Week in review 5/18/12

by Judith Curry

A few things that caught my eye this past week.

Scott Denning on Changing the Climate Culture

Scott Denning has a thoughtful essay at Yale Climate Media Forum:

A respected climate scientist, in the aftermath of an ‘ugly’ billboard posting campaign, reflects on the merits of … and need for … continued efforts to engage climate ‘skeptics’ in order to seek-out approaches to what he labels ‘one of the great themes of human history in the Third Millennium.’

Denning, a speaker at the last two Heartland Conferences, was ‘shocked and deeply disappointed’ by the billboards.  Denning is not attending next week’s Heartland Conference owing to a schedule conflict.

The new phrenology: how liberal psychopundits understand the conservative brain

For those of you that have been following the republican brain discussion (see here and here), Andrew Ferguson responds in a lengthy essay at the Weekly Standard.  The intro paragraph:

We are entering the age of the psychopundit (we can thank the science writer Will Saletan for this excellent word). Thomas Edsall, for example, is a veteran political reporter widely admired by people who admire political reporters. He has become very excited by social science, as so many widely admired people have. Studies show—as a psychopundit would say—that Edsall is excited because social science has lately become a tool of Democrats who want to reassure themselves that Republicans are heartless and stupid. In embracing Science, the psychopundit believes he is moving from the spongy world of mere opinion to the firmer footing of fact. It is pleasing to him to discover that the two—his opinion and scientific fact—are identical. 

Psychological origin of the narrow view of the IPCC

Kiminori Itoh has an interesting guest post at Pielke Sr’s blog, the whole post is well worth reading.  Some excerpts:

Model “A” where only one cause is connected straightly to only one result is evidently too simple to show characteristics of the variations in the climate system. The problem is, rather, why such a simple diagram came to govern the view about the climate changes.

As a matter of fact, “simplification” is one of key features of the Western mentality according to recent studies of social psychology. Therefore, it is my guess that the very simple picture of  climate change exactly has fit the Western mentality. Thus persons with a typical Western mentality tend to be fond of the simple global warming theory because it is psychologically comfortable for them.

Simplification and idealization are necessities in modern science. Thus, there is no wonder that the Western mentality has been suitable for constructing modern science. However, such simplification and idealization sometimes do not work in the real world because of its complex nature. The climate change issue is, to my feeling, a typical example. The Eastern mentality which tends to view complex objects as they are may be suitable to deal with complicated issues such as environmental problems.

In this sense, recent ideas employed in Pielke et al.  and in The Hartwell paper may be more Eastern rather than Western. In fact, Roger Pielke wrote in an e-mail to me “I agree; I have a more oriental mindset on the climate issue, which, in my view (and I assume yours) is what is really needed. The IPCC, in contrast, is almost an extreme view of a western mindset in that it is so 0ne-dimensional and linear.”

Ahhh, more phrenology: the eastern vs the western brain.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

Dotearth has several interesting posts that originated from responses to Jim Hansen’s recent op-ed.  Marty Hoerling provided an extensive critique, focused on extreme events.  Hoerling is then critiqued by Dan Miller.  Kerry Emanuel then provides the money quote:

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Emanuel’s quote is spot on; it is rare to see ignorance acknowledged in context of the climate debate.   However, I can’t help wondering about the implications of this statement in the context of the precautionary principle.


During the last two week, two important papers have been published regarding glaciers and sea level rise.  See discussion at:

Scafetta’s new paper

Scafetta’s previous paper Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications was criticized on a previous thread for the absence of a physical mechanism.  Scafetta’s latest paper hypothesizes a physical mechanism to explain the celestial connection.

Does the Sun work as a nuclear fusion amplifier of planetary tidal forcing? A proposal for a physical mechanism based on the mass-luminosity relation

Nicola Scafetta

Abstract.  Numerous empirical evidences suggest that planetary tides may influence solar activity. In particular, it has been shown that: (1) the well-known 11-year Schwabe sunspot number cycle is constrained between the spring tidal period of Jupiter and Saturn, ~ 9:93 year, and the tidal orbital period of Jupiter, ~ 11:86 year, and a model based on these cycles can reconstruct solar dynamics at multiple time scales (Scafetta, in press); (2) a measure of the alignment of Venus, Earth and Jupiter reveals quasi 11.07-year cycles that are well correlated to the 11-year Schwabe solar cycles; and (3) there exists a 11.08 year cyclical recurrence in the solar jerk-shock vector, which is induced mostly by Mercury and Venus. However, Newtonian classical physics has failed to explain the phenomenon. Only by means of a significant nuclear fusion amplification of the tidal gravitational potential energy dissipated in the Sun, may planetary tides produce irradiance output oscillations with a sufficient magnitude to influence solar dynamo processes. Here we explain how a first order magnification factor can be roughly calculated using an adaptation of the well-known mass-luminosity relation for main-sequence stars similar to the Sun. This strategy yields a conversion factor between the solar luminosity and the potential gravitational power associated to the mass lost by nuclear fusion: the average estimated amplification factor is A~4:25 x 10**6. We use this magnification factor to evaluate the theoretical luminosity oscillations that planetary tides may potentially stimulate inside the solar core by making its nuclear fusion rate oscillate. By converting the power related to this energy into solar irradiance units at 1 AU we find that the tidal oscillations may be able to theoretically induce an oscillating luminosity increase from 0.05–0.65 W/m2 to 0.25–1.63 W/m2, which is a range compatible with the ACRIM satellite observed total solar irradiance fluctuations. In conclusion, the Sun, by means of its nuclear active core, may be working as a great amplifier of the small planetary tidal energy dissipated in it. The amplified signal should be sufficiently energetic to synchronize solar dynamics with the planetary frequencies and activate internal resonance mechanisms, which then generate and interfere with the solar dynamo cycle to shape solar dynamics, as further explained in Scafetta (in press). A section is devoted to explain how the traditional objections to the planetary theory of solar variation can be rebutted.

The full paper can be found [here].

343 responses to “Week in review 5/18/12

  1. Ah, yes, amplification of the planetary tidal effects. I’m reminded of a van de Graaf generator. And I’m curious why the Maunder Minimum sunspots were sparse, large, and primarily southern hemispheric. Why more in one hemisphere?

    • kim, there’s always more in one hemisphere. This cycle has more in NH.

      • Ignoring basic oservations like this – that are unexplained by the SSM (standard solar model) – is the root of many of our social and economic problems today.

        Why? The Sun is the fountain of energy that sustains human life. That energy is stored temporarily in:

        a.) Vegetation
        b.) Food stuffs
        c.) Water dams
        d.) Fossile fuels, etc.

        Wars, famines, social unrest, and economic upheavals follow when there is disruption in the chain of energy that sustains human life. We face such a situation now.

        Politicians must adopt policies to:

        1. Increase the flow of energy to humans
        2. Decrease the number of humans consuming energy

        Misinformation that politicians received from the US National Academy of Sciences and the UK Royal Society caused them to adopt policies to (1) increase our supply of energy on Earth by building FUSION reactors that operated like hundreds of the best-paid astronomers and physicists told them the Sun and the stars generate energy: FUSION.

        Those plans failed miserably because the Sun, the stars, and the cosmos are powered by FISSION, the source of energy that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, encouraged the establiahment of the UN in October 1945, and convinced guilt-riden world leaders, astronomers and physicists to abruptly change their story about the internal composition of the Sun and other ordinary stars.

        Now politicians instead seek to (2) decrease the number of humans that consume energy by adopting policies to:

        a.) Support euphanasia
        b.) Support homosexual unions
        c.) Oppose early heterosexual marriages
        d.) Oppose religions that encourage childbirths

        Restoring integrity to government science is probably the only viable solution to this problem.

        Why? Energy is required to sustain life.

        That energy is abundantly supplied as the universe expands by converting mass (m) into energy (E), as Einstein explained in 1905: E = mc2.

        Astronomical observations and nuclear rest mass data show that the cosmos is fragmenting and neutron repulsion in the cores of galaxies, stars and atoms is the source of energy that causes FISSION and fragmentation [“Neutron repulsion,” Apeiron 19, 123-150 (April 2012)].

        That is also the source of energy that sustains life. Society faces disaster if leaders of the scientific community continues to give false information to political leaders who must find ways to

        a.) Increase our supply of energy, or
        b.) Decrease the number of humans

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel

      • Society faces almost certain disaster if the scientic community continues to ignore observations like these that tell them the standard solar model is wrong.

    • Scafetta is headed in the right direction. Tidal effects influence the flow and the nature of energy flowing from the Sun. Leaders of the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society, and the United Nations probably know the Sun controls Earth’s climate, as does anyone else who grasps Earth’s place in the stream of energy (heat, light, particles and fields) that spews from a pulsar 1 AU away and bathes. Earth on its journey to become part of interstellar space.

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

      • At the birth of the solar system, energy flowing from the pulsar included circular polarized light that separated d- from l-forms of amino acids in meteorites like Murchison. Life continues to replicate separated forms of chiral molecules, but the initial separation occurred before life started.

      • Never ceases to amuse me how those would would dismiss CO2s role in climate as an “insignificant trace gas*” lap up “insignificant” alternatives such as tidal forces or cosmic rays.

        *except when it comes to “plant food”

      • You know, sometimes your comments border on being reasonable, but then you go and spoil it all

      • Wind farms to be dismissed as a ‘significant’ waste of money.


        Rates are raised to make up the indifference.

      • ferd berple

        The effects of a force greatly depending on how it is applied. For example, troops marching in step on a bridge.

        Like troops marching in step, the cyclical orbits of the planets have a much greater effect than that calculated by gravity. Nowhere is this more obvious that the twice daily tides of earth’s ocean’s, that are much greater than what is predicted by gravity alone.

        In point of fact, all attempts to calculate earth’s tides from first principle’s as is done with climate models fails hopelessly to calculate the tides with any degree of accuracy. The same problem occurs when predicting the future in any branch of science, economics, etc.

        Computational complexity makes the future unpredictable except in very trivial circumstances. When you are dealing with non-trivial systems even very small errors in the inputs can generate huge errors in the outputs, and these errors are cumulative. They do not average out over time the way that heads and tails average out on a coin.

        For complex systems, the only time the future is predictable with any degree of skill is in the case of cyclical systems, where through observation we have learned that when the circumstances repeat, so the results will repeat.

        Thus the Farmer’s Almanac routinely outperforms the climate models over time.

  2. There is way too much psycholgy creeping int the climate discussion. You just need to think about the real goal of any burocracy and most government bodies, they want to be gate keepers particularly of must have items in short supply. The IPCC is nothing more than an excuse to regulate energy supply but done on the back end of it’s use. It is nothing more than an attempt by the UN to put itself up as the global energy gatekeeper. If the UN is unsuccesful with the IPCC it will try something else like the money supply or water or biodiversity. This is all politics and the IPCC is just a tool to a political end.

  3. “ugly billboard campaign”?


    THIS is ugly (and typical of many AGW cult members) .

    “This is Finnish writer Pentti Linkola — a man who demands that the human population reduce its size to around 500 million and abandon modern technology and the pursuit of economic growth — in his own words.

    He likens Earth today to an overflowing lifeboat:

    “What to do, when a ship carrying a hundred passengers suddenly capsizes and there is only one lifeboat? When the lifeboat is full, those who hate life will try to load it with more people and sink the lot. Those who love and respect life will take the ship’s axe and sever the extra hands that cling to the sides.”

    He sees America as the root of the problem:

    “The United States symbolises the worst ideologies in the world: growth and freedom.”

    He unapologetically advocates bloodthirsty dictatorship:

    “Any dictatorship would be better than modern democracy.”


  4. Re: psychology. Perhaps the AGW believers are planning to use electro-convulsive therapy on sceptics until they are cured.

    • Waterboarding does not make the deadly gas CO2 though. Leave it to the green meanie. Think first.

    • cui, I know you’re half kidding, but only half. They are in fact already trying to pathologize AGW skepticism. Can treatment be all that far behind?

    • certain stupidity can’t be cured, only lightly mocked.

      • lolwot,
        And the self mockery AGW true believers provide is the best of all.

      • lolwot – that’s wrong, education is the cure.

        Wilful stupidity, as per deniers, well that’s another matter entirely……….

  5. “one of the great themes of human history in the Third Millennium”

    Sure. Great Theme.

    “If the entire Internet were a country, it would be the 5th largest consumer of electricity globally, moaned Claudia Sprinz, super-nag of Greenpeace Austria. And that figure, she claims, will triple by the year 2020. A huge consumption of resources is taking place out of pure boredom, Sprinz says.

    Youtube videos of cats, wondering aimlessly through the web or searching for worthless information that is forgotten three minutes later.

    This behavior is destroying the environment, she frets.

    Sprinz says that people should go out for a walk in the park if they’re bored.

    Just a single search for Chuck Norris causes as much CO2 as a car travelling 7.5 cm.”


    Is anyone on the AGW side sane?

    • People like Claudia Sprinz are what I would term an asset in place.

      It’s probably not a view shared by many people on the climate realist side, but I consider such people to be real assets in our struggle. The number of ordinary people they can totally alienate with their wild claims is extraordinary, not to mention the rather guilty pleasure I take in watching their own supporter’s sharp intake of breath, every time one of them gets anywhere near a public podium. You can nearly read their thoughts – “Oh God, what are they going to say now.” I think of them as liabilities best left in place, to wreak the damage, which both their egos and personalities will inevitably compel them to do.



  6. Hoerling tried to twist what Hansen said into something he didn’t, and then prove it was wrong. Miller put him straight in a very good response. This relates to two topics. Once is increasing drought in the US projections. Hoerling says in terms of just rainfall, he doesn’t see increasing drought when, as Miller points out, actual projections of the drought indices, based on both heat and rainfall and their time distribution show droughts to increase. Hoerling’s other assertion is that Hansen was wrong to say we already see the climate signal because daily weather variation is much bigger than the degree or so of climate warming. Miller makes it clear that Hansen was referring to the probabilities of seasonal anomalies. This is related to Hansen’s loaded dice article where he showed that 3-sigma very-hot seasonal anomalies are now much more likely than the half percent they used to be. The areal coverage of 3-sigma hot events is tens of times larger than expected based on earlier climate, so that now we can say with high confidence that a 3-sigma event is climate-change induced. Examples of large areal coverage at 3-sigma are the Texas drought and Russian heatwave in recent years.

    • “as Miller points out, actual projections of the drought indices, based on both heat and rainfall and their time distribution show droughts to increase.”

      Projections are not actual drought. Failure of reality to match predictions would normally cause someone to rethink their projections. But the AGW cult just tells the same lie over and over again.

    • ” This is related to Hansen’s loaded dice article where he showed that 3-sigma very-hot seasonal anomalies are now much more likely than the half percent they used to be. ”

      And yet, the NOAA’s own data (which runs notoriously hot) shows 21 of the continental US states have a cooling trend from 1921.

      Stop telling the same whoppers over and over again JimD.


      • Getting cooler, yes, tell that to Texas about 2011.

      • 2011 in Texas was .3F colder than 1921 according to the NOAA.

        Feel free to check:


        In order, the 10 warmest were:

        1921, 2011, 1998, 1933, 2006, 1954, 1934, 1927, 1999, 1911

        NOAA runs hot too so I doubt 2011 was even close to 1921.

      • So in whose world is Texas getting cooler? Being the second warmest year in a century seems to prove my point, or did you need 2011 to be a new record to even start paying attention?

      • I’ll remind you what I said: “21 of the continental US states have a cooling trend from 1921”

        The trend from 1895 to 2011 was 0F.

        The trend from 1921 to 2011 was -0.02F / decade.

      • I think everyone recognizes that there are cooling pockets, such as the SE US states. Perhaps the humid environment made them more susceptible to decreased insolation from the post-war pollution increase that came with the oil boom, especially given how close the oil industry is to these states. Did their sunshine intensity go down? You may know, given your screen name.

      • Jim D, the US as a whole is cooling from around 1998 at -0.85 degF / Decade according to the NOAA.

        Feel free to check:


        HADCRUT3 has whole world cooling at -0.00191605 per year from 1998.

        HADCET summer temps are below the 350 year average in 2011.


      • Your graphs are not doing what you want them to. Whether you take January or the whole year you get an increase of 0.12F per decade for the contiguous US. Anyway, congratulations on successfully changing the subject of my original post that was relevant to the thread.

      • “Whether you take January or the whole year you get an increase of 0.12F per decade for the contiguous US.”

        You get cooling from 1998. Climate changes. It is cooling.

        And in many states it never got as warm as the 20s/30s.

        And my topic on point. Hansen can make any prediction he wants (and he works really hard to manipulate the data and cool the past to make the present seem warmer) but reality is different than his apocalyptic predictions.

      • sunshinehours1 | May 19, 2012 at 6:01 pm |

        This is why it’s called the study of Statistics and Probability, not the study of Trends and Certainty.

        The Yule-Simpson paradox, outliers, nonlinearities, uncertainty; these mock attempts to put the whole world into a single box all at once. Any joker can http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/the-texas-sharpshooter.

        And look, you pick Texas as your cherry. How cute.

      • Just to be Clear Bart R….

        Jim D | May 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Reply Getting cooler, yes, tell that to Texas about 2011.
        It was Jim D who introduced Texas into this…

      • Jim Reedy | May 21, 2012 at 11:01 pm |

        True, Jim D is noted for his good taste. However, the cherry-picking was all:

        sunshinehours1 | May 19, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Reply

        2011 in Texas was .3F colder than 1921 according to the NOAA.

        Texas is big. A lot of strange stuff happens there. Including Yule-Simpson paradoxes, outliers, and sharpshooting.

      • Hoerling mentioned Texas because Hansen did, which is where this began.

      • Harold H Doiron, PhD

        Sunshine, Thanks for your post and data references. I have been thinking about suggesting to warminst that they try a more accurate way of identifying a global warming problem. Let’s look at the temperature history of each individual reporting station on earth that doesn’t have data corrupted by a heat island effect or other anomaly, and define when that station began to have critical warming problem that requires drastic action. Let’s see how many of such reporting sites they can identify with a crisis problem and let’s see if the residents near those stations agree with them. The global average temperature metric is not a well-posed metric to use for critical decision making, and as we have seen in the past, it is too easily manipulated by unethical scientists trying to fool the rest of us.

      • I’ve read Hansen’s “loaded dice” paper where he considers the 60 years from 1951 to 2010. The key graph shows “normal curves” shifting to the right over the last few decades. One can quibble with his statement that this proves that the “probability” of 3-sigma heat events has increased, but let’s leave that to the statisticians. I’m more concerned with the fact that one will search the paper in vain for any similar analysis of any other period of time. What would the graphs look like for, say, the 60 years ending around 1938? Or any other period of 60 years, but especially one ending in a decade with several extreme heat events? It is after all, more likely for “rare” events to cluster than to spread out uniformly.

        Early in the paper it sounds like Hansen will address these concerns in the Discussion section. But this only contains an argument that the period from 1951 to 1980 should represent “climatology,” i.e., a period of “normal” climate.

        This paper has already been approved for publication, but I don’t know where. Popular Science?

    • This is related to Hansen’s loaded dice article where he showed that 3-sigma very-hot seasonal anomalies are now much more likely than the half percent they used to be

      Which just might begin to hold water if a causal link between a small radiative imbalance and stalled high-pressure systems could be shown – otherwise we’re just playing apples and oranges here.
      And why the qualification of “areal coverage”? Of course, if 3-sigma events increased in number then they would no longer be 3-sigma events. So he needs to throw in meaningless qualifications to make it seem like it means something. Even ignoring that, why are we not seeing a commensurate increase in 2-sigma events, for instance?

      • At a half percent probability per year, the US area covered by 3-sigma events should total less than a fraction of the area of Texas. The area covered here, as Hansen says, was much larger than a half percent and all in one place.

      • No, Hansen’s argument is that there were always stalled high pressure systems, the difference being that they now stall at higher temperatures.

        Your statement about 3 sigma is also wrong in serious ways, because it assumes that the nature of the anomaly distribution does not change. Sigma here is the standard deviation.

      • Hansen’s argument is that 3-sigma events would have a greater “areal coverage” – why say that if he meant something else?
        What evidence do you have that a) the stalls – which are typically tens of degrees above normal – will be at materially higher temperatures, and b) the nature of the anomaly distribution will change? A shift in global average tells you nothing about anything except the shift in global average.

      • Hansen is using observed anomaly distributions. The fact that more area has been subject to hotter anomalies is a function of the warming of the system and is an observation.

        So let us go at this slowly.

        The paper shows that on average local temperature anomalies have increased (gotten hotter)

        The paper shows that the distribution of anomalies has widened and that today the anomaly distribution is skew towards hotter weather

        (and here things were not clear and Eli may have left the wrong impression) The paper shows that if you look at the probability of a hot anomaly that is 3 sigma using the base 1951-1980 period, that has increased drastically.

      • So far the Bible has been very accurate…

        2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

        2Pe 3:11 [Seeing] then [that] all these things shall be dissolved, what manner [of persons] ought ye to be in [all] holy conversation and godliness,

        2Pe 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

        Eli is worried about ‘a hot anomaly with a 3 sigma’. It is hard to deny which of the two events will have more risk associated with it.

      • Tell you what, run Hansen’s piece past any half-decent statistician and see what they think – I don’t think you’ll believe anything I have to say

    • Jim D,
      There was no need to twist Hansen’s bloviation into something to prove it wrong.

    • climate-change induced

      We have been warming since the little ice age. Before that we cooled since the Medieval Warm period. Before that we warmed since the cold period between the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm period. Cool and Warm Periods are normal and natural and necessary. We have been in a well bounded temperature range for ten thousand years and we are still well inside those bounds. Your 3-sigma events are in a 130 year segment of a ten thousand year history. Rather than 3 sigma events, you have a very few data points in this huge history, all well inside the temperature extremes of the last ten thousand years.
      If temperature really gets outside of the bounds of the last ten thousand years, or even looks like it is headed that way, which it does not, then we should consider that we might have a problem.

      There is no real data that shows we have a problem!
      Only model output from Climate Alarmists show a problem.

      • We are getting very close to highs of the last 10,000 years.

      • Trust me, you don’t want to get anywhere near the lows

      • … at airports and in UHI bubbles around cities and their thermometers.

      • …and next to heated buildings (in the winter) or AC exhausts (in the summer)…

      • so you are in denying global warming (GW) mode now.

      • BEST is best ignored when you are defending your team.

      • lolwot and michael, you guys never did do logic in school then?

      • Oh please, lolwot, the Hockey Stick clearly shows the temperature higher now than in the last thousand years. And there wasn’t any AnthroCO2 earlier than that. So how could temperature have been warmer in the last 10,000 years?

      • Volcanoes, kim?

      • Heh, you make even less sense than usually.

      • kim | May 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm |

        Heh, you make even less sense than usually.

        Come now. You can’t tell me the pretty pictures don’t look to you like a row of volcanoes.

        Just picture some plumes of smoke billowing out of their yellow peaks, and lava flowing down their blue sides..

        Or, conclude that there can be massive temperature changes without human action, but notice that the total change in CO2 level (about 100 ppmv from 180 ppmv-280 ppmv) between low and high in all of the past 800,000 (and likely closer to 20 million) years is lower than the amount of CO2 we’ve added to the natural peak of 280 ppmv to 390+ ppmv in just a quarter millennium.

        See, you can draw your pretty fingerpaintings. Or you can do the math. Your call. No one’s forcing you to grow up.

      • Hmmm, ‘massive temperature change without human action’. My dear, I think you’ve got it. Now let’s do ‘The Rain in Spain’ once more.

      • Bart R | May 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm |

        Massive temperature increase without human action on a millennial scale; massive temperature increase with human action on a multidecadal scale, right at the top of the curve of natural variability.

        I could see if we were at the bottom, or heading to it, burning off a bit of CO2 to avoid glaciation — ill advised though even that might be — but with no indication we were there yet, wasting all the treasure we might have used at that far distant date for quick gratification of the urge to drive stupid and buy useless?

        Venturing so high into the unknown levels of CO2 and temperature the world has not known in 20 million years, that’s just foolhardy.

      • Venturing so high into the unknown levels of CO2 and temperature the world has not known in 20 million years, that’s just foolhardy.

        For some data on this see Berner + Kothavala 2001

        For comparable data on temperature see Scotese 2002

        Over most of Earth’s history, CO2 levels as well as temperatures have been much higher than today.

        In the last 600 million years of Earth’s history only the Carboniferous Period and our present age, the Quaternary Period, have witnessed CO2 levels less than 400 ppm.





      • Manacker you haven’t addressed Bart R’s point.

        Bart R said “Venturing so high into the unknown levels of CO2 and temperature the world has not known in 20 million years”

        You didn’t do a think to refute that.

        The last 20 million years.

        Not the last 600 million.

      • lolwot

        Over most of Earth’s history, CO2 levels as well as temperatures have been much higher than today.

      • “The last 20 million years.”

        How old is our species? Do you know that?

      • “How old is our species? Do you know that?”

        Yes, lolwot, this shows the absolute lack of logic and reason of the typical skeptic. It doesn’t matter if the argument holds any rigor, just so that the counter-argument exists and has some faint hint of plausibility. That is close enough for faux bullet-point facts, and thus promoting the standard skeptical rhetorical debate.

        The other approach is to pitch some insane counter-theory. The quasi-plausible contrarian is too clever to go that route, as slippery FUD takes more effort to debunk than a crackpot theory.

      • It is amusing that, by turns, the deniers dismiss the relevancy or accuracy of the paleoclimate record, then appeal to it.

      • Michael, how do you deal with what happend just 2000 years ago?
        Who cares about the Paleo?:o)

  7. “Ugly billboard campaign.” Oh the hypocrisy. Give me a break. And yet it was HI’s own goal that led to this. Deeply disappointing that they could see this coming *before* what they conducted what they’re now calling an “experiment.”

    Why can’t people just say, you know what, I was wrong. And I’m sorry. How hard is that?

  8. Sorry, should read “couldn’t see this coming.”

    I was wrong. And I’m sorry.


  9. Did the 10:10 people ever say that? Serious question.

    Did they ever catch hell for their ugly campaign (well, really, beyond ugly) outside the bounds of climate skeptic blogs? Serious question.

    Is there a complete double standared? Serious question.

    • Kent Draper

      Why no answer to these questions?????? The quiet is deafening…….

    • ignorance is bliss.

    • andrew adams

      FWIW, the answer to both those questions is yes.

      A question for you. Do you think that the “No Pressure” video was

      a) A literal call for children, and indeed anyone else who does not believe in AGW, to be blown up (or at least a claim that they deserve to be).

      b) An appallingly bone-headed attempt at satire.

      • And don’t forget, on recent threads we’ve had ‘skeptics’ equate schoolchildren to “suicide bombers” and claiming that teaching AGW in schools is worse than peadophila – to near total silence.

  10. I would like to thank Judith for the comment. Actually the latest paper complement a set of papers that I published of this topic since 2010.

    In particular it is coupled to Scafetta [2012c] that explain how to reconstruct most observed climatic and solar variability throughout the Holocene including the last century.

    Closely related papers:
    (also from http://www.duke.edu/~ns2002/ )

    Scafetta N., 2012d. Does the Sun work as a nuclear fusion amplifier of
    planetary tidal forcing? A proposal for a physical mechanism based on the mass-luminosity relation. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial
    Physics 81–82, 27–40.

    Scafetta N., 2012c. Multi-scale harmonic model for solar and climate cyclical variation throughout the Holocene based on Jupiter–Saturn tidal frequencies plus the 11-year solar dynamo cycle. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 80, 296–311.

    Scafetta N., 2012b. Testing an astronomically based decadal-scale empirical harmonic climate model versus the IPCC (2007) general circulation climate models. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 80, 124–137.

    Scafetta N., 2012a. A shared frequency set between the historical
    mid-latitude aurora records and the global surface temperature.
    Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 74, 145-163.

    Scafetta N., 2010. Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate
    oscillations and its implications Original Research Article
    Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 72, 951-970.

    Scafetta N., 2009. Empirical analysis of the solar contribution to global
    mean air surface temperature change Original Research Article
    Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 71, 1916-1923.

    • It’s absolutely fascinating stuff Dr Scafetta. I hope the denizens here pick it up and kick it around. Have you thought about writing a book describing your theories in more layman’s terms? And how far do you think you are from a complete falsifiable theory?

    • In your consideration of nuclear fusion amplification by planetary tidal forcing, did you consider that fusion of H into He generates only ~35% of solar luminosity?

      The other ~65% is produced by neutron emission from the pulsar (~60%) and neutron-decay to H (~5%).

      Details are published in “neutron repulsion,” Apeiron 19, 123-150 (April 2012)

    • Nicola

      What do you think of my empirical model below?


      (same conclusion as yours!)

    • Learn some nuclear physics

  11. Scott Denning, in his essay on the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media said:

    “They’re not evil. They care deeply about their children’s and grand children’s’ futures, and genuinely want to do what’s right.”


    He was talking about skeptics, but this same thing can be said for James Hansen and host of other climate scientists concerned about the issue of anthropogenic climate change. Both sides truly want to do what’s right and care about the future. Too bad Scott can’t make it to this year’s Heartland conference, as his voice for the other side would be a valuable counter balance.

    • The issue is not that skeptics “genuinely want to do what’s right”.

      The issue is that AGW cult members want to destroy the economics (and power grid) of the western world for microscopic changes in temperature … and you’ve doubled down even after it started to cool in 1998!

      We want you and the thieves and idiots and liars running the AGW movement to stop spending trillions on windmills that produce .5% of the power on a normal day just so you can proclaim you “Care About The Children”.

      Passing on a multi-trillion dollar debt to the children really means you HATE THEM!

    • R Gates

      Well said


    • R.Gates,
      You are one of the few believers who is willing to grant some level of goodwill to skeptics. Why do you what so few others seem to be willing to do?

      • I am close friends with people on both sides and know both the passion and logic behind their positions. Besides, I’d admire real skepticism, as it is the basis for greater and deeper understanding. At my core I’m a skeptic (but simply no longer about anthropogenic climate change).

        I’m quite grateful that Einstein was skeptical as to whether Newton had the complete picture of gravity, and someday someone will figure out what dark energy really is and add to what Einstein gave us. Skepticism drives our knowledge forward!

      • R gates

        It’s a great shame that there is often dislike and mistrust between what often comes to feel like two opposing forces. We can see it expressed forcefully even on this site which is relatively moderate. The trouble is that sceptics are often treated as idiots and whilst we have our share of flat earthers with extreme views many of us are perfectly rational but very under resourced which causes frustrations

        I was at Exeter cathedral this week searching their records for 13th and 14th century climate references at my own expense. Philip jones gets a 7 million euro grant for similar investigations where he seeks out warm biases in historic temperature records

      • R. Gates – Some cosmologists believe (and I tend in my amateurish way to agree with them) that ‘dark energy’ is a manufactured concept based on a lack of current understanding of the real quantum nature of space-time.

        But try saying that out loud and you might get labelled a ‘denier’. :-)

      • I think that is on the right track. Even efforts like this:


        Might prove most fruitful. I think we’ll have dark energy figured out in 5 years tops…

      • R. Gates, I just checked my calendar and they might be right.

  12. James Hansen:

    Some scientists may be able to spend their time blogging and e-mailing without a significant impact on their scientific productivity — I’m not one of them

    But he can afford to spend a lot of time in handcuffs, or otherwise rabble-rousing

    • Hansen spends his time very lucratively. He has built a significant private fortune while on the public payroll.

    • Hansen see’s his “rabble rousing” as doing what he can to give his grandchildren a better future. He earnestly and sincerely believes in the potential for CAGW. Whether he is right or wrong, it is important to understand the sincerity of his actions. It is hard to see your “enemy” as fully of honest human passion, the same as yours. Better to see them as dishonest and deceitful. Such a view of the opposition makes for less cognitive dissonance. Just as when carpet bombing a town, it is easier to count the noncombat deaths as “co-lateral casualties”, rather than dead babies.

      • I’m sure he’s sincere in his beliefs, just as fighters on both sides of any armed conflict believe earnestly, sincerely and passionately in their cause – only one side can be right though.
        As for his grandchildren, well I don’t think he’s doing my grandchildren any favours.

      • Peter317 | May 19, 2012 at 5:51 pm |

        Oh? Are your grandchildren heavily-invested in the fossil fuel industry?

      • Yes. They someday hope to be able to afford to heat their own homes. And hope to be able to afford electricity. During the coming solar minimum.

      • For me it’s already come down to a choice between heating my home and eating. So I just wrap up as warmly as I can.
        And I’m not joking!

      • Sun said:

        “During the coming solar minimum.”

        What an alarmist doomer.

      • My grandchildren are heavily indebted to the fossil fuel industry.

      • “Summary

        Libby and Pandolfi provided timely warning of the current cooling more than thirty years ago, through the proper use of tree ring data. Given the enormous societal and financial consequences of that cooling, it would be good application of climate research funds to have a number of groups replicate and update the Libby and Pandolfi work.”


      • “What an alarmist doomer.”

        I hope I’m wrong, but the signs are not looking good for the next 40 – 50 years.

        ” the smallest sunspot cycle in about 100 years”


        And I’m quite sure this is real data, not Hansen’d enhanced cool the past / warm the present data.

        The precautionary principal tells us we must spend vast quantities of money on the problem.

      • @@ sunssunshinehours1 | May 21, 2012 at 10:32 am said: the smallest sunspot cycle in about 100 years”

        sunssunshinehours1, if you can predict by your crystal ball; the number and size of the ”sunspots for the next 100y” – can you tell us: which horse will win the Kentucky Derby in 2100? Or at least the winners for the next 3-4 years?!?

        On the mature side: ”the Desperado who ”PREDICTED” the sunspots for the next 100y, did it for this reason: He / she realized that; too many skeptical people are following the temp data = not as easy to manipulate the future data – therefore worrying that many fake skeptics will realize that overall the GLOBAL temp is same/ not changing – so the leading Warmist can state: CO2 didn’t increase the temperature; because of the number of sunspots. To wash their hands by blaming the sun…?! It’s just more bullshine / fodder for the fake Skeptics.

        If the Fakes did know that: sunspots don’t control the climate – there are same sunspots for Sahara and Amazon basin – Desperadoes would have already started spiting the dummy – instead, lucky Fakes are still getting avalanches of bull-dung. Sunspots they are preparing to use as a backdoor exit – if enough Skeptics open their eyes – if not, Swindlers will keep warming their pockets by carbon spoils. See in your zomby crystal ball: if Santa will go to Jenny Craig – so that people can start building narrower chimneys

      • sunshinehours1 | May 19, 2012 at 11:49 pm |

        Ah. I see. You and Peter317 share common grandchildren, then?

        I suppose hoping the governments continue to knuckle under to the so-far successful fossil lobbyists and that the millstone around the necks of taxpayers doesn’t cause to much disruption by that time.. this solar minimum, how is it predicted again? Does someone pluck Scafetta’s piano wires to test the valves of the Sun? Is it deeper than a well? Wider than church doors?

        Will it make multijunction photovoltaics fail? Cause winds and waves to cease? Dampen geothermal energy, and dry up rivers? Make sweaters unravel?

        I think you’re being unduly alarmist.

      • Bart R – your faith in the eternity of solar panels and wind turbines is touching.

        The millions of ‘green jobs’ always promised must be minimum-wage weeders and danger-money turbine repairers.

        Estimates from independent British engineers put the lifetime of a North Sea offshore wind turbine at about 10 years before salt corrosion reclaims the sea for all-conquering Gaia.

      • So you really want to see worldwide economic collapse then, as is already starting to happen in Europe?
        As for your wind and PV’s, it really burns me up having to pay a lot more for my electricity, when it goes straight into the pocket of some wealthy landowner through feed-in tariffs for the derisory amount of power he’s generating with his solar panels or wind turbines.
        And, as for the materials used in PV cells and turbines, why not have a look at the ‘clean’ way in which they’re extracted from the ground in China.
        And don’t even mention tidal power – I live not far from the Severn estuary, which they now want to build a barrage across and so destroy wetlands and associated eco-systems which have existed for thousands of years – all in the name of ‘green’ energy.

      • Why are you so bitter about the vast quantities of cheap shale gas that have been discovered?

        Are you disappointed that some poor people might be able to heat their homes?

        People like aren’t interested in climate or the sun. You want the world to end. You love making apocalyptic projections about global warming based on microscopic changes in temperature because it gives you a chance to proclaim that only de-industrialization will “save us from our evil ways”..

        Just another neo-malthusian luddite pretending to be interested in science.

      • cui bono | May 20, 2012 at 6:34 am |


        Touching? Tch. What does a North Sea windmill have to do with America?

        I’ve seen the estimates of one engineer before. His name is Dr. Girma Orssengo. You have to understand how very unpersuaded I find myself by that one particular cherry of an argument.

        Peter317 | May 20, 2012 at 6:51 am |

        So you really want to see worldwide economic collapse then, as is already starting to happen in Europe?

        Say what?

        I don’t particularly pretend that there won’t be economic changes as the inevitable outcome of most energy from most fossil sources being recognized as now more expensive than some alternatives. Not ready for that? Whose fault is being unprepared at such a late date?

        I don’t particularly pretend that governments are going to get smarter because they bend their knee at a new altar of Industry with their hands out and the expectation of support at election time and after they leave office, as they have for so long with fossil and even now are subsidizing petrochemicals so much to such record levels as to boggle the mind trying to track the money — much of it ironically labeled by Jo Novaites as ‘climate research’ — and expropriation for pipelines that turn out to be more expensive than an equivalent area of PV.

        You don’t want to pay landowners for the use of their land? Boo-hoo. You’re a rent-seeker demanding subsidy for the energy you benefit from. How am I to experience sympathy for someone begging for something for nothing?

        And if you have an environmental issue with your estuary, then I imagine you’ll benefit from research in rehabilitation of wetlands from the lessons being learned in the Gulf of Mexio, and the coast of Alaska’s Exxon Valdez experiment, and the ‘wetland restoration’ done in Alberta after they mine out tar (there’s no ‘wet’ left in that land to speak of, but it is ‘restored’ to something.. landfill). Perhaps you don’t like feeling the victim of the sort of damage your philosophy has forced on so many others for so long.. but wouldn’t it be great if you’d thought about that before you became the victim of your own way of thinking?

        I do feel for your plight; really, but there’s a certain amount of what have you been doing in Wales in all this time? For 50 years the UK has had a building code that required construction to extremely high levels of insulation and draftproofing (that was only enforced if the locals insisted, apparently). Your home older than 50 years, or did you just not think ahead to the future? Your food security issues, given the terrible things the UK has allowed to happen to the sea and to its best farmland.. again, I’m sympathetic but hens do come home to roost.

        You’ve been heading down the wrong road for so long, this insisting on going down it faster as you’re recognizing how bad it already is fairly boggles.

        jim2 | May 20, 2012 at 10:59 am |

        I’m sure your grandchildren will thank you for the wise investment in debt on their behalf you have made.

      • Bart, how dare you presume anything about my life, or philosophy, or anything else for that matter.
        I suggest you go have relations with yourself.

      • Bart R – nice site. Next time climate models are put forward as proof positive of AGW, I shall certainly be referencing http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/begging-the-question

      • And apologise to Peter.

      • sunshinehours1 | May 20, 2012 at 10:15 am |

        Why are you so bitter about the vast quantities of cheap shale gas that have been discovered?


        Shale gas has been known about for generations. We’ve just never been so desperately idiotic before now to seek to exploit it on such a scale. It’s more expensive to do, much more dangerous locally, and on the whole does not stand up well compared to alternatives once you take into account the whole system costs.

        You make up a narrative to comfort yourself about something that previous generations knew better than to do.

        Are you disappointed that some poor people might be able to heat their homes?

        Uh.. when your methods produce higher costs, isn’t that a fine pot-kettling?

        People like aren’t interested in climate or the sun. You want the world to end. You love making apocalyptic projections about global warming based on microscopic changes in temperature because it gives you a chance to proclaim that only de-industrialization will “save us from our evil ways”..

        Just another neo-malthusian luddite pretending to be interested in science.

        Clearly you don’t know me or anything about me. And yet, http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/ad-hominem

        This apocalypticism you paint anyone who disagrees with your very disagreeable arguments, is it because you can’t make a cogent point and must demonize anyone you can’t score an easy win against? Where do I say anything about de-industrialization? I’m for de-fossilization; that single industry has become obsolete and is a burden to the future of industry. And where did I make the least malthusian or luddite point, ever? Do you even know that those words mean?

      • Bart R

        You’re not quite right there.

        While the existence of large shale gas deposits has been inferred in the past, it is only since horizontal drilling techniques have been developed that the environmentally safe exploitation of these reserves on a large scale using tried and tested fracking techniques has been possible.

        With energy prices at the high levels they are today, and with the political problems in the oil producing regions of the Middle East as well as Venezuela, it now makes economic and geopolitical sense to develop these resources.

        And, for those who are concerned about pollution or CO2 emissions, natural gas does not contain all the true pollutants contained in coal, plus results in lower CO2 emissions, as well.

        A win-win situation for all.


      • ” A win-win situation for all.”

        Peak oil did win on this one. There weren’t as many of them, but like the early climate scientists, the early resource analysts made predictions and projections and have been proven correct.

        Natural gas is next and the depletion profiles are much more rapid.

      • “Shale gas has been known about for generations. We’ve just never been so desperately idiotic before now to seek to exploit it on such a scale. It’s more expensive to do, much more dangerous locally, and on the whole does not stand up well compared to alternatives once you take into account the whole system costs.”

        So many lies in one paragraph. You are truly off your rocker.

      • manacker | May 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm |

        Is it opposites day already?

        Environmentally safe? Buh!
        Tried and tested? And failed every time on every relevant measure of health and safety, long term cost and long term remediation.
        How does it make sense to develop petrochemical resources for the next 50 years that cost more than solar does today?
        And it appears you’re unfamiliar with the term “acid gas”; if you think fracking produces such clean options every time.
        Speaking of, 80% of nitrogen fertilizer comes from natural gas. While I’m sure shale gas will help a bit, fuel use projections rarely take into account the 5x to 10x expected rise in demand for nitrogen fertilizer by 2050, leaving us again further behind by then if we just burn the stuff up now.

        Undoubtedly some scale of fracking is going to be needed over the coming decades. Taking it out of the ground now? That’s just plain theft from the future.

      • cui bono | May 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm |

        If someone throws up a link to a model and calls that sufficient proof of AGW on its own, you’re likely right that there’s a fallacy involved.

        However, you’re now partaking in http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/the-fallacy-fallacy if that’s all you do. Good luck with that. :)

    • Peter317 | May 19, 2012 at 2:33 pm |

      Rabble-rousing takes much less time than one imagines. Rabble can take four words out of context and run off roused for months on their own with no further effort. Look at what happened with that “Give peace a chance,” guy? Heck, “Free Tibet” is only two words. And “From my cold dead fingers,” may exceed the quota by one, it’s not like rabble can all count that high.

      Handcuffs, I understand, don’t interfere especially with the function of the brain. Blogging and email, apparently, does. Just look at the downward spiral of that Harry Readme guy.

      • It might not take much time to rouse a rabble, but when it comes to things like flying to England in order to defend said rabble in court, well…

  13. sImon abingdon

    “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. If you’ve looked everywhere it is.
    Which reminds me, while “correlation does not imply causation” is true, so is its inverse “no correlation, no causation”.

    • sImon abingdon | May 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm |

      Sorry, it just isn’t that simple. (Other, apparently, than to the mind of a person born on the wrong side of the International Date Line. Perhaps Scafetta has a planetary alignment explanation for it.)

      While I disparage Scafetta below in part because we seem to have looked everywhere for links between planets and the Sun which could explain his highly contrived and dubious analyses and found no evidence, that doesn’t mean we might someday discover strands of piano wire connect the planets to their stars and as they orbit they pull levers and valves open and shut in the heart of the fusion reactor, or some similar far-fetched sounding explanation in line with Scafetta’s thinking. We haven’t looked for piano wire and valves, have we?

      And while absense of correlation is fairly reliable in simplified experimental settings under carefully controlled laboratory conditions, signal:noise ratios can make correlation impossible to detect, in particular given how really little climate data has been yet (or is even now) being collected. It’s as if we really don’t want to know. We’d rather let spurious appearances of correlation go unchecked and unchallenged, it seems, than do the job right and shut up the false claims of fantacists.

      • simon abingdon

        One has to be reasonable to make progress. Who can doubt the efficacy of induction, underpinning as it does the entire structure of science (apart from mathematics)?

      • Let us take something simple; life outcome and Astrology.
        We know that people born certain star signs do better in exams and on the sports field than others.
        Indeed, in the US Leo’s show a statistical superiority over Virgo’s in most school based settings. It could just be that astrologers are, like climate scientists, on to something.
        Alternately, it could be that there is an advantage starting school aged 5 years and 364 days old compared with 5 years and 1 day old.

      • simon abingdon

        Could be. Or perhaps it’s often just a self-fulfilling prophecy of expectation.

    • “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. This sentiment was most famously used by Carl sagan et al to justify SETI.

      Difficult to know which will turn up first – aliens or a CO2 AGW signature.

  14. I am actually quite an ardent supporter of phrenology; I keep a small mallet and each morning give my skull a few strategically placed blows to expand my intellect and humility.

  15. maksimovich

    What seems to be overlooked in recent weeks is the G-science statements from the G8+5 Science academies for the G8,conference.


    The Emission statement (first link at bottom) identifies a number of problems on inventories both emission and sinks,that constrain both international agreement and carbon cycle modelling.

    The statement ( somewhat dampened) does not include a number of recommendations in the WP that the emission inventories should be both subject to audit,and independent of the IPCC .

    • maksimovich | May 19, 2012 at 4:27 pm |

      This is interesting and important, and too little understood and commented on. Thank you.

  16. I thought Scott less thoughtful in the comments..

    His response to Paul Matthews (Maths Prof, Nottingham Uni) in particular. Paul took him to task for misrepresenting, what 97% of scientists said:
    (Anderegg this time)

    Paul: (extract)
    “Scott Denning needs to be more careful if he and his fellow climate scientists are to be taken seriously by scientists from other fields such as myself. He loses credibility by referring to the ridiculous Anderegg et al study, in which the authors put scientists into two different pigeon-holes. Worse still, he misrepresents the claims of that paper (he implies the 97% believe CO2 will cause major climate change in the coming decades, while Anderegg et al say 97% agree that most of the warming of the 20thC was very likely due to man-made greenhouse gases – two very different statements). ”

    in full:

    Scott’s reply.

    • With respect to Yale. it would seem that sceptical comments (mine at least) seem to be no longer welcome.

      Dr John Abrahams has an article up rebutting Lord Monckton (he had a response to the Scott Denning, semi published)

      Entiltled: On Blogging, Comments … and Online Civil Discourse

      In which John Abrahams refers to climate change deniers,(yet he wants a civil discourse?) I added the comment below, it sat in moderation for a day, and has now vanished. as has a single line comment, asking them to check blog filters for a lost comment) I can only surmise that I was not welcome.. Any thoughts on why?

      I have enjoyed Yal in the past, following Keith Kloor their with his articles, I had a civil chat with Scottt Denning, on a previous article, but John Abrahams would appear not to be able to see my response to him, which leave me to consider (who else has been treated like this, Monckton, other sceptics?) that they onle desire a certain type of communication at Yale – preaching to tha faithful.

      So this is a trust issue.

      missing comment:


      Indeed.. civil discourse – and ‘climate change denier’

      Calling people ‘climate change deniers’ is offensive to many, might I ask you not to do this, as it just helps perpetuate the polarisation and acrimonous debate. I have also done my utmost to encourage a more civil debate, and to condemm any such email abuse of anybody.

      It is the nature of the modern world, that some people will write rude, crude, abusive emails to people (on any topic) may I suggest that those that write about ‘deniers’ will inevitably get this type of email. As will those that write about ‘alarmists’, will also get similar stupid emails.

      I have seen emails, to BOTH climate scientists and sceptics from people that are rude,crude and abusive in the emails.

      ie Both Dr Katie Hayhoe AND Marcc Morano get rude and abusive emails.. Can we all not just say this is wrong, and focus on the real debate, rather than say, all sceptics are bad because of some emails, and vice versa.

      I’m offended by it mainly because those using it are trying to convey a message to others that the person or groups of people are either to bad, mad, stupid, or evil, and to tell people they should not be heard at all,

      rather than being offended by just what ever they link ‘denier’ to, truther, birther, creationist, anti-science, holocaust, AIDS denier, etc.

      Might I recommend Dr Tamsin Edwards thoughts here (posted at Bishop Hill)

      Dr Tamsin Edwards – extract:

      “I am an example of a consensusist who has stopped using denier directly because of Barry, Bish[Andrew Montford] and this forum.

      Name calling is ever so counterproductive. Today I was defending you lot to (particle physics) friends, yesterday to climate/stats friends, saying that denier offends and there is a spectrum of opinions anyway. ”


      You might notice I’m having a disagrement with ‘some’ (inc James Delingpole) about use of the word ‘Watermelon’ and ‘Alarmist’ to describe ‘(for want of a better description) the ‘climate concerned’ earlier in the comments.

      I do recommend Tamsin’s blog:

      ‘denier’ does not help the civil discourse that Yale and others I’m sure wants. Am I to be a ‘denier’ ie a very ocassional guest author at WUWT (odd post at Bishop Hill as well)?

  17. It is pleasing to him to discover that the two—his opinion and scientific fact—are identical.

    A sure sign one is not speaking of a scientist. The first reaction of the experienced ones is generally distress at the amount of re-checking they’ll have to do to look for the source of the confirmation bias. Secret smug pleasure that they were of course obviously right, tempered by years of finding out from others where their first mistake was.

  18. Scaffeta’s nuclear amplification mechanism proposal runs into the ages old problem of the Law of Squares and Cubes. Some reactions appear in some systems to increase in intensity or other characteristic proportionate to the distance from origin. These are principally domino-effects, such as accelerating chemical reaction fronts, or effects of contagion. There’s a reason for them to work this way, and it makes sense.

    Physics, however, is dominated by the Inverse Law of Squares and Cubes. Surface effects decrease as a square, and 3D effects as a cube, of distance from origin. For Scaffeta’s mechanism to be at all reasonable based on his measurements that more distant planetary bodies dominate nearer ones out of all proportion regardless of mass or magnetism or any other known physical property of the planets ought make us mindful of the recent discoveries of hundreds or thousands of yet more distant planets circling other stars, which by Scaffeta’s reasoning and logic ought have much greater influence than our own nearby celestial bodies.

    There is no such influence. Ergo, we can stop reading Scaffeta. QED.

    • simon abingdon

      Bart, your talking about squares and cubes reminds me of a nice way of seeing at a glance why the sum of the first n cubes must be the square of the sum of the first n integers. So, represent the nth cube as a lamina of n squares each of area n^2 in a symmetrical L-shaped configuration so that for example 5^3 is represented as an L-shape of 5 squares each of area 5^2. (For even n one of the squares has to be split between the two arms of the L-shape so that for example 4^3 is represented by 3 squares each of area 4^2 forming the apex of its L-shape with the 4th square split into two rectangles of area 4×2, each of which completes an arm of the L-shape). Place successive L-shapes after the initial square (1^3) along the diagonal of an infinite chessboard to tile the whole board. (Hard to describe in words but very easy to see in practice).

    • Bart, I see that you did not spend much time reading my paper where in addition to how to make the appropriate calculations, the problem of planets circling other stars is briefly addressed (section 5)!

      That issue is not as certain as you think for numerous reasons;

      1) there are conflicting studies on the issue.
      For example a paper finding an influence is this one:
      Scharf, C.A., 2010. Possible Constraints on Exoplanet Magnetic Field Strengths from Planet–star Interaction. The Astrophysical Journal 722, 1547–1555. http://arxiv.org/abs/1005.2929
      where you find written “We examine the X-ray emission of stars hosting planets and find a positive correlation between X-ray luminosity and the projected mass of the most closely orbiting exoplanets. ”

      2) The studies based on other solar systems are quite spurious and uncertain in any case because there are no sufficient data about other stars.

      For example, they use x-ray records which are not too long. In any case x-rays are only a microscopic component of the total solar irradiance, and this is not know with precision about those stars.

      3) there are a lot of nonlinear effects in the process. You instead reason as if everything is linear. Physics is not so simple, not even the physics of a real spring works that way you think.

      • Nicola Scafetta | May 19, 2012 at 7:42 pm |

        It’s true, I did not spend much time reading your paper. I stopped at the first mistake.

      • Nicola,
        Unfortunately, Bart is one of our most prolific cranks. You are probably wasting your time replying to him. You can still try.

      • David Wojick | May 19, 2012 at 9:29 pm |

        Please, sir, I blush. You do me too much honor. Considering our respective volumes of published works, I must bend my knee to your superior crankery.

      • At that time the exoplanets that were known were giants (essentially stars that had not ignited orbiting close in to their suns. One would expect a large(r) influence. Wanna try again?

    • Bart, yep, the inverse square law runs rampant through physics. The sun is a continuous explosion contained by the force of its own gravity. Seems to be a pretty delicate balance. Solar flares tend to have a greater probability of happening when influenced by tidal forces of orbiting planets. Solar wind can exit at twice the estimated velocity for some unknown at the moment reason. I tend to doubt the Scaffeta’s theory, but when a force of attraction is in balance with a force of repulsion small changes can result in big events.

      That is kinda the point in chaos and string theory, them ain’t billiard balls we are modeling.

      • capt. dallas 0.8 +/-0.2 | May 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm |

        A sensible point, and one I considered, too.

        We understand too little about the effects of tiny forcings on balanced nonlinearities.

        One thing we do know, however, is they don’t tend to produce regularity with such incredible precision as Scafetta, Orssengo, and about a hundred others routinely float as their pet theory. Too much swiss chronograph accuracy as much discredits such hypotheses as too little.

        Further, given the many bodies involved in the delicate balancing act claimed, we must have a powerful synchronizer to achieve the effects proposed, and that should be patently visible in the Sun in some way that we just do not see, and at least in the other planetary bodies. It comes down to the synchronizing influence for the WHOLE SOLAR SYSTEM’s delicate balance is in the Earth’s biosphere, and can only be seen by squinting through innumerable filters and masks of arbitrary origin.

        So, no. I have to reject this hypothesis even with the wildest edges of theoretical physics and mathematical modeling thrown in. Moreso, in fact, as they speak against these sunworshipping fantasies.

      • Bart R, the less than perfect synchronization is the beauty of the puzzle :) There are at least three dynamic systems connected by common forces, gravity and illumination, the sun’s energy system, the Earth’s energy system and the solar orbital system. Each system has its own cyclic clock with different oscillators with differing drifts. On occasion, the clocks synchronize when all energy levels and the orbital pattern are appropriate. Once synchronized, the cause and effect are blurred. It would only be on a synchronization event that the true relationship could be verified. Knowing that though, a near synchronization could provide evidence to support a theory.

        So should Scaffela predict that this synchronization opportunity results in X percent of a full clock reset with Y circumstance causing the miss, he could be the hero. Complex dynamics make more goats than heroes, though. I will keep an open mind, but my confidence in Nichola is not too high at the moment.

  19. I’m not sure Martin Hoerling is especially wise to say “In other words, climate conditions in the growing season of the Central Great Plains are today not materially different from those existing 100 years ago.” in the context of disputing James Hansen’s predictions of another Dust Bowl.

    After all, by that logic we’d be less than 17 years from the end of the ‘wet period’ that drew farmers to the Dust Bowl region, and only two decades from a repeat. As Martin Hoerling doesn’t give a range for his 100 years accuracy, he may be saying much more alarming things than James Hansen, to an objective reader, without intending it. Because what he says is more uncertain. Which may be correct, too.

    Also, I distrust any weatherman who gets Yule-Simpson so egregiously wrong as in this exchange.

    Hansen: ““The global warming signal is now louder than the noise of random weather…”

    Hoerling: “This is patently false. Take temperature over the U.S. as an example. The variability of daily temperature over the U.S. is much larger than the anthropogenic warming signal at the time scales of local weather. Depending on season and location, the disparity is at least a factor of 5 to 10.”

    Hansen speaks of the GMT. Hoerling drags Hansen down with http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman and beats him with superior experience at inferior reasoning.

    I do not dispute that with sufficient cherry-picking, a blinkered researcher can ignore his own confirmation bias to find plentiful ‘supporting material’ for Hoerling’s one-sided presentation; he even has elements of truth to some of what he says. However, his interpretation of the supporting material leaves much to be desired, either from a scientific or from a policy point of view. I can understand the lack of appreciation of what policy is about, as I doubt Hoerling has any training or experience; getting the science so badly overconfidently wrong, however, is disappointing.

    Hoerling definitively asserts his view of the solely natural source of extreme weather events, burying the clearly contradictory “This is not to say that climate change didn’t contribute to those cases.. where he might hope it would be overlooked.

    Hello! Sure, everyone knows bread is made of wheat. How do you pick the yeast out of the bread and say it had nothing to do with the loaf rising?

    Kerry Emanuel and Andrew Revkin appear to share the far saner approach to the opinions expressed.

    • The kinder way to interpret Hoerling is that he genuinely misunderstood what Hansen was saying. The less kind interpretation was that he understood, but was being a spin-doctor trying to mislead some sections of the public, which is a purely political tactic.

      • Jim D | May 19, 2012 at 5:59 pm |

        I’m generally less kind these days. At this late date, people ought be more careful when they know there are landmines in the road on all sides.

      • Edison was too when he got old but he did leave us this thought though.

        The three great essentials to achieving anything worthwhile are; first, hard work, second, stick-to-it-iveness, and third, common sense.
        — Thomas Edison

        He brought us light. Common, cents for all.

    • With a cool mode of the Pacific Decadal Variation coupled with a negative trending Arctic Oscillation index – drought and lower temperatures over much of the US is guaranteed.


      The AO and PDV are both linked to ozone and solar UV. Solar UV changes proportionately a lot more than irradiance – and change it surely does.

      ‘Simplification and idealization are necessities in modern science. Thus, there is no wonder that the Western mentality has been suitable for constructing modern science. However, such simplification and idealization sometimes do not work in the real world because of its complex nature. The climate change issue is, to my feeling, a typical example. The Eastern mentality which tends to view complex objects as they are may be suitable to deal with complicated issues such as environmental problems.’

      Rings a bell somewhere.

  20. John from CA

    “The new phrenology: how liberal psychopundits understand the conservative brain”

    LOL, this caught my eye this week ; )

    Biden: West Virginia voters who chose felon over Obama are frustrated, angry


    Biden said a lot of Americans are still hurting because of the recession the Obama administration inherited.

    Aaron Pillar’s comment to this article says it best.

No Biden you flipping idiot the recession is NOT why a majority of West Virginia DEMOCRATS (not Republicans..democrats!) did not vote for you and Obama (20,000 left the presidential vote blank on primary day, with the 42% that voted for the felon. That’s a majority). The reason that they did not vote for you is because your EPA with Obama’s blessing, has done everything in its power to kill coal mining, an industry that nearly half the state is involved in some way. When you take food off people’s tables they tend to hate you.

    I predict this November, Obama does not get over 30% in West Virginia….

  21. Interesting blurb from Klimazwiebel:

    The Antarctica story in Nature gives a rather iffy model projection tying possible future ice mass loss to possible changes in ocean currents. Since the last long-term study (1992-2003) based on 24/7 physical observations from satellites (Wingham, 2006) showed a net increase in overall Antarctic ice mass, the latest story is not very alarming.

    Note that a later report by Shepherd/Wingham (2008) concluded that over the past few years the 1992-2003 trend had apparently reversed itself due to a greater increase in ice flow than the increase in snowfall, and if this should continue over the 21st century the net ice flow from ice streams and glaciers could counteract the predicted gains in snowfall, resulting in a net negative mass balance.

    The second story from Science is more interesting. The projected loss of Greenland ice mass is now ~9 cm by 2100 (instead of 4x this value) – this is still several times the loss reported by IPCC AR4 for 1992-2003 representing 0.21 mm/decade, or the actually observed net increase in ice mass over this same period, based on 24/7 satellite altimetry (Johannessen et al. 2005, Zwally et al. 2006).

    Looks like Al Gore’s (or James E. Hansen’s) 6m waves are not going to be inundating New York City anytime soon.


    • manacker | May 19, 2012 at 7:01 pm |

      The 6m waves expected by the reporter asking Hansen about driving conditions on Manhattan Island under a doubling of CO2 (ie over 750 ppmv), which Hansen placed at closer to 2-3m?

      Sure, Al Gore’s a wild-eyed zealot inflating about 5% of everything he claims to the worst possible extent because at the time he needed to generate some interest in what otherwise would be a pretty dry and uninteresting sideshow. And it appears he’s moved on to a softer peddling of his cause in the past five years. He’s stopped living in that past.

      But you sure haven’t, then, have you?

      • Bart R

        Living “in the past” can be habit forming.

        Now that the thermometers out there (even the ones next to AC exhausts) are telling us that it has stopped warming over the past decade or longer, lots of climatologists who support the IPCC view on CAGW are “living in the past”, hoping the heady days of rapid warming, Oscars and Nobel Peace Prizes will again return.

        Sic transit gloria.


      • They must’ve done that six separate times since 1970, then, Max. The living in the past while there was subdecadal cooling.

        Signal:Noise. Learn the meaning.

        You try reading meaning into subdecadal trends, you ignore externalities, forcings and feedbacks, you just end up fooling yourself.

        Am I hoping for rapid warming? No. Do I have a prize waiting for me if I stick to facts and logic, reason and method, instead of jumping on some bandwagon for fantacists? No. Good statistical verification has shown the AC exhaust tale is massively overblown. Remove the UHI’s from the GMT and it shoots up, not down.

        You’re still complaining about http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0497116/ from 2006, and caught up in emails that were mostly about that vintage.

        And yet, you don’t seem to remember the world of just 30 years before that, when the governments of the world were still alarming their peoples about the Cold War, and our understanding of climate was a fraction of a percent of what it is now. You think climate change is alarmism? Buddy, compared to the crap rammed down people’s throats in the 50’s, this doesn’t even register on the apocascale.

        This is just the offer that if people stop letting the government steal their taxes and their liberties and handing the national treasure over to the fossil industry, then we can all get back on our feet much sooner and breath easier by investment in a brighter future, not a nostalgia for a sooty past.

      • “Now that the thermometers out there (even the ones next to AC exhausts) are telling us that it has stopped warming over the past decade or longer”

        They show continued warming.

        As for your incorrect perception that they don’t, it’s funny how when it’s warming it must be because of AC exhausts, but as soon as you think it’s cooling you completely ignore AC exhaust. Has the world ripped all the AC units out? No. So the fantasy AC unit warming should still be happening according to you.

        Why then do you expect cooling?

      • In big storms, the Battery already floods. You don’t need a 6m rise to get a 6m flood in a storm at high tide.

    • maksimovich

      The blue ice (snow free) region in Antarctica has shown a reversal in the last 2 years,negating the previous decrease quickly,The calibration results for Cryosat show an increase of 9cm in the 200o-10 period.

      • maksimovich

        Your logical argument is spurious,although it could be applied to Steig,eg 2011 ozone assessment (spot the Byrdie)

        The very sparse spatial coverage of long-term
        Antarctic temperature records makes it difficult to derive
        trends averaged over the continent as a whole. Recently,
        reconstruction methods employing statistical approaches
        to data filling have been employed to derive trends averaged
        across Antarctica, drawing from composites using a
        range of station data, ice cores, and available automated
        weather stations (Chapman and Walsh, 2007; Monaghan
        et al., 2008; Steig et al., 2009). Strong warming has been
        derived for the west Antarctic region in some of these
        analyses (e.g., Steig et al., 2009), although this is heavily
        dependent on data from a single record (Byrd station).

        That aside,in the southern polar zone the interesting part is the Antarctic dipole,where the effects in one zone are offset in the other ie a redistribution of mass .This is well observed in the ocean gyres such as the Weddell and the sometimes persistent Polynya.The 2011 Assessment describes the problem

        “The effect of changes in circulation on Antarctic sea
        ice has been probed using numerical analyses constrained
        by observed (reanalyzed) winds and temperatures (Goosse
        et al., 2009). This approach suggests that strengthening of
        the eastward winds has likely affected the spatial pattern
        of sea ice distributions, mainly through changes in sea
        ice advection (Goosse et al., 2009). The spatial pattern
        of satellite-observed recent changes in sea ice, with increased
        ice extent in the Ross Sea region and decreases
        near the peninsula, is well reproduced when atmospheric
        circulation and temperature changes are considered (as
        shown in Figure 4-20, taken from Goosse et al., 2009).
        Atmospheric circulation changes in response to ozone loss
        have been probed by several models, including e.g., Gillett
        and Thompson (2003) and Turner et al. (2009). Natural
        variability in the Southern Annular Mode, the El Niño-Southern
        Oscillation and/or the Pacific Decadal Oscillation
        may also contribute to recent trends in sea ice (Udagawa
        et al., 2009), as could other factors such as changes in precipitation
        or ocean heat transport (Zhang, 2007). ”

        As the AD has two ocean basins out of phase (opposing signs) with opposing jets and accompanying stormtracks, it is subjective what one can conclude.

  22. Beth Cooper

    The ‘western mentality’ … ‘the eastern mentality,’ … ‘the repubican brain?’
    Fix ’em with a pin – cut ’em down to size – could we describe this as ‘collectivism ‘mentality?’ Sigh.

  23. “The ‘western mentality’ … ‘the eastern mentality,’ … ‘the repubican brain?’”

    All the Australians on this commenting site:

  24. Beth Cooper

    The ‘larrikin’ mentality.

    • Hi, fellow larrikins and observers. Yes, we try to do our bit.

      I wonder if David Suzuki has an Eastern or a Western brain?

      Seriously, tolerance of ambiguity does have some cultural meaning, but I submit that tolerance of dissent is far more important when it comes to scientific progress. And, without getting into a toxic political/religious discussion, there is plenty of black-and-white thinking in parts of the non-Western world.

      Artists and philosophers in the West have long pondered on tolerance of ambiguity, which someone defined as ‘the ability to simultaneously hold two conflicting opinions without going mad’. That is not the same as linear thinking or rejection of complexity. Einstein seemed to be pretty good at complexity and subtlety in his thinking, despite being apparently impoverished by a barren, reductionist intellectual tradition.

      The reasons for the IPCC’s linear thinking are solidly rooted in politics and history, forming a zeitgeist that we seem to be finally getting past. Or is Pachauri suddenly Western?

      • johanna | May 19, 2012 at 9:59 pm |

        The IPCC are linear thinkers?

        When did that start?

      • As has been previously cited, Bernie Lewin explained a significant part of the history here:


        I am not following you down every rabbit hole, Bart. You are just Joshua in another form, and trying to wear people out with irrelevant questions and diversions won’t work on me.

      • johanna | May 20, 2012 at 3:12 am |

        Bernie Lewin, whose research starts with Heart of Darkness, Michael Crichton, and the ever self-correcting Bjorn Lomborg?

        Madrid 1995, over a decade before Lewin even became interested in the issue, and with no indication of understanding the context of the meeting?

        I don’t normally have much patience for historians, but none whatsoever for polemicists who paint their particularly envious shade of where’s-my-attention? all over things that have nothing to do with them.

        Lewin mentions the Battle of Hastings. I’ve been to Hastings. With all due respect to 1066, it’s a squalid hole of a foggy drab dingy, unwelcoming sweaty bump on a coast that any sane person would no more shed blood on than vomit over — which the local cuisine will induce.

        Perhaps he should have said the Battle of the Potomac? Even in winter, that piece of land is sacred soil. And Madrid? What, Santer is the devil? Puhleeze. Some pipsqueak green nerd wants to slag people third hand, he really should do it with less obvious http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/personal-incredulity.

        By the way, about rabbit holes, pipelines are about to cost the USA triple at least what solar would cost in terms of land area and treasure sent to foreign lands (none of it your foreign land, mind you). How do you see that as good for America? I’ve done the breakdown elsethread where you asked. Have you responded yet? The US government is about to invest more hard-earned taxpayer’s money and land in a massive rip-off. And you’re standing on the sidelines cheering them on.

      • It may be true that the Western is more driven than the Eastern mind to simplify, and to abhor complexity. Occam’s Razor is surely an attempt to codify a preference for simplicity over complexity. But western scientific enquiry, unlike its oriental counterpart, was driven by technological demands, so the risk of being beguiled by simplicity was mitigated by the need to produce repeatable outcomes. This dialectic produced the Scientific Method, an incomparably powerful intellectual tool, which confers on its users immunity, in the long run, from their own biases and beliefs, and leaves them free to enjoy the similarly incomparable benefits that have flown from the urge to simplify – modern industry.

        The cost of this immunity is, of course, the pain of disconfirmation – something the climate “scientists”, after decades of neglecting the Scientific Method, are finally beginning to experience.

        Being at ease with complexity may save you from error, but it’s not necessarily a boon to discovery. The Universe is complex. I’m cool with that. What’s on the telly?

  25. ‘The term larrikin came to be used affectionately of a person who did not always adhere strictly to polite social conventions; a bit of a stirrer. It was used in political contexts as well—used positively as a term almost of endearment. The negative meanings gradually died out completely in Australia, and the larrikin came to be seen as someone who defied social or political conventions in an interesting and often likeable way. Thus as early as 1899, the Truth newspaper reports: ‘Nowadays the Premier is the chief political larrikin of the House’.

    Being a larrikin is positively encouraged. I would recommend it to Webby in place of defying science in uninteresting and unlikable ways.

  26. “Let’s be clear: there is in fact an overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change.”

    As long as Warmers fallaciously appeal to consensus, there is nothing new to possibly discuss or pay attention to. AGW is as unserious as it always was and there’s no indication so far that it will ever be otherwise.


    • consensus is important. It’s useful to know if most of the world’s experts haven’t been convinced by skeptic arguments. If I was hearing about AGW for the first time one of the first questions I would ask is where the world’s scientific bodies stood on the issue.

      That consensus isn’t important is one of the biggest running lies of climate skepticism. In fact it’s precisely because they recognize the importance of consensus that they lie to the public that one doesn’t exist.

      • lolwot,

        Doubling down on a fallacy only means you lose more.


      • If it’s a fallacy name it.

      • argumentum ad populum

      • “If an elite group of people are in a position to know of what they speak, their authority is relevant and should not automatically be discounted. E.g., to remark that most physicians believe that a high fat diet is unhealthy, so that it follows that persons who have a high fat diet should change their eating habits, is to make a legitimate appeal.”

        “So, what’s the difference between most people believe X and scientific consensus which is, at the end of the day, most scientists believe X. Doesn’t this make out scientists to be somehow superior to the rest of the population?
        There are two significant differences.
        Firstly scientific consensus doesn’t claim to be true, it claims to be our best understanding currently held by those who study the matter.
        Secondly scientific consensus is built upon a logical foundation, the scientific method, rather than dogma or that which is taught in Sunday school. The consensus comes not from blindly agreeing with those in authority but from having their claims to be thoroughly reviewed and criticised by their piers.”

      • The question arises as to what defines the so-called consensus. The background 20th cenytury as demonstrated in study after study is about 0.1 degrees C/decade. Most of the warming in the 20th century was from natural variability. Warming of the atmosphere has stalled for more than a decade. Warming of the ocean is not caused by atmospheric warming as the atmosphere did not warm. 21st century warming of the ocean is the result of SW changes shown by CERES.

        I refer to science endlessly. You claim a so called consensus in an undefined sense that could really mean anything. Which is why I defined it as an argmentum ad populum – it is a ploy in the public debate but not anything of any serious scientific merit.

        Define your terms and reference your arguments in a balanced way if you wish to be taken seriously.

      • Heh, lolwot, do you have any idea how controversial the ideal diet has become?

      • lolwot,

        You and I and everyone here (with the possible exception of Louise) know it’s a straight-up Appeal to Authority. What Group A, B, and/or C believe about something has no bearing on whether it’s actually true or not. 9 of 10 Elvis Impersonators may think Elvis is still alive. Irrelevant. The only thing that matters is the evidence that may or may not indicate he still alive.

        So if you actually have evidence of something, that’s what you present. Appealing to what somebody believes means you have no evidence to present. This is why belief in AGW is waning.


      • “Which is why I defined it as an argmentum ad populum”

        You were wrong to do so. Appealing to a consensus of experts is not argmentum ad populum. More importantly it is not a logical fallacy. The position of most of the experts of the day on a subject matter is relevant and important information for decision making.

        Deep down skeptics realize this, which is why they fight so hard to claim:
        a) the existence of a consensus is meaningless
        b) there is no consensus

        Although one wonders why they fight so hard for b if they really believe a!

        Your opinion on the science doesn’t alter any of this. You can certainly claim, as you do claim, that the science shows something different to what the consensus of experts think, but it doesn’t make an appeal to the consensus of expert opinion a logical fallacy.

        By the way I find your scientific argument far from convincing. Evidentially so do the experts in the field.

      • Your faith in experts is touching. But one of the the main reasons many of us don’t trust the experts when it comes to climate change is that experts have so often been found to be wrong in other fields.

      • Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

      • Andrew writes:
        “You and I and everyone here (with the possible exception of Louise) know it’s a straight-up Appeal to Authority.”

        Appealing to authority is not a fallacy if the authority is an expert.

        “The appeal to authority is a fallacy of irrelevance when the authority being cited is not really an authority….Finally, it should be noted that it is not irrelevant to cite an authority to support a claim one is not competent to judge. However, in such cases the authority must be speaking in his or her own field of expertise and the claim should be one that other experts in the field do not generally consider to be controversial. In a field such as physics, it is reasonable to believe a claim about something in physics made by a physicist that most other physicists consider to be true. Presumably, they believe it because there is strong evidence in support of it. Such beliefs could turn out to be false, of course, but it should be obvious that no belief becomes true on the basis of who believes it.”

        “So if you actually have evidence of something, that’s what you present. Appealing to what somebody believes means you have no evidence to present. This is why belief in AGW is waning.”

        Most of the public are not in a position to look at the evidence. But they can certainly be told about the position of the consensus of experts. That’s fine, and it helps them make a decision.

      • “Most of the public are not in a position to look at the evidence.”

        REALLY?? You don’t say. GASP! I wonder why that is? ;)


      • A Good Appeal to Authority is obviously going to include the most expert group in the world on the subject. If you aren’t going to appeal to the greatest authority, you may as well go with a different fallacy. lol


      • “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

        That statement is about doing science.

        Appeals to experts are relevant for decision making and are only ever made in that context.

      • lolwot, yes we’re talking about doing science properly.

      • “But one of the the main reasons many of us don’t trust the experts when it comes to climate change is that experts have so often been found to be wrong in other fields.”

        I know nothing about general relativity short of what it says. I don’t understand the evidence, but I do know most physicists accept general relativity. On that reason alone I accept general relativity.

        But no, apparently that’s wrong. According to climate skeptics I should instead believe all the experts are completely ignorant and therefore I should go around with grave doubts about general relativity.

        If a child asks me whether general relativity is true, it’s apparently wrong for me to say “well most physicists think so”. Apparently that’s a logical fallacy?

        I’s obvious as hell that the climate skeptic position on this matter is lunacy. Lunacy born of an over-desire to hide from the public the inconvenient truth of what most experts on climate think about man-made global warming.

      • “well most physicists think so” is a good answer.

      • “I’s obvious as hell that the climate skeptic position on this matter is lunacy”


        Please provide some evidence to support your (silly) claim. ;)


      • Edim writes: “lolwot, yes we’re talking about doing science properly.”

        No, that’s the climate skeptic strawman.

        No-one says “Hey Mr Scientist, most climate experts accept man-made global warming therefore your next study should show man-made global warming”

        What people actually say is “Hey Joe Public, Most climate experts accept man-made global warming, therefore you should assign it due credibility”

        There IS a massive difference between no experts accepting man-made global warming and most experts accepting it.

      • “There IS a massive difference between no experts accepting man-made global warming and most experts accepting it.”

        Which is completely irrelevant to whether global warming is true or not.


      • Andrew asks: “Please provide some evidence to support your (silly) claim.”

        Example 1) The vast majority of the public do not and will not understand general relativity. All they have to go on is that most experts on the subject accept general relativity. According to climate skeptics what most experts believe on a subject is irrelevant. Therefore according to climate skeptics the public should not accept general relativity.

        Replace general relativity with any mainstream scientific theory for same results.

        What skeptics are advocating is the complete dismissal of expert opinion as as a tool.

      • “No-one says “Hey Mr Scientist, most climate experts accept man-made global warming therefore your next study should show man-made global warming””

        We’ve seen the emails. That crap doesn’t work anymore (it never worked for me).

        “What people actually say is “Hey Joe Public, Most climate experts accept man-made global warming, therefore you should assign it due credibility””

        This Joe Public says where’s the science? Evidence? Why the suppression and dogma. Why hiding? Why propaganda?

      • ““There IS a massive difference between no experts accepting man-made global warming and most experts accepting it.”

        Which is completely irrelevant to whether global warming is true or not.”

        But completely relevant to deciding whether to accept it. Deciding to accept a scientific theory because most experts accept it is entirely legitimate.

        When someone points out to the public that most climate scientists accept man-made global warming it is not a logical fallacy, in fact it’s a necessary communication to enable many people to make such a decision.

      • “This Joe Public says where’s the science? Evidence? Why the suppression and dogma. Why hiding? Why propaganda?”

        You’ve strayed quite far from trying to defend the idea that consensus is irrelevant for decision making. Can I take it you’ve given up trying to defend that?

      • “But completely relevant to deciding whether to accept it.”

        Only if a person is dumb enough to make decisions based on no evidence.


      • “Only if a person is dumb enough to make decisions based on no evidence.”

        Expert opinion IS a form of evidence.

      • “You’ve strayed quite far from trying to defend the idea that consensus is irrelevant for decision making. Can I take it you’ve given up trying to defend that?”

        I am not saying it’s irrelevant. Au contraire, I am aware that decision making will be influenced by consensus. What I say is that consensus doesn’t make it true.

      • “What I say is that consensus doesn’t make it true.”

        I agree, but who is claiming otherwise?

      • If you agree, then we agree.

      • When warmists appeal to consensus they aren’t arguing that man-made global warming is true because of consensus, they are conveying information that many people will use to make a decision. A large number of people form their opinions on matters in line with what experts think.

      • That is the crux of the question. Is it most likely true or most likely not true?

      • It is clearly not my science – but there in the peer reviewed literature. I say little that is not there in the data or supported by scientific literature. You almost it seems deliberately ignore vast swathes of science and refuse to define your so-called consensus. What am I to make of this?

      • “opinion IS a form of evidence”

        Opinion is never evidence. That’s why there are opinion pages in newspapers that are seperate from the news, Sherlock.


      • Note that he left the modifier “expert” off when he quoted lolwot’s use of the word “opinion”. There is nothing that these guys won’t stoop to when it comes to spreading FUD.

      • David Young

        Be careful with expert opinion. Usually, in most interesting fields there is a wide spectrum. Climate science is different because of the extreme politization of the field which causes people to feel they must choose sides, especially younger people. Those who are near the end of their careers are often more honest and genuine. I think you can see this in climate science too. The dispute between Hansen and Hoerling is a sign that perhaps the dogma is becoming self limiting.

      • “The vast majority of the public do not and will not understand general relativity.”

        General Relativity has nothing to do with Global Warming, or whether or not a person should believe in Global Warming. Do you think it does?


      • If your arguments about ignorance of experts and consensus were correct you’d be able to defend them when applied to other fields.

        I only apply them to general relativity knowing that you cannot defend them.

        Your attempt to get me to stop doing this looks kind of awkward.

      • Einstein says in the special theory that the math is accessible to the 1905 equivalent of a senior high school student. We don’t need experts to say that relativity is a gorgeous concept. Is it correct in some fundamental unversal way? Well no – it is just some math that relates mass and velocity. These are macroscopic and not fundamental properties of matter. Einstein spent the rest of his life looking for a unified field theory – something to bring together fundamental properties of matter – the quantum level – with these macroscopic properties.

        It raises more problems than it solves. Prior to this we had a simple arrow of time – the past gone and the future unformed. Now we have a 4 dimensional space/time continuum. Where does this leave evolution is one of my questions? It is evident that we have little understanding of something so basic as the nature of time itself.

        In climate we do not have something so simple as the observation of the constancy of the speed of light. Observation is of a system that is vastly more complex in many ways than a stream of photons.

  27. Beth Cooper

    Larrikinism is a thing of joy, here in the Antipodes and beyond. Harpo Marx, his wise cracking brother with the moustache, cowboys from where ever, and hey, a few denizens here might qualify )

  28. Beth Cooper

    O/T: Chief, did you like the elevator image in my new poem?

    • Dearest Beth,

      You have put me on a spot. I think the idea of technology (in the guise of an elevator) leading to heaven or hell – even as a human choice – is not justifiable. I must admit to having a little problem with the arrow of time as well.

      ‘Since there exists in this four dimensional structure [space-time] no longer any sections which represent “now” objectively, the concepts of happening and becoming are indeed not completely suspended, but yet complicated. It appears therefore more natural to think of physical reality as a four dimensional existence, instead of, as hitherto, the evolution of a three dimensional existence.’ Albert Einstein

      So instead of moving from here to there – or now to then – reality seems more like forever moments in an arc like Christmas lights strung across limitless space and eternal time. We are each ecstatic Chists and pained Judas’ in turn pinned like insects in amber in each of our moments. Once I realised this in my essence I was overcome with horror. Every murder, torture and rape preserved eternally. All the billions who suffered and died – all the terror and tears endlessly happening.

      On a brighter note – I am half way into Vol. 3 of the Hunger Games – and I have just recognised Joan of Arc in Katniss. I am so slow. It was all there from the beginning. The flames motif is pretty obvious in retrospect.

      ‘It was deep into his fiery heart
      He took the dust of joan of arc,
      And then she clearly understood
      If he was fire, oh then she must be wood.
      I saw her wince, I saw her cry,
      I saw the glory in her eye.
      Myself I long for love and light,
      But must it come so cruel, and oh so bright?’

      It mirrors our own plight. I have to believe that the universe perfectable is – a struggle of light and dark across all time and space. ‘There is a light within a man of light, and it gives light to the whole world. If it does not give light, there is darkness.’ See – it all comes back to Albert. So if you care for some well intentioned advice – think in 4 dimensions.


  29. Interesting idea about western versus eastern brains. The western tendency to simplification and idealization certainly brought us some useful things from the Greek mathematicians, to Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, and so on, while the eastern side haven’t contributed to this type of development, but have produced acupuncture, feng shui and herbal remedies which are more holistic. Which of these works better for understanding climate? I think it takes both.

    • Too literal Jim. It is not about east or west or any supposed difference in ways of thought. It is probably unfortunate to even mention east and west in any context. It is the difference between analysis and synthesis. David Suziki was a geneticist – the ultimate in analysis. Einstein synthesised an amazing insight from a measurement of the speed of light.

      Climate is complex both in the ordinary sense of the word and as dynamical complexity in the sense of theoretical physics. There is no substitute for the big picture.

    • Acapuncture, feng shui and herbal remedies? When I have a life-threatening condition, I’ll be opting for the boring, plodding, slave-to-fact kind of medicine they offer in my local hospital, thanks. Ever wondered why despots from superstitious, impoverished countries always end up in the best Western hospitals when they get seriously ill?

      The Japanese and Chinese may well have a tradition of older styles of medicine, but I think you will find that their top hospitals are very similar to ours, and those who can afford it don’t rely on herbal potions if they have major medical conditions that can be successfully treated by unimaginative, but effective, methods from the West.

      • Yes, I was struggling to see how the holistic approach has helped us in science and how it would apply to the climate problem. Maybe a fan of those approaches can help us. The nearest thing I can think of is the somewhat dubious Gaia theory.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        While I hold many hermetic practices in contempt, I would like to strongly urge people not to condemn acupuncture. Acupuncture may have developed with “mystical” underpinnings, but the practice itself is quite sound. Its origins should no more condemn it than the origins of any other aspect of modern medicine, which as we all know, had plenty of terrible and nonsensical practices.

        It’s also worth pointing out other of these things may have value, just if not a medicinal one. That’s certainly true of feng shui.

      • I had a shoulder injury – adhesive capsulitis. Western medicine proposed to put me under anaesthetic and forceably free up the shoulder. Acupunture worked instead.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Oddly enough, I had shoulder problems as well. For ~$120, without any insurance, I regained full mobility in my arms, and I found out what caused my problems so I could prevent them from recurring. Best yet? Across my three visits, I spent less than two hours, and that includes time spent waiting.

    • China certainly understand how climate change works.

      1) AGW cults scares people into squandering trillions on windmills and solar panels.

      2) China burns 4x as much coal totally negating everything ever done to produce less CO2

      3) Jobs and companies flee the failing western economies and overpriced electricity.

      4) Chinas GDP doubles every few years.

      5) Chinese laugh at gullible idiots in the west.

  30. The Convergence of Climate Model and Empirical Solutions

    1) we showed that the rapidity of the warming in recent decades was a result of concurrence of a secular warming trend and the warming phase of a multidecadal (~65-year period) oscillation and we estimated the contribution of the former to be about 0.08°C per decade since ~1980.

    Which is identical to the following empirical model’s result: http://bit.ly/HRvReF

    2) The climate system appears to have had three distinct “episodes” during the 20th century (during the 1910′s, 1940′s, and 1970′s), and all three marked shifts in the trend of the global mean temperature, along with changes in the qualitative character of ENSO variability. We have also found similar types of shifts in a number of model simulations (both forced and unforced) that were run in support of the IPCC AR4 report.

    The contentious part of our paper is that the climate system appears to have had another “episode” around the turn of the 21st century, coinciding with the much discussed “halt” in global warming. Whether or not such a halt has really occurred is of course controversial (it appears quite marked in the HadCRUT3 data, less so in GISTEMP); only time will tell if it’s real.

    If this hypothesis is correct, the era of consistent record-breaking global mean temperatures will not resume until roughly 2020. Of course, this contrasts sharply with other forecasts of the climate system; the purple line roughly indicates the model-based forecast of Smith et al. (2007), suggesting with a warming of roughly 0.3 deg C over the 2005-2015 period.


    Which also agrees with my empirical model.

    3)Our results suggest that global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations in the North Atlantic and tropical Pacific temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic warming

  31. Its a shame that comments on sceptic psychology are mixed up with comments on star tides. Would it be possible to have separate base posts?

  32. An Obituary printed in the London Times

    Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years.

    No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
    – Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
    – Why the early bird gets the worm;
    – Life isn’t always fair;
    – and maybe it was my fault.

    Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

    His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.

    Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

    Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed todo in disciplining their unruly children.

    It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

    Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

    Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

    Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

    Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

    He is survived by his four stepbrothers;
    I Know My Rights
    I Want It Now
    Someone Else Is To Blame
    I’m A Victim

    Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

    If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

  33. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    Emanuel’s quote is spot on; it is rare to see ignorance acknowledged in context of the climate debate. However, I can’t help wondering about the implications of this statement in the context of the precautionary principle.

    However, is the precautionary principle being applied in an objective and unbiased way? While it is true “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”, that should not be used as an excuse to spend our wealth on one cause to the detriment of other causes that may be a greater risk (greater consequence and/or likelihood).

    I suggest it is a question of balance. How should we conserve and spend our resources, wealth, money?

    Nordhaus says there is no point a few countries and regions trying to mitigate alone. To be effective the world must act in unison, otherwise mitigation policies will be wasteful, pointless and damaging. Nordhaus (2008) “A question of Balance”, p19 states:

    We preliminary estimate that a participation rate of 50%, as compared with 100%, will impose an abatement cost penalty of 250%. Even with the participation of the top 15 countries and regions, consisting of 75% of world emissions, we estimate the cost penalty is 70%.

    JC says:

    However, I can’t help wondering about the implications of this statement in the context of the precautionary principle.

    That depends on whether the precautionary principle is being applied objectively and without bias. I suggest these three paragraphs from http://www.tnr.com/blog/critics/75757/why-the-decision-tackle-climate-change-isn%E2%80%99t-simple-al-gore-says?page=0,1 make good sense:

    In the face of massive uncertainty, hedging your bets and keeping your options open is almost always the right strategy. Money and technology are our raw materials for options. A healthy society is constantly scanning the horizon for threats and developing contingency plans to meet them, but the loss of economic and technological development that would be required to eliminate all theorized climate change risk (or all risk from genetic technologies or, for that matter, all risk from killer asteroids) would cripple our ability to deal with virtually every other foreseeable and unforeseeable risk, not to mention our ability to lead productive and interesting lives in the meantime.

    So what should we do about the real danger of global warming? In my view, we should be funding investments in technology that would provide us with response options in the event that we are currently radically underestimating the impacts of global warming. In the event that we discover at some point decades in the future that warming is far worse than currently anticipated, which would you rather have at that point: the marginal reduction in emissions that would have resulted up to that point from any realistic global mitigation program, or having available the product of a decades-long technology project to develop tools to ameliorate the problem as we then understand it?

    The best course of action with regard to this specific problem is rationally debatable, but at the level of strategy, we can be confident that humanity will face many difficulties in the upcoming century, as it has in every century. We just don’t know which ones they will be. This implies that the correct grand strategy for meeting them is to maximize total technical capabilities in the context of a market-oriented economy that can integrate highly unstructured information, and, most important, to maintain a democratic political culture that can face facts and respond to threats as they develop.

  34. “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence” is one of those slick throwaway lines that does not bear much examination. All it means is that we can never claim to have perfect knowledge at any point in time. So what? All decisions are made on the basis of imperfect knowledge, but that doesn’t mean that you should assume that some game-changer is just around the corner every time you make a decision.

    As Judith has correctly flagged, it is usually cited by those who don’t like the way the evidence is currently looking, and use it to achieve their desired outcome. Other than that, it’s just a smart-aleck aphorism.

  35. Beth Cooper

    Thank you, Robert, I value your advice and I do not disagree with your opinion of my too quickly written poem. I do not think of elevators leading to an after life, heaven or hell, either. My use of traffic arrows and elevators and Prufrock, Hamlet bits was a kind of (hastily considered0 attempt at humour, mocking society’s constraints and over regulation.

    Yes, light and darkness are central metaphors of human philosophy and art. I once wrote I a poem considering this….within the great arc of the universe… but i’m not going to post it, ) and I’ll look at it, post your comments, with renewed humility.
    I have not read the Hunger Games but I will do so.

    • I am sure there was a movie – or even a franchise – about forces of light and dark.

      ‘Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.’ Yoda

      I am not a person to take seriously – I loved your poem – please I have a problem with flippancy. Not as bad as Bart – no one can be that flippant without serious problems – but enough so as to notice. I loved your poem and I think you should not be discouraged by such as I.

      I put down Jedi as my religion on census night. How can you take a person like that seriously? Not even sure I could recommend Hunger Games except in a pot-boiler kind of way.

  36. Beth Cooper

    Hope yer not worried you’ve given me a crisis of artistic confidence, Chief.
    I won’t be starting a bonfire of the vanities in the back yard. )

  37. Beth Cooper

    G’day Tony,

    Thanks for your enquiry and I’m feeling a little embarrassed that a poem that took me fifteen minutes to write … is taking up too much of people’s time. It was casually inspired by ‘issue trees’ but triggered by the thought of ‘arrows’ and traffic control as a symbol of social control.
    Link: ‘Climate Science in Public Schools’ 19/05 4.26am.
    I recognise, Tony, that when I read your publications and the papers of some other denizens here, that these are the fruits of long, serious investigation deserving of respect. This isn’t. :-(

    • Beth

      It’s apples and oranges. We don’t want to have the same diet all the time do we. Will try to look at your poem tonight. It’s a rare warm day here and the Olympic torch is passing directly behind our house so we need to stir ourselves and have a look at it

    • Beth

      If you right click on the date details immediately after anyone’s name that will put the information into the dialog box where you can copy it. Like this;


      I would like to pretend I always knew that but Vuk told me a month or two ago and its very useful.

      I thought your poem was very nice.Cartoons, satire and poetry certainly have a place in combating mans (and woman’s) foolishness in all walks of life and can be every bit as effective as long detailed articles.

      The only modification I would make (another verse please?) is that standing at the elevator made me think of pressing the button in order to go to Dantes seven circles of hell. An appropriate metaphor for the wilder excesses of climate science and the sorts of temperatures it predicts.

  38. “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”, easy to say but incorrect
    “Absence of evidence is not PROOF of absence”
    If police don’t find a body in a burned out house that is strong evidence that the person didn’t die it the house. etc.

  39. “Western vs. Eastern mentality”.

    Perhaps this takes us full circle to Kim’s initial comment on this thread – a tale of two hemispheres (brain and geographic).

  40. There is nothing new under the Sun.


    Take it from me, they knew what they were doing too.

  41. Last night Willard pointed to Debategraphs, which are not issue trees but are in the same spirit of visualization. They even have one on climate change. http://debategraph.org/climate Very green though. Alas, no balance here.

    • David Wojick | May 20, 2012 at 9:12 am |

      Maybe it started ‘balanced’ but was pruned of illogic, illegitimate arguments and falsehoods?

      Which would make it not an issue tree, I agree.

      • It can’t be an issue tree
        because the leafs are circular.
        So its logic is circular too,
        with a strong liberal bias,
        perhaps not unlike reality.

        And don’t get me started about the Leafs.

      • leafs of grass?

      • No, the hockey team.

        And no, not the Kyoto Flames:


      • Bart, are you claiming that skepticism is based on “illogic, illegitimate arguments and falsehoods”? It sounds that way but I want to allow for the fact that you are incoherent. Please clarify.

      • David Wojick | May 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm |

        You have a funny definition of skepticism.

        Issue trees don’t provide skepticism, they provide topics and counter-topics to allow users to choose which topics they want to emphasize — and by implication which others to de-emphasize — in the time-limited budget of attention of the audience.

        If you filter topics and/or their contraries by disallowing fallacies and illegitimate arguments, then your issue tree collapses down from something useful for perhaps only for marketing and politics, religion and philosophy, to something that sound and rational discourse can consider.

        If you further apply the rigor of logic, you can trim nodes that lead nowhere, though a skeptic may point out some types of logic lead to some types of rejection error. Certainly, it’s worth identifying which nodes have poorer foundation in logic, however.

        Apply evidentiary support for nodes; that is the beginning of real skepticism — issues thrown up on a tree without evidence are just FUD.

        In short, while the issue tree tool can be useful in some contexts, it is inappropriate for the K-12 classroom, and inherently dyskeptical.

      • David Wojick | May 20, 2012 at 6:34 pm |

        For your incoherent entertainment:


  42. Beth Cooper

    Tom@20/05 8.05am:
    Thx Tom for the Leonard Cohen songs – i jest love his music! So many, and my favorite, ‘Ring the bells…that’s how the light gets in.’ Wonderful images for the lost mare too, and Cohen on stage.

  43. I refuse to believe that the author of the Yale piece is intelligent enough to be a scientist. I suspect that Denning’s piece was actually written by a kid in junior high and he was forced to agree to it by coercion.

  44. There’s a new blog in town. I’ve tried twice posting a link to it at WUWT but my comment goes into moderation and then disappears. It can’t be censorship ‘cos WUWT doesn’t do censorship…


    “As a professor, a scientist, a Holocaust survivor and someone who has just written a book on climate change, I think I am uniquely positioned to tell the climate change story.”

    • He’s not uniquely positioned and even if he was, the truth counts, nothing else. Hypocrisy, bureacracy and ignorance caused the Holocaust.

      • However, he’s probably uniquely placed to comment on the use of the word ‘denier’ to describe that denying the science of AGW.

      • He says CLIMATE CHANGE DENIERS, not climate science of AGW deniers.

      • science of AGW deniers

      • And science of AGW is no science at all.

      • Louise, My citations are older than… your citations? Do you have any citatiion that will make sense to someone who is not in a cult? Please address this before you attempt to pervert the language once again.

        2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

        Tts 2:2 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

        2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

        Jud 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

        Simple question, Louise do you deny the power of God, too?

      • “However, he’s probably uniquely placed to comment on the use of the word ‘denier’ ”

        No, he is not, he using using the word incorrectly. Denier refers to people who after WWII denied the Holocaust occurred.
        The way he using the term, a “Holocaust denier” could include the Jewish victims who failed to predict what Hilter would actually do.

        I find it hard believe the guy is a Jew. His cluelessness, indicates he is Jew, like Elizabeth Warren is an Indian.

    • Who is better qualified to give thanks to God, our Lord & Savior?

    • Warmists are ‘climate change deniers’ – it’s as clear as it gets.

    • I’ve been getting just a bit impatient with the whole “denier” business and Professor Tomkiewicz’s stunt has finally pushed my tolerance for this sort of contemptible crap over the edge.

      So Professor Tomkiewicz is a holocaust survivor who is “uniquely positioned”–by virtue of his holocaust survivor-status–to brand anyone that disputes the CAGW clap-trap as a Hitler-denier? Well, maybe, but let’s inquire into the Professor’s credentials just a little bit more before we buy into the whole deal.

      According to the good Professor’s wiki bio, he was six years old at the time of his liberation from the camps. So why did the Nazis, bent on the destruction of the Jewish people, in the desperate final months of the war, amidst the vast privations visited on their own “Aryan” population by an allied blockade and bombing campaign, choose to feed, clothe, and shelter a Jewish tyke with no possible value, slave-labor or otherwise, to their war-effort? Sorry, I need an answer to that question before I swoon over the good Professor’s “credentials” and concede to him, as an “entitlement,” a free-fire use of “denier” smears and Hitler associations to pump the CAGW scam .

      There is more than one lesson of the holocaust. And one of those lessons is to beware of Judenrat sell-outs, Quislings and Kapo tools. And as the son of father who fought the Nazis, I can’t help but harbor the sneaking suspicion that a holocaust survivor that would play fast-and-loose with repellent “Nazi” smears as part of a cheap propaganda promotion of the CAGW hustle is, just maybe, not altogether “kosher.”

      Again, I’d like to know just a little bit more about Professor Tomkiewicz and his past. In that regard, I’d like to learn that the Professor’s family, indeed, the Professor, himself, played a prominent role in the tragic, doomed, but heroic armed struggle the brave Jewish fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto waged against their bestial Nazi oppressors. I hope that’s the case as that would allay those suspicions about the Professor I now harbor that are frankly a discomfort to me. But even then this Professor Tomkiewicz is way, way out of line.

      To encapsulate my thoughts, throw a “Nazi” smear my way, guy, and you’ll get a heave-ho!, push-back from me each and every time and I don’t care who you are or think you are. Got it, Prof?

      • > I’ve been getting just a bit impatient with the whole “denier” business and Professor Tomkiewicz’s stunt has finally pushed my tolerance for this sort of contemptible crap over the edge.

        A rare feat, no doubt.

      • So watching metaphors doesn’t extend to ‘climate denier’? Typical.

      • Chief,

        I do agree that we should mind our metaphor.

        And I do not believe that Professor Tomkiewicz is helping his cause.

        But I do believe that Professor Tomkiewicz is a scientist.

        And I do believe that scientists are prone to such jejeune PR.

        All that being said, I’m not sure that when mike says:

        > [Y]ou’ll get a heave-ho!, push-back from me each and every time and I don’t care who you are or think you are.

        he’s merely “watching”.

        Thank you for your concern.

        Oh, and by the way:


      • nice stuff mike – you don’t like his opninoin about AGW, so he might be a Nazi sympathizer?

      • Michael,

        Why am I not surprised, Michael, that “The Troll-Team” has chosen you–their sleaziest, flunky stooge–to offer its reply to my comment. Keeps the rest of The Troll-Team’s” “finger-prints” off the dirty work, right, Michael?

        So Michael, what to make of the above reply that bears your name? Too clever to be your original work, I’d say. A well-engineered, bad-faith comment, skilfully designed to provoke an angry rejoinder, is what I make of it. And thrown out there with the calculation that I might “bite” on it and fire-off the hoped-for “gotcha” the team is ready for and primed to exploit. A committee effort, I’d say–a committee with a psychologist on board. Someone like Louise, perhaps–please note I’m not saying Louise–but someone like Louise. At least, I think Louise is a psychologist. But I could be wrong.

        Michael, you are an easily-replaced, disposable instrument of The Troll-Team. A malevolent, useful fool and nothing more. And you’re not really worth or worthy of my further time or trouble. So let me address the balance of my comment to your good comrades.

        There is no more sensitive and charged issue among decent and fair-minded men and women of good will than the matter of Hitler, the holocaust, and holocaust denial. And that sensitivity derives from the evil nature of the fiendish crimes committed by the Nazis against the Jewish people. And that you odious ideologues and hustlers seek to hi-jack humanity’s universal horror at the Nazi era’s atrocities and manipulatively exploit that revulsion to promote your half-baked, CAGW scam is beneath contempt.

        How dare you?

      • …and yet you see fit to cast asperions about a man whom you admit you know nothing. Asperions of the not-quite-coming-out-and-saying-it-but-you-all-know-what-I’m-getting-at kind -, you know, the cowardly kind.

        Quite the grub aren’t you?

      • MIchael,

        Yet another example of The Troll-Team’s handicraft, delivered by their trashiest, low-life gofer.

        A scurrilous “Hitler denier/genocide enabler” smear was pitched my way and at others supported by a certain credential. So I examined that credential and had a question about it–which I posed seeking clarification. Nothing more, nothing less. No “cowardice” there, just prudence. You know, Michael, ol’ sport, kinda like reading a contract and asking questions, as appropriate, before signing on. And I mean, after all, we are talking about a credential in support of a malicious, incendiary aspersion aimed at me and others.

        But I do note the Troll-Team’s heroic, continuing efforts to restore the “denier” slur to respectability. MIss the good ol’ days, don’t you guys? And “denier” is just a neutral descriptive term, right guys? Sure.

      • Dear mike,

        I hope I won’t offend you too much, but I stumbled upon this comment yesterday:

        > Whenever someone has said in the realms of policy “science demands,” you know mischief going on. I mean Hitler took the Jews and said “Science demands that we get rid of them”.


        I do hope you will join me in condemning this kind of verbal abuses.

        Go Team Denizens!

      • Willard,

        With respect to Prof. Lindzen’s comment–though it is not, in the least, one with the repugnant, pointed smear slung by Professor Tomkiewicz–, I take exception with Nazi and holocaust analogies and metaphors for something as removed from and inappropriate to such language as the “climate debate” by anyone, including Professor Lindzen.

        On the other hand there is a brutal, horrific use of “science” in the last century–whether Nazi “untermenschen” science, Lysenko-science, or “scientific” socialism–as a cover for an inhuman cull of our fellow man by the tens and tens of millions. And we must be eternally vigilant so that such misuses of science never re-occur.

        But, willard, please realize I am not one of those sophisticated, lefty intellectuals you are used to dealing with for whom Nazi-baiting is just an innocuous, good-fun sport. So you won’t get any thoughtful, metaphysical reflections from me on the fine points of Nazi-themed name-calling. Rather, I keep it simple–call me a “Nazi” something or other and those are, yeah buddy!, fighting words and they’ll get me up off my figurative barstool every time. Sorry, a “hot-button” of mine.

        And, oh by the way, your cryptic words about me in your comment, addressed to Chief, up-thread there–something about “watching”–seem to me, sorta, kinda, like maybe they’re an ol’ meanie gotcha-booger, intended to suggest that I’m a really bad person of some sort or another. I mean, like, maybe, it’s even one of those famous, lefty “dog-whistle” cracks.

        Hmm… Let’s see, now. The Troll-Team enlisted the “uniquely positioned” Professor Tomkiewicz to assist their urgent, current effort to rehabilitate the vile, rabble-rousing “denier” term–just ahead of the green-economy, sustainability, greenshirt “big-push” planned for Rio next month. And, then, willard, who knows?, maybe it was Troll-Team’s intended next move, if anyone took exception to the good Professor’s scurrilous pronouncements, to unleash a savage attack on that hapless, protesting naif, tagging the poor sap as a perfect example of a Republican-brain, anti-science, insensitive, anti-semitic “denier” I mean that was the plan, right willard?

        So, tell me, willard, be honest, were your “kind” words in reference to me, in the comment you addressed to Chief–the “watching” business–your attempt to salvage the Troll-Team’s big plan, as best you could? If so, then just say things straight out, guy, and let’s have at it.

      • Dear mike,

        For this almost even-handed response, thank you.

        Above, I simply said that you sound more threatening than watchful.

        One more thing, please tell more about the word “troll”.

        So, mike, what is a troll?

        Thank you for your concern.

      • willard,

        As you might have imagined, I am deeply offended by the matter that is the principal subject of this sub-thread and my “dander” was rather up when I drafted my last comment. Your gentlemanly, moderate response is a contrast with my last that has my respect and has left me more than a bit chastened. I think you for being the better half in this exchange, for what it’s worth.

        Troll? Good question since I have a “roll-you-own” meaning for that term.

        Generically: A troll is a commenter who maintains a sustained, partisan engagement on a blog where the weight of the blog’s commentary favors a contrary point of view. Further, the troll’s engagement is, generally, marked by snark, hostility, and contempt for the prevailing blog opinion.

        Let me add, that having tried my own hand at trollery, I can say from experience that going against the grain of a blog opinion for any length of time is a psychologically tough business. And the “business” gets especially tough when dealing, single-handedly, with a gang-up of the blog’s regulars and, most especially, when one’s cry-baby, gang-up interlocutors have access to a biased, bad-faith, double-standard blog moderation which is ready and willing to bail their little, mama-muffin butts out when the going suddenly gets a little rough for the little Wimp-toids and their precious hive-think (that last, not a problem at Climate etc.). But trolling can also be good-fun and even exhilarating when the “fur is flying”.

        Good troll: I once proposed on this blog making the term “troll” a complimentary term and one that denotes a stalwart gadfly, ready and able to take on all-comers. But that proposal met with little favor, so I’m reduced to “good troll” as a term for trollery’s best practitioners. In that regard, a good troll provides an invaluable corrective to any drift a blog might have towards the rocks-and-shoals of a chummy group-think and “me-too” non-think. In addition, a good troll performs his important work with an admirable and engaging style, swashbuckling panache, wit, technical acumen, entertaining irony and satire, and unflagging self-confidence and energy.

        Some memorable examples, past and present, of good trolls (none perfect, but, then, who is), in my estimation, include Joshua, lolwot (needs the most work), and BartR. In contrast, Fred Moolten and you, willard, are mere, worthy contrarians, disqualified from troll-dom by the reasonableness and snark-free courtesy of your comments. No less valuable members of the e-salon for all that, though.

        Bad trolls: Pests, infestations, cockroaches or worse. Mere annoyances or creep-outs or scum-bags. Includes the annoying, brain-dead, relentless wrecker-bots; the uncomfortably weird and obviously disturbed blog-stalkers; and the low-life, agit-prop slime pushing memes like “deniers are Nazis”. All a disgrace to the masters of the troll’s craft. Think, ianash and robert and two very recent additions to this category–Michael and Louise.

        That’s my best shot, willard. Maybe there’s a better description of trolls. I’m all ears if you’ve got a better one.

      • Dear mike,

        Thank you for your explanation, which is the best I’ve seen so far.

        I’ll include it in my tumblog, if you don’t mind.

        But just between you and me: aren’t you a bit over-zealous in categorizing me with Fred? I thought you already given me a special role among the trolls. But now, I have to live up the expectation of nearly always being as graceful and gentlemanly as Fred.

        Ah! I see what you’ve done!

        You devilish trickster!

      • willard,

        Thanks so much for your last. Let me say I discovered your site when you linked in an earlier post and I really enjoy it–thanks for maintaining that thumlog (I think that’s what it’s called). Please, willard, I’m honored you would consider any of my comments for inclusion on your site, so please feel free to post any of my comments. .

        “Devilish trickster”? Now that’s a high compliment! I’ll treasure it always.

      • Love and light, mike, tame trolls.

      • Here’s your contribution to my rarely answered questions, mike:


        Editing your contribution made me recall the last time we talked the subject. I believe that what I called a goblin is what you call a “bad troll”:


        If you’re interested in the subject of LoveAndLight:




      • Easily enjoyed.

      • Oh look, the eggs are done…

        Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

        Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

        and there is still time left.

    • I think you will find that your posts violate WUWT site policy on use of the term ‘denier’ as an insult, plus possibly those on discussion of religion and non relevant posts.

      • Not on this occasion – the WUWT thread is discussing the use of the word denier to describe those that don’t accept the science of AGW so a blog on that topic is very relevant.

      • You’ve been banned hundreds of times before for linking skepticism about AGW to murdering jews, right?

      • andrew adams

        Well that’s a fairly serious accusation to make. A link to one of those comments might be appropriate.

    • How can anyone truly be said to be a survivor of genocide when we are in the midst of the fascism of the liberal utopianism. The Left wants so badly to paint fascism as something far away when in fact it’s wedded it to it… fascism may be a little to the right of the Left’s view of liberalism but it is very far to the left of the individual liberty, economic freedom and personal responsibility of the founders.

    • I’ve never been particularly outraged by the hyperbolic term “climate change denier.” I think it is so patently ridiculous, and self contradictory, that it isn’t worth the effort.

      What I find more interesting about the blog post Louise cited to is this quote:

      “This genocide is of our own making, and it will effect everyone, not just one group or country.”

      Forget him calling skeptics deniers, this default progressive academic (I originally wrote fruit cake, but decided to tone it down out of respect for his advanced years) is equating “climate change” with genocide.

      Now I am all for giving an aging holocaust survivor some slack, despite his knee jerk regurgitation of progressive propaganda. But he’s just a little bit loose with the term “genocide” for someone who claims authority from having survived a genuine genocide. He diminishes the term more than any non-survivor ever could.

      It just goes to show what I have always said, a progressive is a progressive first, and everything else second.

  45. In
    particular, cycles at about 10.4, 20, 30 and 60 years, which are
    mostly related to Jupiter and Saturn orbits, are clearly seen in
    both climate and solar barycentric motion. This finding would
    suggest that the planets are driving solar variability that then
    drives the Earth’s climate.
    ~N. Scafetta

    Is this like the drum beat “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”?

    • Those tidal effects are the beating of the wings of the iron butterfly.

      • Whoa! One In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida reference and one Iron Butterfly reference on this blog on the same day? And last week we had Pink Floyd?

        We could have the makings of a great 70s Trivial Pursuit team here, or maybe just get together for a few (ahem) herbal remedies sometime, and all get locomotive breath.

      • Some chamomile tea perhaps? Something stronger? I saw a promo for the Amazing race. One of the women had what she called a can of aura repair – several times she whipped out this can and sprayed around her head. I m sure it must be a new age version of chuffing.

        I should hope my quoting of the dreaded Leonard Cohen has not gone unnoticed?

      • Iron Sun or Steel Sun?

      • Iron Butterfly recipe:
        1 shot vodka
        1 shot Kahlua® coffee liqueur
        1 shot Irish cream

        Pour vodka over ice in an old-fashioned glass. Add kahlua and irish cream, and stir. Garnish with 1 – 3 optional filbert nuts.

      • That sounds like a recipe for the world’s worst hangover, if something catastrophic in the alimentary canal doesn’t happen beforehand!

        If we’re going to have a creamy cocktail at our virtual drinkies, in keeping with the 70s theme I recommend Brandy Alexanders. Yummy, and with bonus calcium for us older folks.

  46. Arno Arrak

    I quote: ‘Roger Pielke wrote in an e-mail to me “I agree; I have a more oriental mindset on the climate issue, which, in my view (and I assume yours) is what is really needed. The IPCC, in contrast, is almost an extreme view of a western mindset in that it is so one-dimensional and linear.” ‘
    That western mindset may be their only virtue. The oriental mindset to me is both tyrannical and capricious. Take the Chinese empire at its peak. Their navy explored the Pacific and the Indian oceans, formed relationships locally and were ready to start foreign outposts. But when they got home they found themselves grounded. All ocean-going vessels were burned and no more were built because of a change of administration that had decided to isolate themselves from the barbarians. That happened in the fifteenth century, just before Columbus. I think we can rely upon the IPCC to stay the course and keep faith in global warming by the enhanced greenhouse effect. They really think that carbon dioxide does warm the earth and that they know what it can do in centuries to come. In AR4 they put their money where their mouth is and used their greenhouse theory to predict that the warming in the twenty-first century will proceed at the rate of 0.2 degrees per decade. It was fortunate that they followed that extreme view of a western mindset that is so one-dimensional and linear – the scientific method – or we would have no idea of where their knowledge comes from. So far, so good, but the scientific method also requires that if you make a prediction you must determine whether or not your prediction agrees with reality. We scientists want to know that because we discard theories whose predictions do not correspond to reality. And unfortunately for IPCC their prediction is one that does not correspond to reality and their theory is wrong and must be discarded. The fact that there has been no warming for more than ten years has been kept well away from the public. Climate scientists call it a “hiatus” and expect warming to return, any time now. Ask them how much of a grace period they need and they claim they need seventeen years. Why seventeen? Science does not work like that – you don’t get a second chance when you fail. Twenty-first century experience tells us their theory is wrong and I have spoken of why this is so before. What we have to do now is to start thinking of what must be done next. As a starter, I suggest dissolving the IPCC and cancelling financial support for various clean energy boondoggles. It should be followed by voiding all the laws and regulations aimed at promoting “emission control” or “clean energy” projects. But the biggest problem will be repairing the damage these laws have done.

    • I think what Dr. Pielke means ‘oriental’ in this context is that he believes climate is a holistic process where nominally the Sun is the only independent variable.

  47. “As a professor, a scientist, a Holocaust survivor and someone who has just written a book on climate change, I think I am uniquely positioned to tell the climate change story.”

    Such a statement uniquely *disqualifies* him. Jesus.

  48. I think I am uniquely positioned to tell the climate change story.

    As long as one recognizes that what he is doing is “telling a story” that’s OK (just don’t confuse it with reality).


    • Maybe it’s just me, but what in the hell does being a holocaust survivor have to do with it? One of these days some wacko believer’s going to take a shot at one of us dirty, lowdown “climate deniers.’ Crap like this only makes it all the more likely.

  49. In fact Jupiter and Saturn emit almost twice as much energy as they receive from the Sun. The additional energy is believed to come from a gradual gravitational contraction and from the helium slow sinking that continuously convert gravitational potential energy into thermal energy… (Scafetta)

    Scafetta’s article is a cold slap in the face to the climate gurus who have been unable to admit how little we actually know about climate—e.g., Jupiter’s influence on tides.

  50. Here is a nice list of fallacies and a description of pseudoscience.



    When it gets hotter than normal – vertical winds increase. People with hang-gliders prefer over rocks / red soil. Because on that kind of surface, sunlight produces extra heat. They hate rice paddies / swamps. Which brings back to Sahara; in Sahara the vertical winds are much faster than in Brazil.

    Because above Sahara is much less CO2 and water wapour, to produce dimming affect (to intercept lots of sunlight, where cooling is much more efficient) = on the ground much hotter / upper atmosphere colder. ‘’proportion in difference of heat between the ground and upper atmosphere is greater – that makes ‘’VERTICAL WINDS to SPEED UP!!!

    In Brazil, because of dimming affect – upper atmosphere is warmer, but at daytime on the ground is much cooler. At night is warmer in Brazil than Sahara; because the vertical winds are slower. They are slower, because the proportion in difference of temperature between the ground and upper atmosphere are much less. Doctor’s order for growing better trees! So much about H2O +CO2 being bad for climate. If you don’t know what is good climate – ask the trees; Sahara or Brazil??? That makes the Conspirators not just wrong, but back to front as well. In Brazil, from 33C at lunch time cools in 12h to 23C at night — in Sahara, from 45C at lunch time; in 12h cools to down to 10C. That means: nature can cool by 25C more in Sahara ‘’ in 12h’’ than in Brazil; they state that troposphere cannot cool extra 0,135C in a decade?!… Grow up people, all of you. Self adjusting mechanism is brilliant, but avoided by both camps!

    Fact: when the air for that latitude gets warmer than normal – vertical winds speed up accordingly – INCREASES efficiency in cooling.

    Fact: when the air for that latitude cools – vertical winds slow / can even stop. But because close to the ground is always warmer than up, they just slow down. Self regulation that never fails; because the creator inserted a thermometer in every atom of oxygen / nitrogen.

  52. Beth Cooper

    Yes, Mike @20/05 4.10pm:
    One would have thought that a survivor of nazism would have an in-built detector for eco-fascism… wouldn’t one?

  53. Beth Cooper

    And here is another surviver of the Holocaust, also a scientist, Primo Levi, who writes in ‘The Periodic Table’ final chapter, of the life cycle of an atom of carbon, ‘carbon, the element of my life,’…which ends up swallowed in a glass of milk and in a nerve cell enters the bloodstream, and then the brain of someone, and it is himself …
    ” the brain of the me who is writing; and the cell in question, and within it the atom in question,is in charge of my writing, in a gigantic miniscule game which nobody has yet described. It is that which at this instant, issuing out of a labyrinthine tangle of yeses and nos, makes my hand run along a certain path on the paper, mark it with these volutes that are signs: a double snap, up and down, between two levels of energy, guides this hand of mine to impress on the paper this dot, here, this one.’

  54. Beth Cooper

    Chief @7.50pm:
    So ‘clocks’ become ‘clouds?’

  55. Well, I guess it is settled. Drougts in Texas are anthropogenic in origin this time just like they have been for the last 500 years.


  56. For all those who think that the danger to American elementary and secondary education is the Heartland Institute. rather than hyper-politicized, unionized teachers:

  57. Beth Cooper

    Edim’s Iron butterfly, i shot vodka,…irish cream…
    hmm, for apocalypse anxiety sure beats my 4 leaf clover soup.
    Joanna, herbal tea remedies? Aren’t you fergettin’ somethin’?
    Larrikins don’t drink herbal remedies. Come to think of it, almost 5 o’clock. here in freezing cold Melbourne… now have I got any vodka…

  58. Dearest Beth,

    Atomic clouds and atomic clocks. It is amazing how much better everything is with the word atomic in front. The ultimate in precision and the ultimate in power. Accuracies of nanoseconds in a day. Now we have become death – destroyer of worlds. I once had an atomic coffee maker – the source of cofffee grounds littering the kitchen nook prompting reflections on time. It was more the shape being that of a diatomic molecule than the power source.

    A cold wind buffetting off the lake
    captures the imagination for an instant,
    plunging with the pelicans wing
    glancing sunlight off feathers.

    Lifting waves and spray against the reeds.
    An instant playing out against a backdrop
    of the shifting of continents.
    Gondwana crumbling to eternity
    amidst the stars and comets.

    There is a challengs for humanity here.
    Australia, India, China, Tibet, Iran,
    Japan, Arabia, Marie Byrd Land.
    Shall we crumble and fall like Gondwana
    or loft to the winds of the future.

    If I could wait like a stone on the shore,
    fast dissolution in the storms of time.
    If I could break the barrier of light
    to freeze the instant, it would still
    be unfolding to infinity.

    I would be big, I would fill the universe.
    I would have to be me and have to be you.
    We would have to be the sunlight on the waves,
    the rock, the wind, the water and the pelican.

    Best regards

  59. Beth Cooper

    Captain Kangaroo @ 21/05 3.01am:

    Dear Robert,

    This is a wonderful poem.
    I think your first and last verses are … well … perfect.

    Best regards,

  60. John Kannarr

    Re the “conservative brain”: I am reminded of the smear of Barry Goldwater during the 1964 election campaign, when it was claimed 1000 psychiatrists had evaluated him (on the basis of what?) and determined he was insane, or some such nonsense.

  61. Another La Nina dip?

  62. Beth Cooper

    Brandy Alexander, Johanna? That’s a coctail fit for larrikins at a 70’s celebration, even if only virtual. ( Apology for mis-spelling your name yesterday.)

  63. I have just found out that Arcus has set the dates for the June prediciton of minimum Arctic ice for 2012. All submissions to be in by 4 June; first results to be published on 11 June. I wonder whether our hostess with her forecasting ability, and her interest in the relationship between snowfall and minimum Arctic se ice extent, will be putting in a forecast

  64. How about this for a little more clarity:

    Evidence is something that is not a product of the biases of the human mind that can be measured or counted or evaluated in some way.


  65. …..or numbers, they don’t have a ‘physical substance’.

    Go Team Skeptic!

  66. Well the number “2” could represent 2 apples (the evidence). Just “2” by itself, is an abstraction and not evidence of anything.


    • Bad Andrew | May 22, 2012 at 10:27 am |

      By induction, 2 evidences a zero, a successor to zero that itself has a successor of 2, and 2 itself, at the very least.

      It’s quite a bit of evidence, as with the successor operation, one can construct infinite numbers, and with a few postulates one can construct from that all of Mathematics.

  67. maksimovich

    The Cryosphere has a new paper on the Greenland Glaciers Kargel 2012,where the analyses and corrections to the Time atlas fiasco eg conclusions

    Called to action by the Times Atlas mistake, we have produced a comprehensive, small-scale map of Greenland’s ice margin, and an assessment of shrinkage and retreat in Greenland from the published literature and in central east Greenland from new analysis. We demonstrate prevalent net losses for all glacier types, large and small, surge and nonsurge, tidewater and land-terminating. Some measurements
    of shrinkage, retreat and mass loss suggest interannual variability;
    many demonstrate accelerating change, but the rates are one or more orders of magnitude less than in the Times Atlas.

    The Times Atlas mistake was unfortunate and avoidable.
    The publisher could have made a much better map, and in
    consultation with glaciologists has now done so. The publisher
    corrected the mistake quickly because the scientific
    community reacted immediately to the incorrect description
    of climate-related change in public media. We hope that as a
    result public trust in science is strengthened.