Climatologist Breaks the Silence on Global Warming Groupthink

by | Dec 14, 2015 | Videos | 6 comments

Dr. Judith Curry is Professor and former Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Following is her verbal remarks as delivered to last week’s US Senate Commerce Committee Hearing on “Data or Dogma? Promoting Open Inquiry in the Debate Over the Magnitude of the Human Impact on Earth’s Climate.”

Transcript via

I thank the Chairman and the Committee for the opportunity to offer testimony today.

Prior to 2009, I felt that supporting the IPCC consensus on climate change was the responsible thing to do. I bought into the argument: “Don’t trust what one scientist says, trust what an international team of a thousand scientists has said, after years of careful deliberation.” That all changed for me in November 2009, following the leaked Climategate emails, that illustrated the sausage making and even bullying that went into building the consensus.

I starting speaking out, saying that scientists needed to do better at making the data and supporting information publicly available, being more transparent about how they reached conclusions, doing a better job of assessing uncertainties, and actively engaging with scientists having minority perspectives. The response of my colleagues to this is summed up by the title of a 2010 article in the Scientific American: Climate Heretic Judith Curry Turns on Her Colleagues.

I came to the growing realization that I had fallen into the trap of groupthink. I had accepted the consensus based on 2nd order evidence: the assertion that a consensus existed. I began making an independent assessment of topics in climate science that had the most relevance to policy.

What have I concluded from this assessment?

Human caused climate change is a theory in which the basic mechanism is well understood, but whose magnitude is highly uncertain. No one questions that surface temperatures have increased overall since 1880, or that humans are adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, or that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have a warming effect on the planet. However there is considerable uncertainty and disagreement about the most consequential issues: whether the warming has been dominated by human causes versus natural variability, how much the planet will warm in the 21st century, and whether warming is ‘dangerous’.

The central issue in the scientific debate on climate change is the extent to which the recent (and future) warming is caused by humans versus natural climate variability. Research effort and funding has focused on understanding human causes of climate change. However we have been misled in our quest to understand climate change, by not paying sufficient attention to natural causes of climate change, in particular from the sun and from the long-term oscillations in ocean circulations.

Why do scientists disagree about climate change? The historical data is sparse and inadequate. There is disagreement about the value of different classes of evidence, notably the value of global climate models. There is disagreement about the appropriate logical framework for linking and assessing the evidence. And scientists disagree over assessments of areas of ambiguity and ignorance.

How then, and why, have climate scientists come to a consensus about a very complex scientific problem that the scientists themselves acknowledge has substantial and fundamental uncertainties?

Climate scientists have become entangled in an acrimonious political debate that has polarized the scientific community. As a result of my analyses that challenge IPCC conclusions, I have been called a denier by other climate scientists, and most recently by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. My motives have been questioned by Representative Grijalva, in a recent letter sent to the President of Georgia Tech.

There is enormous pressure for climate scientists to conform to the so-called consensus. This pressure comes not only from politicians, but from federal funding agencies, universities and professional societies, and scientists themselves who are green activists. Reinforcing this consensus are strong monetary, reputational, and authority interests.

In this politicized environment, advocating for CO2 emissions reductions is becoming the default, expected position for climate scientists. This advocacy extends to the professional societies that publish journals and organize conferences. Policy advocacy, combined with understating the uncertainties, risks destroying science’s reputation for honesty and objectivity – without which scientists become regarded as merely another lobbyist group.

I would like to thank the committee for raising the issue of data versus dogma in support of improving the integrity of climate science.

This concludes my testimony.


  1. This woman is a BRAVE heroine for the TRUTH. Thank you Ma’am!

  2. Thanks James for continuing to provide evidence that challenges the credibility of this ongoing boondoggle ! This does have a historical precedent from over four hundred years ago when various civilizations were pressured into adopting the belief that the Earth was flat. Various ship’s captains and astronomers worked to correct this false belief based on their real world experiences, sometimes at great risk to their and their families lives !

  3. The religious like fervor surrounding “alarmist” climate science is still showing all the signs of fanaticism when challenged today.I was recently banned from commenting and comments deleted, essentially censored,from the “Rabble” web site for posting just such comments as Ms. Curry makes here. This supposedly “progressive” site, a support mechanism and discussion limitation device for Canada’s NDP political party, which buys into the anthropogenic-CO2 catastrophic global warming pseudo science postulations, is unwittingly supporting the international financial and corporate globalist agenda with their unquestioning position in service ultimately to neo liberal economic policy and programs. This stance exemplifies how far the politics of Canada have been herded into a narrow construct. The NDP was the party which brought many of the socialist programs Canadians enjoy today to popular notice and eventual adoption. What a sad state of affairs exists in Canada today, A triopoly run by the powers as James says, that shouldn’t be..

  4. bla, bla, bla “…disagreement about the value of different classes of evidence…” bla, bla, bla…

    She only casts a certain (small) doubt on the amount of human influence in the supposed warming – and, doesn’t even denounce the fact that there is no warming, at all (but, that has actually been a cooling in the last years – has denounced in the e-mails that she admits to have read).

    And, her “critiques” have even been promoted by one of the publications involved in all the lying, with the latter writing articles calling attention to her declarations. (While people who really denounce this falsehood, are not only not mentioned/promoted by this same lying media, but even have to go into hiding:

    To me, this is clearly a case of “controlled opposition”. (So that people turn their attention to this type of “critics”, instead of listening to the people who make the real critiques.)

    “The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.”
    — Vladimir Ilich Lenin

    And, if anyone’s interested, I leave here the links to three videos that I consider much better.

    1) A very good small lecture, denouncing all this falsehood:

    2) And, if you want shorter videos – like the one posted – two very interesting confrontations with people spreading this propaganda: ,

  5. And, speaking about people who make real critiques, just the other day I was listening to a lecture by a Brazilian university Professor, involved in a group that dismantles the whole “global warming” charade, where he denounced that, not only have the copy rights to the The Great Global Warming Swindle documentary been bought by the establishment, but that a person involved in its production or distribution(?) was also “suicided”.

    (Surely, not the case with this “Dr. Judith Curry” – who, by know, should be calmly and comfortably enjoying a nice drink, in some private room, of some elitist institution.)

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