‘CRAZINESS’ in climate field leads dissenter Dr. Judith Curry to resign: ‘I have resigned my tenured faculty position at Georgia Tech’


By: - Climate DepotJanuary 3, 2017 10:48 AM with 50 comments

Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry branded a ‘heretic’ for challenging ‘global warming’ – ‘I was tossed out of the tribe’

Via: https://judithcurry.com/2017/01/03/jc-in-transition/

by Judith Curry

Effective January 1, I have resigned my tenured faculty position at Georgia Tech.

Before reflecting on a range of things, let me start by answering a question that may have popped into your head: I have no plans to join the Trump administration (ha ha).

Technically, my resignation is a retirement event, since I am on the Georgia State Teachers Retirement System, and I need to retire from Georgia Tech to get my pension (although I am a few years shy of 65). I have requested Emeritus status.

So, I have retired from Georgia Tech, and I have no intention of seeking another academic or administrative position in a university or government agency. However, I most certainly am not retiring from professional life.

Why did I resign my tenured faculty position?

I’m ‘cashing out’ with 186 published journal articles and two books. The superficial reason is that I want to do other things, and no longer need my university salary. This opens up an opportunity for Georgia Tech to make a new hire (see advert).

The deeper reasons have to do with my growing disenchantment with universities, the academic field of climate science and scientists.

A deciding factor was that I no longer know what to say to students and postdocs regarding how to navigate the CRAZINESS in the field of climate science. Research and other professional activities are professionally rewarded only if they are channeled in certain directions approved by a politicized academic establishment — funding, ease of getting your papers published, getting hired in prestigious positions, appointments to prestigious committees and boards, professional recognition, etc.

How young scientists are to navigate all this is beyond me, and it often becomes a battle of scientific integrity versus career suicide (I have worked through these issues with a number of skeptical young scientists).

When I first started down this new path in 2010, I published papers that could be categorized as applied philosophy of science (e.g. uncertainty monster, etc). This seemed to be a path towards maintaining academic ‘legitimacy’ in light of my new interests, but frankly I got bored with playing the game. Why go to the extra effort to publish papers, wrestling with reviewers who (usually) know less than you do about your topic (not to mention their biases), having to pay to get an article published some months in the future, so that maybe 100 people will read it? Not to mention the broader issues related to coping with the university bureaucracy, government funding, etc.

Once you detach from the academic mindset, publishing on the internet makes much more sense, and the peer review you can get on a technical blog is much more extensive. But peer review is not really the point; provoking people to think in new ways about something is really the point. In other words, science as process, rather than a collection of decreed ‘truths.’

At this point, the private sector seems like a more ‘honest’ place for a scientist working in a politicized field than universities or government labs — at least when you are your own boss.

Full comments by Dr. Curry here: https://judithcurry.com/2017/01/03/jc-in-transition/

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Related Links: 

Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry branded a ‘heretic’ for challenging ‘global warming’ – ‘I was tossed out of the tribe’

Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry rips UN IPCC’s ‘expert judgement’ that humans are ‘extremely likely’ responsible for more than half of warming since 1951

Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry is ‘biggest threat’ to consensus: ‘A woman in the eye of the political storm over climate change’

Chatting With ‘A Climate Heretic’: Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry reverses belief in AGW – Climategate ‘triggered a massive re-examination of my support of the IPCC, and made me look at the science much more skeptically’

Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry on ‘Climate Hustle’: ‘Entertaining’ – ‘Morano’s interview with me was really fun’ – Dr. Judith Curry: ‘I first heard of Marc Morano circa 2006, from Joe Romm.  Romm’s take on Morano was basically that of the climate ‘anti-Christ.’ I slowly built up an understanding of what Morano was doing, and I didn’t regard all of it as negative.’


  • BobSykes

    I taught environmental science and engineering for 37 years before retiring in 2007. During my career, environmental engineering went from being a hard science discipline to the current highly politicized Lysenkoist swamp it is now. It is impossible to distinguish environmental fact from fiction anymore. No government agency can be relied on to produce evidence-based reports or even maintain publically accessible, reasonably accurate data banks. Even once professional societies like the American Society of Civil Engineers (founded 1852, I’m a Life Member) publish little more than politically correct nonsense and enthuse about obvious frauds like solar and wind power. I pity my former colleagues who still have years to go to qualify for retirement. If I still had students, I would advise them to find another field.

    • cwon1

      A sad and logical observation, while extreme you can find similar analogies in many other fields as well. If the money flows from a central plan most people are forced to compromise to the politics and culture of that segment.

      As far as climate extremism it was rooted in 50′-70’s Earthday culture and managed to reach the highest levels of government funding and control in recent times. The failure of policy regarding OPEC and our general social economic decline, class warfare politics, poor primary science education all contributed to the current AGW belief systems of the elite and base left wing political establishment. It is also aligned with the globalist hatred of traditional “America” found at the UN and its supporters who all the same people for the most part.

      Will/can Trump reverse billions in green malinvestment and the academic and political supports around climate? I hope but realize that the AGW politization is only one slice of the globalist grand design of a totally managed world order. It’s been going that way our entire lives.

      • Resist_Tyranny

        Yup, nothing new… ask Galileo:)

    • Hal von Luebbert

      Strange – I’m having little or no difficulty in distinguishing science from political fiction. Mightn’t it be that you are too credulous – admitting limited scientific knowledge?

      • cwon1

        As if you get to define “science”??

        Sorry but no.

        • Hal von Luebbert

          I’ll accept any scientist’s definition of the word. What’s yours…

          • cwon1

            How about reproducible tests of hypothesis??

            AGW doesn’t have any.

          • barbersurgeon

            Sure it does. The greenhouse effects of CO2 are so easy to reproduce, that the experiment is regularly done in elementary school classes.

          • cwon1

            As if the greenhouse effect is what the “consensus” dogma is about??

            Bogus nonsense.

          • cwon1

            You don’t even know if CO2 is a positive or negative feedback. Not settled at all.

          • barbersurgeon

            Back to grade 4 for you.

  • NUT BAG

    Yet another voice of reason is tossed out by the establishment. Anyone who has ever worked in this field prior to the politicization will fully understand why she and others give up, get fired or retire. Good luck with your endeavors Judith.

  • Brave .

    • cwon1

      Brave?

      Most of her career was built on the climate scam, she’ll keep her pension. She stood by during the scam growth stage and supported it and her politics matched it.

      Sure I’m glad she rolled but you should inform yourself of the history.

      • Israel Navas Duran

        Wrong!

        • cwon1

          Care to defend that?

          She’s been a statist luke warmer with a “precautionary principle” action plan for over a decade on her site. She still has trouble acknowledging the leftist history from the inception of the climate movement and its roots.

          Lots of trivial nuance in place of her actual record.

  • Briez

    Best wishes for a fantastic 2017, Dr. Curry! Now you can really do your work, to the benefit of us all!

  • david russell

    Good luck. It takes courage to do what you are doing.

  • Sam Pyeatte

    When the scientists 250 years from now look back at what is happening today, they will shake their heads and compare our time to the Salem Witch-Burning trials. For myself, I am just glad I became an Electrical Engineer designing industrial computer hardware and software applications. Climate “science” has become a political cesspool whose only purpose is controlling people and society – very evil, in intent and purpose.

    • cwon1

      An agenda that was clearly mapped out in 60’s and 70’s in academia and which Dr. Curry supported.

      So she’s only off about 45 years in her contrition.

      • Dusty Thompson

        1935. When the Frankfurt School came to Columbia. A brief respite in the 50’s by the Prophet McCarthy then onto the 60’s where it all came together against the USA.

  • Tom Austin

    She will be vilified and symbolic burned at the stake as a heretic for simply telling the truth. I also am happy I retired from teaching (2006) as it was harder and harder to keep ones opinion and research from causing harm to your hard earned retirement.

    • cwon1

      Tom,

      I can understand the pressures of academic conformity in the field. My point is the Dr. Curry wasn’t just a go along climate character at all. She was a zealot enforcer before the nearly 12 year “epiphany” started or finished. Can we measure all the damages committed along the way?

      What’s more Dr. Curry is still a hazard, “precautionary principle” rubbish and “finding the middle” are about the second worst ideas after the entire Green platform of social control through environmental science management.

      Her story pales in comparison to many who were totally ostracized over the past 40 years who stood for science being just one point to make.

      • shpongl3

        Sorry for the necro response.

        People can be wrong, sometimes, and under light of new evidence change their views. Scold her all you like for her past but I’m glad she has been a dissenting voice for a while and this move is great. As for timing- scientists have to eat, too.

  • cwon1

    While it’s all good it was as tedious epiphany as you could ever imagine. For years Curry refused to confirm the wholly political nature of climate science directly or the impact of the green left of whom she was a member.

    As with Lomborg and others she will always carry the * for her past collaboration with the Greenshirts and we should be especially mindful of the imagined “centrist” posturing of the forward climate debate. The entire corrupt academic infrastructure should be purged and all frameworks forced carbon mitigation through government regulation eliminated. It was a fraud as vast as the oceans and Dr. Curry did her part to support it.

    Now she stands to make a fortune as a rationalist convert. Contrast this to the price paid by true science hero’s like Dr. Lindzen who went the distance through the heights of the blood lust green frenzy.

    Her rollover to a more sane position is of course welcome but for the informed how hard was this to figure out say 20-30 years go? She knew it was scam when she was profiting by it all those years ago, it served her interests. So she has permanent blood on her hands and her confessions are minimal as well as opportunistic at best.

  • cwon1

    What I dislike most about her talking points is the inference that these realizations are in the current time range. She didn’t realize AGW advocacy was a political agenda 15,20,40 years ago? Only a peer Greenshirt could suffer from such a disfunction.

    I realize skeptics want to make hay of her “turning” but this is like a former communist “turning” after a 40 year career a year before the total collapse of the system in 1989.

    So she’s far from “brave”, she’ll keep her pension, collect money and fame. Be exempt from total refutation as the AGW hacks who hang on to the end should.

    The public at large are always limited in knowledge and details. The Greenshirts will vilify, predictively, so Dr. Curry will get the cover she needs from skeptical supporters.

    • Kermit Reliance

      Agree completely. She has shown nothing but allegiance to the green left until very recently, and does not appear to be personally or professionally hurt by her pronouncement. It is reminiscent of all those who prospered under Stalinism, only to renounce him immediately after his death.

  • RGW Sr.

    Government strings and grant money are most powerful.

  • ImStillaYankee

    Wow! Congratulations Dr. Curry for having the integrity to do what you feel is right instead of just appeasing the oppressors just to get a paycheck. I’m sure you’ll find private enterprise much less aggravating & healthier for your soul.

  • Dusty Thompson

    This is something new. A “climate scientist” I actually trust…

    and around Earth Day 1970:

    “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — Harvard biologist George Wald
    “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner

    “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” — New York Times editorial

    “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich

    “Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich

    “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day

    “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter

    “In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” — Life magazine

    “At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

    “Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich

    “By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

    “[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.” — Newsweek magazine

    “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt

    • Hal von Luebbert

      What of this do you believe proves false the theory of man-made climate change?

      • cwon1

        No empirical evidence doesn’t stand well for the hypothesis as a starting point.

        • Hal von Luebbert

          “No empirical evidence”…? What in hideous Hell do you consider “empirical evidence?” Man, that’s laughable.

          • cwon1

            Hmmm…

            Models that match real events and predictions??

            No, total fail.

            Accurate temp stats?

            No, manipulated for the agenda.

            Reproducible test of the hypothesis?

            No, it remains a talking point without classical science methods.

            Corrupt politicized agenda science based on greed to control carbon industry by government (Marxism)??

            That one is a yes.

  • coolarrow

    So, wait, does this mean the sky isn’t falling after all?

  • Hal von Luebbert

    I’m curious, as always: How many people in the comment section that follows have the guts to answer my questions on the matter? How many have any real knowledge of climate science of any of the related science. Reader, let’s count how many responders there are, then compare it with the number who know anything at all about the science in question. Fair warning, “denier” fans, all of the questions I have demand mathematics, chemistry, and other climate-modelling science. “I had a fever before and it didn’t kill me, so anyone who says I should go to the doctor now because I have a fever is just an alarmist” won’t do in a scientific discussion. Neither will “it’s the sun.”

    • StephenWilde

      I’ll play, having been a member of the Royal Meteorological Society since 1968 (albeit not as a professional). What are your questions on trhe matter ?

      This is what is really going on :

      http://joannenova.com.au/2015/01/is-the-sun-driving-ozone-and-changing-the-climate/

      • Hal von Luebbert

        Sorry, none of the data like this comes near explaining warming trends to date. I’ll make the computations based on latest data and make further reply (unlike most people today, I never make this kind of reply without checking my facts). Can you provide the names of any other climate scientist who subscribes to this virtually unsupportable theory? What does being a member of the Royal Meteorological society have to do with the matter (I’m a member of the Cousteau Society since 1966). Meteorology (weather) is not climate. Thanks for your comment.

        • Duke Silver

          Well, you are correct, von Luebbert – only data manipulation can explain the warming trends shown (versus actual). Unfortunately, CO2 doesn’t explain anything, and water vapor’s component has been grossly overplayed because of it’s tendencies to coalesce as clouds (thereby lowering temps) and as rain (also thereby lowering temps) are somewhere between underestimated and non-existent in the models.

          Left, of course, is the real culprit – data manipulation. Quite well explains why the only truly acceptable temp data (USCRN and satellite) are ceremoniously absent from the equation, supplanted by the much more alterable USHCN, bilge-water, homogenized, etc. The real data doesn’t support the narrative.

          So, you see, von Luebbert – it is man-made after all.

    • Martin Johnson

      Do you have opinions about racism or economic policy, and if so are you a career social scientist and economist?

      I freely admit to only a lay person’s knowledge of the underpinnings of climate science. But I do have experience in modeling complex systems (transportation modeling) and from that I know that models are good for telling you whatever you want to build and calibrate them to say, but they are mostly exercises in confirmation bias, and are terrible for making 100-year predictions, especially of non-linear systems where much of the basics are not understood. And they are no basis at all for taking billions of dollars from A to give to B.

      We would all be well served by getting the politics out of this and let the scientists practice sound science without exorbitant rewards and punishments. Then it wouldn’t be necessary for people like me to have opinions on what should still be open questions.

      • Hal von Luebbert

        Please break down in financial terms who stands to gain the most – the oil companies and corporate polluters or the scientists who are warming of climate change. How much will taxes or other costs rise, and why. Who is to pay for cost of cleaning up what has already been done? How do we prevent the polluters from passing along to the consumer whatever they have to pay for clean-up. The models have been and are VERY accurate in fact – or do you have scientific data showing otherwise? Why do you believe the matter is political, and what does that have to do with the fact of man-made climate change (I happen to be as apolitical as a human being can be, but I am also a scientist interested the matter). I have been asking people here online and elsewhere to write their representatives in government asking for a full, televised debate among the scientists pro and con. Do you support that? Thank you for your comment. I hope to hear more.

        • cwon1

          Hal you know even less about economics then climate fraud. Do you really thing Greenshirt restrictions net hurt “big oil” or carbon interests? Sure it helped kill low end coal but Exxon on others benefit in pricing based on artificial supply restrictions. So does Russia and Saudi Arabia.

          Hence, you have no basic understanding of the economics of Greenshirt results.

          You’re clueless Hal.

  • Martin Johnson

    A very moving statement from Dr. Curry, but I wonder why the scare quotes around “honest” in the last paragraph. “Honest” seems like exactly the right word for her context and meaning,a nd there is no need to tag it as ironic or euphemistic.

    btb, a big part of the answer is to get the government out of funding research not directly and immediately needed for national defense. If the problem is “politicized science,” surely the answer must include getting the politicians out of it.

  • Resist_Tyranny

    Waking up to the scam one fool at a time… but why did it take 37 years of that BS when it was crystal clear it was politics all along? Science will have to save itself from politics, because it has no credibility left. You can’t even believe anything NASA says anymore.

  • Resist_Tyranny

    Actually, it’s time to scrap our university system all together. It has out lived it’s usefulness… except in regards to corruption and greed.

  • RoadWarrior

    The history of science is full of the “consensus” proven wrong. Great scientific breakthroughs are usually achieved by individuals with visions beyond those of his or her fellow scientists. Those individuals are generally vilified and called names such as deniers. It is much easier to follow than to lead. The followers feel empowered by their numbers.

    • Richard Frascone

      You must be home-schooled, aren’t you????

  • cwon1

    There are those who will never recant, she deserves credit even if I find her narrative gratuitous.