Judith A. Curry is a climatologist, the founder of Climate Forecast Applications Network, and the author of a new book: Climate Uncertainty and Risk: Rethinking Our Response. In her third appearance on the podcast (the last was December 27, 2022) Curry talks about her new book, the “oversimplified analysis” of climate that’s being used by legacy media and policymakers, censorship, the importance of Twitter, and why we need to see the global climate as a “complex, chaotic, non-linear system.” (Recorded August 18, 2023.)
Robert Bryce 0:05
Hi, and welcome to the power hungry podcast. I'm your host, Robert Bryce. This podcast is a place where we talk about energy, power, innovation and politics. And we're going to be talking about all those today with my guest, Dr. Judith curry, who's a climatologist and the president of climate forecast applications Network. Welcome to the power hungry podcast.
Judith Curry 0:26
Well, thank you, Robert.
Robert Bryce 0:28
Mack may call you, Judy. Fine. Great. Good. Well, so now, Judy, what I like to do on this show is that I had to have the guests introduce themselves. You have a long CV and I've looked at it, but it gets pretty boring. Imagine you're just arrived in a new place. You're meeting a bunch of new people? No, none of whom know. You. Introduce yourself if you don't mind.
Judith Curry 0:53
Okay, well, I spent all of my career in academia as a university faculty member in 2017. When I left. Most recently, I was a faculty member at the Georgia Institute of Technology where I served as chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences for 13 years. I left academia when I felt it was becoming too narrowly pigeon holed. And the interdisciplinary things that I wanted to do and the challenges that I wanted to put out there didn't seem like a good fit for academia. And I was also concerned about campus freedom of speech issues. So I felt the private sector was a better place for me to be. In 2006. I started a company called climate forecast applications network. It was a Georgia tech startup company. And after I resigned my faculty position, I devoted my full time efforts to the company.
Robert Bryce 2:09
And so you then you moved from Atlanta, you're in Reno. Now you live in Reno, Nevada,
Judith Curry 2:13
currently in Reno, Nevada. Yes. Got it.
Robert Bryce 2:15
So I'm just gonna fill this out just a little bit, because we're talking about contentious issues on climate change. But I just I looked up your CV, you have a PhD in atmospheric science from the University of Chicago. You mentioned Georgia Tech. You've also been on the faculty at University of Colorado, Penn State and Purdue you've offered authored over 190 scientific papers, fellow American meteorology, Meteorological Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science and American Geophysical Union. So I'm just guessing and you're not asking your age, but you spent your whole career working on climate related issues, it appears and now you've left you've left academia. But I want to cut right to the chase about why why I wanted to talk to you because last year, in your remarks before the House of Representatives, you said that the magnitude of climate change is highly uncertain, and that the cure could be worse than the disease. He said, based on current assessments of the science, manmade climate change is not an existential threat on the timescale of the 21st century. Even its most even in its most alarming incarnation, said the perception of near near term apocalypse has narrowed the policy options that we are willing to consider. I mean, you're running right straight against all of the climate Orthodoxy in one paragraph of which your your your spoken remarks in front of the house. I'm asking this kind of a glib question. Are you lonely?
Judith Curry 3:44
Not at all. Not at all. Well, first off, there's nothing in the IPCC reports that says apocalypse, they talk about reasons for concern. Okay, all of the alarm is generated by activists, many of whom are climate scientists themselves, and many of whom think that climate change will be much worse than what the IPCC is saying they're entitled to that opinion. But the center of mass opinion does not see catastrophe or extinction on the timescale, the 21st century, and I'm reiterating that point. My perspective is well within the envelope of conventional climate science, as assessed by the IPCC, where I've gone out on a limb and drawn the the wrath of many people is for criticizing the consensus seeking process, criticizing alarmism criticizing scientists for playing politicians rather than sticking to the A science, these are the things that I've been critical of. And while I'm a little bit lonely in terms of what I would call the climate science establishment, I have plenty of academic colleagues, if you will, more broadly, I redefined my peer group to include social scientists, legal scholars, social psychologists, just philosophers of science, people studying political philosophy and so on, who liked the approach that I'm taking to challenging the consensus talking about uncertainty, and trying to broaden the types of policy solutions that we're prepared to consider to address climate and all the ancillary related issues, some of which are only impacted by climate by a small fraction.
Robert Bryce 6:03
So you see yourself as well, okay. Well, how would you define them? This is a very partisan issue, as you know, and I'm, I called up the 2015, Senate committee hearing where Senator Markey comes after you.
Judith Curry 6:16
That was, that's a classic. I sit right in the center.
Robert Bryce 6:20
So I see yourself as very much a centrist in terms of the politics of the or the science, the politics of the science, I guess,
Judith Curry 6:28
I'm about the integrity of the scientific process. I'm trying to keep us true to the norms of science, which include universe, organize skepticism, and things like that, you know, I want to take us back to the basics, how we should be behaving as scientists. And we, and too many scientists are overconfident. in climate science, Rees research, and then they amplify that confidence in their public statements. So there's so much that we don't know, there is so much uncertainty about all this. And I think we need to acknowledge this not as a Tanisha for oh, we can just stop worrying about this, but as providing a better foundation for making better decisions.
Robert Bryce 7:22
So you sound I mean, that sounds eminently rational, what you've just said. And yet you were pilloried in academia, I mean, you know, attacked ruthlessly by by people in academia, and also in the media that you were a sellout. You were and you make reference to this. Where was it that I have a bunch of notes here. But it was about oh, if you don't support the UN consensus on climate, human caused global warming, if you express this is the most important thing, if you express the slightest skepticism, you're a climate change denier, a stooge of Donald Trump a quasi fascist who must be banned from the scientific community. This is what you said last year, in an article I thought,
Judith Curry 8:06
Oh, wow, I was pretty feisty. And that
Robert Bryce 8:08
was, what was the question that I have here? Why is Why is skepticism needed? Now when I found this, I'm getting to the point here today on CNN, let's talk about the climate apocalypse world. The UN warns big world becoming uninhabitable hell,
Judith Curry 8:25
okay. Let me just take a step back. I was pilloried was for criticizing climate scientists. In the climate gate, you recall that the release of the emails from the university, I criticize their behavior, and said that we need to do better, we need to be more transparent. We need to engage with skeptics, you need to make all our data available, we need to pay more attention to uncertainty, okay? And I was pilloried for that. The lessons I've learned is Thou shalt not criticize other climate scientists. Okay, that's the sin. It's not so much the content of my science, but thou shalt not criticize the IPCC, Thou shalt not criticize other climate scientists. Things really went south for me when I published an article on my blog in 2011, about hiding the decline you know, the infamous hockey stick right rollio And I was pretty balanced and moderate but but that set off Michael Mann and since then there's been a massive attacks on me by you know, Thou shalt not criticize Michael Mann. That's the worst thing you can commit. If you don't want to be attacked, he then you know, organizes his little minions and then it gets amplified to the media and his got 200,000 Twitter followers and on and on it goes. So this is the big sin that I committed was criticizing the behavior of climate scientists and criticizing the IPCC consensus seeking process of being overly confident and too narrow?
Robert Bryce 10:15
Let me let me follow up on that, because that was one of the points that you made as well, in your, in your testimony last year before the house, you said that the issue of climate science, climate change has been over simplified was your words. And what I found interesting as I thought about this, and getting ready for our discussion today that you're arguing for appreciation of complexity and nuance in a world that appears to want neither that ever that we want just this black and white, that, you know, hydrocarbons are bad. And the big companies that produce them are bad, and people that say that they're good or bad. And it just, why can you talk about that? Because that issue that kind of the desire for simplicity in a crazy and crazy complex world seems to be part of the driver here. Is that fair?
Judith Curry 11:01
Partly, okay. In the 20th century, when geologists talked about climate change, they talked about all causes, you know, from volcanoes, solar variations, plate tectonics, ocean circulations, the whole works. And then in the 21st century, we saw the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, redefine the term climate change to mean manmade climate change. And everything else was called climate variability,
Robert Bryce 11:33
co2, co2 and co2 only, yeah, co2 rules.
Judith Curry 11:37
And the IPCC mandate was really to focus on not only manmade climate change, but dangerous. But that made climate change. So it was put out there by the policymakers who already decided what they want. This was back in 1992, you know, when the UN attention was actually put out there, that's before we had any evidence of significant warming, let alone anything that could be attributed to humans. Okay, so it, you know, it was out there. So the policy cart was put out way in front of the scientific horse, and the science narrowly focused on manmade climate change and, and the dangers, not the benefits. But natural climate change was ignored, the benefits of warming were ignored, and so on and so forth. And so, you know, it's, by framing it so narrowly, you know, they get what they want, and they never quite get it sufficiently alarming statements out of the IPCC, so they need to juice it up in the summary for policymakers. And then the public statements made by the IPCC leaders are even more alarming. And then that is amplified by the environmental advocacy groups and the media. And you get something that's totally disconnected from the reality of the science
Robert Bryce 13:04
from the underlying science. And I know that I mean, what you mentioned these other factors, and I know Roger Pilkey, senior Roger Pilkey, Jr's dad wrote a lot about issues of land use and about the changes and placement of even the measurement systems. And that that was another part of the discussion that has been ignored. So
Judith Curry 13:24
the biggest, here's what the biggest issues that are ignored, I mean, sure, odd, you're guilty SR is right, that those are key issues. But the big issues are the oceans, the multi-decadal to millennial scale circulations in the oceans, that hugely influenced climate. No, El Nino is a manifestation of that on shorter timescales. But you also have longer timescale oscillations, which have huge impacts not only on the global climate, but dominate what's going on in terms of regional climates and regional sea level rise, things like that. Then the other big factor is solar indirect effects. You know, people just think, well, the sun heats, you know, and it warms, it said that that's the big, fat, big effect. But there are all sorts of other things in terms of shorter wavelengths and cosmic rays and all sorts of solar indirect effects that impact our climate that aren't accounted for in the climate models. So there's a whole lot of stuff out there that isn't under the umbrella of it's only co2.
Robert Bryce 14:40
So your if I can boil that down, and you know, and want you to push back if I'm apprehending this, but so you're arguing that this entire discussion is far more complicated than what it's what we're being told.
Judith Curry 14:53
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Not only that, the uncertain even if you just look at the co2 piece of it sensitivity of the climate to increased state a doubling carbon dioxide. The IPCC acknowledges at least a factor of three uncertainty. And that's just within the likely range. If you go out a little farther, it's a factor of six. And the most recent round of climate models, or so called Siemens six, have made some changes to little cloud parameterizations that have boost the sensitivity way up, you know, in some models is even double. So there's massive uncertainty about even how much the climate will warm for a given amount of increase in carbon dioxide, a factor of three to six uncertainty. And so all these timelines and targets, what do they even mean, in the context of this factor of three to six uncertainty? I have no idea.
Robert Bryce 16:01
Well, that's, I mean, what the implications of what you're saying, though, are really profound in terms of the potential spending of not trillions, 10s of trillions of dollars, based on what you know, the scary scenarios, I have the the CNN headlines here about world becoming a risk becoming uninhabitable. Hell, another one headline from CNN, let's talk about the climate apocalypse, that these apocalyptic forecasts are leading to policy measures, policy proposals, the proposals, the green New Deal, Joe Biden's 500,000, public electric vehicle, charging stations, I mean, these are incredibly expensive answers to a problem that you're saying isn't as simple as everyone saying, and that's a radical radical departure, given what the continuing rhetoric is, is that am I missing something?
Judith Curry 16:54
Yeah, okay, even if all that was successful, green New Deal, and so on and so forth, we wouldn't start feeling any kind of an impact. And this is even if you believe the climate models until late in the 21st century, so anything that we do in this regard is unlikely to help us deal with the issues in the 21st century. The extreme weather the sea level, rise it there's lots of inertia in the system, and it takes time for all this to to happen, we can't we can't put the genie back in the bottle, if you will, I mean, it's especially the near term, we need to figure out how to deal with the changes we might be facing. And we also need to figure out, you know, if we want to help the environment, we need to figure out how to get grid electricity to Africa, you know, you know, burning charcoal and burning wood, and, you know, destroying, not only adding co2, but you know, they're destroying their forests and everything else. So thinking that manmade global warming is the biggest problem we face is really taking our eye off the real problems that we're facing in the early part of the 21st century that we should be addressing. In the meantime, we're just fighting over this problem that we don't really understand that with a solution that is politically as well as technologically unviable. And even if all that worked out, we wouldn't see any benefits until late in the 21st century. So the whole thing doesn't make sense.
Robert Bryce 18:37
The that that message just doesn't get any traction in in the media. I mean, just zero.
Judith Curry 18:44
Complicated. Somebody called me a confusion just once. You know,
Robert Bryce 18:49
Joe, Joe, Ron, he's
Judith Curry 18:52
response to that is, if there's anybody who isn't confused about the climate change issue, they haven't been doing their homework.
Robert Bryce 19:01
But that goes back to this idea of of arguing for appreciation of complexity in a world that wants simplicity.
Judith Curry 19:11
Yeah, from the academic perspective, complexity is in vogue, you know, trying to understand and figure out how to deal mathematically with complexity and decision making under deep uncertainty and all these kinds of things are going on in academia. But the politicians still want something simple. And it's attractive to you know, to try to find a silver bullet solution to all this the green New Deal or whatever that might entail. But in reality, what we need is a silver buckshot approach to a variety of problems and not just the climate change problem. And there's a reluctance You know, because part of this is a lot of people have it in for the fossil fuel companies, okay, independent of the climate change problem. And they're not prepared to countenance any solutions that might be effective, but don't have the desired punishment effect on the fossil fuel companies, you know that there was five years ago, maybe more than that. The so called fast climate Fast Response Plan, where there was a focus on black carbon and methane and things like that, that could be relatively easily addressed, that would help with the greenhouse gas forcing in the near term. And also provide ancillary public health benefits. And even in the case of the methane, even potentially some economic benefits. But there was some quick, I mean, it makes total sense. But there was some pushback from the, you know, the real activists because that means that we take the heat off the, you know, the fossil fuel complex on
Robert Bryce 21:19
ExxonMobil is the big target doesn't fit that narrative anymore.
Judith Curry 21:23
Yeah, and so and, and adaptations, small things that you can do locally, to, you know, reduce your vulnerability to hurricanes, sea level rise, better water, resource management, all those kinds of things, just to reduce your vulnerability to the vagaries of weather and natural climate variability, whether it's natural or manmade. Oh, well, yeah, sure, that's okay. But we're not going to put any resources in it, because we need to keep our eye on the ball, reduce the co2 emissions and punish the fossil fuel companies. So you know, we're letting the good be the enemy of the perfect. If anyone really thinks the green New Deal, and all that is perfect. I certainly don't. So
Robert Bryce 22:15
if I can interrupt. So one of your main points, if I can jump ahead a little bit, as you're saying, there's uncertainty here and in we need to be focusing on adaptation, whatever the next thing is, is that is that fair assessment?
Judith Curry 22:29
Well, yeah. And adaptation broadly, it's really about reducing vulnerability to whatever comes your way. And that is usually correlates with economic development. I mean, Haiti and whatever, it gets totally wiped out by, you know, relatively modest storms, or as if they hit Florida or something. It's really not such a big deal. I mean, it's all about your vulnerability. And that relates to economic development. The other thing is, by this focus on sustainability and emissions and trying to maintain the status quo. Well, that's just not how the world works. And it's not how the climate works. We don't want the status quo, we want something better. So we should be reimagining you know, what do we want the 21st century to be? What should the 21st century infrastructure be? We want to figure out how to cry, and how to make ourselves anti fragile to use Tellabs phrase, I mean, that's what we should be focused on. But we're, instead we're focused on trying to implement 20th century wind and solar technologies, tearing down all this infrastructure. And we'll end up with unreliable and expensive power, if that is all successful. So it just doesn't make sense.
Robert Bryce 23:58
Then why is it so appealing then? Because I mean, I'd see this I've been writing about these issues now for
Judith Curry 24:03
well, it's propaganda, you know, the misery? That's a strong word? Well, it is that there's this whole field of study about climate communications. You know, it's not how to communicate honestly, and convey uncertainty and talk about different policy options and understand risks. That's not what it's about. It's how to compel people to act on the preferred policy narrative. I mean, this whole thing about trying to, you know, nuke the fossil fuel industry that goes back to the UN environmental program, you know, back in the 1980s and 1990s. And, you know, people are clever, you know, inspiring fear and government proclamations and all this is promoted. politicization of the whole science issue. It's promoted groupthink among The scientists, which is never good. And we're just in an unholy mess right now.
Robert Bryce 25:06
Well, let me let me interrupt you there because I want to get to this other point that you made because it ties back to your idea about the demonization of the hydrocarbon sector. And in looking at what's going on, I think things are moving pretty rapidly in a pretty positive direction in terms of away from coal toward natural gas, much cleaner, half the co2 emissions. It's not perfect. Well, there is no perfect, right, but But you said that you said climate change, when it comes to climate change, a person must not like capitalism, or industrial development too much and should favor world government, rather than nations. And I've seen this quite a lot in terms of this idea that capitalism is bad. And Naomi Klein even has this book capitalism versus the climate. So you've touched on some of these, but I'll ask the question directly. Why do these climate action plans include call it what it is so much socialism?
Judith Curry 25:59
Well, you know, the environmentalists and socialists, you know, back in the 20th century, you know, were looking for an issue to latch on to, you know, and then it turned out climate change fits the bill for all that. So it's become a focal point for all sorts of social and political movements that really don't relate to climate change. And this has been enabled by the UN and life environmental program, not to mention a bunch of environmental advocacy groups.
Robert Bryce 26:31
Climate become the climate issue becomes an umbrella for a number of other issues that aren't really about climate. Is that fair?
Judith Curry 26:39
Oh, sure. I mean, in two ways, you know, the impacts of climate change is causing all these crazy impacts from people becoming shorter or taller, or, you know, you blame everything on climate change, you know, climate becomes the grand narrative for everything. But the other issue is that climate change, the fear surrounding it, becomes a vehicle for all sorts of social policies, social justice, socialism, you know, all sorts of things. You know, how we got into this, you know, mess, to the extent that it is a mess, is that, you know, this is an emergent problem, you know, fossil fuels, you know, fostered the Industrial Revolution, and the greatest period of human development in world history, and whatever and warmer temperatures were really thought to be bad to the extent that anybody was blaming this. People use the pre industrial, like 1750 is the reference. People really think that was a nice climate. I mean, George Washington and Valley Forge, and whatever that was, in a little ice age, when the weather was horrible, and the winters were horrible,
Robert Bryce 28:04
and people died young, and disease, and many other things.
Judith Curry 28:09
Yeah. So having holding that as the some sort of a baseline ideal. I mean, it was like, the coldest century of the millennia. Why should that be held as the reference point or the Goldilocks climate? Makes no sense?
Robert Bryce 28:28
I like that. Well, so let me stop for a second, because I think this is interesting in terms of, you know, how you're framing the discussion. But how would you describe your own politics? I mean, you've been embraced now. I mean, frankly, you know, by from what I see by the Republicans, right, and, and then senator in 2015, you, you, you've had a faceoff with Senator Markey, after a Senate hearing where he said, Well, we just had the warmest month ever. How do you explain that? You can't explain that. And it's become very partisan. How do you view your own politics and where you fit in this political, crazy politic political world we
Judith Curry 29:02
live in? It's a little known fact that circa 2007, the Democrats invited me twice to testify, one before the House Reform Committee. And then the other. I think in the Senate, this was related to hurricanes and global warming. I was invited by the Democrats following climate gate circa 2010. Then I've been invited, like a dozen times, I think, by the Republicans to testify politically on independence. I think. You know, whenever I vote, as always, are the lesser of the evils I'm going enthusiastically espouse any of that? I have somewhat of a libertarian streak in terms of just really appreciating my freedoms. Thank you. I acknowledged that complexity of everything. So I'm not a partisan in any way.
Robert Bryce 30:10
But yet you're but yet your work is viewed now inevitably is through this partisan lens. I mean, I've testified before Congress, I've never been knighted by the Democrats.
Judith Curry 30:20
Okay, the there's and this is, I'm working on a chapter in my party and the book that I'm working on that that really addresses the issues, and it's really how the politicization of all this on the left has been different from the politicisation on the right. Okay, the the left us this is a, you know, the science is a solved problem. And they have one solution. And they're very much into the technocratic, kind of, you know, the experts should tell us what to do. And there's, you know, things that we can do, and we can predict, and we can control. Okay, and so that's the mode that the left and the Democrats think in whereas the right wing sort of distrust of that they're prepared to give greater credence to the scientific process. And they appreciate people who challenge the consensus who talk about uncertainty. So you know, the Republicans aren't the science deniers of them are, you know, they appreciate the scientific process, they're very distrustful of central planning, things like that. So it's just two different mindsets on how to approach a problem like this.
Robert Bryce 31:48
You mentioned the idea of central planning, because that's the part where I look at some of these climate solutions, right, or the climate, the efforts, I aimed at trying to reduce co2 emissions and only co2. But it requires centralization of power and a level that are hard to imagine. And it's already underway in New York state where I followed the situation really very closely. The state is essentially overriding the zoning rules of local communities and saying, No, you don't want wind turbines? Well, that's just too bad. You're gonna get them. Where if this were an oil and gas kind of development, I mean, the outrage would be you'd read about it on the front page of The New York Times, but the times won't write about what's going on, actually, in New York State. Another example, the media partisan divide, but it's in this somehow central planning is going to solve this, I think it's wrong.
Judith Curry 32:40
Yeah, we have a lot more potential to do more harm than good. In terms of like the green New Deal kind of thing.
Robert Bryce 32:51
more harm than good in terms of affecting the environment, and in landscapes and mining and so on. Is that what you're talking about?
Judith Curry 32:59
Well, yeah, and spending a lot of money on solutions that really don't give you any benefit. And that's an opportunity cost, that means there's less money left over to actually deal with the climate problem in a sensible way, or to deal with pandemics or whatever other unforeseen preps might head our way. I mean, we've just, it's just a big opportunity cost, like a harm, you know, well, there is harm, because we could end up with energy infrastructure that is less robust and more expensive than what we have now. And could be have really, the amount of land that you need to produce wind from energy from solar and wind is huge. Okay, whereas, you know, relative to a little nuclear power plant, you know, I try not to advocate for, you know, specific policies, mostly because they're just such a mess, I have no idea what to advocate for. But if you really want to effectively reduce co2 emissions, while at the same time providing high quality, reliable power, I don't see any solution right now other than nuclear, nuclear has its problems, but the next generation nuclear, molten salt reactors and all that actually looks quite good. So we need new technologies.
Robert Bryce 34:28
And I completely agree, but I also see those technologies as being I mean, you know, they're still lost in the decimal dust in terms of their ability to make, you know, a transformer system as big as what we have.
Judith Curry 34:41
Solar is just not going to work. I mean, it's just not going to work. Let me
Robert Bryce 34:47
let me switch gears here a little bit, because you mentioned the pandemic and this is one of the things in 2015. You gave a lecture that you quoted President Obama. He said no challenge poses a threat under threat to future generations than climate change, he also said there's no there's one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other. And that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate. And yet, we're in a pandemic, I flew for the first time last week in seven months, where we, but the question is, were we focused on the wrong thing?
Judith Curry 35:21
Okay, worse than that. I two years ago, the World Health Organization, stated that climate change is the greatest health threat that the world is facing in the 21st century to one thing for President Obama, but for the World Health, or I'll say it even crazier, yes, we're focusing on the wrong thing. Okay. The the biggest issue for the environment and human development is to get grid electricity to the regions in Africa, Central America and Sub Saharan Africa, that don't already have it. That's the biggest issue there, keep when you don't have that, you're destroying your environment, cutting down forests to make charcoal and burning wood and charcoal, which is environmentally a mess, threatening the species. You know, it's just a big mess. So we need to do that. We need to reduce our vulnerability to extreme weather and climate events, fires, drought.
Robert Bryce 36:27
Focusing on adaptation,
Judith Curry 36:29
well, well, not just adaptation, yeah, adaptation is part of it. But overall, increasing our resilience and reducing our vulnerability. And that speaks to broader issues of economic development, and then encouraging innovation and profitability how to make things better, just rethinking it.
Robert Bryce 36:54
I mean, try and drive drive ability. I like that word I haven't heard.
Judith Curry 36:59
It's a good one, there's a price ability, sort of movement gene, somebody, I can't even remember it, I've got a quote from my book, because I really like it. But it's a it's a concept of, you know, resilience, and you know, implies just bouncing back. So if you have a hurricane come through, you want to build it back. You know, it's, it's possible to the way it was, but thrive ability is really about bouncing forward. Okay, build it back better. So the next time it comes through your house is gonna blow down, that kind of thinking, it's a forward looking, thinking. And it's not. And it appeals to people who want to make money, innovate. And big visionaries, you know, the Richard Branson, or Elon Musk, who are thinking big thoughts, you know, whether they're, whether many of them are any good remains to be seen. But it's that kind of a mindset that we need to move forward in the 21st century,
Robert Bryce 38:04
a more human focused one
Judith Curry 38:06
on human focus one, yes, yeah.
Robert Bryce 38:09
So let me let me switch back just a little bit. So you mentioned you'd left Georgia Tech in 2017. And you mentioned why you left anything you miss about being in the academy.
Judith Curry 38:21
I don't, I still work with a lot of our former students who we've hired at our company. So I still have that research community, with many of our former students, and then some new people we've hired from other universities. So I love that my colleague, Peter Webster's advising a graduate student at Georgia Tech, and tomorrow, I'm giving a lecture to a thermodynamics class at UC San Diego, Scripps, it'll be about the thermodynamics of hurricane. So you know, I still have, you know, a little bit of connection, but I really do not miss being affiliated with the university, the private sector, especially since I own the company, it gives me all the freedom I could possibly want.
Robert Bryce 39:12
Sure. Well, you mentioned this, and I wanted to ask about that, because you're one of several academics who've been targeted for silencing. Roger Pilkey, Jr. is obviously the other obvious one. And he's been on the podcast before and I admire him and can consider consider him a friend and you know, he but he's taken. I don't know when to compare the number of bullets or compare the number of arrows, but he's taken his share. But what was interesting was that after the recent Michael Moore film planted to the humans you had that the film Michael man, you mentioned him earlier from Penn State was one of several academics who petitioned to have the film essentially banned. It wasn't just man it was Anthony and raffia from Cornell Mark Jacobson from Stanford, Leah Stokes from UC Santa Barbara all saying, Oh, this film is dangerous. Why are these academics so eager to silence the people who have a different take a different worldview and even to try and silence most famous documentary maker in America? How do you make that? What do you make of that?
Judith Curry 40:20
A couple of things. Some of them simply have the personalities of Floyd's of a boy. Okay without naming names, so he doesn't sue me.
Robert Bryce 40:32
There have been some high profile suits involved here. Yes,
Judith Curry 40:35
you get it just have the person but it's, they've written this. They've caught on to this is the path to professional fame and fortune to big awards from professional societies and environmental groups promotion that the university's huge Twitter followings seats at the big table. So this is about personal and professional political power. It's about political power, and there and career ism. Okay, that's what's driving it. And 20 years ago, any academic doing this would have been hard until it in fact, Carl Sagan was chastised just for his public outreach, with cosmos and everything. And he was,
Robert Bryce 41:27
and yet Mark Jacobson found a slap, shoot and blatant, I know, I have suit against another academic and there was not a single academic that I saw that condemned it. Stanford wouldn't say anything about it. I mean, they would just wouldn't wouldn't wouldn't disown it. And it was fortunate, Jacobson withdrew the suit, and then he was forced to pay the litigation fees. But that kind of behavior. Let me ask the question here, because, you know, I've written about this before, but what so has the art of debate been lost in academia when it comes to climate science?
Judith Curry 42:00
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. In fact, we've tried to have like debates. And there was a very interesting experiment called Climate dialogue. This was run by the Dutch. You can look it up. And this is the best thing I've seen. And they they tried to they put a controversial issue out there. I was invited to contribute on the issue of sea level of Arctic sea ice. And they would invite, say, from a range of perspectives, you know, one from the more skeptical one from the conventional one that's more alarmist. Okay. And people would, you know, write their piece and then the moderators wouldn't have questions, and there was a back and forth. And then the moderators and wrote up a summary, and it was absolutely brilliant, and then eventually died out because they couldn't get people from the nonce, they could only get people from what you would refer to as the skeptical side to participate. The alarm
Robert Bryce 43:06
Judith Curry 43:08
The alarmists wouldn't participate in even the mainstream consensus supporters wouldn't participate. So it eventually died out. But it was absolutely excellent, you know, one of the best things out there. And so, you know, people like me, have left academia to retirement or just going to private sectors or libertarian think tanks. Not all have left, voluntarily, a few have actually been fired. So you've got people now challenging this from outside of academia. There's nothing within academia and that is very, very dangerous, just for the health of climate science, to the health of the public debate and for the health of the policies that are reporting on the science, so it's not a good situation.
Robert Bryce 44:05
So well, just a little commercial break here. I'm talking to Judith curry, the president of the climate forecast applications network climatologist now based in in Reno, Nevada, this is the power hungry podcast. Let me ask you about the climate forecast applications network. So who do you work with for whom do you work? What kind of clients do you have? And what is the what are the what are the what are the things that they're asking you to advise them about?
Judith Curry 44:30
Okay, first, we do a lot of weather forecasting, as well as what I would call climate. And our forte is
Robert Bryce 44:39
let me stop you then. What's the difference? Okay, well, because I hear this a little climate isn't weather it's hot today. Well, that's
Judith Curry 44:47
the point is is there is a continuum. And my company deals with the whole thing from days to decades. Okay? So on the short timescales, we do Whew, forecasts of hurricanes been a very busy year for us. And you know, we don't do the more we do the less than five days at the National hurricanes. But our forte is weeks two, three, and four, and also seasonal forecasting. And then decadal scenarios of what we might expect. And our clients for the hurricane forecasts a lot in the insurance sector, mostly insurance linked securities. We have regional power providers who are located in vulnerable locations on the coasts and also energy traders, because when a hurricane blasts through it influences both the supply and demand for natural gas, we also do temperature forecast. And this is for energy traders. And I see power providers. The climate piece of this is interesting, apart from providing background information in a number of lawsuits. I mean, I haven't testified, although I am set to testify in a case in November. It's not really directly about fossil fuels or whatever. But I also do consulting, okay, and the example project is, is wind farm investors, they've read in the literature that the wind is going to slow down with global warming, okay, does that mean their investments are screwed? So they hired my company to put together scenarios out to 2030 as to what the winds could look like, in their locations. It's not just a slow creep, creep of global warming, but also all the natural variability in the circulations and what if there's a big volcano eruption and all that kind of thing? So that's an example of another project. Why water resources in a drought prone region? They're looking at putting in another pipeline from somewhere else to support the water needs of this growing industry base in a region. They want to know, does that make sense? You know, what are they? What may be facing in terms of big droughts, multi year droughts over the next 30 years? So these are the kinds of problems
Robert Bryce 47:34
that you're addressing
Judith Curry 47:36
that we're addressing. So the clients are mostly insurance companies and energy related companies.
Robert Bryce 47:51
Is Roger Pilkey. Right, when Roger Pilkey, Jr. Right, when he says that when you adjust for GDP growth and population that losses from hurricanes have not increased?
Judith Curry 48:02
Um, yeah, it's, you know, I would say that's correct. The issue, the hurricanes aren't getting worse. And I know that in a noticeable way, other than a small climate increase and the percentage of major hurricanes, not necessarily ones that make landfall, I mean, that there is a debate in the literature about how to do that calculation that filty is doing. So there is some debate about that. But I think he's mostly correct. That the insurer insurance losses are related to population and wealth growth.
Robert Bryce 48:42
And more houses on the beach. Exactly. Let me jump back, because now you've left Georgia Tech now, three years ago, and this was a question that I thought, was there a single moment when you realized I'm a heretic? Or when I when you said I have to break with the orthodoxy or call them out? I mean, you mentioned the climate, you know, the, the climate gate issue and the, you know, hide the decline was then or was there subsequent to that, where you said, Okay, this isn't going to work.
Judith Curry 49:12
Okay, it was 2010, you know, the climate, the whole climate game, which was seminal, when I said, we can do better, which, you know, we need to do this, which people took his personal criticisms, which I was very careful not to name names, but you know, that and then when I did actually name a name with a hide the decline amount, you know, that that was the end.
Robert Bryce 49:36
And this was on and this was on Judith curry.com your website?
Judith Curry 49:39
Yeah, it was, uh, yeah, it was a September 11. Post. It was in September 2011. And that's what that's what really triggered it. But as I was trying to understand the dynamics of all this, you know, after climate gate, I felt I had been duped. You know, before that I was surprised My public statements about climate change, I would support the consensus. I thought that was a responsible thing to do, you know, don't trust what one scientist thing, you know, trust the whole international body, even though I was very concerned about the way they were treating uncertainty and overconfidence, you know, even for the preceding decade, I had been worried about that, but the client when the climate gate yet, and I saw the sausage making, that went into all that I said, you know, no way am I going to take their judgment instead of my own judgment. And I set about working to understand not only the broader topics that I wasn't all that informed about. And then I started working on climate sensitivity and attribution, things I hadn't been working on. But I started to become interested in what I would say the legal, the social psychology, the philosophy of science, political philosophy, all of these larger issues that were coming into play into this debate. And I even started writing some papers, and publishing them in what I would call it the applied philosophy of climate science, if you will, you know, grappling with all these issues. And I thought that that was a way forward for me to remain an academia, but it wasn't appreciated by the, you know, my college of science colleagues, if you will, at Georgia Tech, and my public stance, about uncertainty and being lumped into the NYers was just very, very distasteful at the university. And
Robert Bryce 51:43
let me when I asked about that word, because that's the one that gets thrown around all the time that if you're not if you don't somehow toe the line, exactly, that you're a denier.
Judith Curry 51:52
It's religion, it's not science, and for that, to have taken hold in universities, is just disgraceful and, and worst, tragic.
Robert Bryce 52:03
It's religion, not science, that you're saying that the belief will more specifically you're saying that the belief and catastrophic climate change, I want to make make be sure what I'm what I'm hearing you say about the religion? What's the who's what's the god and what's the faith system here?
Judith Curry 52:21
Okay. The belief that all climate, recent climate changes, manmade, the belief that it's catastrophic. Okay. And the belief that this is so serious that the science and the policy, the preferred policy solution can't be questioned. Dog dogma is dogma that I mean, that's why you hear the word denier, there's no dogma, there's no.
Robert Bryce 52:51
Well, it's interesting that you bring that up. Because there I thought about this a fair amount myself and talked with theologians about it that this idea about, it's very closely in some of the ways that the discussion has been framed. It's very similar to religious notions, religious terms about, about redemption, about sinfulness that we've lived to well, and we need to repent and somehow go back to the garden, right, that the solar and wind somehow represent the garden that we could go back to that and nuclear is the absolutely forbidden fruit, because that's too high tech. Right? But that, and they're sinners, and they're redeemed, there's an ability for redemption here. And even with carbon credits, right, that this is what Martin Luther I would think would represent, would recognize this idea about carbon credits as indulgences. Right. I mean, Does this sound familiar to you?
Judith Curry 53:40
Absolutely. Yeah, I, you know, it's Yeah, the whole thing. heretics. Yeah. When I came out, after climate day, there was a,
Robert Bryce 53:52
so when you came out, right? You've revealed yourself. It's not gay, but I don't believe whatever.
Judith Curry 54:03
Okay, so I've made this huge, long interview to Scientific American explaining what I was concerned about and what we needed to do better. So the title of the climate heretic Judith curry turns on her colleagues. Okay, the issue was not the substance of what I had to say, but that I was turning on my colleagues and criticizing the IPCC consensus speaking that I implied criticism of behavior of the people who are caught out in climate gay, that was what was important. So it's this whole tribal, you know, deity, whatever thing and it what it wasn't about the substance of my my scientific concerns are the research ethics concerns. It was about turning on my colleagues and they use the word heretic
Robert Bryce 55:00
Well, it's interesting that you say that because I was when I was preparing for this, I looked up that you know, so Galileo, of course, right was forced to recant his idea about the heliocentric solar system and supposedly said And yet it moves. But still one of his most famous quotes that was apparently actually was said by him, the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics. So what is the what are the mathematics say about climate change and climate models? Because it does come down to math, doesn't it? Is it and not necessarily putting you in Galileo's class here? But nevertheless, this idea of heretics or is it matters? What is where does maths fit in this?
Judith Curry 55:39
Okay? Climate models, okay, basic physical principles, you know, from radiative transfer, basic thermodynamics, Newton's second laws, the conservation of math, these things are in climate models, and even some integral things like fluid dynamics, and some things like that. And so there's a lot of physics in climate models. However, the part of the climate models that actually drive the sensitivity to co2 are subgrid scale processes like clouds, okay. And so the models can't resolve the chaotic dynamics of individual cloud systems, and how, and so they're parameterize. And these are hundreds 1000s of parameterizations of all different processes that are necessitated by the coarse resolution of the climate models, you know, there's just not enough computer power to model every little thing. So they're modeling processes on this scale of one or 200 miles, if you will. So there's a lot of stuff that goes on within this 200 mile box, that needs to be parameterised. And clouds are the biggest things. And each of these things provides room for a tuning knob, if you will. And so it's the details related to these parameterizations that are driving the climate sensitivity. Okay, climate sensitivity without clouds, and all these sub blitzscale feedbacks would be about one degrees centigrade for doubling of co2. But the climate models produced three or even five degrees centigrade for doubling of co2 related to these sub processes, mostly related to clouds and convection. So there's no physics. In all this tunings stuff, there's a little bit of observations and decent reasoning and whatever, but the real physics is in the large scale stuff. And if you just forget all these small scale stuff, you don't get very much very high climate sensitivity, it happens. Really, I mean, clouds are big driver and water vapor, the big drivers, and these are happen, what we call sub grid scale. So so
Robert Bryce 58:18
if I can boil this down, you're you're saying that the models just aren't robust enough to handle all the variables? Is that Is that Is that a fair? shorthand way?
Judith Curry 58:27
Yeah, the models are fragile, you know, and the CMAT six simulations with much higher sensitivity really illustrate how fragile they are, because that came from tweaking of what we call cloud microphysics. Like how many drop how the what condense water partitions into the number of drops. Okay, and how, how it interacts with aerosols, it seems like a really arcane change and an arcane topic, but it has a huge impact. The climate models respond,
Robert Bryce 59:07
just can't did the models just simply can't can't account for?
Judith Curry 59:11
Well, yeah. by accounting for that. They put they put in new degrees of freedom, that amplified the positive feedback, and then didn't add these needed corresponding negative feedbacks to this to make sense. So they're still trying to sort this out, but it demonstrates the fragility of these climate models to relatively small changes.
Robert Bryce 59:40
Sure. So just back to this idea about the so you were you were labeled a heretic by Scientific American, but you reject that. I mean, from what I'm hearing you say you don't like that label. But but it seems like care ticks are essential, aren't they?
Judith Curry 59:56
They are not what's really essential are science. Those who behave like scientists who make evidence and challenge the conclusion. That's how scientists is supposed to behave. That's how I was behaving and behaving like a scientist is becoming heretical in the climate change debate.
Robert Bryce 1:00:21
Because it's been taken over by activism, then is that
Judith Curry 1:00:24
taken over by activism and climate scientists are some of the biggest activists.
Robert Bryce 1:00:31
But you've said before that they're the solutions are the answers that they're proposing at scale? Make No Sense. And I've made some of the similar points, especially solar and wind that those those are not. If we're trying for redemption, that's a bad way to go. It seems to me
Judith Curry 1:00:47
it, it is I don't know how to break, I don't know how to break the deadlock. You know, in the book I'm working on I'm trying to lay it all out.
Robert Bryce 1:00:55
So tell me about the book. I was one of the other things. Do you have a title when the when is it gonna be published? What's that? Tell me about that.
Judith Curry 1:01:00
Okay, the title is climate uncertainty and risk. The target publication is about a year from now, but you know, I'm falling behind a little bit. The idea is to lay out the controversy. Why? Why people disagree, the history of all the politics, you know, the consensus how we pull ourselves, you know, just lay all that out. And then the second part goes into more into uncertainty and risk about exactly what we don't know what scenarios for the 21st century could look like, and how we think about and deal with risk. How we should you know, the different, we're talking about decision making under deep uncertainty and the different frameworks for making decisions. And then this third one really gets into how we, how we should think about the solution space without actually advocating for specific solutions. But you know, it's for risk management frameworks for actually thinking about the solutions. So I don't make any pronouncements about scientific debates. I don't advocate for particular policy solutions, what I'm doing is trying to broaden the framework for how we think about this whole problem, which will hopefully take us on a path to more sensible solutions that actually improve well being, you know, in the 21st century, particularly the near term where we have more control and more certainty about what might happen.
Robert Bryce 1:02:46
Sure. And who's the publisher,
Judith Curry 1:02:48
I don't want to go public with that. So my friends, don't sabotage me with my publisher. I'm sure it will happen.
Robert Bryce 1:03:01
We'll do just a few more things. We've been talking for a while here. You've done a lot of work on sea level rise. And you mentioned this, I think in your 2015 Senate testimony, and if I recall, directly correctly on climate, etc. By the way, if you want to follow Dr. Curry's work, it's Judith curry.com. And she's on Twitter at Curry at Curry. Ja, right. Okay. I'll ask the question directly our sea levels rising today faster than they were between 1920 and 1950? Or have I have I put that forever? You mentioned those dates before and some of your work and I'm just trying to what's happening with sea levels, I guess is what's what's, what's the story with sea level rise?
Judith Curry 1:03:44
Okay, sea level, global sea level rise started. Sea level started rising after 1860 We're coming out of a little ice age. Okay. What is coming out of the Little Ice Age means was really related to the global ocean circulations circulating and reacting, you know, you can still see him some of the Pacific Ocean have a little ice age, it still hasn't all sort of come out of a little ice age, but started increasing. And it was particularly rapid between the rate of sea level rise between 1920 and 1950. And then it dropped, you know, the rate decreased. And then we saw a subsequent increase starting in about 1980. So the rates of sea level rise, currently aren't all that different from 1920 to 1950. And the common factor between those two periods is that we were in the warm phase of the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation, which caused a lot of Greenland melting. We saw a lot of Greenland melting also in the period 1920 to 1950. Okay, and then eventually when we get to the cold phase of the Atlantic melt dedicato oscillation is more of an accumulation period for Greenland. So at some point in the next decade, I would guess that we will flip to the cold phase of the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation, and we won't see this big melting from Greenland, which is currently driving the acceleration and sea level rise. On the long term, the big issue is what's going to happen with the West Antarctic Ice Sheet? I mean, can this become unstable? Well, the answer is yes. But global warming from the top down really isn't the driver is what's going on with the dynamics of the ice sheets and the instabilities and heating from below. It's not just by the ocean. But also there's a lot of volcanic and heat at geothermal heat activity. But beneath that, which contributing to the instability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, the ground beneath it is rising, which may help the situation but it's a very complex issue. And if something bad does happen to the West End Arctic ice sheet, it's at least as likely to be caused by geology as it is to be caused by global warming. So it's a complex issue. But these projections, crazy projection,
Robert Bryce 1:06:29
massive sea level rise or are wrong, is that what you're saying?
Judith Curry 1:06:34
Um, how shall I driven by global warming, I would say, the highest ones like exceeding two meters by 21. By 2100, I think, if not impossible, they're pretty implausible. Like I said, the real wildcard is what might happen to the West Antarctica. But
Robert Bryce 1:06:57
let me follow up on that. Because in recent, I think it was just in the last 10 days or so you had a piece on climate, etcetera. And Judith curry.com. And you were talking about an article that it was published by a different author talking about geothermal issues and how those are related to ocean temperatures. And you said, to my mind, this is science at its best, where new ideas are explored and neither readily embraced, nor rejected, but just explored. And that you said that there is a dearth of new ideas and increasingly, in talking about climate, and increasingly these are coming from outside the climate community. So but there you are talking about the possibility of Deep Earth processes affecting the the temperature of the ocean, right, and if I'm remembering correctly. So two questions, one, how you mentioned it in passing in your discussion of the Antarctic, how important are these deep earth processes and geothermal events it to ocean temperatures? And then second, where are these best new ideas coming from?
Judith Curry 1:07:59
Okay, well, we don't know how important it is, because people aren't really focused on it. A few people, I mean, it regionally there are some hotspots, like I said, I am concerned about the hotspot beneath the West Antarctic Ice. The point is, we don't know. And not enough people are asking questions and putting scenarios out there. You know, as to how this might influence there have been estimates, you know, that 20% of the warming overall in the heat could be coming from the ocean from beneath
Robert Bryce 1:08:31
processes, or processes,
Judith Curry 1:08:33
whether the, you know, whether that study whether it increases and decreases, you know, the cause of warming and cooling. I mean, we don't know what these questions aren't really being asked. And a lot of the what I would say new ideas come from outside the climate establishment. But more important, a lot of these serious peer review and evaluation comes in post publication. Okay. And it's a lot of it's done on blogs, like climate audit, and my blog, climate, etcetera. We had a recent case where there was maybe a year ago, a little over a year ago, a paper maybe then we call the headlines, the oceans are warming more than we thought. Okay, that was a new kind of dataset that they were warming. My colleague, Nick Lewis, who's in the UK, dug in to all this and found all sorts of errors. In the paper, he contacted the authors. They didn't Oh, yeah. Okay, thank you. But they didn't really respond in any detail. So he published it online blog, and he got one of them submitted correction to A journal. And he did actually engage with one of the co authors and oh my gosh, how did this happen? You're right. He was very open and honest about it. And then about a year after publication, the journal actually withdrew the article from publication. Okay. So the significance of this is that this totally slipped through the peer review process. It made headlines, and nobody from the conventional climate community challenged it in any way. Okay. And so the probity came from what I will call the climate auditors who, you know, are technically educated people who really dig in. Again, this was Steve McIntyre, the hockey stick of fame, he sort of started this, but there's a number of other educated mathematically savvy individuals who have taken this topic on and are making
Robert Bryce 1:10:59
it. So it sounds like though that mean that that gives you some and the way you've couched that is that, that that gives you some hope about maybe that there is some oh that the system is starting to work a little bit that the this is maybe the reaction is finally starting to the system is is getting policed better, but it's not coming from within academia?
Judith Curry 1:11:29
Well, that's it's coming from outside the system. I mean, it's enabled by the blogosphere in the internet. Okay. So and these people are a tad. I mean, really, you know, the, Steve McIntyre, and people like that. I mean, they take attacks second to no one. So, but this is
Robert Bryce 1:11:54
this, it seems to me you think? Well, the way I hear you talk about it, you think this is a very positive trend, positive thing that's happening?
Judith Curry 1:12:02
Oh, it's good thing. It's important that it's happening. But in spite of academia in the science establishment is happening in spite of that.
Robert Bryce 1:12:12
So let me just ask you a few more things. So then you mentioned Steve McIntyre. And Nick Lewis. who's worked on climate do you admire?
Judith Curry 1:12:21
Climate? Fund? Yes, establishment?
Robert Bryce 1:12:27
Doesn't i don't i don't care establishment non establishment. I mean, I
Judith Curry 1:12:33
admire the auditing work that people like Steve McIntyre, and Nick Willis are doing, I admire that I admire scientists who are digging into uncertainty and scenarios and using climate models in creative ways. I admire scientists who just stay out of the public debate in the sense that they don't advocate for policies. They may try to inform the public, but they're not trying to, you know, jump on the alarm bandwagon. They leave that to politicians. So and I admire, also what I would probably define as a social scientist and philosophy of science, who really taken on the climate change issue in terms of trying to understand the underlying nice social dynamics of what's going on here within the science, and also within the scientific debate. Sure, there's a lot I won't single out individual names, but I appreciate the work of a lot of people. And the issue is when somebody's an advocate and an activist and who's attacking other scientists, you know, I almost even don't don't even want to read their papers. Because I can almost predict what they're going to say. I mean, that there's a lack of they're predictable and a lack of objectivity.
Robert Bryce 1:14:14
Gotcha. So I know you're working on a book and you're busy with a whole lot of things but what are you reading these days? What do you have books that are on your nightstand? What are you reading fiction, nonfiction? What are you what books are you read recently that you like or recommend?
Judith Curry 1:14:29
Oh, my gosh. Well, I'm at this moment. I'm reading apocalypse. Never by Michael Shellenberger
Robert Bryce 1:14:36
sure he's been he's been on the podcast. Yeah.
Judith Curry 1:14:40
I like that. And I've read Bjorn Lomborg, false alarm, those are the two climate related ones. Okay, but mostly they're in
Robert Bryce 1:14:48
their in their like minded in terms of how they frame some of these same issues that you're working on.
Judith Curry 1:14:54
Yeah, and for other reading, I just feel like I need more estate It is, like more.
Robert Bryce 1:15:02
Such as what?
Judith Curry 1:15:05
Michael Connelly detective fiction, I'm sure Yeah, yeah. No, no, just, that's like apologize. It is, like I'm saying in the pandemic, I can't face reading anything serious. Fair enough. In my spare time, I just want something
Robert Bryce 1:15:30
to do. Last thing. So what's the hardest part of your job?
Judith Curry 1:15:33
The hardest part of my job within climate, forecasts applications network are broadly defined everything when I'm doing the hardest is is, is really, I don't know that it's hard. But it's my main job is challenging my own X, objectivity, and trying to unearth my own biases. And you know, this is a lot of what I throw something out there on the blog.
Robert Bryce 1:16:00
Just so I know what the reaction is,
Judith Curry 1:16:03
what the reaction is. And I'm really hoping for people who criticize it, or I'm biased or whatever, people have new inputs. So again, it's it's what I do, I'm about objectivity. I'm about scientists, the integrity of the scientific process, and uncertainties a big part of that. And then but I also try to translate in a sensible way, what we know, into actionable information for decision makers. Okay. And uncertainty is a big part of it. The The worst thing is making an overconfident prediction of something that doesn't happen. And closely related is missing something bad actually does happen.
Robert Bryce 1:16:47
So when I'm hearing you say, the hardest part of your job is dealing with the complexity that you're embracing,
Judith Curry 1:16:53
and conveying the uncertainty in terms of not just statistical uncertainty, but you know, the unknown unknown, you know, the whole works, sure. To really convey that in a way that helps the decision makers figure out how they should approach their problem.
Robert Bryce 1:17:12
Sure. So last question. I'm talking with Judith curry, the president of climate forecast applications network, Judith curry.com. At curry Jay, on Twitter,
Judith Curry 1:17:22
what gives you hope, misbehaved help human nature. You know that there's pros and cons and human nature. But in the end, you know, we sorted out and things that don't make sense, won't survive unless there's strong government enforcement, and then the government's are elected by the people. So at the end of the day, I think that the stuff that doesn't make sense, will get weeded out. But we're in for a rocky ride in the near term. But you know, all of these policies just aren't getting that much public support. People say, they support it, and they're worried, but then they're, you know, well, I don't want to pay an extra 10 cents for gasoline and not in my backyard. You know, so the office of much of this apart from just new technologies that come in and save the day. You know, I just don't see how it happens. I'm not
Robert Bryce 1:18:27
interesting. Yeah, there's underscore that that disconnect between people saying, Oh, yes, you know, we take action on climate change. But the I don't know those numbers right off the top of my head, but surveys have shown that people aren't willing to spend even, you know, five or even $10 more a month, if it means simply coming out of their pocket in order to support these kinds of policies. Right. So, okay, well, good. Well, that's a great place to stop. We I've taken plenty of your time today. Anything else that you'd like to add, Judy?
Judith Curry 1:18:52
I think we're good. Okay. Great.
Robert Bryce 1:18:55
Thank you to my guest, Judith curry, the president of the climate forecast applications network. She's on the interweb at Judith curry.com. Her blog is climate at cetera. She's on Twitter at Curry at Curry, ja, Judith, many thanks for being on the power hungry podcast. Thanks to all of you for listening. Tune in next time for another edition of the power hungry podcast and if you did go to rate this podcast.com/power hungry and give us 46 Stars 47 I think they can get 50 or 55 I don't know it's a lot. Anyway. Thanks again. Tune in next time