Analyzing people who talk about AGW denialism

by Judith Curry

Sociologists and journalists are writing articles about understanding AGW skepticism and denialism.  This latest article from Nature  makes me think somebody needs to study these people who think that:

Study 2 examined whether framing climate change action in these ways (increasing interpersonal warmth and societal development) may be a more effective approach for motivating action in deniers than the more traditional focus on the reality and risks of climate change. 

Here is the abstract for the Nature Climate Change paper:

Promoting pro-environmental action in climate change deniers

Paul Bain, Matthew Hornsey, Renata Bongiorno, Carla Jeffries

Abstract. A sizeable (and growing) proportion of the public in Western democracies deny the existence of anthropogenic climate change. It is commonly assumed that convincing deniers that climate change is real is necessary for them to act pro-environmentally. However, the likelihood of ‘conversion’ using scientific evidence is limited because these attitudes increasingly reflect ideological positions. An alternative approach is to identify outcomes of mitigation efforts that deniers find important. People have strong interests in the welfare of their society, so deniers may act in ways supporting mitigation efforts where they believe these efforts will have positive societal effects. In Study 1, climate change deniers (N=155) intended to act more pro-environmentally where they thought climate change action would create a society where people are more considerate and caring, and where there is greater economic/technological development. Study 2 (N=347) replicated this experimentally, showing that framing climate change action as increasing consideration for others, or improving economic/technological development, led to greater pro-environmental action intentions than a frame emphasizing avoiding the risks of climate change. To motivate deniers’ pro-environmental actions, communication should focus on how mitigation efforts can promote a better society, rather than focusing on the reality of climate change and averting its risks.

Keith Kloor’s reaction

Over at Collide-a-Scape, Keith Kloor writes:

But the way the authors go about it–by using the loaded “deniers” term as a catch-all reference–is akin to a public health expert slapping this title on a study: “Promoting a healthy diet for fatsos.” And then characterizing overweight individuals as “fatsos” all through the paper.

So far, reaction from climate scientists ranges from puzzlement to consternation. On Twitter, Doug McNeall, a climate researcher at the UK’s Met office, wondered if the paper “was actively courting controversy” and added:

I struggle to believe that the authors don’t know the impact of the word ‘denier’, given the subject matter.

Richard Betts, a fellow Met Office climate scientist, chimed in:

“Denier” is an unnecessarily inflammatory label, and only causes distraction by getting people worked up. Bad move.

Unsurprisingly, climate skeptics are worked up over the Nature paper. Bishop Hill writes:

it certainly looks as if the authors intended to generate offence and controversy rather than truth and light. Hilariously, the authors are writing about how to convert people to the green cause!

Indeed, the irony is hard to miss.

JC comment:  I view this pretty much as the green equivalent of the unabomber billboard.  I find this kind of stuff in a high impact journal to be offensive:  what was Nature Climate Change thinking when they published this?

Somebody needs to research the sociology and psychology of people that insist that anyone that does not accept AGW as a rationale for massive CO2 mitigation efforts is a “denier.”   The complexity of skepticism (ranging from multiple aspects of the science, to the impacts that can be attributable to AGW and whether or not they are “dangerous” to the policies proposed for CO2 mitigation) seems to be completely missed by all of the “scholars” writing articles about ‘deniers’.  The argued point “A sizeable (and growing) proportion of the public in Western democracies deny the existence of anthropogenic climate change”  should provide a clue to these people that something is fundamentally wrong with their thinking.

So ‘deniers’, tell me:  will “increasing interpersonal warmth and societal development” work for you?

822 responses to “Analyzing people who talk about AGW denialism

  1. Mike Somerville

    Truly genuine “increasing interpersonal warmth” could at least open up a two way conversation. The unintended result may the discovery that the skeptics may have something valuable to contribute.

    It has happened before somewhere…

    • Nothing creates interpersonal warmth like labeling someone a denier.

      And societal development makes me think of brain-washing children and “re-education” camps under totalitarianism.

      • I applaud Professor Curry for having the courage to post, and discuss openly, propaganda moves like this and the unabomber billboard.

        The frequency and intensity of such attacks will increase, . . . if

        a.) AGW promoters continue to lose ground, and
        b.) World leaders catch a glimpse of reality beyond the well-funded, Orwellian curtain of propaganda.

        A great deal is at stake for leaders of the scientific community, especially those in the UN, EU, US NAS, UK’s RS, Nature, Science, PNAS, MNRS, etc.

        According to a report published by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) on 19 June 2112, President Barack Obama himself has already requested information on space weather !

        This is an encouraging sign that Orwellian pseudoscientists may no longer be able to ignore the fountain of energy that Copernicus discovered at the center of the solar system in 1543.

        Here’s the rest of the story:

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

    • But “increasing interpersonal warmth” would be yet another upward pressure on global temperatures …

    • Scott Basinger

      Does “increasing interpersonal warmth” involve getting laid by easy eco-hippie chicks? If so, that’s an angle I hadn’t considered yet…

      • Scott,

        If you decide to pursue this angle further, I suggest you first find out if they are the sort that believes in bathing. Not all do.

      • Scott,

        timg56 makes a good point, Scott. Probably best to stick with the NGO babes, I’d say. Though I imagine they’re all pretty much “tied up” at the moment working the executive suites in Rio. But the party there’s over in a day or two.

      • In 2009, when Australian Prime Minster, Kevin Rudd, was heading off to the Copenhagen Climate Conference with 120 public servants, minders and spin doctors in tow, I asked what they would be doing. A blogger answered:

        booze, sex and party, party, party.

  2. Roddy Campbell

    Well, I enjoyed it, for its absurdity, and for its lumping together genuine AGW deniers with impact and policy sceptics, and adaptationists.

    Curiously, if you take out the word ‘deniers’, this sentence makes some sense:

    ‘To motivate …….. pro-environmental actions, communication should focus on how mitigation efforts can promote a better society, rather than focusing on the reality of climate change and averting its risks.’

    I’m all for a better society. Now we can argue what ‘better’ means! And ‘society’ for that matter.

    • As the lead author of the paper, I’ve made a comment on the “denier” label below. But I appreciate your response. We defined society as nation, but the better is definitely up for debate. In terms of Judith’s “will it work for you” question, it won’t work for eveybody. And the point of Study 1 was not that it works as a rhetorical strategy, but that it exists as a view held by some sceptics. All we did was ask people to make some ratings about what the effects of taking widespread action on climate change would be. Now some said it would be bad, as expected, but perhaps surprisingly some said it would be good, even though it wouldn’t affect the climate. The views most reliably related to their intentions to support action related to creating a society where we cared about each other more (warmth), and where it would promote economic/community development. Parts of it may sound a bit “hippy” to some, but this is just what the measures showed.

      Now that certainly doesn’t mean all people thought this, and there may be other types of consequences that sceptics might accept as good outcomes, e.g. reducing pollution, reducing reliance on foreign oil. But it does suggest that if both sides of the debate paid close attention to the social consequences of policies, rather than the present intractable debate on the reality of AGW, then we might get to a point where we can agree on some action – you might think it is pointless with regard to the climate (but a substantial proportion of people think it will), but if it produces some other good outcomes it might be ok. If it all sounds like a pipe-dream, one of our reviewers pointed us to this example, which illustrates the general point:

      • Paul, you and your co-authors may want to read this:

        The late Elinor Ostrom was a specialist on Commons and Public Goods problems. You can find her Nobel lecture here, which is good background for her World Bank paper above:

        It puzzles me that Ostrom isn’t better known among Social Psych folks but the Academic walls are funny that way.

      • Dr. Bain linked to the NY Times article:
        In Kansas, Climate Skeptics Embrace Cleaner Energy

        “So the project ran an experiment to see if by focusing on thrift, patriotism, spiritual conviction and economic prosperity, it could rally residents of six Kansas towns to take meaningful steps to conserve energy and consider renewable fuels. “

        That is what we’re talking about. Most people in policy positions understand we have a powerful 1-2 punch going in terms of risk mitigation. There is the high-risk, low-probability outcome of AGW, and the medium-risk, high-probability outcome of fossil fuel depletion. The risk mitigation strategies for combating each of these outcomes share much in common. Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and moving to alternative or renewable energy supplies works to mitigate both AGW and FF depletion.

        The risk mixture of a bad AGW outcome and FF depletion certainty makes the mitigation strategy a no-brainer. It’s the old killing-two-birds-with-one-stone approach. Yet, you will find some people that treat both issues with equal disdain.

      • There is no–I repeat no–advantage to moving away from fossil fuels absent an environmental rationale. Hence, any policy that burdens these fuels is an instant regrets policy resulting in lower amounts and qualities of just about every good there is for just about every person in the world.

        Fossil fuels are and will continue to be cheaper, easier to use, more portable, and more dense than any combination of solar/batteries or wind/batteries. And they are much easier to site, build, operate, and maintain than nuclear power systems, at least under current regulatory and political conditions. You almost need brain damage not to see these facts, easily found in EIA statistics, back of the envelope calculations, or the overwhelming market evidence.

        Ah, you say, but what about depletion? Well, if and when fossil fuels become so depleted that their extraction cost starts to rival the next-best alternatives, their prices will rise and people will switch. Just like they did form whale oil to petroleum, etc., etc. Forcing the switch before fossil fuels become more expensive destroys wealth and lowers everyone’s standard of living.

        If you want to argue for streamlined regulation of nuclear power to bring closer the day when its cost curve goes below fossil fuels, I won’t complain about that. But please, no more force feeding of losers like windmills and solar panels and no more myth-making about how tomorrow they’ll be able to compete on an even basis with fossil fuels if today we just keep subsidizing them.

      • Latimer Alder


        Windmills can be erected in a matter of weeks, Solar panels the same. They are pretty much commodities. They do not need R&D and guys in white coats in labs …they need carpenters and earth movers and concrete pourers and guys in hard hats. These are ten-a-penny.

        If and when we are forced to move to these power sources because the fossil fuels have really run out, we can build them all in less than a decade.

        What is the logic of getting all the disadvantages of these pathetic energy sources now when we don’t need to? Eventually we all know we are going to die. That is not a very good reason for committing suicide at age 20.

      • WebHubTelescope

        Demand destruction is occurring as we speak, oilers are going to low EROEI resources as the good stuff dwindles, previously net exporting countries are keeping the oil for themselves, statistical reports are “hiding the decline” as they try to substitute other liquids for crude, and then you have that article that Bain linked to anecdotally.

        So the people have spoken and by their actions you can watch this transition play out.

        I am not sure we have a difference of opinion.

      • WebHubTelescope

        So those people in Kansas are committing suicide?
        Could have fooled me, it looked like they were having a nice candle-lit dinner.

        Then he says we are all gonna die anyways. What’s up with that?
        Latimer comes across as very anti-social.

        Or are these just straw-man arguments because he has nothing else to add? His own country is in a world of hurt after the booming 1980’s. All solutions are pathetic to him.

      • “What is the logic of getting all the disadvantages of these pathetic energy sources now when we don’t need to? Eventually we all know we are going to die. That is not a very good reason for committing suicide at age 20.”

        But it is good reason to find an even cheaper source of energy than fossil fuel.
        Fusion is going anywhere [the guys doing that have pretty much proven that] so taking a different approach to fusion is warranted [involve more player in research]..
        Much effort towards beamed energy.
        And better focus on space exploration.
        Let’s start with known fact. Socialism does not work.
        This means in terms of government effort, one focus on
        exploration which could find markets in space.
        We already have a clue, to one market. Making
        rocket fuel in space. If this market is developed, it will
        lower NASA’s cost, and private sector satellite business.
        If it did lower cost- it not a market. The lowering of cost defines
        it as viable market. No lower costs- no market.
        NASA might had said that rocket fuel is worth $20,000 per
        lb on lunar surface. It’s not. But in near term it’s worth somewhere
        around $5000 per lb. It will known more precisely once any market
        starts. If rocket fuel is worth say $1000 per lb then mined lunar water
        is worth around $500 per lb. Million lb mined- 1/2 billion dollar or somewhere around swimming pool worth. An Olympic swimming pools
        is 2,500,000 liters [2500 tons] or 2 1/2 billion dollar. There probably
        millions perhaps a billion tons of water which may be minable on moon.
        Easily trillions of dollars assuming a steep drop from $1000 per lb.
        So high cost in beginning, price lower like silicon chips and computers as time and demand increase. In a century or two or three water in space could cheaper than water on earth. As there is far more water in space than on earth.
        The price of rocket fuel in space does not need to lower much, the issue having rocket fuel market in itself lowers costs of doing anything in space.
        One reason is with rocket one can reuse spacecraft [instead throwing if tens of million if hundreds of million worth of space vehicle]. Or NASA spent hundreds billions on the space shuttle, it was suppose to be reusable [was mostly failure in this regard], if there rocket fuel in space, it’s easier to reuse space vehicle in space.
        So start markets in spaces and one mines lunar water, which needs a source power to make into rocket fuel. So another market- electrical power in space.
        And like water in space, electrical in space can get to the point where electrical power is cheaper in space than one earth. Both solar and nuclear are easier in space than earth. radiactive waste and containment less problem. Solar energy has higher density in space than one earth.
        At the point on had market for electrical power in space, and it was still say 10 or 100 times what costs on earth, it will cheap enough to attract industry [which with addition demand drive electrical lower].
        So cost will cascade lower.
        Unlike earth, solar energy works in space. In space, there is no lack of space or real estate. What would cover earth in solar panels could put near earth and you need a telescope to see them.
        Space is an ocean. Transport not going to planetary surfaces require little energy. And if there enough traffic the cost getting to space from planets could made cheaper than taxi ride in New York City. And getting tonnage to earth surface from Space is no energy [you use aerobraking].

      • WHT,

        Your comment reveals you do not have an understanding of even the most basic concepts of risk.

        Risk = consequence x probability, not

        Risk = risk x probability.

        You direct a lot of pejorative remarks at those who do not agree with you about AGW, and you try to make out they are ignorant and you know all, yet you make statements revealing your ignorance of the most fundamental concepts needed for making policy.

        It shows that your contributions to discussions about climate policy should be discounted.

      • Peter Lang has a problem because the concept that he talks about can not be quantified. Probability is a quantity, but something multiplying that turns it into an effectiveness, which is at best a relative measure.

        It is high risk and low probability to parachute out of a plane.
        It is low risk and high probability to not win the lottery on a $100 bet.

        How many people think it is stupid to do one or the other? How many people think it is stupid to do both?

        That is the point I am trying to get across. To take evasive action to avoid doing something stupid based on the possibility of bad outcomes.

        Everything that Peter Lang says should now be discounted.

      • WHT

        You are adding to your display of ignorance about risk. You’d think, if you were a researcher, you’d check before writing more nonsense. They admit your error, something I’ve noticed you never seem to manage to do.

        You said:

        Peter Lang has a problem because the concept that he talks about can not be quantified. Probability is a quantity, but something multiplying that turns it into an effectiveness, which is at best a relative measure.

        This shows you haven’t a clue about risk assessment, analysis or about other component of risk management.

        Probability as you correctly state is quantifiable.

        You clearly do not understand what “Consequence” means. Consequence is a quantity. It can be cost, fatalities, work days lost, or just other quantifiable consequence of an event or a condition. Here is a simple explanation or risk; in this case it is the fatalities per TWh of electricity supplied (see figures 1 and 2 and the accompanying text) .
        If you see any errors please point them out.

        WHT’s credibility is further reduced. I wonder if he has the integrity to admit he is talking through his ass, hasn’t a clue about this matter, and admit it.

      • Paul, in my personal life and as a voluntary worker, I’ve been taking “action related to creating a society where we cared about each other more (warmth),” for 40 years, and in my professional life since 1964 I’ve worked mainly on promoting economic development – my broad focus has been drivers of economic growth. My attitude to CAGW derives in part from looking at evidence regarding it for over 20 years, and at the costs and benefits of CO2 emission reduction policies. I would support such policies only if I were convinced (a) that there were good grounds for them and (b) that the returns would exceed those from alternative use of resources. Anything else would leave me unmoved.

      • Paul, your report would have more credibility if . . .

        1. You labeled the two sides deceivers and deniers.

        2. You did not label only one side, and not the other.

        3. You acknowledged serious flaws in the scientific evidence of AGW.

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

      • Paul, Your approach is not productive. It’s part of a general societal tendency to use name calling to achieve some end result.

        I would direct your attention to the recent editorial in Nature (May I believe) about the “creeping bias” in science characterized as “positive results bias.” There was also an excellent article in the New York Times in April about the same problem in medical fields. The problem here is that climate science is not particularly high on the scale of honesty and rigorous standards. One has only to look at the recent exchange of papers in Annals of Statistics (McShane and Wyner) on paleoclimate or the recent withdrawl of a paper claiming an “Australian hockey stick” caused by a blogger (Steve McIntyre) who had the gaul to approach the results skeptically to see what the problem is here. Using the term “denier” is a classical smear much like the attempt to characterize someone as a “socialist” or a “communist” or a “right wing taliban” when the target is explicitly no such thing. These are all cheap tricks designed for propaganda and not scientific discourse.

      • Now that certainly doesn’t mean all people thought this, and there may be other types of consequences that sceptics might accept as good outcomes, e.g. reducing pollution, reducing reliance on foreign oil. But it does suggest that if both sides of the debate paid close attention to the social consequences of policies, rather than the present intractable debate on the reality of AGW, then we might get to a point where we can agree on some action – you might think it is pointless with regard to the climate (but a substantial proportion of people think it will), but if it produces some other good outcomes it might be ok. If it all sounds like a pipe-dream, one of our reviewers pointed us to this example, which illustrates the general point:

        This is a pure example of a logical fallacy. You have attempted to justify social policies on their outcome alone. One might suggest then that the needs of the many always outweigh the needs of the few, or the one, and that putting to death all incurably psychosexually disturbed people would prevent us from having to have to jail or track them at all. I hope I’m not losing you in the hyperbole, for I admit I’m doling it out in large dosages. The example sticks though since you’re simply saying, “well, but, these policies might do good, so lets just focus on the political policies proposed and not on the original flim-flam job used to bring them up in the first place.”

        The argument over policy should stop until the time a rock-solid case for action can be made. You don’t debate action for action’s sake or you’re simply justifying politicians running your life. With the rationale you’re using in making a case for policy, it would be appropriate for me to start a gigantic scare over an earth-asteroid collision to boost NASA funding 100-fold. Then later when it is shown that my math in demonstrating a collision was based on bad statistics and a total lack of hard evidence, I would simply say, “Focus on the possible good policy, because it will surely do humanity good in boosting our space travel technology.”

        You are making a huge logical mistake. I hope you can see it.

  3. There are two things driving the psychologising of dissent. The first is the increasing need for academics to prove their ‘relevance’, which has long been drawing the academy closer to the policy-making process. The second is a related, but broader and deeper problem — it seems that there being no adequate definition of ‘good’ forces individuals in these relativistic times to play the part of planet-saving super-heroes.

    This reaches its ugly epitome in the disciplines which study the human mind. See for instance, Prof. Moffic’s argument for psychiatrists to assume a role in the climate change debate – .

    Individual psychology has little to do either with scepticism/’denial’, or the pseudo-scientific attempts to understand their brains such as Chris Mooney’s. It’s the ideas in currency — the ideology — which allows people to see other people in this way.

  4. I can’t wait to see by what contorted logic I will be convinced that turning off the lights, throwing up useless windmills, covering the land with PV cells, parking my car, skyrocketing my energy prices and, I suppose, growing my own food, will ever increase “…interpersonal warmth and societal development.” I rather think those ends are gained by increasing global interdependence and trade, as follows from Matt Ridley’s analysis in The Rational Optimist.

    This was today’s winner phrase: “…the likelihood of ‘conversion’ using scientific evidence is limited because these attitudes increasingly reflect ideological positions.” In my case all it took was a bit of scientific evidence to see the glaring inconsistencies of the AGW position. That was back when I still voted for Democrats!

  5. They start by stating that the definition of “climate change denier” includes people who accept that climate is changing. How much more wrong can a science paper be? Sorry of course they attach the qualification that these people don’t agree that humans substantially influence climate change – so they are clearly “deniers”. No further discussion of what is understood by substantial is offered though. Could an interpretation of the IPCC at the lower end of its statements fit this denier category? Apparently it’s all in their heads; an ever movable definition that only the “believer” faithful can match. Why would anyone want to be in the same room as people like this let alone read their papers or the journal they are printed in?

  6. philjourdan

    First, the study appears to be an introduction to indoctrination. IN other words, if you cannot convince them with science, you have to then fool them with words. As such, I am a bit surprised (perhaps I should not be in light of CGI and CGII) that it would appear in a supposed “Science” journal.

    Second, it also shows a decided lack of understanding of Skeptics. It is not about a denial (the pejorative word), but about questioning the science, which is the basis of science. Other studies have shown that skeptice appear to be much more informed about the science of AGW than do the adherents. My personal opinion for this reality is that Skeptics have studied the science and have very basic questions – questions that have yet to be answered. While the adherents are just part of the “in-crowd’ that like to be thought of as intelligent, regardless of any demonstration to that effect.

  7. While I am, as many others, concerned about the problems the authors invite with the term “denier” I am in no way less horrified by the authors’ use of the word “believer”.

    I might as well be reading a Jehovas’ Witness committee meeting to discuss how to attract more of the great unwashed to their faith. That this is what passes for a peer reviewed paper, published in one of the most well-respected scientific journals, is mortifying.

    The distinction between religion and science is gone, thanks to “climate change science”. How very extraordinary that this is allowed to happen, and that so few scientists stand in the way of it.

    • This is EXACTLY the point!
      The world of the AWG theory supporters is (mainly) referred to in terms of “belief” and “denial”.
      They forgot altogether this is ALL about science. We want evidence, not models; facts, not theories.
      And when weighing between observations and models, the former trumps every time.

    • tempterrain

      There’s nothing particularly different about climate science in this respect. For instance there are still those who argue against Einstein.
      See for example

      Most sensible people would accept Einstein’s theory even though they may not fully understand it. Would you call that ‘belief’ or sensible acceptance?

      PS Note they, just like many so-called climate sceptics, say relativity is “hotly contested in scientific circles even after 100 years of supposed acceptance” . Its not true of course. You’ll always find a few people who disagree with just about anything and try to create the impression that scientific disagreements are much more than they really are.

      • Latimer Alder


        But there is extraordinarily powerful experimental and observational evidence that relativity is ‘right’. Even better it can make accurate predictions that, when tested in the real world, turn out to match the observations.

        ‘Climate science’ has none of these characteristics. The best that can be managed is – in some cases – observations that ‘are not inconsistent with’ AGW theory’. Which is really pretty crap after 30 years of trying.

      • tempterrain says
        “There’s nothing particularly different about climate science in this respect. For instance there are still those who argue against Einstein.”

        Well funnily enough there was the recent debate about whether Neutrinos could travel faster than light.
        The experimenters making this claim provided all the evidence they could to substantiate their conjecture.
        Both sides of the debate worked collectively to resolve the question.
        It turns out that all now agree that Einstein was correct.

        At no time did the prospective ‘skeptics’ get labelled as ‘deniers’.

        So yes, there is something different about climate science!

      • tempterrain

        “At no time did the prospective ‘skeptics’ get labelled as ‘deniers’.”

        That’s because the participants in the discussion were genuine skeptics (on both sides of the argument) rather than deniers! The ones who were skeptical of any faster than light travel have, or so I understand, now been shown to be correct to the satisfaction of all concerned.

        The deniers are to be found on the link I gave previously and also on this one.
        They say ” It [Relativity] is heavily promoted by liberals who like its encouragement of relativism and its tendency to mislead people in how they view the world. Here is a list of 39 counterexamples: any one of them shows that the theory is incorrect…..Despite wasting millions of taxpayer dollars searching for gravitational waves predicted by the theory, none has ever been found. Sound like global warming?”
        Are they deniers on relativity but skeptics on AGW? I’d say they were deniers all round, wouldn’t you?

  8. So ‘deniers’, tell me: will “increasing interpersonal warmth and societal development” work for you?

    With all the respect due someone who has recently passed, I think this is what Rodney King was driving at. That was 1992, so perhaps the novelty of this research should be reexamined.

  9. Latimer Alder

    ‘increasing interpersonal warmth and societal development’

    Top of my list Jude. Absolutely the numero uno. My watchword and guiding light. The sine qua non of my entire existence. Not a second passes without it being my aspiration.

    Every morning when I wake my first thought is that my mission for the day is to increase interpersonal warmth and societal development.

    And then I think of ways of achieving these goals. Publicly Roasting A Greenie over an open fire is often my preferred method – it not only provides warmth but society develops in a positive direction overall.

    Another way is to harness all the the wishful thinking and unrealistic dreams of the Gaia worshippers, set fire to it and use it to turn turbines to make electricity.

    But seriously, do they really think that those of us who are clever enough not to fall for the AGW con are just going to develop a seriously gullible streak because the same conmen put on a smiley face and witter on about ‘interpersonal warmth’

    All these psychologists who so propose need their heads examining, their bumps felt and their arses kicked from here to ‘Green’land. They really must think we are stupid.

    • I love ya Latimer (even though you’re a pommy)

    • tempterrain

      “They really must think we are stupid.”

      Well I must admit that the thought does cross my mind from time to time!

      • Funny, when I think about the people on this subject i disagree with the words that come to mind are foolish or arrogant, perhaps true believer, but not stupid.

  10. “Somebody needs to research the sociology and psychology of people that insist that anyone that does not accept AGW as a rationale for massive CO2 mitigation efforts is a “denier.”

    Exactly – it’s important to do that at this time in response to these onslaughts, because otherwise we are accepting the paradigm of skepticism as predominantly a symptom.

    I’ve tried in a small way to engage with Adam Corner to suggest a debate on the lines of “Understanding the Psychology of AGW belief”, without much success:

    but maybe JC you’d be much more credible and effective in setting up such a thing?

    • You want to look into Jonathan Haidt’s work. He has done this kind of research. Look for The Righteous Mind. His results are quite interesting and don’t particularly favor any particular position.

  11. Theory and Models fail to match real actual data. That should make everyone a Skeptic. Real Actual Data spikes up and spikes down. Model Output is Smooth. I am an Engineer. I worked for NASA in the Space Race to the Moon. If the Model produces output that does not look like the Data, It is WRONG. Anyone and Everyone should see that and be A Skeptic about if they know what they are doing. We should not ruin our Economy and Energy Production over Model Output that looks nothing like Earth Temperature. The Model Output looks nothing like Real Earth Temperature Data, the king has no clothes on.

    • Consensus Climate Scientists keep giving excuses for missing the short term forecasts and keep saying the really understand and are right about the long term. That is bull. If they don’t get the short term right, there is no way that they are on track for the long term. The need to understand why they don’t get the short term right. It is really difficult for many engineers to look at model output that looks nothing like real data and being told it is right. I am really tired of that. Some in congress have listened to us and did fail to pass the Cap and trade. Yes I am rightfully a Skeptic of bad Theory and Modeling.

  12. “So ‘deniers’, tell me: will “increasing interpersonal warmth and societal development” work for you?”

    Only if there is enough interpersonal warmth to keep the models in the 95% once the AMO goes negative.

  13. mike seward

    According to the Nature link, the authors of this bizarre effort are affiliated with “School of Psychology, University of Queensland, St Lucia Queensland 4072, Australia” and it is noted that “This research was supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant (DP0984678) to the first author.”

    As an Australian I suspect some inspiration from the “head spinning” contributions ( I hope Judith has recovered ) of Professor Stephen Lewandowsky over on our west coast at the School of Psychology , University of Western Australia. Professor Lewandowsky is a research psychologist who seems obsessed with the psychological state of “deniers” among other things.

    I am moving towards the understanding that this sort of raving nonsense is just what you have to do to attract attention and funding for a School of Psychology at a time in history when the damn climate scientists have got everyone’s attention.

    And of course none of this is about psychology in the sense of a disordered thought process by “deniers” rather it is about the appearance of disordered thoughts and outright dishonesty by the AGW lobby to a large portion of the community who recognize a pattern of arrogance, dissembling, abuse and contempt for others who express alternate views that screams abuse of process, fit up and generally bearing false witness.

    It is pretty simple really, the issue is not the theoretical truth of the matter rather it is the assessment of the evidence as presented by the witnesses as it is only after the presentation of evidence that the community can make its judgement. If 97% of climate scientists do believe that AGW is real but the people who convey that information are perceived as liars, frauds, nut jobs and self interested rent seekers then the case is hardly made, in fact the truth ( if that were the truth) is utterly discredited.

    After “repressed memories” and “assisted communication” I do not think psychology is an authoritive discipline to come out in support of AGW.

    If these shrinks want something topical to research they could look back at the Azaria Chamberlain case ( “Evil Angels” with Meryl Streep) whose parents were recently (finally after 30 odd years) exonerated in Law of her murder and the conclusion that a dingo killed the poor child set in stone. There are some awful parallels in the media witch hunt of Mrs Chamberlain to the AGW scare campaign and vilification of “deniers” and of course Mrs Chamberlain was convicted on the utterly brainless and bogus forensic “science” that got a false positive from rust inhibitor and concluded it was foetal blood in the family car.

    Even Professor Tim Flannery of endless drought in Australia infamy and now this nation’s chief climate commissar was a dingo denier back then. Oh the irony.

    • So this is happening just a three-minute ferry ride from me! I live in the most left-wing and Green constituency in Queensland, now I find I’m just across the river from psycho-babblers! It’s amazing that I remain equanimous. :-)

      (Disclosure: my children have science, arts, engineering and medicine degrees from that fine institution UQ, and a UQ emeritus professor attended my recent 70th birthday party.)

    • Don’t forget that our government here in Oz now has a Climate Tax to sell, and any hired propagandist who can help them keep their seats and ensure that the Prime Minister retains her job can name their price in terms of government sinecures, honours and awards. I suspect this is all about jockeying to be the next Lord High Science Propagandist.

  14. Thanks, Judith. It should be a treat to run through the comments on this thread later in the day.

  15. The paper is inconsequential. But what it reveals about the journal and its editorial board, advisors and reviewers is huge.

  16. Considerate thinker

    I see things in the comments at Jeff Condon’s “the air vent” subject “Sometimes they forget’’
    The veneer is falling away from the Real Climate team with the defenders of the faith trying to make a valiant effort, but notching up a huge fail in the face of some pithy comments. The team frame has folded, in a heap,and it seems obvious the whole issue needs to be recast in a different light, i.e. finding a way to soften the image and re-frame a progressive aim “to fool the peasants”.

    Just as is reported at Anthony Watts site, its this re-frame, presented at the United nations Rio+20 Earth Summit.

    “Just this week, the Civil Society Reflection Group on Global Development Perspectives released a new report to the United Nations Rio+20 Earth Summit on Sustainable Development. The executive summary of No Future Without Justice begins with the heading, “The World Is in Need of Fundamental Change.” The document then offers “solutions,” which include “universal fiscal equalization” and a “massive and absolute decoupling of well-being from resource extraction and consumption.”

    Now all we need is the Psychobabble to adapt the language. to fit the ism frame.

  17. Considerate thinker

    Who needs Climate science when we can just re-frame the debate to the real agenda.

  18. Dr. Curry,
    Again, it is the AGW true believers and those promoting AGW who are demonstrating the pathology.
    This Nature article is more like a group of mental health patients getting together and writing a paper about why those who doubt their mental health are wicked conspirators who refuse to agree to their grand delusions.

  19. This is how a hoax dies. It dies when everyone sees what the true motives of the Left are and how spurious the Climatists’ claims have been. Al Gore didn’t win Florida. Bush said nyet to Kyoto. Highschooler Kristen Byrnes (Ponder the Maunder) said nyet to the Gore-type truther-crockumentaries from the Left about rivers around the globe running red like lava from the heat caused by Americans simply going about their business of earning a living. And, Mother Nature didn’t cooperate either. Nothing happened as the Climatists designed in their minds. Their planning has been as worthless as their filing cabinets full of global warming pseudo-science and their cash for clunkers economics. Movements come and go and now we see that it is sociologists, psychologists and philosophers who are most interested in studying the effects of the Left’s monomaniacal pursuit of Ayn Rand’s industrial man, with a malice aforethought in their hearts.

    • Do you really believe that Kristen Byrnes makes any contribution to the debate with her Ponder the Maunder essay?

      That essay uses a crappy sports analogy to deny that there is a greenhouse effect. There is more science in G & T. The term denier is appropritate to that essay.

      • Unlike Al Gore Kristen Byrnes personally checked out the locations of many of the official thermometers that are improperly sited and corrupted by UHI (Urban Heat Island) effects. Byrnes shared her “photographs of the seriously contaminated temperature stations” back in 2007. No country deserves to survive that disses instead of celebrates the iniative and tanacity of any of its youth who demonstrate the courage to seek and tell the truth..

        Guess what? The world didn’t listen to Bush back then either. Now that we see the earth cooling and that a 14-year old was capable of debunking A. Gore — the oracle of Democrats and Leftists — and, after the liberal fascists have been exposed as purveyors of a hoax, you have to ask the question …

        Why was George Bush so much smarter than all of the Democrat-supported Leftists and liberal fascists back in 2001?

        The answer is really simple. Unlike the Left’s Saint Gore and all of the communists/socialists, tin pot dictators and UN-approved science in authoritarians in academia and around the world — and all of the Soros / Michael Moore / MSM-Hollywood / Unibomber-Eco-whackpot / Ward Churchill types — George Bush was not anti-America nor anti-business and anti-capitalism..

      • 01I wasn’t referring to Kristen’s pictures, I was referring to her Ponder the Maunder essay in which she supposedly proved the greenhouse effect to be bogus by using a sports analogy.

        Wasn’t there a study recently that showed that there was no difference in the temperature trends when you select them based on their suitability ratings?

        The earth is cooling you say, have you seen the latest numbers from GISS, you are right, it has cooled 0.01 degrees from May 1998 to May 2012.

        I would like to keep the politics out of it, and I am certainly not anti-American, nor anti-business, and certainly not anti-capitalism.

      • By Kristen Byrnes (in Ponder the Maunder)

        Follies in Measuring Global Warming IV: Competence


        Finally we get to Durham New Hampshire where an interesting study was done that compared the temperature station with a nearby reference station. The study found that the Durham MMTS (in the photo below) was about 1.5 degrees warmer in the summer only. It was slightly cooler during the winter and no difference during spring or fall. The study concluded that the problem must be a malfunction in the equipment. Obviously they never actually went to the location to figure out the problem.

        So what’s the problem here? … Do the people who install, monitor and study climate equipment even know what they are doing?

      • Hansen acknowledged there may be flaws in the weather station data. “But that doesn’t mean you give up on the science, and that you can’t draw valid conclusions about the nature of Earth’s temperature change,” he asserted. (Taken from the NASA GISS website)

        A fitting sports analogy might be–e.g., who cares if athletes use drugs — we can simply adjust for the effect of the drugs after the event has taken place and draw a valid conclusion based on the adjusted times about the identity of the real winners, right?

      • Wagathon, you don’t seem to remember Kristen’s Ponder the Maunder sports analogy.

      • Something like Mann’s sycophants like to play with their hockey sticks.

      • How can you bring up her essay and not be familiar with it?

      • Conflagulating to promulgate even greater misogyny against a teenager — even if she is a genius — is outrageous… or, worse. What’s next?

      • No hatred for women and I work alone and I do try to make the world a better place.

        One of the projects I was involved with was on the CBS news last night. You can now get a PET scan to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.

        Ponder the Maunder is still drivel.

      • Understood — global warming alarmists find Al Gore to be far more salacious. But still, you are not intimidated by strong women. Got it.

  20. Some of the denizens here like to call themselves sceptics, while at the same time repeating the same old canards that are inconsistant with the evidence over and over again.

    The liberals and progressives that think along the same lines as I do, do not want a totalitarian one world government, do not want to abolish capitalism and free enterprise, nor completely destroy the economy.

    If you are to call yourselves sceptics, you need to be sceptical all the time, and stop swallowing whole all the denier rubish that is published on this and other websites.

    I’ll give just one example, there are many more, any one who claims that the AGW science is wrong because it violates the second law of thermodynamics deserves to be called a denier because they are denying basics scientific principles.

    It’s too bad you take offense to the term, but if the shoe fits, you have to wear it.

    • The shoe doesn’t fit. And quite frankly, it plays into the idea that all conservatives are stupid, a time-worn liberal rant (and tactical mistake on their behalf).

      There is a world of difference between the legitimate science of climate science, and the hysteria that we all just lived through. That it quickly became a tool for money and power grab completely destroyed its credibility, which is a shame, because I really thing people need to study this stuff. Then again, the credibility of the entire environmentalist movement wasn’t exactly enhanced either, and as people like me recall the dire predictions of 10-15 years ago, and wave them in people’s faces, it won’t recover for a while either.

      • I don’t think all consevatives are stupid, but why do they keep saying stupid things, like AGW is just a tool for a money and power grab? What hysteria did we all just live through in regards to AGW?
        And how did that destroy the credibility of all the evidence for AGW?

        Wave some of those dire predictions in my face please.

      • Not stupid. AGW is a tool for a money and power grab. The hysteria created powerful dogma and anybody being sceptical was demonized and called stupid or whatever. Such was the suppression.

      • Come on, I am the one being sceptical of the claims that AGW is a money and power grab.

        Just repeating it over and over is not evidence, and that is what I was saying in my first post.

      • Someone’s forgotten about Ottmar Edenhofer (Joint Chair,IPCC Working Group 3 at the time), who in 2010 pointed out that the IPCC wasn’t really about the environment at all but was rather an economic redistribution scheme. A huge redistribution of wealth from developed to developing countries and from fossil fuel suppliers to the rest of the world.

        Of course, that’s being generous to the Copenhagen crowd, because a straight redistribution wouldn’t also destroy vast chunks of world output.

      • “why do they keep saying”?

        If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and swims like a duck, intelligent people call it a duck.

      • Bob,

        Everybody says stupid things, some more than others. Neither political Conservatives or Liberals have any monopoly on doing so. (Although I do have to give credit to the folks who self identify with being green and environmentalists for trying hard to do so.)

        As for your contention that AGW is just about a grab for money and power, yes that is a very narrow view and leaves out a big chunk of the motivations of people studying it or pushing policies because of it. But to deny that money and power are not intricately intertwined is to turn your blind eye to something you would rather not see.

      • “I don’t think all consevatives are stupid, but why do they keep saying stupid things, like AGW is just a tool for a money and power grab?”

        Why is stupid to say something which is accurate?
        The only way this stupid, is the idea that anytime someone says something very obvious, it is stupid.
        A: It’s raining outside.
        B: Yes, I see that it is raining outside.
        A: It’s raining outside.
        B: Yes, I know.
        A: The rain is sure coming down.
        B: Yes I see that.
        But if B doesn’t want the fact of it raining be said:
        A: It’s raining outside.
        B: No it’s going to be sunny day.
        A: Cars are floating down the street.
        B: No, they are driving down the street.
        A: They standing on top of their cars.
        B: They are skilled drivers.

        “What hysteria did we all just live through in regards to AGW?”
        There is long list. How about chairman of IPCC and the Himalayan glaciers:
        “The inclusion of this statement has angered many glaciologists, who regard it as unjustified. Vijay Raina, a leading Indian glaciologist, wrote in a discussion paper published by the Indian government in November that there is no sign of “abnormal” retreat in Himalayan glaciers. India’s environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, accused the IPCC of being “alarmist”.

        The IPCC’s chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, has hit back, denouncing the Indian government report as “voodoo science” lacking peer review. He adds that “we have a very clear idea of what is happening” in the Himalayas.”

        There much much more, but I don’t want to be overly redundant.

      • Is soi-disant “climate science” legitimately a science?

        What is empirical about it? What testable hypotheses does it posit and then test? If “global warming,” or “climate change,” or whatever the Big Lie is being called this week, is indicative, it is almost entirely an exercise in appeal-to-authority, appeal-to-celebrity, proof-by-agitprop, proof-by-handwaving-and-shouting, moving the goalposts willy-nilly about the field, and drawing the bullseye after the arrow lands.

        Meteorology is science, as it makes testable predictions. “Climate science” appears to be about as scientific as “library science,” or, more to the point, “political science.”

    • We know you don’t, Bob, but articles like this one make your side look bad and you can see that this could lead to repression, right?

      • Can you give any evidence from the “Sceptical” side that looks good?

      • Bob care to show how your ‘skeptical’ about AGW ?

      • I am very skeptical about these climate models:

        Herman Alexander Pope’s model — too qualitative
        M.A.Vukcevic — too obscure
        Fred H. Haynie — bad premise
        Oliver K. Manuel — whacko
        Harry Dale Huffman — double whacko
        Girma Orssengo — trendology does not make a model
        Tony (climatereason) Brown — reliance on anecdotal info
        David Postma — bad physics
        Arno Arrack — bad writing makes it inscrutable
        Nasif Nahle — bad experimentation
        Chief Hydrologist – appeal to authority model
        Joachim Seifert — if I have to pay for it , it’s not worth looking at
        Stephen Wilde — a lawyer’s model
        Nicola Scafetta — use enough variables and one can fit anything
        Alexander Biggs — a half-way-there model
        The SkyDragons — say no more
        “Joe’s World” LaLonde — an idea written with crayons
        Stefan “TheDenier” Mikitch — a crazed Chewbacca Defense model
        David Wojick — some sort of anti-model that teaches “controversy”
        Doug Cotton — a SkyDragon acolyte
        Paul Vaughn — Pay him some money please so he can work his ideas out

        So I am a skeptic about many long-term climate models, and these 20 are just the models that get posted to this blog, and I am not counting the scads of alternative models (Salby, etc) that get posted elsewhere.

        However, I am not skeptical about the 100+ year-old GHG theory model, because it is based on good physics and it seems to explain everything that I am curious about, with much better predictive ability.

      • Tubhead,

        You misunderstand the appeal to authority fallacy. It implies an appeal to a biased authority. On the other hand if I appeal to the NAS, WHOI, the Royal Society and many other peer reviewed, accomplished and lauded scientists in the field it is not an appeal to authority but legitimate fruits of the study of natural philosophy. I have often lamented the undisciplined appraoch shown to data – chief amongst these disciplines is not straying too far from the data and recognising the limitations of the data at hand. What can it really tell you? If I were as brilliant as Albert – I could start with the speed of light and end up at time and mass dilation. Alas I am not.

        You on the other hand are the Procrustes of data – cutting off appendages until it fits a particular scheme.

        My best wishes to your mother.

      • Chief Captain HydroKangaroo:
        Defensive, eh? I am not alone, as Chis Colose below also noticed your appeal to authority — as if anyone is impressed that you throw in an arbitrary WHOI acronym. You actually don’t have a model of your own, but essentially cherry-pick quotes from who knows where. So it’s kind of a cheat that I added you to the list, better to think of it as an example of a bum-rush attack of vaporware modeling.

        BTW, I should add Cap’n Dallas to the list of 20. He has a model of sorts, but it is such an artistic mess of hunches built on top of intuition that I get the feeling that no one but Cap’n can follow it. As Colose responded below to Dallas:

        “Chris Colose | June 19, 2012 at 10:43 pm |


        The 20 climate models I listed above are essentially bottom-of-the-barrel junk. A discontinuous step function exists between these models and team-driven, peer-reviewed models generated by scientists that know what they are doing. That is the real missing point — why is there not one competing model that the skeptics can latch on to and then work out an alternate prediction? Answer is that they don’t want to. The minute they try, some enterprising climate science student would rummage through their code and point out egregious errors or incorrect premises. Bottom-line, there is nowhere to hide in that world.

        Of course the skeptics can defend not working on a model by saying that they never did believe in models in the first place. I tell you what, the life of a skeptic these days is sooooo easy. You just get on your Climate Etc Twitter feed and create a fake narrative, thankful that you have more than 140 characters to spew at a time.

      • Latimer Alder


        Good to know that you’ve got a new hobby. I guess even you got bored with just parroting ‘oil depletion’ at every opportunity since the birth of christ.

        So what is it today? A Top 20? Yep – I was interested in the Top 20 once. Around about the time I was 14 yo.T Rex and George Harrison and the Rolling Stones. But I grew out of it. No doubt you will as well. But for the moment..good stuff.

        And it is good to see you making progress on the ‘critical’ front. At least it shows that you are developing those ‘receive’ abilities rather than just ‘transmit ‘oil depletion’, ‘peak oil’, ‘my algorithm’, ‘I have shown’.

      • WebHubTelescope

        Latimer, Funny that I spend more time talking about climate science than oil depletion in this forum. You just don’t pay attention, or perhaps have problems with knowledge retention. Like always losing track of your posting handle. Stirling, Wilma, .. can’t even keep track of your gender.

      • David L. Hagen

        Re GWM, see Ross McKitrick’s latest paper. Most of the GWM regional “evidence” appears to be not significant, while socio parameters are.

      • WebHubTelescope

        So mckitrick is saying that the overall forcing is more important than any climate model. That’s what Hansen and Lacis say as well.

        Good that mckitrick has figured out the difference between radians and degrees, and has gotten over the T-Rex monster bit. After wailing over the fact that temperatures can’t be averaged, he is now averaging temperatures. He is a slow learner, but learning nonetheless.

      • “Can you give any evidence from the “Sceptical” side that looks good?”

        I think the satellite record from 1979 to present is evidence which is good and produced by people who have been called skeptics.

      • The trend for that period for that metric is +0.137 +/- 0.070 C which is in line with the IPCC projection of about 0.2 C per decade.

      • The trend for that period for that metric is +0.137 +/- 0.070 C which is in line with the IPCC projection of about 0.2 C per decade.

        Well I think we could have increase of 1.37 +/- .7 C per century.
        Not expecting a 2 C increase or higher in 100 years. And not expecting
        less than .6 C.
        Or by 2100 have about the same increase as had in 20 century.
        And had this view for quite a while [more than 10 years]..
        Don’t think will have .3 C or more per decade. And of course +0.137 +/- 0.070 isn’t .2 per decade.
        If wasn’t for the sun’s activity and Pacific Decadal Oscillation .2 C decade might seem closer. If temperature rises within the next decade, I might be persuaded that all this CO2 that China is pumping out is having more effect that I thought it would. So I could be wrong, but seem quite unlikely wrong by much.
        Don’t think after a decade it will be too late or the end of the world.
        Obviously if I am wrong [the science supports it] there would more political support for doing something. But the action to solve the problem should be to use more nuclear power [which support without such need].
        But at the moment China is doing twice as CO2 emission as the US and the rate of emission continues to increase.
        I think it would better if China were to be more aggressive in switching to Nuclear energy. India has better policy.
        But rather increase hostility to China, it seems this adds to need of US developing more nuclear power [to reduce CO2, and be in a better position in regards to energy policy for country].

      • Bob,
        could you pls elaborate on how you got the trend of 0.137 +/- 0.070 from that graph?
        I see a lower value. Perhaps I miscalculated. But if you could tell us how you got 0.137 +/- 0.070, that would help.

      • Roy Spencer stated that excess atmospheric CO2 is not generated by man’s burning of fossil fuels, but instead mainly by the earth warming.

        That is the premise that everything on AGW is pinned on, and if Roy Spencer can not get that part right, then his entire argument falls apart. He is therefore simply a contrarian with no interest in establishing any kind of scientific truth.

        Roy Spencer would fit on my list of 20+ bad climate modelers but be does not post here.

      • bob droege, gbaikie and WHT

        Minor correction (to bob’s post)

        The trend for UAH is 0.13C per decade (not 0.137C)

        Since the end of last century (January 2001) the trend to date was around -0.10C per decade.

        So if warming resumes at 0.13C per decade over the remaining 88 years, we should see a net overall warming of right around 1.0C by year 2100.

        For various model-based storylines and scenarios IPCC AR4 WG1 models estimate an increase between 1.1 and 6.4C, so this is just outside the lowest end of the IPCC range (and nothing to worry about).

        Just to clear this point up.


      • Max, just to clear things up, the error bars on the trend for UAH from 2001 to 2012, are about 5 times the trend, and the trend to date is now positive at

        0.057 +/- 0.347 C per decade

        But that’s the kind of numbers you get when you use too short of a time period.

      • WHT

        You opined

        Roy Spencer would fit on my list of 20+ bad climate modelers but be does not post here.

        I’m sure Dr. Spencer couldn’t give a fiddler’s f*** how you rate his climate modelling skills.

        But he is generally recognized as one of few truly knowledgeable climate scientists, especially with regard to measurement of the temperature of the troposphere.

        Whereas you are, well…(’nuff said).


      • bob droege

        Your comment on error bars over short time periods makes sense, but the UAH record would tell us that 21st century total warming would be around 1C, if past trends continue (and that was the point I wanted to make).


      • “manacker | June 20, 2012 at 9:27 am |

        bob droege, gbaikie and WHT

        Minor correction (to bob’s post)

        The trend for UAH is 0.13C per decade (not 0.137C)

        Since the end of last century (January 2001) the trend to date was around -0.10C per decade.”

        And If started year January 2000 to January 2010 what is tread for first decade of 21st century?

        “So if warming resumes at 0.13C per decade over the remaining 88 years, we should see a net overall warming of right around 1.0C by year 2100.

        For various model-based storylines and scenarios IPCC AR4 WG1 models estimate an increase between 1.1 and 6.4C, so this is just outside the lowest end of the IPCC range (and nothing to worry about).”

        Or that would a slight increase from warming of 20th century.
        And if 22nd century increase another 1 C or even 1.2 C it still would not be a problem. Nor it 23rd century warmed by 1.5 C.

        Or a 3 C in warming is only problem if it occurs in a brief period of time- say less than 50 years. Such rapid warming is problem [mostly] because it tells something about global warming we don’t already know- it’s unexplained [or indicates that some kind runaway effect could be possible]. But even in this fantasy model of 3 C warming within 50 years,
        it still would not cause significant changes in global climate- it would be the end of world [millions people dying or thousands of animals dying] in 50 year, nor in 100 years.
        Compared this with fantasy model of 3 C decrease global temperature- that would result of an “end of the world” type result- millions of people dying and animal and plants dying.

        Now, it matters *where* the increase or decrease is occurring in the world.
        The focus on global temperature, leads some people to imagine world
        could actually uniformly warm or cool. It doesn’t.
        The uniformity of warm or cooling can be somewhat true if one looking long periods of time. 50 year is not long period of time, nor is 100 years.
        So in these fantasy models of 3 C warming or cooling, it matters where this warming or cooling is mostly occurring.
        The tropics are the heat engine of planet earth. Few people should expect much change in the tropic. So if such temperature changes were to occur in the tropics. It would be “more wow!”. Or no one has clue of what is going on. But actual effect on the world would less, it have less effect in the 50 year period, but paints a dire future.
        And this related the disproving of the theorize “hot spot” in atmosphere of tropics. That was a nail in the CAGW coffin.
        So small barely detectable changes in tropic can larger effect in future
        and obviously something like 3 C in tropics would be huge as compared to 3 C in arctic is easily within “climate variation”. And isn’t predictive of future.
        So if we had 3 C increase in 3 centuries [and by that time we assume fossils such as coal are depleted- who knows what technology have been developed] and should be regarded as given but should regarded as warm as it could get. But the temperature increase will reduced glaciers, and warmed ocean. Or if have a 3 meter rise in sea level [again most that one could assume] than that is a lot ocean warmed and glaciers melted. And that is possible over time periods of centuries.
        But I don’t see high CO2 level as insurance against cooling. I think warmer oceans is far more significant in term of some kind of buffer against cooling. And it seems as likely to have -2 C in three centuries as +3 C in three centuries.With +1 to +2 C as most likely possibility.

      • Tubhead,

        Always a pleasure. Having quoted both sources in the past – and in the context of abrupt climate change felt it was evident and not really worth repeating again. I did however again quote from both sources when asked and this is an example of how science is discussed in civilised circles. That is – by means of reference to peer reviewed or reputable sources. I am sure that the NAS Committee on Abrupt Climate Change and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute qualify.

        I must admit that the concept of a personal climate model I find most odd – but that seems par for the sycophantic Tubhead course. I have looked and looked and I find that I have water quality and hydrological models but not, unfortunately, a climate model. So I have turned to peer reviewed science to amend that deficiency. The analysis of the inner workings of climate models I have got the most from is that of James McWilliams – – eminent climate scientist and not a noted skeptic. The model I find most compelling – having studied these indices for some time – is that of Anastasios Tsonis. Another eminent climate scientist and not a notable skeptic. One of the reasons I find this model so compelling is that it analyses for deterministic chaos and doesn’t experience deterministic chaos during runs.

        ‘We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior. The results indicate that this network synchronized several times in this period. We find that in
        those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the great climate shift of the 1970s. We also find the evidence for such type of behavior in two climate simulations using a state-of-the-art model. This is the first time that this mechanism, which appears consistent with the theory of synchronized chaos, is discovered in a physical system of the size and complexity of the climate system.’ A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts, Tsonis et al 2007

        The indices are important for other reasons being well known predictors for rainfall around the globe. This leads to my mysterious ability to predict drought for the US and flooding in Australia – for instance – over the next decade or three. Anyone can do this if they know what they are looking for and understand the statistical correlations with regional rainfall.

        Does that count as a climate model? You will find that when Captain Kangaroo is posting the sarc is set high and the physic defenses are in place. This is typically aimed at you because I find you an especially ignorant, noxious and repellent climate warrior – but is sometimes inspired by an especially partisan thread. Now really if you would stop cyber stalking me I can join a rational and informative discussion. That is one you are not invlved in.

        Best regards
        Captain Kangaroo

    • It’s always good for a laugh to listen to someone like you prattle on about climate science and your denigration of skeptics such as Kristen Byrnes, as if you know something about science at all.

      Care to explain to us all about how entropy in the climate system is simply waste heat in the atmosphere again?

      • I was not denigrating Kristen Byrnes, but her Ponder the Maunder essay is drivel, why dont you find it, post it, and we can discuss it.

        If you have even read it, I have.

        What is Entropy again?

      • Gil Grissom,
        What no discussion of entropy?
        Reminds me of the time when I asked someone what pressure the triple point of water was, and a drive by posted “LOL that’s a partial pressure”

  21. Latimer Alder

    @bob droege

    I do not claim that ‘AGW science is wrong because it violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics’. But neither do I believe that the world is going to end if sealevels rise by a foot or two every century. Most particularly I do not see any need for urgent dramtic action to make major economic changes.

    Am I a denier. a non-denier, a sceptic or just Jnother example of Joe Public? .

    PS I also think that a lot of what is said to be ‘climate science’ is disgracefully shoddy work done by disgracefully bad ‘scientists’ and unquestioningly accepted by gullible fools.

    • I don’t think sea level rise is linear, also I don’t an analysis that just relies on past performance is reliable for future predictions. I think the best predictor for sea level rise are measurements of the mass loss rates and the acceleration of those mass loss rates for the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps. Also valid are paleo temperature measurements when there were much higher sea levels than now.

      So my conclusion is that you have blinders on with respect to sea level rise, so you are not a sceptic there. Since you agree that AGW does not violate the second law, then you would not be considered a denier on that basis. I may have you confused with someone else, but I think you have coal interests close to your vest, so you are not Joe Public.

      Since I think that AGW can be prevented with only a modest expenditure, I think you are climate change economic alarmist.

      Which science do you think is so shoddy? It can’t be all bad can it?
      Be specific so we can discuss, if you are up to it.

      • Latimer Alder

        ‘I think you have coal interests close to your vest’

        Dude, we gave up on coal in the UK about 35 years ago. We got North Sea Gas and the use of coal for heating died out. Then in 84/85 we had the miners strike and almost all UK coal production came to an end.
        The last time it was even possible to buy an interest in UK coal was in 1947 just before the industry was nationalised after WW2. It may be different in your country, but coal is not a big issue here.

        So the answer to your accusation is ‘no’. I do not have ‘coal interests’ close to my heart. For the record I am self-employed in IT and my very small portfolio of stocks and shares is largely invested in technology and pharma. The rest in FTSE100 tracker funds.

        But I do wonder why you alarmists can only imagine that the only reason somebody could possibly disagree with you is that they have financial interests n the oil or coal or gas industries. You have been listening to far too much mike mann.

        Please show your workings about sealevel, My assessment is based upon the last IPCC report, If you have a different one, please share it with us all. For example you could show the mass loss rates for the icecaps you mention..along with the associated sea level rise resulting.


        Has the discussion of sea level rise as a non linear response to forcings and acceleration of mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps.

        Hansen much more than Mann. I find little real difference between Mann and Loehle as far as reconstructions of the MWP and Little Ice Age temperature.

      • Alder said:

        “Am I a denier. a non-denier, a sceptic or just Jnother example of Joe Public? .”

        Of course the latter, because Latimer uses “Joe Sixpack” as one of his many sockpuppet handles. Don’t you see what kind of rubes he takes us for?
        Have enough sockpuppets and you can create a virtual consensus.

      • Latimer Alder

        @bob droege

        I read Hansen’s paper. The stuff about mass loss was deeply unconvincing. Just an illustration that if you only have a very few data points it is possible to draw a curve of almost whatever shape/gradient you want through them. And that if you want to do some scare-mongering you choose the scariest. I was soundly (and rightly) criticised my Master’s examiners for doing the same thing and attempting equally ‘adventurous’ predictions.

        But the actual data was interesting..It seems to show (fig 8) that until 2006, the ice mass in both Greenland and Antarctica was increasing overall. Which rather begs the question..where was it coming from? For if decreasing mass means sea levels are going up, the converse is also true, If the ice is accumulating, the sealevel should have gone down. Is this visible in the sealevel record anywhere? If so, I haven’t seen it

      • Latimer Alder

        @webbie, dude

        Can you show a single piece of evidence from all my postings that I am at all interested in creating ‘consensus’?

        It does not feature even in my top 10 of things to worry about.

        One of the delights of being self-employed after many years of working in larger and more structured organisations is that I am ultimately responsible to nobody but myself. No boss, no formal appraisals, no worries about ‘being seen to do the right thing’ or ‘representing the company’

        If I’m offered an interesting job that fits in with all the other things I want to do, then I’ll take it. If it isn’t or doesn’t, I won’t. And if the client likes what I do he pays me at the end of the month. If he doesn’t like it, he doesn’t pay. It is very simple.

        Consensus doesn’t feature anywhere.

        Your case fails.

      • WebHubTelescope

        It’s your actions that count. You may resume pouting LA.

      • Latimer Alder


        Your case has still failed.

        This is getting tedious. Here are the rules.

        1. WHT says something ridiculous
        2. I ask him to show evidence for his assertion
        3. WHT witters on about something irrelevant
        4. I ask him again to show evidence

        Continue until ennui or narcolepsy sets in.

      • I accuse Latimer of taking us for rubes. He therefore wants evidence.

        Upthread he claims that all I talk about on Climate Etc is oil (“… parroting ‘oil depletion’ at every opportunity since the birth of christ.”). Yet he then acts surprised that I actually spend more time discussing deeper climate science topics (“Good to know that you’ve got a new hobby. “). After all, Latimer is just your average Joe, always plain talking and filled with common sense.

        Again, does he take us for rubes?

      • Latimer Alder

        @bob droege

        Shoddy science? Just one example: Harry_Read_Me.

        The guys at CRU couldn’t organise their way out of a paper bag. let alone be entrusted with processing a very important dataset. I’ve managed large datacentres in the past, and to call CRU’s processes and practices ‘shoddy’ is being over generous with my praise..

        A shameful lack of professionalism. seems to be typical of what I learn of ‘climatology’ in general

      • Was that from the Climategate emails, sorry I dont read those.

      • k scott denison

        Yes, by all means stick your head in the sand bob. Nothing to see here.

        Let me ask this: what is the motivation of Al Gore in your opinion? Nothing to do with power or money I suppose? And the motivation of the UN? Income redistribution?

      • scott,

        assuming you are raising the issue as one of principle, you must have some thoughts as to the motivation of deniers. Power and money too?

      • Latimer Alder

        @bob droege

        Here’s the link to Harry_Read_Me


        As somebody once said:

        ‘Real climate science from real climate scientists’…….

        …In all its glorious ineptitude.

        I would not employ these guys to top up the water coolers in data centre, let alone entrust them with processing an important data set. Worse, nobody outside their own organisation has ever ever checked their published work (Phil Jones, author of 200+ papers, answer to Parliament *). And we are supposed to base major policy decisions one these guys output?

        You may be naive and trusting and in awe of self-declared ‘climate scientists’. But I bet you refused to read any doubts about Enron and still think that Mr Madoff is a nice guy who loves his mother and is just trying to earn an honest buck.

        I’m a wee bit more suspicious than that and am inclined to believe that if people present as incompetent fools, they probably are.

        *Fred Pearce, writing in the Guardian

        * ‘Jones’s general defence was that anything people didn’t like – the strong-arm tactics to silence critics, the cold-shouldering of freedom of information requests, the economy with data sharing – were all “standard practice” among climate scientists. “Maybe it should be, but it’s not.”

        And he seemed to be right. The most startling observation came when he was asked how often scientists reviewing his papers for probity before publication asked to see details of his raw data, methodology and computer codes. “They’ve never asked,” he said.

      • k scott denison


        Yes, “deniers” want to keep their power and money out of the hands of the alarmists. Nice of you to recognize that.

      • bob,
        you didn’t read them, but you know all about them…you offer typical mindless drivel like any other true beleiver.

      • “Since I think that AGW can be prevented with only a modest expenditure” …

        As an economist, I’ve seen only evidence that minute reductions in warming (if CAGW is real) will be achieved by radical and costly restructuring of westen economies. What is the basis for your thinking?

  22. This paper serves at least two purposes:

    (1) The flood gate is opened. If Nature Climate Change accepts this style of scholarship, then this (and other Nature) hard-science journals will be inundated with social science. This is smart business for the publishing outfits.

    (2) This is the “mainstream” thought put into print in the advocacy oriented climate science community which includes researchers (very small number) and environmental organizations.

    Why would anyone be “shocked” to see this paper? It is simply the first major paper to be published that puts into print the bias of “progressive” climate science for the past decade.

    • Inundated with social sciences? Isn’t Climate Science a social science already? “3.7 Wm-2 of additional forcing due to a doubling of CO2 will cause 1.5C increase in temperature IF ALL THINGS REMAIN EQUAL.”

      This mantra refers to a complex non-linear dynamic system with annual variation in forcing greater than 80Wm-2 (20Wm-2 for the guys that can only think in terms of averages) repeated by “scientists” so inept at thermodynamics and statistics that they confuse confidence intervals based on temperature anomalies with actually uncertainty of energy flow based on T^4 relationship of the real T not the imaginary T anomaly. 1.5 C in the tropopause at -55C does not equal 1.5C at a surface at 21.1C, the oceans.

      To make things work some of the “scientists” create data to support the theory in places where the correct theory should predict the opposite.

      The “climate scientists” selected a moving thermal boundary, at a temperature inversion, for the most complex thermodynamic problem imaginable as a frame of reference. That is social scientists playing with the hard sciences and they are in way over their heads.

  23. Why do I get the mental image that many in leftist causes look at conservatives (or at least, people who disagree with them) in the same way that Jane Goodall used to look at her chimps? You know, something very interesting, showing signs of intelligence and early evolution, but not nearly on the same level as the observer?

    It’s a well-worn liberal belief that all conservatives are stoooooopid, until of course, they are evil. At the point that they are evil, they are then deemed to be evil geniuses.

  24. Doc C,
    I used to bug you about being more activist, though I’ve come to realize that by keeping a somewhat low profile you’ve in some important ways increased the power of your voice if and when you choose to use it. Maybe this is the time? Someone credible has to speak up in the name of decency. I continue to believe that if this (what amounts to ) hate speech continues to become ever more mainstream, some unbalanced individual going to take a potshot at some prominent “denialist” in the name of “:saving the planet.”

  25. Robert-in-AZ

    “So ‘deniers’, tell me: will “increasing interpersonal warmth and societal development” work for you?”

    I would settle for well defined terms of discussion:
    1. Anthropogenic induced climate change –> believer
    2. The science is settled –> denier
    3. Catastrophic anthropogenic induced climate change –> skeptic

    To the true believer to accept the first is to accept the second and third.

  26. Richard T. Fowler

    Walking along the beach last night
    Who do you think I spy?

    A girl with ebony fire eyes.
    Soft and low do she cry.

    Now what could be such a source of pain?
    I so boldly inquire.

    Pointing finger Havana-way,
    These three words which transpire:

    She told me that

    “Only in Miami
    Is Cuba so far away.

    Only in Miami.
    My story, she goes this way.

    Fish may fly through the purple keys,
    Golden birds take to air.

    I am bound to the earth, it seems.
    My life can be so unfair.

    Only in Miami is Cuba so far away.”

    [. . .]

    Standing on the shoreline waiting
    Everyone anticipating
    I can hear the broken hearted say:

    “Only in Miami
    is Cuba so far away.”

    – Max Gronenthal and Scott Delawanna

  27. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    For me, the defining trait of denialism is only peripherally related to mathematical or scientific truth.

    Rather, the defining trait of denialism is the restriction of discourse by authority … and both the dogmatic far-left and the dogmatic far-right similarly embrace this practice.

    The toolset of denialist restriction-by-authority is always the same: rudeness, abuse, anger amounting to rage, personal profiling, selective enforcement of arbitrary rules, legal threats, enemy lists, and outright censorship of threatening ideas — always with a view toward sustaining a ‘protected bubble’ for denialist beliefs.

    A canonical example of denialism-in-action is the following comment blocked from WUWT’s recent essay NASA: Study Finds Ancient Warming Greened Antarctica:

    Scientists affirm: (quoted from the WUWT post) “The peak of Antarctic greening occurred during the middle Miocene period, between 16.4 and 15.7 million years ago. … Warm conditions during the middle Miocene are thought to be associated with carbon dioxide levels of around 400 to 600 parts per million (ppm).”

    “In 2012, carbon dioxide levels have climbed to 393 ppm, the highest they’ve been in the past several million years. At the current rate of increase, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are on track to reach middle Miocene levels by the end of this century.”

    Hmmm … it was precisely during the middle Miocene that the land that presently is Washington DC was a submerged oceanic breeding ground for the mightiest sharks that ever lived: Carcharodon Megalodon.

    And so, from this observed CO2/sea-level correlation we can draw precisely one logical conclusion: Megalodon must have emitted a lot of CO2!   :)

    Above all else, denialists despise tolerant humor … and that is why I like to end my comments with plenty of these … :) ;) :)

    • Latimer Alder


      I checked

      Your comment was disallowed for coming from a fake proxy server. Not for its content. Your case fails.

      ‘[snip. Fake proxy server. ~dbs, mod.]’

      • Latimer,
        “A physicisy/fan/etc” supports the most intolerant of sites without pause, like RC and Romm’s place (before it imploded).
        He is just projecting his hypocrisy.
        And his humor? lol.

      • “Your comment was disallowed for coming from a fake proxy server. Not for its content. Your case fails.”

        And WUWT is a fake science blog. And Latimer Alder uses fake sockpuppet handles. The truth hurts. Perhaps not as much as jumping on a bicycle with the seat missing, but it hurts (FD NG 2½).

      • Web,
        You offer comic relief like clockwork.
        Thanks as always,

      • Then time for clown town:

    • “the defining trait of denialism is the restriction of discourse by authority”

      Funny, I thought that the “skeptic” crowd was the one being silenced by scorn, ridicule, and in many cases, job loss? And that the “true believer” side gained, what, $117 billion in US Fed funds out of the deal?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      With respect, your post is wrong-on-the-facts, Latimer. Because, in a classic display of denialist practice, WUWT practices selective enforcement of its terms of service.

      If WUWT likes a given post, then its own rules aren’t applied. Whereas if WUWT dislikes a given post, then it is prudent to be prepared for WUWT to implement any-and-all elements of the denialist protocol described above: rudeness, abuse, anger (amounting to outright rage), personal profiling, selective enforcement of rules, legal threats, enemy lists, and censorship of threatening ideas.

      In particular, in the past WUWT has not scrupled to unilaterally release any-and-all personal information that WUWT can read from your browser.

      Are you curious to know how much personal information your webbrowser is transmitting to websites like WUWT? Simply visit any diagnostic website (one highly-rated site is JonDonym’s to find out.

      Is it prudent to entrust denialist organizations with personal information? This is for each citizen to decide. And very fortunately for every citizen, the choice is yours, not theirs!   :)   :)   :)

      • When you’re spending University time on blogs, Johnny, yeah, it’s a bad idea for websites to know who you are. That was double-plus uncool that Charlie Martin knew who you were, huh, Johnny?

      • Latimer Alder

        @A Fan…..

        Lots of irrelevant wittering and handwaving does not change the simple fact that your post was not shown because it came from a fake proxy server, The moderator made this very clear. Had he just not wanted to see it he could have simply deleted it entirely. You still have the opportunity to resubmit from a legitimate address.

        The rest of your remarks are simply evidence-free spleen. And the whole episode reflects very badly on your intellectual ability to examine a case dispassionately.

        I very much hope that you are not a ‘climate scientist’, but rather fear that you are.

      • Worse. He’s at the med school.

      • Steve Milesworthy


        A fan’s claim is that:

        “WUWT/Watts enforces their policies selectively, not uniformly”

        Regardless of whether there was a valid reason from the blog policy for removing Fan’s post, Fan’s point is that other posts that break the rules such as the ones you write under the names “Latimer Alder” and “Stirling English” are allowed through because “WUWT/Watts enforces their policies selectively”. So your example helps prove Fan’s allegation.

        Many websites, including WUWT, have rules about sock-puppetry, for obvious reasons. It is irritating to have discussions with people who are playing the game of having multiple personalities. When you (whoever you are) sit down at your keyboard to send a message to Anthony or Bishophill or Judith’s blog, you decide on a particular personality whether it is “Latimer Alder” or “Stirling English” or whatever. And one presumes you make conscious decisions that each of these separate “sock-puppets” should be perceived as separate people by readers.

        Now one pseudonym is relatively normal. But when you have two or more, people spend their time speculating as to your motives rather than reading what you say – are you bored so posting twice as much fills more of the time? Are you hoping to add numbers to your side (ie. build your “consensus”)? Are you simply bonkers and on your way to being like that bloke who had a go at Louise Mensch? You should not be surprised that people speculate as to your motives, and you should not object when they do so (in my opinion).

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Latimer, your post is wrong-on-the facts.

        WUWT/Watts enforces their policies selectively, not uniformly … seemingly in those instances that WUWT judges it to be in their interest (maybe a business interest? or a political interest?) to do so.

        For example, a follow-up comment that documented more than two thousand instances on WUWT of the words “warmista*” and/or “eco-fascist*” never saw the light of day. WUWT, indeed?

        It’s not clear why a website that freely deploys the terms “warmista” and “eco-fascist” should be exercised about the term “denialist”.

        If you care to offer an reasoned opinion, Latimer, this would be very welcome.

      • So what’s the big deal? Aren’t you proud to be a warmista ecofascist?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        PE, your question has a simple answer:

        “A cautious or cowardly person will bend the law to the wind of popular opinion; a courageous person will stand behind the law and change popular opinion.” (Victor I. Vieth, Selecting Trial and Appellate Judges: Exceptions to the Rules and Rules to Find the Exceptions)

        That is why forums that pursue ideological ends by selectively interpreting their own terms of service are unworthy of any citizens’s respect.

        Summary Disrespect for process is characteristic of denialism’s restriction of discourse.

        PE, thank you for asking. What is your next question?

      • Since you didn’t answer the question (and to my recollection never have)…

      • Latimer Alder

        * A fan

        Please show some evidence of your accusations. I am not inclined to accept your statement without some backup. After your previous accusation was so easily shown to be false, your credibility is not high as a witness.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Latimer Alder,

        In the WUWT thread below you posted as “Latimer Alder” and also as “Stirling English”. This is in breach of WUWT comment policy against “sockpuppetry”. I submit that because you were supportive of WUWT position your sock-puppetry did not result in your comments being removed.

      • Latimer Alder

        @steve milesworthy

        ‘A fan’ has been shown to have no documented evidence for his accusations, other than his testimony..for which he has presented no foundations.

        And I do find it weird that to back up his story of posts being disappeared you try to rely on an example where, you claim, a post was *not* disappeared.

        ‘Look children, here’s an example of the exact opposite of what is being complained about. So there! The complaint must be true’

        Ummm……….run that one past me again…..lost me somewhere……

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Latimer Alder/Stirling English I replied above – in the wrong place.

    • Sceptics are full of tolerant humour.

      Apparently, in 2007 Natalie Portman “designed a line of vegan shoes for Te Casan (profits were donated to environmental organizations).”

      Vegan shoes?!?

      Nonetheless, if Ms. Portman wishes to assist me in “increasing interpersonal warmth”, that would be just fine. (This friendly invitation does not extend to Ed Begley Jr.)

      Meanwhile we can look forward to Nature articles on the psychology of anti-semitism, white supremacy and militant feminism. The words in those should be a hoot!

    • Awww, now, com’on Fan of More BS; we haven’t been all that bad to you. You’re still a bit of a Drama Queen.

  28. bob,
    Anyone who denies the second law of thermodynamics should not call themselves a scientist. True scientists are skeptical about new ideas, until enough data is gathered and research performed to validate the concepts. Models are fine to depict the real world, as long as scientific data supports those models. When the data fail to support the model, then the model needs adjusting to adhere to the observed data, rather than vise versa. Those who support the concept of AGW should also be skeptics, until enough data can be gathered to support their contentions. The problems with AGW science are two-fold; first, we are trying to confine nature into a scientific test, when we still do not know all the variables, and secondly, we are trying to extrapolate the data and models far beyond the current measurements and understanding.

    Personnally, I refrain from both the term ‘denier’ and ‘alarmist’ as they are presented as terms to protray the individual as an extremist, who adheres to a particular ideology, rather than science.

    • Alarmist is fairly accurate and is not ad hominem and does not have the historical baggage.

    • Right, but the skeptics are not denying the second law, some are claiming that AGW violates the second law.

      The current models actually do a decent job modeling climate but it is a bit harder to predict future trends in climate since you also have to predict future trends in emission as well as future trends in the natural drivers.

      I think we know all the variables, the problem is modeling them at the resolution and precision that would satisfy the skeptics in terms of getting the exact same trends as the historical data. Which I think just is not physically possible, no matter how good a model you have. Both the model and the real world are going to be somewhat noisy, and they are never going to match exactly.

      I don’t mind the term alarmist, as I actually find the evidence alarming.

      But not many here want to discuss any evidence, anyone want to prove me wrong?

      • The some skeptics saying that AGW violates the second law can be directly attributed to Kevin Trenberth help with the Earth energy budget which did indeed violate the second law because his budget missed 20Wm-2 of energy absorbed by clouds. In order for there to be as much DWLR as indicated on the K&T cartoon, 20Wm-2 of energy had to be created, a violation of the second law. Some of your heroes seem to have math issues :)

      • Are you sure you are not getting the first and second laws of thermodynamics mixed up?

        The accounting error you are pointing out would be a violation of the first law, where is your evidence that there is 20 W/m2 of energy being absorbed by clouds that Trenberth missed?

        Is that 20 W/m2 of short wave incoming or long wave outgoing?

      • Bob, by all means we should discuss the evidence. What line of evidence do you find convincing enough to cause alarm? What line of evidence doesn’t either contradict the models or require more data? I looked for a line of evidence that I could find convincing and came up empty handed. Perhaps you know of one I missed?

      • Steven, mostly for me are the lines of evidence that indicate that in the past it was about 3-5 C warmer than now, several different times, and sea levels were much higher than now during those times of warmth.

        The vinca vine we have on our deck in pots, now survives the winter due to the change in hardiness zones.

      • Bob, that only indicates climate can change. I don’t doubt climate can change. I don’t doubt the change in climate could be catastrophic should it happen in a particular manner. For instance I am fairly confident a repeat of the youger dryas would be quite catastrophic. I don’t see the evidence that anything we are doing will bring about such catastrophy so perhaps evidence towards a climate sensitivity which would bring about such a catastrophy would be more of what I had in mind.

      • Just to clarify, I am not asking for a change as large as the YD. Just some clear evidence that the IPCC mean of 3C is close enough for government work.

      • Steven,
        Try this,

        And I will disagree with you on which would be more catastrophic, a Younger Dryas type drop in global average temperature of 3-5 degrees, or an increase due to anthropogenic causes of 3-5 degrees.

        Warmer would be much worse. The effects of warmer would be manifest in the highly populated lowlands while colder would be more in the north (NYC is frozen but the Sahara is green).

      • Bob, before I spend too much time with this I seem to remember it being mostly paleo in content. Is that correct? If climate sensitivity is a variable and not a constant what can we really learn from paleo data other than what the climate sensitivity was, on average, over an extended period of time? It wouldn’t tell us what it is. Do you believe climate sensitivity is a constant and if so, why?

      • As far as warmer would be worse, maybe. Wouldn’t be too good for the world’s food supply to have it colder in most the nations that currently can produce surpluses. But this is so speculative I’m not sure it is worth our effort unless you have some literature to share so we have a basis to agree or disagree.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Bob Droege – [C]older would be …NYC is frozen but the Sahara is green

        Bob, that doesn’t seem right.

        This vegetation map shows the world during the last glacial maximum. Note: The Saharan expansion to approx. 50% of Africa. And most of the earth’s surface was ice or desert.

        More likely the Sahara has been basically uninhabitable for the last 100,000 years except when global temps were significantly higher than now (i.e. during Holocene Climatic Optimum). Then, the Sahara had “well established human settlements”.


      • steven,
        Good luck with a serious discussion with bob the bigot.

      • I don’t have a problem with people that have a different point of view from me. I find the conversations more interesting that way. There is plenty of animosity from both sides so I pretty much go by who has been rude to me rather than who has been rude in a general manner. If I only talked to peole that had never been rude I wouldn’t have anyone left to talk to, perhaps including myself since I don’t recall everything I have ever said.

      • Hunter has no evidence of any bigotry on my part

      • With regards to whether 3-5C warmer or colder would be worse, paleo data indicates that colder would result in dimished crop production in much of the mid latitudes, while warmer would lead to expanded production in the Sahel region. Warmer would result in higher sea levels, greater precipitation, and flooding. Severe cold tends to result in higher animal deaths than warmth, but reduces insect infestations. Severe cold tends to cause greater disruptions to civilization than warmth. Given all the data, I will take warmth over cold.

      • bob said “it is a bit harder to predict future trends in climate since you also have to predict future trends in emission as well as future trends in the natural drivers.”

        I’m fine with conditional forecasts, that is, forecasts that are conditioned on future values of strictly observable and exogenous things, such as the time paths taken by emissions, aerosols, solar variability of all sorts and volcanism after the conditional forecast is made.

        Do any of the climate modelers make such conditional forecasts? I think they do, a little bit, but not enough. A whole lot of observers would be happier if the modelers could prove that even such conditional forecasts have skill at a decade or two out. Otherwise, observers get the feeling that there’s always some deus ex machina lurking to save the day when the future is now.

  29. Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

  30. Re-tread thread.


  31. @Judith Curry “I view this pretty much as the green equivalent of the unabomber billboard.”
    Probably the worst analogy I’ve heard in a long time. On one side there’s a taboo word (“denier”), on the other there’s a serial killer.

    • one was a billboard, paid for by an advocacy group; the other was published in a very high impact journal.

      • I think it is more the magazine version of the 10:10 video.

      • Dave Springer

        It’s a group-think brain-fart. Far from the first or the last from this particular group. Expect many more. What makes this so funny is the obviously high esteem Curry held (or perhaps still holds) for Nature Climate Change. You could practically hear her jaw hitting the floor when she discovered what they’d published. For us deniers it’s just one more demonstration of what happens when a bunch of libtards get wound up in a group think orgy. As “the cause” continues to be further maginalized and mocked by the voting public expect them to get more and more wound up. Eventually the cognitive dissonance hits the resonant frequency of their mostly evacuated brain casings and they implode. 10-10 indeed.

      • Does this mean scientists who read that journal have a BS filter inferior to that of the general public viewing the billboard? Just askin’.

    • If you concentrate on the word denier long enough, a murderer of a different scale might come to mind.

      The fringe of one side is saying that by not accepting their claims whole we are abetting death and destruction on biblical scales, the fringe of the other put up stupid billboards for a week. Most are just saying the models are poor and evidence lacking for such claims.

  32. Studies arguing that conservatives are brain damaged are all the rage in the academy. See e.g. the long list at Briggs’

    These studies are priceless for their comedic value. The academics who are comfortable with this type of insanity should be expected to widen their efforts to climate deniers (especially since slandering global warming deniers is even more likely to bring in grant money than just simply slandering conservatives or Republicans).

  33. At first, these ‘climate social science’ articles were like bad satire. Now they’re flat-out farce. Bring on the clowns.

    Started to pull a quote. Better to just read it all.

    • Richard T. Fowler

      Oh no, I insist …. Allow me …. ; )

      As it happens, the liberal personality, as psychopunditry describes it, is a perfect representation of those traits that liberals say they most admire. Liberals are “more open, flexible, curious, nuanced.” Conservatives are “more closed, fixed, and certain in their views.” But don’t get the wrong idea: Mooney insists he is not saying “conservatives are somehow worse people than liberals.” That would be judgmental, and Science is clear: Liberals aren’t judgmental. “The groups are just different,” he goes on amiably. Indeed, he warns that the truths he reveals in his book “will discomfort both sides.” Fairness requires him to be evenhanded. On the one hand, conservatives won’t like the scientific fact that they tend to deny reality and treat their errors as dogma. On the other hand, liberals won’t like the scientific fact that all their well-meaning attempts to reason with conservatives are doomed.

  35. These academics are comfortable making broad statements about all human psychology based on their bizarre, artificial studies of their students who are almost all W.E.I.R.D. — Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Hundreds of thousands of veterans are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, not only in the USA, but in dozens of western nations that belong to the NATO-ISAF coalition.

      Very many of them are returning to college, and by the hugely regrettable standards of “Stan”‘s post, our brave veteran/students one-and-all are “WEIRD”.

      Yes our brave veteran/students are Western, yes they are Educated, yes they are Industrialized, yes they are Rich (compared to Iraqis and Afghans especially), and yes they are Democratic — indeed these veteran/students have put their lives on-the-line for Democracy.

      Everyone who is privileged to teach these veteran/students understands that they deserve our appreciation and gratitude, not thoughtlessly abusive labels. Moreover, these veteran/students have already learned harsh lessons regarding the inefficacy of ideology-first nation-building strategies; lessons that are exceedingly valuable in the class-room.

      Stan, if you had thought for ten more seconds about what your “WEIRD” post implied, you would not have posted it.

      • Oy vey, Johnny.

      • So university types get bent out of shape with “WEIRD” but not “denier.” Gotcha. Bonus points for the drama and talking about the troops — liberals always need drama so that their brilliance and enlightenment can rise to the occasion.

        BTW, while not using that “WEIRD” thing, I have pointed out for the last decade that so-called university “diversity” is anything but diverse — and yeah, it’s all western-educated, Industrialized, rich (by world standards) and Democrat. And liberal. Hardly diverse — in fact, the definition I use is that “diverse” means “we don’t have too many white guys, and no conservatives.”

        Which of course goes to the heart of the entire discussion — universities are not place of academic freedom generally, and get really nasty when you say so.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        The preceding posts of “PE” and “geek49203” very nicely illustrate how denialism manifests itself in public discourse … and these posts illustrate too, denialism’s fundamental insubstantiality.

        Where’s the beef? In denialism, there is no beef.   :)

      • Judging by the other responses here to your posts, I have mistakenly posted a reply to you. I seek intelligent discourse, and with you, there is only your opinion it appears.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Geek49203, please allow me to recommend to you Gen David Petraeus’ Multi-National Force-Iraq Commander’s Counterinsurgency Guidance (2008).

        Dr. Petraeus’ short guidance (and yes, Gen. Petraeus is a PhD historian)  — with its 23 quintessentially liberal service objectives — will help you to an in-depth appreciation of why our returning troops receive a warm welcome at America’s educational institutions.

        As Gen. George Marshall said to returning veterans of WWII:

        It is to you, the men and women of this great citizen army, who carried this nation to victory, that we must look for leadership in the critical years ahead. You are young and vigorous, and your services as informed citizens, will be necessary to the peace and prosperity of the world. Thank you.

        As then, so now, eh? Fortunately, every American university appreciates this! :)

      • Dave Springer

        You’re going to get your ass kicked by one of them if you try dishing out that patronizing drivel in person.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Dave, please let me commend to you MARINE CORPS PROFESSIONAL READING PROGRAM LIST.

        As respectful and thoroughgoing appreciation of its contents and its principles will reduce your risk of “butt-kicking” to zero.   :)

      • Dave Springer

        I was a sergeant in the Marines 35 years ago, dummy. I get along famously with anyone who’s worn the uniform. You know, Band of Brothers and all that. No wait, I guess you wouldn’t know.

      • Dave Springer

        Yer really just wetting your panties because one of your liberal ilk, Janet Napolitano, classified homecoming veterans as being at high risk of joining up with domestic terror groups. Now here they come by the hundreds of thousands, volunteers who love their country and have demonstrated a willingness to kill those who stand against it, with college tuition they earned in the service of their country. The very epitomy of all that’s loathed by you and yours. It must be a real bitch to be you.

      • Dave Springer

        In fact *I* went to school on the GI bill. Like how I turned out?

        Imagine a million of me descending upon the sacred learning grounds of liberal academia with pre-paid tuition. Will it survive? Will YOU survive? I can tell you what you need to do to survive. I can spoon feed the 411 to you if you’d only stop making faces and spitting it out.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Dave, your spirit, pride, and service all are commendable, and I join with every American in honoring you for them.

        As a sincere gesture of respect, here is a passage by Mark Twain from Roughing It, which your posts call to mind:

        [also aboard ship] was “the old Admiral” — a retired whaleman. He was a roaring, terrific combination of wind and lightning and thunder, and earnest, whole-souled profanity. But nevertheless he was tender-hearted as a girl. He was a raving, deafening, devastating typhoon, laying waste the cowering seas but with an unvexed refuge in the centre where all comers were safe and at rest. Nobody could know the “Admiral” without liking him; and in a sudden and dire emergency I think no friend of his would know which to choose—to be cursed by him or prayed for by a less efficient person.

        Dave, in the spirit of Twain, henceforth I shall regard it as an higher honor to receive ‘personal commentary and instructions’ :) from a USMC sergeant —albeit,a sergeant who might perhaps be a little slower in jumping to conclusions — than praise from a “less efficient person.” Semper Fi!   :)   :)   :)

      • Dave Springer

        Great. Whatever. The point remains that if you patronize or preach your unsolicited liberal pap to veterans inevitably one of them will bend a pool cue over your pointy little head.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        With sincere respect, Dave, nowadays most younger Marines are way more familiar with iPhones and game controllers than pool-cues. As for new ideas, the USMC is all about embracing them:

        “I want us to reinforce the reality that conflict is inherently complex and unpredictable. The enemy’s free will, manifested by courage, imagination, resolve, and other human factors, denies predictability in most aspects of war.”

        “Our goal is to develop a joint force that acts in uncertainty and thrives in chaos. Concepts and experimentation are intended to be innovative and must be pushed to their extremes.”

        “Most experiments fail, yet through failure springs success. That is acceptable and is part of the price we pay for unregimented thinking and open-minded, disciplined experimentation.”

        The author of the preceding guidance? Gen. James Mattis.

        Is it any wonder that today’s veteran Marines are proving to be, at any university, the most outstanding & demanding & challenging students? And good for them!

      • fan,
        Sorry, dude. You guys decided we skeptics are denialkst scum. Now you 2-d game playing gets turned back on you and your lazy, derivative, group thinking extremists.

      • John Carpenter

        Fan, have you read Jonathan Haidt’s ‘Rightous Mind’ book? Do you know he uses the WEIRD label extensively in his book? Do you know he is a liberal? Do you know he actually took the time to understand how the conservative mind works? Check it out, you might find it interesting.a

      • Fan,

        I’ve thought about my post, and the two which immediately precede it, and I think you have lost your mind. Psychology professors, e.g. at Berkeley, enlist a bunch of liberal students to take part in a study. They set up some strange, artificial experiment and then have the hubris to tell us that their weird experiment using a group of W E I R D students has produced universal truths about the psychology of all humans. Note, the experiment is weird. The students are from a country that is western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic. Only a complete moron ensconced in his own hermetically sealed ivy covered academic cocoon could possibly think that such a study would reveal findings about the brains of Nigerians or Turkish peasants.

        Perhaps if you had actually read the links I provided and read what I wrote with any comprehension, you wouldn’t have launched that weird response. Get a grip.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Stan, idea-wise you’ll catch bigger fish if you start fishing in deeper waters.   :)

        America’s soldiers are coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan armed with ideas that are gonna cause plenty of discomfort for the pundits of *both* the ideological far-left *and* the ideological far-right.

        Good!   :)   ;)   :)   ;)   :)

      • fan,

        Grow up. This is pathetic.

      • Fan,

        Nice try, but a big fail on the “rich” classification. Your average welfare receipient is rich by Iraqi or Afghan standards.

        Your post is borderline disgusting, trying to paint someone as slandering vets when there was no attempt to do so.

        As a vet who used the GI Bill to put him through college, and as someone whose son was a Marine and who has four family members currently serving, two of which are in Afghanistan, I can’t say I’m impressed by your style (or lack there of).

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        When a leader like the USMC’s Gen. Mattis asks “unleash us from the tether of fuel“, then it’s time for everyone to pay attention.

        Because it is Gen. Mattis’ profession to foresee both the near-future and the far-future interests of our great nation … and the General is extraordinarily good at it.

        That is why Gen. Mattis’ strategic objective of fuel-independence, in the long-run, is equally Marine-green and Eco-green.

      • Besides avoiding the topic fan, you also manage to show us another subject you don’t have a clue about.

        First off, Gen Mattis’ statement was a throw away line. Every General or Admiral would love not being constrained by logistics. Every one of them also knows this is a pipe dream.

        Secondly, bio fuels are only “Eco-green” in branding, not in fact. You don’t reduce your “carbon footprint” using biofuels. If anything you increase it, while at the same time spending 4 times as much to get it. (That’s how much more a gallon of bio jet fuel costs verses regular JP-8.)

        Why don’t you try reading the DOD’s own report on biofuels. Here are a couple of finds:

        At present, these fuels command a price premium, but it is anticipated to decline significantly as the market develops over the next decade. Despite this reduced premium, the Services’ renewable fuel goals could still impose $2.2 billion in additional estimated annual fuel costs by 2020. 

        There also are questions of renewable drop-in fuel availability relative to demand. DoD would require more than 40 percent of the total projected U.S. drop-in renewable fuel supply (regardless of fuel type) in 2020, just to meet the military Services’ stated demand for 745 million gallons.

        Drop-in renewable jet fuel production is not likely to meet the Services’ goal-based demand for more than 570 million gallons in 2020. 

        EISA’s RFS2 excludes jet fuel, DoD’s primary operational fuel, from vo-lumetric production mandates, reducing private-sector incentive to produce renewable alternatives to conventional jet fuel.

        Camelina appears to be a promising renewable feedstock for producing hydrotreated renewable jet (HRJ) fuel, but annual production capacity for camelina-based HRJ is projected at only 68–98 million gallons by 2020. 

        Third generation renewable fuels production systems, such as photosyn-thetic algae, are unlikely to supply significant quantities of feedstock oil by 2020 and may involve consideration of the water requirement tradeoffs. 

        The additional costs and potential adverse effects of creating a new DoD commodity class outweigh the potential benefits.

        You might want to stick to a topic you know about. And that certainly isn’t anything related to the military.

  36. “Paul Bain, a psychologist at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.”

    Psychology = the field of post-normal science that teaches, “The Art of Selling Those Used Car Clunkers”

  37. With enough “increased interpersonal warmth” given by the right person, I can be convinced of many things, at least until the next morning. I am ready to participate in the next study from those authors – depending on sending the picture of the other participants prior the experiment, of course ;-)

  38. David L. Hagen

    As a “climate realist”, this appeal for “increasing interpersonal warmth and societal development” by one who calls me a “denier” motivates me to more greater action to counter their ignorance, superficiality, foolishness, and gullibility. Such actions further motivate me to expose the scientific, policy, and moral fallacies perpetrated by such climate “alarmists”:
    1) in corrupting the scientific method,
    2) in imposing “mitigation” without fully evaluating and debating “adaptation”, and
    3) in coercively imposing tyrannical totalitarian government to worship “Mother Nature”.
    Their rhetorical excesses show an abysmal ignorance of how to persuade people. Their efforts to force us to bury our wealth by “carbon sequestration” is abominable stewardship, an affront against Heaven, and steals resources from the poor.

    They could begin redressing these foolish abhorrent practices by:
    1) Quantifying the “null hypothesis” of natural trends and variations, including ocean oscillations, cosmic and solar variations and historic Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics;
    2) Quantifying the anthropogenic contribution distinct from this null hypothesis;
    3) Including ALL evidence, including climate sensitivities evaluated by empirical evidence;
    4) Validating models against long term evidence;
    5) Comparing ALL global and regional models by statistical goodness of fit;
    6) Incorporating full bias (Type B) evaluations, (including allowing for unknown unknowns);
    7) Evaluating prospects of global cooling as well as global warming and their corresponding dangers;
    8) Fully evaluating adaptation options as well as mitigation measures;
    9) Provide policy measures with full accountability to We the People by ALL government and regulatory agencies.
    10) Restore foundational principles of sound stewardship of the earth and mutual caring for one’s neighbor, especially the 3 billion living on less than $2.50/day.

    More importantly, I will refocus on making sustainable liquid fuels from renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuels to make the issue moot!

    PS “Climate realists” never “deny” that the earth has been warming since the Little Ice Age. They acknowledge that all human activity affects climate. The critical issue is quantifying both anthropogenic vs natural causes, validating models and prudently weighing policy alternatives.

    • Dave Springer

      David L. Hagen | June 19, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply

      “More importantly, I will refocus on making sustainable liquid fuels from renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuels to make the issue moot!”

      Oh wow!

      You’re going to work for J.Craig Venter at Synthetic Genomics, Inc.!

      I’m jealous!!!!

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        LOL … for once Dave and I agree 100% :)

        Craig Venter is a terrific example of (1) a veteran returned from a long tough war, (2) who trained as a scientist, and (3) appreciated the economic and ecological downside of a carbon energy economy, and (4) rather than retreating into denialism, has set about to do something about it.

        In every large city, there are university-based research groups who are busily inventing the new scientific/engineering discipline called synthetic biology. Almost always, these synthetic biology lectures and group meetings are open to the public and mighty fun to attend. So download a copy of FoldIt, attend a few local lectures, and thereby enlist as a Jeffersonian citizen-soldier in a genuine scientific revolution.

        Because the best cure for denialism is to embrace the future (even the sobering bits) and thereby help create that future … not deny that future! :)   :)   :)   :)

      • Dave Springer

        You left out the really critical part of Venter’s CV. He bailed out of academia and only then did he begin any noteworthy accomplishment.

        And Venter was drafted, you fool. He was against the Vietnam war and was forced to put on a uniform. The boys and girls returning today are all volunteers. You really don’t have much of a clue how average your intellect is, do you?

      • “You really don’t have much of a clue how average your intellect is, do you?” you grant fan far too much credit.

      • A significant percentage of the boys returning from Iwo Jima were drafted.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        David, your post’s reflexive smear of Craig Venter’s military service amply illustrates a fundamental principle: the defining trait of denialism is the restriction of discourse by authority.

        After all, what purpose is served by the personal smears, abuse, and enemy-listing that are so broadly characteristic of ideology-driven denialism?

        That is, aside from denialism’s perennial objective of deterring open discourse?

        How’s that working for yah, David?   :)   :)   :)

      • Dave Springer

        Look Fang, I don’t deny the need for something to replace fossil fuels. But I’m not willing to settle for something more expensive. If it doesn’t have the potential to beat $15/bbl equivalent then I’m not interested. I’m looking for economic progress not surrender and retreat. What I’m seeing is price fixing in the oil market bringing the price up to $100/bbl+ which then inspires low-hanging fruit alternative energy sources which can come in under $100/bbl but have no potential for doing much better. Then before that alternative is deployed in any significant way the price of oil is reduced and the alternatives quickly drown in a sea of red ink. We’re being played like a fiddle. The illustrious green movement who killed nuclear power in 1970s and brought about global warming by scrubbing shade-producing particulates from smokestacks and tailpipes are now bent on using a ginned up catastrophic climate change scenario to keep the price of oil elevated in order to keep the profit incentive alive for stupid expensive alternatives like windmills and ethanol from corn. What this actually does is makes money tight everywhere and stops the flow of funding into everthing non-essential to immediate needs. The global economy is a house of cards, the oil cartel is milking profits from it in a brinkmanship game of keeping it just on the teetering edge of collapse, the U.S. is a key support pillar holding up all the rest of it, and here are you and your ilk trying to kick it down. You’re cutting your own throats. Not that I object to that, mind you, it’s just that you’re cutting mine at the same time.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        FOMD posts: “Craig Venter is a terrific example of (1) a veteran returned from a long tough war, (2) who trained as a scientist, and (3) appreciated the economic and ecological downside of a carbon energy economy, and (4) rather than retreating into denialism, has set about to do something about it.”

        Dave Springer replies: “The global economy is a house of cards, the oil cartel is milking profits from it in a brinkmanship game of keeping it just on the teetering edge of collapse, the U.S. is a key support pillar holding up all the rest of it, and here are you and your ilk trying to kick it down.”

        “Ilk” … now there’s a word I haven’t heard in a long time!   :)

        Your passion is evident, Dave, but your logic is murky (to say the least). How exactly is it, that Craig Venter and his “ilk” are to blame?

        Gee … maybe it’s better if folks just let Dr. Venter speak for himself? Yah think?

      • Johnny, don’t you have some course to teach or something? What are the taxpayers of Washington State paying for, anyway?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Some folks prefer *MORE* discourse … and other folks prefer *LESS* discourse.

        PE, we’ll just mark you down for “less”, OK?   :)   :)   :)

      • Fan

        I read your link through to the end. Its very long. I wonder if anyone else will?

      • I’ll take that as “screw the taxpayers”, Johnny.

      • fan teaches at Washington State?

        Wonder if my son had him. He ended up with a Sociology degree so its possible.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        A Poem

        Denialists seek him/her/them here,
         denialists seek him/her/them there,
         denialists seek him/her/them everywhere.

        (S)he’s enemy-listed,
        for free-thinking of course 
        that charming  … mysterious
        Fan of *MORE* discourse!!! :) ;) :)

        And a big tip-of-the-hat to all Climate Etc. Blackadder fans!

      • David L. Hagen

        Re: “work for J.Craig Venter”
        Nope – too expensive and too iffy.
        Solar thermo chemical conversion.

      • Dave Springer

        You get what you pay for.

      • David L. Hagen

        What you get is still constrained by the 1st & 2nd laws of thermodynamics now matter what you pay for. Venter is foundationally limited by insolation, conversion efficiency, feedstock costs, and container costs.
        In contrast with the foolish unscientific rhetorical effort of Bain et al. above, for concrete quantitative hard science and commercial reality see Alan W. Weimer, “Solarthermal chemical processing challenges and commercial path forward.” Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering 2012, 1:1-7.

        If the cost of installed heliostats could be reduced by one-half, a number of solarthermal processes would be economical today.

        Now that is doable.

      • David L. Hagen

        Similarly contrasting the very questionable “science” of Bain et al., for further hard realistic science see James Trainharn et al, “Whither solar fuels?”, Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering 2012, 1:1-7. Any Venter venture will have to compete with solar biomass gasification currently estimated capable of providing $1-$1.3/kg H2.

      • Dave Springer

        Hagen, as soon as you approach being competitive with $100/bbl oil and can produce in any reasonable quantity you’ll get your legs kicked out from under you by oil price decline. The price of oil didn’t shoot up from $20/bbl to $100/bbl in less than ten years because of production expense. It went up because that’s what the market will bear, at least temporarily, and if something, anything comes along which threatens it then there’s plenty of room to lower price and plenty of oil to flood the market thereby strangling any alternative in the crib.

        There is abundant insolation and unutilized land available for collecting it but it just isn’t cost effective doing it with mechanical concentrators to generate high quality heat or PV to generate electricity. If you could grow mirrors or PV panels like weeds I’d be singing a different tune but you can’t and thus the economics are dependent on all the alternatives being more expensive. Dumping happens in the fossil fuel market. Dumping is supposed to be a violation of international law but no one tries to enforce the law in the oil market. So any newcomers that are only marginally competitive (you) with $100/bbl oil will get forced out of the market by say $30/bbl oil which is still a profitable price for the producers. We’ve seen it happen before. More than once. Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

      • David L. Hagen

        Dave Springer
        Appreciate the caution. Yes the switch away from oil and increased production after the first OPEC oil crisis did drive prices back down to < $10/bbl. However see the major regime change in inelasticity at 2004.
        Understanding Crude Oil Prices*James Hamilton 2008

        And the strong demand may have moved us into a regime in which scarcity rents, while negligible in 1997, became perceived to be an important permanent factor in the price of petroleum.

        Regime Change In The Oil Market: Is There Evidence of Critical Slowing Down in Oil Price Series? David Comerford 2011

        Further, there is evidence of regime change in the oil market pre- and post-2005: pre-2005 the oil market responded to increases in demand by raising supply; whereas post-2005 price has increased while supply has plateaued.

        The mideast states and Russia appear to have adjusted their budgets to require $90 to $115/bbl. Politics suggests it will be difficult to chose much below that.

        The long run solution is to make renewable liquid fuels for ~$30/bbl with a good profit. Thus the pragmatic goal of setting a cost budget substantially below that!

      • David L. Hagen

        See the presentation Peaking at Peak Oil Kjell Aleklett, ASPO 2012; Book
        He cites:
        Colin Campbell & Jean Laherrere, The End of Cheap Oil, Scientific American 1998, predicted a max of crude oil ~ 72 million bbl/day in 2006. (Cited by 1004)
        International Energy Agency reports ~ max of crude oil of 70 million bbl/day in 2006.

  39. I think the bigger picture problem is we are graduating thousands of people with what we call ‘science’ degrees, but they are more arts courses dressed up. There is nothing wrong with the arts, but science courses shouldn’t be based on core beliefs. Lacking skills, people can end up righteous and manipulative, thus suited only for advocacy.

  40. The saddest thing, to me, is how trivial and boring the Nature article is.

    For instance, all the conclusions are based on hypotheticals about future behavior: In fact reports of intentions. Elicited intentions are notoriously poor predictors of future actions: Not necessarily because of lazy or unmotivated reporting, but for very good statistical reasons (see Manski 1990, JASA).

    The study is trivial in the sense that no one I know of thinks that valuations multi-attribute alternatives ARE NOT conditionally monotone in the level of valued attributes. So what does the second study do? In the final analysis the treatment says to the subject “This alternative (pro-environment action) has a higher level of attribute j (say warm and fuzzies, or scientific and technological progress) than you might have thought.” Surprise, surprise: People choose more of that alternative (or rather, are more likely to express an intention to choose it) than when you don’t highlight the higher level of some attribute j.

    Utterly boring and trivial.

  41. And lets not forget what scientist was using ‘denier’ in the not too distant past.


  42. The worst thing about the term ‘denier’ is it in some way suggests the main evidence for the Holocaust comes from computer models that project events from the 1920’s. It isn’t just hurtful to the skeptic side – take a trip to Dachau, then find a different term.

    • What about the moon landing deniers?

      You like to be called sceptics, yet as a group those against the science of AGW show very little scepticism.

      • I googled to check if that was actually a phrase people use, interestingly the first link to use the term also mentioned Buzz Aldrin and Harrison Schmidt (who both went to the moon) signed the letter saying “We feel that NASA’s advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers is inappropriate”.

        I know this is sort of mathy, but if you find one group that disagrees with you is wrong, it does not mean that all groups that disagree with you are wrong – even if you append the same derogatory term to them.

        I know trying to paint warrantable criticism as anti-science is easier than explaining away over reliance on somewhat amateurish computer models, or how only certain tree rings matter, or how clouds and oceans can be discounted if we don’t really understand them… but hey, those are just details. Keep the faith.

      • You show your lack of depth when you refer to “somewhat amateurish computer models” and “how only certain tree rings matter” etc.

        Can you explain why you think the computer models are somewhat amateurish?

        Only certain tree rings do matter, as we want only the ones that show a good relationship to temperature. Those that show greater growth with moisture, sure we dont want to use those. Of course we dont want to use any tree ring series that doesnt show a hockey stick in the instrumental period for temperature reconstructions, because they dont exhibit increased growth with increased temperature.

        When the grid cell size of the models gets smaller than clouds, your criticism of how climate scientists do not understand clouds might have some merit.

        What about the oceans getting a lot warmer do you not understand?

        Until then you are just demonstrating your lack of understanding of the issues.

      • How are the models amateurish?
        1. We live on a planet 70% covered with salt water. The models should be water based and consider the latent energy transfer first, sensible second.

        2. The radiant portions of the models, which should be step two, not step one, should consider the energy flows within the radiant boundary envelope. GLOBAL average temperature is meaningless in regard to the RADIANT envelope since a significant portion of the surface of the Earth is outside of the RADIANT envelope.

        3. The impact of atmospheric chemistry changes inside of the RADIANT envelope would have some impact on the SURFACE where most folks seem to prefer living. If the radiant forcing occurs outside of the RADIANT envelope, the impact on the surface is negligible.

        Other than that, the models are just peachy :)

      • What do you mean by RADIANT envelope? And how is the surface of the earth outside of the radiant envelope? I am not a modeler, but I had been understanding that they modeled the energy transfers between each cell of the models as well as between each layer of the atmosphere and ocean.

        Don’t they calculate the average global temperature from each processing step in the models?

      • The addition of greenhouse gases, CO2 included, would impact the effective radiant temperature of the Effective Radiant Layer. A layer of equivalent radiant energy created by the internal energy of the Earth. The value of the ERL can be arbitrarily chosen or it can be determined so that it has some physical meaning to the climate system. Since the Earth radiates approximately 240Wm-2 of energy which has an effective temperature of 255K degrees, 255K to 249K is often chosen. A more reasonable choice IMHO is 240.2K 188.8Wm-2. That happens to be a temperature of -33C degrees. That temperature is low enough that the latent impact of water would be minimal, so it would be a solid radiant reference temperature/energy. At certain times of the year areas of the Earth are below that temperature so they would not benefit from the energy restricted by the ERL, the Antarctic that is not warming comes to mind.

      • “How are the models amateurish?”

        I’ve have looked at models at different times, here is a quick review:
        and a review of how they do code audits in the same thread:

        I’ve been programming for 20 years or so, always love talking about code, so feel free to rebut any of that — or explain in your own way why you think climate code (or ModelE if you want to be specific) is ‘high quality’.

        Clouds, eg CLOUD experiment at CERN is very interesting and has potentially large implications on climate.

        Oceans, warming a lot? Can you quantify that? Here is a random graph, do you mean since 2008?

        Tree rings, does that technique work in the stock market too?

      • bob,
        They lied with the trees.
        The Hockey Stick is bunk, Bob.
        As Dr. McCoy says, It’s dead, Jim.”

      • Dave Springer

        The models aren’t as much amateurish as they are toys IMO. Like trying to predict how a Space Shuttle will perform by throwing lawn darts. The software itself is composed of modules some of which were written decades ago by people who knew what they were doing layered on and around newer code written by novices who don’t know what they are doing. But we’re not talking Space Shuttle flight control software so novice mistakes can be corrected on the fly with no real harm done and so even if it isn’t pretty it probably works within the bounds of the larger problem of trying to model a space shuttle by throwing lawn darts. Just one thing has to wrong, like how clouds are modeled, and the toy is worse than useless.

        The larger problem in this whole charade is talking about things like global average temperature of 255K absent GHG’s because on average the earth surface receives ~240W/m2. That only works out to a global average temperature for a massless superconducting sphere. In fact the sphere in question gets 500W/m2 at the equator and essentially nothing at the poles and the two are connected by a thin skin of slow moving water and air. The thing of it is that temperature is not linearly related to power so a Watt more or less at the pole moves a thermometer reading a whole lot more than a Watt more or less at the equator. In point of fact it’s physically impossible for the entire earth to ever be more than 10C everywhere at equilibrium as that would have it emitting more power than it receives from the sun which would violate conservation. So the whole idea of an average temperature or what it would be without GHGs is utter bullsht. There seems to be this common wisdom going around that some magical greenhouse effect can cause a body at equilibrium to emit more power than it absorbs. I cringe every time a physicist tries to defend it and lately, instead of trying to point out Kirchoff’s Law of Radiation, I just tell them they’ll own the world if they can invent a non-centrating solar collector able to boil water at sea level. It can’t be done but they somehow think a column of air with greenhouse gasses can somehow cause an object on the surface to emit more energy than it receives at equilibrium. Engineers certainly know better. We’re in the business of trying to squeeze as much as we can within the limits of the laws that nature imposes on us and one of those laws is conservation of energy.

      • Dave Springer

        Bob, here’s an example of an effect that can’t possibly be included in cloud models incorporated within GCMs because the effect was discovered just this year. It was recently discovered that photons passing within a wavelength of a water droplet can quantum tunnel into the droplet and emerge on the other side of the droplet in exactly the opposite direction. This is impossible with classical optics as 180 degree reflection inside a single water droplet is well beyond the maximum angle of refraction.

        Sorry if you can’t read the whole thing online. I subscribe.

        So the models, which only reflect light based on droplet size and density and maximum angle of optical refraction, are allowing more photons to pass through to lower layers that what actually make it through in nature. The difference is probably enough to transform clouds from having a slight positive feedback to a slight negative feedback which in turn would lower climate sensitivity to CO2 doublings from 2-5C to 1C. 1C agrees with pencil whipped observations. I suspect it’s not 1C over all the globe but just over relatively dry parts of the globe (higher latitudes over continents) where conduction (and hence surface temperature) has to increase make up for the higher impedence through the radiative path because there’s no latent path (and hence no rise in temperature) to make up the difference.

        You can read about this recent discovery here:

      • Robin,
        Why go back only to 1998, and why only specify sea surface temperature,
        why not look back further in time and deeper into the ocean? And why not use official sources rather than some blog?

        Cosmic rays and the CERN experiment, sorry there is so much wrong with that

        There is no correlation of the temperature with the sun, so even if cosmic rays have an effect modulated by the sun, it is not showing up in the data.
        If it is from gamma ray sources from supernovae, there is even less evidence of correlation.

        Basically that theory sinks because there are already plenty of cloud condensing nuclei available in the atmosphere that any additional caused by the amount of cosmic rays available will not have any effect. And if there were, the radiation levels on the ground would be much higher and if anyone asks I can show you how to do the calculations.

        Besides that, the CERN experiment is just recreating Wilson’s work when he invented the cloud chamber, yeah, cloud chambers work, we knew that already.

        If I had any insight into what the stock market would do in the future I would share it with you, but no the hockey stick has no correlation with the stock market.

      • The real interesting thing I point out about cosmic rays, global temperatures and so-called skeptics is that so-called skeptics never produce or show graphs comparing cosmic rays and recent warming. It’s the elephant in the room.

      • “Only certain tree rings do matter, as we want only the ones that show a good relationship to temperature.”

        Right. So you will draw 200 cores from a stand of trees, screen them for correlation to temperature from some series of instrumental temperatures, hopefully taken at more or less the same altitude within 100 miles of the stand of trees, and claim that tree X is a good treemometer because it correlates with the temperature record while tree Y which grew 20 feet away is a bad treemometer because it correlates less well, and throw away 60% of the cores accordingly, and then claim that you can extrapolate what the temperature in that stand of trees was doing 500, 700, 1000 years earlier based on the 40% you retain? All the while ignoring the palpable fact that you have no clue why that 40% “show a good relationship to temperature”, during the calibration period (because if you did have such a clue you wouldn’t need to screen), and also no clue whether that “good relationship” remains good throughout the extrapolation period? Good luck with that.

      • There is correlation, lots of it in fact – why else do you think they are doing the experiments? People aren’t leaping to the conclusion that it is causation, instead they experimenting, measuring, refining in a long cycle. It may turn out that there is little causation, or that there is lots, or something in the middle. That is how science is supposed to work.

        I listed that as an example of something we don’t know much about. You seem sure it’s nothing though, maybe you could show CERN your calculations – you might be on to something.

      • philjourdan

        HOw are the computer models amaturish?

        To start, they fail every time to predict future outcomes. That could mean they are simply grossly incompetent. Or Amaturish.

        The problem with the models is they are using linear equations to try to graph hyperbolic systems.

        And that is amaturish.

      • So Phil,

        I take it that you have analyzed the out put of every published climate model run?

        How many have you looked at?

      • Bob,

        Here is a recent tree ring studies from a Briffa portogee:

        Of particular interest is the higher sensitivity to temperature in the 20th century.

      • Dan H.

        That paper does make some interesting contributions.

        It may offer a solution to the divergence problem, but it also demonstrates the importance in selecting trees that are most likely to show a growth dependence with temperature.

        It also provides evidence that at that location, the MWP was a bit warmer than the late twentieth century. I can accept that.

      • “There is no correlation of the temperature with the sun, so even if cosmic rays have an effect modulated by the sun, it is not showing up in the data.
        If it is from gamma ray sources from supernovae, there is even less evidence of correlation.”

        Where else does get gamma ray or cosmic rays other than from effects of supernovae?

        And it doesn’t have to do with rays or radiation, other high speed particles are loosely called cosmic rays, ionizing radiation, simply radiation. Proton or other parts of matter traveling near light speed may associated with gamma ray as both are related to supernovas- and not associated with your Sun.

        Or magnetic fields of the sun, aren’t going to effect gamma rays, a magnetic field will affect charged particles whether slow or near light speed.

      • gbaike,
        are you aware that there are plenty of gamma radiation sources that are not from supernovae?
        Cosmic rays are specifically defined as high speed atomic nuclei, mostly protons and alpha particles, but other heavier particles can be found as well.

        You don’t seem to be too familiar with the cosmic rays modulate climate theory. It is not my theory, but the Sun does have something to do with it.
        Check with Svensmark.

      • Moon landing deniers? You’ve got to be kidding space cadet.

      • Are you denying that there are Moon Landing Deniers, Captain?

      • I am denying that it has any relevance to any sensible climate discussion – space cadet.

      • I am a Lieutenant Colonel in the Confederate Airforce, not a space cadet.
        Who are you kidding?

      • Bob,

        CAF? Really? Then I may have seen you fly. Attended Oshkosh several times. Have you been to Paul Allen’s museum at Payne Field? Two weeks ago I watched a rebuild Zero and a P-40 fly.

  43. Dave Springer

    With enemies like Nature Climate Science the deniers don’t need any friends. ;-)

  44. All science, even the soft, social sciences, have to start every experiment or study without prejudice, without a predetermined outcome, without already having decided what the results will be.

    Bains et al fail as scientists before they even begin, taking a strongly prejudiced a priori position. Just imagine if one substituted for ‘denier’ any of the more offensive racial epithets — and did the study on some other social issue. Discovering why Blacks or Jews or Pollacks or Old White Male Americans just can’t seem to understand why they are inferior, for instance.

    It is simply and foremost scientifically unethical to start a study of why so many Americans don’t buy into CAGW with this premise:

    ‘A sizeable (and growing) proportion of the public in Western democracies deny the existence of anthropogenic climate change. It is commonly assumed that convincing deniers that climate change is real is necessary for them to act pro-environmentally. However, the likelihood of ‘conversion’ using scientific evidence is limited because these attitudes increasingly reflect ideological positions.’

    It is scary in a ‘1984’ newspeak’ sort of way that Nature Climate Change would publish the piece in its present form. They can not do so and continue to claim to be a science journal.

    • Dave Springer

      Kip Hansen | June 19, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Reply

      “All science, even the soft, social sciences, have to start every experiment or study without prejudice,”

      Unfortunately that’s no more than a suggested best practice. Sort of like traffic signs, signals, and lane markers in Taipei. It used to be that at least science *students* were expected to follow best practice but I don’t they’re paying attention to them anymore either.

  45. Dave Springer

    “what was Nature Climate Change thinking when they published this?”

    From the Urban Slang Dictionary:

    ass clown

    1. One whose stupidity and/or ineptitude exceeds the descriptive potential of both the terms ass and clown in isolation, and in so doing demands to be referred to as the conjugate of the two.

    What you meant to say, Dr. Curry, is which ass clown(s) at Nature Climate Change put the stamp of approval on this.

    Maybe big oil has some insiders working there. Yeah, that’s it. That’s the ticket.

  46. Dave Springer

    Q: What do you get when you cross an actuary with a pop psychologist?

    A: Climate science!

  47. Dave Springer

    Is Nature Climate Change pulling some kind of elaborate troll?

    An early version of Poe’s Law states (with my apologies to Arthur C. Clarke):

    Any sufficiently advanced troll is indistinguishable from a genuine kook.

  48. Dolphinhead

    welcome to the International Stupidity Stakes

    the UK made an early burst with its monumentally crass Climate Change Act but coming up on the outside we now have the Commonwealth of Australia, about to implement an economy crippling and entirely pointles carbon tax and being spurred on by a bunch of brain dead nob-jockeys from Brisbane

    but the EU are still so far out of sight that there is no chance of anyone catching them

  49. Throughout history it is undeniable that it is the creators of fearful environments and not the targets of their anger and hatred that ultimately doom the people. Such fears most often are born of deception and the end is always the same: the fearmongers lead their followers down the path of misery, poverty, destruction and death.

  50. Dave Springer

    When “The Team” (Jones, Trenberth, Mann, Hansen, Santer, et al) call you a denier you may rest assured they are projecting.

    Dig it:

    Little Ice Age: Big Chill ( History Channel | August 31, 2006 )

    Not so long ago, civilization learned that it was no match for just a few degrees drop in temperature. Scientists call it the Little Ice Age–but its impact was anything but small. From 1300 to 1850, a period of cataclysmic cold caused havoc. It froze Viking colonists in Greenland, accelerated the Black Death in Europe, decimated the Spanish Armada, and helped trigger the French Revolution. The Little Ice Age reshaped the world in ways that now seem the stuff of fantasy–New York Harbor froze and people walked from Manhattan to Staten Island, Eskimos sailed kayaks as far south as Scotland, and two feet of snow fell on New England in June and July during “the Year Without a Summer”. Could another catastrophic cold snap strike in the 21st century? Leading climatologists offer the latest theories, and scholars and historians recreate the history that could be a glimpse of things to come. Face the cold, hard truth of the past–an era that may be a window to our future.

    The Team tried to erase the Little Ice Age from climatology. The LIA was an event in history which killed millions of people.

    The term “denier” is associated with people who want to erase the Holocaust from the history books. The Holocaust was an event in history which killed millions of people.

    I’m not the one who denies the Little Ice Age. I’m not the denier.

  51. 1816 became known as the “Year Without a Summer” because the eruption of Mount Tambora (Indonesia) affected North American and European weather. Agricultural crops failed and livestock died in much of the Northern Hemisphere, resulting in the worst famine of the 19th century.
    27 proxies used by Gergis et al., in their reconstruction of the Southern Hemispheres temperature.
    In how many of these 27 proxies do we witness a drop in temperature in 1815-16 and then a recover?

    • Dave Springer

      The Little Ice Age lasted over 500 years. Tambora eruption was near the tail end of it.

      Point taken though. Antarctica hasn’t been getting any warmer. According to the logic I think is coming from you that means the recent Arctic melt is just a regional thing, right?

      Caution: Be sure brain is engaged before putting mouth in gear.


      • “According to the logic I think is coming from you that means the recent Arctic melt is just a regional thing, right?”
        In 1815 a 800 Mt explosion ejected 160 km3 of minerals into the the atmosphere and this caused widespread starvation in the Southern Hemisphere due to crop failures.
        My position, which I believe to be somewhat logical, is that biotic markers of temperature would show some evidence of this event.
        If a postulated temperature proxy fails to show some signal of the largest known temperature event in the past 1,500 years, then I would hazard a guess that the postulate is at least unproven.
        If a series of proxies fail to record this event, and other large southern hemisphere eruptions, then I believe the study to be invalid as a temperature reconstruction.
        I postulate that your use of the words ‘I think’ is erroneous.

      • Dave Springer

        Your point was unclear and I took it the wrong way. The lack of clarity is why I wrote “I think”. Yes, it’s sometimes rare when I have to think. Usually I know and knowing doesn’t require thinking. Thanks for the clarification.

      • maksimovich

        Volcanics have different temporal periods of persistence.The relaxation oscillators respond over periods where interference from similar perturbations operate,are problematic for empirical parameters eg Stenchikov et al 2009

        Radiative forcing produced by explosive volcanic events that have occurred in the historic period lasts for about 3 years. The volcanically-induced tropospheric temperature anomalies reduce below noise after approximately 7 years. The sea ice responds on the decadal time scale. Deep ocean temperature, sea level, salinity, and AMOC have relaxation time of several decades to a century. This suggests that the Tambora subsurface temperature and sea level perturbations could last well into the 20th century, interfering with the effects of the devastating Krakatau, Santa Maria, and Katmai eruptions which occurred respectively in 1883, 1902, and 1912, producing a cumulative impact on the deep ocean thermal structure in the 20th century.

    • Dave Springer


      If an eruption like Tambora happened today would it be less devastating due to the climate being warmer than average when it happened?

      That’s a rhetorical question, by the way. :-)

  52. Dave Springer

    I wonder if “The Team” would have the law require us deniers to sew some symbol on our clothing so that we can be more easily identified and scorned.

    Maybe something like this international symbol for oil & gas:

    Is is just my imagination or does that symbol have the same number of triangles as a Star of David?

    • Dave,
      The logical progression of AGW mania does not end well.

    • I count 13 in your symbol, yet only 8 for a star of david.

      • Dave Springer

        Only six for a Star of David and if you want to get nitpicky it can be formed by placing two equilateral triangles atop each other on a common center with one triange rotated 60 degrees. I wrote it as a literary device not a literal question, by the way.

  53. “So ‘deniers’, tell me: will ‘increasing interpersonal warmth and societal development’ work for you?”

    If Angelina Jolie and Ashley Judd want to increase my personal warmth and societal development, sign me up. If it’s Michael Mann and James Hansen, fuggedaboutit.

  54. So ‘deniers’, tell me: will “increasing interpersonal warmth and societal development” work for you?

    If the general idea includes some dancing and wine, maybe yes.

  55. “How about framing an argument about why AGW is wrong?”

    No need to. Those who claim AGW should show how they know it’s true. If they don’t we can continue to classify it as a fraud.


    • “How about framing an argument about why AGW is wrong?” this is a typical political ploy. Wrap enough things up in a package and then you can defend the warm and fuzzy part and look like a hero while slipping in the pork. The CO2 part of AGW is grossly over stated and that is the issue attempted to be discussed. Land use and water management are grossly under stated and the true issue, but CO2 warm and fussiness creates an impasse. Then the CO2 proponents blame the rational for being skeptical or “denying” the truth while the “truth” has been manipulated. For good measure, use “Merchants of Doubt” to deflect any serious discussion.

      • Wasn’t too long ago that MSM was still arguing there were “objective” and non-partisan.
        Seems like a eon ago, but was actually only been a few years. Nature the mag and it’s ilk is simply following the trend.
        It’s not so much a change, as an acceptance that they are indeed diseased and dying.
        They may fear they have reputation to lose, and they sort of right, but the reputation they had was mostly matter of delusion.

  56. Chad Wozniak

    Demier, and proud oif it.

    The people who will repeat the Holocaust are not the climate skeptics, but the AGW tyrannists. Millions will die as the result of economic difficulties imposed by chasing the CO2 bogeyman.

    I accuse the AGW crowd of intending this consequence of their program. They are no better than Hitler, Stalin and Mao.

    • “Millions will die as the result of economic difficulties imposed by chasing the CO2 bogeyman”

      Now that is a falsifiable hypothesis and prediction as well.

      Got any evidence for how that is to come about?

      • “Now that is a falsifiable hypothesis and prediction as well.”

        Which makes it much better than the AGW theory?

      • “Now that is a falsifiable hypothesis and prediction as well.

        Got any evidence for how that is to come about?”

        How about what the DDT ban and what did in regards to poorer countries
        with a malaria problem?

        How about the lack of evidence of increasing state power, having done anything regarded as good or useful for the majority of the people.

        Explain EU.
        Define how much as been spend so far which related to issue of “global warming as a problem”. Or simply find one study on this effort, the costs and benefits from it.
        An example is you can find say study on impacts of Iraq war for instance. They might poor and biased studies, but point is, there was some effort to look at it. And it was a brief period of time and not water has gone under the bridge since that time. Whereas “global warming” was concern during the Carter years. Lot’s water under the bridge, regarded vastly more important than Iraq war, and what examination of this effort as there been?

      • The DDT ban had unintended consequences (not accepting some of the absurd claims seen on the internet.)

        The Holocaust was not an unintended consequence.

        My father was in charge of spraying his company’s bases on Guadalcanal and other Solomon islands with DDT. They soaked themselves and their clothing and their bedding and their tents and the jungle with the stuff, and they still came down with malaria.

      • “My father was in charge of spraying his company’s bases on Guadalcanal and other Solomon islands with DDT. They soaked themselves and their clothing and their bedding and their tents and the jungle with the stuff, and they still came down with malaria.”

        Right we did not get rid of malaria in the US, by having citizens soak themselves in DDT.
        Instead we systematically exterminated the disease with DDT.

        “The Panama Canal (1905-1910)

        The construction of the Panama Canal was made possible only after yellow fever and malaria were controlled in the area. These two diseases were a major cause of death and disease among workers in the area. In 1906, there were over 26,000 employees working on the Canal. Of these, over 21,000 were hospitalized for malaria at some time during their work. By 1912, there were over 50,000 employees, and the number of hospitalized workers had decreased to approximately 5,600. Through the leadership and efforts of William Crawford Gorgas, Joseph Augustin LePrince, and Samuel Taylor Darling, yellow fever was eliminated and malaria incidence markedly reduced through an integrated program of insect and malaria control.”

        “he U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) and Malaria (1914-1942)

        During the U.S. military occupation of Cuba and the construction of the Panama Canal at the turn of the 20th century, U.S. officials made great strides in the control of malaria and yellow fever. In 1914 Henry Rose Carter and Rudolph H. von Ezdorf of the USPHS requested and received funds from the U.S. Congress to control malaria in the United States. Various activities to investigate and combat malaria in the United States followed from this initial request and reduced the number of malaria cases in the United States. USPHS established malaria control activities around military bases in the malarious regions of the southern United States to allow soldiers to train year round.”

        “he U.S. Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) – The Integration of Malaria Control with Economic Development (1933)

        U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a bill that created the TVA on May 18, 1933. The law gave the federal government a centralized body to control the Tennessee River’s potential for hydroelectric power and improve the land and waterways for development of the region. An organized and effective malaria control program stemmed from this new authority in the Tennessee River valley. Malaria affected 30 percent of the population in the region when the TVA was incorporated in 1933. The Public Health Service played a vital role in the research and control operations and by 1947, the disease was essentially eliminated. Mosquito breeding sites were reduced by controlling water levels and insecticide applications.”

      • Dave Springer

        It was a combination of things that nearly eradicated malaria in the U.S.

        You have to consider all its weaknesses. Two most relevant ones off the top of my head:

        1) it needs both a human host and mosquito host to complete its life cycle
        2) it has difficulty surviving sub-tropical winters

        If you have things that keep humans from becoming infected and/or you isolate them from mosquitos if they are infected then you break the life-cycle chain. In third world countries there’s little in the way of isolating infected people so they get bit by mosquitos allowing the parasite to reproduce. Parasite reproduces asexually in humans, sexually in the mosquito.

        Getting rid of mosquito breeding grounds close to people. DDT helped a lot doing that. Limiting the number of people getting infected combined with isolating people after infection so mosquitos can’t take it back up in a blood meal is a one-two punch.

        Killing carrier mosquitos arriving aboard ships from tropical countries. The parasite has a hard time surviving even sub-tropical winters and is re-introduced by tradeships arriving from tropical ports. DDT is useful for that too.

        DDT was not the only factor in eradicting malaria from north America but certainly played a large role in it.

      • “It was a combination of things that nearly eradicated malaria in the U.S.”

        If you can say polio was nearly eradicated in the US.
        “Polio was one of the most dreaded childhood diseases of the 20th century in the United States. Periodic epidemics occurred since the late 19th century and they increase in size and frequency in the late 1940s and early 1950s. An average of over 35,000 cases were reported during this time period. With the introduction of Salk inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) in 1955, the number of cases rapidly declined to under 2,500 cases in 1957. By 1965, only 61 cases of paralytic polio were reported.”

        From 1980 through 1999, there were 162 confirmed cases of paralytic polio cases reported. Of the 162 cases, eight cases were acquired outside the United States and imported.”

        “CDC received 1,691 reported cases of malaria, including 1,688 cases classified as imported, one transfusion-related case, and two cryptic cases, with an onset of symptoms in 2010 among persons in the United States.”

        From the above, one can say that Malaria in US is mostly/almost all due from the disease being acquired outside the US. Whereas Polio has less to do with importing the disease.

      • Btw, the scale of problem of malaria:

        “During the past decade, malaria incidence and mortality rates have been cut in all regions of the world, according to the report. In 2010, there were an estimated 216 million cases of malaria in 106 endemic countries and territories in the world. An estimated 81% percent of these cases and 91% of deaths occurred in the WHO African Region. Globally, 86% of the victims were children under 5 years of age.

        There were an estimated 655 000 malaria deaths in 2010, which is 36 000 lower than the year before.1 While this 5% year-on-year decline represents significant progress, the mortality figures are still disconcertingly high for a disease that is entirely preventable and treatable. ”

      • While malaria has been considered by some to be a tropical disease, the incidents in Northern Europe persisted due to the mosquitoes residing indoors.

        Malarial epidemics have reached as far north as the Arctic circle.

      • Take that chain off of them goalposts so Chad can answer the question:

        How are the economic difficulties resulting from chasing the CO2 bogeyman going to kill millions of people?

      • “Take that chain off of them goalposts so Chad can answer the question:

        How are the economic difficulties resulting from chasing the CO2 bogeyman going to kill millions of people?”

        Did the Great Depression cause millions to die?

        It’s not a fluke that millions of children died as the result Malaria.
        It’s not a fluke that Al Gore wants to control world population.

        Millions have already died because we have failed to address world poverty..

        What country has done the most to stop world poverty?

        As guess I say China. It had lots of starving people and it did something to change that. Yes, china still has problem with poverty, and previous policies may caused it, but at the moment they doing a lot improve that situation. India is also doing a lot in this direction also, but it’s my guess China has done more.
        But either India or China could arguably be the answer to the question.

  57. Sounds like Re-education Camps.

    Funny how it’s right in line with the prevailing political proclivities of the AGW crowd.

    What’s not funny is that these people currently at the helm of the State.

  58. Gut reaction: Rubbish…but telling. At the 30,000 foot-level,what does this snapshot tell us about the state of and status of ‘science’ in the ‘western democracies’? Here’s a clue. It ain’t good, but that’s another day and another thread.

    More measured: [Nothing new in these comments, but they bear repeating.] IMHO one should not lose focus by reacting to distractions like this article. Ultimately, there are real risks at play here–if ignored AGW that possibly occurs could lead to catastrophic results, and if acted on in the most vigorous manner actions taking in regard to a AGW that does not occur could lead catastrophic results. Both not acting on AGW and acting in the extreme on AGW carry risks, and somehow this ‘decision process’ and attendant debate has to be moved to a point where non-extreme alternatives also have an active, visible place at the table. [Please note I am referring to alternatives and their associated risks, and am not referring to the reality or non-reality of AGW. If the ‘collective we’ knew the answer(s) to that, then of course, the decision(S) would be trivial.] In decision analysis (DA) parlance, the ‘collective we’ should be defining/structuring the decision(s)–that will tell us about priorities and what we need to know and what we do not need to know.* And start simple**–there is lots of time for retreading and complexity down the road.

    It’s ironic, but this is an area (DA) where the psychologist has much more to contribute, compared to fanning the flames.

    * After several stints on proverbial ‘crisis teams/committees’, I happen had an DA instructor out of the SRI school start off with with: ‘When are a faced with a decision, we immediately assembly a committee of various experts, who [at our direction] start to do what they know how to do–and not what needs to be done.” At that middle stage of my hard sciences career that observation hit me like a thunderbolt. And for the second half of my career I beat the hell out of people with that.
    ** JC — can not help thinking of deep ignorance. Interesting blogs.

    • Dave Springer

      The worst case is vigorous acting AGW where the AGW happens but the vigorous acting doesn’t work then you’re up the creek with no paddle whereas if you hadn’t acted you’d still have a paddle.

      I have seen no mitigation plan that stands a snowball’s chance in hell of actually lowering global average temperature enough to mitigate the problem so the best course of action is to keep your powder dry until you have something specific to aim at that you know you can kill i.e. adapt to higher temperature instead of trying to reduce it.

      Between global warming being exagerated (a la Schneider) and its effects actually being a net benefit through increased production of primary producers in the food chain, the chance that the earth is going to cool (Little Ice Age, end of Holocene Interglacial, Tambora II) I think it’s absolutely nuts to worry about it at all. We’re more at risk of global cooling whose consequences are pretty dismal from every angle.

      • Hi Dave,
        “I have seen no mitigation plan that stands a snowball’s chance in hell of actually lowering global average temperature enough to mitigate the problem so the best course of action is to keep your powder dry until you have something specific to aim at that you know you can kill i.e. adapt to higher temperature instead of trying to reduce it.”

        I just want emphasize that the thought is to spend more intellectual capital on the identification and examination viable alternatives. That would include not only approaches to mitigation (one class of alternatives) but to staged alternatives as well, e.g., dry powder. From where my ‘fresh’ eyes view things, the reality is that government and quasi-government institutions are/will be/will-be-forced into taking actions; and like it or not, there is already a certain momentum toward mitigation.

        At the present, this is occurring prematurely from the perspective that the problem/decision* has even not been cleanly defined vis-a-vis something akin to a clairvoyant’s test. [Yes, that is a simplification, but perhaps useful.] Nothing ‘good’ is likely to happen until this occurs. If one can not formulate the problem* (hindered here by deep ignorance?) how does one devise alternatives?

        * Of course a problem for many of the readers of this blog is that it is occurring prematurely, period.

    • mwg,
      You make an excellent point. The non-rational reactions of the AGW faithful are a facet of a much larger problem. It seems as if the true believers are unable to function unless they can demonize, deceive and impose their non-solutions on the world. This seems to be part of a larger breakdown- one where the multi-decade lies of Ehrlich and Schneider were toelrated (and even rewarded) and where the the fraud and deceipt of the likes of Gleick have been ignored or even rewarded, and Hansen’s failures and lucrative rent seeking have been ignored.

      • Hi hunter
        I can neither agree or disagree with the particulars of your examples–I am new to this ‘debate’ and frankly don’t expect to last long–it is not a low-stress retirement activity:o). In truth, I have been bowled over with some of the shenanigans that apparently has occurred, and at times I asked is this conspiracy, ambitions, arrogance, and/or second-tier minds? Or how much of the written word is ‘true? Those few times in my life when I have had any first-hand knowledge of a reported event, the reports had errors.

        But for progress that ‘bad vibe’ stuff has to be shoved into a dark corner, and attention more properly turned to working with the real-world puzzle and not the personalities. And for the real climate change debate, at the core it is the uncertainty and ignorance that shape things–perhaps more than any science. This to me is what prejudices me toward use of DA tools–tools that both quantitative and psychological aspects, and can be scaled (simple to complex) to fit context. Besides an ultimate goal should not be to prove a particular view/approach wrong but to arrive at a rational approach or manifold of rational approaches to GW or AGW. There no guarantees, and I am not optimistic. I give you Shirley’s Dictum and Michael Law, both of which may come into play:

        Shirley’s Dictum: Never underestimate the ability of a person to destroy themselves.

        Michael’s Law: If you want to kill a good idea go public.

  59. tempterrain

    Is the Judith Curry who has just written:

    “Somebody needs to research the sociology and psychology of people that insist that anyone that does not accept AGW as a rationale for massive CO2 mitigation efforts is a ‘denier’.”

    the same Judith Curry who previously wrote? :

    ” In addition to critiques by well-known global warming deniers, the issue of hurricanes and global warming has been debated intensely within the meteorological community, identifying clear differences in the prevailing views on this subject……………”

    “The influence of global warming deniers, consisting of a small group of scientists plus others that are motivated to deny global warming owing to the implications associated with any policy to control greenhouse gas emissions”

    • Dave Springer

      So you’re basically telling Curry, “Doctor, heal thyself” ?

      Good one.

    • tt, please date the latter two quotations. My perception is that Dr. Curry has both become sensitized to language issues over time and also has gained a measured of respect for (some) “deniers” over time. Without dating and context, there seems to be a (so far unjustified) insinuation of inconsistency at best and, at worst, the “H” word.

    • tempterrain

      I think these two quotes date from 2006 and 2009. You’re suggesting that Judith has disowned these statements? She’s admitting she was wrong then and right now? If so let her say that for herself.

      If she has disowned previous statements along these lines, why is the old Judith Curry still being referenced on her home personal page.

      See for example her expressed sentiments in her 2007 article in the Washington Post. Fifth link down on this page:

    • tempterrain


      What was that dreadful word you were hinting at? Surely you don’t mean ‘hypocrisy’? Perish the thought!

      • “If she has disowned previous statements along these lines, why is the old Judith Curry still being referenced on her home personal page.”

        I don’t know, but I do know that if they were gone, someone–I can’t say who–would be complaining about how Dr. Curry hides her past opinions rather than owning up to them. At any rate, some people will spin either the presence or absence of evidence, at their whim.

      • tempterrain

        Well maybe you should try to find out. Judith is quite careful not to be pinned down to anything too specific. She likes putting (?) in the middle of any sentence which may sound even slightly controversial. Nevertheless she certainly knows how to create a certain impression on this blog. If you read her peer reviewed scientific papers, including the recent BEST one, you wouldn’t think the same at all. The impression is quite different. Quite mainstream even.
        Yes some of them aren’t that recent, but, even so, she should stand by any paper with her name included or publicly state she now thinks she’d got it wrong at the time.

      • Judith is suffering from the over-zealousness associated with Recent Convert Syndrome.

        Like those ‘born-againers’ who suddenly realise how wicked they previously were, and then go around bothering everyone for doing the things that they themselves were doing just yesterday.

        They most annoying thing about them is how they just can’t believe that you don’t find their arguments utterly compelling.

  60. Here is how a nice democrat congressman talks to skeptics and builds consensus:
    So according to the nice democrats, Republicans are out to literally kill people with their environmental policies.
    Bad, bad republicans. Why can’t they agree the Henry’s and Bob’s of the world and just do as they are told?

  61. The warministas need therapy. Not just the once a week session with a physchologist but in Vienna with an around the clock team of therapists for however long it takes.

    This is likely to be much cheaper and less disruptive than massive mitigation – aka people are a plague on the world, degrowth, suspension of democracy etc.

    • There is talk of a new holistic therapy centre opening in the Sahel. There will be the daily group therapy sessions plus as needed private sessions. The more unique concept is the communal field therapy emphasis.

      In field therapy the patients will work together to save their world by using manual labor to desal water and then use human powered pumps provided by the Gates Foundation, LLC, move the desal water to garden patches in the interior of the compound, where they can grow totally organic corps for communal meals.

      I total support the program to send all climate alarmists to the new Centre for the Warm and Fuzzy so they can get the help they so desperately need.

      Support Help the CAGW today

  62. tempterrain

    One more:
    ““I reserve the word “deniers” for people that are explicitly associated with advocacy groups that are politicizing this issue (CEI comes immediately to mind). Skeptics that are doing analysis and publishing their research (in journals or the blogosphere) deserve to be called skeptics, even if their analyses and research provides fuel for the deniers. It is the failure of the many in the climate community to draw this distinction between deniers and skeptics that has resulted in this problem.”

    • tt, from the Nature paper:

      “From an overall sample of 488 people, a screening item asked whether participants (1) believed humans were contributing substantially to climate change, (2) believed climate change was occurring, but that humans were not contributing substantially to it, or (3) did not believe the climate was changing. Those who chose (2) (n=119) or (3) (n=57) were classified as climate change deniers (n=176; 36% of total sample) and completed the survey.”

      Would you say that a person who “believe[s] climate change [is] occurring, but that humans [are] not contributing substantially to it” should be called a “denier?” Those are more than two-thirds of the subjects in study 1 who the authors classify as “deniers.” Would your answer change if the word “believe[s]” means “attaches a subjective probability greater than [some critical p] to the statement ‘humans contribute less than half of the variance of global temperate since year X’?”

      • tempterrain

        I should say that the above quote is Judith’s.

        I wouldn’t label everyone in the way you suggest. Many of the participants in the survey would probably never have expressed an opinion unless asked. Many are probably quite ill informed apart from the constant stream of misinformation they hear and read on the subject.

        Judith herself is quite well aware of the effect of “misinformation” having herself written ” Some of the things that I’ve tried in my quest to understand skeptics and more effectively counter misinformation include posting at skeptical blogs, such as climateaudit…..”

    • tempterrain

      I reserve the word “deniers” for people that are explicitly associated with advocacy groups that are politicizing this issue

      That most likely excludes a significant majority of the denizens here who have expressed skepticism regarding CAGW.

      So let’s just refer to them as “CAGW skeptics”.

      And, to differentiate, let’s call the other group: “CAGW believers”.

      And let’s agree: “it’s the science, stupid…”


      • tempterrain

        Max, I’m not sure about that! Climate etc itself has become an advocacy group peddling the message that the science is all just too uncertain and therefore there is no case for action to mitigate climate change.

        Any denizen who doesn’t make it clear they don’t go along with this is “explicitly associated”. Wouldn’t you agree?

      • You’re getting to be as annoying as Cwon14 was, with this pointless metadiscussion and hostess baiting.

      • tempterrain

        Well I’m sorry if I’ve annoyed ‘your highness’! I just think its a bit rich that Judith should present herself as a model of propriety , the way she does, when just a few years ago, in a previous personality, she was using the exact same language herself!
        BTW To say that can’t be correctly described as ‘metadiscussion’ whereas I would say your ‘annoying’ comment probably can.

      • “Max, I’m not sure about that! Climate etc itself has become an advocacy group peddling the message that the science is all just too uncertain and therefore there is no case for action to mitigate climate change.”

        I would say that Judith Curry is quite interested in the uncertainty monster, though would not say Climate etc is advocacy group peddling this message. But rather she see this a big problem in climate community and many in climate community would agree this is a problem. It’s mostly a policy matter. And since it’s a policy matter, I doubt I would have much interest in her blog. Someone would have to paid me a lot money in order to endure endless and seemlying pointless policy discussions.
        But her blog is much broader than mere policy.

        Of course since you seem fascinated in policy regarding mitigation, one think you would enjoy this part of it, and you know say something vaguely intelligent.

      • Latimer Alder


        1. I do not agree that

        ‘Climate etc itself has become an advocacy group peddling the message that the science is all just too uncertain and therefore there is no case for action to mitigate climate change.’

        2. But whether I do or not, the force of your logic would lead to the conclusion that everyone who claims to be a ‘climate scientist’ is explicitly associated with the disgraceful behaviour shown in climategate. If not, why not?

  63. Oh damn and schadenfreude.

  64. Space Cadet – n. ‘A person who leads people to believe they are from a different planet or dreaming of ancestry in other areas of the universe. The person does not respond when directly spoken to, performs odd food rituals and displays complete disregard for commonsense. A space cadet is not necessarily refering to a person of low intelligence or a heavy drug user, but rather a person who typically focuses on all aspects of life except the one currently at hand…

    The exact origins of a space cadet are unknown but rumor has it that their home planet was destroyed due to pollution caused by poor house keeping. Following this disaster they proceeded to disperse themselves throughout the universe and litter the gene pool. Space cadets are known for their poor skills in common sense areas such as coordination, food preparation, basic cleaning and processing simultaneous coherent thoughts.’ Urban Dictionary

  65. Judith

    You ask (jokingly):

    tell me: will “increasing interpersonal warmth and societal development” work for you?

    Not really (as you already know).

    Someone should tell these folks: “it’s the science, stupid”.

    “GW”: yup (at least for the period 1970-2000)
    “AGW”: maybe partly, but the evidence is inconclusive
    “CAGW”: most unlikely

    (And “CAGW” is the message IPCC is trying to sell.)


  66. I’m the lead author of the Nature Climate Change paper you’re referring to. Your comments about the use of the denier label is a fair criticism. We did have a rationale for it, but in hindsight I suspect the negatives of using this term may in the end outweigh the positives, which I regret. But let me at least explain what we were trying to do…

    The main readership for this journal is climate scientists, most of whom hold the view that climate change is real, and this was who we saw as our target audience. By using the term “denier” we wanted to start with something that would activate the strongest confirming stereotypes in this audience, to maximize the contrast with our data which shows that “deniers” disconfirm some of these stereotypes (such as being anti-environmental and contrarian, by showing that at least some would support action if it produced other good outcomes for society, even if it made no difference to the climate). By maximizing this contrast we hoped to create a greater shift in their attitudes towards sceptics, in line with our goal to find common ground. So the intention was to undermine some of the stereotypes of those who don’t accept AGW that are held within the climate change community. But in hindsight I suspect we overestimated the impact this approach would have in the intended audience, and underestimated the effect the label would have on sceptics who read it.

    I really hope you can look beyond this label to the rest of the paper, where we were trying to find points of common ground for those who both accept and doubt anthropogenic climate change, that hopefully would help promote policies that would produce outcomes that both sides of the debate could accept.

    • “…view that climate change is real,”

      Skeptics are pointing out that climate change is real, warmists deny it.

      Common ground should be that climate change is real. That’s how it was taught in schools before AGW.

    • Robert-in-AZ

      Paul, thank you so much for posting. My struggle with the paper starts with the second sentence: “….since 2008 the number of deniers of anthropogenic climate change has climbed to one-third or more of the population in high-carbon-emitting countries such as the United States and Australia1, 2, 7.” I could not follow the reference links.

      It appears that the study focuses on “deniers of anthropogenic climate change”. My reading of the comments in this thread is that there are few, if any in that group who commented here. As I posted earlier, I firmly believe in anthropogenic climate change, I deny that the “science is settled” and I am skeptical toward catastrophic anthropogenic climate change (CACC or more popularly CAGW)). I would have as many disagreements discussing climate change with a “denier” as I would with a firm believer in CAGW or someone who shares my general beliefs but is a firm believer in the precautionary principle which roughly states the even if the science is not settled, we should treat CAGW as a real threat and focus on preventing it rather than living with it.

      • “I would have as many disagreements discussing climate change with a “denier” as I would with a firm believer in CAGW or someone who shares my general beliefs but is a firm believer in the precautionary principle which roughly states the even if the science is not settled, we should treat CAGW as a real threat and focus on preventing it rather than living with it.”

        I believe a small amount resources could expended on CAGW threats.

        Such as experimental seeding of ocean with plant nutrients.
        So not more than, somewhere around less than 100 million dollars per year. There secondary benefits that would nearly or wholly pay for such costs.
        Also think studies of nature environments to high levels of CO2 are worthy of the cost involved.
        The Argos program could related to possible CAGW concerns, and again has other benefits
        And probably many other projects I am not mentioning- many are involving satellites use.

        But it seems we wasting money on programs have little benefit, and far exceed the costs of such programs which have value.

      • Robert-in-AZ, you said “I could not follow the reference links.” Me neither. I finally found them: Download the PDF.

      • The study’s definition of ‘denier’ was anyone who didn’t “believe humans were contributing substantially to climate change”, so I think you might find one or two in the comments here : ).

        Interestingly all three options use the word ‘believe’. Wouldn’t it make more sense to ask something like ‘The state of climate science is advanced enough to know with virtual certainty that the climate is warming dangerously, mostly (75%+) due to the CO2 from fossil fuels, and the results will be catastrophic within this century.” ☐ agree ☑ disagree

      • Robert-in-AZ

        Ooops – found it. Thanks. .
        Given that the study included CAGW skeptics in the denier group, the terms used in the narrative are interesting. I’ll point out what I consider to be imprecise wording without further comment.
        “…deny the existence ….” instead of “…deny the significance..”
        “..anthropogenic climate change is real ..” instead of “…anthropogenic climate change is significant …”
        “…reality of anthropogenic climate change ..” instead of “…significance of anthropogenic climate change ”
        “..evidence for climate change …” instead of “…evidence for significant anthropogenic climate change..”
        “..rely on accepting climate change science.” instead of —OK, I cannot think of anything pithy to put here other than “…accepting CAGW theory..” and this is not a term used in the paper.”

      • “Interestingly all three options use the word ‘believe’. Wouldn’t it make more sense to ask something like ‘The state of climate science is advanced enough to know with virtual certainty that the climate is warming dangerously, mostly (75%+) due to the CO2 from fossil fuels, and the results will be catastrophic within this century.” ☐ agree ☑ disagree.”

        Few think it has to do with CO2, but rather some believe it has to do with not known elements which may cause a runaway effect.
        Or the belief is that CO2 significance is because it causes some warming. Anything which caused some warming “would work as well as CO2”. In terms of causing a runaway affect,
        No runaway effect, no possible catastrophic future.

        This runaway affect has no evident of it existing.

    • “By maximizing this contrast we hoped to create a greater shift in their attitudes…”

      So is that a common thing in climate science, to dress a ‘scientific’ study up so it has more of an impact on attitudes? This is a theme that comes up over and over in climate science, and now you are doing it to each other.

      Honest question, why do you feel your opinion so much more important than your data?

    • John Carpenter

      “We did have a rationale for it, but in hindsight I suspect the negatives of using this term may in the end outweigh the positives, which I regret.”

      Thanks for being honest about that, I suspect you are right.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)


      It seems you’ve realized that, as you said, “we overestimated the impact this approach would have in the intended audience.”

      The denier label most assuredly should not be associated with those skeptical about AGW. As a “warmist”, but a skeptic at heart, I am offended when I am called an “alarmist”, which is really the psychological equal of the denier. Both the alarmist and denier are 100% convinced of their position, which a true skeptic never is.

      Most importantly, there is no real rationalizing with either the alarmist or denier. They will not be persuaded by reason, as their position has become one of emotion and/or ideology. It is actually best that no time is wasted with convincing these types or finding common ground. You do not compromise with True Believers (or True Un-believers!). Thus, trying to reach out to deniers (or alarmists) to find common ground is doomed to failure.

      In the true skeptical camp, there are those skeptics, like myself, who have studied, looked at the data and provisionally accept the truth of AGW. There are also those, who have done the same, and cannot provisionally accept it as true. Both groups are open to reason and persuasion (by rational means). Some common ground for action may be found, but, for example, even for someone like myself who provisionally accepts AGW, there are limits. For example, I am currently strongly opposed to any sort of geoengineering. The risk of unintended consequences in tampering with a chaotic system is far too great IMO. So all skeptics will have some reasonableness and rationale to their limits and it is finding those limits that is the basis for finding some common ground.

    • Paul,
      It is astounding that any educated person could use “denier” without realizing what a deeply offensive term it is because of its obvious Holocaust-denier allusions. I can’t prove it, but I’d bet good money that the term “climate denier” was concocted by someone as a deliberate strategy, just as we’ve seen a deliberate shift from “global warming” to “climate change,” and just as political and special interest groups will try to develop emotive labels to win debates at a visceral level (e.g., in the U.S. we have an estate tax that opponents call “the death tax”). Use of the term “denier” is not always deliberate, in that some people mindlessly repeat it, but that doesn’t make it less offensive.

      If you want to know how to get us “deniers” to be more open to AGW and associated theories, then for starters don’t insult us by putting us at the intellectual level of Holocaust deniers.

      Your very paper’s — purportedly innocent — conceit has only done further harm, as far as I’m concerned.

      • tempterrain

        The word denier was in existence long before WW2 so it is factually incorrect to link its every use with the denial mass murder.

      • philjourdan

        The term denier, as used with AGW Skeptics, was directly tied to the holocaust by the warmists themselves. There is no equivocation.

      • tempterrain

        No. The word denier is someone who denies something. A person can be said to be in denial when receiving some uncomfortable information if they choose not to accept it. It’s probably best explained as a psychological defence mechanism against disturbing ideas.

      • temp,

        I’m sure the word dick was also in existence long before WW2. Doesn’t mean someone can’t come along and give new meaning to it.

      • timg56,
        Instead of working blue, you might have pointed out that the name “Adolf” was quite popular in Germany before WW2, but today if you name your kid Adolf that will mean only one thing to most people.

      • tempterrain

        Maybe so, but It still doesn’t mean that every ‘Adolf’ is a mass murderer, any more than every use of the word denier is linked with one particular Adolf.

      • Removing words from the acceptable use of language is a bad practice. It’s particularly bad when no good alternatives exist.

        It remains possible that a person denies something. What’s the acceptable noun for such a person?

    • I really hope you can look beyond this label to the rest of the paper, where we were trying to find points of common ground for those who both accept and doubt anthropogenic climate change,

      Why should one look beyond a label that you consider(ed) sufficiently accurate and descriptive that it warranted such egregiously frequent usage throughout your paper?

      Would it not be preferable to speak to the editor and request that the paper be, well, “put on hold” while you do a re-write ( a la Gergis and Karoly et al)?

      Perhaps in such a re-write process you might consider:

      a) the extent to which AGW (as opposed to CAGW) is even a reasonable point of divergence on which to hang the rest of your thesis.

      b) how might you more accurately reflect the wide spectrum of views of those you have chosen to label as “deniers”

      c) the extent to which “motivated reasoning” on the part of you and your co-authors might have biased your study, thereby weakening the validity of your results.

      d) sharing with your readership the empirical evidence you and your co-authors examined prior to establishing the underlying premise (for the sake of brevity, let’s call it: “it’s happening faster than we thought, and action is required, now … so how can we best communicate this?”) of your study.

      Other denizens may have additional suggestions as to how your paper might be improved.

      And if you should decide to do a re-write … bearing in mind that “words do have meaning” … you might also consider incorporating far less jargon – and far more common sense :-)

      This might make your paper somewhat more accessible – if not acceptable – to the ever-increasing wider public who (perhaps unbeknownst to you and your co-authors) are choosing to think for themselves – rather than trusting the word of self-declared “experts” who have developed the rather unfortunate practice of appealing to their own “authority” – and that of their like-minded pals!

      But hey, no pressure … just a few Helpful Hints from Hilary

      • k scott denison


      • Thanks for this, Scott :-)

        It’s good to know that someone thought my suggestions warrant consideration! Reading the lines of the E-mail Paul Bains asked Anthony to post at WUWT (and reading between ’em!), I’m inclined to think that he may have missed my comment. Because if he’d actually read what I wrote, he certainly didn’t seem to think any of my suggestions warranted any consideration at all!

        Bains seems to think that the only important part of their paper was “the message” or “point”.

        I wonder if it’s occurred to him that their “message” (or point) might have been lost in the … uh … medium they chose to select.

        Then again, perhaps Bains is striving to be the Myles Allen of (post-normal) psychology!

      • Actually it’s +100.

        Professor Bain gets a +1 for coming here to comment. Your score is based on quality of comment.

    • Michael Larkin

      Well now, Paul. An assumption underlying your paper seems to me to be that the case for CAGW is proven.

      I want you to consider, if only theoretically, that that might not be so. What if, in the fullness of time, it indeed was proven not to be so? Would that indicate your need to increase your interpersonal warmth and societal development? Would you expect your fellow psychologists to produce a paper labelling you something derogatory–say a latter-day Lysenkoist? Would you expect them to label you that even if you protested that you weren’t consciously implying that sceptics necessarily were wrong?

      Repeat this to yourself ten times first thing in the morning and last thing at night: “I’m human. I may be wrong. I may sometimes accept things that are wrong based mainly on authority”.

      I don’t need to do that–I KNOW I May be wrong in my opinions, which currently lean in favour of scepticism. There are many people like me–agnostics who lean the same way as I do based on researching the science as best they can. They aren’t in need of patronising academics who indulge in psychobabble. It could be that you are in need of a course in humility and humanity. Shame on you.

    • Steven Mosher


      Were you really that clever. Did you and the other authors really discuss using a word other than denier? And who exactly thought up the clever trick of calling them deniers as a set up for the climate scientists reading it.
      Because it appears to me that someone clever enough to think that up, would be clever enough to understand how “skeptics” would respond.

      • Unless I’m mistaken, they were looking for a response from sicentists.

        It’s more than a little amusing to see the libertarians and conservatives demanding more ‘PC’ language.

      • Yes, they were trying to trick the scientist greater shift in their attitudes than their little experiment would normally warrant. They underestimated the effect the label would have on sceptics, and now Paul assures us their goal was to build common ground in spite of everything it said.

        So they think climate scientists are stupid, skeptics are stupid, and now the readers of this blog are stupid. I’d say just stop digging already.

      • We’re not saying (or thinking) that climate scientists (sceptical or not) are stupid, and we’re not trying to “trick” or “set up” anyone. It would be a trick if we made people believe “deniers are x or y” without an evidential basis, but we didn’t do this. Instead, we invoked one of the common labels of sceptics held by our target audience – we did not create it. Referring to deniers/denial is used in the climate science community, increasingly even in published papers in environmental journals. But we did choose from the available labels the one we thought was in most need of addressing in terms of the stereotypes. I can’t see how I can do more than explain this, but I accept that I can’t make you believe that this is how I got there or convince you to accept the rationale. Steven Mosher, clearly I should’ve been cleverer about this, but I don’t believe the term invalidates the point of the paper.

        As for CAGW being proven being an assumption of the paper, it would be more accurate to say that the paper assumed that enough people believe in CAGW to want something to be done about it, and enough people don’t believe in CAGW/AGW to succesfully oppose mitigation actions. I see this as a social/societal problem (as a social psychologist) rather than as an “AGW/CAGW reality” problem (on which, like most others, I am not an expert).Two groups have different views on the facts on an issue with widespread policy implications – how do you find a workable solution? Climate scientists who endorse AGW/CAGW often assume that the way is to convince skeptics they are wrong to persuade them that action is needed, and I think it’s clear that this is not going to work. Similarly, I don’t think sceptics will convince the those who endorse AGW/CAGW anytime soon. So, if a policy is going to be put in place (as many governments are proposing), what kinds of outcomes would make it acceptable to people who don’t accept CAGW/AGW (and I’m not talking scientists here, but everyday people who are typically not engrossed in the science)? Warmth and development were the dimensions that mattered to them.

      • “So, if a policy is going to be put in place (as many governments are proposing), what kinds of outcomes would make it acceptable to people who don’t accept CAGW/AGW (and I’m not talking scientists here, but everyday people who are typically not engrossed in the science)? So, if a policy is going to be put in place (as many governments are proposing), what kinds of outcomes would make it acceptable to people who don’t accept CAGW/AGW (and I’m not talking scientists here, but everyday people who are typically not engrossed in the science)? Warmth and development were the dimensions that mattered to them.were the dimensions that mattered to them.”

        Could give example of when any government as done this “Warmth and development “. And failing that, anytime, done by anyone/any entity.

      • Michael Larkin

        Oh, for heaven’s sake, Paul. You’re drowning, not waving. Look, I’ll spell this out to you: the only thing that will convince true sceptics is the science. None of the psychobabblers currently jumping on the bandwagon get that. You think we should all hold hands and come to some kind of cosy agreement. Maybe there’s something to be said about that when it comes to spousal conflicts, but this is a SCIENTIFIC matter, yes? You know, that science you admit you aren’t an expert in, and if you’re not, what the hell are you doing trying to interfere? It’s completely counterproductive.

        If you feel at all offended by my reply, all I will say is, what does it feel like to be held in the same contempt as you hold sceptics?

      • “Look, I’ll spell this out to you: the only thing that will convince true sceptics is the science. None of the psychobabblers currently jumping on the bandwagon get that.”

        Exactly! Unfortunately it will take a global cooling to shift the paradigm. Nothing else will work. Too much is at stake for them to just stop believing in AGW.

      • David L. Hagen

        Re: “don’t believe in CAGW/AGW to succesfully oppose mitigation”
        Your logic ignores those who may “believe” (be convinced evidence exists for) CAGW/AGW, but who oppose “mitigation” for one or more of economic reasons, humanitarian, and moral reasons. Thus I think your survey conflicts responders over unquantified parameters and is poorly framed.

        e.g., See Jesus’ declaration that burying resources in the ground was “wicked”. Matthew 25:14-30
        See Christopher Monckton: Why mitigating CO2 emissions is cost-ineffective
        See the Copenhagen Consensus (2012) on humanitarian priorities.

      • David L. Hagen

        Gallup poll similarly poorly frames the question as belief in “global warming” without defining what that means or over what period it asks.
        Global warming views steady despite warm winter

        It is critically important to define the period involved. E.g. there are very different statistics for temperature trends from now to the next glaciation (cooling?); since 2000 (warming very much less than IPCC models trending towards cooling), vs since 1980 (warming ~ 2 sigma less than IPCC models), vs since 1800 (warming) vs since the Medieval Warm Period (cooling? or warming?) vs since the Holocene Climatic Optimum (cooling), and since the last glaciation (warming), vs 400 million years (cooling). etc.

        Depending on the period, your survey would variously categorize me as a “believer” or a “denier”. That does NOT apply the scientific method with a reproducible methodology. Furthermore, Bob Carter observes that the very usage “belief” is contrary to science where scientists are comment based on objective evidence.

      • steven mosher

        I’ll accept that explanation. Fair enough.

      • Paul,
        If this was the early 1960’s in the US, and you were trying to communicate to leaders of Atlanta, Birminham, Jackson and other southern cities about how they think of african americans, would you have used the term, “ni**er”?

      • steven mosher

        Utterly beside the point I am making. I have asked Paul a simple question.

        From my standpoint it beggars belief that someone crafty enough to play this trick on the scientists who read it would be dumb enough to not expect a bad reaction from “skeptics”

        Your observation about libertarians, while amusing, is not on point.

      • Given the target group is scientists, they probably didn’t spend a huge amount of time worrying about it.

        And let’s face it, the pearl clutching over the term is more than a little calculating.

        Just look at the response to the emails that were sent to CRU – a lot of excuse making and even acceptance that these were appropriate.

      • Let’s shift this into a different context.

        We’re going to make the New Yorker crowd reexamine their attitudes by talking about ‘rednecks’.

        We’re going to make the Klan reexamine their attitudes by talking about ‘n——‘.

        We’re going to make certain religious people reexamine their attitudes by talking about ‘fags’.


        Am I the only one missing the cleverness?

      • steven mosher

        On the contrary Micheal, Paul makes it sound like they spent time planning and choosing this word. He makes it sound like it was the result of a deliberative process. My question was “how could some so clever, be so stupid.” And Paul has now accepted that he wasn’t clever enough.
        Fair enough. Of course some people will believe that the choice of the word was not the result of a deliberative calculated process. Some people will believe that this explanation is bollocks. I prefer to accept Paul at his word and leave it at that.

    • Berényi Péter

      “But because we were focused on our target audience, it is true that I naively didn’t pay enough attention to the effect the label would have on other audiences, notably skeptics. Although I hope this helps explain our rationale for using the term, I regret the negative effects it has had and I intend to use alternative labels in the future.”

      Dear Dr. Bain,

      it just shows how sick is your target audience (and how politically driven, that is, un-scientific is the social science literature on climate change). If your current post means you have honestly quit identifying yourself with this target audience (as opposed to only focusing on them), a feeble sorry would never suffice.

      The least you should do at this point is
      1. Have the editors of Nature Climate Change publish an opinion piece of yours ASAP about your change of stance as expressed above
      2. Start fighting actively to eradicate the d-word from both social science publications and the public discourse

      In other words, give hell to those climate chauvinist pigs.

      Please imagine, just for the sake of the argument try to imagine for a moment what would happen, if in the long run climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide loading of the atmosphere turns out to be much lower than implicated by some current computational climate models. On face value this is a cool, purely scientific question and at this point in history it is an entirely possible outcome, as it does not depend on basic physics, but on the relative strength of various feedback processes that are admittedly poorly represented in such models. But then consider the case the d-word is still in use and is accepted in this context when it happens.

      What collateral damage would it entail by re-fueling specifically the Holocaust Denial industry and revisionist history in general? Would not they say look, here is a field of eminent political importance where the denialist approach was well justified from the beginning, even against overwhelming opposition at times, so please consider the possibility of our cause also being a just one. Don’t you feel how offensive is this nasty business with the d-word to the offspring of holocaust survivors?

      So my advice is that if you are serious, don’t wait, take action immediately. This is the only way to restore the credibility of your character.

    • So … you are saying …

      “By using the term “denier” we wanted to start with something that would activate the strongest confirming stereotypes in this audience”

      you wanted to maximise the pre-existing bias in your chosen audience, it would seem to me. Whether or not you achieved that I do not know, however going about it in such an offensive way is appalling. Shame on all of you.

  67. Sorry, I meant anthropogenic climate change, and substantially anthropogenic at that.

  68. Mr. Paul Milligan

    Dr. Curry,

    No, “increasing interpersonal warmth and societal development” will not alter my position on AGW. The only thing that has changed my opinion has been openly available empirical observation by objective scientists to answer criticisms about climate models. Kudos Dr. Curry on changing minds of this ‘denier.’

    • My biggest criticism of the models is that they don’t predict the FUTURE !

      From 2001 to present they predicted .36 Degrees of warmng and what happened was COOLING !

      That is thousands of % of error !

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Sounds like you don’t want a model, but a crystal ball. Such predictive certainty is impossible with a chaotic system. Being 100% right and predictive is not the function of models, but that doesn’t mean that can’t be exceptionally useful. You might want to go visit:

        A most excellent site…

      • Warmist,

        A model is thoroughly useless (indistinguishable from clairvoyents) if it cant predict anything worthwhile. There is no way to show it actually models any of the processes involved with any remotely reasonable accuracy. An error of 5% or 10% might be acceptable. Actually in other fields 10% is unacceptable. Lets say climate science is too difficult to model with less than 10% MoE. But 1000% error (assuming the poster is right. I havent checked it) is simply not a model. It is not even a good guess work. It is entirely worthless to even discuss that. If it is inherently impossible to predict what the climate will be 10 years from now by these models, why should we trust 100 year predictions and turn the economic models of the planet upside down?

        I am not sure climate system as a whole is chaotic. Weather is. Climate system as a whole moves/changes within some boundaries as observations show. So maybe parts of the system are truly chaotic but the whole system doesnt seem to be, although I am no expert on either chaos theory or climate science.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)


        With all respect, I don’t believe your analysis of judging the usefulness of climate models is quite on target to how models actually work and why they are useful. Let’s go back to 2001 and imagine that a model is predicting some certain degree of global warming based on factors and dynamics included in the model such as greenhouse gas increases and some related feedbacks. What models don’t include and can’t possibly include are natural variability and other inputs to the climate system that occur after the model runs. So the model run in 2001 could not possibly include the very low solar minimum of 2008-2009, or the increase in human aerosols from Asia, natural aerosols, or the trend of more La Nina’s over the past decade, etc. These factors which cause a negative forcing to global temperatures certainly impacted the accuracy of any model run in 2001 and would tend to hide the underlying forcing from greenhouse gas increases. Does that inaccuracy make those models worthless? Hardly! In fact, there usefulness (and yes, relative accuracy) can be seen when you run the models again in 2012 and include the NOW known negative forcings described above that countered the known positive forcing from CO2, N2O, and methane increases during the previous decade. When these factors are included, we see that the models were pretty accurate. Studies that do this, such as Foster & Rahmstorf 2011 and many others are of course quickly discounted by some as some kind of “trick”, but the justification for accounting for these negative forcings is quite solid scientifically, and show the models are actually quite good at telling us what the underlying forcing from greenhouse gas increases amounts to, though they are still not good at many other things. So the models are useful, but you just need to understand what they can and can’t do. Can they be better? Of course, and they are constantly being improved as such is the nature of the advancement of climate science.

      • But the models are presented to Joe Public as crystal balls. And therein lies a huge problem.

      • Rob Starkey


        Imo, you are taking a very popular but invalid position regarding the use of climate models.
        You write- “What models don’t include and can’t possibly include are natural variability and other inputs to the climate system that occur after the model runs.”
        My response- your comment is true, but not actually germane to the issue of accurate climate modeling. Natural variability is simply the system operating and it is not changing after the model runs. There is only very rarely a change in the system that is significant enough to impact a models output. (Things like volcanoes do not happen very often.) In my opinion, GCM’s do not produce accurate results because the modelers do not correctly understand the system and the various weighting that should be applied (or the timing of the interactions) of each of the variables.
        In my and many others opinion who are experienced in model development, it is inappropriate to claim that there is “too much noise in the system” or “natural variability” to develop accurate models. Are you aware of any other discipline where the outputs of models that are shown to be inaccurate are used to justify massive actions?

      • tempterrain

        ‘They’ predicted that every decade would be between 0.15 and 0.2 degC warmer than the previous decade. So far ‘they’ have been right!

      • philjourdan

        So far, “they” have not. For whatever reason (and skeptics actually are doing the work to figure out why), temperatures have flatlined.

      • philjourdan

        Sorry temp, you said “every”. YOu are not showing “every”. Try looking at the temperatures on a graph in the last 15 years.

        Your graph is a non sequitur, based upon YOUR claim, now isn’t it?

      • tempterrain

        Yes, I should have said that each decade since the 1960’s , not every decade, ever.
        Each future decade will be about 0.15 – 0.2 deg C warmer than the previous decade unless atmospheric CO2 levels are bought under some control.

      • Temp-thank you for the qualification. I will accept your premise based upon a mere 5 decade run. But as an statistician worth his salt knows, 5 is not a valid sampling size. Indeed, temperatures have shown they are not cooperating now. I doubt the debate of 2008-2017 will be warmer than the decade of 1998-2007. But you have 5 years to prove me wrong.

      • And we know they are hopeless when applied to the past.

        How do they do with regard to the present? Oh? They don’t work there, either (see Met Office, passim)

    • The issue is not whether it will convince you to alter your position on AGW, but whether policies that plausibly had these outcomes would be something you might support, even if they were intended by policy-makers primarily to mitigate AGW.

      • Latimer Alder

        This sounds suspiciously like the technique used by Ted Heath in UK in the 1970s. We were sold the ‘Common Market’ but got ‘The European Union’.

        No deal. Like the Who says ‘We Won’t Get Fooled Again’.

        If your policies are so f***g unpopular that you need to lie about them to get them adopted, you need better policies, not better lies.

      • Oops, should be:
        “Your concept of labeling as deniers those of us who see CO2 reduction and a global socialist economy as counter productive is badly faulty.”

      • Sorry Lat – chose the wrong “Reply” thingee.

      • Paul,
        Actually this is a good point. While I am one of those you label as “denier”, I am certainly willing to entertain ideas stemming from an AGW perspective as solutions to expected future problems. I am amenable to including reasonably well founded projections of possible impacts of climate warming in plans for dealing with weather related problems.

        The problem comes in when AGW becomes a single focus with a single solution. First off, climate and sea level is always changing. Bad weather events always happen. The question becomes: to what extent do theorized global warming impacts change planning for events from other causes? Will a focus on AGW reduce our ability to prepare for impacts from other non-AGW problems? Is that reduction justified?

        Secondly, protection of developing world countries from the impacts of AGW is a sticking point. The lower the economic status of an area, the more temporary its infrastructure. What is in place now will likely be replaced, changed, or abandoned within a decade. Folks with temporary infrastructure are more mobile than folks in developed parts of the world. Their basic problem is poverty and lack of resources to ride out temporary emergencies without outside help. Decreasing poverty improves their ability to obtain those resources. AGW mitigation plans that do not provide for undeveloped regions to improve their agricultural and industrial infrastructure to be able to compete in the modern world are counterproductive. Even worse, reducing the economic strength of the developed regions certainly reduces their ability to assist undeveloped regions.

        Deciding if AGW is a potential is a scientific question. What to do about it is an engineering problem. Climate scientists are simply not equipped to make major engineering decisions. Your concept of labeling those of us who see CO2 reduction and a global socialist economy as counter productive is badly faulty.

      • Let me try again to put this in the right location.

        Oops, should be:
        “Your concept of labeling as deniers those of us who see CO2 reduction and a global socialist economy as counter productive is badly faulty.”

      • Paul, I think you’ve missed the point. You asked if there is some common ground solutions we can all accept. The answer is no. Because our climate isn’t what the warmists are after.

        Everyone of their “solutions” entail global governance and the destruction of our industrial base. And, without exception all solutions entail a wealth redistribution scheme or another.

        In case you haven’t noticed, climate doesn’t even get top billing anymore. Oddly, the goals solutions to our ecological difficulties remain the same. If their worried about social justice or food inequity, or our fresh water or the climate, the solutions are the same. Wealth redistribution, global governance, and the destruction of our industrial base.

        They’ll be satisfied with nothing less.

      • David L. Hagen

        Thanks for trying to engage.
        However, it appears to me that you were so eager to push your point that you lost the “science” part. What is your “null hypothesis” and what are you trying to show? E.g., by categorizing “denier” as those rejecting “that climate change is real”, you failed to even define your terms “climate change” “real”, and “denier” or check the logic of your position. You appear to be using a definition of “climate change” that is contrary to common English and contrary to historical science. You fail to define any of the magnitude, the cause, or the time period. You are not even using the UN’s definition:

        Climate change is defined by the Convention as “change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods” (article 1 (2)).

        Thus even by the original UN (self serving) definition, “real” could be interpreted as anyone who acknowledges there is an observable increase in CO2, or any statistically distinguishable anthropogenic influence on climate, including converting forests to farms, and creating the “Urban Heat Island”.

        You appear to define “climate change” as anthropogenic cause for greater than 50% of global warming in the latter half of the 20th century.” Consequently your logic is that you define as a “denier” anyone acknowledging CO2 warming, the UHI effect, or even < 50% anthropogenic warming contribution. As such, your study is not even reproducible on its face.

        You further presume that it is essential to “mitigate” climate change which by default castigates as “denier” all who accept your anthropogenic majority global warming, yet who find the economics of “mitigation” incredibly bad and the concept morally reprehensible.
        You further denigrate as deniers and anti-environmental all who disagree with your caricature. These are illogical / unscientific presuppositions if you examine them.

        For further issues, see my post above.

        How do you plead?

  69. With the weather all around us still we are too close to the specter of the phenomenon of global warming alarmism to fully appreciate what is happening. The last chapter in the saga of Western civilization’s great global warming hoax may well be written in another society, by another generation, and in another language. Fear of global warming will be the preoccupation of scientists around the world and drawing the most interest among sociologists, psychologists and philosophers who study the effects of mass manias on dying societies.

  70. Mr. Paul Milligan

    Although, given that I still doubt the need for ‘Climate Justice’ to prevent a ‘Critical Transition’ of ‘No Return’ I think I still qualify as a ‘denier’

  71. The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

    In general, the labeling of broad groups of people leads away from clarity and away from fostering better communications. What leads to clarity is to clearly understand exactly where individuals are coming from and then to communicate with them based on that individual position. Associating the label of “skeptic” with “denier” is no different than associating the word “warmist” with “alarmist”. Both associations are unhelpful for fostering communications.

    As a Skeptic (fundamentally about all scientific theories, not just about AGW theory) is would highly resent being called a “denier”, mainly, because I’m a “warmist”. I hold as provisionally true, that humans are warming the planet. I’ve studied the science, looked at the data, and decided that AGW is very likely happening. Other skeptics have looked at the same science and same data, and decided that for them, there is still not enough there to accept AGW as provisionally true. It doesn’t mean they aren’t honestly looking at the data and willing to change their minds, it just means they’ve not got enough to convince them yet. I completely respect that. The importantly thing here is that honest skeptics NEVER accept any theory as 100% certainty. It is always taken as provisionally true– meaning of course that as new data or information comes in they retain the right to reject or modify a theory as needed. This process, of keeping your acceptance of a theory at a “provisionally true” level, never beyond, is the heart of skepticism and really the heart of scientific advancement. Theories are maps of reality, never complete, and like all maps they can be refined and improved or even rejected outright. But once a skeptic accepts a theory as provisionally true, it is essential that they continue to look at the data to find anything that would falsify it. This prevents the common confirmation bias from occurring. Furthermore, focusing on data that might prove a theory false at the very least will reinforce the confidence in the theory and perhaps provide data that might help to modify and refine it.

    For those who, without further question, either 100% accept a theory or 100% reject it, they are no longer skeptics, but cross over into the category of the True Believer or True Non-Believer. They aren’t examining the data any more, but either believing or not believing, based on an emotional or ideological position rather than reason which is attached to a true skeptical mindset. In this regard, there are the True Believer’s in AGW, who don’t just accept it as provisionally true, but as “gospel” truth, without question. The complete opposite belief (but same psychological type) would be those who reject AGW without further review or question. They are 100% certain it is not occurring. This group (who most assuredly are not true skeptics) can appropriately be labeled as deniers, but one ought to be careful when using this label, for it is the complete opposite psychological type as a true skeptic.

    • Michael Larkin

      R. Gates,

      We fall on opposite sides, but I welcome you as a fellow sceptic. I could do business with a person like you, and that is what the psychobabblers don’t get. The climate establishment, the media and governments, being believers, aren’t people with whom business can be done. They amply demonstrate that they don’t understand the underlying principle of science that hypotheses (like AGW), and even strongly supported theories, are never finally proven.

      I respect your right, given the same data as me, to hold a different opinion. I feel no emnity towards you. If all on both sides were like us, then Paul and his ilk would see productive and genuine debate enjoined.

    • tempterrain

      R Gates,
      You are obviously going out of your way to be nice to those who you describe as skeptics, but others would describe as deniers, but, really, just what are you saying that the IPCC aren’t? They aren’t saying they are 100% sure either. Just 90% sure.
      I don’t think you’ll find any of us so-called “warmists” who are critical of the 90% figure, so we are all skeptics by your definition. And of course it’s a correct definition.
      However, it’s not a correct definition for someone who froths at the mouth at the mention of their name, and start to rant about UN conspiracies to establish a new world order etc etc.
      You can call them cranks, as Judith does from time to time, but denier sounds as good a word as any to me.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        I’ve got no problem with using the word denier when the shoe fits, for certainly there are those who are 100% convinced that AGW is not happening at all or 100% convinced that even if it is it happening, it will never be a problem to worry about. My point is about the using the term denier as a blanket to cover those true skeptics who honestly don’t feel there is enough data to support accepting AGW or even CAGW. There is a stark contrast between true skeptics and deniers, and the apparent failure of some to see that distinction causes some of the issues we have.

        I think a simple realization by some that there is a spectrum of psychological types related to the issue of AGW, and that at the extreme ends we have “alarmists” on one end and “deniers” on the other which are more similar to each other psychologically because they are emotionally attached to the issue or ideologically attached and 100% are certain of their position. Here’s one way at looking at this spectrum of positions:

        Alarmists – 100% convinced CAGW is happening (emotionally or ideologically attached, no longer skeptical and no longer really looking at new data.)
        Skeptical Catastrophists (Accept CAGW as provisionally true, but still open to data that might alter this position)
        Skeptical Warmists (Accept AGW as provisionally true, but still open to data that might alter this position. No position on whether AGW will be significantly beneficial or harmful)
        Skeptical Neutral (Uncertain about AGW, but still open to data that might alter this view.)
        Skeptical “Tracer” (Accept as provisionally true that CO2 is just a trace gas or some variation of this thought and that anthropogenic increases will have no noticeable affect on the climate in comparison to other natural affects such as solar, cosmic rays, etc. but still honestly open to data that might alter this view.)
        Denier – 100% convinced AGW is either not happening or not important to the climate if it is (emotionally or ideologically attached to this position and no longer skeptical and no longer really looking at new data.)

        The point here is that Alarmists and Deniers are more like each other, and neither is really open to reason or new data. There is a wide variety of honest skeptics in the middle ranges, and that, so long as they are true skeptics (and only they know if they are or not), they all have the characteristic of only provisionally accepting their position, and therefore are still honestly open to new data that might alter their position, and in fact, seek it out.

      • “Denier – 100% convinced AGW is either not happening or not important to the climate if it is (emotionally or ideologically attached to this position and no longer skeptical and no longer really looking at new data.)”

        A denier could also believe that governments are no more capable of dealing with weather or climate as compared to more obvious and immediate concerns, of which as governments. these governmental bodies are entrusted by the public to with deal with.
        No known government has been elected to deal with global climate.
        No politician has ever regarded global warming so essential as to warrant campaigning on the issue, and place matter to the public in order to gain the political power to enact policy to would address the problem.

        Whereas many politicians throughout history have campaigned on matters which are regarded as important and arguably very costly.
        So, is it the deniers which are a problem, or all politicians?

        And it should forgotten that Al Gore was vice president for 8 years, and he ran a campaign for president, and it was never a MAJOR part of campaign or something he could convince Bill Clinton to do much about.
        Now, we have Obama and Obama [and dems] had both houses of congress.

      • I like the tracer skeptic. They should make a video to counter the drops of ink in the beaker video. Let’s see, they could take two rectangular aquariums filled with water. Set one in front of the other so camera can look through. Put one drop of black ink in each and look though. Then put another drop of ink in each to show the difference. Cool! A doubling of ink makes a difference! Then put 1785 drops of red ink in the front aquarium. That makes a difference too! Then have the camera pan around to look through the side of the aquariums.

        Might be a touch controversial though :)

      • R Gates,

        You’ve still not explained how you’re interpretation differs from the IPCC’s interpretation.
        Or is it just that you feel that Global Warming might be a good thing? There’s enough scientific evidence to suggest that it won’t be. Its not something that you can have “no position” on, unless of course you don’t feel you know enough to comment. But what value is an opinion based on a lack of knowledge?
        Yes, it is possible to be genuinely sceptical, and to reach a different conclusion to the mainstream. You have to be very able, very knowledgeable, and have the right evidence to back up those conclusions though.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)


        I’ve not reached any solid level of confidence to accept CAGW as provisionally true. It is not for lack of constantly looking at the data. I certainly have serious concerns about some of the potential effects, but these concerns are more tied into the general footprint of humans on the planet rather than specifically related to AGW (over fishing the oceans and the depletion of ground water for example). But I try to dissect out that which is caused by AGW versus resource depletion, pollution, etc.

        Suppose, for example, that, because of AGW, that we send the Earth’s climate back to what it was during the Miocene period? This is sort of a worst case scenario for what AGW might bring about. Tell me exactly why this would be catastrophic for humans or for life on Earth for that matter. Yes, some species would go extinct and others would thrive, but this is the way it has always been on this planet. Honestly though, tell me exactly why a Miocene type climate would be “catastrophic” for humans? Please reference scientific study, facts, data, etc. Yes, the oceans would rise and many cities would need be abandoned, but would this migration be “catastrophic”? To be catastrophic would mean the food chain would have to collapse, wouldn’t it? Would this happen just because the Earth went back to a Miocene-type climate?

    • Nice comment, RG

  72. I do not deny Climate Change,it is natural and has been occurring for 4.5 Billion years.What I object to(deny) is the so called cause “me”.To blame “me” for 4.5Billion years of Climate Change is really pretty stupid,I must be a little older than 61. around 4,500,000,061 years old ?THE Climate Changes get over it and get a life,The only thing I DENY is the intelligence of AGW Fanatics.Climate Change is Natural and CO2 is Life anything else is rubbish.

    • Thanks for demonstrating why denier is the right word

      • Chris,
        You must not have realized that Ron was talking about AGW true beleivers in this little bit.
        No matter how much class time you spend, no matter how smamry your arrogance, you will still be stupid for buying into AGW extremist garbage.

    • Exactly agwnonsense, you make sense. The first thing to get over is the Orwellian, linguistic-hockey-stick ‘climate change’, ‘global warming’ etc.

    • “AGWnonsense” ,

      So because the Earth was much warmer many millions of years ago and the Earth’s climate has naturally changed due to asteroid impact, volcanic eruptions, changes in the solar flux, the emergence of plants which produced ~20% oxygen content in the air and which in turn allowed animals to evolve, there’s just no way that 7 billion humans can cause any problem at all. And especially not you! You just contribute a tiny tiny proportion of the Earth’s CO2 yourself!

      And Judith wonders, or pretends to, just why we don’t consider the term ‘sceptic’ to be the most appropriate for those, like yourself, who don’t think rationally.

      • tempterrain, NO! There’s probably a way, but that’s not the point. The point is that climate changes. Is that so difficult to understand? Climate changes, just like it always has.

      • tempterrain

        So you’re saying that because climate has always changed naturally, it is just not possible for any current or future change to be other than natural?

      • philjourdan

        Strawman. No one said anything (except you) about “impossibilities” as that is for simpletons and religious fanatics.

      • Again, NO. We’re not talking what’s possible but what’s being observed. Like I said, it’s probably possible for humans to change global climate, but I don’t really know.

        Nothing unprecedented is happenning with global temperatures
        The alleged human impact (AGW) started in ~1960 (significantly). This would be plausible if human CO2 had a significant effect, but even before AGW there was almost the same global warming in the early 20th cenrtury.

        The difference between ‘human’ and ‘no human’ from those plots should increase in the next decades, but I am almost 100% convinced that the ‘no human’ will have to be ‘cooled’ continuously to keep the difference growing or at least flat. Now that will be interesting. I wonder what new natural cooling forcings (epicycles) will the consensus come up with.


    World Is Not Cooling

    Despite La Ninas.

    Despite Quiet Sun..

    Hint Hint.

    • If there is a strong El Nino later this year — chances are said to be 50-50 — this AGW skepticism thing could be over by Christmas


      El Ninos are “ANTHROPOGENIC”?



    • Latimer Alder


      The climatologists have got a lot to do if they are going to end scepticism by Christmas. Here’s just a random list of some of the things that they need to do to sort out their field of work. Not meant to be comprehensive

      1. Make some models that accurately forecast future climates and can be repeatedly shown to do so.
      2. Experimentally prove that trees really are ‘treemometers’ and not just trees.
      3. Provide some theoretical and experimental basis for the idea of ‘teleconnections’
      4. Allow and encourage external auditing on all climate-related papers. Provide the materials (code, data, processes, procedures etc) to actively enable these processes
      5. Install a robust and independent Quality Control process to replace ‘peer-review’
      6. Demonstrate throughout that their IT practices are world-class. To include, but not limited to: data archiving and curation, metadata, version control, software validation and verification, change control, auditing….
      7. Show that they actively solicit advice from recognised world experts in related fields (eg statistics, physics, data collection and calibration, Design of safety-critical processes etc etc). Demonstrate that they incorporate such advice in their work, and explain any exceptions
      8. Replace paper publishing and grant farming as the sole criteria for career advancement in climatology. This system works against the need for robust, meticulous and independent work.

      and so on

      These would be quite a task fro a decade, let alone six months.

      But Appel thinks they can be done. Good on him.

      But on a technical note…how come a purely natural phenomenon can be taken as evidence of AGW? Is it something like a thunderclap being proof of the voice of god?

    • You do know it’s recently been published that the effects of the Sun are lagged by one whole solar cycle, right?

  74. By treating scientific skepticism as problem to be adressed on a sociological basis, true believers in AGW hope to marginalize their critics. But they wind up only revealing the lack of gravitas in their hyperbolic claims.

    • Interesting…hyperbolic claims from a closed space? ;oO

    • John S.,

      The problem is not “scientific skepticism.” The problem is that there is a lot of disinformation concerning very elementary points concerning climate and climate change. People who continue to call into question the basic radiative transfer physics, people who continue to cherry-pick selected pieces of information without understanding it, etc are not acting like “skeptics.”

      • I think you have pretty much been shown to be wrong – the new paradigm is abrupt change rather than warming. Just ask the NAS and WHOI. However, the important issue is the response and not whether this or that is ‘correct’. Except of course where there is a need to link imminent disaster to suspension of democracy and economic ‘degrowth’.

        After all – if we all lived the lifestyle I would like to become accustomed to we would need 163 worlds.

      • Huh? Ask the “NAS” or “WHOI?”…

        paradigm for what…?

      • ‘Thinking is centered around slow changes to our climate and how they will affect humans and the habitability of our planet. Yet this thinking is flawed: It ignores the well-established fact that Earth’s climate has changed rapidly in the past and could change rapidly in the future. The issue centers around the paradox that global warming could instigate a new Little Ice Age in the northern hemisphere.’

        ‘The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers.’


        Again – the science fascinating as it is to an old natural philosoher like myself – the social response is most crtitical. In an era of high fuel costs – emphasis shifts from peak supply to peak demand as efficiencies and alternatives progressively come into play. As 4th gen nuclear fuel processing moves onto an industrial basis it becomes by far the cheapest supply of standing power. Barring any left field development such as Eric Lerner’s plasmoid fusion. The energy mix in the 2050’s will be much different to that of today. As well – there are farming methods that increase productivity by adding organic material to depleted grazing and cropping soils that have immense potential to sequester carbon, are proceeding by people power and are unstoppable. What me worry?

        What I have started worrying about is pissant progressives who advocate suspension of democracy, centralisation of power, curtailing of free market, economic ‘degrowth’ and re-education camps for deniers. The real definition of deniers is failure to believe in caps or taxes as an effective, humane or practical solution.

        Seriously – what side are you on?

      • The fact climate can change ‘abruptly’ is rather well-known, and has been documented for over a decade, regardless of how well-known it is to the general public.

        It is certainly “a paradigm,” but I take issue with the wording that the idea of slow changes is flawed. There are many things that can affect climate on many timescales. Some of those processes operate only over millions of years, some operate over years-to-decades. These aren’t mutually exclusive.

      • You simply resort to tired platitudes – the NAS report is from 2002 and the discussion was a decade old then. You asked who the NAS and WHOI were. I assumed that any American sientist shlould be familiar with the acronyms – but we all have our little foibles.

        Climate itself cannot both move abruptly at timescales of years to decades, centuries and millenia – and evolve slowly. The new paradigm is that the system as a whole is a dynamically complex system and the reduction to components is unwarranted.

        Tsonis for instance used indices of major modes of NH climte variability to identify 3 climate shifts last century. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

        This emphasises if needed the interconectedness of the climate system. Each component is part of a complex and nonlinear mechanism that in concert acts in ways consistent with the behaviour of a broad class of deterministically chaotic systems.

        Now you may disagree – but you would be on very shakey scientific ground indeed. Not much removed in fact from narrative unsupported by theory or literature.

        Again – interesting as all that is – the question you fail to answer is what social and policy prescriptions you would adopt. We on our side have been clear for the most part that we accept that greenhouse gases are thermoactive – but really not much else is crystal clear. Regardless there are pragmatic ways to address many of the problems of the world some of which I have canvassed in this thread. It seems much more practical to go down these paths than argue caps or taxes for another 20 years.

      • //”Climate itself cannot both move abruptly at timescales of years to decades, centuries and millenia – and evolve slowly. The new paradigm is that the system as a whole is a dynamically complex system and the reduction to components is unwarranted. “//

        You need to take a course in elementary logic.

        //”the question you fail to answer is what social and policy prescriptions you would adopt. “//

        It was never asked of me, and not one I’m qualified to answer.

      • Seriously? In complex systems – such as Earth’s climate – there are control variables and non-linear responses. Not sure how that fits with ordered forcing but to suggest a logic deficit is any number of logical fallcies.

        You were asked repeatedly about a policy take. It is the most important issue and one in which everyone has a stake. I sugget that qualification in this consists of being a free agent in a western democracy.

      • Robert-in-AZ

        “ into question the basic radiative transfer physics…” For me, the physics are not the issue. The issue is the positive feedback theory that turns AGW into CAGW.

      • Robert-in-AZ,

        The problem is that the “C” is not a scientific term, and there’s no room for debate, only disagreement, on what it means. It’s a value judgment. When people tell you a 1 degree rise is not significant, but a 2 degree rise is, that is a value judgment. Some insect or farmer or person on a low-lying island might find a 1 degree rise in temperature or a half meter rise in sea level significant or “catastrophic.” Other people might not care.

        Science can only inform on the relative likelihood of various concentration/emission scenarios and their impacts. And from a scientific perspective, it is very easy to criticize people who think sensitivity will be one degree per doubling of CO2. It is also easy to criticize people who think it will be seven degrees per doubling, and that methane hydrate feedbacks will lead to some sort of imminent catastrophe. The media tends to amplify the extremes in the debate, and it is all too often the case that the public (or people on blogs) don’t even have an idea what the “mainstream scientific view” is.

      • Robert-in-AZ

        Chris, the problem is “there’s no room for debate”. For the true believers, any AGW is too much and this notion is reflected in their rhetoric. Look at my description of the imprecise terminology in the paper up thread. Was that deliberate on the part of the authors? Or did it reflect an underlying cognitive bias in how they perceive those with whom they disagree on this issue?

      • “don’t even have an idea what the “mainstream scientific view” is.”

        Hansen, ” Aerosol climate forcing today is inferred to be -1.6±0.3 W/m2, implying substantial aerosol indirect climate forcing via cloud changes. Continued failure to quantify the specific origins of this large forcing is untenable, as knowledge of changing aerosol effects is needed to understand future climate change. We conclude that recent slowdown of ocean heat uptake was caused by a delayed rebound effect from Mount Pinatubo aerosols and a deep prolonged solar minimum. Observed sea level rise during the Argo float era is readily accounted for by ice melt and ocean thermal expansion, but the ascendency of ice melt leads us to anticipate acceleration of the rate of sea level rise this decade.”

        A slowdown in ocean heat uptake could also be due to the oceans approaching an equilibrium. A 0.2C over estimate of what “average” SST is would case a 0.8C underestimate of global “average” temperature.

        “Trenberth and Fasullo (2010a) show that most models
        reflect too little solar radiation in the southern storm tracks and misrepresent in one fashion or another the structure of
        the tropical convergence zones (cf., Lin, 2007). Most models reasonably represent the poleward increase of reflected
        shortwave radiation in the mid-latitudes of the northern hemisphere, presumably because part of this is carried by the
        influence of specified surface features such as the Saharan desert and Tibetan Plateau. The models also tend to accurately
        represent the remarkable constancy in the globally averaged values, and even the year to year variability within latitude
        bands, but almost all fail to properly capture the near equality of the hemispherically averaged values

        Hmmm? More ocean in the SH, more land in the NH, water absorbs more solar, more warming over land, land use impact?

        So what is the consensus again?

      • Chris, you have Hansen musing on a delayed Pinatubo aerosol impact on ocean heat uptake, Trenberth and gang noting that the models are missing cloud feed backs. Paleo placing more emphasis on “volcanoes dun it” for the little ice age. If the surface temperature of the oceans was below normal from 1250 to 1400 AD until 1910, it just might take more than 100 years for the OHC to recover to “normal”. As I said, a 0.2C underestimation of what “average SST should be would result in the appearance of 0.8C of warming due to something anthropogenic. So what is the consensus? CO2 done it or the more correct answer, “we got no clue?”

      • capt. dallas…you’ll get answers when you ask the right (and relevant) questions

      • Chris, if they are not acting like skeptics, pulling apart your dubious hypotheses, what are they acting like? This is science in action.

      • steven mosher

        Er no david this is not science in action. This is words on a blog.
        This is writing in action. Not a bit of science to be found.

      • Chris Colose

        If I asked you to reference me just one article that most closely mirrored your view of the past climate back through the Holocene what would you point me to? (note the entire IPCC Ar4 does not count)

        As a supplementary question do you believe that now is the warmest time in post holocene history?


      • And all this time I thought science was Bill Nye/Bunsen Honeydew/Beaker in their fabulous nerd glasses and lab coats.

      • David, with respect, we have fundamentally different ideas about what constitutes “science in action.”

        Personally, I’m not sure blogs have really contributed anything to the advancement of science. There are always new fads of the week on the blogosphere and twittersphere; but from a broad perspective, what about atmospheric science has changed in the last decade as a result of blogs?

        The “science in action” is being done by scientists. It is being accomplished by people launching satellites like AIRS to monitor global water and energy cycles. It is being done by the people who launched the Kepler satellite to detect small dips in the brightness of distant stars in order to detect the presence of now ~1000 new planets in the last several years, completely re-writing the textbooks on the parameter space of planetary atmospheres, solar system formation, etc. It is being done by people who travel to Greenland and Antarctica that help drill 2+ mile ice cores under harsh conditions. It is being done by modelers who spend their lives developing and checking hundreds of thousands of lines of computer code in an effort to improve our understanding of climate process interactions, and then interacting with people on field campaigns. Interaction is done at scientific conferences like AGU where new ideas are discussed, criticized, evaluated, and checked by new groups.

        What “science” has not been done by are people who don’t bother to even read an elementary climate textbook, watch a few youtube videos, and then rant on blogs about their new pet theories of radiative transfer, why oceans are causing the CO2 rise, how Venus’ temperature is caused by pressure, why lack of warming since last week is disproof of AGW, or why “models” are all crap without having actually looked at a single line of model code in their life. The only thing these people accomplish is getting a self-esteem boost by throwing their “on the cutting edge physics” on WUWT or similar blogs and watching fellow bloggers go “rah rah!” When asked to publish, these people say publishing is not important, or that the ideas will be “suppressed.” When asked to build a model that generates explanatory or predictive ability, they don’t, instead appealing to rhetoric or strawman attacks about CAGW alarmism.

        There are some exceptions. I can think of a few papers that have been developed as a result of blog interactions. The Steig/O’Donnell “debate” developed into some interesting debate in the literature. The Schmidt et al (2010) paper on partitioning the greenhouse effect I believe came a result of some RC dialogue. A couple people at CA have a few papers in real journals (I’m not talking E&E here). These are all interesting, but there are dozens of new papers that come out every week in several journals. Moreover, the impact that they have had is extremely small and largely confined to a very specialized group of people.

        Scientific skepticism and debate is a fundamental component of the literature, if people actually read it. But what is being “debated” are usually much different questions, and have much different implications, than the “undergrad textbook” stuff debated on here. The closest thing to a “science blog” may be Isaac Held’s blog at but there are others. It does not have a large audience at all because it’s mildly technical, which automatically eliminates many of the self-taught pseudo-skeptics that are so confident they possess hidden knowledge but may have never taken a science course out of high school. It is also not a forum for people to ramble about whatever is on their head that day, or what new unified climate theory they developed after going out on saturday. Other blogs are just to communicate results. Others are to discuss philosophy of science, news, etc.

      • “David, with respect, we have fundamentally different ideas about what constitutes “science in action.”

        Personally, I’m not sure blogs have really contributed anything to the advancement of science. There are always new fads of the week on the blogosphere and twittersphere; but from a broad perspective, what about atmospheric science has changed in the last decade as a result of blogs? ”

        Science obviously involves experiments. And experiments could seen as only action involved in science.
        It seems to me that blogs are good places to learn things.
        Not that someone will teach you something but that they provoke you to look into an issue. Or it’s place to explore different points of view.
        And exploration in terms going to different lands, is part of science.
        And exploration of ideas is similar to going to a different land.
        One bit science you didn’t mention was examination of weather stations, this was enabled by use of a blog. And one part of that lead Best [Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature].
        Maybe there is uncertain elements regarding blogs in terms of value in regard to science. But there doesn’t seem to be a negative aspect about them, and there are sometimes fun.

      • gbaikie

        I agree blogs can be fun and exploratory. But there’s a risk for people who actually want to learn things but don’t have the background to evaluate the subtle arguments that sound convincing but may be completely off-base. Believe it or not, most of the general public recognizes that they need to turn to expertise on matters they are not trained in, despite this being seen as an inherent fallacy in blog wars. By contrast, most bloggers think they know much more than they actually do.

        So how then does one discriminate between the quality of a post by Isaac Held and a post by Anthony Watts? Again, most people recognize the importance of credentials and credibility, whether or not bloggers appreciate that fact of life. But the casual onlooker may not know about any of this; they may not check the publication record of the presenter, or be aware of how that individual is viewed by the broader community. It’s even worse when a few minority scientists are amplified on the internet as being representative of the scientific community, or at least one half of the scientific community. The peer-reviewed literature is not often a great resource for such people to, because the scientific literature is intended for a trained audience. An enlightening quote from Gavin Schmidt is:

        //”A scientist reading a paper can often appreciate whether it is interesting or important from a quick skim of the methodology, a figure or two and the principal results. Their experience teaches them to pay little attention to the occasional piece of overreach in the last paragraph and to fill in the sometimes understated background. By contrast, a lay person might focus much more on the easy-to-understand ‘throwaway’ comments, and spend little time evaluating the usefulness of the technique, or the implications of any missing context…This is where blogs can help. Much of the information in any field of science is tacit. The latest climate papers do not generally explain why five ensemble members are used in a particular climate model experiment, or what the ‘wiggles’ in the curves mean, or why water vapour is treated differently from carbon dioxide even though they are both greenhouse gases. Scientists generally absorb this background knowledge through a kind of osmosis in graduate school. They continue to pick it up at coffee and over dinner at conferences and workshops as they discuss the latest results.”//

      • Latimer Alder

        @chris colose

        I am finding your postings increasingly difficult to distinguish from

        ‘nobody without a degree in radiative physics is even qualified to have an opinion about AGW’


        ‘trust us you little uneducated and stupid people. we are ‘climate scientists. we know best’

        which are infuriatingly arrogant and do your cause no good.

        It may be different in your country but the natural reaction to such pomposity in the UK is deeply unfavourable.

        We are not all stupid and we are definitely not convinced that ‘climate scientist’ know best. Many of us have been around the block a few times in our careers (see denizens thread), and do not share your view of climatologists as fearless seekers after truth to be set upon a pedestal with their every utterance revered.

        But rather as just a bunch of tekkies paid by the public to help understand what might be a problem. And proving to be remarkably bad at adopting and using even basic processes and procedures to do so convincingly. To persuade people, you need to sharpen up your act considerably.

      • Latimer,

        I’m not really here to win your favor. My general impression is that people tend to ask questions about things they are interested in but don’t have knowledge about. It has nothing to do with being “intelligent” or “stupid,” and it most certainly doesn’t have anything to do with scientists being arrogant. People aren’t born with a natural intuition about most of this stuff. Instead, they go through years upon years of graduate school, attend conferences, read papers, work out problems, and learn this stuff. I fully recognize that most people don’t have the ability to do this because they have other obligations be it work, family, etc. Those people can still play a role in science, and engaging in dialogue. But the people who create toy models and declare with absolute confidence that the mainstream science is all wrong or corrupt are the arrogant ones, and should be treated as such.

        I don’t go up to an astrophysicist and tell him that decades of work on black holes are all wrong because I did a quick thought experiment in my head and decided none of it made sense. No one is treating people stupid because they don’t know something or are asking questions. They are treating them stupid because they are acting stupid.

      • “But there’s a risk for people who actually want to learn things but don’t have the background to evaluate the subtle arguments that sound convincing but may be completely off-base. ”

        I don’t see the risk.
        I could see the risk if students were forced to be in class.
        First we assume most are adults. But even if there were
        all children I still do not see a risk.

        Reminds of joke. Wait honey, someone is wrong on the internet
        And about about all 120 chars of less in twitter which flooding
        all kinds “wrong ideas”
        Or in the older days, chat rooms. Do they still
        have those [anyone? Never liked them.]

        The only problem with such things as: Mars: “Evidence of Life and Past Civilizations?”
        Is there a waste of time. And boring.
        Nope. We don’t need minders.
        But if worried about it create FAQ or something that answers common question or misunderstand. And then give the link.

      • Chris

        You ask:

        So how then does one discriminate between the quality of a post by Isaac Held and a post by Anthony Watts?

        – Start by reading the post: what message is it trying to convey?

        – If a scientific claim is involved, check for empirical evidence to support this claim: is the claim supported by actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation? Or is it only based on theoretical deliberations and/or model simulations?

        In other words, rely on “argument from evidence” rather than on “argument from authority”


      • Chris Colose
        There are reasons that there are thousands of concerned people blogging about Climate Science and hardly any blogging about Astrophysics.
        IPCC style Climate Science predicts catastrophe in pretty short order unless we dislocate the economies of the industrialized world.
        Climate ‘Science’ is the only branch of science where data is routinely withheld and where the FIA has to be used to prise it from reluctant ‘scientists’ .
        The climategate files show a shocking disregard for the normal modes of science.
        Where else but in Climate Science would you find cut and paste graphs “to hide the decline “.
        People who dare to ask questions about the CO2 greenhouse gas theory are insultingly labelled “deniers”
        Im sure if I asked an Astrophysicist about dark matter I would get an informed and civilized reply.
        This has forced thousands of scientifically qualified people to look more closely at the practises and theory underpinning the IPCC recommendations.
        For instance I have in the past noticed that you do not have a clue about thermodynamic heat.
        So please excuse us for daring to question what the IPCC proposes.
        After all we are the schmucks who have to pay for the IPCC and Climate Science through our taxes.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Bryan, you are perhaps unaware of the Big Bang vs Steady State rows, the rows about existence of black holes, the rows about the causes of active galactic nuclei, the current rows about inflationary theory (which touch on your reference to dark matter). I suspect one would get a polite answer about dark matter up until the point that one claimed that it’s all a fraud to get grants for new telescopes to search for non-existent objects.

      • Latimer Alder

        @chris colose

        Bryan, above, almost answers for me about the reasons why many are deeply suspicious of climatologists.

        Simply put, you are all working a problem said to be ‘the most important humanity has ever faced’. And yet whenever we look in detail at the way in which you guys go about the business we employ you to do for us we see sharp practice, dodgy dealing and total amateurism everywhere.

        It is rampant in climatology. Lets take some examples:

        Data processing – in its widest sense – is a very important part of much of climatology. There is a lot of data and it undergoes lost of processing before being published. Professional IT has developed ways and techniques to guarantee that we know how to do this. That we know what our data is, where it is, what it means, how to process it, how to prove we did it right and how to put it away and get it back. You might think that mastering such basic stuff would be among the first thing that anyone who claims to be a professional climatologist would do. Like a doctor being able to use a stethoscope or a geologist a hammer. They might turn to the outside world guys and get some help about how to do it right. They might gain some basic IT qualifications.

        But no. We need only read about poor Harry’s experiences at the CRU to realise that they can’t even get that far. Things such as organising a simple file structure – that any windows user can do – are beyond them. And it s worth noting that ’eminent’ climatologist Phil Jones cannot actually manage to use Excel without handholding. As a professional IT guy I an safely say that the IT standards are a joke.

        Let’s turn to statistics. There is a thriving academic discipline and a big constituency of statistical practitioners in the real world. Here, for example, is a link to today’s statistics jobs on offer in London. There is a lot of statistical expertise around. Doing statistics on climate data is a big big part of climatology. One might expect that they would get some professional statistical advice about their methods.

        But no. Just like IT. they don’t bother.They do their own amateur thing. And when it all goes t**s up and a pair of professional statisticians eventually get to look at the work it is torn to shreds.

        Let’s look at Quality Control. Here’s a field which suddenly had a hosepipe of money thrown at it. Lots of new people, lots of new ideas …some good, some bad, some plain daft. It is pretty clear that a rigorous QC function is needed.

        But no.Instead we have ‘peer review’. And we can read about its many deficiencies in Climategate…it is weak, it is very prone to cronyism and it is often superficial (‘I see if it feels right’).

        So if QC fails, at least we have auditing. We know the work is good because at any point the work can be audited by anybody and deficiencies exposed.

        But no. It has been a general practice in the field to actively prevent anybody from auditing (or even seeing) the details of the work performed. When obliged to by law consent is given reluctantly, with ill-grace and with the urgency of a snail’s pace. It is difficult to imagine louder or brighter signals that there is something to hide. Jones (again) admitted in Parliament that in over 200 published papers, nobody had ever checked his arithmetic or programming. (And apparently not his Excel either)

        Let’s try your field – modelling. To 99% of the human race a model is judged by the success of its predictions. Einstein’s work on the orbit of Mercury – successfully predicting tiny changes in its position – was a tremendous boost to belief in relativity for there was actual experimental evidence that it worked. One might think that climate modellers would relish in displaying their predicitive abilities and showing how well their models match nature. Rightly or wrongly, if you can show that you predict the simple things right, people are much more inclined to believe in your abilities with the more complex ones.

        But no. You guys run a mile from ever doing anything so testable as a prediction. But you assure us that – though you score negative on recent global temperatures ..they didn’t match up …we can be assured that you are right about things in the far distant futur beyond the time when we will all be dead. Yeah right.

        So in five areas we have looked at in important pieces of climatology (there ain’t really much left that isn’t covered), we have:

        Completely inadequate and unprofessional DP/IT.
        Bizarre, unusual and inadequate statistics.
        Ineffective/corrupted Quality Control
        Non-existent and actively resisted Audit
        Modelling that has no proven predictive skill

        Now tell me again about how a bunch of climatologists – all of whom seem to think that this litany of organisational and structural disaster is just part of the natural way of things.- sitting around telling each other what a splendid job they are all doing, and writing ‘independent’ reports praising each other to the skies, are doing such a fantastic job?

        Show me the truly independent reports on their data collection, their IT , their QC, their auditing, their statistics, their modelling that tell me that not only do they use these techniques to their own satisfaction, but that they match up to the best professional standards available anywhere in the world…in academe or commerce or safety-critical operations.

        Because if ‘climate change’ truly is the most important problem humanity has ever faced, we should be adopting those best standards throughout the work. Not being satisfied with playground imitations of what the big boys do. Where publishing the paper to game the system is more important than being right, Where ‘why should I show you my data? You’ll only try to find something wrong with it’ is considered perfectly normal and acceptable ‘professional’ behaviour.

        So Chris – and colleagues – if you want me to revise my opinion that there is a great deal wrong with the structure and organisation of climatology – the answer s in your hands. Reform it.

        And if you want me to stop thinking that there are a lot of shysters involved, persuade them to stop acting like shysters.

      • Latimer Alder rather pompously states:

        “It may be different in your country but the natural reaction to such pomposity in the UK is deeply unfavourable.”

        You see, people have “natural reactions” to scientific discussion and that reaction is “deeply unfavourable”.

        More in keeping with the discussion is to talk about Uncertainty Monsters, Delinquent Teenagers, T-Rex (McKitrick/Essex/McIntyre name for temperature devouring the planet), Sky-Dragons, the Iron-Sun, and all these bogeymen wielding hockey sticks threatening to club us over the head with.

        Way to go Team Skeptic!

      • Boy scientist in training Chris Colose tells us one more thing he’s not sure of:

        Personally, I’m not sure blogs have really contributed anything to the advancement of science.

        And yet here he is blogging away and even leaving a link to his own blog. Anyone surprised at the irony?

      • You’ll have to excuse Lati – a bad case of i’ve-got-a-hammer-so-every-problem-is-a-nail.

        In his case; I’m an IT professional, so climate science is a joke.

        I’m convinced!!

      • Latimer Alder

        @michael, michael

        Did you not comprehend the summary I so helpfully gave? Here it is again;

        ‘Completely inadequate and unprofessional DP/IT.
        Bizarre, unusual and inadequate statistics.
        Ineffective/corrupted Quality Control
        Non-existent and actively resisted Audit
        Modelling that has no proven predictive skill’

        So, though I certainly included IT (it would be hard not to), my criticisms extend to four other fundamental areas as well. Only space limitations prevented a longer essay.

        You can, of course, try to persuade us all that there is something so very special about climatology that inventing its own brand of statistics is absolutely essential, that having unknown data lying uncatalogued and not understood in a data centre is acceptable in climatology where it wouldn’t be in (say) medical records or a bank.

        And best of all – how active resistance to any form of audit/scrutiny enhances rather than diminishes the credibility of the whole ‘profession’. We all know that self-assertion of probity is a fine and spectacularly successful way to ensure honesty and integrity in other fields. ‘I did not have sex with that woman’, ‘The President is not a crook’ etc

        Fire away…I’m listening.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Chris Colose said:

        “Personally, I’m not sure blogs have really contributed anything to the advancement of science.”

        Agree, but that is not their function. These are social gatherings…public discussions of things that interest those who read and post here.

        The only advancement of science is made by research and experiment and the gathering of new data (i.e. information) which in turn helps to confirm or refute a specific hypothesis or even an entire theory. Thus, advancement of science is an information intensive proposition, and specifically it is NEW information that drives science forward. Those of us who appreciate the advancement of science owe a huge debt of gratitude to those who tirelessly are in the field gathering data or in labs conducting experiments and gathering data. This raw new information is the fuel that eventually propels science forward. Mind you, this is not to slight the those who create theories, but those theories are just just the wispy stuff of dreams until someone (usually not the creator of the theory) makes the effort to actually gather data that confirms or refutes the theory. I’m thinking specifically of Eddington’s 1919 confirmation of Einstein’s prediction of the deflection of light by the sun. Einstein was obviously brilliant, but without Eddington’s data, Einstein’s theory would be empty, though lovely dream-stuff. Kind of like modern String Theory.

        While blogs certainly produce a lot of information, it is not new information added to the whole. Blogs are the modern version of the corner pub. Some of us are smart and spend time at both. :)

      • Chris

        You’re missing the point entirely.

        The issue is precisely “scientific skepticism” (or “rational skepticism”), as defined by Wiki:

        Scientific skepticism (also spelled scepticism) is the practice of questioning whether claims are supported by empirical research and have reproducibility, as part of a methodological norm pursuing “the extension of certified knowledge”

        The key here, Chris, is the empirical data to support the claim.

        In the case of the CAGW claim (made by IPCC) there are no empirical data based on actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation to support this claim.

        Ergo, there are those who are “rationally skeptical” of the CAGW claim until such empirical evidence is provided.

        It’s just that simple and we can forget all the psychobabble about what makes “deniers” behave as they do.


      • The surface is cooled predominantly by non-radiative heat transfer, while on the other hand the atmosphere is cooled exclusively by radiative transfer to space. Basic heat transfer physics requires this to be solved properly, which it hasn’t. If anything, increased CO2 will enhance emissivity of the atmosphere. Basic ‘radiative transfer physics” doesn’t magically means AGW. Furthermore, the change in atmospheric CO2 seems to be dependent on climatic factors mostly, so when the warmth declines, the growth in CO2 will reduce and eventually become negative. The CO2 emissions reduction/trading business is just a bureaucratic verbiage and no reduction will really occur, and even if it does, it will reduce the global temperature by an insignificant amount, according to the official sensitivity estimates.

      • WebHubTelescope

        Everything that Edim said is wrong. It is not worthwhile to correct unless one prefaces each statement with a “not”.

        Grade: F-

      • Nature’s phenomena will decide what’s wrong.

      • And nature will give final grades. For the consensus scientists I expect F-.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Web Hub Telescope: Everything that Edim said is wrong.

        That is not true. Consider this: The surface is cooled predominantly by non-radiative heat transfer, while on the other hand the atmosphere is cooled exclusively by radiative transfer to space.

        That’s basically correct. The exact balance of the energy transferred from the surface via radiative and convective processes seems not to be accurately known (as far as I have read to date), but non-radiative processes dominate. If you have some good measurements from some studies somewhere, I would sure like to read those studies.

        Most of the rest of what Edim wrote has solid evidentiary support.

      • MattStat also gets an F- grade for agreeing with the sentence “If anything, increased CO2 will enhance emissivity of the atmosphere.”

        Translation: MattStat asserts the GHG effect is incorrect.

        And that grade is confirmed for agreeing with the sentence “Furthermore, the change in atmospheric CO2 seems to be dependent on climatic factors mostly, so when the warmth declines, the growth in CO2 will reduce and eventually become negative. “

        Translation: MattStat asserts that excess CO2 is not caused by burning of fossil fuels.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        WebHubTelescope: MattStat asserts the GHG effect is incorrect.

        You can’t read.

      • WebHubTelescope

        First it is really child’s play to debunk a contrarian simpleton such as Edim.
        Second, why stick up for the guy?
        You know and I know the guy would have been flunked out of any decent engineering school.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        WebHubTelescope: Second, why stick up for the guy?

        I am sticking up for the propositions that he wrote. Consider this one: Basic ‘radiative transfer physics” doesn’t magically means AGW. That’s correct: to get AGW you have to assume that nothing else happens. Try this one: The CO2 emissions reduction/trading business is just a bureaucratic verbiage and no reduction will really occur, and even if it does, it will reduce the global temperature by an insignificant amount, according to the official sensitivity estimates. Each half of the sentence is certainly defensible.

        And this from you: Everything that Edim said is wrong. Everything that he wrote is defensible, and does not become true simply by prefacing it with “not”.

        Paraphrasing what I wrote to Chris Colose: basic radiative transfer physics does not describe all of the energy transfer in the environment. The theory of energy transfer in the environment is neither complete nor demonstrably accurate enough to rely on for long-term planning.

      • There is, of course, scientific ineptitude on both sides of the debate. But the burden falls upon those who make the claim of “settled science.” Even the most eminent of them often show no capabilty of distinguishing between coherent signal transmission through a semitransparent atmosphere (a well-undersood problem) and diffusive transfer of thermal energy through all mechanisms, including moist convection (a poorly understood problem). And there is scarcely a more egregiously biased data base than that of station records, which come overwhelmingly from urban locations throughout much of the world. That covers the main pillars of scientific skepticism on theoretical and empirical grounds.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Chris Colose: People who continue to call into question the basic radiative transfer physics, people who continue to cherry-pick selected pieces of information without understanding it,

        For myself, I call into question not the “basic radiative transfer physics” but the completeness and accuracy of the atmospheric models: all of the equations are approximations, the response of clouds to CO2 increase and warming are not well known, yet AGW proponents act as though a slight increase in temp following a long increase in CO2 is a sure thing. Also, my “cherry-picking” consists of drawing attention to the data that the cherry-picking AGW proponents deny; that is, I aim to complete the picture. When all the models and all of the evidence are surveyed, the knowledge is not sufficiently complete or accurate for the global warming alarmism to be taken seriously.

        You recommended the book “An introduction to Dynamic meteorology” by James R. Holton that you recommended. It is ideal for me for right now. Thank you. I also ordered the book by your professor that you recommended, but it has not yet arrived. I thank you for that recommendation as well.

        Holton’s book has very few comparisons of equations to data, but he does preface a few derivations with words such as “qualitatively” and “approximately”. It seems to be hard to understand that a scientific theory may be mostly right, yet not accurate enough or complete enough for a given purpose. Scientists still routinely use Newton’s laws for guiding the rockets in space research: they they proved inadequate for modeling the precession of the perihelion of Mercury; that leaves some people wondering whether they are “true”. The knowledge that was invested in building bridges enabled the construction of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge, and those bridges stand as testimony to the reliability of the knowledge; but the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed because the very same knowledge was shown to be incomplete. Science is replete with this sort of thing: scientific principles that work well right up until they fail.

        Picking up on Web Hub Telescope’s frequent refrain: fossil fuel depletion and AGW together are sufficient threats that humans should continue to develop alternative energy supplies and be prepared to deploy them more massively than we have to date. Indeed, continued investments in solar, wind, biofuels and nuclear energy are proceeding. Costs of solar, wind and biofuels are decreasing (construction of new nuclear reactors of new designs is progressing.) They might very well become cost-competitive with fossil fuels without subsidies (and they already are in some locations.)

        I think it is reprehensible that some supporters of AGW continue to write and speak as though the knowledge is complete and accurate. The most obvious message in the books and articles that I have read is how much is not known about energy transfer in the atmosphere.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        oops: You recommended the book “An introduction to Dynamic meteorology” by James R. Holton that you recommended.

        I meant that I have purchased it.

  75. Beth Cooper

    A collection catalogue:

    A cluster of stars
    A swarm of flies
    A congestion of traffic
    A gathering of tribes
    A congress of senators
    A gaggle of geese
    A pod of whales
    A flock of sheep.

    A multitude of queries
    A crusade of climatologists
    A heap of uncertainties
    A psychobabble of alarmists.

  76. Lolwot, I sometimes get the impression you’re all of 14 years old.

    I’m curious. When you’re not doing your troll act on the Internet, how do you occupy your time? Do you work? What line are you in?

    • I manage and distribute carbon credits and sell solar panels and wind turbines. You?

      • vested interests then

      • I have a dear friend who up until recently was in the renewable energy credit field. Like you she passionately believes human kind is threatened by global warming. Her passion doesn’t make her right, nor do her opinions on the matter make her any less of a friend. It does make for some good arguments.

      • Rob Starkey

        Manage and distribute carbon credits? That would seem to be a difficult sale in the current market.

      • Thus the “up until recently” phrase.

  77. ‘…I firmly believe in anthropogenic climate change, I deny that the “science is settled” and I am skeptical toward catastrophic anthropogenic climate change…’

    Failure of the imagination I say. With abrupt climate change – the new paradigm to replace AGW – the stage is set for radical change within as little as a decade possible at any time from natural causes – let alone with the interesting experiment of anthropogenic emissions in the mix (NAS Committee on Abrupt Climate Change 2002, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Abrupt Climate Change Page, Royal Society 2010). Oddly and despite being dynamically complex systems themselves – the models (and most of the scientists) have missed this element of dynamically complex behavior. In the models – that has more to do with post-hoc model plausibility evaluation than actual model behavior (James McWilliam 2007).

    Frankly I think that the failure to believe that caps or taxes provide a sufficient, humane or practical solution is the real crime. How often have you heard that we accept that climate change is obviously the norm but think that there might be better solutions than those necessitating the suspension of democracy and economic ‘degrowth’. Indeed, I get the impression that reducing western incomes to that of an African small hold farmer or the urban impoverished of Kolkata is the main aim of many warminista – aka pissant progressives. I mention the potential for a lack of liquidity in a depauperate global market to lead a chaotic economic death spiral just to rebalance the picture.

    Ultimately the real solutions involve technological innovation. I had an idea. There are toys that have turbines arranged around the edge of a disk or at the end of cross arms which is then capable of stable flight. There are helium cooled nuclear engines that can run turbines in a closed cycle – these have been in development since the 1960’s. With due regard to limits to growth – let’s use nitrous oxide instead of helium and scale up. I’m envisaging high altitude launch platforms, floating cities, battle cruisers in the sky (for search and rescue of course), mobile hotels, etc. I only mention this because my second to last idea was for cameras on little helicopters. Now the damn things are everywhere.

    You know how people sometimes say things that seem to bear no relation to your reality at all? My penultimate idea was that this is because people reach a tipping point and spontaneously shift into an alternate universe. So we are all shifting between alternate universes all the time. It explains much about the current debate. Unfortunately I am having a little difficulty in believing the many worlds interpretation of wave/particle duality and shall have to count this as provisionally untrue.

    In the interim the best and cheapest solution involves people power and conservation farming. We have farmers at Rio able to increase small holder productivity by 100% – as well as sequester huge amounts of carbon. How much this will be listened to by the government types and pissnat prgressive is another question. I am a bit over people who want to save the world but don’t have a practical bone in their bodies. There are many other solutions that are based on economic growth and democratic institutions. I am for solutions that ensure that this is the century that humanity comes of age.

    Best regards
    Captain Kangaroo

  78. “Analyzing people who talk about AGW denialism”

    After myriad Margaret Mead style musings on the psychology, brain structure and pathology of conservatives. a brief foray into the study of the workings of the warmist mind.

    Will wonders never cease. Now if only we can get a post psychologically analyzing those with a desperate need to always be in the muddled middle.

    “Moderates and Independents on Climate Change: A Case Study in Decision Avoidance – Coping Mechanism or Chronic Congenital Irresoltution?”

    I wonder if I could get federal funding.

    • “Moderates and Independents on Climate Change: A Case Study in Decision Avoidance – Coping Mechanism or Chronic Congenital Irresolution?”

      Too funny, GaryM.

  79. @numbnut

    I guess you get all your ‘facts’ from ‘scepeticalscience’?

  80. Beth Cooper

    The muddled middle … neither out far nor in deep?

  81. neverendingaudit,
    A train of thought.

  82. Chris Colose “The problem is that there is a lot of disinformation concerning very elementary points concerning climate and climate change.” I guess his focus is on having the right message; maybe winning a PR war of words. So AGW is a message that people need to “de-” something, de-growth, de-economic development, in other words, cut back, restrict, reduce consumption, capitalism, whatever.
    Chief mentioned it in passing, more people need more energy to grow crops, to invest in infrastructure, to turn the wheels of progress with electrons instead of muscle power.
    Only when electrons are cheap and free flowing, can the human mind turn from subsistence to imaginative plans, hopes and dreams for a future.
    People who emphasize de-ing something do not appear to me to be hopeful or optimistic people. Rather, like Eeyore, gray-bodied, sad and forlorn, they mope around the forest having lost, or, maybe never really had, a vision of a bright future.
    I characterize skeptics as optimistic and advocates for CAGW as pessimists. Judging by the life expectancy of optimistic people vs pessimistic people, it looks like the skeptics will be around long enough to see whether the world goes belly up or not. Pessimists won’t be around to collect any wagers they may have made.

  83. Doug Badgero

    “It is commonly assumed that convincing deniers that climate change is real is necessary for them to act pro-environmentally. However, the likelihood of ‘conversion’ using scientific evidence is limited because these attitudes increasingly reflect ideological positions.”

    Self righteous arrogant morons…….it’s time to tell it like it is.

    • Latimer Alder

      I do wish those who continually accuse me of ‘having an ideological position’ would explain exactly which ideological position I am supposed to have.

      It seems to be the successor to the Big Oil Well Organised And Funded Anti-Science Denier Conspiracy that is dying a slow death since the revelation that Bad Boys Heartland took something like $25K dollars from the Evil Koch Brothers to do healthcare research.

      It is hard to make charges of slavering global conspiracies to bring down the masses of ‘hard working climate scientists, seekers after objective truth etc etc’ stick when the annual budget involved is only about that of three comfy return tickets from Heathrow to Rio. (£5,202 each with BA, Business Class)

      So having, at long last, given up on the BOWOAFASDC schtick on the basis that it was making them look increasingly stupid, they now come out with instalment 2….’ideological position’.

      Upthread some daft guy accused me of ‘having coal interests close to my vest’. The accuser clearly has no grasp of UK history nor of the place of coal in it now and formerly. It is true, I could be a mine owner, living in the big house and forcing poor defenceless peasants to work in hellish conditions in the dark for the rest of their natural lives. Pausing only from counting my bags of gold and giving Burns-like cackles to rejoice that I was destroying humanity at the same time. For some of my late father’s uncles, life was indeed like that. And I just about remember them working at Cynheidre

      But the coal industry in UK was nationalised 64 years ago. It has just not been possible to take a ‘coal interest’ even if I wanted to.

      So come on all you guys who say I have ‘an ideological position’ Show some evidence. You will find as much as you did for the BOWOAFASDC theory. Put up or shut up.

      • I’ll oblige.

      • Latimer Alder

        I’m waiting.

        Don’t forget to put in some evidence to back up your assertions.

      • A few common themes from the conservative play-book (you know, tax, big govt, self-interest, ‘elites’, yada yada yada……),

        “some taxpayer funded asshole”

        “our burden under the warmist yoke”

        “your ivory tower musing and speculating….But if you and your colleagues want to continue your paid employment at my expense….”

        “not going to support the demolition of our existing economic system because of fears over sealevel rise “

        “I don’t really give a toss about whether future generations may or may not have to put another brick or two in the NYC sea wall…..”

        And the ever-popular anti-environmental reflex;

        “Hilarious. The Great and the Green gather in Rio to ‘Save the Planet’…….I hope that hurts the smug self-righteous bastards”

        “So look back in a couple of years, and I think/hope that you’ll find that the worst days of the Green Terror are behind us. It won’t come by victory in one big battle, but by the gradual but persistent erosion of the lunatics’ power base”

        But you know who has enabled this Great Green Menace, don’t you?

        “Our government explicitly add to our energy prices (electricity) to pay huge subsidies for windmills and solar panels. It is a national scam, and they would not be doing it without an obsession with ‘carbon emissions’. Climate science is a direct cause of this…..”

        Yes, those evil climate scientists…….the bastards!

        And so they are fair game for the usual denier abuse and vitriol…err…..dialogue;

        “I wouldn’t trust those shysters to go to the end of the road and post a letter for me. Let alone use them as advisers on ‘the greatest problem facing humanity today’. They sacrificed their credibility as anything other than rent-seeking charlatans a long long time ago.”

        “Team Daily Orders or Books by our Great Leader Jim, The Autobiography of Mike – the World’s Greatest Living Scientist (and ever so modest with it) or The Thoughts of Chairman Gavin at RC”

        “But it also makes Mike Mann’s continued ranting about it make him appear even more of a dickhead than I thought. And that is saying a lot.”

        “if climatologist aren’t a total bunch of shysters”

        “I have absolutely no desire to be told t ‘f**k off asshole. We are Climate Scientists and don’t you forget it scumbag’ by Schmidt, Mann or or their minions once again.”

        Ideology? Surely not!

      • A few common themes from the conservative play-book (you know, tax, big govt, self-interest, ‘elites’, yada yada yada……)

        “some taxpayer funded asshole”

        “our burden under the warmist yoke”

        “your ivory tower musing and speculating….But if you and your colleagues want to continue your paid employment at my expense….”

        “not going to support the demolition of our existing economic system because of fears over sealevel rise “

        “I don;t really give a toss about whether future generations may or may not have to put another brick or two in the NYC sea wall…..”

        And the ever-popular anti-environmental reflex;

        “Hilarious. The Great and the Green gather in Rio to ‘Save the Planet’…….I hope that hurts the smug self-righteous bastards”
        “So look back in a couple of years, and I think/hope that you’ll find that the worst days of the Green Terror are behind us. It won’t come by victory in one big battle, but by the gradual but persistent erosion of the lunatics’ power base”

        But you know who has enabled this Great Green Menace, don’t you?

        “Our government explicitly add to our energy prices (electricity) to pay huge subsidies for windmills and solar panels. It is a national scam, and they would not be doing it without an obsession with ‘carbon emissions’. Climate science is a direct cause of this…..”

        Yes, those evil climate scientists…….the bastards!

        And so they are fair game for the usual denier abuse and vitriol…err…..dialogue;

        “I wouldn’t trust those shysters to go to the end of the road and post a letter for me. Let alone use them as advisers on ‘the greatest problem facing humanity today’. They sacrificed their credibility as anything other than rent-seeking charlatans a long long time ago.”

        “Team Daily Orders or Books by our Great Leader Jim, The Autobiography of Mike – the World’s Greatest Living Scientist (and ever so modest with it) or The Thoughts of Chairman Gavin at RC”

        “But it also makes Mike Mann’s continued ranting about it make him appear even more of a dickhead than I thought. And that is saying a lot.”

        “if climatologist aren’t a total bunch of shysters”

        “I have absolutely no desire to be told t ‘f**k off asshole. We are Climate Scientists and don’t you forget it scumbag’ by Schmidt, Mann or or their minions once again.”

      • Latimer Alder

        I think you’ve successfully shown that I don’t have a lot of time or respect for ‘climatologists, and those alarmists who follow them. No surprises there.

        But I don’t think that you can claim that as ‘an ideology’.

        If so then your claim of ‘ideological conviction’ would be circular,, viz –

        ‘Those who criticise climatologists do so because they don’t have much time or respect for climatologists’. Well, yes already, but that hardly adds very much to the discussion

        In case you missed it. here are my latest observations on why I think climatology has some fundamental flaws.

        They are asked to do a grown up professional job yet stubbornly refuse to use adult tools. Preferring to stick with those of the playground. Not to acknowledge that the adult world even exists.

        And thanks so much for helping me with the first draft of

        ‘The Wit and Wisdom of Latimer Alder’

        (order now for Christmas..available at all good booksellers, Kindle edition soon)

      • Nice try Lati, but no banana.

        You hate the climate scientists from a political standpoint- they enabled the “Green Terror”.

        The rest is just fluff and nonsense.

      • Latimer Alder


        I’m flattered and delighted that my rhetorical flourishes made such a deep impression. But I think you are still a long way away from proving an ‘ideology’.

        I am no great fan of Southend United FC in the UK either and have been known to write disobliging things about them too. But I doubt that you’d describe my dislike as based on an ideology. No more than an Arsenal fan dislikes Spurs.

        For ‘ideology’ you need to try harder..or redefine the word. Lmme guess. You’ll redefine the word. These are the days of the New GreenSpeak.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        I agree with you Latimer/Stirling. You don’t have an ideology. You are an armchair expert with time on your hands, a wish to get a reaction from other people and a desire for everything to be just like the olden days.

        Your desire to get other people believing the same as you is secondary as you are able to root out like-minded people for any persuasion on the web (so I’m told). Running multiple personalities on a range of websites is done to double or treble your options for a “hit” rather than extending your reach. I have friends who play fruit machines for similar reasons.

        It’s possible that you are a robot, in which case I have to admit you are a much more sophisticated model than hunter.

      • Latimer Alder

        @steve milesworthy

        Its just a shame that the reaction from insiders like yourself is to try to shoot the messenger, rather than deal with the message.

        If you spent half as much effort on a moral crusade to clean up climatology as you do in berating other bloggers for their supposed moral failings, then we’d all have better science.

        But no. you prefer to spend hours analysing and theorising other’s motives rather than saying ‘F..k me…a whole ‘science’ where there is no effective quality control or auditing cannot be right. We must do something to correct it’

        I believe it is called ‘seeing the wood for the trees’

      • Steve Milesworthy


        I’m not shooting a messenger. I’m attempting to tackle a peddler of incorrect information who point blank refuses to do the research he could easily do to prove that he is wrong and can’t do any better than to bring up harry_readme.

        For example, I’ve just searched to see if any of your handles had bothered to make enquiries at, say,, who researches into quality control of software including climate modelling software, and couldn’t find anything. I happened then to look at allmodelsarewrong where your one input is to match Easterbrook’s abrasiveness with your own – I’m sure you could both manage to be relatively civil to each other if you really are someone who has software engineering experience.

        So I suggest you spend more time investigating and less time inventing new pseudonyms. One is enough.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Please allow me to commend to everyone — Latimer and Mike especially — the well-reasoned and respectfully expressed analysis that was posted by The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates).

        As anyone can verify for themselves, Gates’s comment conveys 10X more information, in 1/10X the words, than Latimer’s and Mike’s.

        Latimer and Mike, please take a lesson from The Skeptical Warmist!   :)

      • Steve,

        So now you’re letting fan, of all people, and her smiley-face flash-mob do your fighting for you! Have you no shame, Sir!

      • Steve Milesworthy

        mike, I’ve not followed the thread too closely, so I don’t know who you are calling a cockroach. You’ve got a nasty way of talking so I stopped reading your post after the first couple of paragraphs.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        At least Latimer chooses memorable names. Michael/Mike are too common to remember who they are/what they posted in the past.

      • Steve,

        Yr: “…I don’t know who you are calling a cockroach.”

        To quote the famous Christ Colose: “Huh?” So where in this thread did I call someone a “cockroach”? Show me.

        You’re gettin’ delusional on us, guy. I mean, like, Steve, seeing imaginary “cockroaches” is not a a good sign. No siree!

      • “I’m flattered and delighted that my rhetorical flourishes made such a deep impression. But I think you are still a long way away from proving an ‘ideology’.”


        Yes, it’s just rhetoric from you.

        Political deniers haven’t much else.

      • My previous: “To quote the famous Christ Colose…”

        Oopsy-daisy! Of course, that should read “To quote the famous Chris [no “t” at the end] Colose with the messiah complex…”

      • Latimer Alder

        @steve milesworthy

        Thanks for your remarks about software quality control. I haven’t even begun to look at that yet since the problems identified in Harry_Read_Me aren’t even that complex. They are simple data control/IT management ones. What have I got? where is it? and what does it mean?.

        A very simple, but useful , definition of data processing is that programs work on files to create new files. You need both bits. If you can’t even manage your files, whatever you do with the programs is immaterial.

        Harry shows us that CRU do not have any consistent or reliable way for dealing with these fundamental data management tasks. That they should be entrusted with the most important dataset in the history of humanity – or some such bollocks – beggars belief. If the manager of the local convenience store at the end of the record kept his files in such a state he would be fired for gross incompetence. And possibly investigated for fraud.

      • “Steve Milesworthy | June 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm |

        mike, I’ve not followed the thread too closely, so I don’t know who you are calling a cockroach.”

        Then mike flat-out lies when he says:

        “mike | June 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm |


        Yr: “…I don’t know who you are calling a cockroach.”

        To quote the famous Christ Colose: “Huh?” So where in this thread did I call someone a “cockroach”? Show me.”

        Lower-case mike is basically a first-class liar, no different that all the other lying fake skeptics that infest this blog’s comments section. He thinks he can lie with impunity because he (just like Latimer does) takes us for a bunch of rubes and gullible fools.

        He thinks the comment is gone (“Show me.”) because it got deleted, but voila, here is a link to mike’s comments to vindicate what Steve Milesworthy claimed:

        That particular comment got deleted but not before I saw it in my feed. And no wonder it got deleted, as he used the words f*cal pellets, p**per, w*enie, and limp d*ckhead, and the *roach smear.

        As scientists, our credibility depends on our honesty. I am not going to let Mr. Milesworthy get smeared by the liar mike.

      • WebHub,

        Hey, guy, thanks for bringing my deleted comment back from the dead! And, yeah, I did kinda enjoy a little goof at Steve’s expense, exploiting my comment’s deletion and all. But, unlike you, Web–Mr. Literal-Minded-Pompous-Ass, himself,–Steve Milesworthy got a big kick out of my little prank. I mean, like, Steve has a sense of humor and doesn’t take himself all so serious, and all. You know, you could learn a thing or two from Steve, Web.

        I mean, like, you are such a dreadfully self-important, up-tight weirdo, Web. Really!

      • Latimer Alder

        @A fan

        I did indeed read R Gates’s piece about modelling. And a very respectful document it is. But I wonder if you really grasped what it respectfully says.

        The first part is a lengthy explanation of all the difficult things that happen and aren’t taken into account in the models…and uses this long list of woes to explain why we are all so super horrible nasty to expect that models will ever be able to provide accurate testable predictions.

        And in the second part – like the hapless shop assistant in Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch – he gallantly attempts to distract our attention with some stuff about all the other things that they might be good for.

        But all his distractions do not remove the Elephant in the Bathroom, or resurrect the Norwegian Blue. It is still dead, and the models still fail to do what we need them to do. They do not provide reliable predictions of future climate. We have spent billions of dollars and many man-years to get something that does not work.

        They are predictive models that cannot predict. And R Gates tells us – in very respectful terms – some of the reasons why.

      • Latimer Alder

        @steve milesworthy

        And what is so wrong about ‘bringing up Hary_Read_Me’?

        It is a most revealing document since it shows how the CRU actually works and illustrates the huge gulf between the public image that climatology likes to present of cool and diligent searching after truth and the unhappy reality of poor, ill-trained Harry searching through the disorganised chaos that is their ‘data centre’ and trying to make some sense of the junk left behind.

        The background is even more interesting because of the contemporary events. Phil Jones ill-fated attempts to evade his FoI responsibilities – which led in part to Climategate. His inability to provide 196 confidentiality agreements (lost in an office move? – more like lost in his own data centre…much like everything else) and still giving out the illusion that these are fit and proper people to manage ‘the most important dataset in the history of humanity.

        Climategate and Harry_Read_Me are the equivalent of undercover Panorama reports for climatology. They show the unprofessional, disorganised shameful reality as compared with the public image.

        And remember – in over 200 papers, no peer-reviewer has ever asked to see their programs, files, data or calculations.

        ‘The most startling observation came when he was asked how often scientists reviewing his papers for probity before publication asked to see details of his raw data, methodology and computer codes. “They’ve never asked,” he said’ (Fred Pearce in the Guardian on Jones’s appearance in Parliament)

      • Steve Milesworthy


        Now that your minder has been put in his place by WHT:

        “And what is so wrong about ‘bringing up Hary_Read_Me’? ”

        Where did I say it was wrong to bring up Harry_readme. I said that that is *all* you ever do, and then pretend that this microcosm is reflective of the global reality when it isn’t. I said you need to spend your energies in extending your research instead of recruiting new personas.

        Take me. I obviously have a particular point of view, but rather than share love-ins with like-minded folk I try to understand other people’s point of view – mostly by lurking as I don’t have the time to engage often enough. I do it in my own time and off my own back, but I like to think that someone somewhere will occasionally believe me rather than you when I say that your and other’s characterisation of software quality in climate science is inaccurate.

        The sole reason I am still targetting you though is not for the reasons “mike” put in his sadly departed comment, but because by putting on multiple personas such as Stirling English you are unhelpful to my cause (of finding out what sceptics really think) because in the back of my mind I will always be wondering whether (to use a bit of “mike”-style psychological gamesmanship) you really are just a bored and perhaps lonely man, or whether there is more to your method.

        I’m hoping you’ll have the decency to explicitly own up and agree to drop the sock-puppetry so we can hear what the real “self-employed former chemist” believes. I’m sure everyone else would be no less entertained by your pronouncements if you did.

      • Latimer Alder

        @steve milesworthy

        I have no ‘minder’. Not sure why you think I have.

        As to my ‘method’, I use pretty much exactly the same technique as I do on IT audits – and i have conducted (and been paid for) plenty.

        Being prepared to believe what people tell me, but wanting to see the proof as well. A modification of ‘doveryai, no proveryai’ (Trust but Verify).

        So if, for example, somebody comes up with a new method that seems to wipe out a lot of details of contemperaneously-recorded history, uses non-standard statistical methods and refuses to release the data on which it is based, I do not immediately claim the author to be the greatest scientist since Newton and grab his work to my (metaphorical) bosom with little squeals of girlish delight. I raise my sceptical eyebrow and speculate that we need to do a lot more work before we can accept this.

        If I see a whole field of endeavour actively resisting any external scrutiny of their work, I am just as suspicious of them as I was of the chef programmer who worked alone nights on the organisation’s core financial system, had complete change control authority and turns up to work in a car way beyond his pay grade (true story – I caught him fiddling the subcontractor’s payroll ledger)

        Or of the strange case of the shift pattern where the entire computer system failed at random. Until I looked and found that one operator was always there. And he was the guy who ‘rescued’ everybody by spending hours and hours getting the systems back and working. It only took a wee bit of covert surveillance to find him briefly disconnecting and reconnecting crucial cables. From hero to zero – and a jail term fro criminal damage – in three days.

        Out in the real world, we try to put together processes and procedures to prevent these frailties of human nature jeapordising our work.

        For example public companies need to have their books independently audited and the results made public. This provides protection to both the shareholders (who have some protection against abuse by the directors) and the public – who can have some confidence that doing business with the company will not cause them loss through imminent bankruptcy of their counterparty.

        It generally works well. But is absolutely shunned as a technique in climatology. The nearest we get is ‘peer-review’ and we need only peek behind the Climategate curtain to see how corrupted that can become. And the classic case of the audit process breaking down was Enron. The problem was that Arthur Andersen – the supposedly ‘independent’ auditing company had become far too friendly – personally and professionally – with the Enron board and so failed to ask the hard questions. Ring any bells in peer-review? Jones’s infamous remark ‘they never asked’ spring to mind?

        So when you tell me – in all good faith no doubt – that the software quality stuff at your institution is tip-top, I don’t doubt your sincerity. But without that independent report verifying that this is the case, I fear you are no more convincing than anybody else who is proud of their work and their colleagues.

        The real tough stuff starts when you compare yourself nit against what you are used to …but what others around the world do in different fields. How do you compare to Nuclear Safety Installations? Or Air Traffic Control Systems? Or Emergency Response Teams? Or the big financial systems? Or if you think that such comparisons are inappropriate..why not? You guys are working on the ‘biggest problem humanity has ever faced’ and yet you actively resist even the basic level of external scrutiny that the local takeaway food shop is obliged to endure by law.

        So go figure why I am sceptical about climatology and climatologists. Your processes and procedures might (and that is a big ‘might’) be appropriate for a purely academic subject. But – like it or lump it – it is no more such. It is a big big industry with literally world-wide implications. You cannot manage yourselves in the same way as an aged don writing obscure unread papers about 11th century porcelain or whatever.

        And your collective failure even to acknowledge this – let alone fix it – does you all no credit in the eyes of anybody with much experience of the world outside.