see posture. The "experts" will change their minds, be proven wrong and ultimately we find out that none of it makes any difference.

Carry on and just ignore.

Assrat said...

>The point is that hurricanes are not necessarily more common, but that those that do occur and make landfall are stronger mainly but not exclusively due to water temperatures.

Given that a Hurricane is distinguished from other tropical storm by wind speed (I forget the number, but if you have 74 mph winds you're a storm, but if you have 75 then you are a hurricane) I don't understand how you can possibly become"more intense" without increasing the total count.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

emolument

Sounds like some sort of soothing moisturizing lotion. If they want us to get all twitterpated about it, the media needs to invent a new name.

I'm sure that they will soon, as relabeling things to make them seem scary seems to be the modus operandi of the propoganda machine.

Birkel said...

Add a teaspoon of shit to a gallon of ice cream and you have a gallon of shit.

Add a teaspoon of politics to a gallon of science and you have a gallon of shit.

This is not hard.

Birkel said...

Add a teaspoon of politics to a gallon of legal analysis, and you have legal analysis.

Seth Barrett Tillman said...


I am an American national.

After I was offered a full time academic post in Ireland, I moved here. That was about 6 years ago.

Seth

Gabriel said...

Experts generally have a diversity of opinion. Which of them get the microphone at any given time, and which statements the microphones are tuned to, is up to the media. You are not getting a representative survey of expert opinion. Impeaching expertise because the unscrupulous use it to pursue political objectives is really throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I'd second tim in vermont here. Real climate science is not as presented by the media; nor is it as presented by skeptics.

The only way to learn anything about "Climate Change" is to directly read the science. What we hear is filtered through the modest IQ and purblind political vision of the likes of John Oliver and the rest of the partisan media.

The actual experts are still deeply mired in discussion of an extremely complex problem that may be beyond solution and opinions vary widely even within the "97%."

If you are interested, the IPCC's reports, not the politically edited "Policy summaries" but the actual reports, is the way to go. They are remarkably different from John Oliver's take on them.


William said...

I think people get fat because they like to eat their fill of things that taste good. I think they're now promoting sugar as the archvillain, but anything that tastes good can do the trick. After a certain age, you have to diet to keep your weight down, and diets make life even suckier than it ordinarily is. You'd think that all these scientists who think they're so smart could come up with a surefire way to adjust the body's metabolism so you could eat your fill and not get fat. That should be easier than adjusting the earth's metabolism so we have just the right amount of CO2 and hurricanes.

MikeR said...

You said that the other experts had to apologize. But it sounds like only one of them (Shugerman) apologized, and the others were "studying the matter". And one of them (Gorod) doubled down - this issue that she made such a big deal out of is really immaterial, because she's right for other reasons.
Not an impressive showing.

MikeR said...

Prof. Tillman, welcome! It's an honor to have you visiting our blog!

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Wow, a clip with both John Oliver and Bill Nye? Think I'll pass, but I appreciate your point Althouse.

I was already cranky last night when one of my kids started singing the stupid Bill Nye theme song (thanks public school) and I may or may not have said, "No Bill Nye at dinner, for the love of God. That guy is a total asshole, a charlatan and a fraud." I apologized to them for the profanity but we had a great discussion.

The teenagers have seen that train wreck of a sex show of his and were roundly making fun of him and advising the younger ones that "Bill Nye used to teach some neat science stuff but he's gone looney tunes."

MikeR said...

I guess I would add that the evidence Tillman brought to prove the other experts wrong was the kind of thing that probably they just had not known. Presumably he is more expert than they on the actual documents Hamilton wrote.
Assuming that is so, I can see why they came down hard on him at first: there was this document that said just the opposite! But once he set them straight, only Shugerman had the right reaction: Ah, got it. My bad. The others are trying to deflect.

Seeing Red said...

The Germans might have finally settled MMGW. They predicted global cooling thru 2050, warming til 2130, then cooling again.

They actually went back 2000 years to correlate the cycles I think with sun spots.

Then there are the volcanoes and vents in the earth, that part of it is just beginning to be explored.

Then there's the Himalayas melting for 400 years.

But the science is settled.

NOT in the what they think.

stutefish said...

Laslo -Screw the apology. This man owes us an explanation. How did a Law Professor at Fordham University find himself simultaneously so wrong, and so abusive, that he has to issue a public apology for it?

This is a man who leapt forward to disagree in public not just forcefully, but venemously. That is a drastic step to take. I do not expect a law professor to take such a step unless they are supremely confident in their understanding of the material. He's basically apologizing for not knowing what he was talking about.

I want to know what brought him to the point of talking about it, and so hatefully. I want to know that Fordham is asking some hard questions about why this man is in their employ.

MadisonMan said...

Whenever the media trots out someone as "an expert" on whatever topic, I am immediately skeptical if not downright dismissive of experts.

I'm always curious: How did they arrive at this expert? You can't swing a dead cat by the tail without hitting experts on a lot of topics, and yet some end up on air. How?

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Climate Science is the ultimate vehicle for rich white progressives to exert control over everyone. Hope on, all the cool kids are control freaks.

They know their carbon taxes will do nothing to stop carbon emissions - but it makes rich white progressives feel better.

Feelings.
emotions.
Science!

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

In my mailbox today: State of the Climate in 2016, a publication of the American Meteorological Society, all full of interesting graphs.

Highly recommended!

Bruce Hayden said...

"They know their carbon taxes will do nothing to stop carbon emissions - but it makes rich white progressives feel better."

You should add: get richer and gain more power over everyone else.

Owen said...

Seth Barrett Tillman: welcome. Great work on the amicus brief.

As for the power of experts? It is the argument from authority, which is really just "Because I say so." It relies on no evidence beyond the proof of credentials. It is pretty weak stuff. Where it gets interesting is when experts challenge each other, as happened in the Tillman amicus fracas. That's when the credentials are thrown aside and each side has to put up real stuff. Which in this case Tillman did. Game, set, match.

tim in vermont said...

The point is that hurricanes are not necessarily more common, but that those that do occur and make landfall are stronger mainly but not exclusively due to water temperatures. This has been repeated so much in accounts that I find it incredible you did not cite it. No one with any knowledge, that I have heard, has said that evidence of climate change is simply that there are more hurricanes.

Well, aside from the point that if hurricanes are stronger in general, more tropical disturbances "on the bubble" will develop to hurricanes, and if they are not, some reasonable explanation of this counterintuitive behavior should be offered... Besides that, where is the evidence that the water was unusually warm where Irma developed? Or Maria?

Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry said a major reason Irma intensified so quickly was because of weak wind shear. Wind shear takes away the heat and moisture hurricanes feed off, and it tilts a storm’s vortex, further weakening it. Irma was able to put warm water and moisture to use because of the low wind shear. “In fact, the dynamics were probably more important than the warm sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic and Caribbean,” Curry said. “Irma reached Cat 3 status over temperatures in the Atlantic that weren’t all that warm.”

But let's be fair and hear the other side:

“Hurricanes get their energy from warm ocean waters, and the oceans are warming because of the human-caused buildup of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, primarily from the burning of coal, oil and gas,” Climate scientist Michael Mann and two colleagues wrote in a Washington Post oped on Harvey and Irma.

No mention of actual ocean temperatures in the area where the storms developed.... That seems so strange, since it is a slam dunk case, why not come out with all guns a blazing and pin this on Exxon with hard evidence!!?! My guess? Because they can't.

Crazy Jane said...

Seth Barrett Tillman seems to be the real deal. His google identity (discoverable from his name on his post above) reveals a well-educated and disciplined thinker who expresses himself with rigor and precision. Anyone who expects to tangle with this self-described "lonely scholar with unusual ideas" will need to bring his/her A game.

tim in vermont said...

I don't understand how you can possibly become"more intense" without increasing the total count.

Shut up because reasons!

Assrat said...

>My guess? Because they can't.

I'm pretty confident it's incorrect on the face of it.

Heat engines like hurricanes are driven by a temperature gradient, not by "warmth" per se.

Rick said...

Ann Althouse said...
The NYT is underplaying how bad the scholars who attacked Tillman were.


The other problem is that while this has gotten some play on libertarian blogs the left wing hasn't responded at all. So their underinformed activists will continue in their belief Trump has broken the rules.

Comanche Voter said...

Old lawyer about experts is that every farmer is an expert--because he is frequently outstanding in his field.

I had an expert witness in an eminent domain case on some special purpose property (a water utility). He was an appraiser and a member of the American Appraisal Institute. Members of the Institute put MAI after their name. The MAI was the guild if you will of real estate and property appraisers. The witness joked--not in an entirely jocular way that MAI stood for Made As Instructed. And to an extent he was correct. Special purpose properties don't trade very often in the market, so it is hard to do an appraisal based on comparable sales data--which is easy to do say for setting a value for a 3 bedroom house in a suburb of Chicago--lots of comparable sales to look at for property like that.

There are at least three different theoretical ways to appraise special purpose property and guess what--we instructed our "expert witness" to use all three ways--and we'd adopt the theory that yielded the highest figure.

Not surprisingly the other side also hired an MAI "expert"--told him to use all three ways--and select the lowest figure.

Now a climate scientist dependent upon grants for research funding might just play the the tune he's paid for. Just sayin'

Owen said...

Regarding climate change (a tautology: climate is always changing) or global warming (an oxymoron: the globe has no temperature, it has heat content), I agree that hurricanes are complicated creatures and while they are spectacular (and thus attract the alarmists' assurances that they are due to all our emissions of CO2) they depend on a lot of factors, some noted above (local temperature above the threshold, heat gradient, winds, especially wind shear, etc). This is widely known (I am no scientist, just an interested reader). And if the alarmists want to point to Harvey and Irma and Jose as "proof" of warming, what is their explanation for the 12-year failure of Cat 3+ hurricanes to make US landfall? What about the long pause in temperature, the decline in ACE (accumulated cyclonic energy, a wider measure of "violent weather")? Ask them about that stuff, and you get crickets.

The climate alarmists are just following the money, and of course the moral thrill of lecturing others on their sins. Here is a nice quote from a top official in the U.N. climate change program, Ottmar Odenhofer. He said ”We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy”.

Gabriel said...

@Owen:As for the power of experts? It is the argument from authority, which is really just "Because I say so."

Not at all. Do you seek advice from an auto mechanic on a lawsuit, or a lawyer? Do you have a lawyer look at this funny mole on your neck, or a doctor? Do you have a doctor replace a head gasket, or an auto mechanic?

Granted that the credentials don't guarantee that the individual doctor, or lawyer, or mechanic is a good one, or that he is right or wrong on any specific problem in his area of expertise. But you, in your real life, place a provisionally higher value on experts' knowledge rather than that of non-experts. Consequently appeal to expertise is not inappropriate or fallacious or a mere argument from authority alone.

Owen said...

Gabriel: agree. Expertise matters, especially in this world of modern times and hyper specialization. And credentials matter. They are the virtual currency (of credibility and trust) that we exchange constantly. And so we meet our doctor, lawyer, auto mechanic, etc., with a presumption of actual knowledge and judgement and skill and care on their part. That presumption (knock wood) is not demolished but reinforced by the work they do for (or on) us.

Foregoing is trivial. What I was trying to say is, the credential is a form of argument: "You can trust me with your life/freedom/wealth/car, BECAUSE I am an 'expert,' as evidenced by this certificate suitable for framing, and my name in the yellow pages, and your friend's recommendation, etc." We do not go deeper, as we might, and say, "So, I want to watch you perform open-heart surgery a few times before I let you near me." That empirical evidence of skill is rolled up in the diploma. "Trust me" is what we are given as an answer to our request for proof.

Tillman wrote a brief claiming expertise. It was challenged by others claiming equal or greater expertise. So instead of trading claims of expertise he put in new facts, objective things in the world that we and any reader could, with effort, ascertain for ourselves. He forced the challengers to put up or shut up. They couldn't put up, so they shut up. But apparently only one of them has had the decency to apologize for their intemperate and unnecessary challenge.

I didn't mean to start a range war here, I was just intrigued by the way expertise gets thrown around as a kind of currency: often unearned.

Gabriel said...

@Owen: "Trust me" is what we are given as an answer to our request for proof.

It's not exactly "trust me" but I don't think we are really in a disagreement, so much as a question of emphasis.

So instead of trading claims of expertise he put in new facts, objective things in the world that we and any reader could, with effort, ascertain for ourselves

This is indeed the best way. And usually, among experts, this sort of thing is definitive. Dick Feynman, for example, was unknown and very junior in the Manhattan project, but it did not take very long for him to be consulted by the very top experts in his field.

Sometimes issues are too complicated to be settled this way, however--and in these cases, it doesn't really make much sense to try to determine which expert is the "best" expert. The difference between "expert" and "non-expert" is not solely appeal to authority, but settling hard questions by referring to which expert has the most prestigious credential, or is the most eminent, or whatever, gets uncomfortably close.

Owen said...

Gabriel: Bingo. Your reference to Feynman is perfect. I love his work and often cite his "cargo cult" lecture from the 1974 Cal Tech commencement. Especially his line (working from memory here, may be a little off): "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn't matter what your name is. If your theory doesn't fit the observations, it's wrong."

Owen said...

I misremembered the Feynman quote. It is: "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong."

Apologies.

Khesanh 0802 said...

I finally decided to use one of my few NYT freebies to read this piece. All I could think of, when I read this:

I am satisfied that Tillman and Blackman have provided support for their perspective on these documents,” he wrote on his blog.

“I was wrong to suggest that Tillman misused sources, and I was wrong to question his credibility,” Professor Shugerman wrote. “Tillman is a diligent, creative, intelligent and learned scholar who deserved more respect than the way I handled these exchanges. I’m sincerely sorry for any trouble or hardship I caused for Mr. Tillman and his family.”


was Otto (played by Kevin Kllne) hanging Archie Leach (played by John Cleese) out of a window to extract an apology for calling Otto stupid. The words here aren't that much different and the tone is exactly that of a desperate Archie!

Made me chuckle that the smug bastard Shugerman was thus humiliated.

JPS said...

Gabriel,

"Dick Feynman, for example, was unknown and very junior in the Manhattan project, but it did not take very long for him to be consulted by the very top experts in his field."

How this happened is wonderful, and quintessential Feynman:

"All the big shots except for Hans Bethe happened to be away at the time, and what Bethe needed was someone to talk to, to push his ideas against. Well, he comes in to this little squirt of an office and starts to argue, explaining his idea. I say, 'No, no, you’re crazy. It’ll go like this.' And he says, “Just a moment,” and explains how he’s not crazy, I’m crazy. And we keep on going on like this. You see, when I hear about physics, I just think about physics, and I don’t know who I’m talking to, so I say dopey things like 'no, no, you’re wrong,' or 'you’re crazy.' But it turned out that’s exactly what he needed. I got a notch up on account of that, and I ended up as a group leader under Bethe with four guys under me."

Of course, you need the senior expert to be quite secure in himself to respond as Bethe did. Otherwise you're likely to get "Who the hell are you to argue with me?"

Ann Althouse said...

Professor Tillman, thanks for commenting!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The issue is that being and expert does NOT equal being infallible or even correct in his/her puffed up pronouncements.

So... when we get the song and dance that "I am an expert you should trust me implicitly with your health, life, finances, auto, pet, children, etc etc etc"......we need to remember all the OTHER "experts" who have proven to be wrong. Proven to be NOT thorough in their work. Proven to be biased by their own dogma, their politics, their religious beliefs and swayed by the juicy money of grants for research.

Expert is not a magic title or one that conveys even mere competence.

Color me skeptical when someone waves the magic wand of expertise with no proof that:

1. They are really an expert as being accepted as such by others in their field of expertise
2. Their expertise has been PROVEN to be, if not infallible, then at least statistically more correct and is competent.

I am unswayed by the claim....Experts Say!!! Pffffft.

Gabriel said...

@DBQ:I am unswayed by the claim....Experts Say!!!

And that's perfectly appropriate, because someone else is standing between you and the experts and characterizing them to you. But "Experts, what do they know" is not usually an appropriate response.

Assrat said...

>But "Experts, what do they know" is not usually an appropriate response

I'm truly mixed on this.

I don't think I'm a better lawyer than a lawyer, but at the same time it's foolish to deny that often people who claim expertise fail to demonstrate it.

Gabriel said...

@DBQ:swayed by the juicy money of grants for research.

Incidentally, this is hilarious. 50% of a grant goes to the university, to pay the salaries of deanlets and football coaches. The other 50% mostly goes to paying tuition for graduate students, equipment, and salaries of researches--not extra salary, mind you, but the fraction of their annual salary that represents time on research, which the university pockets.

Researchers personally see little personal monetary benefit from a grant. Obtaining grants of course improves one's status at their institution and in their field.

Gabriel said...

@Assrat:it's foolish to deny that often people who claim expertise fail to demonstrate it.

If I see anyone doing that I'll them. In the meantime, when someone has professional expertise in something and has spent years on it, and I haven't, I will give them a respectful listen, and not assume that I know it better than they do.

Owen said...

Another and possibly better Feynman line: "Science is a belief in the ignorance of experts."

Gabriel said...

It's not even the degree, right? It's about not presuming I know how to do someone else's job better than they do. They could be a plumber, or the guy who empties the trash can for a plumber.

But there's lots of people who think they can outlawyer lawyers, or outphysic physicists. Including our 44th President:

“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to think I’m a better political director than my political director.”

Gabriel said...

@OWen:Another and possibly better Feynman line: "Science is a belief in the ignorance of experts."

Yes, and that sentence is not equivalent to "Science is a belief in the non-ignorance of non-experts."

There's a lot experts don't know. But that lot, as much as it is, is considerably less than what non-experts don't know.

Assrat said...

> In the meantime, when someone has professional expertise in something and has spent years on it, and I haven't, I will give them a respectful listen, and not assume that I know it better than they do.

That's a good approach.

MadisonMan said...

No mention of actual ocean temperatures in the area where the storms developed

Anomalies are pretty easy to find if you care to look. (Link).

Here's the Atlantic Basin in mid-August for example.

I will helpfully point out that the entire tropical Atlantic Basin, nearly, shows warmer-than-normal SSTs.

(Thought I posted this earlier, guess not).

Ken B said...

How can we tell how bad the historians were or how egregious the NYT is being from the litle posted here?

I have read Tillman's piece on Volokh. Highly recommended, and very persuasive. More are coming we are told.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

There's a lot experts don't know. But that lot, as much as it is, is considerably less than what non-experts don't know.

And there is a lot that experts know that is later proven to have been horribly wrong. They were expertly sure of what they knew when they knew it, however we now know that they didn't know what they thought they knew then ;-P

Expert is not necessarily correct or event expert. I too will give them a listen. That's it though. I'll listen.

Owen said...

Gabriel: "belief in the non-ignorance of non-experts." Huh? Was I saying that? I don't think so. Such a statement is kind of bizarre. Why would anyone impute knowledge to somebody based on (or relative to) their status as a non-expert?

Bottom line I think we are in agreement here. Maybe it would help to suggest that status as an expert or the presence of a consensus is just a proxy for the underlying activity and mindset, which are the scientific method and the empirical mindset: "provisionally I accept your hypothesis because despite all our best efforts nobody has yet succeeded in proving it false. But we'll keep trying even as we (cautiously) rely on it."

This is exactly what's missing with Bill Nye and all the rest of that crew.

Gabriel said...

@Owen: Huh? Was I saying that? I don't think so.

No you weren't, but I've seen plenty of people cite that who did.

@DBQ:And there is a lot that experts know that is later proven to have been horribly wrong.

Right, and the trick is to know which is which. In general experts are proven wrong by other experts, before the fact; after the fact, well, hindsight is 20/20.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Seth Barrett Tillman said...

I am an American national.

In that case I do not stand at all behind my above comment: not behind any sentence, any phrase, any word nor any syllable. I made a mistake, unintentional and inadvertent. I retract everything, and I do intend to retract everything.

Welcome to the blog, professor. I hope you don't take my original comment the wrong way, it was intended to be purely humorous, a reference to comments made on a previous blog post. It was not intended to disparage you, nor your right nor expertise to comment on American political matters in any way.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

In general experts are proven wrong by other experts, before the fact; after the fact, well, hindsight is 20/20.

Hence my skeptical attitude and likelihood to just ignore the 'experts' advice until there is a true resolution.

n.n said...

Surprise, mortal gods betray their humanity. It was a neat trick for atheists to replace God and gods with mortal gods (e.g. experts, judges, administrators, politicians, [political] scientists), but the days of the secular Church are numbered with each passing misstep, overstep, and collision of logical domains.

Kate Danaher said...

Hi IiB @4.01pm Actually Seth (my husband) and I got a great laugh out of your comments! I have been reading this blog religiously for years, mostly as a lurker. By the way, Seth regularly writes at New Reform Club, where he has up some of his more, erm, pugnacious TV appearances on Irish TV.

The Godfather said...

It was great to see Prof. Tillman comment here. I’ve been reading his and Prof. Blackman’s posts at Volokh and they are VERY interesting. You should read them.

I wanted to comment about this whole “expert” issue. I spent a good part of my legal career dealing with expert witnesses on a variety of issues: engineering, real estate valuation, economics, etc. In a litigation context, an “expert” witness is really better called an “opinion” witness. A regular witness, a “fact” witness, is not allowed to express an opinion: Like Joe Friday he/she is supposed to give “just the facts, Ma’am”. A fact witness can say that Car A entered the intersection and hit Car B, but he can’t say that the driver of Car A was reckless, because that would be an opinion. You need an “expert” witness to give that opinion.

Calling someone an “expert” in the policy debate over global warming is entirely different. It is intended to treat the “expert’s” “opinion” as though it were an established fact, and only a fool would disagree with it. The “expert” may be right – just as the car mechanic may be right when he tells you that you need a new transmission – but you have every right to be skeptical.

The emoluments case involves a very arcane issue – what does the relevant phrase in the Constitution mean? Normally, that would be regarded as a purely legal issue for the court to decide. However, because courts have to some extent begun to be willing to consider what the Constitution actually MEANT at the time it was adopted, historical evidence such as that offered by Tillman and Blackman may be considered. The issue that has caused all the controversy has to do whether Tillman and Blackman’s OPINION about what the emoluments clause meant in the later 18th Century is more persuasive than the contrary opinions of others. If I were advising the lawyers on the other side of that case, I would tell them that their expert witnesses should do just what one of them did, which is to admit a mistake. Then, if there is still a basis for defending the contrary OPINION about what the emoluments clause means, the witness may have some credibility in advancing it. But right now it looks as though Tillman and Blackman have the more persuasive opinion, because it is based on better research and better historical understanding.

JML said...

For years and years experts declared the Earth flat and anyone who said otherwise was a heretic. Now people who question the experts are called flat-earthers. I suppose they miss the irony.

Assrat said...

>For years and years experts declared the Earth flat and anyone who said otherwise was a heretic.

You're kidding, right? I didn't think anyone thought that any more.

JML said...

I'm not tracking what you mean, Assrat. But, there are still some faithful out there:

https://www.tfes.org

Assrat said...

>I'm not tracking what you mean, Assrat.

The spherical earth was first suggested around 600 BC, and proven in 300 BC. After that, no experts were saying the Earth was flat.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Hey - maybe the experts are wrong to count arsenic as a poison. Drink up!

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

The problem with the politicization of any science, especially geophysics, is that things are true or untrue regardless of whether you believe them or not.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Climate denialisms are usually biased/prejudiced by this idea of theirs that the patterns of the natural world should revolve around the economics of certain human activities.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

And there is a lot that experts know that is later proven to have been horribly wrong.

Horribly wrong: The stakes of inaction were high, but we decided not to act just because.

Not-so-horribly wrong: The stakes of inaction were high, but we acted anyway and it turned that we were just over-prepared for more than we needed to be.

I hereby propose that no climate denialist ever be put in charge of anything having to do with disaster management.

Jupiter said...

What is missing from the discussion about "experts" is that modern laws do not say, "Thou shall not kill", they say "Thou shalt do what the government expert says". Once hired, his expertise, however flimsy, becomes the law of the land. It is now illegal for the grocery stores in Eugene Oregon to give out free bags. Why? Because some half-bright RCG with a BA in Nothingology got hired as a "Wastestream Analyst" (I kid you not) and wrote the equivalent of a hasty term paper saying "plastic bags are killing the little animals!" The Eugene City Council, a fatuous collection of ignorant busybodies with no-show government jobs, thought this was the perfect time and place to put that expert's ideas into practice. Now we all have to buy our own bags.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Why? Because some half-bright RCG with a BA in Nothingology got hired as a "Wastestream Analyst" (I kid you not) and wrote the equivalent of a hasty term paper saying "plastic bags are killing the little animals!"

Really? So because you have some funny story to tell we're all now supposed to pretend the illogical conclusion that the plastic bags are somehow that much better for our oceans than all this other plastic stuff?

http://fortune.com/2015/10/01/ocean-plastic-pollution/
http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/30/world/plastic-plague-oceans/index.html
https://cityoflakeport.com/event-details.aspx?id=1164

At some point, people just have to use common sense. I think a lot of pro-pollution sentiment and denialism is probably borne of the fact that people like you were biased to listen to the "older experts" who invented the things decades ago that are now causing problems when they said it was the next best thing and was bound to solve all our problems and be as benign as light, air and clean water.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-chad-nelsen/a-plastic-smog-is-smother_b_11183264.html

Bad Lieutenant said...

At some point, people just have to use common sense.

Common Sense, Ritmo, would be that people stop littering!

Jupiter said...

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

"At some point, people just have to use common sense."

Why, when we have experts?

In case you are wondering, what is going to happen is that bacteria are going to figure out how to eat plastic. You just heard it from an expert. But in the meantime, not to worry. The Eugene City Council is saving the World.

JML said...

Assrat, I didn’t say it was recently...you are correct, I should have use the Earth not being the center of the world. But my point is experts have been wrong forever. I think so much of what we know is wrong.

FullMoon said...

Really? So because you have some funny story to tell we're all now supposed to pretend the illogical conclusion that the plastic bags are somehow that much better for our oceans than all this other plastic stuff?

Plastic bags replaced paper because you insisted plastic would save the trees being slaughtered for paper, just like big oil wanted you to say.

Gabriel said...

@JML:But my point is experts have been wrong forever.

But that's a trivial point. Of course they have. The question is, which is the way to bet, if you don't yet have evidence after the fact that they were?

If you say the smart way to bet is against the experts, then you should acknowledge that you get a lawyer to replace your head gasket and a doctor to represent you in court. I am very skeptical that you live this way. If you actually do, my hat's off.

Linc said...

How do I express my exasperation. The meme is that 97 percent of "scientists" believe in climate change. Duh? Climate changes and has changed since the beginning of the earth. So agreeing the climate changes is a no-brainer, except to those who assume that the 97 percent accept the climate mathematical models' fast-change results as true religion.

Climate changes, yes, and most believe that mankind has something to do with it, but there is significant debate about the speed of change and the efficacy of spending billions of dollars to affect it. In fact, some Russian scientists are suggesting that climate I changing for the cooler.

It is too easy to mock the "deplorables" for the alleged position that climate does not change.

tim in vermont said...

MadisonMan, you should look at your own anomaly map. There is no color for "average" there is only warmer and cooler than average. In the Atlantic Basin, in the area in question, there are tiny flecks of "very slightly cooler than average" surrounded by areas of "very slightly warmer than average" So forgive me if I come to the conclusion that temps at the time of the development of Irma in the area of the development of Irma, per your own link, were approximately "average."

You, of course, are free to explain why I am wrong, and why global warming impacted this hurricane mysteriously though some other mechanism than sea surface temps. I think that David Burge stated your position best: "Top scientists warn that the Sea Gods are angry!" Who else but God could impact a storm so untraceably?

But I know I am arguing what is religion for you, even if you don't know it. I know that you worship your precious priesthood, but seriously, where is the warming?

tim in vermont said...

I don't think it is an accident, BTW, that there is no color for within a half a degree of average, say "green". It makes the maps scarier.

tim in vermont said...

BTW, Dr Judith Curry, PhD, late of Georgia Tech, hurricane expert, now in her own weather forecasting company, came to the same conclusion I did (before me of course), so maybe you can explain why she is wrong, if you don't want to explain why I am wrong.

Static Ping said...

JML said... For years and years experts declared the Earth flat and anyone who said otherwise was a heretic. Now people who question the experts are called flat-earthers. I suppose they miss the irony.

Oh, it is better than that. As I understand it, in the late 19th century "experts" invented the idea that everyone believed in a flat earth in the Middle Ages. It was meant to be a weapon against people who did not fall into line with their views. It is a classic and extremely successful example of "fake news." Wikipedia has a whole article on it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_the_flat_Earth

The Godfather said...

If you (you know who you are) want to have a sensible discussion about "science" you need to talk about specifics, not vague generalities. Yes, the Earth is getting warmer and it has been getting warmer since around the second quarter of the 19th Century. It would be getting warmer even if the steam engine and the internal combustion engine had never been invented, because we have come out of the "little ice age". Yes, the Earth is getting more warmer (sic) than it otherwise would have, because we DID invent the steam engine and the internal combustion engine. How much warmer? That's question #1. So far, the "experts'" projections of how much warmer the Earth has gotten have proved to be much, much too high. If you think that in the future the reality will catch up with the projections, what's your evidence? Or is this a matter of faith, faith in the "experts", in "science"?

Question #2 is, What should we do about it? If you're really serious about the dangers of "greenhouse gasses", don't you have to call for expanded nuclear power to replace coal? Sure, wind and solar are great, but they can't replace all or even most power generated by fossil fuels; only nuclear can do that (and that only for fixed site generation).

Question #3 is, How much will it cost to prevent how many degrees of increased temperature? And how much would it cost instead to adapt to a warmer world? Until you are prepared to answer these questions, maundering on about "global warming" is a waste of breath and electrons. And it doesn't prove that you're as smart as you claim to be.

JML said...

Tough crowd. That is why I appreciate the blog and comments. I work for the Forest service. Their reliance on experts over the course of their existence in managing forests and wild fires leaves a depressing legacy of failure. Do I rely on experts? Of course. But the more complex an issue or system is, the more sceptical I am of their total knowledge and understanding. There is a point where it crosses the line of verifiable fact to proven theory to theory to opion, conjecture and hope. My wife went is being treated for cancer-we see all of the above in her care. Her surgeon is great, her follow on treatment is wonderful and all of her doctors and nurses are careful to tell us just where on that spectrum whatever procedure she is going to have falls. We appreciate the honesty.

Anonymous said...

"The Toothless Revolutionary said...

"Hey - maybe the experts are wrong to count arsenic as a poison. Drink up!"

Bad example. I don't believe arsenic is a poison because experts say so - I believe it because there are any number of known instances in which people who consumed arsenic (wittingly or unwittingly) promptly died, and all with much the same symptoms.

If I want to assess an expert's claims, I prefer to at least try to understand the underlying reasoning and data. Somebody once said that any scientist who is worth a hoot should be able to explain his or her work to an 11-year-old child. (I tried to find the quote by Googling, but I can't seem to. Oh, well, I'll just attribute it to Feynman.)

This takes me back to the lawyer-commentators who have posted above about expert witnesses, because that's what competing experts do at trial. They also try to point out the flaws in the other expert's reasoning. (In the example given above of the two valuation experts, the adversary system failed a little, because both experts' reasoning had the same flaw, and neither wanted to point it out.)

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Bad example. I don't believe arsenic is a poison because experts say so - I believe it because there are any number of known instances in which people who consumed arsenic (wittingly or unwittingly) promptly died, and all with much the same symptoms.

And how do you know that? Which expert told you that?

stlcdr said...

Whatever happened to simply moving the goalposts?

Rusty said...

Recently a bunch of experts polluted a river in Colorado with all kind of nasty mining chemicals including cyanide. Thereby rendering the drinking water for the people downstream undrinkable.
But they were experts.
So it's OK.

tim in vermont said...

I can't figure out why people whose main position is that experts know best and we should listen to them even get involved in discussions on blogs. What is the point? They can learn everything they think by reading the New York Times.

Experts say Hillary is not a. corrupt war-monger! Experts say that Al Gore's carbon footprint doesn't matter, but yours does! Experts say that Obama taking foreign money was good! Experts say that Hillary taking money from the Russians no big deal! Experts say that the Russians installed Trump by the simple expedient of spending 00.00015% as much money! Experts say that the planet is wrong and the models are correct! It goes on an on and on!

Nobody has any need to apply their own critical thinking skills to the pronouncements of experts in a democracy! After all, "Experts" thought that WWI was a good idea! Why would a voting member of a democracy question experts? Why vote at all? Just let "experts" pick our leaders for us!

tim in vermont said...

The funniest part is when a toady to experts, who is even against examining the premises from which experts reason, labels himself a "Revolutionary."

MadisonMan said...

Somebody once said that any scientist who is worth a hoot should be able to explain his or her work to an 11-year-old child.

I've heard it stated as a Congressman, not an 11-yo child, as the child is usually smarter.

you should look at your own anomaly map

I actually did. Before I linked to it. I agree that the color scale is silly. A zero line usually isn't included for visual clarity, because it moves all over the place. I would prefer seeing only areas that are, say, more than a 1/2 sigma above normal. Still, I'll say that the tropical Atlantic south of 20 N -- where, for example, Irma formed -- shows SSTs that are above normal, even with OSPO's dreadful color scale. Here's another analysis from the Tropical Tidbits page. (Look what Maria has done!!)

If we're talking about Irma, Irma did form in a region of very low shear. But SSTs were warm (You can read all the NHC Forecast Discussions here. Note that Irma early in her evolution was forecast to move over slightly cooler temperatures -- but that didn't happen. (Cooler, but above normal).

SeanF said...

The Toothless Revolutionary: Horribly wrong: The stakes of inaction were high, but we decided not to act just because.

Not-so-horribly wrong: The stakes of inaction were high, but we acted anyway and it turned that we were just over-prepared for more than we needed to be.


Also horribly wrong: The stakes of inaction were high, so we acted, and we made things even worse than they would've been if we hadn't acted.

"We have to do something" is bad policy. "We should do this thing" is good policy - but only if there's some evidence that doing "this thing" is actually better than doing nothing.

tim in vermont said...

Still, I'll say that the tropical Atlantic south of 20 N -- where, for example, Irma formed -- shows SSTs that are above norma

Based on what? There are flecks of cooler than normal water in an area of warmer than normal water. Common sense averages this out to very slightly warmer than the exact baseline for the anomaly. Since the map doesn't show "normal" it just shows a kind of binary warmer or cooler than "average" as arbitrarily defined, Judith Curry's point still stands that the water was not especially warm and that blaming it's intensity on a very slight squiggle above average on a line that squiggles a lot is a real stretch.

I am not going to go down rabbit holes knocking down every one of your new improved links when your original link backs up my point quite well and it is the one you offered to 'prove' I was wrong.

where, for example, Irma formed

Weren't we talking about where it developed into a major hurricane before anyway? Why change the goalposts? This is a fool's errand trying to get you to see your own biases. It's. like talking to a creationist. I get it, Gaia is mad at us!

Bad Lieutenant said...

Bad example. I don't believe arsenic is a poison


Arsenic is a medicine. The dose makes the poison.

Gabriel said...

tim in vermont:I can't figure out why people whose main position is that experts know best and we should listen to them even get involved in discussions on blogs.

That's why you've never been to a medical doctor in your entire adult life, right?

"Listen" does not mean blindly obey the last thing that a pet media expert was reported to have said on this or that. The "people whose main position is that experts know best" have been making very qualified and reasonable points, which you have had to ignore and distort into a straw man.

I would like to see some evidence that you actually live according to the principle that experts do not know better than non-experts and that it is not worth listening to them. You must not be seeing medical doctors when you are sick. You must not be willing to hire an electrician or a plumber or an auto mechanic or a lawyer or an accountant.

Assrat said...

The following two statements are true:

1) Experts know stuff about specific subjects you don't.

2) Some experts are idiots you shouldn't listen to about anything.

It is not always immediately obvious which is which.

I don't think anyone disagrees.

MadisonMan said...

(sigh)

Irma is in the middle of her first rapid intensification, where it achieved Cat 3 Status, in that discussion I linked to, the one that said Irma is skirting cooler temperatures, because the formation was along the climatological gradient in SSTs.

Here's another link for you. Tropical Atlantic Basin mean surface temperatures. (From Here). Above normal.

I will further note that I did not dispute any of Curry's comments. I'm only showing you where you can actually see data, rather than rely on someone else's interpretation of the data.

tim in vermont said...

I would like to see some evidence that you actually live according to the principle that experts do not know better than non-experts and that it is not worth listening to them.

You obviously are not an expert in reading comprehension, but I suppose if invidious interpretation is your M.O. Go ahead and argue with somebody else who has the time.

BTW, you find a climatologist who has seen as many planets as my doctor has seen bodies, I will take his word on stuff mostly too. But since that is not the case, and the science is. in its infancy and computing tools are not yet up to the task, I will examine their evidence and apply my own critical thinking before accepting their word on anything.

Look at MadisonMan struggle to even understand the arguments he is making.

tim in vermont said...

Oh cool! You found a link that doesn't show any detail about WHERE the temps are slightly above normal, so you don't have to deal with the embarrassing fact that WHERE Irma intensified, SSTs were relatively average.

What intensified IRMA was the nearly complete lack of wind shear, which is also why she kept drifting west. I don't know where that was predicted by the GCMs, but if you can show me that, that would be great!

tim in vermont said...

You know what else warms tropical waters? Lack of wave action. Lack of wind. Waves fold the water heated by the sun, not the air, the sun, into the cooler water below.

tim in vermont said...

Oh, I forgot... "(sigh)". Did you learn that from Al Gore?

MadisonMan said...

I'm happy to view data that shows a lack of wave action in the Atlantic. I've been providing you with lots of links. Have you any to share on wave action anomaly? Or wind anomalies?

tim in vermont said...

You already conceded that there was nothing unusually warm about the SST, so maybe you can explain why 'global warming' made the hurricane so strong. Or you could demonstrate that lack of wind shear is a result of climate change, or what are we arguing about?