Week in review

by Judith Curry

Here are a few things that caught my eye this past week.

On the roots of famine in Somalia

Andy Revkin has a very interesting post entitled “A Climate Scientist’s View of a Famine’s Roots.

He notes that politics and the lack of governance are prime drivers of the Somali famine. But he also asserts that over-reliance on the 2007Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change analysis of impacts in Africa — which projected more rain in East Africa in a warming world, not less — lulled some agencies into discounting drought risks there. 

“Better regional climate-change and forecast models, combined with more effective agriculture in drought-threatened areas will not solve all problems, but they should reduce the need for emergency responses, and make such measures more effective when they are necessary,” he concludes.

Of course, none of these steps will be of much use for the suffering people of southern Somalia as long as extremist, exploitative warlords rule their lives.

John Mashey strikes back

The Chronicle has posted a response from John Mashey to Peter Wood’s climate thuggery post.  Mashey’s post is entitled “Bottling nonsense, misusing a civil platform.”    I tried to find a punch line to excerpt, but this paragraph provides the flavor:

Wood’s article misused the platform of CHE. Its relevance to the concerns of CHE was minimal. It had little purpose but to damage the reputation of one of us, John Mashey, and the climate scientist Michael Mann, whom Wood has often denigrated elsewhere. The political false-association tactics were obvious. Climate scientists are under incessant attack, a fact strongly decried the day before Wood’s article by the AAAS Board. The muddy battlefield of blogs and media has now arrived on the CHE premises, easily seen in the comments.

“Solving” the cool dude problem

If you liked the cool dudes discussion, you will  find entertaining David Robert’s latest post “How do you solve a problem like conservative white men?”  An excerpt:

The question remains: What should we do about it? The denialism or indifference of CWM toward climate is a huge barrier to getting anything done. In this post, I’m going to argue that the typical strategies are doomed to failure. It may be that the simplest, least clever strategy — kick their asses — is still the way to go.

In the end, everyone has to make their own bet. Do you make progress by attempting to please the Very Serious People running the system or by speaking truth to power and subverting the system? For my part, when I see people denying facts and bullying scientists in order perpetuate the dominance of fossil fuel interests that are killing people and threatening my children’s futures, I am inclined to tell them to go f*ck themselves. That won’t resonate with their social/tribal perspectives, but that’s because I find their social/tribal perspectives repugnant and worthy of social censure. I want to beat them.

Well, good luck (not really), that isn’t going to work.  I thought Scott Denning had the best “solution” to dealing with white male conservatives.

On Gore’s perspective on the media

The Yale forum has an interesting article on Al Gore’s recent Rolling Stone essay, entitled “Al Gore, in Rolling Stone, Mocks the Media:  A Justified Takedown, or an Outdated View?”  A thoughtful article.

A study of Green Ads 2005-2010

Another interesting article from the Yale forum:  “A Yale analysis suggests major advertisers closely tracked public opinion on climate change, with ‘green’ ads peaking in 2008-09 and returning to ‘background’ levels in 2010.”

Why the change? By the end of 2009, the conference in Copenhagen had failed to deliver any meaningful action on climate change, the controversy over hacked e-mails had reached full boil, and the Northeast had experienced an attention-getting snowstorm. Again likely in anticipation of rather than in response to rising negative coverage, companies backed away from “climate change.”

Hulme on the IPCC

Mike Hulme has a commentary published in the latest issue of Nature Climate Change, entitled “Meet the Humanities.”  He has several comments about the IPCC that are worth posting and discussing:

Over it s 23-year history, the IPCC has been presented as the authoritative voice of climate science and the global knowledge community.  How the idea of climate change is framed by the IPCC therefore carries enormous significance for the subequent direction, tone and outcome of policy and public debates.

Finally, knowledge assessments, as exemplifed by the IPCC, need a fundamental re-think.  Crafting increasingly consensual reports of scientific knowledge, or levering more engineering and technology, will alone never open up pathways from research to the public imagination or the execution of policy.  It is not too soon to start a conversation about whether the world in 2020 reallyneeds a sixth assessment report from the IPCC that merely echoes the previous five, or whether there needs to be something fundamentally different.  Although it is valuable to have a singe, global-level, government-owned assessment of how climate is changing, for designing adaptation and mitigation interventions, it would be more valuable to have regional-level, non-governmental assessments with locally developed protocols that are sensitive to cultural conditions.

The postivist disciplines are ill-suited to engaging with and articulating the deeper human search for values, purpose and meaning –and yet this search is exactly where humanity’s new entanglement with global climate is taking us.  To shed new light on the multiple meanings of climate change in diverse cultures, and to create new entry points for policy innovation, the interpretative social sciences, arts and humanities need new spaces for meeting as equals with the positivist sciences.

260 responses to “Week in review

  1. Thanks, Professor Curry.

    Did you notice that fifty years ago, former President Eisenhower warned us on 17 Jan 1961 about the danger to our free society from government-sponsored “absolutely certain, pseudo-scientific, post-modern, politically-correct, consensus-science.”


    Forty years ago, Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon apparently made international agreements that produced four decades of misinformation about the origin, composition and source of energy of the Earth and the Sun.

    Could that be why our economic system is collapsing today while leaders of the scientific community tell us anthropologic global warming (AGW) should be our first concern.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

    • I just learned from a friend that the “Standard Solar Model of a Hydrogen-filled Sun” is the conclusion to an international study week held in the ‘Bilderberg’ near Arnhem, Netherlands, from 17 through 21 April 1967 “with the aim of obtaining an internationally acceptable model of the solar photosphere and low chromosphere” [O. Gingerich and Cees de Jager, “The Bilderberg Model of the Photosphere and Low Chromosphere”, Solar Physics 3, issue 1 (1968) pages 5-25].


      I had heard of the powerful influence of the Bilderberg group, but I had absolutely no idea that they were behind the tenacious SSM.

      Dr. Cees De Jager was editor-in-chief of Space Science Reviews
      in ~1997 when he invited me to write a review paper on the Sun for publication there. Co-authors that I recall were Drs. Wilbur K. Brown, Paul K. Kuroda, J. T. Lee, Bin Li and J. M. Don MacElroy,

      After the manuscript was written, revised to comply with reviewers comments, and resubmitted, Dr. De Jager declined to publish the invited paper because, as I recall, he said a member of the editorial board would resign if he published our paper.

      In hindsight, I am pleased that I was allowed to present a paper at a news conference on 7 January 2002 in honor of my research mentor, the late Professor Paul Kazuo Kuroda, “Why the Model of a Hydrogen-Filled Sun Is Obsolete.” http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0410569v1

      Today by a strange coincidence – Western economies and government propaganda of SSM (standard solar model), AGW (anthropologic global warming), OSN (oscillating solar neutrinos) and future energy security based on a misunderstanding of the Sun’s energy source – neutron repulsion in the solar core – all seem to be collapsing.



      • A friend in the Neutron Repulsion group pointed out that the SSM model of H-fusion in a Hydrogen-filled Sun was reasonable in 1967.

        I agree. But the US NAS (National Academy of Sciences), the UK’s RS (Royal Society), and eventually the UN’s IPCC (United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) used public research funds:

        a.) To hide, manipulate and ignore government experimental data that falsified the SSM [1-3]

        b.) To promote the illusion that H-fusion will meet global energy needs of the future, and

        c.) To promote apparently false experimental observations of oscillating solar neutrinos.

        That is how government research funds misled world leaders and leaders of the news media, banking, social and scientific organizations.

        1. “Neutron Repulsion”, The APEIRON Journal, in press, 19 pages (2011):


        2. “Earth’s Heat Source – The Sun”, Energy and Environment 20, 131-144 (2009):


        3. “Isotopic ratios in Jupiter confirm intra-solar diffusion”, Meteoritics 33, A97, 5011 (1998):


        What a sad, sad day for science and society.


      • simon abingdon

        How will confirmation of the iron sun theory change my day-to-day life? Will it immediately overthrow cAGW for example?

      • No, it will make you aware that

        a.) Earth’s heat source is the energetic and unstable pulsar at the solar core – an energy source that is far beyond control of world leaders [1].

        b.) The Sun and other stars do not confirm that fusion is a reliable energy source for future energy needs.

        1. “Superfluidity in the solar interior: Implications for solar eruptions and climate,” Journal of Fusion Energy 21 (2002) 193-198:


      • The updated and renamed historical review of events that produced Chimategate: “The Bilderberg Sun, Climategate & Economic Crisis” is now available at the old link:


  2. David’s solutions are very very funny.

    First problem: white conservative males get more skeptical the more they know about the climate.

    Solution: stop giving arguments and information. Let them be the stupid white males they oughta be, since that decreases their skepticism!

    He doesn’t like it since it’s not really moral nor honest (yathink?).

    Second solution: cheat CWM into thinking that the policies aren’t going to hurt them, that this isn’t about destroying the “priviliges” of the CWM.

    Doesn’t like it not because it is immoral or dishonest, but because it won’t work.

    Point to consider: recontextualize denialism as a symptom of the growing radicalism of right wing.

    Solution 3: Radicalize as well. Intensify. Beat the crap out of the right wing radicals.

    Ah well. Not going to work. I think that the best thing the left wing could ever aspire to do in the USA was to buy FOX news from Murdoch. If they were able to do this, they would actually achieve something.

    • “Point to consider: recontextualize denialism as a symptom of the growing radicalism of right wing.

      Solution 3: Radicalize as well. Intensify. Beat the crap out of the right wing radicals.”

      That may not be necessary. How many far-right, climate denier mass murderers do you think it is going to take to effectively educate the public about the nature of denialism? Not many, I would think. Terrorism can marginalize a cause — even a good cause, which denialism emphatically is not — with impressive speed. So far, mainstream deniers do not seem to be aware of the need to distance themselves by cracking down on threats and right-wing extremism within their ranks. Public tolerance for denialism could vanish quicker than you might think.

      • Dan Griswold (Not the Cato fellow)

        Ah, but if we are right and the world cools, left wing global warming loonies become the ones to worry about. Call us denialists but reality will win.

  3. Interesting that CHE was willing to provide a forum for Mashey to reply. More interesting would be pro-IPCC forums reciprocating.

  4. I’ll just say that the thing that really caught my eye the most this week was the Carbon cycle questions post at Climate Etc.

  5. John Robertson

    Hi Judith,

    Please provide the link for “On Gore’s perspective on the media ‘The Yale forum has an interesting article…’ “? Perhaps overlooked…


  6. Here is what the US CWMs are up to regarding the IPCC and UNFCCC: “The House State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee reported out its spending bill. The bill eliminates funding for the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the World Bank’s Strategic Climate Fund and Clean Technology Fund.”

    Music to my CWM ears.

  7. Anti-white bigotry hits the mainstream. Again.

    Wait … Al Gore, Michael Mann, Phil Jones … all white.

  8. Theo Goodwin

    In the response from John Mashey, there is found the following:

    “Wood writes: “Good science doesn’t limit itself to the views of narrow-cast specialists.” On the contrary, good science comes directly from the efforts of highly trained specialists, who have the focus and ability to dig deeply into an area of investigation. This science is critiqued by other highly trained specialists, yielding scientific facts and theories that can be applied to broader problems. Scientific consensus is built over time by this collective effort, not by opinion pieces by academicians lacking expertise in the scientific discipline.”

    There you have it once again, the myth of scientific consensus. It is supported by another myth, namely, the myth that only highly trained specialists can criticize the work of highly trained specialists. These myths have no basis in fact whatsoever. They are promulgated solely for the purpose of acquiring greater power for highly trained specialists. The evidence against them is overwhelming. Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo are all famous for over-turning consensus. Newton created a new mathematics which made possible an entirely new understanding of our world. The Twentieth Century is rife with examples of consensus being over-turned.

    Scientists must submit to scientific method. One does not have to master abstract algebra (group theory) to understand and apply scientific method. Most of the problems suffered by mainstream climate science have come from their failure to submit to scientific method. Well, OK, their obsession with Gaia Models might actually be the larger problem. Anyone well versed in scientific method is quite capable of explaining major shortcomings in mainstream climate science.

    • They may be highly trained specialists and experts in their own minds. I just wish they’d learn how to set up their instruments properly, learn a little about quality control, check their work for mistakes, avoid conflicts of interest, stop screwing up their statistics and software, make some models that can be validated, and begin using the scientific method.

      • A great agenda for “skeptics” to start to follow, but don’t hold your breath!

      • Robert,

        Please identify a climate model used by alarmists which has been verified and validated. Do you know what percentage of temperature monitoring stations in the US meet basic standards? Can you tell us what Gavin Schmidt said about the quality control budget for GISS? And what conflicts of interest policy has been used by the IPCC since it was started?

    • “There you have it once again, the myth of scientific consensus.”

      Unfortunately for the myth of the myth of scientific consensus, it is mostly only the screamingly ignorant of science who promote it. It is highly amusing to watch the scientifically illiterate tell scientists what science is, but other than the amusement value, it’s just empty noise.

      “Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo are all famous for over-turning consensus.”

      Copernicus, Kepler, and Galileo are all famous for years of painstaking observation and calculation, in some cases designing and building their own instruments to collect the data they used to advance the state of knowledge. They were scientists — not like the “skeptics” of the Catholic Church, who used bogus reasoning and bullying tactics to suppress scientific conclusions that they believed challenged their right-wing establishment.

      • Right on Robert,… I am in complete agreement with your comment.
        “There you have it once again, the myth of scientific consensus.”

        My current understanding of the ‘Otheir’ side (pro AGW crowd), is that everything they say to the non-believer, is always to be a/the Lie. Skeptics are not worthy of the progressives ‘truth’. We are just, the ‘stupid sheep’, that are/need to be led by our betters. We are just, ‘running dogs’, unable to understand their ‘science’. After reading the comments from both sides over these past few months my observations show me that Skeptics, are insane. We have been listening to their lies (perhaps for as long as two-hundred and fifty years) expecting the ‘Fabian-Nazi-Commie-Liberal-Progressive-Socialist-__________-etc., etc., etc…’ to fess up, come clean, tell the truth, face the facts (about Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Hitler, the weather. O… wait.
        But we Poe folk’s, we keep expecting an honest answer once facts have
        been put into the discussion. For some reason though,it seems we only talk past one another.
        Consistency, is no accident. The AGW crowd wrote themselves the ‘Double-Secret-Rule-Book’ and Poe’s can’t read it. The fact remains though, talking to ‘the red tide’ is a waste of time. The Otheir side will always lie; to Fools, just because they have it coming to them… We all walk into history together. What do ‘they’ think is on the ‘Otheir’ side? No green grass from what I have been reading. Rest easy…
        They have lots of time.
        Do we?

      • Gore laments his failure: ‘When you go and talk to any audience about climate, you hear them washing back at you the same crap over and over and over again’ — Gore: ‘There’s no longer a shared reality on an issue like climate even though the very existence of our civilization is threatened. People have no idea! And yet our ability to actually come to a shared reality that emphasizes the best evidence.’

        I rest my case.

      • Theo Goodwin

        You are the simplest kind of troll. Your posts are collections of ad hominems and other fallacies. Why you bother to post at all is a mystery.

    • The AGW theory overturned the consensus that CO2 would have no significant impact on the climate. The major dissent to this overturning to the consensus is the older generation of scientists, often those who have become ’emeritus’, who have not accepted that the previous scientific consensus has been overturned.

      The days of Galileo and Newton are long gone. Science now is sufficiently complex that the teams are doing all the work. Even the ‘skeptical’ papers these days invariably have more than one contributor, and they usually let us know how much hard work it took to even create the single paper they have worked on that addresses a very specific issue.

  9. “Did you notice that fifty years ago, former President Eisenhower warned us on 17 Jan 1961 about the danger to our free society from government-sponsored “absolutely certain, pseudo-scientific, post-modern, politically-correct, consensus-science.”


    Oliver, many thanks for this. How prescient. The hair practically stood up on the back of my head when he spoke about the dangers of public policy becoming captive to a scientific elite.

    • That must have been when Ike’s brain was being controlled from Moscow though his brother Milton. John Birch Society founder Robert Welch warned us this was happening, but Americans wouldn’t listen. The communists were anti-science because science was a threat to their ideology.

    • Thanks, pokerguy. The SSM model of H-fusion in a Hydrogen-filled Sun was reasonable when adopted at Bilderberg in April of 1967.


      But the US NAS, the UK’s RS (Royal Society), and the UN’s IPCC (United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change):

      a.) Ignored experimental data that falsified the SSM [1];

      b.) Promoted AGW to avoid nuclear wars and unite nations;

      c.) Promoted imaginary oscillation of solar neutrinos from H-fusion;

      d.) Promoted the illusion that H-fusion will meet global energy needs in the future.

      1. “Neutron Repulsion”, The APEIRON Journal, in press, 19 pages (2011):

    • Well, he’s only posted the same stuff about 50X. It’s important, but has long since passed the “scroll-by” threshold. He seems to think repetition is persuasive. Rather than boring. He’s seriously in error, there.

  10. John DeFayette

    As I understand the Hulme piece the plea is to make room at the trough for the social sciences. The hard sciences are apparently limited in their efficiency, so it’s time to let the soft sciences have a piece of the ever expanding AGW pie.

  11. [blockquote]Of course, none of these steps will be of much use for the suffering people of southern Somalia as long as extremist, exploitative warlords rule their lives.[/blockquote]

    Climate change versus bad government is a false dichotomy; the two problems potentiate one another’s effects. People with bad governments and people who are poor (those factors are also related) will be affected sooner and more severely be climate change. The pressures of climate change can also lead to worse government — witness, for example, how quickly the Russians banned wheat exports after 2010’s harvest failed.

    I wish I had a suggestion for Somalis in dealing with violent religious fanatics dragging their country deeper into ignorance and misery in the service of a failed ideology. Offer them more spending cuts? It’s not like we have the answer over here.

    • The first sign of AGW extremist is to make grand claims about ‘climate change’.

  12. The light at the end of the tunnel: males who are not afflicted with Hot World Syndrome who like Sarah Palin.

  13. “The pressures of climate change can also lead to worse government…”

    And silly alarmist commenting on blogs, evidently. ;)


  14. Well, good luck (not really), that isn’t going to work.

    Again, where is the acknowledgement of uncertainty? Where are the months of study in communication and rhetoric you posted about on the other thread? Can we have a little analysis supporting your perspective?

    The trouble with Climate, Etc is that it is presented as fivethirtyeight.com for the climate wars, but the research and careful thinking that would make that a reality are just not here.

    The reality of public discourse is that sometimes you do win by marginalizing perspectives. Defenders of slavery were not persuaded, they were marginalized. Opponents of Zionism have not been persuaded, but they have, in most public discourse, been marginalized.

    There are two questions here: who/what deserves, in an ideal world, to be marginalized, and when, even if successful, would it be an injustice to do so? Presumably it’s OK to marginalize this “skeptic” perspective:

    Did you want to offer your children to be brutally gang-raped and then horribly tortured before being reminded of their parents socialist beliefs and actions?(http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/32912.html)

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that a different climate communication strategy is not going to bring that person on board.

    Second question: is it practical to marginalize certain people/ideas in a discussion. Will it work? Obviously it depends on the discussion and it depends on the perspective or idea you are trying to marginalize. So, an analysis is needed of the particular cases that are of interest.

    • “The reality of public discourse is that sometimes you do win by marginalizing perspectives. Defenders of slavery were not persuaded, they were marginalized.”

      Defenders of slavery weren’t marginalized, they were defeated in a bloody war with more U.S. casualties than any other war. Oh, and who were those who fought and died in by far the largest numbers to free the slaves? Conservative white males. Who fought, killed and died to preserve slavery? White male Democrats.

      But don’t let reality get in the way of your delusional world view.

      By all means, keep trying to marginalize conservatives, using race and gender. At least there is an inadvertent hint of honesty in your post. So how’s that strategy working out for ya lately?

      • “Defenders of slavery weren’t marginalized, they were defeated in a bloody war with more U.S. casualties than any other war.”

        Wars don’t change opinions. People still supported slavery and said they supported it after the war. Ultimately, those voices were marginalized.

        “Oh, and who were those who fought and died in by far the largest numbers to free the slaves? Conservative white males.”

        You mean like the conservative white male (and climate denier) that just murdered 74 children and young adults at a summer camp? Conservative white males like that?

        Sorry, I’m not interested in whether you think France invaded Poland in 1939, or if you think conservative white males invented waffles. Your right-wing historical revisionism is off-topic here.

        “So how’s that strategy working out for ya lately?”

        Better than the mass murder of children, anyway. You conservative white males seem to be coming a little unhinged of late.

      • Really? Is that the new strategy? To say that all white male conservatives are like the norwegian killer? And you really believe that’s gonna work.

        And then you calll them denialists.

      • Robert –
        Sorry, I’m not interested in whether you think France invaded Poland in 1939, or if you think conservative white males invented waffles. Your right-wing historical revisionism is off-topic here.

        So… we continue to find areas/subjects about which you are utterly ignorant.

        People still supported slavery and said they supported it after the war. Ultimately, those voices were marginalized.

        Yes, there were those people – they were Democrats.

        And there are still those people – not openly in this country, but certainly in others. And they’re still supported by Democrats.

      • US Senator Robert Byrd Democrat

        “In the early 1940s, Byrd recruited 150 of his friends and associates to create a new chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.[9]

        According to Byrd, a Klan official told him, “You have a talent for leadership, Bob … The country needs young men like you in the leadership of the nation.” Byrd later recalled, “suddenly lights flashed in my mind! Someone important had recognized my abilities! I was only 23 or 24 years old, and the thought of a political career had never really hit me. But strike me that night, it did.”[9] Byrd held the titles Kleagle (recruiter) and Exalted Cyclops.[9] When it came time to elect the “Exalted Cyclops”, the top officer in the local Klan unit, Byrd won unanimously”


      • Theo Goodwin

        I have to revise my earlier post about you. I think maybe you are a schizophrenic. The chief evidence is that you do write so much as two sentences without changing the meaning of some term that is central to the discussion.

      • Theo Goodwin

        Correction: add the word ‘not’.

        The chief evidence is that you do NOT write so much as two sentences without changing the meaning of some term that is central to the discussion.

      • John Carpenter

        I wonder why no one comments on your blog? An ideas on that?

      • John Carpenter

        That comment was meant for Robert BTW

    • .. but the research and careful thinking that would make that a reality are just not here.

      What happens to sites that present the research and careful thinking?

      Who is reading them?

      Do all people learn, when they see best formulated arguments that tell with least bias, what the present state of scientific knowledge is? (And who can tell what the unbiased knowledge is?)

      There are several good blogs that aim to such content. That’s fine, and many people find them valuable, but they can’t fill all needs. Few of them induce argumentation on the points, where argumentation is justified – and even needed.

      Why should Climate Etc. be one of those?

      • What happens to sites that present the research and careful thinking?

        Who is reading them?

        I gave you an example — fivethirityeight.com. Compare the two: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/fivethirtyeight.com#

        If Dr. Curry thinks she has something to say, she should strive to say it well, and support it with evidence. What use is a bunch of sloppy nonsense that draws page views? That way lies WUWT.

      • WUWT, the leading climate science blog in the world?
        You could do much worse.
        Bitter much?

      • Theo Goodwin

        I think that you are the only person who posts to this blog who believes that Dr. Curry is here to push a particular position.

      • Robert,
        There are places, where her highest priority must be to tell exactly, what she thinks and to tell it as well as she can. Her testimonials and scientific publications belong to those.

        A blog is not necessarily a collection of such testimonials even, when bloggist’s own postings form a majority of the content. This blog is clear evidence of that. She takes initiatives and has certain control of the site (but not a full control, because you can’t push with a rope). Very much of the contents is produced by others and the readership remains so high more for this discussion that for her posts.

        As far as I can tell, that’s the idea of this blog, and trying to maintain that situation affects the decisions Judith is making.

    • I vote for marginalizing any body who penned a sentence this ugly

      the two problems potentiate one another’s effects.”

      Actually, you are self marginalizing. But you dont see how

  15. Going down the road of, e.g, putting ‘Denialism in context,’ we should consider who is doing the contextualizing.

    For the sake of argument, can’t we all just agree on one simple fact of reality:

    Socialists (i.e., anti-capitalists), atheist fundamentalists (i.e., enviro-wacko anti-humanists), contra-cultural hedonists (trust fund liberals and other life-aborted victims of anti-Western science, ideology and Judeo/Christian ethics and morality) and the purveyors of anti-Americanism (i.e., haters of the ideals of individual liberty and personal responsibility) … will always be for the idea of ending catastropic global warming caused by everyone but themselves, by whatever means, including extra-Constitutinal activities, fearmongering and even the curtailing the production of life-sustaining energy.

    The ideology of the global warming establishment is the art of self-defeatism at the cost of others’ life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

    After briefly going Global–with the entire earth in its sights–now that the hot air has left the AGW balloon, the Left has again reclaimed the moral low ground.

    The immorality of the hedonistic Left buggers the mind:

    “Herein lies the moral danger behind global warming hysteria. Each day, 20,000 people in the world die of waterborne diseases. Half a billion people go hungry. A child is orphaned by AIDS every seven seconds. This does not have to happen. We allow it while fretting about “saving the planet.” What is wrong with us that we downplay this human misery before our eyes and focus on events that will probably not happen even a hundred years hence? We know that the greatest cause of environmental degradation is poverty; on this, we can and must act.”

    • I really don’t know who you are trying to fool here.

      Where is the Right Wing policy to “end up poverty”? We “can and must act”? Really? Excuse me but I’ve seen nothing by the right which testifies by this possibility at all.

      • Mr. Luis Dias, ‘The Great Society’ was the Progressive program… to “end up poverty.” Pushed by LBJ, soon after he had been involved in the JFK affair. You know…?

      • I got a copy of the right-wing plan to end all poverty right here in my file cabinet. I’ll show it to you after you show me the left-wing plan to end climate change.

    • “Socialists (i.e., anti-capitalists), atheist fundamentalists (i.e., enviro-wacko anti-humanists), contra-cultural hedonists (trust fund liberals and other life-aborted victims of anti-Western science, ideology and Judeo/Christian ethics and morality) and the purveyors of anti-Americanism (i.e., haters of the ideals of individual liberty and personal responsibility) ”

      That’s all very good, perhaps you could write this all up into a manifesto.

      But the reason there is concern about AGW is the rate of carbon dioxide increase and the physical implications of that.

      • So you would rather worry about a predicted problem whose actual scope is unknown than deal with real problems today.

        The right wing solution to end poverty was working pretty well until the lefties stole all of the money.
        The plan was called ‘free trade’ and ‘freedom’ and ‘financial responsibility’.
        But now that lefties have spent Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Italy and the US into oblivion, there is less trade to fuel the enterprise.

  16. If I might add two more from the Uk in the last week or two, two very significant attempts to prop up establishment policy have flopped badly. The first was a report commissioned by the BBC, on the BBC’s handling of science in general, which primarily of course addresses their supposed impartiality (!) on climate science, by a gastropod specialist Steve Jones. Having flung denierisms around in the formal report, he then compounded it by accusing sceptics of being flat-earthers in a Daily Telegraph column piece. The second was an official review by the chief government scientific advisor Sir John Beddington on ‘Preparing for the Future’ (more intense everything etc). The pertinent take home significance of these two is the strength and depth of well informed challenges within the commentary threads panning them, particularly in the latter. Links are




    • thanks for these links. I am answering a number of posts on the last article as we speak.

      • I am sure you will succeed in those posts, as you have done here, in increasing the level of skepticism.
        Please do continue.

  17. “If you liked the cool dudes discussion, you will find entertaining David Robert’s latest post “How do you solve a problem like conservative white men?””

    I found the discussion interesting, but I didn’t like it. I was irked by a general condescending attitude that CWM’s are wrong in their thinking and must be either made to see the light, ignored, or beat to a pulp.

    There are two great schisms I face every time I get together with my liberal friends: Economics and Global Warming. No matter how many economists challenge Keynesianism and uncover its flaws, the hairy beast just won’t be tamed; and for my friends, it is a liberal party line they must defend, but they do so politely so as not to damage our friendship. On the other hand, they completely loose it when the topic switches to Global Warming. As a group, they do not care to study the underlying issues; they know only that it is a liberal litmus test they must pass to keep their club card, and loosing that would be the worst thing of all. It’s all polar bears, newts, and the end of the world.

    I stepped out of my career field (engineering) to study climate change as a hobby because the subject interested me. For a while, I saw many CWM’s like me doing the same thing, but I don’t see that much anymore. The Alarmist lost them as a group when they failed to make a compelling case, and now my CWM friends just don’t want to discuss it. It is now a buzz killer at a party; if you want everyone to go home, just bring it up. The great shift was already underway a half a decade ago, but it was sealed by Al Gore’s movie and Climategate. Since then, a barrage of wrong predictions and exaggerations has insured that it will be harder than ever to get them to change their mind. One thing is for sure, arrogance is not the way. It has to be verifiable facts fairly presented.

  18. There is no problem in classical liberal philosophy in government as such. Government is necessary to protect citizens from external and internal threat – to provide certain necessary goods (roads, hospitals, ports, etc) where these are not supplied by the market for whatever reason. Where there is threat from flood, fire or tempest the government has the resources to supply emergency assistance. These things were clearly formulated by Friedrich Heyak by the middle of the last century.

    Capitalism depends on the rule of law, a functioning civil society and a free people. Modern economic principle is far from laissez faire – but certainly a government sector that is less than 30% of GPD. Good corporate governance (fairness in markets), adequate prudential oversight (is the lesson learnt yet), management of interest rates (to prevent asset bubbles) and restraint in the printing of money (theft of private property). Free market principles can’t be negotiated away without consequence to ordinary people.

    Democracy, the rule of law, the rights to private property and other individual freedoms are fundamental values of our cultural heritage. These are lives and values that have been trampled on by first of all Marxism and then, when that failed, their Malthusian inspired intellectual successors in the environmental movement. They have abused our love of nature to resist any real progress on mitigating environment degradation – or on the related need to bring people out of poverty, disease and hunger.

    Radicals have been misusing the powerful cultural construct of science to insist that there is a climate emergency and only a radical economic agenda will prevent catastrophe. They insist that the overwhelmingly complex ‘climate science’ (which we can’t possibly understand) is increasingly certain but get the simplest things wrong – the rate of recent warming in the last decades of the 20th century (0.1 degrees Centigrade/decade) and why it hasn’t warmed since 1998. They insist that there are limits to growth – of which carbon dioxide is simply one – and imply that we have reached those limits and therefore economies must contract. Their first objective is to increase the costs of production through energy taxes – if enacted it is a policy entirely guaranteed to reduce global economic growth. Far from obviously necessary – it is in fact a policy guaranteed to end in blighting billions of human lives. There is no alternative to free markets to bring billions out of dire need this century. There is no moral alternative but to increase food and energy supplies by 3% a year for the rest of the century. Green and neo-socialist theories have never been anything other than dangerously misguided. As Hayek said – from saintly intent to tyranny is but a step. .

    A pragmatic policy consistent with the economic needs of ordinary people was outlined recently by the Breakthough Institute. It is a pragmatic policy that provides the only real way forward on reducing greenhouse gases – but it is not a climate policy. The climate problem is one dimension of a problem involving development, agriculture, health, education, population, energy and the environment. So – and not before time – we can solve these great human and environmental problems. In that context we can mitigate greenhouse gases far more effectively than ever thought possible by the green/socialist alliance. We recognize the need to increase massively energy resources and food supplies in this century – while at the same time conserving and restoring ecosystems. And the fact is that to do this will require the availability of cheaper energy supplies – not more expensive. With some vision from government (a big ask I admit) – and the creative energies of free peoples – we will do this.

    Right now we must recognize that the cultural battle lines are drawn in a war for no less than the future of humanity. If this is to be a century in which humanity confines to history the ideologically inspired horrors of the 20th century – the classically liberal principles of free markets must prevail. The enemy is frantically reframing the discussion around conservative white males, libertarians, the intransigence of the media, the ignorance of poor black women, the illogicality of people generally and (of course) big spending by vested interests – anything that might give them an opening. It is a bizarre spectacle – and one unlikely to prevail while the world stubbornly refuses to warm. It is the right time for the classic liberal to strike a blow for freedom in the climate wars.

    • Chief, your idea of free-market capitalism is no match for China’s state-directed capitalism.

      • I have no problem with economic development in China – the strength of the global system grows with the developed diverse nodes of influence. It is far from a zero sum game.

        I suspect that there are problems of waste, corruption and huge volumes of non-performing loans on bank books. The old story.

        Your trite observations notwithstanding – I wish them freedom and democracy as well as economic development.

      • “Your trite observations notwithstanding – I wish them freedom and democracy as well as economic development.”

        Chief you wrote a great piece. You didn’t need to make that reply.

      • Chief, you can congratulate China after it buys our country in the free market.

      • That wouldn’t happen due to their excellence but rather to our lack thereof.

      • If you don’t like our country, join the Tea party, and our country won’t like you.

      • They can buy it from Japan. Oh wait – that didn’t quite come off.

      • Chief, perhaps you aren’t aware we owe Japan almost as much as we owe China. Together these two countries hold $2,070 billion in Treasury Securities, or almost one-half of the total amount in these securities held by all foreign governments.

      • Who is we?

      • Not to worry, if the Chinese carry on growing at 10% pa they’ll be 10 times richer than they are now in 25 years time. They might just forget about it!

      • What country are you speaking for? Australia? Luxembourg? US? Canada? How are supposed to know what country you mean by “we”?

      • Treasuries-R-Us

        Unless, of course, you aren’t an American taxpayer.

      • Japan has a debt 2 times that of the US. China’s banks are bankrupt. Which domino goes first?


      • Japan can afford a higher ratio of public debt to GDP than the U.S. because it does nearly all of its borrowing at home. It’s public debt is owned by Japanese families and businesses.

        China’s state-directed banks are a lot like America’s privately owned banks. In both cases, when a bank goes bankrupt the government picks up the tab.

      • Some of the wonders of China’s “state directed capitalism:”

        Entire unpopulated ghost towns.


        Increasing civil unrest met with brutal governmental crackdowns (state directed capitalism by the way is an excellent definition of fascism).


        A housing bubble to make the recent U.S. debacle look like child’s play.


        Disparity of income to make Warren Buffet blush.

        “The workers from rural provinces usually earn about $200 a month, working six or seven days a week.”

        But by all means, you genius progressives keep touting the Chinese communist/fascist “experiment” as the way to go. It’s better than hiding your true beliefs behind slogans like “fairness” and “for the children.”.

      • Gary seems agitated over the success of China’s economic model.

      • M.Carey,
        And the trains run on time, too!

      • simon abingdon

        hunter, I hope this isn’t a tasteless reference to last week’s tragedy http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-14321060

      • simon abingdon

        No, unlike Oliver you don’t do irony.

      • Right smack into each other.

      • Well, except when the tracks fall down.

      • M carey “no match for China’s state-directed capitalism.”

        Actually the secret is Coal. Using the cheapest energy gives a country an edge.

        Many countries have now chosen to demonize coal and prefer to kill birds and bats by the 10s of millions with inefficient, unreliable and expensive wind power.

      • M. Carey would blind the eye that directs the invisible hand. Sure, you can’t see it, M, but I’d suggest you duck anyway. It’s invisible, but heavy.

      • Kim, if it’s invisible how do you know it’s there?

      • The work of the hand
        Is felt diffusely, unseen.
        Wondrous mystery.

      • If you are saying you can’t see the invisible hand, but you can feel it in your pocket, I understand what you mean. I can’t even see my own hand when I put it in my pocket.

      • Unconscious vision,
        Endless manipulation.
        Point it please, puppet.

      • Kim, at first I thought you were trying haiku. I now see you are trying coo coo, and are more successful with it.

      • “Meaning lies as much in the mind of the reader as in the Haiku” – D Hoffstadter

      • Dove alights on a
        Velvet gloved but mailed green fist.
        Strangle or set free?

      • Is that anything like Hitler’s alleged so-called state-directed capitalism (sorry, Godwin)?

      • Bruce, you sound like you have an economic interest in coal. I have an economic interest in natural gas. Coal is DIRTY, and those who promote it are evil. Natural gas is CLEAN, and those who promote it are good.

      • Peter Davies

        The extraction process for natural gas cannot be seen to be “clean” IMO because fracking involves the unnatural forcing of vast amounts of water mixed with numerous chemicals designed to release the gas from the bedrock. The water acquifers in the adjourning sub-stratas are all at risk, not to mention the risk polution if the well is located in the ocean.

      • See M Carey … there is no such thing as clean energy to the true believers. Therefore using the cheapest energy like coal is equally as dirty as nuclear, NG, hydro etc or equally as clean.

        Might as well use coal. Just as many protestors … less cost. Coal power plants last 50 years too.

      • 1.5 billion people is quite a match under any system.

    • Hector Pascal

      Very nice essay. Thank you.

      M. carey: China’s state-directed capitalism benefits a tiny minority. The majority still live in poverty. The jury will be in, in about 30-40 years.

    • Their first objective is to increase the costs of production through energy taxes – if enacted it is a policy entirely guaranteed to reduce global economic growth.

      There are various rationale for energy taxes. For some, the taxes would result in pricing that more accurately reflects the true costs to consumers and the true costs of accompanying externalities.

      For some, the taxes would produce a funding stream that would enable the development of alternative technologies that would help mitigate a variety of negative results from reliance on fossil fuels for energy (the need to spend trillions in wars to keep the oil flowing, the environmental impact of coal mining, the health impact of particulate matter in the air we breathe, etc.).

      For me, personally, I’d like to see a progressive energy tax system that would tax the wealthiest among us so as to help address the problems of lack of access to healthcare, clean water, and energy that lead to so much poverty and death throughout the globe.

      For some subset of people, the “first objective” is to “increase the cost of production.” But your repeated and inaccurately generalizations about who has such an objective, I would argue, is a result of your tribalistic mentality.

      if enacted it is a policy entirely guaranteed to reduce global economic growth.

      As would be your facile conclusions about what is or isn’t “guaranteed.” As with Judith – it seems that your notion of “uncertainty” ebbs and wanes contingent on the political ramifications of the topic under discussion. As interesting as the various arguments about the long term economic impact of various types of energy policies might be – the one thing that we know is that none of those arguments are “guaranteed.” Fortunately, Chief, you aren’t so sloppy when you’re discussing the scientific aspects of the debate.

    • Chief –

      Because in between your incoherent ranting about evil libz, you occasionally express a cogent viewpoint from a libertarian perspective, I’d like to ask you if you’re familiar with the public planning processes in Curtiba, Brazil:

      There’s a model, inexpensive, speedy transit service used by more than 2 million people a day. There are more car owners per capita than anywhere else in Brazil, and the population has doubled since 1974, yet auto traffic has declined by 30%, and atmospheric pollution is the lowest in Brazil.

      What’s funny about your ideology, Chief, is that sometimes you seem to be a “limited pie” dude, even as you lambaste others for “limited pie” ideology.

      Also – check out the urban planning done in Bogota.

      • Joshua,

        Let me jump in here since I think you’re going to like what I have to say. I mean, I’m going to show you how to take your greenshirt dreams and move them from the party-time conference, mind-numbing peer reviewed paper, and generalized motor-mouth BS stage they’re now at and turn them into reality. Can’t get any better than that , right, Josh?

        You’re a smart guy, Josh, but you haven’t quite thought things through. You see, those gee-whiz South American success stories you’ve latched onto shouldn’t be seen as mere curiosities or mere pretexts for taxpayer rip-off research grant requests. No, Josh–they should be seen as BUSINESS OPPORUNITIES!

        So here’s what you do, Josh. Work up your carefully-researched, sure-fire idea for a public transportation system into a prospectus and then get some of your Big-Green money-bag pals to chip-in and–presto!–your dream becomes a reality!

        And then, as Joe-Six-Packs by the hundreds of thousands drop their monster trucks like hot potatoes and rush to the turnstiles of the–dare I say it?–Joshua Express, the money will roll-in. You’ll be richer than Al Gore!

        Go for it guy! And, please, I’m not trying to horn in on your good deal. My suggestions are offered entirely gratis. I’ll just be happy to get you off my taxpayer back.

      • Mike – I’m having a bit of a hard time getting your point.

        However, I will point out that many public transportation infrastructure projects have been notably beneficial, financially, for a variety of private sector entities.

        Did you read about Curtiba, Brazil? How about Bogata?

      • Joshua,

        Good response. I’m taken aback and even regret my cheap-shot, Josh. Indeed, I’m happy to be taken down a notch, in such circumstances. As long as you’re for making the world a better place without hitting up the taxpayer, we’re on the same side. As far as reading about the Bogata/Brazil–I’ll leave that to the young, energetic guys who can turn the dream into an entrepreneurial reality. That Colose kid comes to mind.

      • No probs, Mike.

        The question of hitting up the taxpayer is a bit complex. Sometimes public spending on infrastructure brings beneficial financial returns to a variety of stakeholders – private sector entities included. That isn’t to say that public spending isn’t fraught with pitfalls and unintended consequences – just that categorical beliefs are rarely well-founded.

      • Joshua,

        Agree again, though I suspect we might end up in a chit-chat about about the detail of any particular evolution–but definately in the ball park. Where government clearly works or performs an inherent government function, then I’m for it, though leery of government’s tendency to corruption by various interests and capture by a stultifying and self-serving bureaucracy.

        None of my business, Josh, but I’m going to let fly–smack me down as I deserve: Why in the hell are you a leftist? You sure seem to have the makings of an entrepreneur. Not too many guys have that quality and, IMHO, that’s we all desperately need right now to get us out of the mess the entrenched plutocrats and big-city/academic lefties have gotten us into.

        Again, none of my business, but you’re potentially the man, Josh. Please go for it. For what it’s worth.

      • Joshua,

        Sorry for the double message–it appeared my first try was rejected by moderation–but was, in fact, only held up. On the other hand, the mix-up allows me a double-shot at getting your primal entrepreneurial juices flowing.

      • Joshua,

        Again, a great reply. I especially appreciated the amicable good-will in your response. Although government is very prone to corruption by various interests and capture by a stultifying and self-serving bureaucracy, it can have its place and is unavoidable in certain areas, I agree. Like you, I don’t categorically exclude government based solutions. We might strike a different balance point but are in the same ballpark, it seems.

        None of my business, so smack me down as I deserve, Joshua, but you seem to have an entrepreneur’s aptitude and qualities. And, IMHO, that’s what we desperately need now if we are ever to straighten out the mess the entrenched plutocrats and big-city/academic lefties have made of things. For what it’s worth, you might want to re-think your leftist attachments–we’ve got a surfeit of those guys. Entrepreneurs–not nearly enough.

      • G’day Mike

        Good to see you on board – you strike exactly the right tone and I am impressed with your grasp of the proper role of government in a free society and the importance for the entire world – including Bogota – of free markets. Frankly I had given up – but when I explained that I was talking past him and not to him things got worse. Between being accused of ranting about pissant progressives and blogging in death threats – I couldn’t get a blog in edgewise to confirm, again, that democracy and the rule of law are core values. Along with drinking, dancing and wild women. Most here just put the latter down to my being Australian and politely look away. When I get really excited I break into poetry in the style of Walt Whitman.

        Song of a Climate Zombie

        Am I some poor merchant of doubt selling shopworn and
        threadbare wares on the ebays of the ideas marketplace?
        Let me take stock then in a dismal reiteration of my poor
        argument that is my faint hope to delude and dismay you.

        Unless we can count on some mad and unprovable theory,
        then the unholy carbon ghost must grasp the photon closely
        in warming arms for a period of no less than 80 years or so.
        Or until judgement day – whichever comes before the cart.

        My stock in trade must then be: the power of ENSO twins,
        the abrupt shifts in the PDO, the fickleness of the PNA, the
        slow pendulum of the AMO and the SAM with its storms
        freewheeling off the Southern Ocean to smash on the shore.

        These standard bearers of doubt engage in a global dance.
        Occasionally, they pirouette towards a grand crescendo and,
        then fly wildly to the ends of Earth in a new choreography,
        Tremendous energies cascading though powerful systems.

        Unless I miss my mark then this is the mark of chaos and
        a danger in its own right as climate system components
        jostle unpredictably and things settle into whatever pattern
        emerges – mayhaps a cold, cold, cold day on planet Earth.

        So, you are 90% sure we caused warming over 50 years?
        But the only global warming was between 1977 and 1998.
        By more than chance, it was the last period when the boy
        child, El Niño, reigned over climate in the Pacific Ocean.

        His influence can be seen in the record of Earth radiance.
        A slow decline in reflected short wave as cloud dissipated
        over the warm ocean and let in more of the Sun’s energy.
        Ten times more powerful than a gaseous embrace of photons.

        The latest kerfluffle was with my job description. I did explain somewhere that the appellation derives from Cecil (he spent four years in clown school – I’ll thank you not to refer to Princeton like that) Terwilliger. Cecil was Springfield’s Chief Hydrological and Hydraulical Engineer. He opined that this was a sacred vocation in some cultures. Given the significance of water both practically and symbolically – there is more than a touch of the sacred.

        Deep in my cups – I occasionally mumble something about the sacred hydrological truths arrived at through dialectic based on honesty, good faith, humor, patience, tolerance and humility. Sometimes I shout and cavort like a Diogenes maddened by the climate wars. Now and then I like to remind the climate warriors of the immense value of science and beg them to put science in a place of honor – and not trample it in the mud.

        Anyway, again, congrats on retaining your equanimity and good humor and – as I haven’t seen you before – welcome to the zoo.

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

      • CH,

        That was great! I can see they don’t call you “Chief” for nothing. And Yoram better watch out, there’s compeition on the prowl—nothing beats Aussie humor and good fun!

        O. K. Kermit, let’s see you top that. Bard-wars!

        P. S. Walt would have been so proud.

  19. If proponents of AGW theory cared about science and were really interested in doing what was necessary to be taken seriously by any educated reader–whether they be white Westerners Inuit whalers–they would long ago have put a stop to the perpetuation of myths about polar bears and melting icebergs caused by soccer moms driving SUVs.

    • what myths? Melting icebergs?

      Geez sorry for telling people what’s happening in the world. Maybe we should shut up and leave people in the dark about the changes that are unfolding and the risks ahead.

      • AGw theory and global warming fearmongering are positively correlated with Western Leftists. Cause and effect?

      • Actually I think you’ll find the correlation is between deniers and the tea party. Tea party people consider anyone to the left of the tea party (ie everyone else) are “western leftists” so your observation is sadly self-fulfilling.

      • The 2 party system is broken and has now been downgraded by all people of reason.

      • And there are no political correlations in the AGW community?
        But at least you admit the point that AGW is highly political.

      • Exactly. Global warming is all political or it would not be any Left versus right issue, right? What we are starting to see is that socialism is with the Left practices to gain power and Communism is when the Left is in the power.

      • OMG! icebergs are melting?
        Please please please tell us when that started.
        It must be due to CO2.
        You maroon.

  20. It always is the case that there will always be way too many people that would rather do anything–e.g., worry about what might happen, could happen, will happen, at some indeterminate time in the future–rather than taking charge, expending the effort, investing in themselves, and dealing with what they can control in their own lives today. If these grasshoppers wait too long, investing in some crazy cause like–e.g., eliminating even the CO2 from the smokestack of a coal-fired powerplant (even though the trees love it), takes on some kind of gravity and helps them forget that they have wasted their lives. People like that are meat for those who will promise them anything in exchange for political power.

  21. Looking at the best way to clean up academia and the Big Government Education Machine is a lot like the best way to look at the Debt Ceiling—-e.g.,

    You come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup and you have sewage up to your ceilings. What do you do… raise the ceilings, or pump out the sheet?

  22. Different topic, same thug pattern that is common in the climate orthodox;


    Settled science gets you down? Try settled politics, why is this so much the same with the usual characters involved?

    • Yup–Politically correct ‘science’ brought to you by the usual suspects. For example: What explains global warming AND cooling? It’s the sun, stupid. But, politically correct EPA government scientists don’t get it because they have an agenda and the truth doesn’t matter.

      • “What explains global warming AND cooling? It’s the sun, stupid”

        Yep and the Sun is commonly cited as causing both at the same time!

      • Well, lolwot – the source for GW is the Sun and if you want cooling, just turn it off. It’ll certainly get “cool”.

    • The correlation between people who seek to impose censorship on those with whom they disagree and belief in AGW seems to be a research paper waiting to be written.

  23. In response to Robert Kaufmann et al. (2011), Patrick Michaels writes The Current Wisdom: The Lack of Recent Warming and the State of Peer Review Aug. 3, 2011. He describes how by Kaufmann’s model Chinese sulfates should cool the northern hemisphere and not the southern hemisphere – in direct contradiction to actual trends of warming northern hemisphere and cooling southern hemisphere. However trying to publish such evidence and alternative model was rejected by five climate journals/magazines. Such is the current status of “climate science”.

    • SO2 in the atmosphere is at pretty low levels. The paper doesn’t really show what they are.

      Carbon soot from coal burning should cause the earth to warm.

  24. But he also asserts that over-reliance on the 2007Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change analysis of impacts in Africa — which projected more rain in East Africa in a warming world, not less — lulled some agencies into discounting drought risks there.

    Like the way Britain wasn’t prepared for snow because they were sure it was a thing of the past?

  25. Chris Funk is suggesting that he picked the Somalian drought by considering a warming Indian Ocean. The paper is here – http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2010/1199/pdf/ofr2010-1199.pdf He says that a marginally warmer Indian Oceans leads to less rainfall – based on some fairly vague reasoning. It is a static concept with no seasonal predictive power.

    It doesn’t explain variability – which has been occurring since an ENSO shift led to the drying of the Sahel 5000 years ago. That demands a more dynamic explanation – one I might add that is far better supported in the literature – in changes to SST. In fact the potential for drought was warned about on the basis of the strong La Niña conditions.

    ‘Rainfall and vegetation across Africa are known to resonate with the coupled ocean-atmosphere phenomena of El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD). However, the regional-scale implications of sea surface temperature variability for Africa’s photosyntheis have received little focused attention, particularly in the case of IOD. Furthermore, studies exploring the interactive effects of ENSO and IOD when coincident are lacking. This analysis uses remotely sensed vegetation change plus a land surface model driven with observed meteorology to investigate how rainfall, vegetation, and photosynthesis across Africa respond to these climate oscillations. In addition to the relatively well-known ENSO forcing, the IOD induces large departures of photosynthesis across much of Africa associated with anomalies in rainfall and vegetation greenness. More importantly, sizeable independent effects can be suppressed or even reversed by destructive interferences during periods of simultaneous ENSO and IOD activity. For example, effects of positive IOD on southeastern Africa tended to dominate those of El Niño during their coincidence spanning 1997–1998, with sign reversal of El Niño’s typically strong suppression of photosynthesis in this region. These findings call into question past analyses examining teleconnections to ENSO or IOD in isolation, and indicate the need to consider their simultaneous states when examining influences on hydroclimatic and ecological conditions across Africa.’


    Here is the DMI (different term for the IOD) – http://stateoftheocean.osmc.noaa.gov/sur/ind/dmi.php – an index SST difference between the west and east Indian Ocean. Negative means drought for Africa.

    Here is Claus Wolter’s multivariate ENSO index – http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/ – La Niña of course.

    ‘Stay tuned for the next update (by September 10th, probably earlier) to see where the MEI will be heading next. La Niña conditions have at least briefly expired in the MEI sense, making ENSO-neutral conditions the safest bet for the next few months. However, a relapse into La Niña conditions is not at all off the table, based on the reasoning I gave in September 2010 – big La Niña events have a strong tendency to re-emerge after ‘taking time off’ during northern hemispheric summer, as last seen in 2008. I believe the odds for this are still better than 50/50. If history ends up repeating itself, the return of La Niña should happen within about two to three months.’ Claus Wolter

    More drought for Africa and floods for Australia.

    • On Predicting Drought & Responding
      See WJR Alexander’s 2008 Drought Alert and its basis:

      the very real likelihood that we are about to enter a prolonged period of severe droughts. . . . We are presently in period year 13 (2007-08). Note the very clear, well above average recorded river flows for the present hydrological year. Even more importantly, note the succession of below average river flows in the period years that lie ahead. . . .
      Once again, our prediction model based on this thoroughly studied, synchronous linkage between periodic, solar activity and the hydro-meteorological processes has been tested and verified. The likelihood of prolonged, severe droughts from next year onwards is very real, but climate alarmists continue to deny that a causal linkage exists between periodic variations in solar activity and synchronous climatic responses.

      See also: Alexander, W.J.R. 1995. Floods, droughts and climate change. S Afr J Sci 91, 403-408. [Successful prediction. Widespread, drought-breaking floods commenced five months after publication. Year 1 in the model.]

      On Floods Drought, poverty and science, Aug 6, 2011, WJR Alexander writes:

      Is there a solution?
      Disasters are not increasing because of the increase in the frequency of hazards, but due to the increasing vulnerability to hazards. The increase in vulnerability to disasters in many developing countries of Africa arises from the following repetitive sequence. Growing population – increasing utilisation of natural resources – collapse of natural ecosystems – hunger and malnutrition – migration to the cities – unplanned occupation of high risk peri-urban areas – few employment opportunities, and rising crime rate as a means of survival – breakdown of civil administration – political instability. . . .
      The situation in most countries on the African continent continues to deteriorate at an alarming rate. After a disaster it is imperative that authorities make every effort to restore the affected communities to at least their pre-disaster status as soon as possible. This includes activities to combat malnutrition, disease, loss of livelihoods, and migration to areas that are perceived to be less vulnerable to disasters. Failure to do so will increase their vulnerability to future climatic extremes.

      • Hi David,

        I have read Alexander before and it does relate to a problem I am investigating. I am afraid it is still a puzzle to me.

        But I appreciate the technical link.


  26. This is the latest graph from NSIDC. It might be just worth a mention in “week in review”

    • ‘Based on these observational data, Polyakov et al. (2003) concluded that the “examination of records of fast ice thickness and ice extent from four Arctic marginal seas (Kara, Laptev, East Siberian, and Chukchi) indicates that long-term trends are small and generally statistically insignificant, while trends for shorter records are not indicative of the long-term tendencies due to strong low-frequency variability in these time series, which places a strong limitation on our ability to resolve long-term trends”. “Correlation analysis shows that dynamical forcing (wind or surface currents) is at least of the same order of importance as thermodynamical forcing for the ice extent variability in the Laptev, East Siberian, and Chukchi Seas ‘


    • tt –
      I find this one more useful –

  27. Here’s a radio show I’m sure that many “denizens” will just love.

    If Science Takes A Wrong Turn, Who Rights It?
    Science is often idealized as a self-correcting system. But how often–and how quickly–is bad science set straight? Ira Flatow and guests discuss recent cases of scientific fraud that have led to retractions of journal studies, and whether human study volunteers have been harmed by bogus science.


    Oh, and a website of one the interviewees that I’m sure will become a Climate etc. favorite:

    Retraction Watch
    Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process
    What people are saying about Retraction Watch
    with 2 comments

    Columbia Journalism Review Regret the Error columnist Craig Silverman calls Retraction Watch “a new blog that should be required reading for anyone interested in scientific journalism or the issue of accuracy.”

    “Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus are two geeks who set up a website called Retraction Watch because it was clear that retractions are often handled badly,” writes Ben Goldacre in his Bad Science column in the Guardian. He concludes: “Eyeballs are an excellent disinfectant: you should read Retraction Watch.”



    • Amazing how many of those papers which are retracted involve plagiarism…

      Makes you wonder what is going on at GMU.

      • Check out the part of the interview where they discuss the massive numbers of patients potentially affected by retracted studies.

    • Joshua,
      Do you think it would be better to do like climate science does, and pretned there are not problems?

      • hunter –

        Is your life really that empty that you need to fill you time continuously building straw men so that you can knock them down?

      • Joshua,
        The next time you offer a substantive point will be your first.

      • Thanks for always reading and responding, hunter.

        It’s nice to know that I can count on you. I feel so privileged.

    • And btw – way off topic – but this study, with results that show statistically significant “precognition,” and the surrounding controversy (follow up studies that fail to show the sane results), I find completely fascinating:


      The term psi denotes anomalous processes of information or energy transfer that are currently unexplained in terms of known physical or biological mechanisms. Two variants of psi are precognition (conscious cognitive awareness) and premonition (affective apprehension) of a future event that could not otherwise be anticipated through any known inferential process. Precognition and premonition are themselves special cases of a more general phenomenon: the anomalous retroactive influence of some future event on an individual’s current responses, whether those responses are conscious or nonconscious, cognitive or affective. This article reports 9 experiments, involving more than 1,000 participants, that test for retroactive influence by “time-reversing” well-established psychological effects so that the individual’s responses are obtained before the putatively causal stimulus events occur. Data are presented for 4 time-reversed effects: precognitive approach to erotic stimuli and precognitive avoidance of negative stimuli; retroactive priming; retroactive habituation; and retroactive facilitation of recall. The mean effect size (d) in psi performance across all 9 experiments was 0.22, and all but one of the experiments yielded statistically significant results. The individual-difference variable of stimulus seeking, a component of extraversion, was significantly correlated with psi performance in 5 of the experiments, with participants who scored above the midpoint on a scale of stimulus seeking achieving a mean effect size of 0.43. Skepticism about psi, issues of replication, and theories of psi are also discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)

  28. “It may be that the simplest, least clever strategy — kick their asses — is still the way to go.”

    Bitter old White conservative men need their butts kicked? I don’t think that will make them less bitter.

    • Yeah right – a effete leftist wid no gun? That boy is all hat and no cows.

    • Notice that the believers, after falsely accusing skeptics of being terrorists and mass murderers and part of a grand conspiracy, flip over and start mumbling about violence on skeptics and how to censor their speech.

    • Bitter old white men like Al Gore, Michael Mann, Phil Jones et al?

  29. Judith,

    Tell me “It isn’t so!”
    69% of Americans think scientists likely falsified Global Warming Research.

  30. Chris Mooney has finally figured out the cool dude thing, he blames it on testosterone


    • Now Mooney is not only a famous climatologist, but an endocrinologist too?
      Wow. A man for all seasons.

    • CAGW is marketed based on fear. Men with more testosterone are not as likely to react to threats with fear/panic responses. Therefore men are less likely to be frightened into changing the world based on Michael Mann’s creative statistics. Works for me.

      Oh, and the successful conservative males, those educated ones who are less likely to buy the CAGW scare story, have already proved their worth to society by the wealth, jobs and prosperity they have created, for themselves, their families, and their country. Lots of them have also served their country in the military, putting their lives where their mouth is when it comes to defending their beliefs. They don’t need to pose as saviors of the planet, on someone else’s dime, to compensate for their lack of self esteem.

    • ‘They don’t like government butting in trying to change things, and leveling the playing field, and taking from the haves who have earned it and giving to the have-nots who haven’t. Well, the solutions to climate change are going to take all kinds of government ‘butting in’, all sorts of adjustments to the economic status quo, interventions that will mean new winners and losers, changes to who’s where on the economic and power ladder, and to a hierarchist (i.e. conservative), that means somebody else’s sort of society – the society of “Egalitarians” who want things flexible and fair, not rigid and bound by class and hierarchy – is going to prevail.

      That’s really threatening, way down deep in the psyche of the social human animal that depends on the tribe for welfare and even survival. If our tribe is on top, we feel safer. If our tribe is losing out, we feel threatened. If society is operating the way we want, we feel safer. If somebody else’s rules prevail, we feel threatened. So Cs – conservatives – who tend to be Hierarchical, feel threatened not by the facts of climate change but by what the solutions to climate change might do to the way society operates. They cherry pick the facts to support a view that will preserve the social order they prefer, and defend that view fiercely, because it’s about way more than climate change. It’s about protecting their identities, the tribe, their safety. Powerful stuff.’

      So should I stop joking about effete lefties and hats, guns and cows?

      It is the social and economic agenda that is unacceptable – and we should not accept the definitions they apply in order to marginalise opposition. It is an old political trick used – as feminists rightly said – against women in particular. It is a newly confident neosocialism – not going away soon – and potentially a threat if not resisted with a coherent strategy.

      • simon abingdon

        Whether the left are brighter than the right, or there’s not much in it, I don’t know. But a super brain has put us pretty much in command here on mother earth. Let’s hope we don’t blow it, lolwot. (Sorry Chief, I thought I was replying to tt).

      • “But a super brain has put us pretty much in command here on mother earth.”

        You mean a super brain handed over the reins to “us”? Who’s “us” ?

        Do you have a credible reference for this claim?

    • Just out of curiosity, Judith – do you have any ideas on the high correlation between “unconvinced skepticism/denialism” and conservative political ideology?

      Is it just that conservatives tend to be smarter than libz? Just that they are inspired with god-given ability to divine truth?

      I mean, it couldn’t have anything to do with tribalism, right? That’s only important in the “climate establishment.”

      • It is not about tribalism – whatever that means – but in maintaining the economic groundwork for building resilience in human societies this century. To increase food and energy supplies by 3%/year for the rest of the century. It is an agenda that must not fail.

        The Breakthough Institute this week detailed a path – multiple paths – to make progress on energy, population, development, health, education and the environment. The pragmatic aspects of this agenda contrast starkly with both the overweening ambition of the left and their stark failure to achieve anything at all.

        It is about moving the world forward. The initial goal is a declaration of the future. To frame a positive and optimistic narrative of our common humanity and common wish for a peaceful and prosperous world. This as always requires saving the things of value from the past and inventing freely to meet the inevitable challenges of the future. It is not in any sense conservative.

        Science is a different question – and to preserve the high regard that science commands in society – it needs to be both rescued from politics and from a misguided adherence to any fixed view of what science says. Science is a process and not an end. It seems paradoxically simple to understand that climate science is much more complex than most people imagine.

        To explain a little – the Pacific Decadal Variation explains most of the ‘recent warming’. Recent warming happened between 1976 and 1998. Most warming happened in 1976/77 and 1997/98 – fast warming due to ENSO and not slow warming as we would expect from greenhouse gases. There are a number of these atmospheric and oceanic modes that can be though of as chaotic oscillators – and all as part of an integrated Earth system. Atmospheric physicist Anastasios Tsonis looked at the indices and found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift abruptly into a new state. It is no coincidence that these shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our “interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,” Tsonis said.’

        There is a discussion here by Kyle Swanson –


        The essential concept – difficult as it is – is that the ‘shifts’ are chaotic bifurcations in a complex and dynamic Earth system. Butterfly wings that shift the globe.


        So 1976/77 and 1997/98 are – it is then realized – ENSO ‘dragon-kings’. That is – meaningful outliers at points of chaotic bifurcation.
        ‘We develop the concept of “dragon-kings” corresponding to meaningful outliers, which are found to coexist with power laws in the distributions of event sizes under a broad range of conditions in a large variety of systems. These dragon-kings reveal the existence of mechanisms of self-organization that are not apparent otherwise from the distribution of their smaller siblings. We present a generic phase diagram to explain the generation of dragon-kings and document their presence in six different examples (distribution of city sizes, distribution of acoustic emissions associated with material failure, distribution of velocity increments in hydrodynamic turbulence, distribution of financial drawdowns, distribution of the energies of epileptic seizures in humans and in model animals, distribution of the earthquake energies). We emphasize the importance of understanding dragon-kings as being often associated with a neighborhood of what can be called equivalently a phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of Rene Thom), or a tipping point.’


        Taking out the extreme ENSO events – Swanson presumes that the slope of the curve between 1979 and 1997 is the true anthropogenic warming signal. But is this so?

        The Pacific Decadal Variation (PDV) has phases in which the PDO is associated with changes in the frequency and intensity of ENSO. A positive PDO between 1977 and 1998 with increased frequency and intensity of El Niño. Low level cloud cloud is negatively correlated with sea surface temperature – so less cloud in the period. Is this a difficult concept? I don’t know – in Australian hydrology we have drought and flood dominated regimes caused by these patterns that I have been thinking about for decades. There is a reverse hydrological effect for the US – see table 1 here –
        http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~mantua/REPORTS/PDO/PDO_cs.htm – and more generally the discussion.

        Here is the tropical ISCCP-FD and ERBS IR record –http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/zFD/an2020_LWup_toa.gif – a cooling in the IR to 1998, a brief warming in the 2000 La Nina and then cooling as conditions returned to mild El Nino.

        The SW record – http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/zFD/an2020_SWup_toa.gif – shows a large warming trend – apart from the 1992 Mt Pinatubo spike – to 1998 and a little cooling since.

        What does NASA say? ‘The overall slow decrease of upwelling SW flux from the mid-1980′s until the end of the 1990′s and subsequent increase from 2000 onwards appear to caused, primarily, by changes in global cloud cover (although there is a small increase of cloud optical thickness after 2000) and is confirmed by the ERBS measurements… The overall slight rise of global total net flux at TOA between the 1980′s and 1990′s is confirmed in the tropics by the ERBS measurements and exceeds the estimated climate forcing changes (greenhouse gases and aerosols) for this period. The most obvious explanation is the associated changes in cloudiness during this period.’ But remember there was cooling in the IR – so the cloud changes offset global warming and then some.

        There were significant problems in deriving the satellite records – but we have multiple platforms and surface observations (eg Burgman et al 2008 and Clement et al 2009) and “Earthshine’ measurements (Palle 2007) that all say the same thing. So we are entitled on the evidence to be sceptical of Kyle Swanson’s global warming signal.

        Did the climate shift after 1998? Without much of a doubt at all. What we need is an equivalent shift in the debate

      • Gotta say, Chief, that was pretty funny.

        You say it isn’t about tribalism (pretending not to know what that means yet hypocritically responding on point regardless0, and then launch into a diatribe on the overweening? ambition of the left and their “stark failure to achieve anything at all.”

        To have such a categorical lack of introspection is astonishing.

        As always, Chief, I find your technical contributions interesting and informative (when you aren’t repeating yourself word for word from one post to another).

        Your analysis of the political context – not so much.

      • I rewrite occasionally to make things clearer – so it is not word for word at all. It obviously doesn’t work for many people – and I am deeply perplexed that what seems so clear to me has so little effect. Let me be clear – it is not that everything in climate science is uncertain and therefore we should not reduce greenhouse gases. Much of what we think about climate is guaranteed to be a small part of the complex reality. The very notion of global warming fails to encompass the dynamic and non-linear nature of climate change. Our lack of understanding of the immense dynamical complexity and the incalculable nature of non-linearity – in my opinion should only engender caution. Climate is orders of magnitude more complex than models.

        But you disdain the solutions offered by one of the most exciting think tanks in the world – The Breakthrough Institute – and the London School of Economics.

        Your appropriate the term liberal – would that it had real meaning for you. Liberalism is our common heritage that is the fruit of the enlightenment. It is very thing that forged America as the first of the the liberal democracies. Democracy, free markets, the rule of law, freedom of religion, rights to property and to freedom of speech. These are the essential values and in economics they find their best expression in Friedrich Heyak and the Austrian school.

        ‘Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving. It may succeed by its resistance to current tendencies in slowing down undesirable developments, but, since it does not indicate another direction, it cannot prevent their continuance. It has, for this reason, invariably been the fate of conservatism to be dragged along a path not of its own choosing. The tug of war between conservatives and progressives can only affect the speed, not the direction, of contemporary developments. But, though there is a need for a “brake on the vehicle of progress,” I personally cannot be content with simply helping to apply the brake. What the liberal must ask, first of all, is not how fast or how far we should move, but where we should move.’ Heyak – ‘Why I am not a conservative’.

        I quoted at length from a progressive site above on this very topic – because the economic and political agenda was clear. Science is misused to engender support for fringe political and economic objectives. The ambition of the left to reorganise society is evident – and it is this that the conservatives rail against for good reason. But conservative reaction goes not nearly far enough.

        Is there a question about why my views on ‘the science’ differs so much from yours Joshua? I think it is because you are utterly clueless – as we mostly are but the secret is in keeping open to possibilities.

        ‘Politics is not about maximising rationality. It is about finding compromises that enough people can tolerate to allow society to take steps in the right direction. So, contrary to all our modern instincts, political progress on climate change simply cannot be solved by injecting more scientific information into politics. More information does not automatically reduce uncertainty and increase public confidence, which is the common politicians’ assumption. But, in consequence of
        that assumption being present and potent in this (or any) politically hot field there is a constant temptation for experts to overstate and to oversimplify: something that is plainly revealed in the recent history of climate issues. But this is a recipe for political disappointment, as the 2010 Gallup poll cited documented. It shows a trend setting in of increasing erosion of public trust in the assertions of climate scientists, although, interestingly, to date this has not translated into an equivalent disenchantment with taking practical action.

        More fundamentally than in the realm of politics, over-stating confidence about what is known is much more likely to lead us astray in basic research than admitting ignorance. It locks us into rigid agenda and framings such as the one that gave us the dead end of Kyoto, rather than leaving open multiple, even competing options, that allow for learning and adaptability in moving understanding forward. This dynamic tension has always been the motor force in scientific revolutions.’ Hartwell 2010 Paper.

        The science argument is crumbling about your ears, the public are more than happy to give you the flick, success in the policy arena seems ever more distant – but complacency has no place against the progressive enemy. You seemed harmless eccentrics once before – and look what happened. Should I answer your incoherent babbling? Should I respond as if you are rational? Should I pretend that anything I say will cause you to reflect or deflect? The answer is no to all three questions. I am talking past you Joshua and not to you. True liberals are framing a a new and optimistic declaration of the future limitless possibilities for the human race.

      • I am talking past you Joshua and not to you.

        Ah – that explains it then. I was wondering why you have in the past, so frequently, attributed opinions to me that I don’t now, and never had. I always figured it was that you were talking to those liberals running around in your imagination. Now I realize that I was right. When you write posts in response to me, you’re actually writing to someone else.


        (BTW – I am not a “liberal,” I am a leftist. Liberal was a dirty word in my household growing up.)

        I don’t “appropriate” the term liberal.

        I never expressed “disdain” for solutions offered by the Breakthrough Institute.

        I haven’t stated certainty about what is known about climate change.

        Oh. Right. But you weren’t talking to me. You were talking, once again, to those mean evil libz running around in your head trying to make a “root and branch” transformation of society.

      • overweening   

        presumptuously conceited, overconfident, or proud: a brash, insolent, overweening fellow.
        exaggerated, excessive, or arrogant: overweening prejudice; overweening pride.

        You make it quite clear where you stand – as do your fellow travelers. Whom I quoted? And it is quite clear that someone thinks that humanity is a plague – and has the t-shirt – http://savatoons.spreadshirt.com/humanity-is-a-plague-t-shirt-A6006220.

        Dissemble as you do – it is of no avail. A leftist? Duh!

      • Chief –
        My personal preference is for this kind of T-shirt –

        But I doubt that Joshua would approve, much less wear one. :-)

      • You make it quite clear where you stand – as do your fellow travelers

        Right. I think what you say what I think, regardless of what I actually think. And those little liberal voices in your head tell you so.

        That’s a pretty foolproof system of logic you got there, Chief.

        A bit megalomanical. But foolproof.

      • You admit to being a lefty? You disagree with my free market economics? You indulge in a polemic about taxing the rich? And then not quite deny being a pissant progressive wanting to redistribute ill-gotten wealth?

        A lack of honesty? Good faith? Or a lack of sanity? How’s that tinfoil hat working for you?

      • And Chief, apparently in your haste to climb on your soapbox, you neglected to actually read the question:

        It is not in any sense conservative.

        The question is why there is such a strong correlation between “conservatives” and a particular perspective regarding climate change. If your argument is that a conservative ideology predisposes someone to a particular perspective on how CO2 affects climate – so be it (although, I must say, that seems a bit implausible to me). But then it is, in a sense, “conservative,” now isn’t it?

        If your argument is that a conservative ideology predisposes someone to oppose a centralized and coordinated, government-focused initiative to mitigate the effects of CO2 on the environment, that might make more sense, but then it doesn’t really answer the question of why “conservative” ideology is so highly correlated with beliefs about the (lack of) effects of CO2 on the climate, now does it? Not to mention the logical follow-up question of why, then, “conservatives” (in general) support centralized and coordinated, government-focused initiatives to solve other highly dynamic and complex problems such as jihadism, or that pernicious spread of “secular humanism.” Or why conservatives (generally) support relying on a centralized and coordinated, government-focused system to protect property rights.

        If your argument is that it is “not in any sense conservative,” and therefore that the correlation between “conservatives” and “unconvinced skepticism/denialism” re: climate change is attributable merely to coincidence, I’d say, well….you’re certainly entitled to your beliefs – no matter how illogical they might be.

      • Joshua –
        The question is why there is such a strong correlation between “conservatives” and a particular perspective regarding climate change.

        Did it ever occur to you that the answer to that question lies in the so-called “solutions” proposed by the left?

      • I don’t get the logic, Jim.

        Why would arguments about solutions from “the left,” have anything to do with how “conservatives” view the physical dynamics related to how CO2 emissions affect climate?

        It’s all about confirmation bias, Jim.

        What’s interesting is that a sites such as this one – largely dedicated to the thesis that libz and climate scientists are overwhelmingly victimized by their confirmation biases – “conservatives” are so often unable to see that such cognitive processes are fundamental to human nature, and not disproportionately representative on “the left.”

      • Joshua –
        I don’t get the logic, Jim.

        I didn’t think you would – you’re blinded by your own tribalism.

        Why would arguments about solutions from “the left,” have anything to do with how “conservatives” view the physical dynamics related to how CO2 emissions affect climate?

        Well gee, Josh – look at the proposed “solutions” to the purported “problem”. We’ve been through this before but let’s just recap –
        The purported problem is that CO2 causes warming in a direct relationship and that the planet will warm catastrophically.

        Let’s examine tha statement – first – the planet HAS warmed – very gently over the last several hundred years. No catastrophe, no indication of future catastrophe. CO2 has also increased. Correlation? Sorta. Causation – ONLY if one assumes so. And correlation is NOT causation. So – Salby’s paper is of interest because it makes “different” assumptions. And, in time, we’ll have a chance to test those assumptions. In the meantime, there’s this –

        Let’s move on – second item – that CO2 causes warming in a direct relationship
        All the caterwauling aside, Salby’s paper does raise questions about that relationship. As my wife said – which is the chicken and which is the egg?

        More – the supposed relationship has failed to correlate for the last 13+ years.

        And finally – that the planet will warm catastrophically.
        Evidence please? There is none. There is ONLY the irrational fear that it MIGHT do so. The Oh, my God mob that has never impressed me – or many others – in the face of that level of uncertainty and doubt and lack of evidence – now wants us to impose taxes on ourselves in order to “save the planet”. They do NOT, however, provide any evidence that those taxes will “save the planet” – nor do they even indicate HOW those taxes will be used. What specific projects do they propose to use that funding for? Have we ever been told that?

        Aye – there’s the rub. In the UK, new energy taxes will be used for – wind farms – which have proven to be inffective in the UK. IIRC, overall efficiency was 4% of rated output? At that efficiency, you need a hell of a lot of windmills to replace each of the coal plants they propose to shut down. More – those taxes are NOT for direct wind farm construction but rather for subsidies to those who would build them. Which means you have a massive inefficiency in the funding – first in the tax collection, accounting and distribution process and then in the private sector (which will demand it’s profit – off the top) in the construction and operation end of the business – not to mention the financing rathole. Do you have any idea what the payback period is for windmills? Then there’s the guaranteed ongoing subsidies to the operators ( not cheap) to keep them in business. IOW – it takes a LOT of taxes to go green.

        Of course, if you want to talk about solar, the same kind of tax/funding/subsidy/inefficiency applies. Not to mention things like this – http://notrickszone.com/2011/07/04/weed-covered-solar-park-20-acres-11-million-only-one-and-half-years-old/

        Or maybe you’d like to talk about Cap and Trade – the the EU style ETS – or CCX – or the proposed Australian carbon tax – or the BC carbon tax? These are all inventions of the left – only they don’t want to talk about effectiveness or efficiency. And with good reason.

        And there’s more – much, much more.

        It’s all about confirmation bias, Jim.

        I suspect you have no clue how valueless that statement is. But it is certainly about tribalism. It’s about conflict between two tribes.

        One tribe (A) lives in and with fear and demands certainty regardless of what it costs others, regardless of the state of the science, regardless of any consideration other than their desire to be reassured that something/anything is being done – regardless of the effectiveness or efficiency or necessity that anything be done. IOW – there is neither historical perspective nor fiscal responsibility involved in their decisions.

        The other tribe (S) understands that fear is not, in and of itself, a valid reason to “do something” without solid evidence of the necessity for action. They also understand historical relevance, and financial responsibility and they demand that solutions be efficient and effective.

        Yes – I painted the extremes of each tribe there. But, at least in the case of the first (A) tribe, the extreme is what drives their train. And yes – there’s a lot of room in the spectrum between those extremes.

        I answered your question. So now the question is – did you understand the answer? Or do you need me to expand on the subject. There is, after all, much, much more to be said.

      • Actually, Jim – you didn’t answer the question. Length does not equate to relevance.

        One either views increased anthropogenically generated CO2 emissions as likely to cause significant warming, or one doesn’t, or one is agnostic on the question.

        How one views policy options, should anthropogenic CO2 emissions in fact cause significant climate change, wouldn’t logically affect how one views the physical dynamics.

        Your demonizing gross characterization of some vaguely specified group of people on one side, and glorified gross characterization of some vaguely specified group of people on the other doesn’t change the basic logic involved. All it does is confirm that you assign vastly different personal attributes to those you disagree with politically. No matter how much you repeat your view of evil libz, it won’t change the underlying logic.

      • Joshua –
        IOW – you didn’t understand what I said. As usual. And all you’re doing is scratching your own tribalistic confirmation bis.

      • Jim Owen – You say as of catastrophic warming: “There is ONLY the irrational fear that it MIGHT do so.”

        The fear is highly rational. Skeptics publicly deny it because of politics, but deep down they know it too. They just choose to be reckless as they know the danger is unlikely to directly affect them.

        I know this because skeptics are prone to slipping up occasionally and revealing they really do understand the threat of human impact on the climate. Anthony Watt’s for example recently described a geo-engineering plan as:
        “it’s batshit crazy and a powder-keg for priming a global explosion of the law of unintended consequences”

        I mean how beautiful is that. He let his guard down. I fail to see how his *alarmism* over geo-engineering can be reconciled with his dismissal of alarmism over AGW.

        Any argument he can make of dangers of geo-engineering can be made of AGW. Unintended consequences indeed – hang on isn’t he referring to the the precautionary principle there? Amazing isn’t it.

        I even imagine a cartoon argument between Alarmist Anthony and Skeptic Anthony where skeptic anthony is berating alarmist anthony for his “irrational fear” because geo-engineering dangers are not proven and the models are uncertain.

      • This would be a great place for the enlightened Joshua to share with us how great mitigation is.

      • I think you’re asking me to respond on some subject.

        If I could figure out what your post meant, I would try to respond.

      • I’ve got a few minutes to kill, so I will pretend that Joshua is asking a serious question when he asks (for the thousandth time – did you really criticize the Chief above for repeating himself in his comments – you – seriously?) why there is a correlation between conservatism and skepticism.

        Conservative economic ideology is based on humility. The belief that men are not intelligent enough, not matter how high their IQ, nor how extensive their education, to plan an economy of millions of people. Conservatives value principle above personnel. They have learned that allowing those millions to make their own individual economic decisions, in a free market where the rules of commerce are uniform and regulated, inevitably reaches a better long term result, both for the individual and for the society.

        Progressive economic ideology is based on the perceived ability of an intellectual elite to create, organize, and control such an economy. It is based on their belief that they have not only the obligation, but the right to make decisions on matters that are just too important to leave to those less intelligent, less educated masses.

        As a conservative, my belief that economists (let alone politicians) are incapable of understanding a vast, chaotic system like the U.S. economy, is no different in kind from my belief that climate scientists are incapable of understanding the vast, chaotic climate system of this planet. This is not tribalism. It is a consistent, coherent, and correct, view of the limitations of man.

        Conservatives see the hubris of economic central planners as being akin to the hubris of climate consensus scientists, because it is. We see the fact that the solutions offered by those climate scientists are identical to the economic solutions offered by their would be central planner patrons as no surprise at all.

        It is no accident that there are virtually no conservative CAGW proponents. Acceptance of CAGW orthodoxy requires you to believe both, that the scientists have a competent understanding of the Earth’s climate, and that they and their political patrons have a sufficiently competent understanding of the world economy to control it accordingly without destroying it.

        It is similarly no accident that there are so few progressives who reject at least AGW, and the need for centralized governmental action to “fix” the climate. To admit the limitations of man in his ability to understand the climate, is to flirt with the idea that that same limitation may preclude progressive understanding and control of the economy. It is to approach the humility that is at the core of conservatism. That is just too much too bear for so many whose high opinions of themselves rests so firmly on their progressivism.

        But don’t worry, none of this is true. It’s just the rantings of a racist, sexist, homophobic, greedy tool of big oil. Just ask any progressive.

      • The thing that never made any sense to me is how the side who is ostensibly concerned believes that an economy is inherently incapable of self-organization and must be centrally micromanaged, but ecology must not be touched, because it’s self-organizing. And yet weirdly, they seem to want to regulate things in the ecology (such as animal populations) that naturally fluctuate. There’s some weird consistency to their inconsistency, but I haven’t quite figured it out yet.

      • Thanks, Gary.

        Although I think that your characterizations are laughable – at least you’re owning up to the logic of your belief: you are acknowledging that you think that belief that GW is 90% A, or not, is ideologically based.

        Maybe someday Judith will find it in herself to acknowledge the same.

        At any rate, I appreciate your honesty.

      • Well, people that believe in AGW without having an understanding of infrared radiative transfer theory, how climate models work, and detection and attribution arguments are basing their belief on something, and it isn’t scientific understanding. Maybe they trust the “experts”? Maybe they like Al Gore?

        On the flip side, people that don’t believe in AGW without this understanding are also basing their belief on something other than scientific understanding. Maybe they don’t like the UN? Maybe they trust Rush Limbaugh?

        The interesting thing about the Kahan et al. study is that that they found found people not believing in AGW (esp the cool dudes) were better educated and informed about the subject.

        The idea of a scientific consensus and the extensive and rigorous IPCC process provided a “trust the experts” basis for belief. Climategate caused a big dent in the “trust the experts” basis for belief, and also the multitude of problems associated with a forced consensus and the perception of failed predictions.

        So if you look at the general population, it would be a good guess that a large number (maybe 90%) have very little basis for a scientific understanding of the issue. Hence the source of their belief or disbelief is something other than scientific understanding.

      • The interesting thing about the Kahan et al. study is that that they found found people not believing in AGW (esp the cool dudes) were better educated and informed about the subject.

        Actually, Judith – I find it interesting that you continue to focus on what was, in reality, not the main conclusion of Kahan’s study.

        The main conclusion was essentially, exactly what I was saying – the more information someone has on a subject, the stronger a predictor are their “cultural” predispositions.

        The correlation between expertise (very crudely measured, I might add), and belief about the climate change was extremely weak. The correlation between belief about climate change and cultural reference point was much stronger.

        If you are using the Kahan study as a basis for an argument, the only logical argument would, essentially, be the exact opposite of the one you just made.

        As to whether “warmists” are correct in their assumption that people with more “expertise” are more likely to believe that GW is likely A, that is another question entirely. Accepting the weak contradicting correlation that Kahan’s study found, the argument is still potentially more nuanced. There is expertise and there is expertise. Do you argue that a deep level of “expertise” on the subject of climate change correlates with skepticism about whether GW is A?


      • Actually, Dr. Curry, no one is an expert on more than a tiny fraction of the relevant science, so by your standard no one has a scientific understanding, but that can’t be right. The truth is that most of the people involved have some scientific understanding, certainty enough to make an informed judgement. Beyond that we all just do the best we can.

        The reason the debate is ideological is twofold. First, because the science is inconclusive. Second, because this inconclusive science is being used to further a political agenda. It is only for this latter reason that people are forced to take an informed position on the scientific issue. But it is an informed position. Ideology is simply the reasoning one uses when faced with irreconcilable ambiguity in a policy context. Ideology is not irrational, it is our core beliefs.

      • Joshua –
        Your problem here is that you’re focusing on what YOU believe to be the main conclusion of Kahan – but others don’t see that conclusion as being all that important.

        IOW, you’re talking past everyone else and failing to understand what they’re saying. At this point you’ve had 3 of us answer your question – and we all said the same thing in different ways.

        When are you gonna start listening/ pay attention?

      • Good lord, Jim

        From the abstract:

        More importantly, greater scientific literacy and numeracy were associated with greater cultural polarization: Respondents predisposed by their values to dismiss climate change evidence became more dismissive, and those predisposed by their values to credit such evidence more concerned, as science literacy and numeracy increased.

        From the results:

        It is thus plain that differences in our respondents’ cultural values had a bigger effect on percep-tion of climate-change risks than did differences in their degrees of either science literacy or numeracy. The correlations between Science/Numeracy, on the one hand, and Hierarchy (r = 0.15, p < 0.01) and In-dividualism (r = -0.04, p = 0.09) were weak….Because the contribution that culture makes to public disagreement grows in strength as science literacy and numeracy increase, it is not plausible to see the impact of cultural cogni-tion as a heuristic substitute for scientific knowledge and System 1 reasoning capacity…The data in this study suggest that the impact of cultural cognition on perceptions of scientific evidence only grows in strength as individuals become more knowledgeable about science and develop greater facility with technical reasoning….Our data, however, show that as individuals become more science literate and more proficient in the mode of reasoning featured in scientific inquiry, they don’t reliably form beliefs more in line with scientific consensus. Instead, they form beliefs that are even more reliably correlated with those of the particular cultural group to which they belong.

        From the conclusion:

        As ordinary people learn more science and become more proficient in modes of reasoning characteristic of scientific inquiry, they do not reliably converge on assessments of climate change risks supported by scientific evidence. Instead they more form beliefs that are even more reliably characteristic of persons who hold their particular cultural worldviews.

      • Judith,

        Its an interesting question about belief in AGW. As a climate scientist you’re obviously in a much better position than most to know, but there must be lots of other scientific questions on which you have less than expert knowledge.

        Like, say, the recent progress in the human genome project. I must say I haven’t much knowledge on that at all, but I’ve no reason to put words, like expert, in quote marks when I do defer to expert opinion. What about you?

        I remember listening to Richard Dawkins, on the radio, talking about the subject a few months ago. So if we both agree that expert opinion is correct, is that for no other reason than we both like Richard Dawkins?

      • Joshua –
        Good lord, Jim

        No, he’s not likely to help you with this. Nor am I although I’ll try once more.

        The rest of your comment is nothing but quotes from the paper that you – and presumbably, the author consider important. That’s cool. But it doesn’t mean that others won’t find something else in that paper of far more relevance.

        What I’m seeing is that you keep expecting others to see and understand exactly the same thing you do. You keep saying the same things repeatedly, using the same conclusions that others don’t care about to try to make points that aren’t being made – simply because nobody cares. They care about what struck them as important. What you think is important really doesn’t matter to them. It’s not a personal thing – it’s just that they don’t live in the same world you do. So they have different perspectives, different interests, different viewpoints and different priorities. Until you can accept that and learn to work with it, you’ll continue to bang your head against walls.

        One last thing – I’m not putting you down – or lecturing – or anything of the sort. Nor do I expect you to believe or act on anything I’ve said. For my part, this has been a straight as I see it series of comments. But if you don’t understand what I’ve said…..well, I’ll try to not bug you with it again because that would be a waste of time for both of us. .

      • Jim –

        This is hilarious. You’re perfectly entitled to consider whatever you’d like to be the most important conclusions of the paper.

        But the authors stated their main conclusions – numerous times, and when Judith refers to “what they found” is not their main conclusion.

        It is interesting that over and over she refers to a very slight statistical finding of their study, yet doesn’t seem interested in the main conclusion of their study that was of much greater statistical significance..

        Don’t you find that interesting, Jim?

      • Joshua –
        What I find interesting is your obsession with your view of the world – and of the paper’s conclusion – and the interpretation and amphais others put on it.

        Tell me, Josh – do you drink coffee? Most people do – and medically, it is supposedly good for you. But I don’t drink it. I’m allergic to all coffee except a specific Haitian variety. In that small way and probably in many others, we live in different worlds.

        Similarly, what you see in that paper is not what others see there. Why is it that you can’t accept that? That’s a rhetorical question – no answer required. I just ask because its one of many questions for which there is no obvious answer. And possibly no answer at all.

      • I agree with Joshua on that paper. My comments on the thread will show that. The paper was a pre-cursor to the CWM discussion that came up later. JC’s take on it was because the thread was about Chris Mooney’s comment on the paper, and that is what he emphasized, but some of us went to the original work, and saw that the paper was not focused on that aspect. The later threads on CWMs and Jean Goodwin’s work confirm some of these ideas about what I would call prejudices in AGW science.

      • Jim D –
        The later threads on CWMs and Jean Goodwin’s work confirm some of these ideas about what I would call prejudices in AGW science.

        A couple points –
        1) Joshua keeps “assuming” that I’m expressing “my” viewpoint on the paper. But I have never done so.
        2) What I have done is to point out that if seven people read something (anything), then you’re likely to get seven different interpretations of what they read. And that Joshua insists (and Dr Curry in particular) that everyone should interpret the paper exactly as the authors did.
        3 ) I never had any doubt at all that you would agree with him.
        4 ) The prejudices in AGW science are real. But they cut both ways. If you’ve read this thread, you may have some vague notion about why those prejudices exist – and why they will not go away without major changes on both sides of the dance floor.

      • Similarly, what you see in that paper is not what others see there. Why is it that you can’t accept that?

        au contraire, Jim – as I stated above, I agree (accept) that you’re perfectly entitled to consider whatever you like about that study to be important.

        But as I also stated above, more than once in fact, the authors clearly outlined their main conclusions. I posted excerpts that make their main conclusions clear. They are not what Judith described as “what they found” in their study.

      • The Kahan paper discussion was not a clean one on that paper, because this blog viewed it through the Mooney lens. I am not blaming anyone for doing that, as that is how it was presented. I prefer direct discussions on the papers rather than discussions on third-party opinions on papers.

      • Jim D –
        I think there’s a disconnect beween you and Joshua.

        Joshua –
        You’ve once again misread what I’ve written, made too many assumptions about what I said and are rapidly confirming my hypothesis wrt progressives and reading comprehension. IOW, you jumped to a conslusion and ended up in the swamp. :-)

      • Joshua,

        I have never read a single comment from you that was anything other than a product of your acceptance of progressive orthodoxy. I find your constant affected surprise at finding the same process in others to be precious.

        It is the nature of ideology that it is the framework within which we make judgments regarding policy. Deciding how to implement public policy without an ideology would be like building a bridge without any concept of structural engineering.

        It was not conservatives or skeptics who infected the realm of “climate science” with ideology. It was in response to the progressive attempt to hijack science in furtherance of ideology/policy that conservatives first became mobilized.

        Remember, even a true conservative like Margaret Thatcher initially was willing to give the benefit of the doubt to climate scientists. It was the ever increasing politicization of the science by progressives who saw a golden opportunity that changed the very nature of the debate.

        I, and other conservatives, do not accept CAGW because there is insufficient evidence. There is room for debate on AGW, as even now there is debate on many of its underlying tenets: accuracy of global average temperature records; accuracy of climate models; accuracy of attribution of CO2 to human activity; lack of knowledge regarding the effects of water vapor, etc. But that decision will also be made on the basis of the science.

        It is not that ideology determines “belief that GW is 90% A.” The real difference between conservatives and progressives like yourself in this debate is where we place the burden of proof. You accept that “GW is 90% A” simply because the IPCC says so, not because of some scientific analysis you personally have performed. For conservatives, the IPCC has no credibility any more, and there is still significant debate on the point. Look at the Salby post on this blog for just one example

        For us, the burden rests always on those urging policy changes. For you, once a majority of “authoritative” progressives reach a “consensus,” the burden shifts to anyone who disagrees. In the IPCC, academia, and the peer reviewed literature, your “tribe” determines the burden of proof. Fortunately for the real world, when it comes to CAGW, the jury is the electorate, where the burden still rests on the scientists. And they haven’t met it yet.

        By the way, you are half right when you say that I am “acknowledging that you think that belief that GW is 90% A, or not, is ideologically based.” You just have to delete the “or not.” Your acceptance is purely ideological, you have denied any knowledge of the science. My doubt of the point admittedly begins ideologically, that’s what the burden of proof is all about. But I am open to being convinced to the contrary.

      • Until Joshua can state other peoples positions fairly I think we should apply his rules of dialogue and judge him to less than objective.

      • ‘Although Hayek believed that government intervention in markets would lead to a loss of freedom, he recognized a limited role for government to perform tasks of which free markets were not capable:

        The successful use of competition as the principle of social organization precludes certain types of coercive interference with economic life, but it admits of others which sometimes may very considerably assist its work and even requires certain kinds of government action.

        While Hayek is opposed to regulations which restrict the freedom to enter a trade, or to buy and sell at any price, or to control quantities, he acknowledges the utility of regulations which restrict allowed methods of production, so long as these are applied equally to everyone and not used as an indirect way of controlling prices or quantities:

        To prohibit the use of certain poisonous substances, or to require special precautions in their use, to limit working hours or to require certain sanitary arrangements, is fully compatible with the preservation of competition.

        He notes that there are certain areas, such as the environment, which cannot effectively be regulated solely by the marketplace: Nor can certain harmful effects of deforestation, of some methods of farming, or of the smoke and noise of factories, be confined to the owner of the property in question, or to those who are willing to submit to the damage for an agreed compensation.

        The government also has a role in preventing fraud: Even the most essential prerequisite of its [the market’s] proper functioning, the prevention of fraud and deception (including exploitation of ignorance), provides a great and by no means fully accomplished object of legislative activity.

        He concludes: “In no system that could be rationally defended would the state just do nothing.” ‘http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_to_Serfdom#CITEREFHayek1994

        Also see my comments above – http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/05/week-in-review-2/#comment-94750

        So I am not sure what more I can say – if I only to be misrepresented.by you.

        But I would turn the question around – what makes progressives so capable of nonsense?

      • Hard to be sure who you were responding to there, Chief – as according to the nesting hierarchy, that post is in response to one put up long ago by Judith (your post is one step down on the hierarchy and the most recent post at the top of the hierarchy was hers).

        Anyway, the ideas you express in that post, Chief – in contrast to the run of the mill libertarian posts to be found in these here parts – is why I said earlier that in between your incomprehensible rants about libz, you are capable of making a cogent argument from a libertarian perspective.

      • Sorry – something strange is happening on my screen. Comments jump back and forth across hierarchies when I open up a comment box. Although your post does not really relate topically to my comment above, and although you said the comment wasn’t directed at me, it is nested one level of hierarchy below mine.


      • Ah – so it is. He does have a website with his name on it. So he is only indirectly anonymous.

        Ok, I’ll take it back. Now that I know that he posts his name on some obscure blog, I realize that he really is courageous.

        So I guess, then, that we’ll just have to agree that hunter is a coward.

      • I responded to a comment on a supposed lack of consistency on the role of government. Government is a necessary evil – and I quoted the bete noir of the social democrats – Friedrich Heyak.from the Road to Serfdom. ‘From saintly intent to tyranny is but a step’. There is no libertarianism here – merely the organised principles of free peoples and free markets.

        You are light years from understanding – you have no faintest concept of what I’m talking about. Your ideas are a clear and present danger to the future of humanity – that you are simply misguided makes no difference. You have chosen the wrong side – Joshua – you are the enemy with whom no rapprochement is possible.

      • you are the enemy with whom no rapprochement is possible


        Hide the women and children, i’m coming to get you. Make sure to check under your bed before you lay down to sleep.

        I hope you’ve got your bunker built already, Chief.

        And based on info from Jim – I hope it ain’t built out of stone or cement block.

        Oh, and btw – I would be afraid of the danger you represent, but I learned that because you post anonymously, you’re a coward.

        I’m so relieved.

      • Josh –
        But he’s NOT anonymous. His website is there for you to peruse. Always has been. And therefore, his identity is not hidden.

      • Chief,

        Have you worked out just what
        To increase food and energy supplies by 3%/year for the rest of the century. It is an agenda that must not fail.
        actually means?
        You might just want to do that with your calculator or on a spreadsheet. 3% compounded over 89 years is a factor of:

        a) 3 more
        b) 7 more
        c) 13 more
        d) 20 more

      • Considering what we had 100 years ago, why are you surprised?

      • 14 times current global GDP. I also have an idea of what it means to not do this – billions of blighted lives and horrors far exceeding those of the 20th century.

        I understand the arguments for limits to growth – I just don’t agree..

    • Al Gore’s testosterone is the problem? Who knew?

  31. Consider the source.

  32. The Left’s Use of global warming alarmism and fearmongering to loot the economy represents a ‘rob mob’ ideology.

    • Wag, you may be suffering from Polluter’s Panic. A good dose of common sense could ease your suffering.

      • The Left has turned english into a liars language. Evidence of that is the labeling of CO2 as a pollutant by EPA bureaucrats .

      • Pollutant means causing harm. Lots of of good things can become pollutants if in high concentrations (e.g., nitrogen) or in the wrong places (ground level ozone). Deniers have this silly notion that more of a good thing is always better.

        BTW, wasn’t it the Court, not the EPA?

      • M. carey –
        BTW, wasn’t it the Court, not the EPA?

        No. Do you always comment on matters wrt which you are uninformed?

      • Jim, do you always comment on matters on which you are uninformed?

        The EPA was forced to evaluate CO2 as a pollutant by the Supreme Court in Mass. v. EPA. (2007). The EPA subsequently evaluated CO2 and decided that it did have the power to declare it a pollutant.

      • Rattus –
        Look at what you wrote. The Court did NOT make the decision. The EPA made the decision based on IPCC AR4 rather than on their own assessment.

      • OK – let’s expand that. As I should have in the first place.

        The EPA was forced to evaluate CO2 as a pollutant by the Supreme Court in Mass. v. EPA. (2007).

        Not “forced” but “ordered”. There is a difference, although not much.

        The EPA subsequently evaluated CO2

        Yes. Based on the IPCC conclusion – not on independent evaluation.

        and decided that it did have the power to declare it a pollutant.

        Yes – but that decision was NOT mandated by the Court. Nor was that decision either the only possible decision or, in the opinion of many in both the legal and scientific professions, necessary.

        The future of that decision will be interesting and vital to the financial recovery (or not) and the financial future (if any) , of this country and probably others.

        In ANY case, M. carey’s statement was wrong and ill-informed.

      • Jim,

        Really? The EPA wouldn’t have been forced to make and evaluation if the the court had not said “do it”.

      • Rattus –
        The Court said do it (evaluate it) – but they did NOT require the finding that the EPA issued.

        However, IIRC, the court specified an independent evaluation – which the EPA did NOT conduct. But I could be wrong about that.

      • Jim,

        I assume you would have preferred that they spend millions doing there own review, ignoring everything we know, and come up with the same answer? IPCC WG1 isn’t that bad (in fact it is pretty good, if a bit conservative). The message is clear.

  33. We face a seemingly bleak and uncertain future, but we should not live in fear.

    The plan to use AGW (anthropologic CO2-induced global warming) and the SSM (standard solar model) to bankrupt and subjugate the “Free West” to a tyrannical one-world government has been at halted, at least temporarily.

    The Bilderberg SSM of steady H-fusion in a Hydrogen-filled Sun was reasonable when adopted in April 1967:


    The AGW promoted by world leaders, Al Gore, the US NAS (National Academy of Sciences), the UK’s RS (Royal Society), and the UN’s IPCC (United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) was never reasonable from a scientific point of view.

    It was a clever psychological way to avoid the threat of mutual nuclear annihilation (including death of world leaders), equalize the standard of living around the globe, and unite nations.

    The AGW/SSM story only required government scientists to:

    a.) Ignore many reliable experimental observations [1-3].

    b.) Pretend solar neutrinos from H-fusion oscillation away.

    c.) Pretend H-fusion will meet future global energy needs.

    Thanks to a few brave souls like Professor Judy Curry, Steve McIntyre, Jo Nova, Jeff Id and others we survived, identified the problem, and need not live in fear today.

    All religions teach the same spiritual fact:

    “Truth is victorious, never untruth.”
    Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.6; Qur’an 17.85
    Numerous scriptures of other religions

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo


    1. “Neutron repulsion confirmed as energy source”, Journal of Fusion Energy 20, 197-201 (2002):

    2. “Super-fluidity in the solar interior: Implications for solar eruptions and climate”, Journal of Fusion Energy 21, 193-198 (2002):

    3. “Neutron Repulsion”, The APEIRON Journal, in press, 19 pages (2011): http://arxiv.org/pdf/1102.1499v1

  34. If truth is to be victorious We must face facts: the left is anti capitalist the Left is anti-capitalist and the Left is in power so our socio-economic structure is not capitalism it is liberal fascism. Global warming alarmism is simply a means to that end.?

  35. John Kannarr

    I checked out Scott Denning’s article at the Yale Forum, and noted an area where many still don’t “get it” about so-called political agendas:

    <Denning suggested “informative, persuasive, and productive” approaches such as:
    <Beginning from “common ground,” such as recognizing a need for public policy to be based on facts rather than on political agendas;

    The pertinent claim he makes is that there is a solution based on facts which are somehow opposed to political agendas. The whole point of rational political principles, aka "agendas," is that they should be based on facts. Obviously rational men do disagree about about what the facts are with respect to political policies, but the people at Heartland happen to have very strong views that the free market is always the policy most in accord with the facts (as do I). The whole history of society and economies is one big affirmation that when men are left free to pursue their individual goals without forceful interference with or by the similar pursuits of other men, individuals and societies prosper to the greater extent the more governments and men are prevented from exercising the initiation of force against others, i.e., truly free markets, and not mixed economies (and certainly not dictatorships of any form) where government power is used to benefit some at the expense of others.

    So if there is a problem with climate change, no matter whether the cause is human or otherwise, the true "solution" will be when men are left free to solve the problem and no technocrats with claims to superior knowledge are allowed to impose their choices on everyone else. Those who believe that the U.S. or the U.N. has to modify men's economic choices on a grand scale in order to fix things for everybody will only succeed in magnifying the extent and reach of whatever individual errors the "planners" will undoubtedly make. In a free society and a free market, individual errors will primarily affect those individuals who make them (and I say this in strong contradistinction to those who always proclaim the "tragedy of the commons" and that big businesses somehow impose their consequences on all). As long as people have choices, they will be able to decide for themselves what is the best action to take, including what businesses to deal with. Giving some men the power to make decisions for all will only expand the reach and the damage of those who then make the decisions for all. It will not ensure that those in power make only right decisions, and certainly imposing autocratic decisions will leave fewer opportunities for those who differ from those in power to exercise their own choices, even when those individual choices would be more beneficial to them and to others.

    The real choice in political agendas is whether a few men are to be allowed to impose their will or everyone else, or whether all individuals are to be left free to make their own choices. Facts always come down on the side of maximum freedom.

    • “So if there is a problem with climate change, no matter whether the cause is human or otherwise, the true “solution” will be when men are left free to solve the problem and no technocrats with claims to superior knowledge are allowed to impose their choices on everyone else.”

      The nature of the problem requires a top down solution. Some things simply do. This is not a case where a free market can solve it.

      • Michael Larkin

        IMO, a top-down solution only works when it is known in advance it will work. We progress bottom-up, learn through our mistakes, and when similar circumstances arise again, we can then have a chance of working top-down.

        If we try to act top-down before we know what the issue is, and/or how best to deal with it, we almost invariably screw things up, and often big time.

        You seem to think you know what the issue is, and probably have some idea how to fix it. I suppose that’s a possibility, but I for one doubt that. For my part, I don’t even know if there’s a real issue that needs fixing, but even if there was, wouldn’t have a clue how to do that.

        It’s not a question of right or left or free markets versus state/global control. It’s a question of knowledge. That’s the precautionary principle of the sceptic.

      • lolwot –
        For design work, top down works (mostly).

        For problem resolution, top down sucks. Always.

        Free market is the ONLY solution to what you perceive as a problem. Nothing else, government in particular, has the flexibility to be effective. And government is a particularly bad “solution” for non-problems.

      • How would the free market solve the problem of national defense?

        The current solution is top down.

      • No. You “plan” (design) a military from the top down. You “build” it from the bottom up.

        And don’t get the idea that ONLY government can perform the national defense role.

      • The current military isn’t a free market solution.

        If the military was disbanded tomorrow and national defense was left to the free market, I doubt very much the free market would be up to the challenge of solving the problem of defense.

      • Oh I don’t know. The Chinese would produce a very competitive tender to guarantee US security I’m sure. It would be much cheaper than the getting on for a $ trillion the US taxpayer currently spends.

      • tt –
        The Romans outsourced defense. Do you remember how that worked out for them?

      • This is not the right question at all. In a free society it is the role of government to protect citizens from both external and internal threat.

        Although instead of exponentially increasing expenditure – a budget of less than 30% of GDP is optimal for growth, employment and productivity. Heyaks the Road to Serfdom – is a prime source for the role of government in a free society.

      • If the military was disbanded tomorrow and national defense was left to the free market, I doubt very much the free market would be up to the challenge of solving the problem of defense.

        Maybe where you live, but don’t bet the farm on it.

      • Yet I would literally be betting the farm on it if I was to fall for the “free market always solves all problems” dogma. For that is what such absolutist statements are – dogma.

      • The free market is not a tool. It is not a source of “solutions.” The free market is simply the name of the capitalist economic system that evolved in the west. It is a description of the best means of engaging in commerce to increase personal and national wealth and prosperity, not a means of effecting policy.

        It is easier to critique the free market if you first take the time to learn what it is. National defense and police powers have always been recognized as core governmental functions. Regulating the free market economy (the judiciary, financial disclosure regulation) are also proper governmental functions.

        But a free market will naturally, through the process of millions of people pursuing their own self interest, produce solutions to the needs of the populace better than any centrally planned economy. If CAGW is ever shown to be a genuine problem, free market entrepreneurs will find solutions through the market that will be much more effective than anything progressives can dream up in their fevered search for power.

        If you ask a conservative what the free market solution should be to a problem, you are simply showing your lack of understanding of the concept itself. If individuals could predict with accuracy the results of a free market, central planning would work. It is possible to speculate as to what the market’s response to problems might be, but that is at best guess work, and not a means of forming policy.

      • Gary,
        Well said!

      • It is less easy to argue that a free market is going to produce the best economic results nowadays, when a very highly state-regulated economy, China, is growing at a far higher rate, much more efficiently and debt free, than the so called “free market” areas. Add to that the slow motion but inevitable collapse of the economic systems in the United States, UK and Euro-zone the evidence seems to be pointing in favour of a centrally directed economy.

      • As for the mystical wonders of Chinese fascism, please see my comment above.


      • I guess what I am saying is that if the free market cannot solve some problems (eg regulation, the military) then it’s not given that the free market would be able to solve a problem like CAGW.

        In fact given the nature of the problem I would think it’s a lot like regulation where the problem itself that needs solving is a byproduct of the free market.

      • First of all free markets in the Austrian School require a government sector to create a functioning civil society. The rule of law is fundamental because society could not function in the absence of police and defence capabilities to enforce essential protections for citizens. Anarchy is as bad for business and ordinary people as communism. Provision of roads, ports, schools, and hospitals are all acceptable in Austrian economics. Rules for pollution, worker safety, trade in endangered species are examples of areas where rules may be acceptable of the rules are limited to a specific and socially desirable function, are efficient, achieve what they set out to do etc. It is a fine line. . ,

        The economic problems everywhere are different but there essential rules in Austrian economics that are everywhere flouted. The size of the government sector is one. As the government sector grows – initially productivity grows. At a point somewhat less than 30% of GDP productivity starts falling. Many developed countries have public sectors much bigger than that and still they have debts that are out control as a result of overspending. They failed to control spending. They failed in market oversight by allowing dodgy practices in loans paid for until the credit crunch by keeping interest rates low and thus allowing assett bubbles to form. All of this is contrary to Austrian economics and applies to most economies including China – which has huge and non-productive assets paid for by stealing peoples savings and pouring it into an asset bubble. It will all end badly because it must and always has. This is not an argument for socialism – really that always has and must fare much worse. It is an argument for Austrian economics. . .

        The problem is in the nature of your solution – which let’s say for argument involves an international agreement to cap emissions and to trade permits. Energy is at the core of production, Increases in energy prices – which is the core of the ‘solution’ – means productivity falls. Productivity falls because this is the definition of productivity – the cost per unit production. Productivity falls, GDP falls and economic growth is less than it otherwise would be, Someone who had a dollar a day now has 95 cents.

        This is why the developing countries will not adopt this solution. In a world where most people are desperate for development – it takes food from the mouths of the most needy. In this world – what we need to do is increase food and energy supplies by 3%/year for the rest of the century. Only capitalism – even if hampered by a misguided government sector – can achieve this growth.

        Cap and trade is not acceptable and will not work. So what are the pragmatic options?

      • https://secure.ametsoc.org/amsbookstore/viewProductInfo.cfm?productID=45

        Not so. You should be more open minded. Oprah says its spiritual

  36. While not specifically a climate cartoon, this strip certainly reminds me of the climate debate. Best of the week.

    • Jim Owen writes:
      “And finally – that the planet will warm catastrophically.
      Evidence please? There is none. There is ONLY the irrational fear that it MIGHT do so.”

      It’s not irrational and skeptics deep down realize this, yourself included I suspect.

      I know this because sometimes skeptics slip up and reveal what they really think is no different to anyone else.

      For example Anthony Watt’s recently described a geo-engineering proposal as: “batsh*t crazy and a powder-keg for priming a global explosion of the law of unintended consequences”

      Priceless. Just look at that string of highly alarmist terms “powder keg”, “priming”, “global explosion”. How can his alarmism over the threat of geo-engineering be reconciled with his outright dismissal of the threat of AGW? It can’t.

      Note the cited fear of unintended consequences. That’s Anthony appealing to the precautionary principle of all things.

      What’s happened is he let his guard down. It’s a guard all skeptics have exclusively for AGW, that allows you, for example, to describe fears of catastrophe from AGW as irrational – even though they aren’t.

  37. Jim Owen writes: “And finally – that the planet will warm catastrophically.
    Evidence please? There is none. There is ONLY the irrational fear that it MIGHT do so.”

    The fear is not irrational. Skeptics claim the fear is irrational out of politics. Deep down they understand the fear is rational.

    I know this because skeptics sometime slip up and reveal what they really think and it’s no different to what everyone else does. For example Anthony Watt’s recently described a geo-engineering proposal as “batshit crazy and a powder-keg for priming a global explosion of the law of unintended consequences”

    Priceless. Just look at the alarmist phrases used in that quote – “powder key”, “priming”, “global explosion”. How can Anthony’s dire alarmism there be reconciled with his outright dismissal of the threat of AGW?

    It can’t. Note the “unintended consequences” part. That’s Anthony appealing to the precautionary principle of all things.

    The game skeptics play is to take all the genuine causes of alarm about AGW – the precautionary principle, computer models, etc – and deny they constitute genuine reasons for alarm. It’s as simple as that.

    • lolwot –
      The game skeptics play is to take all the genuine causes of alarm about AGW – the precautionary principle, computer models, etc – and deny they constitute genuine reasons for alarm. It’s as simple as that.

      The precautionary principle is nothing but the reaction of those who have great fears and no evidence for the reality of those fears. Read Wildavsky’s “But is it True?” His take on the PP is right on.

      Computer model – are NOT reality . Nor are they evidence. Nor are they “science” or “data” or reason to take action without observational confirmation.

      The evidence, in fact, is that if the climate “crashes” it will do so into another LIA or glacial. There is no evidence whatever that your fears of a HOT Earth have ever happened or that they will. Your irrational fear is something I choose not to live with – except in resisting the world you would

      And your fear IS irrational. It IS irrational to remake human society on the basis of indefined and indefinable fears and unvalidated computer models that have no more predictive capability than a Ouija board.

      • Thanks for proving my point. I said skeptics deny genuine causes of alarm and in response you….deny genuine causes of alarm.

        I note you didn’t touch the example of Anthony Watt’s alarmism with a barge pole.

        You demand some unspecified level of evidence for alarm to be rational, yet you don’t explain what the evidence was behind Anthony Watt’s rational alarmism.

    • lolwot

      Fear is an emotion – a very strong one at that.

      A person driven by fear will have a difficult time thinking rationally.

      Rational (or scientific) skepticism is an integral part of the scientific method.

      A rational skeptic does not rely on an emotion, but insists on empirical evidence instead.

      The empirical evidence that AGW represents a serious threat to humanity is lacking – it simply does not exist. By empirical evidence I refer to data derived from actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation, not model simulations based on theoretical deliberations or subjective interpretations of questionable data from cherry-picked paleo-climate periods.

      Bring the data, lolwot, rather than moaning about “precautionary principles” and other fear-based rubbish.


      • You didn’t really read my post did you.

        You say “By empirical evidence I refer to data derived from actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation, not model simulations based on theoretical deliberations or subjective interpretations of questionable data from cherry-picked paleo-climate periods.”

        So what empirical evidence lay behind Anthony Watt’s alarmism about geo-engineering?

        Funny I didn’t see you or any other skeptics berating him for his alarmism on geo-engineering.

        As I stated that’s because I think you are all in denial about AGW. This is just like the creationist approach to biology – to deny the science they demand stupidly high levels of evidence that they know can’t be obtained. They don’t apply it to other sciences, just the sciences they don’t like. They demand “empirical evidence, not fossils, or interpretations of DNA”.

  38. simon abingdon

    You’re all of a muddle this morning, lolwot.

    “How can his alarmism over the threat of geo-engineering be reconciled with his outright dismissal of the threat of AGW? It can’t”. Of course it can. If Anthony dismisses the threat of AGW it’s not surprising he’s alarmed by geo-engineering proposals. Who wouldn’t be?

    “Note the cited fear of unintended consequences. That’s Anthony appealing to the precautionary principle of all things”. Nonsense. You’re forgetting that the precautionary principle is about taking pre-emptive action, which is exactly what Anthony is against doing. .

    • “If Anthony dismisses the threat of AGW it’s not surprising he’s alarmed by geo-engineering proposals. Who wouldn’t be?”

      By his own arguments against AGW he shouldn’t be alarmed about geo-engineering. He should either be dismissive of both, or alarmed at both.

      If I pointed out that raising CO2 levels is “a powder-keg for priming a global explosion of the law of unintended consequences” skeptics would berate me for being alarmist. You’d probably tell me such fears were irrational because there was no proof rising CO2 would cause problems.

      But explain why that reasoning doesn’t also apply to geo-engineering. Does you or Anthony have proof that any given geo-engineering proposal will cause problems? No. At least with geo-engineering the models would be saying it was safe. With AGW you don’t even have that.

      Yet you and Anthony seem to think it’s fine to be alarmist about geo-engineering and completely dismissive of AGW alarm. Why the inconsistency?

      “You’re forgetting that the precautionary principle is about taking pre-emptive action, which is exactly what Anthony is against doing.”

      No, it’s the opposite. The precautionary principle is about not committing a potentially dangerous action (eg geo-engineering, or CO2 emissions) until it’s been proven safe with the burden of proof on those who want to do the action to prove it safe.

      • simon abingdon

        You could be alarmist about unnecessary geo-engineering because you didn’t see AGW as a real problem or you could be alarmist about AGW because you did. But being alarmist about both geo-engineering and AGW is logically inconsistent and a probable sign of paranoia.

        Finally you say “The precautionary principle is about not committing a potentially dangerous action …”. If only. We might not be in the process of dismantling the West’s economies if we’d used your definition.

  39. “But being alarmist about both geo-engineering and AGW is logically inconsistent”

    No it isn’t. Both represent screwing around with the climate.

  40. My note to David Robert: (with apologies….) ‘For *my* part, when I see scientists altering facts and bullying people in order perpetuate the dominance of their politically motivated views on climate in support of policies that will kill people and threaten my grand children’s futures’ — I call them out on it publicly and support others who do the same. I call for more and better and transparent research in search for a closer approximation of the truth, so that real pragmatic ethical solutions can be found to actual factual threats and dangers.

  41. Judith Curry

    You asked for comments. I’ll restrict mine to the Mashey broohaw.

    Mashey is as irrelevant as he is misguided,

    The notion that “mainstream team” climate scientists are under attack more than skeptical climate scientists is pure Mashey balderdash.


  42. Here is a hare-brained “geo-engineering” scheme suggested by none other than US President Obama’s “science czar”, John Holdren:

    It involves shooting sulfuric acid into the stratosphere to cool down our planet.



    • I hope you are not suggesting meddling with the climate like that is dangerous. Afterall you have no empirical evidence that shooting sulfuric acid into the stratosphere would cause any harm, and according to your logic that means it’s safe.

      • lolwot

        You are making ASS-UMPTIONS about my logic, which turn out to be wrong.

        My logic is fundamentally based on the old common-sense adage: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

        How about yours?