Carry On Up The Wazoo

You can stop check­ing your shoes, readers. Wonder no more how that subtly stercoraceous fragrance that permeates the climate literature got there. (Details infra.)

Like app­les? You may have noticed these apples in your Twitter feed-bag this morning:

Unless you’re a non-scientist (such as a science reporter, climate-blog tragic, or climatologist for instance), you can’t possibly have heard of Gavin Schmidt.

In the photograph above you can just make out, behind the smirking hobo, the diner from Seinfeld. This is very relevant because in that particular Manhattan building, somewhere between the first floor and the second story, are the offices in which NASA—the Wash., DC-based science agency—stores its most valued and mission-critical employees. Employees like Gavin Schmidt, or “Gavin” to friends.

But who exactly is Gavin? (Besides father, family man, environmentalist, astronaut and chief censor of his own blog, RealClimate—one of the oldest and least-read climate blogs for scientists, by scientists, about scientists they don’t consider to be proper scientists?)

It’s easier to explain who Gavin’s not: he’s not just any scientist. That’s who he isn’t.

Gavin has, in fact, been described as one of the Leading 2,500 Scientists On Earth—or IPCC for short—by none other than Rajendra Pachauri, a railway climatologist thought to have chaired the Panel for thirteen years or more. In fact, if Dr Pachauri hadn’t suddenly retired from the climate world in 2015 to spend less time with his girlfriend, he’d probably still be in charge of the IPCC and its estimated 150 to 160 scientists.

Scientists like Gavin Schmidt, who isn’t really like any other scientist.

In an age when most climatologists wouldn’t know their distal alimentary meati from their olecrana, Schmidt has won respect on both sides of the non-existent debate by not being a complete imbecile.

But even the incompleteness of his imbecility has limits—as the embarrassing events of ‘DebateGate’ made clear.

The year was 2013. In an eyeblink, climatology turned to tragicomedy when the good Professor schmadt himself on national television. John Stossel, the popular talk-show host, had barely finished inviting him to debate a climate skeptic when “the prospect of being in the same studio with a notorious [scientist] and well-known [scientist]” caused Schmidt to evacuate in fear.

Embedded in the Tweet embedded in the Tweet embedded above is a link to a fascinating Business Insider profile on Schmidt.

In a crescendo of salience, the article hits peak relevance towards the end, when discussion turns to the conspiracy theory widespread fears that incoming President Trump may be scheming “to censor […] bad climate science.” If true, the implications for 97% of the climate-hyphenated workforce are as chilling as they are obvious.

If there was a campaign to censor […] bad climate science under Trump, Schmidt said that outside researchers would notice.

(As the Lord saith: emphasis is mine.)

Not only does climate science [henceforth “the science”] value the contributions of, and enjoy excellent relations with, “outside researchers,” it also has a secret weapon against those who would plot its demise in the shadows of the Oval Office: a technology it calls peer review. [In the linked video, an actor explains how important it is to avoid getting information from actors. It’s not only boring but informative.]

To the wider world, scientific peer review has long been a subject of mystery, rumor and confabulation.

Transparency, after all, is the enemy of science. In an effort to minimize public knowledge, the science community has always declined to say when and where peer review takes place (let alone how). Indeed, the quality of some recent studies has led observers to question whether it occurs at all.

Until this morning, when Dr Schmidt let the cat out of the bag.

How do I put this euphemistically?

Let’s just say: it seems the scientists have been performing their most sacred of rituals intra posteriorem this whole time. I’m talking Where The Sun Don’t Influence Temperatures; right under our noses, in the last place anyone would want to look;  up the Khyber Pass without a paddle. Or in US English,

“We peer-review all our papers up the wazoo,” he said.

Which adds a whole new meaning to ‘hidden in plain sight.’

Before it was a colloquial term for “[in someone’s] rectum,” Wazu or Wazoo was of course the Nobiin name for Egypt’s shortest river, a treacherous torrent up which more than one British expedition paddled to its downfall. And it still is, ever since the nationalistic Nasser government outlawed the use of the river’s English name—Schmidt Creek—1n 1956.

When the War On Drugs succeeded in driving narcotics underground, it also drove heroin-filled condoms up the bottoms of drug mules. But the donkey is a versatile and capacious beast of onus. And so, from the moment we began our War On Science, it was inevitable that the minds of the Schmidts of the world would turn to asses.

Scientists can never be too careful these days, what with the forces of anti-science slavering to discover and rectify their every carelessness. If they want to keep peer review safe from the contamination of scrutiny, they have to secrete it somewhere; and anal secretion is simply the logical choice.

Looking back in hindsight, we should have seen this coming up at us in the rear-view. But foreign objects, as they say, May Be Closer Than They Appear. This is simply Fundaments of Cognitive Science (the field we call Psychological Proctology down under) 101. No warning sticker can change basic human nature.

The whole Insider piece is worth reading. You’ll laugh. You’ll learn. You’ll weep as Dr Schmidt struggles to put a brave face on the changing of the guard at NASA:

“The NASA appointee from what I can tell is going to be somebody who’s going to be very focused on Mars or human spaceflight, and I don’t think that’s terrible,” he said.

As a scientist Gavin isn’t allowed to be honest, but we are: the appointment isn’t terrible, it’s execrable.

What is the world coming to when NASA—America’s biggest climate assessment agency—is put in the hands of some would-be Buzz Armstrong whose mind continually drifts off into (literally) space?

Oscar Wilde once quipped that people can’t predict for shit, “especially in advance.” In these increasingly unforeseeable times his words are looking more and more prescient.

But one thing we can say to a moral certainty is that Trump Asses Up Everything.

Every night, before I get up to blog, I pray that those “patriots” who assassinated President Obama in his first term—as we all knew they were going to, but nobody listened—have kept their sniper-rifle licenses up-to-date. Please come out of hiding; all is forgiven!

Some Probing Questions for Dr Schmidt

Intrigued by the tidbit Schmidt let slip, I just had to pump him for more.

The following Tweets, sent to @ClimateOfGavin throughout the day, have been translated into English for your comprehension pleasure. My apologies if a bit of the wit spilt ‘twixt the cup and the lip, brevity being the soul of levity and so on and so forth.

(I also merged the odd pair of half-twits into a single twitticism for increased flow.)

@ClimateOfGavin, visibility up the human wazoo is often limited at best. Could a change of venue, maybe, help Scientists™ get closer to the ultimate goal of the peer-review process (spotting your own blunders before @ClimateAudit does)?

@ClimateOfGavin, if a paper that ‘smells like Lindzen‘ is ‘peer-reviewed up the wazoo,’ does it come out smelling like Schmidt?

@ClimateOfGavin, up whose wazoo, exactly, was the Aussie Hockey Stick* when it underwent a gruelling half-hour of peer review back in 2012?

Come on, @ClimateOfGavin, don’t be coy.

OK @ClimateOfGavin, it’s 11 hours and not a sound from your end. To misquote The Simpsons, we’ve reached the limits of what banal probing can teach us.

@ClimateOfGavin, don’t make me request a Cavity Audit. The FOI form is right in front of me. I’m looking at the box marked ‘Up the wazoo.’

Don’t think I won’t tick it, @ClimateOfGavin.

@ClimateOfGavin, I’ll do it. I swear. Think your sphinx-like sphincter is gonna keep your secrets forever?

@ClimateOfGavin We want to help make the hurting stop, but you have to let us in. You have to let somebody in.

Please, @ClimateOfGavin, friend, don’t make us get HR involved. Nobody wants to see the climate debate become unpleasant or adversarial.


*I was referring here to the so-called Hockey Stick in the Arse End of the World paper by Australian paleoclimatologist Joelle Girgis, one of a tiny handful of disproportionately-vocal “scientists” who deny the reality of climate change before 1900.

The study is said to have been 3 years in the making and 3 weeks in the breaking. For those interested in the technical details, what emerged was that the Stick had only been introduced as far as the semicolon, resulting in a half-assed peer review in which screeners failed to screen for the screening fallacy.

Bottom line: the paper came out prematurely, and Dr Gergis is still traumatized by the mathematical gang-reaming that ensued on skeptical sites.

Concerned faculty members rushed the scientist to Casualty, where a team of spin doctors worked through the night to retract the article from Gergis.

But so badly had she been torn a new one by the skeptosphere, an artificial perineum had to be created using a donor face. The re-buttal was a complete success, even scoring a writeup in the Australasian Journal of Reconstructive Surgery—Gergis’ main contribution to science to date.

Her sponsor on the paper, Prof. David Karoly, was not so lucky. Karoly was caught in the cross-reaming, and injuries to his dignity required months of intensive rehab. The exercises helped, but he’ll probably never walk and lie at the same time again.

Dr Karoly—who lost more than 40% of his face in the incident—calls that whole period his annus execrabilis.


UPDATE: Some mothers may have ’em but some other motherless sons evidently don’t like it up ’em, because I’ve just received a rather triggering series of long-distance phone calls.

A man identifying himself only as “his new boss” wanted to tell me that Dr Schmidt “regrets he can’t answer your questions, and recommends you take them and shove them where Kevin Trenberth’s heat is hiding. Good day sir.”

He subsequently rang back to add, “I said good day.”

The caller—who also said he reads CliScep religiously, and to keep up the excellent work—never gave his name. But the voice, with its Queens, N.Y.-raised accent, was somehow familiar; I’m sure I know him from somewhere.

TV maybe?

This is going to bug me all night.


UPDATE 2: Below the crease, TinyCO2 butts in with an unimpeachably ass-backwards analysis. I duplicate it here for posterity. It’s one of those passages I hope you’re not sitting down for.

Schmidt is truly in for an Annus Horribilis of the gluteus maximus type. Some say that NASA has arrived at its conclusions a posteriori and others think that they come out of their assessments, but we see that there is little behind their claims. I don’t want Trump to give Schmidt the bum’s rush. I want him to audit the ass off the entire field. Find a team of experts who are anal about fine detail. Give them the task to sort order from ordure. Scrape away all the muck and we might be left with a fine rump of science that can tell us what we really know about climate. If Trump pooh-poohs climate science and sends Schmidt base over apex, he will be seen as an ignorant arse but who could find fault with him if he sets out to find the diamond in the dung heap?

Ouch. Somewhere, those opposite are thinking: with cleanses like this, who needs enemas?

54 thoughts on “Carry On Up The Wazoo

  1. I’ve heard it said that if you do too much up the wazoo it can generate a loud trump. (Some say this multiple entendre only works in the Queen’s English. I doubt that clenches it.)

    Liked by 5 people

  2. When Gavin joined NASA, it sounds like he embraced the prospect of doing challenging science, doing science that changed things, and was consequently irked by federal inertia. Now he somewhat disingenuously welcomes that federal inertia as the possible saving grace of his (and his warmist colleagues’) own career and that of The Science, which he obviously believes has been all but settled, having been exhaustively subjected to peer review “up the wazoo”. I know he’s wrong on the second point; I hope he is wrong on the first.

    “When I first started working for the federal government I got frustrated,” Schmidt said, “like why are we stuck in this pattern? Why are decisions that are made so difficult to reverse? Why is it so hard to shift anything? And it’s hard because there’s a lot of people and there’s a lot of moving parts and there’s a huge amount of money. But now I’m thinking, ‘Oh, you know what, it’s a good thing that that things can’t be changed on a dime.’”

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Hi Jaime, what is it you don’t like about the prospect that the science may, in fact, be settled? “Changing on a dime” is an interesting figure of speech for a scientist whose field has barely progressed within living memory.

    I’m more familiar with “turning on a dime,” as in, “such a titanic ship can’t just turn on a dime, you know.” But that would be an equally incongruous image when HMS Climate Science, like the Akademik Shokalskiy, is locked stiff in the icy embrace of a vice-like consensus.

    Not to mention that the climate is to all intents and purposes incomputable, and “climate science” is very possibly impossible: the world’s most boring pipe dream, as it were.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. The Shokalskiy is a good analogy actually. It speaks of:

    ‘Haha, you can’t move us now, we’re stuck here because we embarked upon this major misguided enterprise and we’ll remain here until such time as the icy embrace of the vice-like consensus turns in upon itself and crushes us like a tin can. But at least it won’t be you that budges us. So there!’ *pokes tongue out*

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Tee hee, I think this might be your finest work. You’ve scraped the bottom for the best puns or should that be the pest buns? If you travelled as far as Uranus it would be hard to find a better analysis. Schmidt is truly in for an Annus Horribilis of the gluteus maximus type. Some say that NASA has arrived at it’s conclusions a posteriori and others think that they come out of their assessments, but we see that there is little behind their claims. I don’t want Trump to give Schmidt the bum’s rush. I want him to audit the ass off the entire field. Find a team of experts who are anal about fine detail. Give them the task to sort order from ordure. Scrape away all the muck and we might be left with a fine rump of science that can tell us what we really know about climate. If Trump pooh-poohs climate science and sends Schmidt base over apex, he will be seen as an ignorant arse but who could find fault with him if he sets out to find the diamond in the dung heap?

    Liked by 6 people

  6. Gosh, I never realised ‘bum’ presented such a rich seam of bawdy metaphors to be mined by the shamelessly unscrupulous almost without limit! But I should have realised. As Holmes would say: it’s alimentary dear Watson.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. 🙂 Jaime, I sometimes think that the most important difference between warmists and sceptics was our naughty sense of humour.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks Dr Ming for that advert. I tried the same on Twitter

    leading to this brief interaction

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I take it the other participant was our mutual mild-irritant-in-the-ass, Ken Rice?

    His arguments must have been cogency reified. I mean, why would he block me from seeing them if they weren’t butt-kickingly brilliant?

    Yep, the only logical conclusion is that he’s so proud of the quality of his own cognition, he feels compelled to hide it behind a bushel, sit on it and rotate for added encryption.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. As we have seen over the years, the “gold standard” peer review system is not all it’s cracked up to be. In fact, some might even go so far as to call it the enema of good science.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ROTFLMAO.

    Climate scientists decide that the warming is supposed to be and then push the data up to match the models. It should be called suppository science.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Well done, wise-guys and wise-ladies, on the high calibre (or should that be wide bore?) of the wisecracks.

    High colonics all round!

    I trust you all appreciated the ‘Related’ posts hand-picked by WP’s algorithm:

    https://cliscep.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/screen-shot-2016-11-25-at-10-32-43-am.png?w=700

    Now, is it just me, or would the middle one (“…cracks have been appearing in the…”) have made the perfect opening—so to speak—for my own post? Does WordPress’ AI have a better sense of humor than me? Because if so, can the rise of the robots, a ballooning of Cyberdyne Industries’ stock price, and the death-by-deadman-switch of a distressed and dyspneic Dyson be miles away?

    The Turing Test can’t save us now, I’m afraid.

    The Anthropocene didn’t last very long, did it? The only question left us, as a species, is how to spell Schwarzenegocene.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. TinyCO2,

    yep, it’s hard not to get the feeling that, at bottom, the “science” is suppositions all the way down, each one simply pulled ex posteriori.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ottawazoe,
    Assuming that you’re not just taking the piss, the only problem as I see it, once we start going down that path (or meatus), is that academic publishing could become little more than a sort of pissing contest. Do you really want to live in a world like that? It’s almost unthinkable to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ottawazoe,

    I believe it was Archimedes who, upon discovering the theory of relativity of bodily fluids (E = Whatever Floats Your Boat), ran through the streets letting it all hang out (which is English for au naturel) and crying “Urethra!” (which is Ancient Latin for “Buoy o bouy, I’ve cracked it!”).

    Technically, we now know Archimedes Screwed up, because taste is actually absolute, or as scientists would say, de gustibus non disputandum est—which is Greek for personal preferences can’t be debated about; some people agree with me, other people are wrong, and vive la difference!.

    But this doesn’t diminish in any way his invention of nudism, which was probably mankind’s biggest Big Idea since our troglodyte ancestors made the first clothes.

    Carry On Ottawazoe. You were saying?

    Like

  16. Would you buy a second hand car from Gavin Schmidt, something I think which used be asked in relation to Richard Nixon.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. “The missus doesn’t drive Stick. What else you got?”

    “At Schmidtmobile we’re proud to carry the entire range of models—from wrong to useless. Schmidtmobile: where I’m not satisfied until you leave with a piece of Schmidt.”

    Liked by 1 person

  18. “Ah, excellent choice. Sir has a discerning eye for solar-powered automobiles. I drive one of these bad boys myself. Just look at these luxurious leather bucket seats. And here, on the driver’s side, is the secret weapon: the whole photovoltaic array is concentrated in one area, right here in the base of the seat—so whether it’s day or night, rain or shine, you can sit easy, knowing it’s catching the maximum possible rays.”

    Liked by 1 person

  19. “Don’t be fooled by the 1988 manufacturing date! This is in excellent condition; as new. One previous owner—a C. Science, of East Anglia—who racked up a grand total of 100 metres (mainly in reverse). Don’t think of her as a used car, sir. She’s like a virgin.”

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I’d always seen climatology as a sort of three-legged stool; models, observations and flawed analysis, but I hadn’t quite realised how close I was to the real story.

    Climatology should use this as an opportunity. With the holiday season coming up, we have the ultimate stocking filler; 24 great climate papers in suppository form, in convenient gift packaging. How better to educate your friends and family about the eye-watering discoveries of climate science?

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Question: I’m running a climate systems change research excellence centre, and in this highly-competitive intellectual marketplace every cent counts. How can I save real money on three-legged stools?

    Answer: simply turn your existing 3-legged stools upside-down! Now you can accommodate thrice as many climatologists without spending another penny!

    By the way: What’s that saying about great minds? Great minds achieve consensus spontaneously and independently.

    I also see climate science as a stool (though not the kind with legs).

    Liked by 1 person

  22. “With the holiday season coming up, we have the ultimate stocking filler; 24 great climate papers in suppository form”

    I know what my kids are getting this year. They’ll be trilled—they always complain I don’t give them enough weapons. The point, I take it, is to use it as a blackjack upside the head of anyone who refuses to hand over the contents of their own, better Christmas stockings? Give a child a fish versus teach a child to mug other children who have fish, &c.

    Like

  23. It’s a popular concept for warmists that they persuade kids, tenagers and students to have a little chat with their brain dead older relatives about climate change over Christmas. Most of my relatives are all disinterested sceptics but I’d demand the full head to head debate complete with powerpoint presentations, laser pointers and a light buffet. It’s not like I’d demand a trip to Rio or even Copenhagen.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. .wow . . .just linked here from WUWT . . .I am laughing so much for, ” . . .just having stepped in it . .! Oh SCHMIDT . . what did I step in . . .oh yeah,, it was SCHMDIT ! ! ! !

    . .sorry, just couldn’t resist . . . ! 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  25. This thread is full of unmitigated smut, nasty innuendo and dirty little “schoolboy humour” of the most puerile kind.
    Keep it up.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. “Keep it up.”

    The barrel of Anglo-Saxon scatoeuphemism is deep and its fish would feed the shotgun-wielding multitudes, so we’re in no danger of scraping bottom yet.

    So there’s no need to add Viagra puns into the mix too, Alan.

    But thanks for the suggestion. We’ll keep it in our back pockets, next to our little blue pills.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. > This thread is full of unmitigated smut

    And if we’d mitigated it, we could have stopped it at Munich. Er, I mean at 400 ppm.

    And what fun would that be?

    People (of any sex) who don’t like man-made smut should man up and adapt.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Ottawazoe, is climate science just a stream of consciousness? Do practitioners experience a pleasant warm sensation, which later turns to a cold, clammy and damp sensation, in spite of (model) data showing elevated temperatures and drought?

    Liked by 1 person

  29. > is climate science just a stream of consciousness?

    Nah, climate psyence is much closer to theology, surreology or diarrhoeology than it is to the Hard Science of rheology.

    Like

  30. > Ottawazoe, is climate science just a stream of consciousness?

    No. It’s not like a stream of anything.

    Proof:

    –you can never step into the same stream twice [Heraclitus et al.]

    –yet every time you step into climate science it smells exactly like it did the first time, in the late 80s

    Like

  31. ClunkingFist,
    it’s always a pleasure to see new nyms and faces joining in here, under the fold, in the fray, where it’s at, but I do hope (and this question is motivated only by genuine concern) that you’re not using humor as a way of avoiding today’s scheduled grief, are you? Sure, they say laughter is the best medicine—but they also say Self-Medicating Is Bad, Mkay? Only MDs are qualified to self-medicate safely. Not to sneeze at your qualifications, but still, last time I checked, they don’t teach automedicology in an MP degree, do they?

    Like

  32. Ottawazoe:

    haven’t broken the code to make links live

    Try this:

    <a href="the URL">the text you want to link it to </a>

    Is that what you meant or am I answering the wrong question?

    Like

  33. Brad – thanks, the link went live when I posted it, just didn’t show as live when in the compose box. It appears no other coding is required.

    Not a piss-off….just to stay a bit on topic

    Like

  34. Just to say this:
    ¡¡¡ Ja,Ja, Ja , Lo que estoy disfrutando y riéndome con este blog, que no conocía !!!
    Thanks
    Love
    María

    Liked by 1 person

  35. “personal preferences can’t be debated about; some people agree with me, other people are wrong, and vive la difference!.” 🙂 Archimedes (the engineer) carefully demonstrated that the atmosphere expresses no ‘weight’! This atmosphere also expresses no buoyancy upon itself!! Can your Climate Clowns please explain that; with all their knowledge!

    Liked by 1 person

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