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Is Much of Current Climate Research Useless?

Jack Hays

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This is a challenging essay but I think it will reward those who persevere. As the author says, it is about questions, not answers.


Is much of current climate research useless?

Posted on July 6, 2016 | 235 comments
by Kip Hansen
John P. A. Ioannidis dropped another cluster bomb on the medical research world two weeks ago with his latest paper which concludes:
“Overall, not only are most research findings false, but, furthermore, most of the true findings are not useful.”
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Ioannidis [pronounced yo-NEE-dees) ] is not some grumpy gadfly or crusty curmudgeon casting stones at his fellow medical researchers. He speaks from a high bully pulpit at Stanford University School of Medicine where he is a Professor of Medicine and of Health Research and Policy, a Professor of Statistics (Stanford University School of Humanities and Sciences) as well as the Director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center. [full bio here] . . . .
Ioannidis says “’Useful clinical research’ means that it can lead to a favorable change in decision making (when changes in benefits, harms, cost, and any other impact are considered).” In this essay, I will attempt to apply, to translate, Ioannidis’ criteria for “useful clinical research” – research that does not waste research dollars and research effort – to the scientific field known as Climate Science.
Let’s acknowledge that there seems to be a more clearly defined line in medicine between clinical research and general research, Ioannidis’ blue-sky research that looks for new knowledge and better understanding of the complexities of the human body. Nevertheless, there is something for us to learn from Ioannidis’ comments about useful research. Moreover, this is not intended to be an essay ofanswers but rather an essay of questions.
For the purposes of this essay, we will set the definition of “useful climate research” as:
“Climate research that can lead to a favorable change in decision making regarding climate when changes in benefits, harms, cost, and other impacts are considered.”. . . .

 

Deuce

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Well, what do you think?
 

Deuce

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I think the overemphasis on climate model taxonomy is indeed useless and even counterproductive.

What would you suggest diverting some of those resources to?
 

longview

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What would you suggest diverting some of those resources to?
Our planet has some actual problems, that limit progress, Fresh water, and energy.
Researching solutions to those two, will solve any issues with CO2 as a side effect.
 

Jack Hays

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What would you suggest diverting some of those resources to?

The essay includes a number of suggestions, among them:

Generally — In climate science, this question revolves around the available data being long enough (time), broad and dense enough (spatially) and accurate/precise enough to inform us in a useful manner — it may be necessary to use available data, even if insufficient, to incrementally improve our understanding, as long as uncertainties and imprecision are fully acknowledged. For example, topics like Ocean Heat Content, Ocean pH, General Cloudiness, Global Rainfall and many other important data sets do not have sufficient data over sufficient time periods for reliable analysis. These fields, and many others, may need blue-sky research efforts focusing on long-term data collection.
 

Threegoofs

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Well, what do you think?

I think cutting and pasting denier blogs with no original content is useless.

I wonder why the mods dont agree.

Forum rule # 17: Starting a Thread - When starting a thread it is best to express your own thoughts in your own words. Threads w/o original content may be summarily closed.
 

Hawkeye10

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Science was destroyed in part by the same thing Journalism was, these clowns decided that advocacy for their pet opinions was part of their job description. That and they decided that dishonesty is permissible because the ends justify the means according to them (AKA Morality problems).

Screwem, they can be replaced if they are not willing to do the job.
 
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Deuce

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The essay includes a number of suggestions, among them:

I've asked your for your opinion on this message forum probably a hundred times and every goddamn time you cut and paste something somebody else wrote.
 

Jack Hays

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I've asked your for your opinion on this message forum probably a hundred times and every goddamn time you cut and paste something somebody else wrote.

That's because those writings reflect my views. I see no reason to duplicate writing already completed and available.
 

Deuce

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That's because those writings reflect my views. I see no reason to duplicate writing already completed and available.

When you do it constantly, the impression is that those writings determine your views rather than reflect them. When you only rarely express original thought, people will conclude you don't have many.
 

Jack Hays

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When you do it constantly, the impression is that those writings determine your views rather than reflect them. When you only rarely express original thought, people will conclude you don't have many.

I'm indifferent to that.
 

Jack Hays

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When you do it constantly, the impression is that those writings determine your views rather than reflect them. When you only rarely express original thought, people will conclude you don't have many.

It's Saturday now and I'm in a good mood, so maybe you'll like this answer better. I was persuaded by Thomas Kuhn long ago, as a graduate student in history. Later, as I became more acquainted with the climate debate it seemed to me strikingly consistent with The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. This thread is a case in point. The "useless" research focused on climate model taxonomy seems to me to recall the Ptolemaic scholars' ever-more-elaborate conjectures and claims about planetary epicycles and such.

Because I believe a scientific revolution is in fact under way, I prefer to let the contending sides speak for themselves to the maximum extent possible, without an observer's interjections (mine) getting in the way.
 

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It's all a global conspiracy of scientists to get taxpayers cash, I tells ya!
 

Jack Hays

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[h=2]The troubled institution of science[/h][FONT=&quot]Posted on July 15, 2016 | 42 comments[/FONT]
by Judith Curry
“Is the point of research to make other professional academics happy, or is it to learn more about the world?” —Noah Grand, sociology professor, UCLA
“Science, I had come to learn, is as political, competitive, and fierce a career as you can find, full of the temptation to find easy paths.” — Paul Kalanithi, neurosurgeon and writer (1977–2015)
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