Climate science in public schools

by Judith Curry

How the controversy over climate change affects America’s classrooms is receiving increasing attention.

PBS:  Climate teachers share their stories

From the PBS NewsHour:

This week, the PBS NewsHour will report on one teacher’s struggles to teach climate change in her Colorado classroom. This comes as the National Academies Press is preparing to roll out new national science standards for kindergarten through 12th grade. For the first time this year, new standards will include guidelines on teaching climate change.

With the help of American Public Media’s Public Insight Network, we asked teachers and educators around the country to tell us how they teach climate change and climate science in their classrooms. It’s not always easy. Some have been met with challenges from parents, students and fellow colleagues.

Here are some comments from two of the teachers:

I have actually had more concerns and challenges from colleagues than from students.I have had colleagues laugh at me and say, ‘Well, you don’t really believe that climate change exists, right?!’ or ‘Why are you wasting time teaching students about climate change when everybody knows that it doesn’t really exist?’

In the conservative society that I live in, (climate change) is much more likely to be thought of as a myth than scientific knowledge. Politics make it extremely hard to teach it here. I get a fight from many parents and students each year that I teach it in Earth science. It is part of the core curriculum, so I have to teach it.I also like to teach it. I think it is very important that students understand what is happening to their planet and that we are the cause of it.

Science 2.0

Science 2.0 has a post Teaching Science in the Classroom.  Excerpts:

The National Academies Press will roll out some new national science standards for K-12 educators and for the first time, those standards will include guidelines on teaching climate change.

Good luck with that.  As No Child Left Behind showed, positive results and the welfare of kids will not matter in a political fight – any attempts to create an education standard and accountability are going to flop unless education unions buy into it and any attempts to create a science standard for climate education will flop unless teachers do.  And a lot of them don’t.

In teaching hyper-politicized climate change, everyone has an opinion, mostly because it has been made into a cultural issue and not a science one.  As Donna Antonucci, high school teacher in Savannah, told Saskia De Melker and Rebecca Jacobson  of PBS, “The biggest challenge is to get the students to look at the data without injecting political bias”.

Well, it isn’t always easy to get scientists to look at data without political bias either.  Anyone who scratched their head in 2007 at the unsubstantiated claim that the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2035 was called a Flat Earther and a Holocaust Denier.  It was a good decade for vitriolic science bloggers to run into free range hysteria and no science journalists tripped up the IPCC either, they were happy to rehash media talking points and look stupid when it turned out to be wrong.

But teachers have a more persistent problem, one that remains after shrill science bloggers have gotten jobs and science journalists have gotten…jobs in other fields; how to discuss the actual science.  Hari Sreenivasan of PBS NewsHour has a piece tonight on how the controversy affects teachers and classrooms.  One part deals with a political think tank creating climate change material, another examines new state laws dictating how global warming can be taught and they have a profile of a Colorado science teacher who got a student/parent rebellion in her classroom over it.

Skeptical perspectives

The Common Room provides a skeptical perspective on the topic: Climate Science in Public Schools, with some egregious examples of what is being taught in some places.  Here is a multiple choice question for you:

Which of These Is Not Causing Global Warming Today?

A. Sport utility vehicles; 
B. Rice fields;
C. Increased solar output.

There is an entire blog devoted to teaching climate change, called Climate Lessons, with the following objective:

A blog sharing information about materials presented to children on climate, highlighting those intended to frighten or mislead, and those which seek to inform and inspire rather than to recruit, even the very young, for an ill-founded political campaign. A campaign which is both soul-destroying and inhumane.

JC comment:  Looks like the the forthcoming K-12 standards from the National Academies will be source of much debate in (US) statewide educational agencies.  I would be particularly interested to hear how this issue is being dealt with in other countries.

914 responses to “Climate science in public schools

  1. “‘Well, you don’t really believe that climate change exists, right?!’ or ‘Why are you wasting time teaching students about climate change when everybody knows that it doesn’t really exist?’”

    My Gleick detector is flashing red lights.

    • Dr. Peter Gleick’s actions this year were the latest in a long series of coincidences (Fate) that exposed the misuse of government science as a tool of government propaganda leading to servitude of people.

      To be effective, propaganda messages start early !

      None of us would have realized how pervasively science had been shaped into a dangerous tool of government control if:

      a.) Dr. Peter Gleick had not been caught in 2012:

      b.) World leaders, the UN’s IPCC, the US National Academy of Sciences, the UK’s Royal Society, the Nobel Prize Committee, editors and publishers of major research journals (Nature, Science, Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences and the UK’s Royal Society, Journal of Geophysical Research, etc.), government research agencies, the news media, major scientific organizations (ACS, APS, AGU, RS, NAS, etc.) had condemned evidence of deception in global climate reports.

      c.) Climategate emails and documents had not been released in November 2009, documenting widespread manipulation of global temperature data.

      d.) CSPAN news had not captured NASA Administrator Dr. Daniel S. Goldin belatedly releasing data in 1998 (collected in 1995) confirming 1977-83 reports: Earth’s heat source – the Sun – is NOT a giant ball of hydrogen (H) steadily heated by H-fusion.

      Today, a tyrannical world government is a far greater danger to society than global warming !

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

      • The Problem: Society is disintegrating; Citizens and world leaders are frightened.

        These symptoms are NOT the problem:

        Since Climategate emails and document were released in Nov 2009, responses and actions have documented widespread corruption in science, education, financing, industry, and government arising from selfishness, self-centeredness !

        The Solution: Leadership that can return our country to these founding principles of government, described in the 1776 Declaration of Independence:

        “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

        Instead politicians seek to distract us with emotional sideshows:

        (a) Gay Marriages or
        (b) No Gay Marriages

      • As noted below, we are dealing with good intentions on both sides.

        Side 1: Our form of government – established in 1776 – cannot survive if government-funded scientists do not accept responsibility for publishing and promoting misinformation on CO2-induced global warming.

        Side 2: The United Nations – established in 1945 to protect mankind from the threat of nuclear war – is a broader and more noble cause for the benefit of all mankind. That justifies occasional deceit if nteeded so nations will work together for the benefit of everyone.

        Although both a.) Our form of government, and b.) The United Nations were established to benefit mankind, neither can be promoted by actions that undercut citizens’ access to the factual information needed to control government.

        If the leaders of the scientific community do not step up to the plate and demonstrate by their actions that they (US NAS, UK RS and the agencies they control) will not condone or tolerate misuse of science to promote misinformation, then world leaders including UN leaders will have to take whatever actions are needed to ensure that science will no longer be used to deceive the public.

      • Good intentions pave a well-traveled path:

        Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn told The Daily Caller in a video interview that the federal government is in the “midst of committing murder to our republic” and predicted that the U.S. faces a financial meltdown in 2-5 years:

      • Good intentions caused leaders to draft and adopt:

        a.) The Declaration of Independence in 1776


        b.) The Ten Amendments to the Constitution in 1791


        c.) The UN Charter to avoid the threat of nuclear war in 1945


        Selfishness caused leaders to use deceptive means to achieve noble goals of the 1945 UN Charter.

        Before finally surfacing sixty-four years (2009-1945 = 64 yrs) later in the Climategate documents and emails, they thus destroyed

        a.) The integrity of astronomy, astrophysics, climatology, cosmology, nuclear, particle, planetary, and solar physics; and

        b.) Public confidence in their leadership

    • Science springs upward from the creative talents of individuals.

      Government control flows downward in the opposite direction, especially from tyrannical governments.

      Good education helps children develop their natural inquisitiveness to meet and enjoy the challenges of life creatively.

      Genuine education promotes respect for the individual, the same basic rights of individuals that the US Declaration of Independence demanded in 1776 and the US Constitution guaranteed, especially in the first ten Amendments.

      The 1776 US Declaration of Independence also states:“whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

  2. I think it is very important that students understand what is happening to their planet and that we are the cause of it.

    I can understand this teacher meeting resistance if he/she teaches this very certain assertion. S/he would certainly meet me coming the opposite way, attempting to push this on my child in class as surely as if he/she were to attempt to press home an unequivocal statement on the existence of god.

    • Rob Starkey


    • You object to teachers asserting that we are the cause of god?

      • Rob Starkey

        In their role as a teacher in a public school- yes

      • Congratulations to Rob Starkey and everyone on post number 200000. I’ve been watching it tick down these last few minutes.

      • Rob Starkey

        lol– do I win something? Oh well

      • Indeed, congratulations Rob. We are making history.

      • So long as they’re free to do so in the privacy of their own thoughts and speech outside the classroom, I can accept your milestone answer as fair.

        So, out of its first 200,000 comments, one may wish to ask our host how her blog has changed her thinking, and which of them has made the most difference for her?

  3. Smart Kids are not taught about introductory quantum mechanics till about 17/18 years.
    Likewise special relativity.
    The second law of thermodynamics is never taught at school level.
    To introduce CO2 driven greenhouse gas theory without a rational basis for pupils/students to critically evaluate the material presented to them is just indoctrination.
    Jesuits are reported to say give me a 7 year old and leave the adult to me.
    Teaching dogma does nothing for the pupils/students educational development.
    Who is driving this much inoculate the kids with global warming hysteria?
    It does not stack up educationally .
    It only makes sense to someone promoting a ’cause,.

    • That’s a really good point. They can’t teach the real science, because it’s all college material. They can kind of fake it and teach paleoclimatology and some of those sideshow topics, but that’s hardly doing students any service. Besides, the paleo is probably more controversial than the physics. You can’t teach Mann’s hockeystick without opening yourself up for M&M’s critique. Which again, gets into college-level statistics.

      I’m having a hard time thinking of anything that you can teach K-12 students, even the high achievers, that isn’t either oversimplified to the point of worthlessness or highly controversial.

      • What you can teach them is that it is in fact controversial. This alone is very hard because K-12 science is taught as established fact, because it is all between 400 and 50 years old and well established. The debate is disruptive but unavoidable. Everyone has heard the GW scare. It cannot be ignored.

      • David,

        I disagree with this.

        First off. I don’t know that “climate change” or “climate science” is even a valid course subject for k-12. I have a hard time understanding how you can get to climate science without first going through covering weather.

        I was in grad school before I had the background to even start to understand the issues of climate change.

        The whole concept of teaching climate change in K-12 smacks of indoctrination more than education.

        If anything, besides the basics that have been taught since I was in primary school, we should be teaching students to be questioning and having a clear idea of the scientific method. That will serve them better than any sort of specific course work on climate change.

      • Tim, science ed in the US is governed by state standards, which specify what is taught in each grade, but not how. I recently completed a large project cataloging all the K-12 technical topics, by grade. There are over a thousand topics, actually concepts. It is impressive. Weather is typically taught in fourth grade. Climate and climate models in high school. But each is taught just briefly.

        So I do not know what you are disagreeing with, unless it is with how things are. See, my cataloging project website.

      • David;
        Obviously, he’s questioning the ‘state standards’ as they stand.

        Better, IMO, that states be the ones setting curricula than either fed or teachers’ unions, but it’s unfortunate that the green ideology is so much in control. It’s being pushed as emotional commitment, not science.

      • Regarding “They can’t teach the real science, because it’s all college material”, you have to understand how K-12 scied works, which I have been studying for years. You start with the simplest concepts, then build increasingly complex concepts. Much of it tracks the history of discovery.

        Concepts like heat, temperature, energy from the sun, ice ages and weather are all taught in elementary school, so that is where global warming enters. You have to be able to state the debate at that level. It is quite simple: Is the warming caused by humans or natural? Scientists are not sure, so it is a great debate. Then show them examples of the debate. End of lesson, next topic.

        The topic is not climate. The topic is the state of climate science, which is that there is a controversy.

      • “It is quite simple: Is the warming caused by humans or natural? Scientists are not sure, so it is a great debate.”

        That makes it sound like scientists have no opinion either way whether it’s natural or human caused, when in fact there is a very strong opinion in the field leaning towards substantial human causation of the recent warming and substantial future warming from human activity. If it is to be framed as a debate then students should go away understanding that the human causation side is winning that debate.

        Giving undue weight to a minority view to make it seem like there are two equal sides in a debate is wrong. It’s the tactic creationists use in their educational approach.

      • Michael,
        Wouldn’t you think that the strengths of the ‘teacher’ will have a major impact on what is retained by the disciple or student? I do.
        Scientists believe the chemistry book, because when they follow the rules they are able to reduce s solution to a substance. Yes these same people will deney Christ, when he is providing the substance with his own solution. Once again all you need to do is follow. It works for us too.

      • That’s just promoting controversy, not teaching anything.

        Let’s not teach science, let’s talk about the state of science.

        Hey, let’s not do English Lit, let’s talk about the state of the novel.


      • David Wojick

        The state of the novel is a common topic in English lit. And controversy is an important part of the scientific method, not something to ignore.

        As for climate there are only 3 alternatives where the science is too advanced for the grade. Say nothing when asked, which is no longer an option. Teach simple minded CAGW or teach that there is a debate. I am providing materials to do the latter. There are a host of green sources doing the CAGW version.

        What do you propose, Michael? Teach thermodynamics in elementary school? Not an option.

      • I would like to see an engineer-level explanation showing where a scientific debate becomes a controversy.

        That controversies we’re talking about are “scientific” is quite uncertain.

        Denizens should never miss an opportunity to mention uncertainty.

        Go team!

      • ‘Teach the debate/controversy`’ is nonsense.

        If there are differing opinions; 1. they need to be significant to bother mentioning, 2. you need to pay heed to proportion – 99 scientists saying ‘very likely x’ and 1 saying ‘could be Y’, is not a controversy.

      • P.E. “They can’t teach the real science, because it’s all college material.”

        I don’t believe there’s any intention to teach the science, it’s a process of indoctrination, they’re being taught that humans are evil and unless they follow the rules laid down by environmentalists will destroy the planet.

        Previous generations, myself included, were taught that humans were evil, and had to pay for their sins with eternal damnation unless they followed the rules laid down by the elders of the church.

      • geronimo, that is just old school.

        1 Corinthians 15

        The Resurrection of Christ
        1 Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it.
        2 It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.
        3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.
        4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.

        It has all been done for us. Were free.

    • To introduce evolutionary theory without a rational basis for pupils/students to critically evaluate the material presented to them is just indoctrination.

      Do you think students have a sufficient grasp of molecular biology to understand and challenge it?

      To introduce the history of the United States without a rational basis for pupils/students to critically evaluate the material presented to them is just indoctrination.

      Do they get access to the original documents and writings? First hand accounts? Newspaper reports?

      You can apply that reasoning to everything taught in a school, you might as well say “We know nothing” if you’re not confident enough to teach it to a teenager.

      • John Carpenter

        “You can apply that reasoning to everything taught in a school, you might as well say “We know nothing” if you’re not confident enough to teach it to a teenager.”

        No… your wrong about that.

        The reality is very few students in high school get through calculus until their junior or senior year and even fewer get to differential equations. This level of math is really a prerequisite to learning thermodynamics and quantum mechanics, both of which are necessary to understanding the physics of radiative heat transfer and energy balance in the climate. So if you can’t teach the core part of the science due to lack of mathematics knowledge at that age, then what do you teach?

        Evolution does not require knowledge of molecular biology as a basis to understand. You can learn about cells, DNA and mutations without knowing molecular biology and much math. History does not require a base knowledge of mathematics to understand. Literature, writing composition, gym, wood shop, foreign language, grammar, all have no base mathematic requirements.

        Physics does. So… if students are not prepared for this level of understanding, what do you teach them that does not resemble indoctrination?

      • They can learn about the greenhouse effect, carbon cycle, ice sheets, sea ice, ENSO, etc etc without understanding the physics. Loads of stuff.

      • Rob Starkey

        The key is what is taught on each of the topics you list.

      • “Evolution does not require knowledge of molecular biology as a basis to understand.”

        Of course it doesn’t but you’re the one inventing a new standard whereby a topic cannot be taught to students unless they’re going to understand it all the way down to the basic quantum principles in play.

        Oh. You mean you meant to only apply that standard to climate science? Simply heap so many requirements onto the teaching of it that it’s actually impossible for students to learn it?

        You can teach the basics of climate just as you can teach the basics of any topic. lolwot mentioned them above but even more simply you can teach the basics and even the existence of the greenhouse effect without having to get into backradiation at all.

        In physics, chemistry and biology students are often taught gross simplifications which bear little relation to the actual way things work. That’s what a college education is for.

      • John Carpenter

        ok, I’ll concede to your point, what you say is done for other aspects of science regularly and can be done with climate science as well.

        My question, which you did not address, is how you do that without indoctrinating into students that the cause of global warming is mainly due to human activities? (which is how it is generally presented in the media, but is really still uncertain wrt to what degree in the science).

      • “is how you do that without indoctrinating into students that the cause of global warming is mainly due to human activities?”

        How do you teach evolution without teaching that the origins of humans can be explained without a need for religion? You can’t, it’s an unavoidable conclusion based on an understanding of the topic.

        I do not believe students should be explicitly taught “Humans are responsible for climate change” any more than they should be taught “Your religion fails at explaining the world”. However there’s also no way to tip-toe around the fact that when you teach certain facts about the world certain conclusions are inevitable: C02 has a pretty well defined direct effect and a somewhat less defined but still range limited secondary effect. Humans are on track to double the amount of C02 and therefore changes are happening.

        I think that in any scientific topic critical thinking has to be emphasised but that does not mean “Well some people believe this and some other people believe that but you can make up your own mind” but rather “When you get to the edges of human understanding things become a lot less certain. We often have to make decisions and conclusions based on a range of possibilities rather than a certain answer”.

        You can’t find anywhere a single individual where it’s been proven their lung cancer has been caused by smoking, that does not mean we therefore have no case to make that the rates of lung cancer have been unaffected by smoking.

        Attributing a particular weather event or even patterns within a particular region to any cause is exceedingly difficult but it’s staggeringly unlikely that human C02 emissions have had zero effect, even if you subscribe to the very minimalist feedback arguments of Lindzen, Spencer etc. For a “no effect” scenario you need to be in skydragon territory.

      • John Carpenter

        “How do you teach evolution without teaching that the origins of humans can be explained without a need for religion?”

        Like this… though I don’t subscribe to it myself, one can take a position that evolution of man is part of a grander ‘design’ by some omniscient being. Agree with it or not, evolution fits in nicely with the concept of a ‘creator’ when using this position.

        I agree students should be taught basic facts like CO2 level is rising, measurable and due to human activity and there are going to be affects to our environment and climate because of it. But we don’t know if the effects are going to be a net good or bad… and we only hear about the bad.

        “When you get to the edges of human understanding things become a lot less certain. We often have to make decisions and conclusions based on a range of possibilities rather than a certain answer”.

        I agree with this as well.

        It is unfounded alarmism and scare tactics that concern me. It is far easier to show statistics of smokers vs non smokers and their probability of developing lung cancer… in fact it’s easy to do that with lots of human activities/habits/personal lifestyle choices where you can compare A consequence vs B. These are measurable comparisons that have been repeated over and again. Using alarmism in this context is acceptable IMO.

        But comparing the type of understanding we have about smoking vs what we know about the climate are not equal and so this is not a valid argument. This type of argument is made to question the intelligence of someones position about AGW by making them agree with something totally different and obvious. Not a fair comparison and not associative.

        How do we compare our climate now to what it might have been with less CO2? To what do we compare what our climate might be by 2100 vs what it also might be at 2100 due to differing levels of CO2? It is all presumptuous. It is not based on any statistical facts. There are no metrics to be applied. We are going by model predictions. How good are the models? Now we’re back to understanding the physics again… do we really know? How is the weather different today than what it might have been? Don’t know… won’t ever know. You can’t make any measurable comparison.

        Yet those comparisons will be made and most likely that in the direction of ‘everything is worse’ now and in the future. Based on what? Based on nothing… so how do we prevent this from creeping into the learning?

      • “Like this… though I don’t subscribe to it myself, one can take a position that evolution of man is part of a grander ‘design’ by some omniscient being. Agree with it or not, evolution fits in nicely with the concept of a ‘creator’ when using this position.”

        Do you think that when teaching science in science class the teacher should be sensitive to the student’s religious sensibilities and be careful to present evolutionary theory in a fashion that’s compatible with as much of that religion as possible?

        “But we don’t know if the effects are going to be a net good or bad… and we only hear about the bad.”

        We have a very good idea that when it comes to climate change is bad for the people experiencing that change. It’s quite possible that in say 200 years time the actual climate they have then will be better overall just that it sucks for most people living through the intervening years.

        “How do we compare our climate now to what it might have been with less CO2? To what do we compare what our climate might be by 2100 vs what it also might be at 2100 due to differing levels of CO2?”

        We can’t.

        “It is all presumptuous.”

        However, this statement does not follow from the previous. Certainty is not binary state that flips between “Completely proven” and “No knowledge whatsoever”.

        Consider this: Our activities are very likely to have some type of effect on the climate of 2100, whether good or bad overall we can’t say for sure. To a person living in the year 2100 what would you say to them? How would you defend your actions today? How sure do we have to be of a positive effect versus a negative one before we decide to avoid the risk of the negative? Many would apply the precautionary principle and say we should first determine that increasing C02 will be neutral or good before doing so rather doing it first and hoping it somehow turns out ok.

        Also remember that whatever you decide to teach or not teach, these kids stand a higher chance of seeing the real outcomes than their teachers or those debating the merits.

      • John Carpenter

        “Do you think that when teaching science in science class the teacher should be sensitive to the student’s religious sensibilities and be careful to present evolutionary theory in a fashion that’s compatible with as much of that religion as possible?”

        Well, all I can say is school curricula today try to be sensitive to all sorts of differing beliefs so as not to ‘exclude’ any student or make them feel ‘uncomfortable’ about different subject matters. Personally, it is not a position I endorse. I gave an example of how it is possible to teach evolution from a ‘creator’ based ideology, which you said was not possible.

        “We have a very good idea that when it comes to climate change is bad for the people experiencing that change.”

        I disagree, how do we have a very good idea it will be bad?

        “Certainty is not binary state that flips between “Completely proven” and “No knowledge whatsoever”. ”

        I never said it was.

        “To a person living in the year 2100 what would you say to them? How would you defend your actions today?”

        A person living in 2100 will not have come from our vantage point or our life experiences. We can’t project our feeling on to them. What am I supposed to say? Sorry, we were trying to survive the best way we knew how at the time? We were limited in technology, we didn’t have home fusion reactors yet. Maybe it would be ‘your welcome, that extra 1 deg C does make things better’.

        How do you feel the development and use of electricity? Do you know what the world was like before there was electricity? Did you live in those times, deal with life without electricity? Do you think electricity made the world a better place? Has it been a net good? I think so. Maybe that is a poor analogy.

        Here’s a better one, how do you feel about those who invented the atomic bomb?

        The answer is, it don’t matter what you think about it because the jeanie is out of the bottle and can’t be put back. We all have to live with the consequences of that development… good or bad.

        Using the precautionary principle as guidance is not an answer either. Don’t get me wrong… I think we need alternative energy production.. we can’t stay dependent on fossil fuels forever, we need to advance our energy producing technology and finding ways that don’t
        emit CO2 would be preferable. But it’s not likely this will happen over a decade or two period of time… is it? I don’t think you are advocating we just shut down all carbon emitting energy production without a suitable replacement. Don’t you think that might create a bit of unstability? What will you tell your children in that situation?

      • @sharparoo:

        If you think evolution can explain the origin of man, then you are badly mistaken–in fact, you’re very likely a product of the hash of evolution government-funded education has made, and a good warning to us about why it ought not try to teach global warming in government schools.

        I’m not the real expert. One of my best friends and my roommate in college has a Ph.D. in molecular bioligy and years of experience doing research, and he can catalog for you numerous failures in what we actually know about evolution to explain the origins of species, much less man. What we actually know is enough to explain how species are changing in the world today (and over the past billion years or so). But random mutation and selection does not explain where the information in the DNA came from originally.

        Just so you understand, this is not coming from someone who believes that evolution will never be able to explain the origins of man because the real explanation is “God.” To the contrary, I expect the theory will eventually be completed and will explain the origins of species. I simply acknowledge that it does not, yet. However, I note a religious over-eagerness among those who want to assert that the theory is already complete, so that they can say things like “God is not necessary.”

      • David Springer

        sharper00 | May 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm |

        “But we don’t know if the effects are going to be a net good or bad… and we only hear about the bad.”

        We have a very good idea that when it comes to climate change is bad for the people experiencing that change. It’s quite possible that in say 200 years time the actual climate they have then will be better overall just that it sucks for most people living through the intervening years.


        Really? I grew up in the northeast US and we had harsh winters when I was a kid. The past 30 winters have been mild in comparison. None of my friends or family who live complain about how mild the winters have been. I’m pretty sure you’ll ful of crap and just making things up to buttress your worthless opinion.

      • David Springer

        Actually, without presuming that which is to be proven, the simple concept of the evolution of life (trial and error with feedback) needs to be looked at with some higher math in the disciplines of statistics, probability, and information theory. Just because something is physically possible doesn’t mean it’s necessarily going to happen in a finite universe. The odds of a random dance of atoms producing the Library of Congress seems a bit far fetched when you think about it. In an infinite universe there would be an infinite number of Libraries of Congress all produced by pure happenstance. In fact the only thing that can make this a reasonable concept is an infinite universe or infinite series of universes. But in an infinite universe something like God must also be produced so we’re right back to where we started. Or things like the Boltzmann Brain become inescapable. Evolution writ large is a bedtime story for atheists and little more. The truth is we just don’t know what produced the universe we observe which includes ourselves as part of that universe.

      • David Springer

        John Carpenter | May 13, 2012 at 4:59 pm |

        “Using the precautionary principle as guidance is not an answer either. Don’t get me wrong… I think we need alternative energy production.. we can’t stay dependent on fossil fuels forever, we need to advance our energy producing technology and finding ways that don’t
        emit CO2 would be preferable.”

        Speaking as an engineer I do not agree that avoidance of CO2 production is preferable. In the near future synthetic biology will be producing artificial life which can be programmed to build things for us to specification. Carbon is an essential component of a great many durable goods, consumables, and is the element that life uses as a basic building block. The most ubiquitous globally accessible source of carbon for terrestrial construction is atmospheric CO2. We’ll be needing more not less of it. Of course I may have far more confidence in science and engineering than you do in my belief that it’s only a matter one or perhaps two more generations before synthetic biology harnesses the power of life to directly utilize sun, water, and air to produce a great abundance of material things without relying on stored chemical energy in fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are just a stepping stone needed to keep the lights on in the lab until we make the next quantum leap in engineering. It’s right around the corner. One or possibly two generations at most. We won’t run out of fossil fuel before 2050 and in fact the IPCC even admits that benefits from global warming will likely outweigh the downside until 2050. By then we’ll be wanting all the carbon we can take out of the atmosphere to use in the construction of durable goods and it won’t matter how much there is it’ll matter how little there is.

    • Actually, Bryan I (and colleagues of mine) taught well beyond the laws of Thermodynamics. I was in a small to medium size public school. However, it was definitely never taught to the majority of students and the general public would never fully understand it.
      You might find one aspect of thermodynamics interesting regarding the internal combustion engine. Considering the hot and cold body temperatures, the upper limit of the efficiency of automobiles is about 15%.
      –and that is before considering friction. In reality about 90% of the energy is wasted.
      About two decades ago, Engineers in Japan were working on a ceramic with the malleability of cast iron which could withstand much higher temperatures. They were unsuccessful. .

      • David Springer

        Darryl B re; automobiles at 10% efficiency

        You’re not half as bright as you imagine. That you’re a high school science teacher is disturbing if true. It’s why I home-schooled my children. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.

        Thermal efficiency is encyclopedic knowledge. If you can’t at least get that right you have no business teaching. In the modern world some kid in your class is going to shoot your dumb ass down by consulting Siri in real time.

        “When expressed as a percentage, the thermal efficiency must be between 0% and 100%. Due to inefficiencies such as friction, heat loss, and other factors, thermal engines’ efficiencies are typically much less than 100%. For example, a typical gasoline automobile engine operates at around 25% efficiency, and a large coal-fueled electrical generating plant peaks at about 46%. The largest diesel engine in the world peaks at 51.7%. In a combined cycle plant, thermal efficiencies are approaching 60%.”

    • Excellent!

    • Teach them to plow ahead first.

      Even while they may not be interested in the field.
      They learn.

    • I recall being taught mathematics and reading every year of K-12. That seems to me all the foundation to understand what is and isn’t controversial for myself. ‘Teaching’ or indoctrinating or brainwashing children to know something is a controversy, rather than to come to that conclusion for themselves, smacks of an intellectually dishonest attempt to teach children that tobacco’s link to cancer is controversial.. which correct me if I’m wrong, I recall the Heartland Institute attempting in K-12 before.

      I also seem to recall them being called on that insidiously morally bankrupt practice at the time. What next? Will cartoon characters championing the cause of gasoline be published as a comic book handed out free the first day of school? Carbon Camel? Albedo Albatross? Plantsteroid Pete? A squad of spies who uncover evil labcoated mad scientists hatching commie schemes to drain the treasury by pure research, printed in four colors on non-recycled news stock?

      Teach K-12 math, reading, scientific method, how to observe, how to graph, what logic is and how to defend from general logical fallacies such as; teach civics and an appreciation of the outdoors and health and what makes a good citizen, not what makes a good little follower. Educated people can learn to think for themselves and make their own decisions. Why fall into the trap of trying to force them to think how you want them to, and abide your decisions?

      My favorite teacher, a grade seven science teacher who allowed a few of us to stay late and work on experiments from the back of high school textbooks, only imposed one proscription on us: “Do not blow up the lab..” and that I admit was my own fault, at ten years old.

      I cannot imagine how low I’d rank a teacher who set out the rule, “The Earth is round is a controversy.”

      • You would rank such a teacher as crazy. The obvious difference is that climate change really is controversial. Our 200,000 comments here are ample evidence of that. A big fraction of the debate here is scientific. In fact showing students this blog might be a useful approach.

      • David Wojick | May 13, 2012 at 7:21 am |

        “You would rank such a teacher as crazy. The obvious difference is that climate change really is controversial. Our 200,000 comments here are ample evidence of that. A big fraction of the debate here is scientific. In fact showing students this blog might be a useful approach.”

        We’d need to clean up some of the tone before we let schoolchildren near the blog, lest they point at us and laugh at how immature we all are.

        Indeed, the same teacher as let us experiment with fermentation and distilling, producing and denaturing nitrous oxide, titration and chromatography .. and the occasional pyrotechnic display.. also casually mentioned one day that one of his colleagues did believe the Earth was flat. Being the tactful, respectful ten-year old I was in grade seven, I protested out of turn, “What, are they stupid?”

        The teacher patiently explained that no, the person in question — whom he did not name — was in fact quite intelligent, but belonged to a religion with a certain ‘literalist’ (and then he explained what literalist meant) viewpoint, and religious people should always be respected. No matter how stupid their religion was.

        This is why I’m always so tolerant of those whose opinions here diverge from my own, even in ridiculous ways. :D

        However, I was perfectly able at ten to decide whether that religion’s ‘controversy’ was controversial to me. It wasn’t. I didn’t need teaching to tell me that.

        I did greatly benefit from being taught the controversy between Bernoulli and Newton a few years later in grade nine, though. It helped me understand more about Einstein’s writings in context.

    • David Springer

      Second law of thermodynamics (entropy) is taught in 9th grade physical science. Maybe you were out sick that day.

      • I made it quite clear I was talking about the UK.
        Give me a link to your course content so that I can check your claim.
        I have two current US universityphysics textbooks and they dont develop the second law until end of 101 or start of 201.
        This is because calculus is required.
        Your own grasp of the second law is very poor so perhaps you were just confused.

      • David Springer

        Second law of thermodynamics: The entropy of any isolated system not in thermal equilibrium almost always increases. Isolated systems spontaneously evolve towards thermal equilibrium — the state of maximum entropy of the system — in a process known as “thermalization”. Equivalently, perpetual motion machines of the second kind are impossible.

        Calculus is needed to understand that? Ooooooooooookay. Whatever.

      • David Springer

        Here’s a detailed course outline and exam topics for high school physical science. If this looks like it’s more advanced than what the kiddies get in the UK I can’t help that but it may help you understand why the U.S. leads the world in science and engineering while the UK leads the world in scandals, tabloid newspapers, and windmills.

      • David Springer

        I will attempt to explain to you two methods of arriving at the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
        You probably will not understand either of them but it might be of interest to other readers.
        1. By analysis of the Carnot Cycle.
        This is the easier of the two methods but requires calculus to understand the two adiabatic changes and two isothermal changes in the working substance of an ideal engine.
        2. By taking studying a course in statistical mechanics then applying these methods to an analysis of an ideal engine.
        Statistical mechanics normally is presented in the second year of a degree course in Physics.

        There is another method used at Gradgrind Academy.
        They do not attempt to prove anything.
        To them Science is a set of rules which are to be learned by rote.

        Athens City High School does not attempt any proof of the second law but instead follows the Gradgrind Method.
        British schools on the other hand try to develop approach to the physical sciences where the Laws of Science are deduced from logical analysis and backed by experimental evidence.
        The science curriculum of this school would never be accepted in any European country.
        Perhaps you had the misfortune to receive such an ‘education ‘.
        It would certainly explain why you know nothing about thermodynamics.

      • Dave Springer
        Your link shows that you have misread your own source.

        The 9th grade physical science contains basic science that would be appropriate to 14/15 year olds.
        Certainly no mention of the second law or entropy .

        A brief mention of entropy is made in chemistry at K12.

        Its quite clear that this is a passing reference since there is no possibility that they would have the necessary mathematics (calculus) to analyse the Carnot Cycle.
        As I’ve said in another post there is little educational value in premature rote learning of some thermodynamic laws.
        If the students go on to university and choose physical science or engineering they will have the mathematical training to examine the second law in detail.
        This will be included in a thermodynamics module.

  4. Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

  5. How old is grade 12 in the US?


  6. I taught physics and AP chem in high school. I am currently writing a book (which may never be read) which compares the absolute certainty of eugenics-as a science- and the absolute certainty promoted in all aspects of the science of climate change.
    In the last years of teaching, I began first year chemistry with two general investigations, one with a determinate error, to introduce the concepts of precision, accuracy, standard deviations, and confidence intervals. (numerical class results were presented on the board). The first day of the year I used the end of a quote by Mark Twain…….’There is something fascinating about science, you get a wholesale return of conjecture on a minimum investment of fact’ (as I remember the quote). The point is good science and good scientists are always challenging results, in particular their own.
    The general public always wants and the general media therefore always presents science in terms of certainty where none exits. Also bad news is good news and good news is no news. Most climate change news does not even scratch the surface of any technical knowledge. It is mostly he said, she said. I wonder how it would be presented in the class room? Walking into a school last year, I saw a picture of a polar bear climbing a pole as an acknowledgement of Earth Day. Such representations will eventually do more harm than good. I believe there are much greater environmental concerns than CC which will then also be deemed dubious.
    Finally, I was in the position to teach the science portion of how to zap the ACT test, which is all about science reasoning and not scientific fact, It is as it should be. Invariably one question was of the type: (Which one the following is false?) Three answers will begin with sometimes or it maybe true
    and one will begin with always, or it must be. In the real world, very little is always true. However, climate science never seems to address what Dr. Curry calls the Uncertainty Monster.

  7. I am a science teacher in Sweden. Sweden’s new middle school curriculum (class 7-9), starting in the school year 2012-2013 (.pdf English translation) –
    – has this, in the of Physics subject section (p 123), instruction to teachers on what to teach:”Models in physics to describe and explain the earth’s radiation balance, the greenhouse effect and climate change”. That’s it.
    However on the next page we have: “Critical examination of information and arguments which pupils meet in sources and social discussions related to physics” – this critical thinking about evidence and arguments is all through the new curriculum. Great!
    So the new Swedish school curriculum is easy to interperet in a more rational and evidence based manner. Good!
    But the Swedish science textbooks sold here are very much biased to explaining just the alarmist side of the story. Most Swedish teachers, I gather, don’t know about or have no time to bother about the skeptical side of the man-made global warming argument, as required in the new curriculum. But at least there is a way out for science teachers who want to avail their students of a critical thinking approach to their study of the world :-)

  8. Hopefully, the teachers will touch on fuel poverty as well:

    Climate mania impoverishes electricity customers worldwide

    Global-warming-related catastrophes are increasingly hitting vulnerable populations around the world, with one species in particular danger: the electricity ratepayer. In Canada, in the U.K., in Spain, in Denmark, in Germany and elsewhere the danger to ratepayers is especially great, but ratepayers in one country — the U.S. — seem to have weathered the worst of the disaster.

    America’s secret? Unlike leaders in other countries, which to their countries’ ruin adopted policies as if global warming mattered, U.S. leaders more paid lip service to it. While citizens in other countries are now seeing soaring power rates, American householders can look forward to declining rates.

    The North American exemplar of acting on the perceived threat of global warming is Ontario, which dismantled one of the continent’s finest fleets of coal plants in pursuit of becoming a green leader. Then, to induce developers to build uneconomic renewable energy facilities, the Ontario government paid them as much as 80 times the market rate for power. The result is power prices that rose rapidly (about 50% since 2005) and will continue to do so: Ontarians can expect power prices that are 46% higher over the next five years, according to a 2010 Ontario government estimate, and more than 100% higher according to independent estimates. The rest of Canada may not fare much better — the National Energy Board forecasts power prices 42% higher by 2035, while some estimates have Canadian power prices 50% higher by 2020.

    The story throughout much of Europe is similar. Denmark, an early adopter of the global-warming mania, now requires its households to pay the developed world’s highest power prices — about 40¢ a kilowatt hour, or three to four times what North Americans pay today. Germany, whose powerhouse economy gave green developers a blank cheque, is a close second, followed by other politically correct nations such as Belgium, the headquarters of the EU, and distressed nations such as Spain.

    The result is chaos to the economic well-being of the EU nations. Even in rock-solid Germany, up to 15% of the populace is now believed to be in “fuel poverty” — defined by governments as needing to spend more than 10% of the total household income on electricity and gas. Some 600,000 low-income Germans are now being cut off by their power companies annually, a number expected to increase as a never-ending stream of global-warming projects in the pipeline wallops customers. In the U.K., which has laboured under the most politically correct climate leadership in the world, some 12 million people are already in fuel poverty, 900,000 of them in wind-infested Scotland alone, and the U.K. has now entered a double-dip recession.

    • The problem I see with that, is that it’s not science. It’s technology policy. That sort of thing usually isn’t taught in K-12, and probably shouldn’t. We need bright lines between science and policy and technology, and mushing them all together in what is supposed to be a science survey course just makes the task all the more hopeless.

      Perhaps that might belong in a social studies course on policy, but that would go off the rails and into indoctrination faster than the science stuff.

      • In the case of climate “science,” it depends on what your definition of science is.

    • I started reading the comment and it was much to well written for jim2, and then when I looked at the link, I realized he did a copy-and-paste with no quotes or blockquotes.

      Go team!

      • “… much too well written …”

      • That is the difference between you and me. I only try to work out problems with original or novel approaches on my blog, whereas you … well, I don’t know exactly what you do.

      • Keep up the good work. I’m happy for you.

      • Web – Here’s more data for your models:

        “( – The Green River Formation, a largely vacant area of mostly federal land that covers the territory where Colorado, Utah and Wyoming come together, contains about as much recoverable oil as all the rest the world’s proven reserves combined, an auditor from the Government Accountability Office told Congress on Thursday.

        The GAO testimony said that the federal government was in “a unique position to influence the development of oil shale” because the Green River deposits were mostly beneath federal land.”

      • WHT – I’ve noticed you like to throw in an assumption here and an approximation there in your DE vignettes, so let’s assume technology will be developed to harvest methane hydrates and that the above GAO prediction is correct. Now, when will we run out of economic oil? Economic meaning less than $150/bbl in today’s dollars. Here is your chance to show you are objective and not simply bending numbers to a cause.

      • Let me rephrase that – when will we run out of economic fossil fuels. We can further assume we use coal at the same rate as today.

      • Sure. It always has been and always will be a problem of limited flow rates pitted against geological constraints. The following comment that I wrote this morning encapsulates the situation for crude oil:

        The economic projections have always been one of predicting demand as opposed to what the geology and technology would allow. Read the top-level post to get a better picture of the economic view versus the geological view.

        As far as coal is concerned, the same situation applies and Prof. Rutledge had a post here a couple of weeks ago that did a fine job of laying out the situation.

      • The comment seems to be related to my question. Looks like peak oil is in the future … still? At any rate, if we can get some rational people in office in the US, we will develop nuclear. The fact that oil is a raw material isn’t lost on me, a chemist. But we also all know the quantity of oil used as a building block pales in comparison to what we burn for energy. Of course, at somewhat greater expense, coal can be uses as a RM. None of this make wind and solar a good alternative right now. Personally, I would like to see the government cut subsidies, tax breaks, and any other aid to any industry to zero, except nuclear due to security and environmental issues.

      • Depends on what you pick for an ultimate recoverable resource estimate. Is it 2 trillion barrels? Then peak oil behind us.
        If it is it 2.8 trillion, then there may be slack depending on how much the extraction rate can increase. That makes oil production a flow-rate problem. The current thinking is the actual number is closer to 2 than 2.8 but you throw out a 2.8 trillion barrel number to see what that would imply.

        Do we want kids to learn how to do bean-counting and simple accounting of resources?

      • I like it how everyone wants to talk about the impact of this or that, usually preceded with “may,” “could,” or “might.” But there is one thing we are saddling our children with that is not in doubt – 16 trillion in debt and rising relentlessly. It is shameful for the government to be throwing our children’s money down the drain on “green” businesses that aren’t ready for prime time and continually fail. Look at Europe to see how the story unfolds. Germany is looking at burning brown coal due to being on the bloody edge of blackouts. Coal will be their saviour. If only they had pushed a modern nuclear program a decade ago – they would be energy independent.

      • “Germany is looking at burning brown coal due to being on the bloody edge of blackouts.”

        I learned the three basic grades of coal in grade school — anthracite, bituminous, and lignite. Anthracite goes first as that is the highest grade, and then when there is nothing left of bituminous, we start going after the lignite, the brown coal. The beans are being counted by nature, regardless of whether we keep track or not.

        “If only they had pushed a modern nuclear program a decade ago – they would be energy independent.”

        Really can’t argue with that. Many are looking for solutions.
        I recognize when you are speaking with some conviction, whether we agree or not.

  9. Rob Starkey

    Imo what is critical is to accurately teach that there is still much unknown and controversy in the science community on the topic of climate change.

    Imo there is a risk of teaching kids a propagandized message if one presents the information as a certainty. Teachers have frequently been quick to accept and spread the positions of Hansen and Mann and to teach that disagreeing with those conclusions makes one an unscientific fool.

    It would seem appropriate that whatever is taught is required to be approved by the local school board prior to being presented to kids. That will not prevent an inaccurate message from being taught, but it would ensure some degree of consistency of message.

  10. Small countries just copy the big ones. They don’t dissent. Research is expensive.

  11. See Robin Murray’s blog ‘Invisible Serf’s Collar’.

    • And buy and read Mike Smith’s follow up to ‘Warnings’, the new ‘When the Sirens Were Silent’. Give me an ‘A’ for adaptation to severe weather, and give me a ‘T’ for tornadoes, which are severe. And highly local.

    • Well, as long as the internet remains “free” as in free to choose, then students of all ages can circumvent the establishment. I don’t argue that K-12 teachers aren’t a big influence and that most parents see their primary role as possible at most transportation … OK, it’s a big deal.

  12. The whole hijacking of the environmental agenda by climate change alarmists has caused this problem.
    I teach Primary school student teachers in England and the arguments about what is indoctrination and what is critical thinking are not as simplistic as some would have you believe and as such are investigated and discussed throughout our courses. Alarmists understand this, hence their desire to preach AGW as settled science, thus bypassing any inspection of their viewpoint. However, it would seem that enough intelligent folk have caught on to this and will not be teaching AGW as settled science, indeed its controversial toxicity may mean it gets left out off the curriclum altogether from many school syllabuses. A great pity in my opinion as we need to teach all sides of any emerging area of science.

  13. Go team!

    • Gen 2:7 And the LORD 3068 God 430 formed 3335 man 120 [of] the dust 6083 of 4480 the ground 127, and breathed 5301 into his nostrils 639 the breath 5397 of life 2416; and man 120 became a living 2416 soul 5315.

      Today, science wants to tax mankind for exhaling the air of his lungs… Why does science always want to mimic the power of God? Be everywhere, see everything, know everything, fly around the world at hypersonic speed? Feeling a bit inadequate perhaps, it is a symptom of false pride we are told. Only natural really.

  14. What should be taught on schools is that politics and science don’t mix. The former will destroy the latter. Climate Science can be referenced as a relevant example.


  15. Lots of confusion here. The new standards are not being developed by the NAS or National Academies. Here is their home: The first draft was just published, with a whopping 20 day comment period, until June 1. They are based on a Framework proposed by a small group of reformers under the NRC, the admin arm of the National Academies, but the drafting is being done by Achieve, with a work group from a bunch of states, paid for by Carnegie.

    Climate change is already part of the standard curriculum in most states, in high school. What is not specified is teaching CAGW versus teaching the debate, and not just in high school, because the debate now permeates the schools down to the elementary level. That is the big policy iissue.

    As some of you know, I am developing teaching materials for Heartland, to help teach the fact that there is a scientific debate. It is not a matter of teaching the substance of the scientific debate, just teaching that it exists.

    The thrust of the PBS special is of course that there is no scientific debate, so all this skepticism is a political distraction at best, or anti science at worst.

    • > It is not a matter of teaching the substance of the scientific debate, just teaching that it exists.

      To what does refer “the scientific debate”?

      • Sorry, Willard, but I do not understand the question. Too cryptic.

      • One suspects willard may be referring not to the practice of scientific debate in science, a healthy and productive activity, but the the practice of injecting techniques of debate from outside of science into discussions of science.

        That is, it’s great to teach that scientific skepticism is a foundation of research, and what scientific skepticism involves by means of testing hypotheses, and withholding judgement until sufficient data and analysis allows confidence to be established; wherease it’s patently wrong to assert any goober with a pulpit can use his electoral status, social stature or supposed rank to make assertions and call it scientific debate.

        There’s nothing very controversial about scientific controversy: this is the normal state of scientific inquiry; there’s a whole lot wrong about taking the commonplace definition of controversy, and commonplace rhetorical devices of politicians and confidence tricksters, and teaching schoolchildren that it’s in any way the same thing.

        If this isn’t willard’s question, then it’s mine. (Less the rant.) How do you define scientific debate and distinguish it from mere debate?

      • Bart R,

        You ask an interesting question. Mine is not. I just want to know what David Wojick is talking about.

        For now, I believe this need to be settled. No, I do not mean that the debate is settled. I just want us to be settled on the debate.

        Which debate is it?

        Is it only one debate?

        About what exactly?

        Where can we see that debate occuring?

        You know, the kinds of things one can easily see when a debate exists.

        I’m sure pedagogs ask themselves that question when they read a curriculum.

      • Bart, I distinguish scientific debate by the topic, scientific, and the participants, which include scientists studying the topic. Seems simple enough.

      • David,

        I think you meant ‘simplistic’.

        That didn’t distinguish anything from anything else.

      • Q.

        Did we ever debate AGW?

        A. Yes, at least since 1821:

      • Q. Did we ever debate AGW?

        A. Yes, at least since 1821:

      • They haven’t been “debating AGW” since 1824, they’ve been developing the greenhouse theory since then. Big difference.

      • P.E.,

        I’m not sure what you mean by the AGW debate. I believe that AGW has a GW part, and that GW part relies on some theories.

        In any case, I’ll amend the question. But I’m not sure what date I should pick for the “AGW debate”. You have any recommendation?

      • Probably the first AGW debate was between Arrhenius and Angstrom. Arrhenius was the first alarmist, and Angstrom was the first skeptic. And FWIW, Angstrom was closer to right about the point in question (the climate sensitivity) than Arrhenius.

        Twas ever thus.

      • P. E.,

        Thank you for your answer.

        Would it be OK if I say that AGW is debated since 1896?

      • David Wojick,

        You write:

        > It is not a matter of teaching the substance of the scientific debate, just teaching that it exists.

        The expression “the scientific debate” must refer to something to say that it exists.

        So I wonder to what the expression refers. The notion of reference should not cause no problem to a logician:

        But if you prefer, I could ask:

        What are you exactly talking about when you say “the scientific debate”?

        I hope this is clear enough. If not, I can clarify my question.

      • Rob Starkey

        The debate is regarding:

        1. Science being uncertain over what rate of warming might happen over what time periods as a function of human released CO2. There is great uncertainty over what impact CO2 will have and when in the actual earth system.

        2. Science is also highly uncertain of the changes to conditions that will result to various locations around the world over different time-frames in the event there is warming. There is no reliable information to describe the benefits vs. harms to the vast majority of the planet.

        3. Because of the conditions described in points 1 & 2, as well as the worldwide economic environment, it appears to be extremely debatable that worldwide CO2 emissions will fail to continue to rise for several decades at a minimum. Based on this as a high probability, there is debate over the merits over taking actions that could be taken to mitigate any CO2 rise.

      • Thanks, David.

      • In the official narrative, the debate in fact does not exist. It’s in the periphery, the Web, for the most part (not entirely). This is the problem; there is in fact great urgency on the part of the Consensus to keep debate out of any and all official bodies and publications. It is failing, more and more, but it will take time for the school boards and politicians to perceive and acknowledge that development.

      • > It is failing, more and more […]

        Join the bandwagon!

      • Willard, I am starting wth 20 debatable issues that occur at different grade levels and developing simple lesson plans forceach one. One example is Will GW make hurricanes worse or not?

      • To continue, my thought on teaching that the hurricane controversy exists is to look at Google, Google Images, Google News and Google Scholar search results for “hurricanes and global warming.” The titles along make clear that there is an open question under consideration. GS lists over 20,000 research articles. That is all they need to know, as this lesson is on the science of science. There being a controversy is an empirical fact and these search results are their data.

      • David Wojick,

        Thank you for your answer.

        Your transition from “debate” to “controversy” is duly noted.

        Would you care to list the 19 other topics?

        Many thanks!

      • David Wojick

        Willard, I can’t list the other topics as I am just 45 days into the project. Figuring out specific topics that are central yet narrow enough for a 35 minute lesson is the biggest challenge.

      • David Wojick,

        Thank you for your answer.

        Here are some suggestions:

        1. Models.
        2. Feedbacks.
        3. Temperatures.
        4. Glaciers.
        5. Extreme (?) weathers.
        6. CO2 as food plant.
        7. The C in CAGW.
        8. Warmth warms our hearts, lands.

        A template:

        To this we could add:

        9. Sea-level

        I’m sure there are many more among these 173 claims:

        Oh, I don’t recall if you answered Fred Moolten’s offer to help you out. Have you answered Fred Moolten?

        Many thanks!

      • Steven Mosher

        What about the Iron sun!
        David, are you going to argue that the iron sun theory is not a part of the

      • Isn’t the “Iron Sun” a bordello in New Orleans?

      • P.E. | May 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm |

        One believes you may be alluding to the Rising Sun, famous in song, and known to be the ruin of many a po’ boy.

        Alternatively, considering the source, you may mean “iron butterfly”, but I don’t want to know.

      • willard | May 12, 2012 at 11:01 pm |

        I like your questions better than I like mine.

        But then, I know mine to be biased. I only suspect yours are set out to detect a bias.

      • Bart R,

        To detect a bias, all there is needed is to look at the Heartland’s Institute campaigns. Yes, campaigns with an s. For instance:

        The April issue of School Reform News reports that enrollment in the Milwaukee Parental Choice program – still the largest voucher program in the nation – grew 12 percent in 2011 after Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation to expand education options for Wisconsin families.

        Also in this issue:

        The Virginia state Senate voted to postpone until next year a bill to replace unlimited public school teacher tenure with three-year contracts.

        A California school district discounted nearly 100 signatures from a Parent Trigger petition after union representatives showed up.

        Utah offers open-source, digital core curriculum free to districts after the initial investment, and expects to save big.

        Lawmakers in several states are considering requiring kids to repeat third grade if they can’t read.

        A report finds Connecticut early childhood programs are disorganized and wasteful, and analysts say such programs displace parenting.

        A new, high-quality study reveals students in school choice programs are less likely to commit crimes.

        When teachers compete in Finland, it’s the students who win, notes Sandra Stotsky.

      • Bart R,

        Perhaps the best would be to start here:

      • David Wojick | May 13, 2012 at 8:33 am |

        “Bart, I distinguish scientific debate by the topic, scientific, and the participants, which include scientists studying the topic. Seems simple enough.”


        So, you would recommend units be taught about Star Trek and Star Wars, Babylon 5 and Battlestar Galactica?

        The longstanding and vigorous debates on these subjects dominate by many times the time spent in discussion of hurricanes in the context of global warming among scientists. And don’t get me started on Dr. Who.

        Why waste valuable learning time with distractions and puff? Time that could be better spent teaching robotics and computer programming, the functioning of cellular communications and the importance of hygiene. Perhaps even a little chemistry, botany and physics?

    • I took a brief look at the standards. The website is a nightmare to use BTW.

      A couple of brief observations:
      “G6-8 Disciplinary Core Ideas MS.ESS.WC Weather and Climate
      Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere absorb and retain the energy radiated from land and ocean surfaces, thereby regulating Earth’s average surface temperature and keeping Earth habitable. (e)

      Crosscutting Concepts

      Energy and Matter

      Energy may take different forms (e.g. energy in fields, thermal energy, energy of motion). The transfer of energy can be tracked as energy flows through a designed or natural system. (e),(f)”

      Both of these statements seem pretty problematical to me. GHG don’t retain energy radiated from land and ocean surfaces. The statement on energy forms is confused.

      It will be tough sledding trying to search that website and figure out what they are actually trying to teach.

  16. “The Common Room provides a skeptical perspective on the topic:”

    The material the Common Room is pushing is far more inaccurate and misleading than anything they criticize. Far worse.

    I do think they provide, or rather typify, the skeptical perspective though.

  17. Judith

    Although I no longer have children in school, I know from others how climate science is being handled in schools in Switzerland.

    The topic is highly politicized, of course, and the government authorities usually stick to the politically correct line that “climate change” is happening as a result of human activities. With this in mind, Switzerland has enacted a (very modest) “CO2 tax”. Switzerland is in a bit of a dilemma, however, since the government has decided to phase out nuclear power generation – which currently supplies almost 40% of the total electrical power – some time in the future. This decision was made rather hurriedly following Fukushima, without first having any real alternates, and these are now being weighed. Most of the power comes from hydroelectric plants today, but these cannot be expanded nearly enough to replace nuclear plus handle the future requirement. Switzerland has no natural gas, but gas-fired plants are being considered as one alternate, based on imported gas.

    Unlike some other countries, there does not appear to be a concerted effort on the part of educators to brainwash (or frighten) pupils with the IPCC party line. This is not a part of the standard curriculum today although pedagogic material exists for teaching “climate change” to pupils in higher classes (projections from IPCC AR4 on melting of glaciers in Switzerland and elsewhere, endangerment of tropical rain forests, impact of projected sea level rise on small island nations, etc.). Some teachers may try to do this on their own, and this appears to be more prevalent in the German-speaking part of the country, where the “green” movement is stronger. Some have used parts of Al Gore’s AIT film as a teaching aid.

    At university level climate change is being taught, but that is a different topic.


  18. “The Common Room provides a skeptical perspective on the topic: Climate Science in Public Schools, with some egregious examples of what is being taught in some places.”

    Wait I missed this. What egregious examples? The only two examples given were articles students were directed to as assigned reading which were:


    What is egregious about these articles?

    • lolwot

      What is egregious about these articles?

      “Egregious?” Maybe.

      I’d say a better adjective would be “silly”.

      The two links you cite are good examples of hysterical hyperbole, not science:

      Chris Jones of the UK Met Office in Exeter says that unpublished results suggest the “burn everything” scenario could see atmospheric carbon dioxide levels reach 2000 parts per million – the figure today is 388 ppm. That pulse of CO2 could lead to a global temperature rise of 10 °C.

      Huh? The WEC tells us that there are just enough optimistically estimated fossil fuels on our planet to get us slightly above 1000 ppm CO2, an increase of 630 ppmv above today’s value, NOT 2000 ppmv, an increase of 1610 ppmv above today’s value. This is based on the rather optimistic estimate that we have only used around 15% of the total fossil fuel resources to date and still have 85% left to go. Chris, it’s time to get back down to planet Earth.

      The Sharon Begley blurb includes:

      That impression [that climate changes occur naturally] is at odds with the science, however. As the February report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded, greenhouse gases have caused most of the recent warming. “Without greenhouse gases and other [man-made] forcings,” says climatologist Gabriele Hegerl of Duke University, an author of the report, “we cannot really explain the observed climate changes.”

      “We cannot explain?”

      Right, Gaby, there are lots of things ”we cannot explain”. Isn’t that what uncertainty is all about, as Judith Curry has pointed out to you?

      And then, several years have passed since this was written. And we now see that it has stopped warming (at least temporarily) despite continued CO2 emissions.


      Lolwot, you should come with some better examples – these are weak.


      • “The WEC tells us that there are just enough optimistically estimated fossil fuels on our planet to get us slightly above 1000 ppm CO2”

        That’s only half the picture. You’ve only taken into account the source of CO2, not the sink. A figure as high as 2000ppm would only arise if the sink also reduced, either due to warming or due to saturation of the ocean surface or biosphere, or both.

        “Right, Gaby, there are lots of things ”we cannot explain”. Isn’t that what uncertainty is all about, as Judith Curry has pointed out to you?”

        It’s saying there is no natural explanation for the recent warming, which is true. No-one has a natural explanation. The only explanation that currently exists involves greenhouse gases.

        So the blurb is correct on both points.

      • lolwot

        Try using a bit of common sense.

        AGW comes principally from human CO2 emissions.

        These come primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels.

        (The fossil fuels came from old plant life, which came from ancient atmospheric CO2.)

        Based on rather optimistic estimates of remaining fossil fuel reserves by WEC, we have used up around 15% of the total fossil fuels to date, leaving around 85% still in place . (Other estimates are much lower.)

        These remaining fossil fuel resources would generate enough CO2 to increase atmospheric CO2 levels from today’s 390 ppmv to around 1030 ppmv, when they are completely exhausted.

        It is highly unlikely that this will ever occur. As fossil fuels become increasingly difficult and costly to extract, they will be replaced with something else for low added-value use, such as electrical power generation, and used only for higher added-value end uses, such as petrochemicals.

        So we can conclude that 1000 ppmv is very likely to be the upper limit of atmospheric CO2 level based on human emissions from fossil fuels.

        Anyone who makes silly projections based on 2000 ppmv is simply trying to frighten people without even checking if these are plausible.


      • Again Manacker you are assuming the sink continues to keep pace with the emissions. You haven’t addressed that.

        Underlying your argument that burning all the fossil fuels can only raise CO2 to 1030ppm is an assumption that half the CO2 emitted by man will be absorbed by Nature. That’s not necessarily going to hold, if as I pointed out, the natural sinks start having problems keeping up. That includes the prospect of catastrophic events like the methane bomb and amazon rainforest dieback occurring.

        You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t appeal to the climate system being complicated and uncertain and then state that you are certain that 2000ppm cannot happen.

      • “These remaining fossil fuel resources would generate enough CO2 to increase atmospheric CO2 levels from today’s 390 ppmv to around 1030 ppmv, when they are completely exhausted.”

        Per the same amount energy natural gas makes 1/2 CO2 emission.

        “EIA estimates that there are 2,214 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas that is technically recoverable in the United States.1 Of the total, an estimated 273 Tcf are proved reserves, which includes 60 Tcf of shale gas.

        At the rate of U.S. natural gas consumption in 2010 of about 24 Tcf per year, 2,214 Tcf of natural gas is enough to last about 92 years.”

        The burning of coal makes half of the World’s CO2 emission, therefore if you replaced coal with natural gas, there would reduction of 25% of global CO2 emission.
        China is produces more CO2 than any other country and consumes about 4 times more coal then next highest consumer of coal [the US].

        China’s yearly increase in coal consumption is limited.

        “China will work to control coal consumption this year in the face of strained coal supplies, the country’s energy chief said Saturday.

        China aims to cap its total energy consumption at 4 billion metric tonnes of coal equivalent by 2015, an annual increase of 4.24 percent.”
        “The country’s coal output rose 8.7 percent year-on-year to reach 3.52 billion metric tonnes in 2011, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.”
        [US is about 1 billion tonnes]

        So we don’t need rely China keeping it’s goal of 4 billion tonnes, it will run out coal in about 3 decades. And China will need to use natural gas or nuclear power. Of course nuclear power has zero emissions.

        My point is not all fossil fuels are the same, and coal being mostly carbon, produces most carbon per energy received [other than burning wood]. Though wood is globally available, coal isn’t globally available.

        Though one’s number of 1030 ppm as upper limit may or may have be accurate, it would require somewhere around century or more to get to such a level.
        Let’s look at less time into the future. We currently increasing global CO2 at rate of 2 ppm. It seems likely that for next couple decade, we will continue at this level. So 20 years add 40 ppm. And say outer limit of 450 ppm by year 2032.
        Say I am wrong. Say next year it climbs steeply so that in next 10 years
        it’s increasing at average of 3 ppm per year. Now it’s 396 ppm add 30
        giving 426 ppm
        A 50% increase would grab a lot attention- it’s completely unexpected
        makes a strong case for CAGW crazies. And possible that people would regard this as serious issue. And as result, consider it important to increase nuclear power generation in US. Perhaps a political will campaign on doubling the energy production of nuclear power within a decade. So if we get 426 ppm in a decade the crazies get big boost, and it’s not the end of the world.
        Of course same thing happen if more than 3 ppm per year increase,
        say 4 ppm. With increase to 4 ppm, Al Gore could be elected President [as new messiah].
        That isn’t going to happen. But let look at the fantasy, a little bit more rationally then “everyone will have live in the Antarctic, to somehow survive. ”
        So the fanasty is within a decade it’s adding 3 ppm, and within next decade it would be 4, and next decade it’s 5, then jumps to 6 ppm added in decade after. So 30+40+50+60 ppm. Or by 2052 it’s around 580 ppm. We double the “pre-industrial” level of 290 ppm.
        Or we will have increase current levels by about 45%, and since are wild and crazy let say global temperature have increased by 1 C.

        Let’s make some assumptions. The greens are now the dominate political party in most countries. We aren’t cannibals.We can’t get significant fraction of energy from solar panels and wind mills. And for some reason the singularity has been delayed another 50 years or so.
        China is now without any coal in it’s country, but is still importing massive quanities from other nations- say mostly Russia. The Chinese are weary all the rail traffic and the money being sent to Russia. The older coal plants are all scrapped, but there still few built in the later part of the first couple decades of 21st century, the coal use is 1/2 of what what being used in 2012. Since the Greens swept into office, US coal policy has been moderate, no new coal plants which are not zero CO2 emission, and high taxes on existing coal powerplants emitting CO2. Which means there is very few or no existing coal powerplants which not zero emission and have lasted as long as 2050.
        US still has plenty of coal in the ground, and still has enough natural gas, but there worries it will run out. Perhaps there is a lot more interest in methane hydrates in the ocean by the year 2050:
        “Recent mapping conducted by the USGS off North Carolina and South Carolina shows large accumulations of methane hydrates.

        A pair of relatively small areas, each about the size of the State of Rhode Island, shows intense concentrations of gas hydrates. USGS scientists estimate that these areas contain more than 1,300 trillion cubic feet of methane gas”
        Recall that 2,214 Tcf was 92 year US supply, and so 1300 trillion would be around 50 year supply. and that is only couple deposit examined.
        “Among the questions the DOE program will address are these: How much natural gas actually is present in the world’s methane hydrates? (Estimates range as high as 700,000 trillion cubic feet”
        So it’s huge potential amount energy if it could be mined.
        But my point by 2050 the world consumption of coal in it’s emission that is allowed into atmosphere is at best 1/2 of current.
        And other sources of CO2 may have increased, but halving of Coal
        should roughly balance out this additional increase. And not looking huge increase in nuclear power use [could reduce it further]. A huge increase in nuclear power would be something similar to what India is currently doing, but worldwide. So something say a 1/10th of what India is doing.
        So there still a lot coal being used because assuming china has only halved their use. So if methane hydrates have been started to be mined by the year 2050, and china replaces it’s coal use with natural gas- there is lot energy supply and it further lowers global CO2 emission.
        Though possible in the time period to instead have all electrical production be from nuclear energy we could significant reduction in global CO2 emission. And fossil fuel used only in transportation.

      • lolwot

        The “sink” will do exactly what the “sink” wants to do.

        You have no notion what that will be – nor do I.

        (Nor does Chris Jones.)


      • lolwot

        On your second point, you are again following an illogical path.

        “We can only explain it if we assume that…” is an argument from ignorance.

        It assumes that there is no uncertainty, i.e. we know everything there is to know about all natural causes of changes to our climate.

        We do not.

        To assume we do is not only ignorant, it is arrogant (see Einstein as well as Curry).


      • “It assumes that there is no uncertainty, i.e. we know everything there is to know about all natural causes of changes to our climate.”

        We’ve scratched off all the obvious natural causes. TSI, volcanoes, internal variation, orbital effects. All the big obvious stuff can’t explain the warming. All that is left are Rube Goldberg machines, which wikipedia describes as:

        “A Rube Goldberg machine, contraption, invention, device, or apparatus is a deliberately over-engineered or overdone machine that performs a very simple task in a very complex fashion”

        We could go down that route indefinitely. We could always imagine some bizarre chain of natural events could explain the warming.

        But at some point you have to stop. We’ve had ages and no alternatives have passed, therefore until that does happen we are going with the explanation.

        Just as we can only explain the diversity of life on Earth as due to evolution. Sure it may turn out that some alternative theory exists and is found in the future. But the state today is that it’s evolution.

      • lolwot

        You have skirted around my point that WE DO NOT KNOW all the natural factors that impact our climate and how it responds to these.

        So the argument as started by Hegerl is an “argument from ignorance”, rather than an “argument from evidence”.

        Judith Curry has pointed this out to her in other words, citing the “uncertainty monster”.

        Until you can address this point, you are just blowing hot air.


      • “It is highly unlikely that this will ever occur. As fossil fuels become increasingly difficult and costly to extract,”

        …. we will be forced to adopt the same risk mitigation strategies, that is transition to a more sustainable energy source.

        (finishing up the paragraph properly)

      • WHT

        This is rarely the case, but I agree with your addition to my statement.

        To summarize:

        – We have used up 15% of the world’s total fossil fuels today.

        – At the current rate of usage, we will use up the remaining 85% in around 300 years.

        – If our rate of consumption continues to grow at roughly twice the expected rate of population growth, they will all be gone in 150 years or so

        – However, It is highly unlikely that this will occur. As fossil fuels become increasingly difficult and costly to extract, they will be replaced with something else for low added-value use, such as electrical power generation, and used only for higher added-value end uses, such as petrochemicals.

        – (add your paragraph)


      • My added paragraph is that I hope something positive occurs to get us out of the conundrum.

  19. Beth Cooper

    ‘We don’t need no thought control,
    duh d’ duh duh, duh d’ duh duh
    Hey, teacher! Leave them kids alone!’

    Resources in Climate Change Education for Australian Schools:

    K-12:Video, Professor Flannery, ‘We are the Weather Makers.’…
    Tim Flannery is the poster child of the ABC CAGW movement.

    ‘Campus Green Game.’ Interactive, experiiential simulation for 20-150 players. Become responsible for your schools energy now before climate changes…
    Bet they don’t raise renewable energy problems of intermittancy, inefficiency and COST.

    ‘Questicon Teacher Climate Change Handbook.’ Hands on Activities…
    Colour in red all the bad things people are doing to bring about a TIPPING – POINT – GLOBAL – WARMING – DISASTER.

    WWF for Nature. ‘Dangerous Aspirations. Beyond 3 Degrees Warming in AUstralia.’…
    Fergit aspirations, git back to the Golden Age, kids.

    • The US Govt is pouring millions into something called Climate Literacy, which is CAGW for students. Google on the term. If you do not accept CAGW you are scientifically illiterate.

      • I would alter this to say:

        “If you do not accept AGW as likely, you’ve either not done enough reading and understanding of the research, our you’ve got huge political or ideological blinders on.”

      • I would alter it to say:

        “If you accept AGW as likely, you’ve either not done enough reading and understanding of the research, our you’ve got huge political or ideological blinders on.”

        See, it is a debate. But claiming your opponent is stupid is stupid.

      • Big difference between stupid and ignorant. But you’re right, ad homs are bad form.

      • Rob Starkey

        Funny, I would describe the controversy regarding AGW as being over

        1. Science being uncertain over the rate of warming might happen over what time periods as a function of human released CO2. There is great uncertainty over what impact CO2 will have and when in the actual earth system.

        2. Science is also highly uncertain of the changes to conditions that will result to to various locations around the world over different time-frames in the event there is warming. There is no reliable information to describe the benefits vs. harms.

        3. Because of the conditions described in points 1 & 2, as well as the worldwide economic environment, it appears to be extremely unlikely that worldwide CO2 emissions will fail to continue to rise for several decades at a minimum.

      • The controversy regarding AGW is far from over. Wish that were the case, but it is not. But you are partially correct anyway in all 3 points.

        In point 1: There is uncertainty over what all the impacts might be, but some of them we are already seeing.

        In point 2: There is uncertainty about what all of the changes will be in all parts of the world, but some changes are already being made quite clear.

        In point 3: Because of the perceived high costs of de-carbonizing the global economy, and the necessity for some sacrifice to be made now based on uncertainty as to what all the future impacts of a warmer future might be, it will take incredible international effort and cooperation to curtail CO2 emissions. I agree it is unlikely to see them fall in the next decade at least. Unfortunately, it might take the worst of what some in the CAGW crowd say could happen to actually begin to happen before we’ll get significant movement. Countries that de-carbonize their economies early through a variety of technologies and energy savings will be rewarded economically, even if the worst of the climate change doomsayers predictions never come to pass.

      • Rob Starkey

        You misread my comment a bit.

        I indicated that the debate is regarding the points that were described, not that there is no longer a debate.

        Point 1 is simply a debate over what rate of warming will occur and when as a result of human actions. What will temperatures being doing between 2020 and 2030 as an example? Nobody knows with a reasonable degree of accuracy do they?

        Point 2 you seemed to understand, but I think you have to acknowledge that there are not really any significant harms that can be associated with human released CO2 up to this point. Those who fear CO2 have to overcome this lack of demonstrated harms when they try to build a case that the future will be terrible with more CO2.

        On point 3, you understand the basics, but are mistaken on a key point when you write:
        “Countries that de-carbonize their economies early through a variety of technologies and energy savings will be rewarded economically”

        That idea is incorrect, and would be a flawed economic policy. Countries that de-carbonize early will in fact be likely to adopt immature technologies that are more likely to have higher costs associated with them due to technical failures and high maintenance costs. Countries that wait for 10 to 20 years after the initial implementation of new technologies will be able to evaluate what was tried by the countries that tried to de-carbonize early and then only adopt technologies that worked cost effectively.

        In the real world these are real considerations.

      • Doug Allen

        Climate literacy from your NOAA Climate Program Office-

  20. They are taking something that is not settled science and brainwashing our children that it is settled science. That is Criminal.

  21. Fearmongering campaigns at K-12 school level are unacceptable, no matter what “good cause” they supposedly support.

    When they are based on agenda driven politics and questionable science, as is the case here, they are criminal.



  22. As I’ve mentioned before, I have spent more than 20 years as an education volunteer, from reading tutor to ESL to Head start and for the last 16 and 7 years respectively as a science education mentor and a Junior Achievement instructor. And I am not sure that climate change is a subject for k-12.

    It is hard enough to get students to understand the concept of science inquiry. Just getting them interested in science at all is a challenge. That is where the focus needs to be. Trying to push specific concepts whether it be climate change or genetic engineering or any other topic considered a political as well as science issue strikes me more as indoctrination rather than education.

    FYI – unless I find a way to access Climate Etc overseas, I won’t be able to follow this (or any other) thread. Will be in Korea meeting my wife’s family for the first time. (Just wanted to note that our choices were spring and fall, as summer is hot as hell and winter will freeze the tits off a brass monkey. If extreme climate was really a huge problem, there wouldn’t be Koreans. As it is, they have persevered despite rugged terrain, fierce climate and bigger neighbors. So when the Erlichs and Hanseons of the world bemoan our impending doom, I can’t help but think they have never met a Korean.)

  23. They’re teaching climate science to kids who think ‘math is hard?’

    I assume they discuss climate science some time after they pass a thermodynamics class. Of course, they don’t really want to teach the science – they want to teach the ideology.

    A. Sport utility vehicles;
    B. Rice fields;
    C. Increased solar output.

    Correct answer: ALL THREE. (It isn’t warming “TODAY” – in fact, it hasn’t warmed over the past decade or even longer).

    • warming hasn’t stopped

      • Please refer us where we can see that warming has not stopped.
        Certain levels of the atmosphere? Sea Surface? Top 100 ft of ocean?
        Below 700m in the ocean. I am sure we would all like to see any evidence that shows warming has not stopped.
        Thank You, lolwot

      • Darryl, see:

        And realize that what you’re seeing represents thousands of times more energy than the atmosphere could hold. AGW skeptics would like to focus on the troposphere over some carefully selected period of time, when the ocean heat content is a far better metric for changes in the non-tectonic energy system of the Earth.

      • Nice interactive charts. I did a quick calculation of heat uptake, and it follows this behavior:

        H = \int_0^T 10^{22} F(t) dt

        where F(t) is the excess radiation entering the ocean in watts/m^2 and T is the duration of excess in years. So if F(t) reached 1 watt/m^2 and it took 30 years to reach that point (see the chart @ 1980), then the excess heat is 15*10^22.

        All very intuitive, and something that would not be out of place in a high school science class with calculus as a prerequisite.

      • Alexej Buergin

        Nice that you can write an Integral, but you should spend some time thinking about units of measurement. As written your formula is nonsense.

      • Hey buddy, units are implicit. I did all the heavy lifting for the chumps out there.

      • The answer is in Joules and the variable is in Watts/m^2. To be dimensionally correct the 1022 term needs to be divided by the area of the oceans to get J/m^2. As well there are components of convection and latent heat that are very important and quite difficult to quantify.

        The bigger problem is that F(t) is not constant – it is chaotically variable as can be seen in the CERES data.

        Chaotic because the underying climate modes are dynamically complex and exhibit abrupt and non-linear change.

        To determine warming or cooling of the coupled ocean/atmosphere system – you are better off differentiating and looking at measured trends in power flux anomalies at TOA.

        d(S)/dt = Ein – Eout

        Warming of the ocean occurs in one way when the atmosphere is warming. As the atmosphere hasn’t warmed recently there can be no possibility that the atmosphere is involved in warming seen in the short term ARGO record. The other modes involve changes in losses from convection and evaporation or in changes to incident SW either as TSI or albedo changes.

      • Chief Hydrologist said:

        “Warming of the ocean occurs in one way when the atmosphere is warming.”


        Not true at all. Net energy flows from ocean to atmosphere, except for the very top of the ocean skin layer. The net rate of outflow from ocean to atmosphere is regulated by the temperature, humidity, and winds in atmosphere but the actual heat or energy in the ocean comes primarily from SW solar. The oceans act essentially as a storage battery of buffer of stored sunlight, with the atmosphere acting as the governor that regulates the release of this stored solar energy. Heat the atmosphere up just a bit (say through increased greenhouse gases) and the rate of the energy flow from ocean to atmosphere slows down as the thermal gradient between ocean and atmosphere is less steep. Cool the atmosphere off a bit, and the gradient become more steep and more stored sunlight flows from ocean to atmosphere. This mechanism serves to somewhat smooth out the otherwise extreme swings that we can see in atmospheric temperatures given it’s very low thermal inertia.

        Thus, the energy in the ocean comes mostly directly from SW sunlight, and if you want to alter the amount of energy entering the ocean you alter the amount SW hitting the ocean Solar fluctuations and volcanoes and human aerosols are three of the most typical things that can affect the amount of sunlight entering the ocean.

      • “Chief Hydrologist | May 13, 2012 at 8:31 pm |

        The answer is in Joules and the variable is in Watts/m^2. “

        That’s why the integral is in there, as it integrates the power over time. Integration of power (watts=joules/sec) over time gives energy (joules.) I already accounted for the area of the ocean in the pre-factor constant.
        Too bad that civs don’t understand engineering very well.

      • Webby – you’re off base insults are absurd. Why you would imagine that an enginnering hydrologist with an advanced degree in environmental science would know less about calculus and climate than a misguided electrical engineer I haven’t a clue.

        The minor point is that the variable integrates as J/m^2 because you’re function is in W/m^2 – but then the quantum is wrong because you haven’t corrected for ocean area – out by a factor of millions of times. Weren’t you taught dimensional analysis. It helps us civs keep the units correct. I was trying very hard not to say that you blew a simple idea yet again.

        The major point is that there is hard evidence that there is nowhere near a constant 1W/m^2 energy imbalance. And that this varies chaotically – in the sense that the word is used in theroetical physics. You have such a limited concept – and insist on it with such vigour. Much as a dog with a bone withouit about as much hope of entering a meaningful dialogue as the aformentioned doggie.

      • Alexej Buergin

        I will not recommend that WHT read a physics book; that is difficult. But all one could want to know about units of measurement (and more) is published in a SI-“bible”:

        Everybody who has spent some time in the US knows that units must never, never be implicit.

    • Of course it is still warming today, and shall continue to do so for quite some time even if we somehow magically stopped increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere, we’ve still got decades of warming ahead from our current levels.

      It is sad that our classrooms will increasingly become a battleground for the extreme political divisions shaping up in the United States. Our children, already falling behind the rest of the world in math and science, will be increasingly confused, bewildered, and out of touch as their minds become the front lines in what amounts to a political battle.

      And for what it’s worth, other factors being equal, SUV’s, Rice fields, and increased solar output would all cause the planet to retain more net energy.

      • I agree it is sad, but skeptics did not create this mess. Skepticism is a reaction to the scare campaign. No scare, no skepticism.

      • Actually, skepticism (real skepticism) should be taught from a very early age with children. Critically thinking, questioning, challenging everything they are taught– including the programming and social standards their parents give them. I’ve taught my children to question everything. To dig deeper for the answers until they are satisfied they really understand something. Are all parents and teachers really willing to create this “question everything” environment? They ought to be if they want true open-minded, and fully skeptical kids..

      • R. Gates | May 13, 2012 at 1:26 am |

        Oh that you were running for office. With any luck, one day your children may.

      • David Wojick

        Questioning everything is impossible. Critical thinking is taught via what is called inquiry sessions, but the students are usually challenging each other, not the basic science. Even here there is a problem, namely that it takes a lot longer to learn a given amount of basic science via inquiry. Thus the more inquiry they do the less they learn, so there is a trade off between inquiry and literacy, and the students are tested for literacy.

      • You also have the problem that 80% of the kids will never fully understand any complex issue.

      • David,

        I don’t think questioning everything is impossible– in fact I know it is not. As my children are exactly this way because that’s the way I’ve raised them. They are extremely independent thinkers and skeptical (to the point of sometimes being obnoxious about it.) But I think it takes courage on the part of both parent and teachers, as you have to open your kids up to questioning some of the very assumptions and values you might hold dear

        If you want you kids to be real thinkers with open and independent minds you have to open everything up and put it on the table for them to pick apart and search for truth. You can’t tell them to question one thing but not another, or otherwise put anything off limits. I’m not certain a lot parents are really willing to raise kids this way. They want them to be skeptical about some things but others things are simply to be accepted without question. IMO, this makes for very unbalanced “myopic” kids and eventually unbalanced and “myopic” adults in the long run.

      • David Wojick

        Generally speaking there is no such thing as fully understanding a complex issue, because they have a tree structure, with potentially unending levels of detail. See my textbook:

        We strive to understand well enough, not fully. It is a case what Herb Simon called “satisficing.” As for your 80%, I doubt you have data to back this up.

      • Rice field!? You mean land use may have some impact?? :)

      • Absolutely, In fact, land use changes by humans were probably the very beginning of an identifiable Anthropocene period. Dinosaurs had their flatulence to alter the climate and humans had agriculture and then the fossil fuel powered industrial revolution.

      • Steven Mosher

        In fact you can use metadata to see how few stations are actually placed by rice fields. not many.
        You can remove them from the pool of stations. Answer? no difference.
        It’ still warming and will be for years to come.

      • As the atmosphere did not warm in recent times this cannot result in changes in net IR up – so the ocean temperature increase in the limited ARGO record did not arise from anything happening in the atmosphere as the atmospheric temperature didn’t exhibit much of a trend at all.

        The change in ocean heat content since ARGO commenced in 2003 –

        And the CERES record since 2001 are entirely consistent.

        There are changes in cloud cover that are largely the result of Pacifc Ocean varibility – especially ENSO and the PDO – and these are non-stationary. There is no simple oscillation but parts of a single phenomenon and variable at many scales.

        ‘This study uses proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’ Verdon and Franks 2006

        This is baby physics but needs to be combined with a sophisticated understanding of natural variability in climate.

      • Chief,

        You say the “atmosphere did not warm up in recent times”, yet 2011 was the warmest La Nina year on record. Before you stop to ask why this matters, remember that La Nina years are typically years in which ocean heat content increases. Thus, if 2011 was the warmest La Nina year (year of net ocean heat content increasing), it means it should be a record year for ocean heat content. And guess what, the latest ocean heat content data (Jan-March 2012) down to 2000 meters shows that is exactly the case. We had a record warm La Nina year and now we have the highest heat content on instrument record for any 3 month period down to 2000 meters. The Earth’s energy system is at instrument record levels. Warming continues for the Earth’s system. Oceans give energy to the atmosphere. Expect the next El Nino year to see record high tropospheric temperatures as some of that record high ocean heat is released back to the atmosphere.

      • You have a problem – or perhaps it is me. There is always a disjunct between what I say and what you report me as saying. I wonder why?

        Here is the tropospheric temp. anomaly. – – It seems evident that temperatures are pretty much the same today as 2003.

        Here is the ARGO ocean heat to 2000m with error bands. –

        Although von Schuckmann et al 2009 present it better. – [IMG][/IMG]

        The point remains that a non warming atmosphere cannot cause ocean warming. It is a matter of simple radiative physics. So we look for other explanations of ocean warming – it comes in the form of SW variablity at TOA.

        We have what is a small change in cloud causing an appreciable. Because the energy is cumulative – it is a running total when you add energy in and losses – it integrates all previous conditions.

        The relation between ENSO and ocean temperature is complex. There must be some heat transfer bwetween the ocean and atmosphere but is minor. The big change is from ENSO cloud feedback. Something that is fairly obvious to anyone. So the current La Nina must result in cooler oceans. As La Nina intensify in the current cool Pacific decadal mode it will lead to more cloud and cooler oceans.

        You need a little bit more than ocean temp. and a narrative to understand what is likely to happen to climate.

      • Chief said:

        “So the current La Nina must result in cooler oceans.”


        Did I quote you correct? I think I did because it is a direct cut and paste.
        You are mistaken Chief. La Ninas are general times when ocean heat increases, and sometimes in dramatic fashion. The link in your last past shows ocean heat content to only 700m. At the 2000m mark, we’ve had the greatest 3 month ocean heat content on instrument record.

        Over the past 40 years, ocean heat content has consistently risen in dramatic fashion. You would suppose that we’ve somehow had some huge jump in SW radiation striking the ocean, either through a more active sun or less clouds? The data would not support your contention. But what we have had is consistently rising atmospheric temperatures and downwelling LW to the ocean skin layer. The oceans are not warming because more heat is entering from SW or LW, but because less heat is leaving because of altered thermal gradients.

      • I am sure I linked to the NODC site – but simply switched the error bounds on. It is the same one you linked to – simply proceed in an orderly fashion to the next graph.

        Please if you are going to arm wave about dramatic increases in ocean temperature in La Nina – we will need something a little better than a narrative.

        I am not really sure just how good earlier data is –

        But here is something from Wong et al 2006
        It uses ERBS and sea levels from Willis. Yes it does seem to indicate a pretty big jump in shortwave and cooling in the IR. Note the 1998/2000 transition.

        TAKMENG WONG, BRUCE A. WIELICKI, AND ROBERT B. LEE II (2006) ‘Reexamination of the Observed Decadal Variability of the Earth Radiation Budget Using Altitude-Corrected ERBE/ERBS Nonscanner WFOV Data’

        Have fun, make mistakes, get messy.

  25. A Government Radio-offshoot “…asked teachers and educators around the country to tell us how they teach climate change and climate science in their classrooms. It’s not always easy. Some have been met with challenges from parents, students and fellow colleagues.”
    Each science teacher should be happy to address challenges: how else does one learn? Indeed, if the instructor has ears to hear, learning might occur on both sides of the desk. However, we could be happy with memorization and recitation.

  26. peterdavies252

    The education system fails in general to teach children how to discriminate between normative and objective information. The current state of climate science has way too many subjective elements for the information of our children and they generally cannot assess whether they are being taught pulp fiction.

  27. It seems to me that whatever the specifics we might teach about climate science in our neighborhood schools, it is important for the instruction to have a really good attention gainer.

    In that regard, many, many of our students today will have had recent experience with loss of their home, their parents’ livelihood, their family’s life-savings, their parents’ dream of a comfortable retirement, and their own hopes for rewarding work with a reasonable compensation (naturally, this student profile does not apply to classrooms catering to the privileged, protected children of the hive-masters of various stripes and their tenured, sell-out academic tools).

    And most of these same kids will also have had powerful, searing experiences of a once happy home ripped apart by daily stresses and worries over unemployment and money issues. And some will have even lived through the “challenging” transition that comes when unemployment benefits and savings run out and their family, once proud, prosperous and productive, is forced into a hand-to-mouth dependence on public assistance.

    Now, teachers of climate science can tap into the above “reality” of their students’ lives by instructing the kids how it was that a coterie of smarty-pants financial modelers, in cahoots with some slicko money-bags/power-and-control types worked the sub-prime scam–a part of the lesson-plan devoted to how the “failure” of the whiz-kids’ financial models and how misplaced faith in those models devastated the students’ childhood years. All that, after the big-boys working the rip-off took their winnings off the table, of course, and got away with it, of course.

    Interested pedagogues can Google: “sub-prime computer models” and find abundant material for the climate science attention grabber, I recommend. Though, I favor, as a starting point, an article by Warren Buffet (Google: “New York Times In Letter Warren Buffet Concedes a Tough Year”), in which this “money” quote appears: “Too often Americans have been enamored of a nerdy-sounding priesthood, using esoteric terms…Beware of geeks bearing formulas”

    I’m sure it is obvious to the reader, by now, that with the above introduction, students will relate intensely with and be very attentive to the climate science instruction that follows. Namely, instruction as to how climate science’s CAGW hustle mixes phoney-baloney models and scare-mongering to enrich and further empower make-a-buck/make-a-gulag big-shots and their toady, ivory-tower enablers while destroying through job-killing carbon regulation and deliberately engineered carbon price increases the few financial props that might remain to the kids and their desperate, destitute families.

    But, like I said, the above attention gainer must be employed selectively since it won’t work in those rare schools serving the entitled offspring of the “doing-great!”, eco-hypocrite carbon-hoggies that feed at the CAGW trough.

    • mike | May 12, 2012 at 8:35 pm |

      We could call the course of studies “Civics and Paranoid Conspiracy Theory, Grade One”.

      • C’mon Bart. Rhetorical spike-strips, like “Conspiracy Theory”, are for the likes of Michael and company. Not what I would have expected from you.

        But then, I must have struck a nerve, Bart. Struck a nerve and left you flailing for a response–hence your unwonted, though no less doofus, for all that, “Conspriacy Theory” booger-flick cum leg-hump.

        While a bit over the top, Bart, I hope my prior comment made the point to you that the greenshirt hustle has some real-life consequences, just like all the recent financial scams. I mean, if you even care about those outside your protected, well-connected, privileged little world.

        And, oh by the way, Bart, have you ever been in a family that has had its warmth and happiness torn apart by prolonged unemployment? I’d be surprised if you had. And I say that, because you have that cocksure, breezy attitude of someone who’s had one good-deal after another handed to him all his life. You know, like a cozy existence rather removed from the travails of the tacky hoi-polloi.

        Though, in all fairness, it does appear, Bart, you’ve taken advantage of your good deals and you’re otherwise a nice enough guy. And your comments are generally worth a read, as well–though not your last to me.

      • Its amusing how so many conspiracy theorists absolutely hate being labeled conspiracy theorists.

        If you really think there is a conspiracy for funding, then suck it up – you are a conspiracy theorist. Either love that or stop being one.

      • lolwot,

        I think mike’s point was fair and well written. We should encourage commentors’ best efforts, and mike has done much worse, Bart R was lazy and deserves it.

      • A political movement and a conspiracy are two different things, but they tend to merge when the movement gains power. Was the founlding of the USSR a conspiracy? How about America? The founding fathers certainly worked closely together. Or does a conspiracy require evil intent? Or is it a conspiracy only if you do not believe in the cause, hence subjective? It is your word lolwot, so what say yee?

        The folks who control climate research funding in the US devoutly believe in CAGW, and they work closely together. It is called the USGCRP. Is this a conspiracy, or just a movement?

      • Well, what would you propose the course be called?

        And as for lazy.. I’m quite confounded. On the one hand, I’m criticized for too many, and overlong posts with too many big words; on the other, I’m lazy. What gives?

        I’m not saying mike’s riposte wasn’t visciously hilarious, in its self-pityingly off-target way; just that I didn’t deem his original worth more effort.

        My answer? mike’s assertion of negative consequences is baseless, unsubstantiated, and hackneyed. It’s been around since Spencer tacked the economic red herring onto the hind end of his attack on Kyoto, and it’s just not worth even answering any more.

        Put some real analysis behind the claim, or withdraw it. It doesn’t withstand scrutiny so far.

      • Bart R,

        The sesquipedalian [1] in me prefers your tirades to your name calling.

        Don’t take it wrong. I admire your style. If we ever play street hockey, you’re my right winger of the shut-down line.

        Keep these long words comin’,



      • Bart and lolwot,

        Let me say right up front, Bart and lolwot, those “tits” you two lewd dudes offered up in response, directly or indirectly, to my previous “tats” were a creep-out, pornographic horror story.

        So Bart, you’ve huffed and you’ve puffed and the best you’ve got is “mike’s assertion of negative consequences is baseless, unsubstantiated, and hackneyed”. And this thundering denunciation of yours is directed at what? Well, at my notion that sharp increases to carbon prices, engineered by you Luddite-lefties, and your complementary, burdensome carbon regulations, selectively enforced on behalf of your green-washed, crony-capitalist and hive-master betters, have an adverse impact on the economy, to include employment.

        You know, Bart, I can’t think of anything that better demonstrates the disconnect between clueless eco-flakes like you and humanity than your last comment. You see, Bart, in addition to well-developed B. S. detectors, us real-live human beings have a coup de l’loeil that guides us in our daily affairs. And those are the tools of survival in the real world, Bart. The real world, Bart, that you’ve obviously been sheltered from your whole pampered, spoiled-brat, over-protected life. The real world where praise is earned, advancement is achieved through merit and not mommy and daddy’s connections, and where the price one pays for being a zits-for-brains booger-eater is failure. And it was through our B. S. detectors and coup de l’oeil that us real-live human beings figured out centuries ago that tabacco was bad for one’s health and, more recently, that the whole CAGW business was all hype and a make-a-buck/make-a-gulag, job-killing scam.

        And in the real world, Bart, everyone knows that increased carbon prices and regulations have adverse consequences on the economy, including employment. Only a wannabe philosopher-king with a dork’s sense of entitlement and a narcissistic self-regard and a momma’s boy smart-mouth could think otherwise. In other words, Bart–the words of Warren Buffet to be exact–“Beware of geeks bearing formulas.”

        As for you, lolwot, your invertebrate biology defies human understanding. So I was forced to devise a computer model of your hive-mind that produced a settled-science profile of your thinking (and NO! you can’t see my computer model’s code, data, or any of my e-mails relating to it) as a foundation for my response to you.

        Sadly, my computer model described your mono-maniac, parasite mental-reflexes in such noogie-magnet terms that I cannot share its results with you. I mean, like, to do so, lolwot, would just send you scuttling back to the hive with tears streaming from your eye-stalks and with a desperate need for the comforting embrace of your hive-mates’ chitinous body-parts.

        And I can’t do that to you, lolwot. ‘Cuz then we’d all miss that nerd-ball, goober-abuser freak-show of yours that you regularly treat us to here at “Climate etc” You know, lolwot, like that clownish spectacle you made of yourself in your last comment when you tried, in that whiny, silly-snot, doofus way of yours, to talk all tough–you know, shooting off your mouth with that macho-hombre “suck it up” crack. I mean, lolwot, like, you there pretending you’re some sort of regular-guy, hard-ass or something (I can just see you practicing that line in the mirror). True amusement, lolwot. Don’t change a thing, guy.

      • mike | May 13, 2012 at 11:43 pm |

        Aw, shucks. It sounds like I’m warming on you there, you relentless flatterer.

        So, you understand the assertion of yours we’re talking about is “an adverse impact on the economy, to include employment.”

        Prove it. Don’t froth it. Don’t drool it. Prove it.

        Dr. Ross McKitrick obtained his PhD on a paper that exactly contradicts your claim. Increasing carbon prices — in his case through carbon taxes directed to the coffers of the state — were, McKitrick demonstrated, less distortionate than other forms of taxation, and would naturally be better for the economy.

        Do you have a peer-reviewed paper that has since discredited McKitrick on this subject?

        Though I think it unkind to call Dr. McKitrick and his thesis advisers, “Luddite-lefties, .. green-washed, crony-capitalist and hive-master betters.. clueless eco-flakes.. pampered, spoiled-brat, over-protected.. mommy and daddy’s connections, and where the price one pays for being a zits-for-brains booger-eater is failure.. a make-a-buck/make-a-gulag, job-killing.. wannabe philosopher-king with a dork’s sense of entitlement and a narcissistic self-regard and a momma’s boy smart-mouth.. geeks bearing formulas.. invertebrate biology.. mono-maniac, parasite mental-reflexes in such noogie-magnet terms.. scuttling back to the hive with tears streaming from your eye-stalks and with a desperate need for the comforting embrace of your hive-mates’ chitinous body-parts.. nerd-ball, goober-abuser freak-show.. clownish spectacle.. whiny, silly-snot, doofus.. talk all tough–you know, shooting off your mouth with that macho-hombre “suck it up” crack. I mean, lolwot, like, you there pretending you’re some sort of regular-guy, hard-ass or something (I can just see you practicing that line in the mirror).” However, if you can pull a repudiation of his thesis out of your ample back pocket, he may deign to come to the defense of his own ideas which you so disparage.

        Not that I’m implying that you don’t know what you’re talking about, and couldn’t back up a word of your really long obsolete and kinda lame rant if you had three dozen technicians from a cloud services company helping you.

      • Bart,

        Beware of geeks with formulas and beware of geeks peddling self-evident, peer-reviewed, poppycock B. S.

        And if you don’t like that response, Bart, “Suck it Up!!” (I kinda ripped that last zinger off lolwot–hope he doesn’t mind).

      • mike

        Tch. A zinger kinda depends on the skill of the shooter.

        It was barely a zinger when lolwot used it. From you.. not so much. And I see we’re courting moderation by spiraling down into personalities again.

        Defend your claim against McKitrick’s work, or we know you can’t, because your claim simply got nothing.

      • Bart,

        Let me begin with an apology. My last comment was, in part, inappropriate. I regret the comment and extend to you my apology. Thank you for calling me on it, Bart.

        Normally, I offer an apology as a stand-alone comment, Bart. But given the length of this sub-thread, please forgive my discourtesy in launching directly into a further discussion.

        Bart, let me address McKitrick’s paper as your represented it in relation to my views. Not saying you’ve accurately represented it.

        Here’s my stated position: “In the real world, everyone knows increased carbon prices and regulations have an adverse impact on the economy, including employment.”

        Then there’s your reponse to me: “Dr. Ross McKitrick obtained a Phd on a paper that exactly contradicts your claims.”

        So, to put the matter in a testable form, Bart, you maintain that Dr. Ross McKitrick “exactly contradicts” my claims. Which means, in turn, that Dr. Mckitrick maintains that increases in carbon prices and carbon regulations do NOT adversely affect the economy, to include employment.” With me, Bart?

        And here’s the specifics of Dr. McKitrick’s position that you attribute to him:

        “Increasing carbon prices…through carbon taxes paid to the coffers of the state…were less distortionate than other forms of taxation, and would naturally be better for the economy.”

        So, Bart, help me out. Where in the above description of Dr. McKitrick’s views can you find any claim that increasing carbon prices does NOT adversely affect the economy, including employment?

        When, Dr. Mckitrick supposedly says “Increasing carbon prices through taxation…” does that phrase equate, in your mind Bart to an “exact contradition” of my claims, that is, to the equivalent of the statement “Increasing carbon prices does not have adverse consequences on the economy, to include employment”? I don’t think so. Do you, Bart?

        But let’s press on. Consider this more expanded form of Dr. McKitrick’s claim: “Increasing carbon prices through carbon taxes paid to the coffers of the state…” Are we there now? Have I quoted enough of Dr. McKitrick’s purported claims that we can now say he has contradicted my claims. Again, I think not, Bart.

        But, again, let’s persevere. When Dr. McKitrick purportedly claims that, “Increasing carbon prices through taxes paid to the coffers of the state were less distortionate than other forms of taxation…” does that equate, in your mind, Bart, to the proposition, that “exactly contradicts” my own, in the form “increasing carbon prices does NOT have adverse consequences on the economy, to include employment”. Not to me.

        O. K., Bart, I’m a little tired of playing “cute” with you. The last part of your characterization of Dr. McKitrick’s point of view, “…and naturally would be better for the economy” makes sense, if it makes any sense at all, that carbon taxes paid directly to the coffers of the state (so who else’s coffers would you be paying taxes to, anyway, Bart) are better for the economy that taxes not paid to the coffers of the state.

        Somehow, I think, Bart, me boy, Dr. McKitrick’s views are really as boogered up as you’ve represented, and they most certainly don’t contradict my claim that “Increasing carbon prices has an adverse affect on the economy, to include employment”–at least in your representation of them.

        Jeez, what a waste of my time, Bart. You know, Bart, you missed the whole point of my prior comment. You challenged to me to produce a peer-reviewed refutation of Dr. McKitrick or “we know you can’t”. Now in the ivory-tower, hive-heaven world you inhabit, Bart, that’s, no doubt, a supremo-put-down, showed-him!, points-on-the-board slam-dunk response. But you’re working your little CAGW scam in the real world of public opinion–my world, Bart, and, I boldly declare, your little “peer reviewed literature” sub-hustle no longer works it agit-prop magic.

        Again, the CAGW hustle is being decided by the lay citizenry, like me, using the same sort of coup de l’loeil evaluation we apply to flim-flam representations of used-car-salesmen, too-good-to-be-true investment proposals, and Florida real-estate deals. And you guys and your CAGW scam have been found wanting–and not just by me. In case you haven’t noticed, you guys are currently losing your greenshirts and your little gravy-train is soon to follow.

        Neither I nor very many of my fellow citizens are going to read every bit of the climate science peer-reviewed literature, judiciously and knowledgeably weigh it, and based, then on an encyclopedic command of the subject and with perfect analytical acumen arrive at conclusions.

        Rather, conclusions about CAGW are formed by the likes of me much as a jury forms its conclusions about “expert testimony” in technical matters beyond the personal competence of the jury members. That is, we watch carefully the back-and-forth of the courtroom dialectic with our B. S. detectors and coup de l’oeil pegged. And when we catch some “expert” pulling a stunt, Bart, like your Dr. Mckitrick, slicko trick, then we can instantly spot the weasley little game that’s being played.

        So Bart, in reading Dr. McKitrick’s paper, how many other papers did you seek out that sought to refute it? And which papers were those and what were their defects that caused you to prefer McKitrick’s views to all other competing views? Or did you just latch on to a paper that seemed to favorable to the CAGW scam and salted it away with the expectation you could some day used it to score a debating-point or two?

        One more thing, Bart, I don’t believe that you’ve properly characterized Dr. McKitrick’s views. But you’ve read the paper, you know what it says, why don’t just quote that portion of the Dr.’s paper–exact, verbatim quote”–where he says “increasing carbon prices and carbon regulations do NOT adversely affect the economy, to include employment. Produce the quote, Bart, or “we know you can’t.”

      • The screw-ups continue, In a badly misplaced May 14, 2:59 am comment, below, I apologized to the reader for the many grammatical lapses in my prior comment, with corrections noted as follows:

        para 14: should read “…Dr. McKitricks views are really not [emphasize “not”] as boogered up as you’ve represented them…”

        last para, next to last line: add to the end of that line “…, or words to that effect.”

        Again, my apologies to the reader

      • I’ll go you one better:

        One of the papers Dr. McKitrick surveyed in forming his own paper; in the citations sections you’ll find a link to McKitrick’s work.

        You can find the passages that are pertinent for yourself, I’m sure. They’re short works.

      • Bart,

        No Bart, don’t “go me one better”–thank you very much. And don’t slip-and-slide like you usually do. And, please, do show some intellectual integrity.

        You said that Dr. McKitrick published a paper that “exactly contradicted” my claim that “…in the real world, Bart, everyone knows carbon price and regulation increases adversely affect the economy, including employment.”

        So Bart, provide the exact quote from Dr. McKitrick’s paper that “exactly contradicts” my claim. In other words, quote the words Dr. McKitrick uses to claim–or so you say–that increases to carbon prices and regulations do not adversely affect the economy, to include employment. I mean, Bart, we’re dealing with a supposed “exact contradiction”, so it shouldn’t be hard to come up with the relevant quote. Right, Bart ol’ boy?

        Remember, Bart, it’s you and your hive-mates who are singing the “CAGW blues” and entreating the rest of us join you in your sad song. So produce the requested quote, Bart, or we “know you can’t.”

        And just to let you know, Bart, I’m on to you and I’m going to keep chasing you around on this issue until you either prove me wrong with the appropriate quote or you turn tail and run. Of course, there’s always the option of making a manly admission you screwed up and that Dr. McKitrick did not “exactly contradict” my claims in his Phd paper–but that’s not the style of you weasley greenshirts, as I first learned in my dealings with Joshua. Truly disappointing in Joshua’s case–but a not-unexpected confirmation of my suspicions, I think I’ll find, in yours.

        Finally, Bart, where’s the list of the other papers you consulted that took exception with Dr. McKitrick’s Phd paper and your analysis of them and the basis upon which you rejected their claims in favor of those of Dr. McKitrick? Remember, Bart, you’re the smarty-pants know-it-all. You provide all the value added. So strut your stuff, guy. Lots of people watching, you know.

      • mike | May 14, 2012 at 3:51 am |

        You’ve got a link to the link. Find it yourself. It’ll do you good to work for something for a change, instead of demanding it be handed to you as is your apparent habit.

      • Bart,

        You really are shameless.

        Either provide the quote that demonstrates Dr. McKitrick’s alleged “exact contradiction” of my claim that carbon price and regulation increases adversely affect the economy, to include unemployment or admit you can’t. You made a bold claim, Bart. Back it up with an exact quote.

        You are truly making a fool of yourself, you know, Bart. It’s so easy to graciously admit when one is wrong. Indeed, when a man does so, it is a gentlemanly sign of integrity as it is a gentlewomanly sign of integrity in a woman. But when one fails to fess up to his screw-ups that marks the “denier” as a slippery weasel of questionable character–again, you know that, Bart, right? And it also marks him as a B. S. artist and a barf-bag creep-out, good for a laugh or two and as noogie-bait, but not much else.

        Quote, please, Bart.

      • Dear mike,

        Your comment at 11:43 could very well be a record, even by the Denizens team standards (?).

        (Go team!)

        Many paragraphs. Many, many, words. Many, many, many names. I felt there were more personal insults than there were words. While reading, I kept wondering if your inspiration (?) to slime could ever dry out. But then I recalled that slime was never dry.

        The only sentence that did contain something else than an insult was this one, I believe:

        > And in the real world, Bart, everyone knows that increased carbon prices and regulations have adverse consequences on the economy, including employment.

        Not that the sentence is void of insult, of course.

        I’m not sure what “adverse consequences” means, in that sentence.

        Sounds like you’re understatement (?) to me.

        The many, many, many insults attest of something that some might consider quite alarming (?).

        Not that they’re alarmists or anything.

        For we know who the alarmists are, don’t we, mike?

        So, to make sure I understand that claim, could you explain what “adverse consequences” mean?

        As it is, OPEC economists might take objection to this claim.

      • Willard,

        You’ve provided a valuable comment and I treasure your every word and I have and will continue to study and profit from your many excellent observations and points.

        And, oh by the way, since you seem to be, in some fashion, the honcho of this blog’s troll-team (out of curiosity did Bart ring you up to tell you I was picking on him?) could you goose Bart a little and get him to provide the quote I requested or admit he’s wrong.

        I mean, if Bart can produce that quote that proves Dr. McKitrick’s “exact contradiction” of my claim, then think of the thrill that would provide lolwot and Michael, among others, to see me un-horsed. And I would then be obligated to manfully acknowledge that Bart was right and I was wrong–before all the world. Doesn’t get any better than that, does it, willard. So work on Bart, will yah?

        You know, willard, I hate to say it, but there’s something of a uninspired, going-through-the-motions quality to your troll-team’s performance on this blog–you know, dogged, pestiferous annoyance; bold claims followed by evasions and link-booger run-arounds; and rhetorical spike-strip put-downs. Pretty thing gruel for those with the knowledge to command our very climate and conjure up globe-spanning green, sustainable economies. Fire those lads up, Willard. They can and should be doing better.

        And, also, give your guys a break, Willard. I mean, like, you can’t expect the duty-troll to provide a response to every comment on every thread and expect a consistent quality to his/her work. Right? So make their assignment a minimum of say six good-quality troll comments per shift. And then adjust from there as warranted.

        And thank you, thank you, thank you, willard for putting the kibosh on those smiley-face emoticon monstrosities. I mean, like, when all those grinning discs were showing up on this blog at the cyclic rate a short while ago, I felt like I had morphed into Charlie Brown, I was saying “Good Grief!” so often.

        But, willard, if you can get to Bart, and convince him to provide the quote I requested, I’ll knock off the non-stop comments and the taunts I’ve directed at Bart in my desperate effort to shake from him the famous “exactly contradictory” quote, that Bart knows all about. And, no, willard, I’m not going to let Bart, pull his favorite trick, and lead me on a merry chase through link-land. Again, please pass that on to Bart for me, willard.

        Got my coffee, but am about to hit the rack–hope you’re enjoying yours, willard.

      • Dear mike,

        It would be a pity for you to chase links instead of researching for inspiring abuses. So I just did this quick fact checking for you, while sipping my coffee. In just five steps, I:

        1. opened a search engine.
        2. typed “McKitrick carbon tax”.
        3. clicked on the first PDF in the list and read it in diagonal.
        4. am reporting back to you.
        5. am just kidding – there is no fifth step.

        Here is the PDF:

        In that article, you can clearly see a theorical argument whereby:

        1. carbon is more expensive.
        2. there are more regulations.
        3. the consequences are not adverse.

        I believe this could contradict your claim I quoted above.

        I say “could”, because I have no idea what you mean by “adverse consequences”, which sounds like an understatement to hide your alarmism (?) to me.

        Bart R will answer you if he cares. Your apological (?) stances sound as sincere (?) as your name calling and your overall sliming.

      • willard, sounds like you have had another cup of, Joe.)

        3. the consequences are not adverse.

        Form a new committee. To make sure.

      • O. K. willard, i’m willing to chase a link for you. And you promise that in the link you provided to a paper by Dr. McKitrick that I’d find a “theoretical argument whereby:

        1. carbon is more expensive
        2. there are more regulations
        3. the consequences are not adverse”

        Well, first off, willard, let me note that I did not find in Dr. McKitrick’s paper any “exact contradiction” to my claim that carbon price and regulation increases would adversely affect the economy, to include employment.” So Bart’s claim is bogus just like I estimated in my B. S. detector/coup de l’oeil based evaluation of his original comment. And I take the lesson-learned from all that to be beware of geeks bearing idiot claims and trust in your God-given B. S. detector and coup de l’oeil instincts when one of these geek-balls starts promoting his idiot claims with a bunch of flim-flam, “nerdy-sounding”, “esoteric terms” of the “priesthood” (thank you Mr. Buffet)–you know, like the geek-bots do when pushing their CAGW scam.

        And then there’s the further consideration of Dr. McKitrick’s paper–did Dr. McKitrick’s paper deliver as you advertised, willard? Well, willard, given the Clintonesque ambiguity and weasel-worded character of your claims about Dr. McKitrick’s paper I can’t be sure because I can’t be sure what you really promised. But I am left wondering why you guys can’t just be up-front, transparent, and forthright rather than forever playing point-scoring, tricky little mind games?

        In particular, my read of McKitrick’s “theoretical argument” is not that he claims carbon taxes have no adverse consequences on the economy, but rather, he claims that the adverse consequences of carbon taxes, if offset by the revenue-neutral abolition of other taxes, that have even more severe impacts on the economy, then there would be a net benefit. Hardly, willard, the same thing as an “exact contradiction” of my claim that carbon price increases (whether driven by carbon taxes or other factors) adversely affect the economy, to include employment.

        And let’s get real, willard. While we can both appreciate the ivory-tower elegance of Dr. McKitrick’s “theoretical argument”, you and I both know that the whole point of carbon taxes is to provide your eco-hypocrite, carbon-hoggie betters a whole new, heaping, trough-full of dough (with enough spillage to keep their useful-tool, tenured piglets happy little oinkers, of course). And we would be damn fools to think otherwise, right , willard? So Dr. McKitrick’s “theoretical argument” is about on par with “perpetual motion” machines.

        So did the troll-team find I missed anything in my read of Dr. McKitrick’s paper, willard? You know, willard, I’m really all pumped-up and primed to make a gracious, manly acknowledgement before the world, that I’m wrong about something. I mean, I want to show you greenshirts how it’s done–rub your noses in it, in fact. So, please willard, put the team on the problem will you and prove my read of Dr. McKitrick’s paper to be in error.

      • willard,

        One more thing, willard. While my apology, up-thread there, to Bart may very well “sound” insincere to you, I assure you my apology was offered in all sincerity–and believe me I can speak with authority in the matter since I’m the world’s leading expert on my interior, mental states.

      • Dear mike,

        Thank you for your reading of McKitrick’s article.

        This is your claim:

        > Increased carbon prices and regulations have an adverse impact on the economy, including employment.

        This claim would be contradicted by McKitrick if we can find in his work something along the lines of:

        > Increased carbon prices and regulations might not have an adverse impact on the economy, including employment.

        I believe that McKitrick’s article you just read establishes that.

        You could of course disagree with Dr. McKitrick’s argument. I don’t necessarily agree with his argument either. But that’s another issue.

        What matters is that Dr. McKitrick offered an argument that contradicts your claim.


        Here’s another piece of evidence for you, with Dr. McKitrick’s own words:

        > This paper came out of my PhD thesis work, using a computable general equilibrium model to show that revenue-neutral carbon taxes can achieve some emission reductions at no net macroeconomic cost. It wouldn’t get us to the Kyoto target, but I do believe that a low carbon tax of up to about $20 per tonne, if fully recycled into payroll and income tax cuts, would not harm the economy. Of course it wouldn’t reduce emissions much either.

        Which paper, you may ask, mike, does Dr. McKitrick is talking about?

        This one:

        McKitrick, Ross (1997). “Double-Dividend Environmental Taxation and Canadian Carbon Emissions Control” Canadian Public Policy December 1997, pp. 417-434.

        I’ve heard this was a good article. Have you ever read it?

      • willard,

        Sorry, guy, I’m not going to let you get away with your cheap trick. Dr. McKitrick’s words have to be understood within the context of his argument. Carbon taxes in Dr. McKitrick’s argument are, indeed, acknowleged to have, at least a short-term adverse impact on the economy. However, that impact can be offset if the revenue from carbon taxes replaces the revenue from other existing taxes, that have the same adverse impact or even greater adverse impact on the economy, and those latter taxes are abolished. Indeed, there might even be a net benefit.

        Sorry, willard, but your bad-faith participation in this disucssion lacks intellectual integrity. And that last “sorry” is offered as a matter of rhetorical form–not as any sort of a sincere apology. Hey! I call ’em as I see ’em.

        But let me acknowledge this aspect of Dr. McKitrick’s paper that does tend, but only that, to support Bart’s claim. He holds out the possibility that future changes in consumption patterns might further negate the adverse impact of carbon taxes. I take that to mean, by analogy, that a buggy-whip tax in 1910 might have had a measurable impact on the economy, but by 2012, the impact of such a tax on the economy would be virtually nil.

        You know, willard, this “Climate. etc.” blog has almost miraculously revealed just what shaky “science”–indeed, what out-and-out B.S–is at the foundation of much of the CAGW hustle–especially when it comes to the “C” in CAGW and its derived policy recommendations. And to think how close we, and I mean the whole world, got to being hooked by the scam. Makes me shudder.

      • Dear mike,

        I’m glad you finally recognize, albeit indirectly, that Bart’s point was valid:

        > Increasing carbon prices — in his case through carbon taxes directed to the coffers of the state — were, McKitrick demonstrated, less distortionate than other forms of taxation, and would naturally be better for the economy.

        Instead of reflecting on Bart’s point, you are now doubting my sincerity. I never doubted yours, by the way: I simply said that they were to be related to your mudslinging. Your apologies do honor you, but considering your overall misdemeanours, your honor is to be taken with a grain of salt. I do not doubt that you as much heart in your comments as you can put sweat in your nifty ways of solving rhetorical problems.

        Speaking of which, here you go:

        Please do notice Bart’s répartie, which almost predicted your actual fury into thinking that McKitrick’s argument involved ivory-tower leftist geekery.

        And now that you are showing more understanding than at the beginning of this sub-thread, we can focus on Bart’s challenge:

        > Prove it. Don’t froth it. Don’t drool it. Prove it.

        You know what the “it” is.

        If you prefer, you can take my own question:

        What does “adverse consequences” mean, in “it”?

      • willard,

        This is getting to be perverse, willard.

        Bart’s “point” as you term it–that is, his preposterously mangled representation of Dr. McKitrick’s views–was not offered as a “point” in and of itself, but as a description of Dr. McKitrick’s paper that, supposedly, “exactly contradicted” one of my earlier claims. Of course, Bart’s “point”–his fun-house mirror caricature of Dr. McKitrick’s paper–did not support his “exact contradiction” assertion. Likewise, Bart, when challenged in that regard, declined to provide, then, by quotation the precise language employed in Dr. McKitrick’s paper to “exactly contradict” my earlier claim (most likely because Dr. McKitrick’s paper does not, in fact, “exactly contradict” my previous claim). Jeez, willard, why is this so hard?

        Look, willard, I can see you’ve got the troll-team snappin’ and poppin’ now. And I really like that it’s discarded its former sclerotic ways. Good job, coach! Likewise, I can appreciate that Bart is sulking in his tent and you want him back since he’s one of your team’s stalwarts and all. And, believe it or not, willard, I’d like to help you get him back. But, willard, I just can’t pretend that Bart made some sort of really great “point” that I failed to appreciate. ‘Cuz he didn’t.

        I’ll do this though, willard. If Bart wants to make like our last exchange never happened, then I’ll do the same and never bring it up myself, nor discuss it unless he or someone else brings it up first. And no grudges either–at least on my part. I mean, like, I generally like that goofy way Bart has of mixing up good-stuff with squirrely and nutty stuff. Like I told him, before, I generally find his comments worth a read.

        That’s the best I can do, willard. Hope to see Bart back soon.

      • Entertaining though mike’s flailing is, we can clearly by his downward spiral into irrationality and dissemblage see he’s admitted that any rational person would find McKitrick has successfully crushed mike’s claims, and mike gots nuthin’. ‘Nuff said.

      • I have not read any of this – although I have a liking for Mike’s effortless inventiveness. But I did catch – by accident – how a $20 revenue neutral tax would not actually bust the economy but not do too much either. Very like Australia in a month and a half. But I am damned if I can see any point to it.

      • Dear mike,

        Your last comment dearly lacks your effortless inventiveness. The last time this happened, the conversation was soon brought to a closure. So let me summarize what happened i this conversation.

        Your gambit was to associate CAGW with the current morass in American economy. The variation you dished out was inventive: turning the Tea Climate variation into the Occupy Climate variation. This twist might explain why you consistently portrayed the climate establishment as the 1%.

        Appealing to people is a known move, with its pros and cons. Appealing to common sense and people values is very powerful. That’s why Bart called you on a very specific claim:

        > Increased carbon prices and regulations have an adverse impact on the economy, including employment.

        This sounds like commonensical. But if we pay due diligence to this claim, we soon encounter some of its limitations. We have no idea what you mean by “adverse impact”; OPEC economists would certainly disagree; there are ways to falsify that claim at “no net macroeconomic cost”, which sounds a lot like “no adverse impact”. We could also add that the United States might not be better off by trying to imitate Somalia.

        So you certainly need to adjust that claim to make any sense. But then it risks becoming trivial or too long to have any rhetorical bite. In a nutshell, you were in a bind.

        Instead of defending that claim, except by appealing to your divine intuition of the People, you counterattacked. You issued a challenge to Bart: “quote needed”. This is where I entered the debate: I provided quotes. That quotes have been provided can be evidenced by your most recent shift to “Bart misrepresented McKitrick”.

        I believe this argument is worthless, but I will accept your proposal to leave it aside. I will also agree that appealing to McKitrick was a bit devilish, and feel a bit sorry that you fell for it by trying to bulldoze your populist gambit. McKitrick’s argument is not the only one that can be invoked to challenge your claim.

        That argument aside, the onus is on you to prove that increased carbon prices and regulations have the effect you claim them to have. (Perhaps you mean ceteris paribus?) We will meet again when you’ll try to reintroduce this one, which I predict you will.

        The “including employment”, by the way, is the 7 of heart, the “Jobs” card:

        > The trick to using the “Jobs” card is to totally over inflate the size of your industry and the number of employees it has. It’s quite a compelling argument, and sometimes it’s true. But I’ve seen many cases where a regulation creates new jobs and economic development.

        I admire your effortless inventiveness is welcome. But please try to understand that your bag of nifty ways to solve rhetorical problems are not always sufficient.



      • willard,

        You know, willard, I was getting pretty much bored out of my gourd with this thread. I mean even Bart’s last comment, for all its intriguing, silly-little-snot, fuss-budget, mouth-off invective and the grotesque, zany charm of Bart’s improbable, totally-divorced-from-reality, poor-loser victory-lap failed to pique my interest.

        But then I opened up your last comment, willard, and, to my very great surprise, found my interest in this thread powerfully re-kindled by your comment’s somewhat scatter-brain, orotund, relentlessly tedious, this-willard-guy-is-getting-a-little-strange-isn’t-he?, passive-agressive, milquetoast vacuousness.

        So, like I say, willard, I was, like, reading your comment and all, and, like, getting all pumped at the prospect of further rounds of chit-chat with you, when–POW!!!–I read your comment’s devastating last word: “Farewell” Well, willard, as you might expect, my very first words after I picked myself up off the floor (I had fallen out of the chair) were: “Whoa! Did you really say “Farewell”, willard? Farewell?!! Wait! Let me read your comment, again, willard. Yep, there it is!–you said “Farewell”, willard!”

        I mean, like, where’s this coming from willard? I mean, like, willard, who says “Farewell” now-a-days? I mean, willard, like, the last time I heard that word was in the final scene of a 1940’s era, black-and-white, big-budget tear-jerker to the accompaniment of an ambitious, but boxy-sounding swell of music in the sound-track. You’re not goofin’ on me are you, willard?

        But O. K., I’m getting into it, willard. Give me a moment or two to get into character: O. K.–“Farewell is it willard? Ah….(sniffle, sniffle) Parting is such sweet sorrow.” (Please, willard, I hope you don’t mind but I had to substitute Annette Funicello for you in my head in working up my motivation.)


      • Let us mind our metaphors’ by Willard

        ‘Words are weapons we bring alright,
        And the pen is mightier than the sword,
        And what about the computer, this glorified pen!

        But words can be cheap, too.
        More so when they’re cheap shots.
        All depends on what we can afford.

        There is war, and there is War.
        A war of words is not a real War.
        A War with wounds and weapons.

        Real weapons.
        Real wounds.

        Let us mind our metaphors.’

        What do you reckon – Mike – is this guy deep or what? Deeper than the ocean? Deeper than Johny Depp and George Clooney combined? Deeper than JR Richards?

        Well probably Richards is deeper. It has sorta inspired me.

        The booger land express by Chief Hydrologist
        Well I hadda deep down feelin
        on the booger land express,
        when everyone was kneelin
        except for Willard in a dress.

        Up the front he thumped his stump,
        he thundered up his sesquipedalian
        message which set me on my rump,
        he’s obviously not an Australian,

        As we are famed for not giving a
        rat’s arse for self aggandisement.
        It always gets us up and heaving
        and leaves in our heads a dent.

        Not quite up to the standard of half-arsed deepness set by Willard I know – and I am not quite satisfied with the scansion – but do you think I have hit a mark with my poetical bazooka?

      • Chief,

        Thanks for the clip. And more so for the right-on-target poem (I am astounded that you came up with a rhyme for sesquapedalian. Indeed, Chief, your own verse and, of course, that of Beth and willard–along with kim’s enigmatic haiku creations are pure inspiration. And here’s where it gets a little tricky and a little sticky. You see, Chief, your example has even inspired li’l ol’ poetaster me. I know! I know! But, please, be kind–it’s my first timorous attempt at rhyme:


        Now ol’ Al Gore
        He had a farm
        ‘Cuz he perceived
        A global warm

        And on that farm
        There were some pigs
        Whose snouts were sunk
        In tenured gigs

        And on that farm
        A hen-house hit
        Starred shewonk with
        Her chickenshit

        And on that farm
        Perched a mag-pie
        A Gleick-bird sort
        Of manque spy

        And on that farm
        A Deltoid ass
        Ripped fart-jokes off
        While passing gas

        And on that farm
        A Bart-like mutt
        Was handed his
        Own doofus butt

        And on that farm
        The golden rule:
        Do as I say
        Not as I do

      • Chief,

        Thanks for the clip–great song. But, most especially, thanks for the poem (I am most impressed that you found a rhyme for sesquipedalian). Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, let me prove my admiration, Chief, and try my own, first-time hand at a poem (I know I’m following in the footsteps of the master).


        Now ol’ Al Gore
        He had a farm
        ‘Cuz he perceived
        A global warm

        And on that farm
        There were some pigs
        Whose snouts were sunk
        In tenured gigs

        And on that farm
        Did shewonk buzz
        A wannabee
        Who never wuz

        And on that farm
        Perched a mag-pie
        A Gleick-bird sort
        Of manque spy

        And on that farm
        A Deltoid ass
        Delighted in
        His lack of class

        And on that farm
        A Bart-like mutt
        Was handed his
        Own doofus butt

        And on that farm
        Reigned this world view
        Do as I say
        Not as I do

      • Congratulations Mike – you have popped your poetry cherry with a nuanced performance. Doofus butt cracks me up.

      • Chief,

        I see that two versions of my little ditty now appear. The first, and the more scatological of the two, appeared to have been “canned” by the moderator upon initial submission. And, on reflection, I was grateful for the moderator’s apparent editorial decision in that regard since my first effort at poetry, on reflection, was rather an embarrassment–indeed, rather more than that.

        Alas! (us poets use that word a lot as you know, Chief), the spam-catcher has since disgorged the initial version of my poem to my acute, sensitive-poet discomfort. So, if the wishes of the humble bard count for anything, Chief, please, I ask you to pretend the first version is not there. I ask that knowing the unworthiness, indeed betrayal, of my very earliest scribblings, drawing, as they did, on your own masterful and inspiring example.

      • One who uses the word sesquipedelian is one.

      • Just read your poem, Chief.

        I like it:

        Not relying the RSS feed on a steady basis has its serendipity.

        Many thanks!

  28. What can be taught?
    1. It has warmed (most skeptics agree) more than half a degree, maybe nearly a degree.
    2. It would not have warmed so much without fossil fuel burning (scientist skeptics like Lindzen and Spencer would agree, and their follower Monckton).
    3. Continued fossil fuel burning will lead to the future climate being warmer than it would have been without them.

    • Then you get to the questions. How much warming by 2100? 1 degree or 6 degrees? How good or bad will it be for global communities? What happens to water and food resources? These are where the students get to know that the science is not complete yet. More measurements are needed. Only the future can tell us for sure which predictions are right.

      • Jim D | May 12, 2012 at 8:56 pm |

        I don’t know which of us ought be more worried by how often I’m finding myself largely agreeing with you of late.

      • I am firmly in the AGW camp (maybe 3-5 degrees by 2100), but as for the C part, I don’t know how to judge how C it will be, regionally C for sure, but for specific areas I don’t know. This part is more social science or politics as to whether mitigation is done when and where it matters, and that is much less predictable than AGW.

      • Jim,

        I think you are on the right track, but I would hope that any discussion of anthropogenic climate change is part of a broader environmental studies program that includes all the effects that humans have on the planet. As the human population continues to expand, in some enlightened future era there will be courses at the college level related to Geoengineering and Anthropocene Management. AGW skeptics will of course mock this notion, but I really think Mark Lynas is on the right track with this: The human pressures on planetary resources will demand we begin really looking at this from an Anthropocene Management perspective. The #1 concern to begin with is the status of our oceans.

      • I would add that there are other non-controversial things that could be taught related to the rate of growth fossil CO2 addition. The 21st century could see five times as much added as the 20th century, so the effects are only increasing. The basics of why fossil carbon and deforestation are different from things like breathing and wood-burning would also help to inform the students of the key issue in the debate. We even see some commenters here who could have benefited from this type of education.

      • And then the consequences: how many doublings of CO2 will all that warming produce?

    • Why not teach something important. Like what cause the there to seasonal changes in temperate regions. Tilt of earth axis, the precession of earth axis, how this causes ice ages and interglacial periods. The varying temperatures and changing climate of the present interglacial period.
      How glacial form mostly in northern hemisphere, that large glaciers form in northern Hemisphere during previous glacial periods, and recently there has been a period called the Little Ice age, a period where modern humans mostly Europe live in times where glacier were growing and advancing human settlements and that starting around 1850 glacier stopped advancing global and began a steep retreat which still occurring at the present and probably will continue centuries into the future.

      • I am sure those are important too, but these kids will be living in the late 21st century, so they should be more invested in how this particular topic plays out, and it is not just academic for them.

    • Jim D, your #2 is AGW and your #3 is the beginning of CAGW so neither should be taught as establushed science. #1 also has its problems. I am amazed that your understanding of the science is so weak, but that is the issue, isn’t it. People think that just because the have taken a position the debate no longer exists. Have you not noticed that people here disagree with you?

      • No, this is only AGW, and I worded it carefully that even Lindzen, Spencer, Pielke, etc. would not dispute these statements because the statements don’t quantify the effect which everyone agrees is there and will be as long as CO2 is emitted. As I mentioned, the dispute comes not in the existence of the effect (dragonslayers disregarded), but its size.

      • Jim D, this is the scare in play. You are not saying that it matters, just that is there waiting. Maybe big, maybe small, who knows, right? But elsewhere you are sure it is possibly big.

        I say no, it is not there. Go Boo Yourself. You are doing the scare under the veil of false rationality. Possibility is not the basis for policy.

      • You are making an assertion that either the odds are very low that the IPCC is right in its projection range, or that if they are right, climate change doesn’t matter enough to teach it, or you want to censor ideas that make certain political factions look bad. The IPCC view is supported by independent scientific societies, and its support is international, while the best skeptic ideas we’ve seen here can be characterized as dubious to put it kindly, yet that doesn’t stop the other skeptics from adopting them without question, and you’re not seeing how this looks, and why those poorly reasoning skeptics should be prevented from access to schools.

    • JimD

      Agree in principle, but:


      4. There is much we do not yet know about natural causes for changes in our planet’s climate.
      5. As a result, we do not know if future fossil fuel burning will cause a significant or an imperceptible future warming.
      6. Scientists are now attempting to solve many of the uncertainties related to our planet’s climate


      • And give the range of scientific projections for 2100, 1-5 degrees C warmer than 2000 with some sense of the consequences of this range, and uncertainty in CO2 by then (500-1000ppm depending entirely on fossil fuel burning).

    • @@ Jim D | May 12, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      Jimmy boy, ”Skeptics” are not the ones that believe in your and others phony GLOBAL warmings. I’m a genuine Skeptic / you have fear in debating genuine skeptic. Lindzen, Monckton believe in more phony GLOBAL warmings than you – don’t wash your hands with them. GLOBAL warming is a 100% lie, not 90%. Connecting the normal big / small climatic changes with the phony GLOBAL warming; makes you a ”compulsive / chronic liar. You should ask for assistance, to minimize your great problems; you will be able to sleep better and regain some honesty and self-respect .

  29. Beth Cooper

    Enquiry learning…’ how climate science’s CAGW hustle mixes phoney- baloney models and scaremongering to enrich and further empower make -a-buck/make- a- gulag big shots and their toady, ivory-tower enablers while destroying through job -killing carbon regulation …’

    Mike, guess that jest about sums it up.

  30. Ms Antonucci says, “The biggest challenge is to get the students to look at the data without injecting political bias”.
    What a surprise: she finds it difficult to avoid injecting political bias. This IS her admission, no? Students look; she injects.

  31. Other countries?

    Well, in Alberta, has hired US writers to compose a ‘lesson plan’ that is pure propaganda.

    How it’s going for them, I have no idea. I understand there are members of that group who follow Climate, Etc., so their input on why put out such a biased approach might be worth hearing out.

    • Rob Starkey


      Why claim it is “pure propaganda” before you have read what they plan to teach? It is a dumb as writing what David is putting together is biased before you have read it-

      • Maybe he has read it, the lesson plans in PDF form are available from the link he posted. Eg

        I scanned through them, doesn’t look too bad, some omissions (never mentioning that human activity is causing the CO2 rise for example) and a few errors (the significance of carbon cycle uncertainty is over-exaggerated) but overall it’s more educational than mis-informational.

        What I find odd is the phenomenon of a think-tank creating lesson plans for climate change. I don’t see them creating lesson plans for english literature or civil war era history.

      • Rob Starkey

        lolwot writes:
        “What I find odd is the phenomenon of a think-tank creating lesson plans for climate change. I don’t see them creating lesson plans for english literature or civil war era history”.

        I suggest that the teaching of english literature or civil war era history does not have the potential to significantly alter or degrade an individuals lifestyle if they are taught incorrectly.

        Teaching climate change incorrectly can result in society being immediately motivated to do things detrimental to their self interest.

      • I suggest their lesson plans include frankly flawed and somewhat advanced economic arguments that their audience is not expected to be able to appreciate in all their nuance and subtlety.

        And yes, I read it. Why would you think I didn’t?

        By the way, it’s not as if I object to everything the Fraser Institute says. Some of their other stuff is reasonable enough from a certain point of view. If the Fraser Institute producing material I find acceptable isn’t enough to convince you it ought be kept away from innocent, impressionable children, then .. ;)

      • Rob and lolwot,
        I think you’ll find that think tanks do create lesson plans for English literature and civil war era history just as they do for biology and most subjects. Such lesson plans are most often used in private schools. There are modern and post-modern views on many aspects of English literature and literature in general, to give just one example. Civil war era history is even more contentious here in the bible belt where I retired, and the war between the states has not yet ended! Not sure what “taught incorrectly” means, but teaching history or literature from a Christian fundamentalist or a Marxist (or you name a different ideology) may well result in society being motivated to do things detrimental to self interest or the commonweal.

      • scepticalWombat

        Actually it is really good. It points out the ratio of human emissions of CO2 relative to natural emissions but avoids the pitfall of talking about natural sinks or idiocies such as mass balance equations, it quotes reliable climate scientists such as John Christy, Richard Linden (sic) and Stephen Harper and avoids fringe groups like the National Academy of Science, the Royal Society or NOAA it states the fact that the Medieval Warm Period was at least as warm as today (no need to talk about controversy here) and there is much much more that a marsupial like me who works best in the dark and likes to stick my head in the ground can agree with.

      • As I said, propaganda and brainwashing that children are not equipped to defend themselves against.

      • The “omission” you cite is actually one of the big question marks I have with regard to AGW. What scientific evidence do you believe there is that shows that atmospheric CO2 is controlled by emissions, rather than dynamic sinks?

      • scepticalWombat

        Obviously the sinks are dynamic on a year to year basis. But in the long term we know a couple of things:
        1. CO2 concentrations were pretty stable prior to the industrial revolution.
        2. Since the industrial revolution the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has gone up by about half of anthropogenic emissions and that increase has – over decadal periods, basically been proportion to our emissions over each decade.

        The question that is worth asking is ” What would be the level of CO2 in the air now if there had been no anthropogenic emissions of CO2 over the last two centuries?”

        If you believe that the concentration would be basically the same as it is now (ie that anthropogenic emissions have only a small effect on the trend in atmospheric CO2) then you need to find a mechanism which automatically increases sinks to account for any anthropogenic emissions has been progressively reducing its own absorbtion of natural emissions over the last couple of centuries.

        Any how the point here is not one of what the correct answer is. It is whether a course for school children should deliberately hide the most obvious explanation for the increase of atmospheric CO2 particularly when that is the explanation accepted by the vast bulk of atmospheric scientists.

      • Well, I disagree with you as to what *I* *need* to do. I’ve simply observed that science has yet to determine that atmospheric CO2 is controlled by emissions rather than dynamic sinks. Whether I can offer good theories as to what sinks might be controlling the concentration of CO2 has nothing to do with whether science has demonstrated the contrary. Once again, “we can’t think of anything else” does not prove the CAGW hypothesis.

        But I ask the question because I do find it interesting to see who thinks this is an issue that needs an answer and who’s happy to accept it on faith. (This plugs into one of my standing soap boxes, from which I point out that everyone accepts their beliefs on faith. One need only act like a four year old, and ask “Why?” in response to every answer. Eventually, the rational explanations run out, and the response changes to “Well, that’s just obvious.” And there you’ve found where your interlocutor has chosen to place their faith.)

  32. lolwot writes with his usual infuriating disregard for facts “warming hasn’t stopped.”

    What can one say? I’ve an older brother with a mental illness called delusional disorder, which is characterized by fixed beliefs in things which are demonstrably false.

    • Of course lolwot is correct, the planet continues to warm, even though skeptics would rather focus on the tiny fraction of highly variable energy in the atmosphere over some cherry-picked time frame versus the much larger and more stable energy reservoir of the oceans over a much longer time frame.

      • thanks, R.Gates, that was my point but I had to log off before I could respond to the inevitable denial

        10 years is too short to determine that the phenomenon, known as global warming, has stopped.

      • R. Gates,
        You can keep repeating your claim that the
        Earth is warming continuously and dangerously, but that does not make it true.

      • Hunter,

        I Never used the word “dangerously”. That’s your addition.

        But the Earth has been warming continuously for quite some time. Some research I’ve recently come across suggesting perhaps since 1850 the oceans have been warming from anthropogenic forcing. This would be about the time that the industrial revolution was really ramping up, and so any warming from the LIA was finished and anthropogenic forcing began to dominate.


        If you really want to understand the continuously warming Earth (continuous for at least 40+ years) you need to look at ocean heat content first and foremost before anything else. The latest results confirm continued warming of the oceans, with the latest 3 month average down to 2000 meters (Jan-March 2012), showing the highest ocean heat content on instrument record, representing thousands of times more energy than the atmosphere can even hold.

        Yes, the Earth continues to warm.

      • R Gates

        If the oceans were really warming up by 1850 through the effects of the tiny amounts of co2 then being added, we can’t live on this planet as there is no way that 7 billion people all wanting to improve their standard of living can ever reduce co2 back to those levels. Cite the research yourve recently come across.

    • Steven Mosher

      You start the tournament with 100 chips.
      by round 2 you have a 1000. by round 3
      you have 1500. in round 4 you drop to 1200.
      in round 5 you rebound to 1800.
      In round 6 and 7 you hold steady at 1800.

      Is your chip stack shrinking?
      has it grown?
      is it growing?
      have you stopped winning?
      if it went to 1801 how would you answer these questions?

      • steven mosher

        Is your chip stack shrinking? NO
        has it grown? YES
        is it growing? NO (not recently)
        have you stopped winning? NO

        By putting the question “is it growing?” in the present tense, makes it clear that the change over the most recent period is being queried – and that has shown no growth.

        If in round 6 and 7 you had not held steady at 1800, but rather dropped to 1500, the answer to the question posed would still have been the same.

        However, if the question had been reworded: “have you started losing?”, the correct answer would be YES (most recently).

        Pretty straightforward to me.

        Do you see this differently?


  33. K-12 is a not all that great for the more complex points of climate science. It is hard enough to get kids to stay in school with college grads flipping burgers. Some parts though would be fine in K-12. Graphics arts is a great example.

    By mixing pastel with bold primary colors you can make a strikingly attractive poster suitable for framing.

  34. Having taught math,physics and chem from 1969 until after 2000,
    I would like to point some things that are of concern to many teachers.
    1) Students do not understand numbers less than one or greater than one million very well. Teaching with ‘pretty numbers’ factors of 2, 10, or 100 to illustrate simple relationships was simple and obvious; not so much any more. ‘5’ is a symbol on a calculator and not a quantity, therefore students and adults have a more difficult time making decisions based upon results.
    Some of the climate science, as it is presented and as a result decisions made, in particular political ones are so obviously skewed. Using a slide rule and keeping a decimal floating in your mind did have its benefits.
    2) Students and therefore the general public never stops to realize that we are using solar energy which has been stored over a very long time,
    ( and it is finite) while most green energy is simply using current solar energy. We can use geothermal and a few others, but it will be limited..
    Space does not allow a full analysis here, but I would teach about the total solar irradiance striking the earth, our total usage and look at the problem as a whole. We can and should be as efficient as we can; and there are many more things we can do; however, I do not see how using nuclear energy as a primary source can be anything but inevitable.
    Where are the Swedish scientists?

    • “I do not see how using nuclear energy as a primary source can be anything but inevitable.”
      In terms of decades to centuries [which is all one should be concerned with in terms being practical] nuclear energy has the advantage nearly limitless supply of energy [if confined it to century or four into the future].
      The fact that in American government policy it is largely ignored indicate how unimportant politicians regard energy policy. And since politicians essentially get all their will to do anything from the public, it indicates American public are not too concerned about future energy sources.

      The correct public policy would be to develop more nuclear power plants, but this isn’t inevitable. It might appear the most wise and prude course to take. And if you concerned about reducing CO2 emission it is the surest, quickest, and most effective route.

      But in terms longer term energy needs, nuclear energy is finite resource.

      In terms of long term, the best energy source is hydro dams.
      hydro-power “is the most widely used form of renewable energy, accounting for 16 percent of global electricity consumption, and 3,427 terawatt-hours of electricity production in 2010”
      With nuclear “in 2009 to 2558 TWh with nuclear power meeting 13–14% of the world’s electricity demand.”
      With remaining 70% being coal and natural gas
      With wind,solar and geothermal somewhere around 1% and no chance of getting to say 5%.
      There a lot natural gas in the world, and if consider methane hydrate deposits a friggin lot of natural gas. More natural gas than coal.
      So millions of year supply of hydropower- or until the Sun goes nova.
      A couple thousand of years fission nuclear fuel
      And basically natural gas is unknown, perhaps centuries.
      And Coal as global supply is not practical, but in terms of global
      supply quantity a few decades.
      So if looking beyond a century, one has hydro and nuclear, and probably natural gas. Because technological advances possiblities it’s difficult to know energy needs and well possible means of energy production, one always has the possibility of getting fusion nuclear energy production. The problem this possiblity has been tried for decades with billions of dollars thrown at it.

      The thing which could change the game is when humans leave earth. In space solar energy is a different story. Unlimited area, essentially; operating solar collecters in a “clean room”, have higher energy density, and have constant energy supply. One has some problems in space, but no real effort has made addressing these problems- micro meteorite, ionization, solar storms, and etc- but essential minor compared to tornados, weather in general, and weathering/erosive elements in earth atmosphere. Put this way no one leaves solar panel for decade with doing something with them- which routinely done with space satellites.
      Roughly at this point space environment has degradation from “the elements” about the same as earth, though one should be able to design system needing no maintenance for centuries in time scales.

      And on earth most efficient solar energy production isn’t solar panels but solar thermal energy- Concentrated solar power:
      “CSP is not to be confused with concentrated photovoltaics (CPV). In CSP, the concentrated sunlight is converted to heat, and then the heat is converted to electricity.”
      CSP could also be used in space environment, or something similar. Because the Sun be “always” be in one spot and because space is a “more” 3 dimensional environment, sunlight in general can have more practical uses.
      The only problem with using space environment, is the problem of getting off Earth.
      This is the BIG problem.
      But isn’t much problem- it is not problem that can’t solved. It’s similar “scale” of problem as making machines that can fly on earth.
      And we are technological at the level where we can do this. We have been for decades. We actually develop aircraft just about at point of having the technological level needed- having internal combustion engine which is light enough and powerful enough.
      We way beyond the technological level needed in regards to getting into space.

      But we aren’t politically at the level needed. By which I simply mean, we don’t think it’s important to do this. Which is NOT another way to say we need more government funding. What needed is correct laws, which would allow it.
      So I literally, it’s not regarded as important enough- it has to be something which is allowed and/or wanted.
      In practical terms, we need more and different markets in space- and I believe starting with a market for rocket fuel in space. Or perhaps simpler, we need fuel depots in space. Gas stations.

      So if you include practical/real access the space environment, the significant increase of use of nuclear energy is not inevitable, nor does the energy source have anything approaching a finite limit- unless one envisions human population in excess of hundreds of trillions.

      Not that I am against using nuclear energy- and you probably also use lots of fission power plants in space- particular if going far from the sun. And there far more nuclear fuel which can be mined from “minable ore” in space than available on earth. But that’s true of anything, gold, water, oxygen, rare earths, or whatever.
      And there weirder things one could do in space- use gravity in same way use gravity for hydropower dams. One could also use water and be powered by gravity. Dam get more energy the higher the water falls, with space, instead falling 100 meters, it could fall tens to hundreds of kilometers. Useful if a planet also needs to import a fair amount of water from space.

      The environmentalists don’t have a clue- if what is really wanted is for Earth to be some weird wild life park.

      It’s similarly obvious with their *policy* toward nuclear energy. If in near term you want to dramatically reduce reduce CO2 emission, you want a mad program to build nuclear reactors.
      Build them like the Soviets who had vast warehouses of stuff no one used [they wanted people employed, so had workers building stuff for decades which no one wanted- though I guess more correctly no one was allowed to have. Or Chinese who building lots of vast housing communities with no one living in them for years or if ever, they will have people living in them].

      So one should not want the Moon as some lifeless “park” that no should be permitted to go to.
      Instead they should want the red necks to go to the Moon- and transform it into some kind of Disneyland or some other kind of horror show.
      They should think of it, as at least good way to get some of the knuckdragging beer drinking oafs off the planet Earth.

      A long time ago, the Moon Treaty was soundly defeated by US government and never accepted by any nations capably of spaceflight.

      But instead of the Moon treaty, one should have basically the opposite of Moon treaty.

      Even [or especially] if one actually thinks/knows it’s not possible or impractical. Why is it important try to a pass a treaty that makes the Moon into some international park?
      Politicians obvious **love** empty seemingly grand things they can take credit for. So making the Moon into some park, perhaps is somewhat wonderful for politicians. Except it’s not something they bragged about or campaigned on- so that tends to make me think they are serious about wanting to make the moon into park.

      And this isn’t old news, you have nutty lefties who still want the Moon treaty. Or this case saying the Outer Space Treaty is actually the same thing as the Moon treaty [the Moon treaty was redundant]:
      “Wouldn’t that imply that the United States still has a free hand on private property claims? Masson-Zwaan says no. She says the private-property angle is addressed by the Outer Space Treaty, and merely reiterated in the later Moon Treaty. “It’s often so in treaties,” she said.”

      Why? I am sure Masson-Zwaan owns a car and probably an overly expensive house.

      What other than their lefty fantasies are they trying to prevent from happening?

  35. Doug Badgero

    The absurdity is all the discussions here regarding how to package the debate. Active debates don’t belong in K-12. Debates belong in social sciences classes and only then after the result of the debate is clear. Discuss Piltdown Man, eugenics, Lysenkoism………then maybe we can discuss the climate debate. If we are going to discuss scientific debates as a social phenomenon then we must admit that the consensus has frequently been proved wrong.

    If we do decide to teach the science of the earth’s climate we can do it right after the modules on ferroresonance and turbulent fluid flow.

    • Doug Badgero | May 12, 2012 at 10:09 pm |

      Wouldn’t it be better to teach the real and legitimate scientific debates, rather than the hoaxes (Piltdown Man was disparaged by those in the field almost from the first day; it took the mass media the better part of a century to catch up with the science), the cultists and the politics?

      The debate about the nature of gravity as it devolved through Galileo and Bernoulli, Newton and Einstein and Hawking over centuries, that would be a great learning opportunity.

      The reason Plato’s Natural Science is no longer regarded as science at all; the roots of the scientific method in medicine through the works of anatomists doing careful work on structures and circulation, heredity and categorization against a backdrop of superstition and religion.. those might be amply explored in social sciences, or indeed civics courses to help teach why it’s so important to distinguish irrational faith and authority from scientific investigation.

      Pulp fiction stereotypes from the back pages of Chick Tracts don’t really qualify for lesson plan material.

      • Doug Badgero

        “Piltdown Man was disparaged by those in the field almost from the first day………….”

        As were many of the more extreme claims of climate science. What’s your point? We are still making decisions as if we know what the multivariate coupled non-linear climate system will do next. We are still debating whether students who don’t know that Newtonian physics is an incomplete theory should be taught about climate before they are taught thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, heat transfer, linear dynamics, non-linear dynamics, etc.

        Would anyone believe detailed instruction on this subject belonged in K-12 classroom…………except perhaps the final answers…….if there was no debate? We are not debating whether this subject belongs in the classroom, we are debating who gets to use the public infrastructure to control the message to impressionable youth.

      • Doug Badgero | May 13, 2012 at 12:13 am |

        The difference being, it was archaeologists and anatomists who correctly spotted the errors in the Piltdown fraud and were ignored by the media, and it was tobacco lobbyists who incorrectly asserted errors with climatology and were given more than equal time in the media for the sake of ‘balanced reporting’.

      • Brilliant insight, Doug.

      • So you don’t want the Piltdown hoax taught? Fine.
        How about Yamal?
        Short-centered principle components analysis?
        Hide the Decline?
        Himalayan glaciers?
        “even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is”?

        “If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I?ll delete the file rather than send to anyone.”?

        “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.”

        To teach about “climate science”, without teaching that it is a discipline where fraud after fraud after fraud is POLICY for those promoting CAGW is nothing but bullshit indoctrination.

      • Andrew R | May 13, 2012 at 2:30 am |

        In an election year, which every child sees at least three of before they graduate high school, I really think there’s enough exposure to fraud in the USA. If you’re going to teach about hoaxes, then I’m going to want them to be taught about with honest objectivity and factual basis, within their social context, as you’re teaching sociology (or apparently socialism).

        Compared to the centuries-long gravity controversy, including perpetual motion hoaxes, running up to the biggest names in science, the mere handful of decades of climate science is minor, and its scandals pretty tame. Compare the climategate molehill to the perpetual motion mountain, and you’d get a much better educational example from gravity.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m not for limiting the access of children to information or to participation in debate in any way. I’m for limiting the access of those who’ve already determine what and how they will allow children to think to anything to do with education.

      • Steven Mosher

        Wrong. Nature published a paper citing Piltdown favorably after it was determined to be a hoax.

        Also, you know that nobody was given access to the bones. Only copies.

        So yes, in the begining some questioned it. However, the hoax stayed in the science for 40 years and did have neative consequences sending researchers down wrong paths

      • Steven Mosher | May 13, 2012 at 10:37 pm |

        You have a point.

        Piltdown: a valuable object lesson in people picking up crap from the media, formulating a belief from popular mythology, and relying on it for science.

        Bias travels into science like a parasite, latched on while the vulnerable mind wanders the wilds of science journalism without sufficient skepticism.

  36. In Australia at least, the teaching of CAGW as fact is entrenched from preschool to Year 12 – and not just in science classes. There is a whole greenwash ideology which encourages school vegie patches as an example of ‘sustainable’ living (why aren’t these kids in class learning something they couldn’t learn elsewhere?); solemn tutorials about how humans are destroying the planet by bulldozing rainforests (no mention of palm oil plantations, of course); lots of cost-free cant about the virtues of ‘renewable energy’ sources like windmills – and the list goes on. ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ is actually used as a teaching aid.

    The anti-industrial, anti-technology bias is everywhere, ironically delivered using the latest technology in heated, airconditioned classrooms, both of which parents and teachers now insist on.

    Fortunately, kids have better BS meters than adults think. I remember having to salute the flag, say prayers and sing songs supportive of the British Empire when I was at school back in palaeozoic times. It didn’t stick with me, and knowing quite a few of my peers from those days, it didn’t do much for them either. Other influences, and our own critical powers, came to the fore as we matured.

    I agree that teaching stuff like how the solar system works, how the seasons come about, and basic physics and maths is about as far as schools can realistically go for the vast majority of students. Indeed, if they got that right, it would be a big improvement on where we are today. In chemistry, drumming in a few basic ideas like ‘the dose makes the poison’ and learning the differences between different compounds that contain carbon atoms, and how that comes about, would be useful. And as for biology, it is currently taught as ecology, complete with the predictable dodgy assumptions.

    If they threw in a decent amount of earth history and also the history of science (both of which are fascinating if properly taught), and left the climate wars right out, the populace would be better educated. But, improving the standard of education and the capacity for critical thought is not what the curriculum is about, unfortunately. It is about mush like ‘equipping children for a sustainable world’ and the like. CAGW is only one element of this propagandist approach to school education.

  37. Since1989, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers (the two primary unions for K-12 public schools in the US) have donated $38,284,919 and $32,850,516 respectively to political campaigns. The NEA contributed a total of 5% to (nominally) Republican candidates, and the AFT a whopping 0% to Republicans during that 23 year period.

    AFSCME, which represents most non-teaching employees of public school (ie. the administration employees), donated $47,869,048 during that same time period, with a whole 1% going to Republicans.

    And you wonder if the “curriculum” these independent thinking folks are pushing might end up being biased? My kids’ Weekly Readers were filled with CAGW propaganda back in the mid 90s when my kids were in grade school. Their government and social studies classes were multi-cultural progressive re-education camps. Heck, my son’s math teacher (and his social studies and English teachers) showed Al Gore’s climate porn movie
    An Inconvenient Truth when he was in high school.

    Forget whether climate science should be taught to K-12 students. They’ve been getting the whole progressive indoctrination program for decades. Why do you think so many denizens (and posters) here are progressives? They’ve never heard anything else.

    • GaryM | May 12, 2012 at 10:57 pm |

      Curious that you leave out the sole criterion for these campaign donations resulting in the sparsity of donations to Republican candidates: education funding.

      • OK, Bart, since you want to talk about education funding, let’s. There have been massive annual increases in K-12 spending under both Republican and Democrat administrations fore decades.

        Look at the chart for federal funding for elementary and secondary education, and see the greatest increases were under Bush. (It isn’t what you don’t know that makes you look most ridiculous, it’s what you think you know that just ain’t so.)

        Guess where the bulk of those increases go? Books? More teachers? Better training of teachers? Nope. More administrators and enormous benefit packages for existing teachers.

        Washington D.C. currently spends about $18,000 per student for public K-12 education. Take ten kids, put them in a single class, and pay some Harvard grad $180,000 a year and I bet they all learn reading, writing and even a bit of ‘rithmetic. Pour that same $180,00 per year into the toilet that is the public union/Democrat Party run “education” establishment in D.C., and you get illiteracy, innumeracy, and a sterling 75.5 percent drop out rate. But you also get a bunch of over paid, under worked, incompetent foot soldiers for the Democrat Party. Which is of course the point of those never ending increases in “education” funding that progressives (and suckers for their propaganda like you) love so much.

        Open mouth A, insert foot B.

        Any more questions?

      • GaryM | May 13, 2012 at 12:27 am |

        G. W. Bush was responsible for the No Child Left Behind Act?!

        Just what Administration was responsible for your education in civics and current affairs?

        And how many Harvard grads are there in the USA? One per ten kids? Harvard grads that you’d let near kids? Ones that want to teach or have any aptitude for it? In a free room? With free utilities? With free computers? Heck, put them online at a Khan academy or Udacity or the like, maybe you have a point, sort of. Innovators will drive education further faster than governments, and I’m glad the yokes slowing down advancement in K-12 (and learning in general) embodied by government babysitting approaches are being thrown down finally..

        But your point still drips with political invective that is frankly nowhere based in fact.

      • No federal administration was responsible for my elementary and secondary education. I am so old I went to school before the Democrats had conned people like you into supporting the federal takeover of education. In fact, I went to public grade schools in Chicago, and they were not bad at all.

        But they weren’t unionized, and the “education” establishment had not been turned into a money laundering scheme for campaign contributions for the Democrat Party. Teachers were actually there to teach, and they got fired if they didn’t. No unions, no strikes, no 100% payment of pension and health care costs, no immunity from firing for incompetence or misconduct. You know, no protection racket as a reward for funding and working for the Democrat Party.

        And the Harvard grad was just an example of a better use of so much money. It doesn’t cost near that much to teach a child. Home schooling, by non-college educated parents, teaches children just fine, at an average cost of $500+ per year for curriculum and materials. Of course, then you have parents whose motivation is that they want their children to learn, not union members who want to retire for life at 55 with full pay and benefits.

        Do you notice that the tax payers in Wisconsin are slowly losing their enthusiasm for getting rid of Scott Walker? It’s amazing what happens when voters are confronted with the reality of conservative governance, rather than relying on the distortions of the left, and their sycophantic acolytes.

        I sent my own children to public school, and I had to teach them to read, what with the ridiculous “whole language” fad (and don’t get me started on “whole math,” its bastard cousin). I also had to deprogram them from the steady dose of progressive propaganda they received daily disguised as social studies, history, government, and pretty much every other course they took. Propaganda which clearly worked quite well on you.

    • GaryM,
      US unions have long been front groups to deliver campaign funds to their favored political groups. This donation system of taking involuntary dues from members and giving them to politicians is aggressively supported by the same people who condemn people who run corporations from giving to politicians they choose. That unions are corporate entities does not bother those defenders of this union tradition.

  38. Alan D McIntire

    I see a simple way to make all school children AGW skeptics. Tell them that if CAGW is true, we should make efforts to cut energy drastically. Naturally we’ll have to restrict energy use to necessities, and eliminate frivolous luxuries like computer video games.

    • Alan D McIntire | May 12, 2012 at 11:15 pm |

      Because schoolchildren are stupid enough to believe their Gameboy takes more energy than a float in the Rosebowl parade, or a tractor trailer loaded with Coors?

      Or are you going to stop teaching math first?

      • You have a good point there, Bart. Let’s stop moving non-critical items like liquor, beer, and wine. If the liberals can do that, I would go along with anything they want.

      • jim2 | May 13, 2012 at 10:51 am |

        Some may argue that beer sequesters CO2 for a good 21 days if not rushed, longer if you have a decent cooler; that vintage wine can sequester for decades, and a really exceptional whiskey might contain enough carbon in the alcohol that storing it for eighty years or more is perfectly feasible. That deep-rooted plants might sequester more carbon in their woody suberterrainean shoots before giving up their fruit, flowers and seeds to the vintner, brewer and distiller.

        In short, it’s a balancing act.

    • They have to walk to school. They have to wash their clothes by hand. They cannot use the vacuum cleaner. They cannot use the heater in winter. They cannot use the air cooler in summer.

    • “I see a simple way to make all school children AGW skeptics. Tell them that if CAGW is true, we should make efforts to cut energy drastically. Naturally we’ll have to restrict energy use to necessities, and eliminate frivolous luxuries like computer video games.”

      So they won’t be skeptical of AGW for any valid scientific reason, they will be skeptical of AGW because they don’t like the perceived implications. That’s the definition of being in denial.

      Does this perhaps shed some light on the reasoning that lies behind skepticism of AGW in general?

      • Alan D McIntire

        So you concede that AGW is NOT so serious that energy spent on luxuries doesn’t need to be restricted?

      • @@ lolwot | May 13, 2012 at 8:10 am

        with population explosion to 9 billion soon; demanding democratic west to decrease CO2 emission is: because all the third world cannot improve their economy to western standard – than your ”green march” is to lower the western economies to third world standard – nothing less would make you happy. Same as a suicide bomber, destroys himself, just to harm others.

        Because I have proven that CO2 is not a global warming gas – that should make you and other extremist happy – instead, you are scared from the truth as the devil from the cross. Why lolwot, why? Every time they tell a lie in the media about the normal climatic changes – you are part of that crime; let it be on record. Are you too scared from THE
        BOTTOM LINE, and why?

  39. “Having read Harry_Read_Me and Jones’s remarks about his data retention and archiving procedures (or lack of them), I would not trust UEA/CRU to be capable of reading a thermometer on their campus correctly and report the information 24 hours later without transposing digits, inserting a negative sign or some other horror.” ~Latimer Alder

  40. Poll – You Do Not Need a Weatherman to Predict Climate

    What is your prediction? For example, while it’s just a guess Salvatore Del Prete (3-Mar-2011) believes temperatures may be, 2F to 3F colder than they are now… [by] the end of this decade.

  41. Quote ‘JC comment: Looks like the the forthcoming K-12 standards from the National Academies will be source of much debate in (US) statewide educational agencies. I would be particularly interested to hear how this issue is being dealt with in other countries.’

    There is a remarkable level of ‘sameness’ as far as I can see ( glib talk about greenhouses, scary talk about various threats, calls for action by children, and often contempt for humanity and its great achievements. It is disgraceful and seems orchestrated – so many groups have read from the same hymn sheet and have taken it upon themselves to ‘save us all’ or ‘the planet’ from our foolish ways as a matter of extreme urgency. It also happens to suit them for other reasons, be they ideological or religious or financial. All this in the complete absence of any observational indication of unusual weather, or ocean, or cryosphere behaviour! The frail theory that CO2 is such an important driver of climate has been included in competer models of the system, models which have been, what shall we say, rather disappointing their ‘predictions’, ‘projections’, ‘illustrations’, ‘imaginings’, or whatever they are to be called now.

    • this is a latest crib sheet for climate science communicators..

      Dr Katie Hayhoe, Prof Phil Jones, DR Gavin Schmitt, Hansen, Trenberth all contributed: (and many others…

      Spot one of the many problems with it here..

      “Average global temperature has increased
      by around 0.75ºC since the beginning of the
      20th century. Most of this is very likely to be
      due to human greenhouse gas emissions.”


      Spot the problem I have with it?

      Define MOST….50%-95%?
      As far as I’m aware, even IPCC say half natural..
      So a very carfully worde document, tha would imply to ‘most’ people that 90% (most?) of warming in the 20th century, was AGW..

      Lots of sections with ‘What Sceptics Say’

      The PIRC advisory board member Chritsian Hunt, is the editor of the Carbon Brief) Tim Holmes author Climate Safety blog, funded by PIRC.
      10:10 ‘No Pressure’ founder Fanny Armstrong (also Age of Stupid) was also involved with the PIRC. PIRC were also behind of the Zero Carbon Britain report (by 2030!)

      Just lots more ‘communication’ by vested interests.

  42. Tom Choularton

    In the UK science teaching in schools reflects and must reflect the mainstream science of the day that includes climate change and evolution. For example, if an individual does not have an understanding of the role of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere how can they possibly have a view on man-made climate change.

  43. Perhaps to introduce pupils to a discussion on the planets climate, four simple questions could be asked.

    1. Is the planets present temperature above or below the long term average from the geological record?
    2. Does the present Earths atmospheres contain more Carbon Dioxide than the long term average from the geological record?
    3. From the geological record does an increase in atmospheric Carbon Dioxide lead or lag a temperature increase?
    4. What current fraction of the atmosphere is occupied by Carbon Dioxide?

    A discussion bringing out best scientific information should do much to remove the alarm that others driven by a ’cause’ seek to engender.

    Its the least we can do for our fine young people!

    • “1. Is the planets present temperature above or below the long term average from the geological record?
      2. Does the present Earths atmospheres contain more Carbon Dioxide than the long term average from the geological record?”

      Geological record suggest 4.5 billion years. I have no clue of answers
      but about 1/2 the record has unbreathable atmosphere.
      Not much of earth has survived intact for 4.5 billion years.
      Oh, actual none:
      “Some of the oldest surface rock can be found in the Canadian Shield, Australia, Africa and in other more specific places around the world. The ages of these felsic rocks are generally between 2.5 and 3.8 billion years. The approximate ages have a margin of error of millions of years. In 1999, the oldest known rock on Earth was dated to 4.031 ± 0.003 billion years, and is part of the Acasta Gneiss of the Slave craton in northwestern Canada.Researchers at McGill University found a rock with a very old model age for extraction from the mantle (3.8 to 4.28 billion years ago) in the Nuvvuagittuq greenstone belt on the coast of Hudson Bay, in northern Quebec; the true age of these samples is still under debate, and they may actually be closer to 3.8 billion years old. Older than these rocks are crystals of the mineral zircon, which can survive the disaggregation of their parent rock and be found and dated in younger rock formations.”

      And of course:
      “The Genesis Rock, obtained from the Moon by astronauts during Apollo 15 mission, has been dated at 4.5 billion years. This is one of the oldest known rocks on Earth, even though it originated on the Moon. During Apollo 16, older rocks were brought back.”

    • The cause for alarm is not because CO2 or temperature is the highest ever.

    • Peter Lang


      Good questions. To avoid gbaikie’s issue with lack of detailed knowledge, lets confine the question to the last 500 million years, the time when multi-cell life has thrived. Then the answers are:

      1. Below, in fact well below. Very roughly, from Scotese’s schematic diagram here: the planet’s average surface temperature has mostly been about 10 C warmer than now. In fact there have only been three short periods during the past 500 million years when the planet has had ice at the poles, see IPCC AR4 WG1, Chapter 6, Figure 6.1 here:

      2. Much less. In fact it is near the lowest it’s ever been and near the lower limit (170 ppm) at which vegetation can survive.

      Scotese’s site, although greatly simplified, is aimed at school teachers. If school teachers were presenting this sort of information to school children, that information would get back to parents.

      • You describe Scotese’s site as aimed at school teachers, and for being greatly simplified.

        I found this paragraph on it:
        ‘During the last 150 years humankind has increased the atmospheric concentration of greenhouses gases, principally carbon dioxide. As a result, the global climate is warming. As the Earth climate warms, the polar ice will melt and sea level will rise. This will decrease the amount of land and less energy will be reflected back into space. This additional warming will melt more ice and the seas will continue to flood the continents, resulting in more warming. It is likely that rapid global warming will trigger positive feedback mechanisms that will change the Earth’s climate mode from Ice House to Green House – like it was when the dinosaurs were around. The only question is how long will it take? 100 years, 1,000 years, or 10,000 years.’

        As we sit here at a cool end of the Holocene, our special interglacial which may well be coming to an end as the current ice age reasserts itself, as it has done before, the idea that we are going to reverse this by our CO2 is a remarkable simplification. It seems to hinge on CO2 by giving it a dramatic role in climate, a role which it does not seem to have had in the past, nor is it demonstrating it in the present. But then it complicates it a bit by adding in a ‘likely’ positive feedback, of a kind which is also remarkable for not being plausible in the past, nor in the present.

        But given the enormous complexity of the climate system, these are indeed simplifications, and they have the political benefit of allowing talk not merely of the so-called greenhouse effect, but of greenhouses themselves – hot, sweaty, uncomfortable places. Plus flooded continents as if the heat wasn’t going to be bad enough by itself.

        Step forward, ideologues, financiers, millenarians – tell us how we might escape this fate by doing what you ask! Tell us again of our great power over climate!! Tell us that warming is worse than cooling!!! We are ready to obey!!!!

        Except, no we’re not. We don’t think very highly of you at all. I was just getting a bit carried away. Alarmism can do that to a chap if he’s not careful. I don’t think I’m going to recommend that site to teachers.

    • Funny how the ‘skeptics’ are so uncertain about the science on the planet warming, especially paleoclimate, but have no doubts about our knowledge of far distant climates states (eg it was 5C warmer 500,000,000 years ago!!). Same science, often the same techniques, but very very different responses to it.

      Why is that?

      • Similar to how they argue the temperature record is unreliable but then argue it warmed just as fast before 1940 when CO2 was not rising as fast.

        Or similar to how they claim CRU data cannot be trusted but then quote it to claim there’s been no warming for 15 years.

        Or how they claim “it’s the sun” and then they argue it’s a step change, or cosmic rays, or el nino.

        Or they argue other planets have warmed too and then claim the warming is due to UHI.

        Or how they claim the concept of a global average temperature is meaningless but then argue there was a MWP where the world was much warmer on average than present.

        Or how they argue the temperature record is unreliable but then argue that solar correlates with it perfectly over some period.

        Or how they appeal to the insignificance of CO2 as a mere trace gas at only 0.038% of the atmosphere but then argue it’s a powerful plant food.

        Or how they argue ice core CO2 measurements are unreliable but then argue there is a fine lag between CO2 and temperature in the ice core records.

        Or how they argue temperature records of Earth are unreliable but then argue Mars has warmed.

        Or how they argue temperature records and proxies are unreliable, but there’s definitely a clear 60 year cycle in them.

        Or how they argue the temperature record is unreliable but the arctic used to be warmer in the 40s.

        Or how they argue alarmism is bad, but CO2 limits will destroy the economy.

        Or how they argue it’s cosmic rays, but clouds are a big uncertainty.

        Or how they argue that AGW is not real science because it isn’t falsifiable, but then they claim it’s been falsified.

        Or how they argue CO2 has been much higher in the past, but we can’t trust CO2 proxies.

        Or how they argue climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted, but climate sensitivity is low.

      • “Similar to how they argue the temperature record is unreliable but then argue it warmed just as fast before 1940 when CO2 was not rising as fast.”
        This is in context discerning CO2 signal and making 100 year prediction/projection. And one talking steepness or acceleration of “warming trend” .

        “Or how they claim “it’s the sun” and then they argue it’s a step change, or cosmic rays, or el nino.”
        And other factors.

        “Or they argue other planets have warmed too and then claim the warming is due to UHI.

        UHI is easily demonstrative. It’s obvious we should more closely monitor other planet’s temperature if want to understand what going on with Earth

        “Or how they claim the concept of a global average temperature is meaningless but then argue there was a MWP where the world was much warmer on average than present.”

        Global average temperature is not adequately defined- it’s meaningless.
        Why do Lefties always want to erase history?
        The people living in middle age were just interested as modern farmers in understanding the growing conditions. And the bureaucrats are more less unchanging over thousands of years

        “Or how they argue ice core CO2 measurements are unreliable but then argue there is a fine lag between CO2 and temperature in the ice core records.”
        Ice core are not used to measure current global CO2 levels. There many reasons question the attempt to measure past level of CO2. If CO2 were a significant cause of warming, one would not expect low levels of CO2 to cause temperature to go up and when CO2 are high for temperature to lower. And there appears in general for there to be large delay between rising temperature and rising CO2 levels. There are many proxies to use, all of them and more of them should found and used.
        But they can be as accurate carefully measuring existing conditions with modern instruments. And the warmist are faced with an obvious problem
        even with modern ways measuring the “fingerprint” of CO2 or even human effects upon the global climate or temperature has not been and isn’t measurable.

      • Rob Starkey

        You wrongly generalize what people who are skeptical believe overall.
        Individuals may believe as you havw written, but that is not a justification to claim to know the position of the overall population

  44. I went to my son’s 9th grade P.O.L. Four students had presentations on CAGW. I asked all four if they could think of one beneficial effect from an increase in CO2 from 280 PPM to 390 PPM. Nope, four freshman high school students, not one of them could articulate an understanding of the beneficial effect CO2 had on plant life, food supplies, and water conservation; so this may be a helpful start.

    So we could start with that, and perhaps include some discussions on the scientific method and what it means when projections do not match observations.

    • One thing the NIPCC report overlooks with regard to plant fertilization is competition between species. The CO2 changes will be global and every plant species on Earth will be affected. Not all plants are equal so some will benefit more than others. A lot of plants are in competition. So there will be losers. The greater the plant fertilization effect from the elevated CO2, the greater the competition based impacts. New species take time to emerge, but species can rapidly be wiped out. So any such changes to plant fertilization will certainly reduce biodiversity. The knock on effects will also go up the food chain.

      If the plant fertilization effect is as strong as they suggest then the implications of elevating CO2 level as fast as we are doing is indeed quite alarming.

      • lolwot, , yes, yes, it must be worse then we thought, (Sarc) Really now you are speaking thory. What unruly weeds have destroyed wheat, soy, and rice production world wide? What speculative disaster in rising food production has materialized? It is likely that all crops worldwide grow 10% to 15% more food, on the same amount of water and land due to the “alarming” increase in CO2. The truth is “CO2 science” has some pretty good links on your concerns, which are substainially unfounded.

        Far more cogent to reality is to ask yourself what would happen to the world right now if we needed about 12% more water and land to grow the same amount of food we now produce. The answer is likely a short five symbol response, WWlll. Once again the “C” in CAGW, is missing. This observation based evidence also should be taught.

      • BTW lowot, the reference was from here, “Friend, A.D. 2010. Terrestrial plant production and climate change. Journal of Experimental Botany 61: 1293-1309.”, not from the NIPCC; and there are dozens of similar studies, and thousands of experiments showing the benefits of increased CO2.

        “. For a nominal doubling of the air’s CO2 concentration, for example, the productivity of earth’s herbaceous plants rises by 30 to 50% (Kimball, 1983; Idso and Idso, 1994), while the productivity of its woody plants rises by 50 to 80% or more (Saxe et al. 1998; Idso and Kimball, 2001). Hence, as the air’s CO2 content continues to rise, so too will the land use efficiency of the planet rise right along with it. In addition, atmospheric CO2 enrichment typically increases plant nutrient use efficiency and plant water use efficiency. Thus, with respect to all three of the major needs identified by Tilman et al. (2002), increases in the air’s CO2 content pay huge dividends, helping to increase agricultural output without the taking of new land and water from nature.” These are the observed facts which the “scientific method” reveals. The difference between speculation, hypothesis, and theory has unfortunately not been taught in the current post normal science curriculum. Please try not to be a victim of such indoctronation.

      • David | May 13, 2012 at 12:48 pm |

        In no way is what lolwot discusses about the downside of CO2 on plants theoretical. It’s an intensively studied field of agronomy. Large fields have been examined under high CO2 levels in the open for years, sometimes more than a decade. The results in the wild generally show extreme outcomes in Nitrogen depletion and change in microbial composition of soils.

        If you know anything about plants – enough to assert “‘CO2 science’ has som pretty good links” – then you’re familiar with 2,4-D (,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic_acid) and how it works by selective hormonal action on broad over narrow leaf plants. “Uncontrolled, unsustainable growth ensues, causing stem curl-over, leaf withering, and eventual plant death.” This is exactly the type of hormonal effect CO2 has, except CO2 is much stronger than 2,4-D for the same concentration at influencing auxins.

        So, really, you could stack up links at CO2science from here to the moon, and even if I didn’t have an inkling of how well-known the bias of the Idsos was, I’d remain skeptical of such dismissal. CO2 is not a plant food at levels above 300 ppmv, but a plant hormone amplifier, just like other broadleaf herbicides.

        You end up with a predominance of narrow-leaf archaic plants or plants that have become auxin-resistant, soil overrun with fungus, and about half the phytoplankton in the oceans wiped out. This is not theory. But it’s research you’re unlikely to find in the cherry-picked external links of the Idsos.

        Also, these benefits you claim, you understand “more food” happens only in the plants that increase the mass of their edible portions under CO2. Not all do this. Dwarf varieties of many food crops have been painstakingly developed to concentrate resources in the edible portion (seeds, fruit, tubers, eg.) — and CO2 hormonally turns off dwarfism, causing all this development to be wasted and yields in such crops to drop.

        CO2 is well-known to suppress and deform plant secondary sexual characteristics, so flowers and fruit may actually be sacrificed as the plant puts more resources into longer and brittler limbs and leaves that age and wither faster while depleting the soil of nutrients — speaking of, it’s shown that protein and other nutrient concentrations fall with rising CO2. More mass, less food value. You might as well cut out the middle man and go to McDonalds.

        What future you’re describing is one where nitrogen fertilizers are more and more in demand, which will raise the price of food and of the petrochemicals fertilizer is made from.

      • Bart sure has a new angle on the catastrophy of increasing CO2! I’ll check with some of my younger biologist friends to see if they know that above 300 ppm, CO2 is not plant food, but a plant hormone amplifier with all those catastrophic results, much worse than 2,4-D. My biology graduate work was in the dark ages when CO2, many times higher than 300 ppm, was pumped into greenhouses to increase growth. Oh my, that’s still done! How tragic. I guess it’s killed everything, but the biologists and horticulturists and others are supressing the data.

      • Doug Allen | May 13, 2012 at 10:45 pm |

        When you speak to the younger generation, get them to explain about auxins and ethylene to you, as it’ll help; also, the effect of CO2 concentration on suppressing and promoting plant hormones — though they’ll need to be fairly sharp, as that’s not a big area of study in agronomy courses — and maybe if you can get them to explain to you how to distinguish between concentrations in ppmv and concentrations that 2,4-D is applied, perhaps with special reference to terms like ‘order of magnitude’ and ‘persistence’.

        So you can dabble a bit in the new modern terms, here’s a small sample from the literature of the current millennium:

        You may want to make clear your interest in auxins and CO2 is for purely recreational purposes, or young people might get the wrong idea. Maybe they’ll tell you how greenhouse growers force plants with high CO2 selectively, to obtain the traits they want, rather than use increased concentrations on all plants in all circumstances.. if they know their stuff. It’s not like one expects Liebig’s law of the minimum to be taught to bio grad students, or soil exhaustion, or the distinction between ‘food’ and ‘hormone’. I’m sure you don’t gulp down vast quantities of hormone with your beer over a meal.

  45. Here in Britain we have faith schools for the various religions Christians,Muslims,Jewish and so on.
    When abstracted for religious instruction the method is rote learning of the various articles of faith.

    I say this not to knock it , since faith requires no logical proof.

    For science on the other hand a hierarchical sequential building of elements is required.
    The experimental method is emphasised.
    Pupils are encouraged to ask questions, to be sceptical and demand evidence.
    To expect pupils to evaluate the consequences of increased Carbon Dioxide (when they barely know what Carbon Dioxide is) would be impossible.

    Rote learning then, is the only practical method of climate science instruction at school level .
    The question then arises should it be grouped in the part of the syllabus devoted to religious eduction?

    • God will keep his promises to any believer. He promises. Sad to say that this is not true with scientists. They seem to prefer to argue The Book, they have not studied, It is much eaiser to do and most in their class will be memeing by rout the words of past deniers that they have heard. God says that this type of behavior will one day come at a high price. Don’t worry scientists say. The world is going to drown again first…Wrong.

  46. AGW indoctrination is just one of the many failures of public education. AGW belief is only a symptom of wider failures in so-called leaders.

  47. AGW indoctrination and the larger failure it is a part of underscores the good HI was doing in offering critical looks at AGW catastrophism. It is not surprising that unethical people like Gleick sought to stop HI, and then rationalize what he had done to make certain their indoctrination went unchallenged.

  48. Arctic Sea Ice Nearly Disappears
    September 22nd, 2012

  49. Lolwot writes: “10 years is too short to determine that the phenomenon, known as global warming, has stopped.”

    Straw man. Not the issue. No one is claiming that the warming that started in the depths of the LIA has stopped. The point most skeptics are making is that 15 years (not 10) of no additional warming casts gave doubts on models that perhaps with one or 2 outlier exceptions did not predict such a pause.Try to think lolwot for a change, rather than just grabbing hold of whatever bogus point you blunder on first….

    • Sorry “grave” doubts..

    • “The point most skeptics are making is that 15 years (not 10) of no additional warming casts gave doubts on models”


      • Michael,
        Don’t fret. It is a fact thing, not an AGW thing. You don’t know, but it is all sciencey and statistical and stuff.

      • Got that nicely backwards hunter……what a surprise.

  50. Hank Zentgraf

    Climate Change as a high school course could be taught as a Political Science course. The core content would be the controversy surrounding the science. Students need to know that policy discussions entered a global political debate before the science was mature. The political consequences and economic consequences of such should be fully explored.

  51. Don’t you think you scientists have done enough damage? If you need more to do, teach these kids to be properly skeptical.

  52. OT but this is a good day to wish our hostess as well as all mothers, a very Happy Mother’s Day.

  53. dp your link says

    “While teenagers serve as the public face of the lawsuit, the idea itself came from Julia Olson, an attorney based in Eugene, Oregon. Olson founded an organization called Our Children’s Trust after watching the Al Gore documentary An Inconvenient Truth while she was seven months pregnant.”

    Instead of a minimalist diet of AGW propaganda that Jim D advocates or the rational discussions about the climate science debate that David Wojick works for, the American pupils are in reality fed a diet of anti -science.

    Half digested, half truths and fiction are stunting the rational development of these American children.
    Is the ’cause’ so important that science lessons are being used to indoctrinate these young minds before they have the maturity to reject pseudo -science.

  54. Climate change education can be made quite simple. Here’s a perspective on the Canadian plan to lower emissions from my letter to the editor of the Globe and Mail (which has ZERO chance of getting published,).

    “Let’s assume that the leading scientists who inform the International Panel on Climate Change are correct – a view that is not universally shared by all scientists.

    In a peer reviewed article published in Nature magazine Dr. Damon Matthews of Concordia University tells us that a one tonne reduction in carbon dioxide emissions leads to a reduction of 0.0000000000015 degrees Celsius in global temperature. What then would be the effect on global warming of meeting Canada’s current target of a 17% reduction from the 2005 level of 731 megatonnes? Here’s the simple calculation that very few Canadians have seen:

    731,000,000 tonnes x 17% x 0.0000000000015 degrees Celsius / tonne = .000186 degrees C.

    In other words, if the IPCC is correct, meeting the target would avert annual global warming by roughly two ten thousandths of a degree or one degree Celsius per 5376 years. A similar calculation tells us that Canada’s total annual impact is 0.0011 degrees, or one degree per 909 years.

    Armed with this information Canadians would be better armed to evaluate the wisdom and effectiveness of the government’s actions, or lack thereof”.

    • Pav We did similar calculations for the UK and sent them to Mp’s but they weren’t interested. I also asked 12 of the worlds leading climate scientists if they had told their respective govts what effect a drastic co2 reduction would have on temperartures but they weren’t interested either. The trouble is the powers that be are following a dogma-like the Euro-and once

      embarked on this route they will do anything to save face and just lose all reason. I suspect the economic crisis will change peoples opinions in due course, even more that what nature may be telling us.

      • Yes, Tony. I’ve seen your work.

        I’m busy educating Canadian media editorial desks and columnists – one by one.

        The Canadian Senate committee looking into climate change had presentations from a skeptical group, including McKitrick, a couple of months ago. At least one senator was paying attention. I’ve had correspondence with her.

      • Pav

        Excellent, keep it up! I think your one by one approach is the best one . Collectively ‘they’ do not feel able to take note, but individually, away from the crowd and peer pressure, they may be more willing to listen.

      • Start teaching the kids that their single vote won’t matter because there are at least 100 million other voting adults, and their individual vote accounts for only a 0.000001% difference.

        Way to go Team Skeptic!

      • We can always depend on Web to miss the point and look foolish.

      • It’s Team Denizens to you, WebHubTelescope.

      • -lolwot likes WebHubTelescope’s comment

    • “In a peer reviewed article published in Nature magazine Dr. Damon Matthews of Concordia University tells us that a one tonne reduction in carbon dioxide emissions leads to a reduction of 0.0000000000015 degrees Celsius in global temperature.”

      I can’t tell if you’ve factored this in or not, but he said that one tonne of CO2 leads to a 0.0000000000015C increase in global temperature, not one tonne per year.

      A one tonne per year reduction in emissions leads to many tonnes less emitted over many years. Eg if you reduce emissions by one tonne per year, then over a 100 year period you emit 100 tonnes less.

      So your figure of .000186 degrees C reduction is per year. Over a 100 year time period a 17% emission reduction by Canada leads to 0.0186C lower global temperatures.

      • lolwot

        You have an uncanny ability to get things screwed up.

        Matthews’ calculation is off by a factor of 2 to start off with.

        He assumes that ALL of the emitted CO2 remains in the atmosphere. As we know, the biosphere, ocean, etc, absorb around half, leaving only half in the atmosphere.

        Eliminating Canada from the map today would not have a perceptible impact on the global temperature of 2100, proving the basic point that:



      • Manacker, I agree that Matthew’s figure is contoversially high. However, the payback for emissions reduction is very small, EVEN IF HE’S CORRECT.

      • “Matthews’ calculation is off by a factor of 2 to start off with.”

        Does he? Are you sure about that. I would think he’s factored that in already.

      • maneker, yes we can change / improve the climate. But first people need to realize that: what you promote / Plimer’s crap, is the obstacle. Human cannot create GLOBAL warming; BUT HUMAN CAN DETERIORATE / IMPROVE THE CLIMATE!!! Because water controls the climate = human can control water, to a degree. If you don’t know that dry climate = extreme – wet / humid climate = mild climate, just ask.

        Statement like yours that: human cannot change the climate is the biggest ever stupidity. Chop the trees and drain the lakes / overflows in Brazil – will make it as Sahara climate———–save extra storm-water on in dry countries = improves the climate. verdict: you personally are deteriorating the climate, just by promoting / merchandising Plimer’s crap. shame, shame!!!

  55. Canada has no target to reduce beyond 17% of 2005 levels. You are changing the subject.

    • If Canada emits at 2005 levels for the next 100 years that’s 73 gigatons of CO2 emitted (730 megatons per year x 100)

      Whereas if Canada reduces emissions by 17%, that’s 61 gigatons of CO2 emitted.

      73 gigatons x 0.0000000000015 = 0.1095C

      61 gigatons x 0.0000000000015 = 0.0915C

      The reduction in warming then from a 17% reduction in Canadian emissions is 0.018C. Ie 0.0915C warming instead of 0.1095C.

      • So lolwot, let’s assume you are 100% brilliantly accurate in your superior wisdom confronted which we ordinary mortals cower in awe!

        Let me point out that, once again, you are picking fly shit out of pepper.

        Tell us, o great sage, is it a great deal for Canadians to wreck their economy to achieve these targets for trivial impact on global temperature when China, India and the U.S. have told us in absolutely no uncertain terms that they are not playing the game?

      • “is it a great deal for Canadians to wreck their economy”

        Wrecked by a 17% emissions reduction? ooh you alarmist.

        Your government would be better up putting pressure on China, India and the US to cut emissions too. Everyone knows the Canadian, UK and Australian self-imposed emission targets are non-serious. They’ll miss them, mark my words. All talk, not legally enforced.

  56. This was kinda interesting,

    Despite the potential economic benefit of a slightly warmer world, I loved this sentence, “It’s also interesting that Nordhaus invites his readers to not get caught up in the tiny details, and instead to take a step back and survey the grand picture of global temperatures.” Which is followed by a graph of global mean temperature, not anomaly.

    • Celsius is essentially an anomaly starting from the freezing point of water, so even your link hasn’t done it right according to their own rules.

      Why not start the graph from 0 kelvin? Here, I’ll do it:

      Now we can’t even see the 20th century warming in GISTEMP. It’s just a long flat red line.

      “Furthermore, without more information to guide our charting decisions, choosing a y-axis range of 0–20 Celsius degrees—as I’ve done in the graph above—is just as arbitrary as Nordhaus implicitly choosing a range of 14–15 degrees in the graph he used.”

      It isn’t. Nordhaus’s range is sensible – it fits all the data into the available space and makes the variations in the data as clear as can be.

      The choice of starting the y axis from 0 celcius on the other-hand is a farce. If someone gave me a graph like that for analysis I would ask them WTF they are doing. What’s all that wasted white space I would ask, why didn’t maximize the use of space for the data so I can see the variations clearly? Notice that in Nordhaus’s graph you can clearly see the 1998 El Nino. In the instituteforenergyresearch graph you cannot.

  57. Arcs_n_Sparks

    The difficulty with this thread is that you are all too smart, and debate the ability of K-12 students to understand this complex topic. The complexity has been reduced simply by making students calculate their carbon footprint:
    This was assigned to my nephew in 6th grade in Michigan last month. You see, AGW is a given and the only homework for the student is to see how bad their contribution is. I was surprised there was not an embedded URL to report your parents gluttonous carbon habits.

  58. If you check out teaching about climate science in public schools will really help the kids to know a lot about the environment.

    • Mark Vj,
      The uncritical indoctrination of AGW claims in public school is dumbing down the students and deceiving them about the environment. AGW, by pushing windmills, tidal power, large array solar, and the continued use of coal instead of new nuclear is harming the environment.

  59. Climate science offers many valuable opportunities to teach critical thinking and the nature of truth claims, scientific method, confirmation bias and the role of tribal narratives, plus conflict resolution, the requirement for math literacy. It could generate learning experiences and discussions about uncertainty, ambiguity, and complexity with examples of how climate science is interdisciplnary, involving physics, chemistry, biology, meteorology, geology, and statistics. It might also lead to discussion of the precautionary principal and how attempts by governments to regulate climate for man’s benefit (if possible) require policy decisions involving energy, economics, and many other things. A good, enthusiastic science or social science teacher would love to use climate science as a catalyst for the above learning experiences!

    • Arcs_n_Sparks

      “It might also lead to discussion of the precautionary principal…”

      You mean how we should all live in caves, since it *might* be dangerous outside? Kids have enough nightmares without adults providing yet another layer of anxiety over nonsense.

      • “It *might* be dangerous outside,” is why humans have so many spare copi.. er, children to send out and test that hypothesis.

        Low risk perception. High fecundity.

      • Doug Allen

        I said what I meant, caveman. Read it again!

  60. A bleary-eyed review of my last comment reveals a train-wreck pile-up of big-time solecisms–some verb-subject agreement lapses being the most painful to view. But I’m sufficiently worn-out that I don’t care to fix them, except:

    Para 14: Should read “…are not [emphasize “not”] really boogered up as…”

    Last para, next to last line: add “…, or words to that effect.”

    My apologies to the reader.

  61. SRN: Could you outline why you and Heartland see a need for such material?

    Wojick: Recent polls of K-12 science teachers indicate that many are trying to teach the global warming debate. But it is generally not covered in the textbooks and the vast majority of Web resources teach only one side of the debate, the federal government side, which is that humans are changing the climate in dangerous ways that have to be stopped.

    Our emphasis.

    • Thanks Willard. There are actually two interviews with me and I posted links to both on an earlier thread, but you have picked the gist of it, here and below.

      • Glad to oblige, David Wojick. There are actually more than two hundreds hits when searching for your name in the Heartland Institute. For instance:

        [T]he hypothesis that solar variability and not human activity is warming the oceans goes a long way to explain the puzzling idea that the Earth’s surface may be warming while the atmosphere is not. The GHG hypothesis does not do this. […] The public is not well served by this constant drumbeat of false alarms fed by computer models manipulated by advocates.

        Again, my emphasis.

        But to return to what does refer “the debate”, would you say that your interviews provide a fairly good idea of what you mean by “the debate”?

        Many thanks!

      • David Wojick

        No Willard. Unfortunately what I mean by the debate is an issue tree with several million question, objection and statement nodes. It is a very technical concept, basically everything of importance that has been said, in its underlying structure.

        All I can do in the science education project is pick a few of the central issues, present them in grade level language, and point to places where the debate can be glimpsed.

      • David Wojick,

        Thank you for your clarification.

        So now, when you say that the debate does not exist, you mean that the issue tree with several million question, objection and statement nodes does not exist?

        Many thanks!

    • David,

      “the federal government side”

      You meant “the science side”.

      We look forward to the non-science side.

      • Michael, your rhetoric is silly.

      • Indeed – all that research, conducted all around the world, it’s all the “federal government side”.

        I eagerly await reading your propa….errr, school curriculum.

      • There is plenty of research to support skepticism, some of which has been presented here. Your factual claims to the contrary are simply, and obviously, false.

      • Scientific scepticism is the norm – it’s how we’ve made several hundred years of astounding scientific and techological advances (somehow achieved sans blog !!).

        What we have here, for the greatest part, is a lot of hypeventilated hypbole and ideological wheelbarrow pushing dressed up as scientific critique.

        You used to hear this kind of nonsense at pubs of an evening, courtesy of a few too many beers.

        Now people can do it in the comfort of their own homes. Sober!

      • David Wojick

        Michael, your disdain for our work here is not persuasive. But it explains why you never join the scientific argument. Your standing in the middle of the debate crying “there is no debate” is quite remarkable. One wonders how you manage it.

      • David,

        There is a scientific debate going on – in the peer reviewed literature.

        Elsewhere, very little.

      • John Costigane

        Brandon and Steven,

        “CO2 affects the climate” could be an initial node which should be acceptable to all sides.

      • Peter Lang

        John Costigane,

        How about?

        1. Is the planet warming?

        2. Is it due to AGW?

        3. How much is due to AGW?

        4. How serious is it?

        5. Does it matter?

        6. What is the optimum policy response?

        6.1 if the world does not act in unison?

        6.2 in the face of enormous uncertainty in consequences and likelihood

      • John Costigane


        Contention must be removed from the initial step otherwise this could not be the starting point since no agreement is possible. Which of your choices meets the condition?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        John Costigane, you put this in the wrong fork, but:

        Brandon and Steven,

        “CO2 affects the climate” could be an initial node which should be acceptable to all sides.

        This isn’t a good choice for a couple reasons. First, there are greenhouse gasses other than CO2 so it doesn’t make sense to limit the root to CO2. Second, it doesn’t limit the discussion to the greenhouse effect. Third, it necessarily requires clarification on its basis (meaning it would no longer be the root) since there are people who deny the greenhouse effect.

        I’m actually a fan of Mosher’s. It basically can’t be disputed (I don’t think even the Sky Dragons do). Anything after that point involves calculations, but that one is just a matter of looking at frequency emission/absorption spectrums.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Peter Lang, that’s a bad list. First, as John Costigane points out, the root should not be a point of contention. Second, there’s nothing which says a theory of global warming would necessarily require us have seen (distinguishable) warming by this point as their could be noise/negative forcing getting in the way (there are other possibilities as well.

      • John Costigane


        I disagree with your point on other greenhouse gasses, as they are non-controversial. The heart of the matter is CO2.

        This issue tree must be readable to all interested parties so text must come first.

      • Peter Lang

        John Costigane,

        I hadn’t understood this before your comment. I’ve learnt something from your question. Now I am stumped because I haven’t a clue how to start. Do we need a starting point that everyone would agree on, or would we choose a starting point that two people would agree on?

        If the latter, then I still don’t know how to begin, because my main interest is the appropriate economic policy.

        I am stumped. I can’t see where I could find common ground with what I regard as the catastrophists.

        Can you point me to a link where I can read a bit about this. I Googled ‘Issue Tree’ and there are lots of links. Can you suggest where to begin?

        Would or someone else be able to put this up on an appropriate tool on a web site where we can contribute. This JC thread has become too slow to use effectively now.

      • John Costigane


        I am happy the question helped. This is a learning experience for everyone, me included (binary trees having value beyond database handling).

        David introduced this “Issue Tree” concept, possibly to make the climate debate clearer to all. We can start the process and others can join in as they wish. There are examples in David’s own links further up the topic.

        I agree that a new topic may be the best way to proceed.

      • Peter Lang

        John Costigane,

        This discussion is great. Thank you to you, David and the others participating.

        If Judith Curry is watching, I wonder if you could consider starting a thread which would be dedicated to developing an Issue Tree for Climate Change debate?

        Since we can go to just four levels on the thread, we may need to work to four levels for a start. That could be an excellent learning experience about both the discipline and the real debate over climate change.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        John Costigane:

        I disagree with your point on other greenhouse gasses, as they are non-controversial. The heart of the matter is CO2.

        Huh? The effect of things like methane are not more certain than the effects of CO2. The only reason they are less “controversial” is CO2 has been the main focus of the global warming debate. That’s a matter of popular knowledge, not scientific knowledge.

        Besides which, even if they were non-controversial, they’d still need to be discussed. If your root is limited to CO2 alone, there’s no room for them to come in. That means the entire thing would be built upon ignoring a major component of the global warming issue.

        Peter Lang:

        Do we need a starting point that everyone would agree on, or would we choose a starting point that two people would agree on?

        The root should be agreed upon by everyone participating in the discussion. If you’re willing to limit participants to people who agree to a particular point, you can set that point as your root, but you won’t be representing the views of people who disagree.

        I am stumped. I can’t see where I could find common ground with what I regard as the catastrophists.

        I still say Mosher’s sentence is a good start, “GHGs are relatively opaque to IR.” That directly leads to establishing the greenhouse effect, from which sensitivity can be discussed, from which potential danger can be discussed, from which economic policy can be discussed.

        Would or someone else be able to put this up on an appropriate tool on a web site where we can contribute.

        I’ve long said if I were on the side trying to convince people to take action to combat global warming, I’d want a site that does exactly this (this was even before I had read anything Wojick has ever said). It would be a good a way to show levels of knowledge/confidence, and if my position was right, it’d be a good way to convince people as they could address whatever concerns they might have. However, such a project would be a massive undertaking, and I don’t think it would work as a community project due to lack of structure/rigor.

        I looked into how much much work it would be to make it for just the hockey stick controversy, and for even just that, it’s huge. I’d be happy to do it, but the amount of work is immense, and I couldn’t run a server right now anyway.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Oh wait. If all you want is an issue tree, that’s manageable. The site I had in mind would have each node in the tree linked to a page/article/whatever discussing the reasoning behind it.

        For an issue tree alone, all you need is some online-sharable document which can handle the visuals you want. In other words, something like Google Docs would be sufficient (I don’t know if Google Docs has anything for visual layout creation, but I’m sure some site does).

      • John Costigane


        I agree that there is more than CO2 in the debate. Scientific and popular perspectives are not the same. However we should form a starting point (node) which encompasses both viewpoints to allow the broadest access to the Issue Tree.

        What is your suggestion for the initial node?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        John Costigane:

        I agree that there is more than CO2 in the debate. Scientific and popular perspectives are not the same. However we should form a starting point (node) which encompasses both viewpoints to allow the broadest access to the Issue Tree.

        I still like Mosher’s sentence, which I’ve mentioned a couple times. However, if you wanted to make the root more accessible, you could say something like, “There is a greenhouse effect.” It’s only a step or so away from Mosher’s sentence, and it is immediately recognizable by everyone.

      • John Costigane


        How about “Many factors affect climate – some unknown”

      • Peter Lang

        Brandon Shollenberger,

        You said: “I still say Mosher’s sentence is a good start, “GHGs are relatively opaque to IR.”

        That statement is pretty meaningless to me. I really don’t care about that because for me the geological evidence suggest AGW is no big deal and certainly not catastrophic. And the economic analyses like Nordhaus (2012) are what persuade me that economically damaging mitigation policies are not the correct policies. So arguing about one branch of physics would be irrelevant to me.

        I want to know how the risks of warming have been calculated. I believe they are greatly exaggerated.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        John Costigane, I’m not sure I see any reason to pick that over either I’ve offered. Why choose a vague starting point which has no direct connection to the global warming issue?

        Also, saying some of them are unknown is superfluous. That would be brought up as a branch.

      • John Costigane


        David has offered another initial node for the debate at the foot of the topic which I find is non-controversial.

        Belated thanks for the earlier help with my ill-sited comment!

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Peter Lang:

        That statement is pretty meaningless to me. I really don’t care about that because for me the geological evidence suggest AGW is no big deal and certainly not catastrophic.

        The sentence I gave is “pretty meaningless” to you because it isn’t the part of the tree you’d argue against. That’s natural. In a topic like global warming, you aren’t expected to disagree with everything. But remember, claims of catastrophic global warming are necessarily based on the sentence I gave. For example:

        GHGs are relatively opaque. GHGs emissions cause GHG levels to rise. That causes the planet to warm. That warming will cause damage. That damage will be severe.

        That would be one path along the issue tree. You may disagree with just the last point, or just the last two, or whatever, but that doesn’t change the structure of the tree. Each point must rely upon the preceding points being true, and thus, we need to include the preceding points.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        John Costigane:

        David has offered another initial node for the debate at the foot of the topic which I find is non-controversial.

        What he offered is fine if all you want to discuss is whether or not humans are causing dangerous changes. It is not fine if you want to discuss global warming as a whole.

        Belated thanks for the earlier help with my ill-sited comment!

        No prob.

      • John Costigane


        David’s offering is likely to be understood, and recognised, by more people than your purely scientific option. This makes it a better choice for newcomers to the debate ie the vast majority.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        John Costigane:

        David’s offering is likely to be understood, and recognised, by more people than your purely scientific option. This makes it a better choice for newcomers to the debate ie the vast majority.

        It’s only a better choice if you’re willing to completely disregard parts of the global warming issue. If you make a debate point the root of your tree, you cannot possibly hope to examine the entire discussion.

        If you’re okay with that, you can use his choice for a root. But if you’re wanting to make a general resource on global warming, you cannot use his choice.

      • Just to elaborate, you are making this claim on a blog that has logged over 200k comments, mostly dedicated to presenting different sides of the science, much of it skeptical. Claiming the skeptical side is non-science, in the face of this much data, is nuts.

      • Replies like Michael’s are common among the most fervent believers in CAGW. They claim their side is science, will the other is anti-science or propaganda. Name-calling appears to be a desperate attempt to right a sinking ship. Ironically, RC had a thread entitled, “The legend of the Titanic.”

      • Confirmation bias is strong with this one.

        Not sure how 200K blog comments stack up against 200 years of research and the fact that this research has convinced every scientific body of any significance in the world. Not sure what it is that David thinks he knows that hasn’t already been argued through over the last 200 years.

        Wondering if this is the same David.

      • David Wojick

        Yes Chris, that is me. But I do not understand your 200 years of research comment. There is research on both sides, hence the debate. This is clearly reflected in the discussions on this blog.

        As for the so-called scientific bodies, they are political institutions. None has ever polled its members on their political position statements, which mostly track the official positions of their respective governments, who fund their science. This is a political movement at work, not scientific progress.

      • Nutty comments about science are not science.

        200,000 or 2,000,000 comments lamenting a one-world govt, conspiracies about scientific fraud, or denying basic physics is not “different sides of science”.

        It’s just rubbish.

      • Steven Mosher

        So we get to teach Iron Sun in schools! cool.

      • David Wojick

        Ironically Mosher, I was including your comments among the sensible ones. Have to rethink that. Do try to be sensible. This blog has some cranks but much of the content is quite good. Yours used to be.

      • A brief history for you.

        Joseph Fourier, in 1824, found that Earth’s atmosphere kept the planet warmer than would be the case in a vacuum, and he made the first calculations of the warming effect.

        “Politcial institutions”?
        So, you can’t find fault with the science, and instead are proposing that everyone who has ever done research on climate has worked for the government (which I find doubtful), and only put out what the government tells them to, and this is taking place from Sweden to New Zealand. As far as that goes, I seem to recall that President Bush (second one) and his party members ( were not what you would consider activists in mitigating AGW, yet the US National Academy of Science stated that it was happening, and we were likely the cause. That would seem to be contrary to your assertion.

        Just why should we believe your assertion (as a non-scientist) that X number of blog comments should be weighed more heavily than the culmination of 200 years of actual research?

      • David Wojick

        Chris, unfortunately I find your comment to be incoherent, a mish-mash of ideas. My first point was that there is science on both sides, which you do not address. Your 200 years of research is inconclusive at best. Note that the GH effect per se is not the primary issue. The scientific issue is why it is warming (including how much and when) and what difference this makes?

        As for the Societies, there has been a specific campaign to get them to issue these statements, to which many members objected. I myself am a member of the AAAS and I certainly do not agree with their endorsement of CAGW. NAS has itself made no such statement. Its admin arm, the NRC, has run numerous small group sessions, with varying results. Do you have a specific one in mind?

        The fact is that the scientific establishment is hopelessly politicized on this issue, because 20 years ago most countries prematurely endorsed the CAGW hypothesis.

      • Steven Mosher


        What is missing from your writings is a clear and unbiased assessment of what constitutes “science” on both side of an issue.

        For example: There is “debate” ( people that disagree) about the
        core physics: GHGs lead to an atmosphere that is more opaque to IR.
        People on each side of this debate have “science” degrees and scientific
        “publications” . So my question to you is what proceedure do you use
        to ascertain what is a scientific debate as opposed to mere disagreement.

        1. Did you select that method prior to looking at the topic
        2. is that method documented and tested?
        3. is there a debate over what constitutes a debate?

      • David Wojick,

        You say:

        > The scientific issue is why it is warming (including how much and when) and what difference this makes?

        Is “issue” another technical concept?

        In that case, what does it mean?

        Many thanks!

      • David Wojick

        Steven, these are good questions, which I will be happy to address, given time, but how about restating them as a new comment, so we get some issue tree nesting?

        Also, please drop the excessive quote marks because they render you unintelligible. Putting a word in quotes means you mean something other than the ordinary word. If you do not say what the new sense of the word is then I cannot know what you mean. See what I mean? If I say “I have a “dog” at home,” then it means something other than I have a dog, but who knows what? Maybe an under-powered car, but I have to specify what I mean. Or do your quotes not do that?

      • David Wojick

        Willard, in this case the term “issue” means something like the question that drives the debate. The one the issue tree grows from, as it were. Science is driven by questions. See my little essay on the issue tree structure of science at

      • David Wojick,

        Thank you for the article, but I’m not sure what the tree does here: it’s just a representation you chose to illustrate the exponential nature of asking questions, right?

        I mean, is a science debate really a tree? A tree is simply an undirected graph with connected vertices without cycles. Is it rooted too?

        And what about the semantics?

        Am I creating a tree right now?

      • Willard, I actually claim that the issue tree is a fundamental structure of ordinary expressed thought, which means normal speaking and writing. See for an example. The questions are there whether spoken or not. It is how sentences fit together, and the basis for my work. These structures have important properties.

        So yes your comment has an underlying issue tree structure. So does any body of scientific writing on a given topic, including climate. All 200k Comments posted here so far form a single issue tree.

      • No David, you asserted that the fact that there were 200K blog comments was evidence against the main conclusion of every climate research institution on the planet. I asserted that I don’t count blog comments as evidence. (At least not with regard to the physical sciences; they may be very interesting in the realm of social sciences.) And, I pointed out that the history of climate science predates most current governments.

        Instead of countering with a counter-example, or even any physical science, you made the excuse that these research institutions were pressured into making their statements by their governments, despite that fact that, for at least some of them, their governments would have liked them to say exactly the opposite.

        I find your thinking process incoherent and irrational. You know David, just because you can’t understand what someone is telling you, does not mean that they are wrong.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        David Wojick, I’m curious about something. How would your issue tree handle a non-responsive response or an intuitive leap? As in, a point in the thought process/discussion without a connection to what (not necessarily immediately) preceded it. Without a connection to the previous segments, it seems like you’d either need to “fill in” the gaps or start a second tree. For the former, you’re inputting data which wasn’t present. For the latter, you’re no longer following the single-tree theory.

      • David Wojick,

        Thank you for all the answers you provided today.

        One last question: you said that the tree structures have important properties. Which ones?

        Many thanks!

      • You must mean this, willard…

        Hope we can find more time soon to talk more.

      • Right, I see.

      • Tom,

        There’s also this other tree:

        but no, I was looking for more formal properties, this time.

      • Sorry mate, he was left. Right?

      • Steven Mosher


        Sorry about the quotes. Let me tell you how to parse them. It’s not that hard.

        When I write that people have “publications” I want you to understand that this term can mean many things and I dont want you to try to
        weasle out of things by playing games with the terms. I could provide an exhaustive list of everything one might consider to be a “publication”

        The nesting doesnt bother me. So, you have the questions.

        My sense is this. The decision about what is a debate and what is mere disagreement or gainsaying isn’t something that you can determine
        in any objective manner. In fact I think that by trying to present “the debate” you really will just be recapitulating your own personal views.

        Question: how will you know you have your list of topics done correctly?

      • steven,
        Why not form a committee just to make sure. It’s for the kids.

      • Steven Mosher


        “Is it rooted too?”

        If you look at Davids schema, he definitately has a notion that a tree is rooted. That there is a first question, or first issue, or first statement.

        To every statement, there are, supposedly, 5 types of responses
        questions, answers, objections, replies,..

        If I question your rooting ( typically a question of framing) then the
        debate instantly goes “meta” Smart debaters understand that you
        always question the root when your leaves are weak. In short, go philosophical early and often.

        There should be rule: the first one to mention philosophy loses.
        My experience has been that you can always fight on the philosophy level while you assemble and learn the “real” tree.

        Actually it might be interesting to see the issue tree because you’d see how many skeptics are down dead branches of the argument. They are down lines of the opening where white wins.

        On the other hand, some on the warmist side have pressed openings that are losers:

        1. the change we see is unprecidented ( the failed HS line )
        2. the models can be trusted ( opps the platuea)
        3. Extreme events are becoming extremer ( hurricane nonsense)

        It might actually be interesting to understand what the mainline is
        for climate science

        What is the root statement for climate science?

        1. GHGs are relatively opaque to IR

        Does David want to say that there is an issue tree there?
        If so, then there is an issue tree for Water is wet and everything is “debateable”

        sorry for the scare quotes

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Steven Mosher:

        1. GHGs are relatively opaque to IR

        Does David want to say that there is an issue tree there?

        Of course there is an issue tree there; an issue tree doesn’t require the root be disputed. For example, a “so-what” issue tree could develop from that point. First, there would be branches for things like, “What does ‘relatively opaque’ mean?” Then, it’d move onto, “What does that relative opacity cause?” Depending on the level of detail, you might then see detailed questions about radiative physics, or you might just see, “The planet will warm.” After that, you could then wind up with branches like, “How much?” So forth and so on.

        One could work in the opposite direction, building a tree to detail how we know those are relatively opaque (even going so far as to reach the first principles), but that’s not the only way to build from a point. Issue trees don’t require the starting statement be disputed. In fact, it’s usually best to start with a statement both parties agree to, and have disputes be over the things which branch off that statement.

      • > What is the root statement for climate science?

        Since scientific holism wins, there might not be any root statement.

        In fact, there might not be any statement at all.

        To represent the climate debate in a rooted tree, I suggest “the climate debate” as the root.

        A question could be “What is the climate debate?”

        Another question could be “Is there one climate debate?”

        Another: “what is a debate?”

        Or we just could read this thread.

      • blueice2hotsea

        David Wojick:

        I have answered Steven Mosher’s questions with snippets of issue trees. How did I do?

        A. What is the root statement of climate science?
        B. GHGs are relatively opaque to IR.

        A. Wrong. It’s that some gases are relatively opaque to EMR.
        B. We are scrubbing SO2, not CO2. Effectively, all that matters is GHGs.

        A. Weren’t we talking about the root statement of climate science? I doubt that climate science is as uninterested in the sulfur cycle as you seem to be.
        B. Look. There is no root statement of climate science. It was a rhetorical device.

        – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

        This issue tree is a node of another issue tree which is about attending an awards ceremony.

        A. Water is wet.
        B. Yes, I know. What’s your point?

        A. My point is that I just spent $800 on a new silk dress. It can’t get wet.
        B. So what? The banquet room is in the cruise ship, not in the ocean.

      • Steven Mosher

        News Flash

        willard and moshpit agree

        “Since scientific holism wins, there might not be any root statement.”

        that makes my quinian heart go pitter pat.

        There is always and forever the ability to go meta as the response to any node in an issue tree. Going meta necessarily invokes philosophy.
        And so at the limit invokes the decision of whether to proceed with
        metaphysics first ( why is there something rather than nothing ) or with epistemology first ( what can we know ) or to proceed with neither first and question the concept of a first question.

      • Language is a social art.

      • But you know it’s a conspiracy by the federal government to strip even more taxes out of the public so that they can have even thicker piled carpet in their ivory towered offices.

      • bastards!

      • Michael,
        If you were actually informed on this you would be embarrassed.

      • tell me more about “child suicide bombers”.

        I’m embarrassed that I seem to know far less about it than you.

      • Start here Michael,

        better late than never?

      • Michael,
        This inability of yours to read what people write seems to be a persistent problem. Is it somethign you do deliberately, or is it something you are unable to control/
        Here is my reference to suicide bombing, in full:
        “hunter | May 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Reply
        Look how angry these children look. They have been manipulated and deceived into being the equivalent of child suicide bombers. I wonder what they think of the 10:10 video?”

        Notice that I used a big word, “equivalent” to modify the phrase “child suicide bombers” in refernce tot he manipulation and deceipt being perpetrated on the children that were the subject of the post.. Now a reasonably biright person would know about how extremists ahve used children and mentally challenged youth as suicidal weapons. And a reasonable person would at least take a moment and use that google thing to look into it a bit. But a true believer like you has no need for facts, context, analysis or thinking: you have a quote to parse out and your ignorance to display.
        You are doing an admirable job of displaying your ignoarnce, by the way.
        You are one of our newest trolls, and certainly not a very good troll, but you are fun. Please do continue.

      • andrew adams


        People might be a bit more charitable towards your inappropriate use of words if you were willing to be similarly charitable towards those you criticise. The fact is that arguing equivalence between two particular actions or positions normally means they are directly comparable – in fact I’ve often seen people (unfairly) accused of arguing equivalence when their point is really a kind of “slippery slope” argument or argument ad absurdum. Now I can’t speak for Michael but I doubt that you really think there is no difference between children who want to further a cause through legal action and those who do so by committing mass murder. I also don’t think that the people at 10:10 believe that blowing up children would be an acceptable way to further the cause of combatting AGW. You just didn’t choose your words carefully, they indulged in a ham fisted and misconceived attempt at satire. Of course you know that, but continue to endlessly bring it up anyway, forgive me if I lack sympathy for Michael giving you a hard time over what was a pretty stupid comment.

      • Mr. andrew adams, I am sure that we would be able to agree, that in this day and age waterboarding would be the prefered way to train our children in proper thinking. It is PNS after all.

      • aa,
        Thanks for the advice and comment. I would be less annoyed with the newbie trolls if they were not such a pitiable combination of snark and ignorance. The fact is whoever recruited these children into becoming plaintiffs in yet another faux legal challenge that could have come striaght out of “Climate of Fear” is manipulating those kids into a destructive bit of ignorance. I am against child abuse by anyone, particularly lying extremists whether they are blowing up kids or hiding behind them like cowards in a phonied up legal stunt.

      • Yes hunter.

        Children using the law is “equivalent” to “suicide bombers”.

        Hmmm, I see.

        Are you on a mission from the Heartland Institute? Thy do a similar line in carefully reasoned argument.

      • andrew adams

        Nah, brainwashing them via the public education system is working just fine.

      • andrew adams


        I see no evidence that the young people in question have been manipulated in any improper way. No doubt they have learned in school that the mainstream scientific position is that AGW is real and has potentially dangerous consequences for the future – I would be surprised if that were not the case given that it is the mainstream scientific position. But I doubt they needed particular encouragement to take the action they are taking, as many young people tend to be idealistic and want to take action for causes they believe in.

      • Michael,
        You are not in control of the terms of this discusssion. Your inability to read is not my problem. When I see you personally make statements against the the years of over-the-top false accusations against skeptics, get back with me and we can discuss if my point about manipulation of children to force society to adopt AGW extremism is a problem.

      • Additinally, Michael, it really is your lack of comprehension: The equivalent of a suicide bomber in a legal setting is a party that self-destructs and whose case falls apart. I am aware of no legal equivalent that involves killing in the Court. I was wrong: you are not even a clever troll.

  62. It seems that SRN stands for School Reform News:

    School Reform News: People often equate education they do not agree with to propaganda. What, in your mind, distinguishes education and propaganda?

    David Wojick: I do not use the term propaganda, because it is offensive. I prefer to point out when global warming teaching materials are one-sided. But when these one-sided materials come from the Federal Government, I suppose that propaganda is the correct term. The government should not be involved in scientific debates, much less paying for educational materials that present one side of a major debate as the truth.

    Our emphasis.

    One side. One major debate.

    Go team!

  63. Since Judith has adked how other countries approach this debate, could someone provide a breif glassary for US school terminology, please? i.e. what is K12, “High School”, “Elementary”, etc. A mapping to ages would probably be best.


    • Wow – apologies for the dreadful spelling above ;(

    • K is kindergarten or preschool, so roughly before age 6. Elementary is usually grades 1-6, or roughly ages 6-12. High school is often grades 9 or 10 to 12. In between is middle school. The ranges may vary from place to place. K-12 is the whole precollege range.

      Most states have individual standards for grades 1 thru 6, then for middle and high school, but it varies a lot. When we cataloged concepts by grade and estimated the average grade for each concept we were lmited by the lack of grade specifity in higher grades. Students often have a choice at the higher levels as to when to take what science courses. Who learns what, when is an unstudied subject.


    They want to teach about climate and adverse impacts in grade 3-5. But I do not see anything about CAGW.

    • David,
      This is not really any different than the post WWI era in the US when eugenics indoctrination and popularity was quite high. The saving part of this AGW mania is that public education is teaching nearly nothing in the first place, so they are not going to do much with AGW. After all, public education can barely teach reading and basic math, and is lost on any complex issue. AGW promoters can write all of the curriculum they wish. The delivery system is broken. And of course the reality that their apocalyptic claptrap is wrong ultimately makes their indoctrination pointless, except for those profiting from the promotion.

      • though apparently it’s doing a sterling job churning out “child suicide bombers”….or so suggests hunter.

      • Michael,
        Is English your first language? Do you have reading comprehension issues?
        I posted a nice link showing how some AGW extremists look at communicating the need to agree with their belief, by the way.
        Few trolls seem able to ever actually engage on topics. You are very much a good example of this.

      • Comprehenion is fine.

        You equated children following avilable legl avenus to addres their concerns, with mass murderers.

        That was your point and you commncated it effectively.

        Of course, such stupendously disgusting vilification of a group of childen (who are real ive people and have been piblicly identified ) puts you far far beyond the pale of the 10:10 video people, whom you apparently hold in very low regard.

        This verges on wicked.

      • Michael,
        The kdis put themseves in the public eye. Are you now so illiterate as to think I am calllnig for violence?
        Take a look at this book, personally supported dr. hansen, and get back with me on what is evil.
        It is interesting how true believers like you get the vapors so easily, even if you have to fabricate a reason for it.
        As tot he children and their goals, greens who would cheer these kdis on if old enough were cheering for DT bans, have supported using food for fuel, and are OK with wrecking the environment with windmills and large solar arrays.
        Your outrage is faux, as are your arguments.

      • Vilifying children with such extreme rhetroic is low, even for you.

        Anyone with a shred of moral integrity would recognise that a line was crossed.

      • When I was 18 years old I would have felt insulted by being referred to as a ‘child’.
        And, oh yeah, I knew everything there is to know about everything – nobody had any business telling me anything.

      • The oldest of the group is 17.

        Silence from Team Skeptic about Hunter’s appalling and cowardly conduct.

      • Team Denizens, Michael.

        Go team!

      • High five!

      • Michael,
        Cowardly? Vilify?
        The article was written with their cooperation, certainly at the suggestion of their handlers. In what way have I vilified them?
        I vilify those who manipulated them into believing the world is ending due to CO2 and that they should go into court and force the issue. They are being abused by AGW fanatics, probably as stupid as you.
        Pointing out that children are being abused is vilification only in the mind of someone who has no idea what they are reading.
        You are a true blue idiot.

      • They’re children.

        What kind of moral cretin are you to you to be equating school children exercising their civil rigths with “suicide bombers”??

        Using this kind of extreme rhetoric and directing it towards an identifeid child is astoundingly stupid and dangerous. And you continue to defend it.

        You make the 10:10 video people look like saints. Heck, this is even worse than Heartlands billboard. Much worse.

        What’s wrong with you?

      • Michael, that’s not what hunter said. You read it wrong. Either put your hand up to it, or shut up!

      • Peter,
        Michael’s inability to read, whether willful or uncontrollable, is probably linked to the reasons he is such an unorigianl cmbination of troll and true believer.

      • “Peter317 | May 15, 2012 at 1:41 pm |

        Michael, that’s not what hunter said. You read it wrong”

        Peter, here it is again.

        “They have been manipulated and deceived into being the equivalent of child suicide bombers” – hunter.

        What’s to get wrong?

      • Michael, you may look but you don’t see.
        Are you comfortable about people who propagandise youngsters into doing their dirty work for them?
        Because that’s the point of hunter’s comment.

      • hunter’s point was pure speculation, dressed up in the most vile rhetoric one could imagine.

        Not even Heartland would touch this.

      • Oh do get over yourself.

      • You’re right, labelling school children as “suicide bombers” is just so nothing.

      • David Wojick

        I disagree Hunter. Science education is doing very well in this country, considering there are only 60 to 100 hours of K-12 scied a year in most schools.

        Moreover, my point was that CAGW is not part of the proposed new curriculum at the elementary level. It is something that individual teachers are adding, and polls show that skeptics are calling them out on it. This is good news.

      • David Wojick

        Science education is doing very well in this country


        A current TV commercial tells us the USA has slipped to 27th place worldwide in science education.

        You may be right that CAGW is not officially “part of the proposed new curriculum”, but it appears to me that instead of teaching kids the basics and how to be skeptical in the context of scientific inquiry, they are being fed socio-political propaganda on climate change, sustainability and environmentalism disguised as “science”.

        I can hardly believe that this is simply the result of a few “rogue teachers” that are not sticking with the core curriculum.


      • David Wojick

        Here is the link to an article citing the finding of The National Academies on science education in the USA, to which I referred:


      • David

        The report actually says 48th place (rather than 27th):

        U.S. mathematics and science K-12 education ranks 48th worldwide


  65. The central issue: “When/Why did science cease being a tool to advance mankind and become a tool to control and enslave mankind with untruths like AGW, global warming, and oscillating neutrinos?”

    How have important documents, intended to benefit mankind, like the 1776 US Declaration of Independence and the 1945 United Nations Charter, evolve into opposing visions of truth (reality)?

    1976 US Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

    1945 Preamble to United Nations Charter: “WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, AND FOR THESE ENDS to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples, HAVE RESOLVED TO COMBINE OUR EFFORTS TO ACCOMPLISH THESE AIMS.”

    Wise leaders would find ways to protect and implement the objectives of both documents. Unwise leaders might try to implement the objectives by deception.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  66. Correction:
    1976 US Declaration of Independence should be
    1776 US Declaration of Independence

  67. We can all appreciate the nuances of the various mathematical approaches to problem-solving. We should not, however, deceive ourselves or others when it comes to applying these approaches to believing public schoolteachers can model the Earth’s climate.

    We can only legitimately undertake the task of modeling the Earth’s climate only if can first concede admit that our understanding of anything that is a holistic process will always be very limited. Only those with such candor also will know that our ability to effectively model climate is limited.

    Divining reality from the shadows on the walls of Plato’s prison cave may be as close humanity will ever come: the shifting crusts and volcanic eruptions, oscillations of solar activity on multi-Decadal to Centennial and Millennial time scales with variations in gamma radiation, the roles of the big planets, Saturn and Jupiter, a changing North Pole and variations in the magnetosphere all are but a part of a holistic process that is the Earth’s climate.

    Poll – You Do Not Need a Weatherman to Predict Climate

  68. David Wojick

    By the way, the PBS transcript is here:

    Note that they more or less begin with a parent saying this: “RENEE DOMICO: My biggest concern is that my kids are going to come home from high school and say: The world is warming up. We’re too industrialized. We drive too many cars. We have too many people. And human nature is polluting the world.”

    Her concern is legitimate to say the least, but they just blow her off and go on to discuss the supposed problem that too many people agree with her, making teaching the scare a tad hard. Taken in perspective it is very funny.

    • But look, she doesn’t seem to care whether it’s true or not, she just doesn’t want it taught! Don’t teach them about world war II, I don’t want my kid to know something that bad happened!

    • Some but not me might say that disdain for her work is not persuasive.

    • I really like Cheryl Manning’s way of explaining that is a scientific theory is a survivor:

      In the popular culture, the word theory is a weak concept. It’s an idea. In scientific culture, the word theory is equivalent to the word survivor.

      It is the idea that best explains a phenomenon and has had lines and lines of evidence supporting it, and it has been tested and tested and tested, and it survived all those tests, whereas a theory in popular culture could just fall under the bus and disappear.

      The Denizens themselves show the importance of teaching to our kids that science proceeds by inferring to the best explanation.

    • Another interesting bit:

      NARRATOR: They like to scare you, tell you the Earth is on fire.

      HARI SREENIVASAN: A well-known conservative think tank, the Heartland Institute, doesn’t trust the science behind the upcoming standards. Instead, they will try to influence teachers directly. The institute has announced they will create their own K-12 climate science curriculum. Heartland sees global warming has been a net positive.

      James Taylor is a senior fellow at heartland.

      JAMES TAYLOR, Heartland Institute: We have seen that soil moisture globally has improved. We have seen that droughts have become less frequent and less severe. We have seen expansion of forests. We’ve seen crop production reach record levels.

      We’ve seen tornadoes and hurricanes — to the extent that we can ascribe trends, we’ve seen that they have become less frequent and less severe. Across the board, we’ve seen that warmer climate, warmer temperatures have always benefited humans, and continue to do so.

      Warmth that warms our hearts, lands.

      Who is NARRATOR?

    • And so it seems I’ve just created a tree.

      Am I debating?

      • Steven Mosher

        I think we need a tree about trees or a tree about debates. or a debate about trees.

      • What we need is the issue tree of the basic debate. I have never been able to sell that project because neither side wants to pay to have the other sides arguments clearly articulated.

      • Peter Lang

        “Issue tree of the basic debate”

        Great idea.

        Can you point to a good example so I can see what you mean?

        Can you also suggest/explain how it could be set up on WordPress threads like “Climate etc.”

      • I cannot show you a good example, Peter. I discovered the issue tree in 1973 and pretty much moved on a decade later, so none are in electronic form, except a few little ones. The last big one I did was a strategic plan for the Naval Research Lab in 1990 and even then it was on paper.

        It should be simple on WordPress, provided there are enough nesting levels. How many levels can one have? It would take at least ten. The problem is that issue trees are labor intensive, like engineering drawings or algebra word problems, because precision is important. It is basically a form of mathematical logic, so not simple.

      • Steven Mosher

        David, If you want to do it right ( I used to draw these as a kid in the late 60s) you basically want to create a huge virtual canvas of the entire tree and then you can pan/zoom etc on the section you need.

        If I wasnt so busy I’d code it up for you. The approach isnt that unique. Its basically an opening book for debate. Or, planning what to say when your parents catch you doing something wrong.

      • Peter Lang

        David Wojick and Steven Mosher,

        Thank you. Can you give me a link to something that shows what and Issue Tree looks like?

        I wonder if Mind Map would work?

        It is a very simple tool to use. It is used in many organisations, such as in the Defence Materiel Organisation, in the early stages of project planning, e.g. Work Breakdown Structure, schedule and cost. Its also used bu PhD students to develop and plan their research program. It can integrate with MS Project, Excel etc. There are also much more sophisticated tools for risk trees. I realise a tool is just a tool, so I am interested, as a first step, to understand what you envisage as an issue tree? How would it work? Can you explain for me? Do you have a web site where you could post a reply so it does no get lost in the other discussions on this thread?

      • Steven, you have no vague idea what I am talking about. Have you ever even seen an issue tree? Where?

      • Steven Mosher

        yes david I’ve seen your “issue” trees. Like I said Its exactly like the trees I used to draw as a kid preparing for debate. Later the approach was useful in many types of analysis, including operational analysis. By that point I was able to build a program to allow anyone to build a tree at their computer, plot the entire thing out and put it up on the wall.
        Its pretty basic. It would be harder if it involved recursion or cycles, but it doesnt so its brain dead easy

      • Issue trees these days are generally just regarded as a subtype of mind maps.

        The world’s full of freeware mindmap tools.

        In a pinch, you can create them at .. with bells and whistles.

      • Sure Peter, sorry but I tend to think that people have been here forever.
        Here is my little textbook:

        Warning, the one sentence exercises take hours to complete. This is an engineering textbook. I wrote it in 1975 because I used to teach my CMU students to do issue trees instead of essays. It turns out that what we say and write are complex systems of thought, not mere lists of sentences.

        Mind maps have nothing to do with this. Everything we write and say has an underlying issue tree structure, and always has had. It is a property of language.

        Here is a brief history, circa 1980:

      • David Wojick

        Thank you for the link to your textbook. It’ll take me a while to digest this.

        Just looking at the diagram on the front cover, it does look as if the Mindmap technique would work. Did you look at the link I provided above to see if it might work?:

        If you say it wouldn’t work, can you please say why. I recognise it is just a tool, and does not avoid the hard work, the real work. But it may help because it is so easy to use as a tool to restructure and rearrange.

      • Glad to know, Stephen. Could we then have a brain dead easy issue tree of the top 200 points of the clmate debate? Or even of your two paragraph response? How about an issue tree of this comment? Anything will do.

        You have no idea what I am talking about, do you? It is the same with climate science.

      • Peter, it is entirely possible that mindmaps might work to draw an issue tree. Any diagraming software might work. But issue trees need not be drawn as graphs.

        Issue trees are not about diagramming; they are about the structure of expressed thought. How sentences fit together to make systems of thought. Issue trees are like algebra, which is not about symbols, but about relational structures. Our sentences are precisely related. Mindmaps has no hint of this, but it might be able to draw it. I have no idea one way or the other. We could try it.

      • Steven Mosher


        You ask if I have read your work. yes, some time ago and then again before I commented.

        Instead of responding to that, you repeat the claim that I dont know what I am talking about. That statement could be

        1. false
        2. true
        3. undecideable

        Perhaps I do know what Im talking about because I read your paper and you just want to divert attention from your stupid question ( did I read your work.. yes I did. Perhaps I do know what Im talking about but Ive framed it in way you dont like. Perhaps youve misunderstood my understanding.
        Maybe I dont know what Im talking about and its your fault because your paper is written poorly or confusing. And perhaps its undecideable whether I know what I am talking about.

        In the end we have a failure to communicate. Your signs are not controlling my behavior. and my signs are not controlling your behavior.

      • Steven Mosher

        No. David. before we apply a methodology we need to understand if it works. So we would need an engineering level exposition of it.
        technical specs as willard suggests. So before we get to the climate issue, we have the issue of issue trees.

        As you note, the concept of an issue tree hasnt settled anything

      • “The Giant Redwood. The Larch. The Fir! The mighty Scots Pine! The lofty flowering Cherry! The plucky little Apsen! The limping Roo tree of Nigeria. The towering Wattle of Aldershot! The Maidenhead Weeping Water Plant! The naughty Leicestershire Flashing Oak! The flatulent Elm of West Ruislip! The Quercus Maximus Bamber Gascoigni! The Epigillus! The Barter Hughius Greenus…”

        Monty Python

      • Whatever type of tree it is, we know it will be full of nuts.

      • Louise I’m sad to have to tell you that due to climate change The Maidehead Weeping Water plant has had to move furter north and is now the High Wycombe Weeping Water Plant. Scientists say it will become the
        Stow on the Wold Weeping Water Plant by the end of the decade. Be brave!

      • Willard, regarding “Am I debating?” It is only debating if the issue tree includes objections and replies, preferably in significant proportion compared to the expository material. One can actually measure the degree of debate.

        The fun thing about issue trees is that there are many ways to measure the reasoning. For example, how much is allocated to the replies to different questions or objections. It is a new science of reasoning.

      • David Wojick,

        > It is only debating if the issue tree includes objections and replies, preferably in significant proportion compared to the expository material

        I can’t be debating because debates are not one-player games.

        > I can’t be debating because I’m alone.

        Before advertizing a new science of reasoning, you should look at what’s already being done, for instance:

        Please beware what you claim on the Internet. The Internet converges toward the only eternity we will ever know.

      • Willard, if you write something that presents both sides then it has the logical form of a debate. Both sides speak, as it were.

        I discovered how our sentences fit together, or technically how our propositions fit together, on October 14, 1973. Your links do not address this issue. So far as I know no one has replicated my discovery, but it is certainly possible.

      • David is the first person in the world to discover “how our sentences fit together”!?

        I’m sure linguists will be surprised to hear this.

      • Michael, others analyze sentences as well. What I discovered is one new specific form, the issue tree.

      • David Wojick,

        What are the formal properties of issue trees, again?

      • David Wojick,

        You claim to have discovered how sentences or propositions fit together on October 14, 1973. But I’m not sure that one can replace “sentences” with “propositions” and preserve the same kind of fit.

        For instance, propositions have truth values. I wonder if issues are truth-functional in issue analysis. While trying to answer my question, I stumbled upon this other kind of issue logic:

        In any case, I’ll read that textbook:

        I’m sure the logicians among us will appreciate the breadth of your investigations.

        Thank you for your time,


      • David Wojick,

        > It is only debating if the issue tree includes objections and replies, preferably in significant proportion compared to the expository material

        I can’t be debating because debates are not one-player games.

        > It is a new science of reasoning.

        Before advertizing a new science of reasoning, you should look at what’s already being done, for instance:

        Please beware what you claim on the Internet. The Internet converges toward the only eternity we will ever know.

        Nonetheless, good luck with your new science.

      • Steven Mosher

        It rather reminded me of the tropes of classic skepticism.

      • David Wojick

        Do you have a web site where I can ask you questions about Issue Trees?

      • Steven Mosher | May 15, 2012 at 2:28 ”Complaining about ”Skeptics”

        Mosher, if it wasn’t for the ”CON ARTISTS” like you / WebHub, Rabbet; telling lies – wouldn’t be any Skeptics. For 5 months me visiting this website, you didn’t succeed to con one si