BS detectors

by Judith Curry

Most likely, their bullshit detectors just went on high alert. – Greg Breining

Amidst the many explanations for rational skepticism in the face of consensus ‘truth’ about climate change, the ‘BS detector’ explanation deserves more investigation and discussion

A cool-headed climate conversation with Aerospace legend Burt Rutan describes a rational BS detection process.  If you don’t know who Bert Rutan is, see his Wikipedia bio.  Some excerpts:

Even though I’ve been very busy throughout my entire career developing and flight-testing airplanes for the Air Force, I’ve always pursued other research hobbies in my time away from work. Since I’m very accustomed to analyzing a lot of data, about three or four years ago many alarmist claims by some climate scientists caught my attention. Since this is such an important topic, I began to look into it firsthand.

Although I have no climate science credentials, I do have considerable expertise in processing and presenting data. I have also had extensive opportunities to observe how other people present data and use it to make their points. There is a rampant tendency in any industry where someone is trying to sell something with a bunch of data, where they cherry pick a little bit…bias a little bit. This becomes quite easy when there is an enormous amount of data to cherry pick from.

The first thing that got my attention, a lot of people’s attention, was statements that the entire planet is heading towards a future climate catastrophe that is attributable to human carbon dioxide emissions. So I decided to take a look at that and just see if this conclusion was arrived at ethically. It’s obviously an extremely important issue which has gotten a huge amount of media attention.  I was particularly concerned because the proposed solutions will have enormous impacts upon costs of energy, which of course, will increase costs of everything.

Many people seem to get much of their information from what they see in newspapers. I may be considerably different, in that I always like to look at both sides of things that I take special interest in. So when I decided to look closely at the anthropogenic [man-made] global warming crisis claims, I avoided focusing on media reports, and instead, went directly to available raw climate data. The intent was to see if that data might just as reasonably be interpreted differently.

Then, what really drew me into the subject, was when I found that I couldn’t obtain the raw data that I was looking for. I was shocked to find that there were actually climate scientists who wouldn’t share the raw data, but would only share their conclusions in summary graphs that were used to prove their various theories about planet warming. In fact I began to smell something really bad, and the worse that smell got, the deeper I looked.

I even read Al Gore’s book, which was very enlightening…but not in a good way. When you look for data to back up his claims, you immediately discover that they are totally unsubstantiated. This was frankly astonishing because analyzing data is something I’m very good at. All my professional life I have been analyzing complex flight test data, interpreting it and presenting it. Something that I always did in flight test is to make a chart that shows every bit of the data, and only then, decide later on the basis of real observed results which parts of the data were valid.

What I’m doing really, is just put out all of the data I can in order to enable anyone to look at everything before arriving at a conclusion. If someone forms a conclusion at the onset, they can always find and focus only on data that supports their theory.

Larry, I wasn’t really taken back so much by the hostile responses.  I expected some of that.  But later when I decided to answer some of the more than 150 comments posted at the Scholars and Rogues website, I was surprised that I was often attacked in a very personal way which denigrated my intelligence and accused me of bias. I have no reason to have any bias. Some said I was obviously being paid for by oil companies, which seemed like a joke.  If you go through and read my responses you will find that I did so with hard data that alarmists will not publish. But they don’t hesitate to publish personal attacks.

Larry, I’ve done all I plan to do on this for now, and have moved on to other interests. This debate will all get sorted out, and I am confident it will be for the better.  When I started, I strongly believed that the debate needed me because I didn’t see anyone out there really looking at the data the way an engineer looks at.  Now I see that other people are doing this, including climate scientists and non-scientists the world over by the tens of thousands, people who are actually looking at the real data just like I have. I still follow the status of the debate, and occasionally comment on it.

Whether or not you agree with Rutan’s interpretation and analysis of climate data, the approach that he has taken provides a classical example of a BS detector in action.

Conspiracy theorists (?)

The latest ‘explanation’ for lack of belief in the IPCC consensus ‘truth’ is that these non believers are conspiracy theorists.  See Stephan Lewandowsky’s editorial Evidence is overrated if you are a conspiracy theorist.  Lewandowsky’s ‘evidence’ was a scammed internet survey.  Bloggers such as Steve McIntyre, Anthony Watts, BishopHill, Lucia, JoNova are all over this, and have exposed the scam (note: there are multiple posts on each of these blogs).  BS detection in action.  While I have used the term ‘auditors’ for deep investigations of problems with climate data, BS detection seems much more apt for this particular issue.

Lew, get a clew.  I hope this experience with the skeptical bloggers has revealed what they are really all about, as they have revealed YOUR conspiracy by finding a really big pile.

The ‘conspiracy’ among green climate bloggers  has been further revealed by the hack of John Cook’s private forum (link).  SkepticalScience seems to becoming the ringleader for conspiratorial activities by the green climate bloggers.  All this is high entertainment for those of us who follow the climate blog wars.  But take a step back, and consider how bad this makes you look, and how poorly it reflects on the science and ’cause’ that you are trying to defend.

Motivated (?) reasoning

Reflecting on this general topic has led me to a new insight, or at least to a new hypothesis.  Serious social scientists have identified a split (liberal vs conservative) in terms of support vs skepticism of the climate change argument, with the conservative skeptics being generally more educated on the topic.  How to explain this, other than motivated reasoning by the conservatives?

Here is an alternative hypothesis:  the motivated reasoning is on the other side, the liberal defenders of the CAGW consensus.   Once the ‘consensus’ argument stepped beyond climate science into the realm of ‘dangerous’ impacts and ‘solutions’ involving global changes in governance and energy policy, BS detectors were triggered in people who didn’t share that motivation.

802 responses to “BS detectors

  1. “Lew, get a clew. I hope this experience with the skeptical bloggers has revealed what they are really all about, as they have revealed YOUR conspiracy by finding a really big pile.

    The ‘conspiracy’ among green climate bloggers has been further revealed by the leak of John Cook’s secret forum (link). SkepticalScience seems to becoming the ringleader for conspiratorial activities by the green climate bloggers.”

    BS detection is left as an exercise for the reader, isn’t it?

    • I’ll add more links, in case people haven’t been following this

      • Thanks, Professor Curry,

        Conservatives may grasp their own size and importance in our seemingly infinite universe:

      • Well, you got my attention, and presumably you’ll get a lot of people’s attention, with the cited statements that there is a ‘conspiracy’ among green climate bloggers, including ‘Lew’ (sic), John Cook and SkepticalScience participants.So I have decided to take a look at that and just see if you, Judith Curry, is arrived at this conclusion ethically.
        I bet it must be an extremely important issue.

        Please detail your thesis, tell your reasoning and expose your proofs. A documented exposition of each step leading to a complete and unequivocal conviction of the veracity of your thesis would be appreciated.

      • Ort, one can only suggest you read the excellent forensic datat developed at Climate Audit. Unless your mind is closed to reality.

      • Sorry, AndrewR, your answer surely intended to be helpful, but my request was adressed to Judith Curry, as it concerns her thesis, and the thought process that led her to the ‘truth’ about the green conspiracy. As the post concerns also the sane process of transparent audit and deep investigations before endorsing any claim, I am sure that Judith Curry has already investigated the pros and cons of the question and will soon satisfy fully my legitimate demand.

      • I am sure that Judith Curry has already investigated the pros and cons of the question and will soon satisfy fully my legitimate demand.

        FWIW – I have asked Judith many times to validate claims that she makes w/r/t the non-scientific aspects of the climate debate. Based on those experiences, I suggest that you don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer to your request. If she does respond at all, my observations suggest that it will be a short and dismissive quip. It seems that Judith does not like requests that she explain the foundation of her certainty. on these issues. Rather ironically, actually.

        But perhaps there is some quality to your request that makes it more legitimate in her eyes than my many requests. Let’s hope so, and see what happens.

      • Ort,

        I cannot and will not attempt to speak for Professor Curry

        But I can assure you from my own career that every faculty member should be concerned lest the lives and careers of their students are damaged because:

        1. We teach students to follow basic scientific principles, and

        2. Their future jobs, tenure and grants depend on their willingness to discard what we taught and join the crowd of consensus scientists that review each others papers and proposals in a way that will keep the flow of public funds coming to their particular “click”.

        The lives and careers of ~50 students were likely damaged by the discrepancy between my mentoring and the hard realities of corrupt government science over my career.

      • Ort
        For incontrovertible evidence of institutional bias, look no further than the Climategate coverups by the authorities, and the widespread the lack of outrage at what the Climategaters had done, on the part of the the climatology rank-and-file (the deafening silence).

        (Though since this bias permeates the entire structure, I’ll grant it cannot be seen as “conspiracy”).

      • Joshua,
        I thank you for your tip, but I did not want to see my legitimate demand amalgamated with others from other people on other subjects: I want to let clearly this single undeniable request stand on its own merit. Your premature sympathy for an hypothetical deception may be quite offending for our host, as it suggests a deliberately obstructive gate-keeping attitude from her, in complete contradiction with her professed line of conduct. Please do not associate me with this.
        Your post has already confused some readers who are now shouting at both of us in a common post, on tangential stuff.

      • Ort,

        RE your “legitimate demand” – is it possible to stuff that shirt of yours any further? How about first explaining what standing you have which supports any sort of “demand” on Dr Curry’s time?

        The simple fact is that it takes little effort on your part to become informed of the facts related to the Lewendowsky paper and his subsequent statements. Why you expect Dr Curry to do this for you is hard to understand.

      • So Ort and Joshua don’t feel that FAKING DATA a la Lewandowsky is conspiring to frustrate the ends of science. Pretty much like HIDING DATA data a la Mann and Jones didn’t either I suppose.

      • Perhaps Ort & Joshua, got their degrees (BS) for their work on Political Science issues.

        Big-heads or Bigger-hearts; we need to judge the facts as we see them.

    • I will take the time to write and post a message today to world leaders on the need for BS Detectors to help them stay “right sized” and immune to the ego-inflating lies scientists gave them in exchange for public research funds after 1945.

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

      • Your response is truly vile. It is neither clever nor ironic; it fact I find it broad, awkward and strained. You should really consider posting elsewhere where, presumably, that sort of response is “appreciated.” I cannot think why it wasn’t edited from this board.

      • David Springer

        jbmckim | September 17, 2012 at 11:17 am | Reply

        “Your response is truly vile. It is neither clever nor ironic; it fact I find it broad, awkward and strained. You should really consider posting elsewhere where, presumably, that sort of response is “appreciated.” I cannot think why it wasn’t edited from this board.”

        Maybe because the hostess has more respect for freedom of speech than you do. Academia is ostensibly the bastion of free speech. It’s become somewhat less so in recent decades as the liberals which dominate it appear to believe in only politically correct free speech and the political yardstick by correctness is measured is their own brand of liberal politics. Curry stands apart in this regard and she stands apart in a good way AFAIC.

    • The “conspiracy nut-job” label is central to the mental defenses of the warmists. The critiques are too serious to take seriously.

  2. BS detectors are sadly missing from Obama, Romney and world leaders around the globe (Conservatives, Liberals, Capitalists, Communists, etc) who believed the ego-inflating lies scientists gave them in exchange for more public funds since 1945.

    That is the root of society’s current problems.

    • Re: ‘dangerous’ impacts and ‘solutions’ involving global changes in governance and energy policy
      In 1990, IPCC published its First Assessment Report 1990 (FAR). Presuming its accuracy, I wrote a survey with S. Kaneff on potential solutions:
      Hagen, D.L. & Kaneff, S. “Application of Solar Thermal Technologies in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Opportunities and Benefits for Australian Industry” for Anutech Pty Ltd to Dept. Arts, Sports, the Environment, Tourism and Territories, Canberra, Australia, June 1991 330 pp
      I began with:

      Problems in the Greenhouse
      We are now carrying on activities and making decisions which will have lasting, often irreversible, effects on the well being of ourselves, of our environment, and of our descendants. The solutions require international coordinated action by the Federal Government as well as strong leadership and implementation on state, local and individual levels.
      Present CO2 emissions must be reduced by over 60% to stabilize greenhouse gases at present concentrations.

      Totalitarian “science”
      However, advocates strongly pushed for mandatory universal taxation (aka cap & trade/carbon taxes) requiring a global government controlled by unelected bureaucrats. “Death trains” James Hansen grew unbelievably alarmist and totalitarian. Yet I knew that Mao’s centrally planned Great Leap Forward caused some 60 million deaths or reduced births. Furthermore, The Black Book of Communism documented 94 million being killed by their own totalitarian governments in the 20th century (plus “excess deaths” of fewer being born).
      As a research engineer/scientist, I began reading further and looking at the data versus models. I found myself with a very similar experience to Burt Rutan’s pragmatic engineering ephipany. Evidence snowballed. <a href=http://www.climateaudit.orgClimateAudit and WUWT prompted further evidence/insights. Clear evidence of the corruption and abuse of climate science was exposed by ClimateGate. My BS detector rang incessantly and very loudly!
      Besides Rutan, I found Akasofu reviewed evidence of natural oscillations on the long term warming from the Little Ice Age. Lucia at The Blackboard detailed how the IPCC models are now running far hotter (> 2 sigma) than the data. The NIPCC reviews,/a> found much science missing from and biasing IPCC’s reviews. The Cornwall Alliance provided an Evangelical/Judeo-Christian perspective. The Copenhagen Consensus highlighted critically important developing world needs – where greenhouse mitigation came in dead last.

      Peak Oil
      In parallel to this, engineer Richard L. Hirsch, economist James D. Hamilton , and the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO)etc. provide rapidly growing evidence that “peak oil” is a far more pressing issue with massive current impacts than “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming”!
      Challenges before us are:
      How to restore the objective scientific method to climate science?
      How can we provide objective balanced evidence to politicians – including realistic costs of adaptation vs mitigation with the full range of uncertainties?
      How do we formulate policies prudently addressing both peak oil and global warming that preserve the foundational principles of free enterprise within our constitutional Rule of Law and Western culture?

      Carpe Diem

      • Thank you for telling your story David. That helps.

      • David L Hagan,

        That’s an excellent comment. It’s also of particular interest for me. Our paths may have crossed.

        If you were working with Kanef, I was managing your funding programs at about that time. I was also heavily involved in the Government’s ‘Ecologically Sustainable Development’ leading up to 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Australia committed to the Toronto Targets: “Australia commits to cut its CO2 emissions to 1988 levels by 2000 and 20% below 1988 levels by 2005”. At that time, it was the accepted view that if we didn’t, it would be too late. Catastrophe would ensue. That was two decades ago and little has changed since.

        My BS detector rang incessantly and very loudly!

        Mine too.

        David, I agree with your “Challenges before us”

        • How to restore the objective scientific method to climate science?

        • How can we provide objective balanced evidence to politicians – including realistic costs of adaptation vs mitigation with the full range of uncertainties?

        • How do we formulate policies prudently addressing both peak oil and global warming that preserve the foundational principles of free enterprise within our constitutional Rule of Law and Western culture?

      • David L. Hagen

        I agree with you on free markets under normal conditions etc.
        However, under wartime conditions, strong collective action is needed.
        OPEC’s actions are de facto economic war. All oil importing countries need to take drastic action or be slowly boiled and lose their economic sovereignty.

      • David L Hagan,

        Your “second challenge before us” says:

        How can we provide objective balanced evidence to politicians – including realistic costs of adaptation vs mitigation with the full range of uncertainties?

        Here is aonther clue, for those who argue for more regulation, why regulation is no the way we should proceed:

        … capital costs had made new thermal coal projects 66 per cent more costly to build and iron ore projects 30 per cent more expensive than the global average.

        It said if Australia did not act to boost competitiveness, real GDP would be 5.3 per cent lower in 2040 than if it did act.
        That is largely a result of regulation, new mining taxes, carbon taxes, green tape and, significantly, regulation of the labour market and resulting increased union power.

      • Peter Lang
        See: The Close Tie Between Energy Consumption, Employment, and Recession, Gail Tverberg

        Since 1982, the number of people employed in the United States has tended to move in a similar pattern to the amount of energy consumed. When one increases (or decreases), the other tends to increase (or decrease). In numerical terms, R2 = .98.

        Now consider what happens when inexporable oil depletion causes global conventional crude oil production to decline faster than new production and alternative fuels are being brought on line. See presentations and papers by Robert L. Hirsch.
        Damaging as it is, regulation appears to be a minor issue compared with the magnitude of the challenge before us to provide alternative fuels sufficient to prevent our economies from descending very deeply into recession.

      • David L. Hagen

        Free markets, not regulation is the best way to respond to supply and demand.

        Why do you believe that regulations will give a better response? Why do you believe politicians, responding to bureaucrats and the noisy but ignorant advocates, can for see the future and make regulations, better than the mass of entrepreneurs who will foresee opportunities and try to take advantage of their insight. The vast majority will forget it wrong (like the politicians and the ignorant advisers) but some will get it right.

        Mandating and massively subsidising renewable energy is a good example of how badly advocates and politicians get it wrong in trying to pick winners.

  3. Lewandowsky BS ‘auditing’ all started here:

    Trained psychologist Dr Adam Corner and regular Guardian contributor, took it all at face value, failed to spot any ‘BS’ and wrote about it in the Guradian… (because Prof Lewandowsky sent it to him)

    (and no he did not ask for the data, or ask who the blogs were, it was ‘peer reviewed’ – as he states in the comments at his own blog)
    He reproduced the Guardain article on his own (publically) funded blog – Talking Climate)
    And a few people started asking questions…

    1st comment was by me (Paul Matthews made the second)

    Barry Woods August 2, 2012 at 10:51 am

    How many ‘actual’ scep­tics will have seen these survey, or answered them.. as this paper based its research only from 8 ‘anti-sceptic’ blogs.

    They asked 5 skep­tical blogs to post a link…Who refused. (sus­pecting motives?, like those that com­mented below did)

    The 8 blogs actu­ally sur­veyed were so called ‘pro-science’ blogs ! (who are all very anti-sceptic, with a lot of very derog­atory lan­guage & rhet­oric about deniers.

    The blogs who posted the links are claimedto be:

    even the locals didn’t think the ‘den­iers’ would fall for such a trans­parent survey…

    “Yeah, those con­spiracy theory ques­tions were pretty funny, but does anyone think that hard­core den­iers are going to be fooled by such a trans­parent attempt to paint them as paranoids?”

    Actual links to the ori­ginal art­icles.. these were the links I found:

    I haven’t found the links yet to:

    where even the locals thought it was a trans­parent and poor survey, an attempt to try to describe scep­tics as para­noids or nut.. ie. very likley, by the com­ments that the ‘anti-sceptic’ locals had some fun with it..

    As no data is avail­able yet, it would be very inter­esting to see a break­down based on refer­ring URL’s as the blogs men­tioned some are MUCH more high traffic than others, which begs the ques­tion. did most of the survey res­ults come from just a few of these blogs (who detest sceptics) —

    The per­centage of actual scep­tics taking this survey must be tiny…

    making the Guardain art­icle con­clu­sions and claims rather laughable.

    • Barry, thanks for these links

      • Geoff Chamber, and a few others started to ask questions here

      • Thanks, Barry!

        As an environmentalist, social liberal, and former Unitarian-Universalist, I was especially intrigued by this message:

        “The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office (UU-UNO, part of the UUA) promotes well-being, peace, and justice throughout the world. Crucial to this effort is combating the impacts of the man-made global warming trend of climate change. The UU-UNO’s Climate Change Initiative is implemented by its Climate Change Task Force with advice from its Climate Advisory Group.”

        I hate to admit it now, but I was gullible to ego-inflating lies for many, many years of my highly successful research career !

        Egomaniacs like me most need BS detectors!

        With deep regrets,
        – Oliver K. Manuel
        Emeritus Professor of
        Space/Nuclear Sciences

    • David L. Hagen

      Hot off the psychological “science” press Sept. 13, 2012
      Misinformation and Its Correction: Continued Influence and Successful Debiasing, Stephan Lewandowsky, Ullrich K. H. Ecker, Coleen M. Seifert, Norbert Schwarz, and John Cook

      Evidence shows that . . .that global warming is actually occurring . . .,
      Cognitively, it is much easier for people to accept a given piece of information than to evaluate its truthfulness. This stacks the deck in favor of accepting misinformation rather than properly rejecting it. When people do take the time to thoughtfully evaluate the truth of information, they tend to focus on only a few of its characteristics: Is the new information consistent with other things they believe to be true? Does it “make sense”? Does the information come from a credible source? People also look to others to help them validate information, which means the more widespread a piece of misinformation, the harder it becomes to debunk it. . . .
      The authors suggest replacing misinformation by presenting simple and brief messages that focus on the new, correct information rather than on the incorrect information. When correcting misinformation, provide an alternative — but accurate — narrative of events to fill in the gap left when information once thought true is found to be false. Individuals’ pre-existing attitudes and worldviews can influence how they respond to certain types of information, so those trying to counteract misinformation should consider the specific views and values of their target audience.

      Misinformation is prevalent in our society and can be hard to discredit. By better understanding the sources and causes of misinformation, we can not only learn to avoid its introduction but also learn to successfully correct it.

      Note the editor’s perspective!
      Editorial: Knowing Our Options For Setting the Record Straight, When Doing So Is Particularly Important, By Edward Maibach
      (Behind their paywall)
      “Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.”

  4. My BS detector on climate change was triggered initially when Rajendra Pachauri compared climate skeptics to flat-earthers. It really astonished me at the time.

    A more general point: I think most people have pretty good BS detectors. It’s an important survival skill in modern societies, since there’s always someone trying to sell us something.

    • Politicians are especially vulnerable to ego-inflating lies presented to them as scientific facts.

      Who wouldn’t want to increase the budget for the scientists who produced such important information?

    • Mine went off when Kyoto was being pushed on us back in the 90’s. I have been following this issue ever since.

  5. Judith you write “How to explain this, other than motivated reasoning by the conservatives?”

    A very big “THANK YOU” to our hostess. I take this as a compliment to myself, and all the other skeptical denizens of Climate Etc. I have never been motivated by anything else except a deep love for the integrity of science in general, and physics in particular.

  6. It ain’t that difficult really. Having spent my youth dodging Jehova’s Witnesses going door-to-door saying The End Was Nigh, and that it would come quickly, I can see the same thing repeated in the concept of “tipping points”: everything is fine, everything looks fine, but unless we mend our ways everything will go to hell (in this world or next).

    So tipping points won’t do. How about unprecedented changes in the climate? I thought Hurricane Catarina would be “it”. It was 2004. Since then, things have settled back to the usual. As clearly shown by the writers of “The Day After Tomorrow”, unless something big happens, it’s hard to believe anything big will happen.

    What about scientific consensus? I have worked in science and been around scientists long enough not to see Science in such a puerile and anti-historical way.

    “Think of the children!”. Well I am pretty sure my father, my grandfathers, and so on and so forth had little clue of the world of 2012. Had they tried to think too hard of me now, they would have been mistaken. I am glad they didn’t.

    One could continue for a long time. After all it comes down to finding humility and genuine interest in solving “this” problem on the part of those most alarmed by it. But as Rutan and thousand others know, humility is impossible to find among CAGWers, and venom is aplenty. Bringing up what _IS_ for me the BS detection: because finding people who try to insult me personally is very easy online.

    It’s the chemtrailers and the creationists.

    So if CAGWers walk like chemtrailers and talk like chemtrailers, obviously CAGW is exactly like thinking a conspiracy is disseminating chemicals from airplanes.

    CAGW, it’s BS.

  7. I’d like to compare and contrast two responses to BS-detectors:


    But being the kind of guy I am, I’ll leave it to people to compare and contrast for themselves.

    • The Don Draper clip is a classic :)

      And thanks for the link to what may have been one of Steve Schneider’s last public appearances.

    • The second one is 45 minutes long and I’m listening to it now, but we see Schneider confronted in Australia with all the skeptic memes we see here. It is like they all have the same play book. He shows great patience with this.

      • Recommended listening. Some skeptics seem to be deep-down angry people.

      • Not half as angry as a catastrophe-monger confronted with Yamal, ‘Hide the Decline’, Upside-down Tijlander, Gleickgate, or “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !”

      • Jim D,
        When we see the Billions wasted on this around the world and see all the things that we could have spent that money on… Yes we do get angry.

      • No, but these people on the video were angry about the science itself.

      • Alarmists routinely misrepresent anger about the corruption of science (hiding data from those who might disagree with your etc etc), as anger about the science itself.

      • This debate thankfully focused on the science. It is good that it avoided all these other areas of politics and Climategate, because I think the audience learned things that they didn’t know, but some were angry to learn those things.

  8. Just think pretense. Who in the discussion of climate acts like they know stuff about the climate that they clearly don’t?

    Who in this discussion thinks they can know the climate by looking at a drawing of a squiggly line on a computer screen?


  9. Here is an alternative hypothesis: the motivation reasoning is on the other side, the liberal defenders of the CAGW consensus.

    It really is quite interesting how Judith persists in her willful ignorance about motivated reasoning. By definition, motivated reasoning is not explanatory for positions on one side of the debate versus positions on the other side. Anyone who tries to use it in that fashion either doesn’t understand the concept of motivated reasoning or is ironically, displaying motivated reasoning in his/her analysis.

    Judith – did you even read the Kahan study that you posted on months ago? Why would someone of your intelligence and analytical ability continue to push such a distorted interpretation?

    • Joshua

      I will bet $12 that you’re afraid to use your real name here.

    • Joshua,

      Motivated Reasoning –

      A series of three studies identified motivated reasoning as a major determinant of when outcomes would bias judgments. The processes underlying outcome bias effects also varied depending on the motivational goal. Accuracy goals minimized outcome bias based on objective elaboration. Defense goals enhanced outcome bias by promoting selective processing of the outcome when it was preference consistent. Finally, impression goals increased the perceived diagnosticity of outcomes and biased the subsequent systematic processing resulting in outcome‐biased judgments.

      I would posit that BS detection is an accuracy goal.

      Obviously, in laymens usage of motivated reasoning the defense and impression goals are the ones most cited because they are the ones that introduce the most bias.

      In any case, my daughter has a degree in cognitive science. It’s an infant science at best. Did you know there is a gender bias in determining the squareness of a tic-tac-toe board? (males and females are both biased, one to width and the other height) How about interracial facial recognition bias disappears in desegregated groups? Of course since most of us grew up in somewhat segregated environments it’s quite easy to document that an interracial facial recognition bias exists, but it has more to with segregation then it has to do with race. I.E. If you live in an all white/black/asian neighborhood you don’t have any need to develop facial recognition skills for other races, so you don’t…survey’s of young adults that grew up in a completely desegregated environment don’t show any bias.

      At this point in time cognitive science is just barely scratching the surface of the how’s and why’s of the human brain. It’s easy to produce a ‘broad brush’ statistical analysis.

      • My eldest brother grows Bonsai trees, he is really good at growing them, and i can proudly state that he hast the largest Bonsai trees in the world.

      • HarryWR2

        I would also posit that BS detection, so called, is actually a defense goal outcome. If one feels the need to defend against certain ideas because they are threatening to some sense of our identity, self-worth, meaning or whatever, The us of BS detection is powerful as a defence tool
        Simple way of assessing this. How long does it take to arrive at the BS detected conclusion? The shorter the time scale involved, the more likely it is that the BS detected conclusion is a defense mechanism.

        If one is confonted with challenging or disturbing ideas, the best approach is to look long and deeply into the question, exploring every avenue and angle of it, digging beneath the surface as far as possible, questioning and questioning till your are exhausted – questioning everything, all sides in a debate and so on. And at the conclusion, one forms a balanced judgement. And maybe at the end one may call BS.

        In contrast we can imagine a different sort of BS detection. Someone is presented with an idea and they very quickly state “THATS B***S***”. One can just hear outrage and anger in that voice. Is this an in depth.analysis that results in a balanced conclusion that says BS? Or is this a knee-jerk reaction, an almost unthinking rejection of the idea without much study, simply because the idea, prima facie, threatens certain strongly held views.

        The first of these mght be called a reasonable BS Detection, accuracy based as you suggest. The second is most assuredly defensive – reject first then justify afterwards.

        So how to tell the two apart? The deliberation and attention to detail before a conclusion is reached is the best indicator of this surely. Lets take some of Burt Rutan’s comments. He read Al Gore’s book! Well bully for him. But what has that got to do with exploring the science rather than exploring commentary about it.

        He said he couldn’t get the raw data! Well he didn’t try very hard because it is all available – perhaps Burt didn’t like just how raw it actually was. Maybe he would have to devote years of his life to understanding it, just as the scientists who work with it have done. And why wouldn’t scientists just give him the fruits of their labours when he asked?

        Because science doesn’t work that way.

        One of the keystones of the scientific process is replication. Not Auditing or any bit of frippery from the Blogosphere. REPLICATION. Meaning you collect your own data, do your own experiments, do your own analysis, then see if your results support my results or not. You don’t ask for my data. You go get your own. If Steve McIntyre wants to Audit Michael Mann for example, simple – Steve, go count your own tree-rings.

        Science is highly competitive and you will never be much of a scientist without a solid ego. However this focus on competition and highly independent research forms the very backbone of why we can place confidence in science. If I just take your data and ‘audit’ it, your data is coming to me with all the assumptions, decisions and judgements you made in producing that data. Wereas if I have to go out and do my own experiments, count the tree rings for myself, design my own experimental techniques, etc, I actually have to bring an independent mind to every aspect of the process, providing a far better check on someone elses work than just ‘auditing’ it.

        So Burt ‘looked into it’ and found it wanting. How well did he look into it? Some of the questions one might pose to Burt, just to test the depth of his enquiry:

        How much has the West Spitsbergen Current warmed over the last few decades?
        How much has Arctic Sea Ice volume at the peak of the melt season decreased in the last 3 decades?
        The warming reported in the 30’s and 40’s. How global in nature was this actually?
        The total observed heat accumulation in the oceans over the last 1/2 century is how many times the total flow of geothermal heat?
        How much faster is CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere compared to the Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum 55 MYr ago.
        If sea level is rising by x mm/yr, how much extra heat does it take each year to cause that?
        Which scientists (and when) first explored the question of: The role of atmospheric convection in the GH Effect. The full chemistry of CO2 absorption by the oceans (including the unusual role Boron plays in that process and how it predicts the threat posed to small marine life labelled Ocean Acidification). The first calculation of the solution of the Radiative Transfer Eqn for the atmosphere. The first report on the risk of AGW and which US President the report was presented to. What the formation of the Appalachian Mountains (being a small remnant of a large mountain buliding event going by the unfortunate name of the Taconic Orogent) tells us about the role that CO2 has played in the long history of life on Earth.

        Has Burt made many comments on any of these topics?

        Could it be that Burt actually hasn’t looked too deeply into the subject?

      • Takes a while to get there but nice rant. I can attest that there is quite a difference between independently looking at the data and simply auditing what someone else has done. Rutan may have done neither, as he shows no results to prove otherwise.

      • Glenn,

        Defend as in forming a secret war council to take down certain skeptics?

  10. Anyone whose bull— detector doesn’t go off when Judith starts talking about bull— detectors needs to get some recalibration done.

    • Anyone whose bull— detector doesn’t go off when Judith starts talking about bull— detectors needs to get some recalibration done.

      No chit.

    • Finally Joshua begins to write on a subject on which he is expert. It is not detectors.

    • Joshua,

      FYI – I have to remember to turn mine off whenever I read your comments, if I want to get through to the end. It is because you do from time to time have something interesting, that I go to the trouble. Except for when you slip into your Judith taunting / bashing mod. Not very appealimng.

  11. like Prof Lewandowsky, Dr Adam Corner, seeks to establish motivated reasoning and ideology amongst, sceptics, freemarketeer, conspiracy theorists, or conservative, but both seem unable to consider whether, they might be subject to this themselves…

    ie Picture of Adam Corner – Green party candidate carrying a banner at Copenhagen – ‘Act Now’ it says…

    original greenparty source and write up by Adam Corner

    Whilst also at Copenhagen Adam tweeted

    loving Brown calling people ‘deniers’ and ‘luddites’ on Cif. Tell it like it is Gordy!
    12:59 PM Dec 7th, 2009 from web

    Adam defending the ‘climategate ‘Nature Trick’
    these are well worth watching re: ‘climategate’ emails, esp nice showing legitimate use of ‘trick’ 2:16 PM Dec 8th, 2009 from web

    A co-author of one of his papers Alex Randall, was Kiribati’s Cop representative) and is also a COIN colleague (COIN a partner in the Talking Climate blog) Alex was also a former employee of PIRC, (PIRC also behind the Talking Climate blog, as are Cardiff Uni, and Nottingham Uni, who funded it)

    Abstract of Corner/Randall – Selling Climate Change

    Adam and Alex’s founder of COIN (George Marshall), I nearly forgot to mention was a senior Greenpeace campaigner as well and Georges blog http://www.climate is not exactly going to endear him to sceptics.

    my point being, if he had been handed (or George Monbiot who retweed about this) a paper saying environmentalists were ‘ALL’ 9/11 truthers (and a few onthe fringe are) he would have been all over it…

    But failed to be slightly sceptical himself, and ask questions,
    The basic one being which blogs?

    But because it was peer reviewed, no questions aked

  12. Joshua, why not go ask Lumpy.

    • Unbeknownst to Joshua, a smaller BS alert is triggered by people who post a comment that is so generic and content-free, it could have been posted on anybody’s blog about any topic, with a slight change of names.

  13. ‘Motivated reasoning’ was always an attempt to avoid engagement in debate. It is deeply patronising to those it reduces, but also insults the wider public’s intelligence. JC is certainly right to point out that the ‘the motivated reasoning is on the other side’, but I think we would miss the point if we allowed it to stop at ‘same to you’.

    The reductive or deterministic view of humans is epitomised by environmentalism, but is a wider phenomenon. Chris Mooney, for instance has made several attempts to identify the psychological mechanisms of his political opponents — see for a criticism.

    But once you reduce your political enemies in this way, you reduce the entire process of democratic politics to an arbitrary and chaotic process; it becomes the aggregate of all people’s whims and fancies, rather than a considered reflection on their own interests and needs. The theory of ‘motivated reasoning’ is foremost a post-hoc theory about the inadequacy of democratic political institutions, and the need for institutions outside of democratic control.

    That’s not a conspiracy theory; individual autonomy and national sovereignty are problems for contemporary liberal, left and green — but also some seemingly ‘conservative’ — thought. In the UK, for instance, the environmental agenda converges with the ‘nudge’ agenda, and their are overt discussions about engineering ‘behaviour change’. The former SoS for Energy and Climate Change openly discusses the fact that “you can’t build environmentalism in one country” on the BBC. These are symptoms of ‘post-democratic’ politics.

    • Well said, Ben, but I think it’s a bit more tricky than that. People’s reasoning exists in a cultural context – so that, for example, many Canadians, Brits and Australians have difficulty with understanding the USA’s very individualistic culture, after being lulled into a false sense of security by movies and TV. The aforementioned three probably have more in common with each other than with the US.

      It gets even weirder when we are interpreting the cultures of people who speak a different language.

      When we get into countries with strongly tribal or religious cultures, who also speak a different language, we are in very deep waters indeed.

      Maybe your comments should be circumscribed along these lines?

  14. In the 1990s, I bit into AGW hook, line and sinker. Sometime in the early 2000s the predictions of all those catastrophes started looking really hokey. A couple of years later I started investigating sea surface temperature data. I have yet to find an AGW signal in the data for the last 3 decades, and I’ve sliced and diced the Reynolds OI.v2 data for more than 3 years. There’s no AGW component in it.

    • I never bit. I had better things to do before I retired. I recalled the 1960’s nuclear fallout scare, the 1970’s global cooling scare, the 1980’s nuclear winter scare, acid rain, DDT, 3-mile Island, Chernobyl, and all the other anthropogenic catastrophe narratives and figured global warming was just the latest incarnation. Then I started doing what Rutan did at around the same time and arrived at the same conclusions. Great minds think alike.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      BTW Bob,

      Congrats on your new book. I disagree stronly with your main conclusion– but it still makes a great reference book for understsnding very basic ENSO behavior. The advection of warmer subsurface water to the poles from lower latitudes is a huge issue in the energy imbalance of our planet and it seems you gloss over this quite nicely or perhaps simply are unaware of the research being done. You may want to start with research such as:

    • Bob,
      Go peddle your science somewhere else. You are not following the plot. This is not about what the evidence suggests but about what you choose to believe the evidence suggests. What is your motivation for believing your own lying eyes? If you had been breast-fed as a baby, you would probably appreciate that ENSO has nothing to do with motivated reasoning even if it does happen to affect the climate. Fer chrissake stay with the plot will yer.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Another incoherent babble meister. Please take you slack jawed, drooling venom and stick it. Don’t come back. You are an embarassment to sentience and civility.

        We have all heard that a million monkees banging on typewriters will reproduce all of Shakesperar’s works. Paul and the internet proves that isn’t true.

      • Switch on your sarcasm meter will you. I have a great deal of respect for Bob’s work.

      • Paul,

        Just a note – it is a bit difficult to conclude for sure that this is sarcasm.

    • Bob Tisdale,
      For the avoidance of any doubt, please note that my previous comment about “peddling your science” was meant to be a parody. The sarcasm was directed against the bizarre belief that questioning the science of climate change must be motivated by irrational ideation. The reference to ” lying eyes” is normally attributed to Groucho Marx:- “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” It is clear from the reference where the truth lies.
      It honestly never occurred to me that it could be read as anything other than a humorous parody, but evidently CH was able to read it as a seriously venomous comment, so I must presume that others could do the same. If you personally saw anything other than humour in the comment then please accept my sincere apologies.
      Dr Curry,
      If you pick up this message, I’d be grateful if you were to eliminate the offending comment entirely. Thanks.

  15. A lot of what Burt Rutan said could have been said by Richard Muller prior to his BEST study. Muller suspected the data, and then went on to take a look at it himself. Perhaps it is an unfair comparison because Muller is actually a scientist too, and came to a new conclusion based on the data itself.

    • “Then, what really drew me into the subject, was when I found that I couldn’t obtain the raw data that I was looking for. I was shocked to find that there were actually climate scientists who wouldn’t share the raw data, but would only share their conclusions in summary graphs that were used to prove their various theories about planet warming. In fact I began to smell something really bad, and the worse that smell got, the deeper I looked.”

      He says he can’t get the data he wants… Not like Muller who was able to get at the data he wanted.

      • Also, by not being a scientist he was looking at it one-dimensionally as dots and lines, and not having the other dimension about how realistic this data could be. He believed a discredited CO2 record for example.

      • John Carpenter

        Because he is an engineer he is not a scientist? Engineers are not capable of being scientists also? So only a scientist is able to look at data the right way? Jim, this argument has no merit… it would imply a scientist could likewise not be an engineer. You really evaded my comment… he says he can’t get data…. we don’t know what data he has asked for, but apparently he was denied by his requests. We have to take his word on that I guess. Not so with Muller. He got the data set he wanted to do the BEST analysis.

      • I referred to the data issue elsewhere on the thread. What data, and who did he ask? Until we know that we are talking about a hypothetical construct. He was mislead by some CO2 data that he found, because he did not understand scientifically that global CO2 levels can’t change as fast as he claimed. Likely his data was confined to a local region where large variations would be more possible.

      • Rutan fell for misinformation on skeptic blogs hook line and sinker. You could say his BS meter failed. I see no evidence he went to any other source than skeptic blogs and just lapped up what they dished out to him. Hence his uncritical acceptance of Ernst Beck’s CO2 record and various contradictions in his scientific claims.

        If Rutan was anything to go on then yes it suggests engineers might be less able to grasp scientific subjects than scientists.

      • lolwot, there is plenty of humility to be gained from climate science all around. The grasp most folks have is pretty tentative.

      • I do not find explicit statements that BEST loaded raw (unadjusted) data, and I have looked. Granted, I may have looked in all the wrong places. Further, I do not find specifications for each of the adjustments that may have been performed. (E.M. Smith went through the code of previous “data sets”, and found large blocks of code that were either never executed or executed without the result being used.) Nor do I find the list of parameters and the rationale behind their settings.
        From the dim, prehistoric era of Science, I recall two maxims:
        1) Show your data.
        2) Show your work (methods).

      • You have to remember that Anthony Watts started out by praising Muller’s methods, FWIW.

      • Jim D: Which one did I miss?
        Watts, Anthony, and Willis Eschenbach. “Not Whether, but How to Do The Math.” Scientific Blog. Watts Up With That?, Mar 23, 2011.

        Watts, Anthony. “Clarification on BEST Submitted to the House.” Scientific. Watts Up With That?, Mar 31, 2011.

        Watts, Anthony. “The BEST Whopper Ever.” Scientific. Watts Up With That?, Oct 30, 2011.

        Watts, Anthony. “An Uncorrected Assumption in BEST’s Station Quality Paper.” Scientific. Watts Up With That?, Aug 03, 2012.

        Watts, Anthony. “New Paper Blames About Half of Global Warming on Weather Station Data Homogenization.” Scientific. Watts Up With That?, Jul 17, 2012.

        Watts, Anthony. “Why the BEST Papers Failed to Pass Peer Review.” Scientific. Watts Up With That?, Jul 29, 2012.

      • John Carpenter

        Maybe so PD, but I haven’t seen Muller raise objections to the state of the data set used for BEST (raw, unadjusted or otherwise) or say he was not able to get the data he wanted for confident results.

      • PD, I don’t know how to search WUWT’s archives, but there were early Watts posts that praised Rohde’s statistical approach as a clever way of getting at the UHI effect.

      • Pooh.
        You realize that Anthony has not released his data or his code for his latest “paper”. despite requests.

      • Andrew Russell

        Mosher, what paper, what data?

        And whatever his failings, Anthony Watts is orders of magnitude more honest and ethical, in science and otherwise, than all the Michael Mann’s, Keith Briffa’s, Phil Jone’s, Kevin Trenberth’s, and the rest of the IPCC’s “climate scientists’ combined. As you well know.

      • His latest paper. ” New paper shows half of global warming etc”
        Posted it. I requested the data and asked questions about the methods
        at the co authors site ( climate audit) McIntyre and others agreed that the paper had omiited looking at a key issue. the paper was taken down with thanks given to Zeke hausfather and me. now its back up again. No data. and only partial code (steve mcintyres). You earn no points, ZERO POINTS, by failing to deliver the data and code. you earn negative points if you demanded this stuff of others and then refuse to supply it. I offered to sign an NDA to get the data and promised not to publish any analysis in any peer reviewed journal. Go figure. no response.

    • “A lot of what Burt Rutan said could have been said by Richard Muller prior to his BEST study. Muller suspected the data, and then went on to take a look at it himself. Perhaps it is an unfair comparison because Muller is actually a scientist too, and came to a new conclusion based on the data itself.”

      I think it’s fair comparison.
      But what Burt was looking into was not the same as what Muller was looking into. Basically I would say Muller didn’t need to check out what someone like Al Gore was saying, he knew and said it was BS. This was because it was a field Richard Muller was familiar with.
      People unfamiliar have start from idea that maybe what people like Al Gore were saying was true.
      So it’s not matter of Rutan and Muller reaching opposite views.

      Then we have the type policy decision one can arrive at based upon the science. Probably quite different political views between them- worldviews teacher vs engineer but probably they could find agreement in what policy direction to take.

      • As others have pointed out, Rutan’s presentation of his “engineer’s critique” hopefully does not represent what engineers looking at it woudl also think. There is much to criticize. Can you attach the global temperature onto a Greenland point temperature record, or would somebody complain about that? You can’t do this in engineering! Mismatched data is mismatched data.

  16. Since we’re liking wiki again (I can never keep track of when it’s supposedly evil and vile, and when it’s good and wholesome), why not quote the most relevant portions of what wiki has to say about Rutan?

    And while BS-detection is not ad hominem in and of itself, any BS-detector must consider the source to obtain clues about the content of ideas.

    On July 29, 2009, Burt Rutan drew a full house for his presentation at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s EAA Airventure 2009 Oshkosh Conference entitled “Non-Aerospace Research Quests of a Designer/Flight Test Engineer” where he discussed his thoughts on his hobby of climate change.* Although he admitted in his presentation that he was not a climate scientist, he stated he spent most of his career on data analysis and interpretation and how it is used or misused.

    “I put myself in the (Those who fear expansion of Government control) group, and do not hide the fact that I have a clear bias on [ Anthropogenic global warming (AGW)]. My bias is based on fear of Government expansion and the observation of AGW data presentation fraud – not based on financial or any other personal benefit. I merely have found that the closer you look at the data and alarmists’ presentations, the more fraud you find and the less you think there is an AGW problem… For decades, as a professional experimental test engineer, I have analyzed experimental data and watched others massage and present data. I became a cynic; My conclusion – “if someone is aggressively selling a technical product whose merits are dependent on complex experimental data, he is likely lying”. That is true whether the product is an airplane or a Carbon Credit.”

    He describes his interest on the climate change topic as deriving from his “interest in technology, not tree hugging”. Burt Rutan’s house was featured in a November 1, 1989 article in Popular Science entitled: “21st Century Pyramid: The Ultimate Energy-efficient House”.

    Rutan will also not interview with Scientific American, as he claimed that the magazine has “…improperly covered man-made global warming. They drink Kool-Aid instead of doing research. They parrot stuff from the IPCC and Al Gore.”

    So Rutan himself has warned those of us with functioning BS-detectors to watch out for Rutan’s biases, and has names a few of them.


    Do Rutan’s biases matter? After all, he’s not only admitted some and invited us to take them into account, he’s also in favor of energy efficiency and innovations which would address every concern of AGW activists about CO2 (and in a way that doesn’t require tree hugging or fraud or one world government), and he’s also a pioneer in these fields. It would benefit his business interests in that area to be supported by the AGW facts.

    Oh, wait. There’s his _other_ business interests that might be biasing him, too. His aerospace concerns do disproportionately emit CO2 and affect albedo with jet trails, which a BS-detector has to at least consider.

    As an engineer, and a great one, Rutan’s a trained and inveterate skeptic whose life has depended on his skepticism when flying in his own designs. Would he let one world government paranoia get in the way of sensible aircraft design decisions? Well, what is the history of military aircraft design of the past 70 years if not the battlefield between the forces of one world government and the forces of the free world? So, yes, Rutan has put his own life and the lives of pilots testing his designs at risk quite routinely for the sake of fighting one world government. At which point he’s blurred the line between patriotic support of America and burying the needle on paranoia, who can say?

    After all, if a man lists the United Nations — which the USA hosts in New York City, the USA co-founded, the USA has a permanent seat on the Security Council and a veto — as the USA’s “primary global adversary”, he’s operating at a level of paranoia that is extremely reality-bending.

    If it were just a matter of dealing with objective data and objective judgements, not a lot of this would matter; Rutan, however, makes many subjective value judgements stemming from his beliefs, and his beliefs are politically extreme, which automatically requires us to call BS on any subjective judgement he makes.. just as we’d call BS on subjective judgements for example I make, as someone given to extreme belief in Capitalism and the Market. Extremists shouldn’t be expected to be fair judges.

    So, where else might these biases have come from? Fred Singer comes to mind. Singer was the meteorologist who educated NASA astronauts on climatology, after all. Isn’t it plausible that Singer’s views and teachings may have rubbed off on Rutan?

    So we have to consider Rutan a source affected by paranoia, peer-pressure from other skeptics, business interests and skewed perspective. It doesn’t make him wrong, but it does make it hard not to expect BS from him.

    • Pure 100% unadulterated rationalization. What a waste of space.

    • Rutan developed a hybrid-powered car that flies, sort of a Volt with wings. I don’t know why he thinks there would be a demand for car that flies.

    • My BS detector went off when he complained about getting ‘raw data’ – given there are masses of data available from the global data-sets, you have to wonder what it is he wanted. And then focussing on complaining about a book written by an ex-politician.

      BS detector went off the scale with CO2 and it’s ‘huge benefit to agriculture’.

      Maybe Rutan has been holding his BS detector backwards – and he’s been pointing it at himself!

      • Yeah, any engineer mentioning Al Gore spikes my right-wing wacko meter. Then I reach for the tune-out knob.

      • John, you are right, it [data hiding] was a really poor strategy. I hope some good comes out of it.

        So far still nothing. No admission of error, no sacking of frauds, no general to attempt to clean up the climate science act. Nothing.
        It was and thus remains an exercise in getting science to line up behind big politics.

      • I suspect that he wanted the same data that I wanted and was denied.

        Eventually, that data was released. But it took time. People didnt help things by flouting the FOI law. People didnt help things by telling lies about why they could not share data. In the end one very pissed individual
        saw fit to expose the conspiracy thinking inside the bunker by exposing their mails. Would have been eaiser just to release the data. But they thought those of us asking for it were all Oil shills. Wrong.

      • They also may have thought you would find nits, feed the nits to the denial beast, who would then turn the nits into mountains of BS.

      • John Carpenter

        Max_OK, even if you are right, it turns out that was a really poor strategy to maintain credibility. By not letting the light shine on the data, it only confirmed to the ‘denial beast’ that major ‘nits’ were there. Had the data been openly available, scientific discourse would have taken care of the ‘nits’ in the open. Credibility would have been preserved better. We would be further down the road by now.

      • Max,

        yes that was one of the stupid arguments that people made after the fact. During the data denial evidence shows that their intentions were different.
        1. they did not want mistakes found.
        2. they wanted to make replication impossible because of undisclosed data steps ( see jones mail about not sharing information with mcintryre)

        The other point to make is that mountains of BS were already created by skeptics, they were already spouting bullshit. The idea that releasing data would create MORE bullshit, has been tested and proven wrong. Your stupid argument was made at the time of the data denial, I said it was stupid then and remains stupid now. proven stupid. I argued that more harm would result from data denial than data release and you have the burning bag of shit called climategate on your stupid doorstep. It is well past time to accept repsonsibility for making the stupid arguments back then. it is well past the time to say. Hiding data was wrong. Wrong in terms of scientific ethics and tactically wrong in the battle with skeptics. people who made these stupid arguments need to own their BS and stop defending the indefensible. Now.

      • They do not want to go down the road, so no matter what, down the road is not where we would be right now.

      • Mosher, after the data became available, were sins found, or was the effort anti-climactic ?

      • And another thing, Mosher, I don’t understand why in replying to me you said the following:

        “Your stupid argument was made at the time of the data denial, I said it was stupid then and remains stupid now.”

        It wasn’t my argument, it was an argument they made, and I can understand the argument. But I agree, they would have been better off releasing what was requested. Their refusal backfired.

      • John Carpenter said on September 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm

        “Max_OK, even if you are right, it turns out that was a really poor strategy to maintain credibility …”

        John, you are right, it was a really poor strategy. I hope some good comes out of it.

      • Yes (as I think Mosh agrees), it is not Climategate per se that exposed mainstream/alarmist climate science as stealth advocacy, but rather the *subsequent* failures of
        – the universities’ to discipline the perpetrators (cf the phony ‘Investigations’ of the event), and
        – the profession as a whole to express much disgust and dismay at the sabotaging of the science process

        From both of those we cannot *but* conclude that mainstream climate science is rotten to the core, that malpractice is the post-normal norm.

      • Andrew Russell

        Did Michael Mann give him the data from his “Censored” FTP directory? How about Keith Briffa’s Yamal data? Or Lonnie Thompson’s ice core data? How about Phil Jones?

        The demonstrable fact is that it is POLICY by “climate scientists” to keep their data and methods SECRET. In deliberate and direct violation of the Scientific Method. Because their work is fraudulent, as YAD061 so clearly demonstrated, along with Mann’s use of short-centered PCA.

        Burt Rutan has a demonstrated history of being right. Your IPCC “climate scientists” have a demonstrated history of lies, corruption, and fraud.
        Phil Jones – (
        “The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I?ll delete the file rather than send to anyone.”

        “Mike, can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?”

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

        Anyone who thinks Burt Rutan’s BS detector is wrong is an utter fool.

    • “So we have to consider Rutan a source affected by paranoia….” and “After all, if a man lists the United Nations — which the USA hosts in New York City, the USA co-founded, the USA has a permanent seat on the Security Council and a veto — as the USA’s ‘primary global adversary’ ….”,
      Read Agenda 21.
      UN. “Agenda 21.” DSD :: Resources – Publications – Core Publications, n.d.

      Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.

      Table of Contents:

      • The level of infiltration of Agenda 21 is indeed terrifying. If I google
        somerset “agenda 21”
        (Somerset being the county in England where I live) I get over 440,000 results. Yet no-one knows about it, the Council that runs Somerset never mentions it, and it is present at every level. No-one has ever voted on Agenda 21’s aims and intentions. Frankly, that is not good and is the other end from democracy.

        Indeed, it is the epitome of Gramsci’s “long march through the institutions”. The politicisation of climate science and the climate change meme is truly a huge threat to our freedom – as exemplified by those “scientists” who have called for the suspension of (what little) democracy (we have left) in order to impose their will on us.

        Not good. Not conducive to the well-being of society.

    • Well written comment.

      Has me agreeing with your point at the end. However I would add that to one degree or another, I expect a certain degree of BS when anyone offers an opinion on something. Something I try to keep in mind when offering my own opinion.

  17. My BS detector was triggered looking at monthly surface temperature anomaly maps generated from satellite data using an interactive tool on a NASA website. It was readily apparent that warming was regional with the high latitudes in the northern hemisphere being the major recipients. Thus global warming was BS and it should be called regional warming and the recipients would welcome it given that it was cold winter climates that were becoming milder. This made no sense to me at the time given that CO2 is well mixed. Much later I discovered that DWLIR has little ability to warm a liquid surface as all it does is increases the evaporation rate. The regions getting the most warming then made sense. Northern hemisphere has twice the land surface as southern and freezing winter conditions over land retard evaporation so that DWLIR can have its maximum effect. So approximately 70% of predicted climate sensitivity was BS leaving a maximum of about 1C of warming per doubling and that only over land that was dry most of the time. I haven’t seen a lick of data to date that makes me believe that’s not correct.

  18. Lewandowsky’s Mirror.

    Look up “Academic Fraudster” in the dictionary and you’ll see a picture of Lewandowsky.

    He should be fired. Immediately. The reputation of his Institution is on the line. If they back him up, they are as crooked as he is.

    On the bright side, he would fit right in at U Penn. Perfect attitude to academic fraud and cover up? Maybe Mikey can give him a good recommendation.

  19. From the abstract for the Lewandowsky study, I see

    “We report a survey (N> 1100) of climate blog users to identify the variables underlying acceptance and rejection
    of climate science. Paralleling previous work, we fi nd that endorsement of a laissez-faire conception of free-market economics predicts rejection of climate science (r ‘ :80 between latent constructs).”

    From my experience with posters at Climate, etc, I wouldn’t argue with that finding. Climate science is a threat to the laissez-faire (government hands-off) , as it points to the need for government regulation of economic activities.

    The title of the study: NASA faked the moon landing|Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science (in press, Psychological Science)

    A link to the study is given below

    • “…as it points to the need for government regulation of economic activities….”

      Some might make the observation that it was pointed at it, and very much encouraged to roll in that direction.

      The truth of the matter of laissez-faire vs regulation is that you can justify either forms of political economy on the same notion of environmental crisis. For instance, Hardin in 1968 argues that only private property rights can successfully eliminate ‘free-rider’ problems of over-exploitation of natural resources (e.g. uncontrolled emissions). Moreover, it is a myth that ‘laissez-faire’ ideas do not require ‘regulation’.

      There are no necessary consequences for politics from climate science. And the claim that there are — and that political environmentalism ‘follows’ environmental science — is the most unreliable claim made in the climate change debate. It only takes a simple inversion of the maxim that “global problems need global solutions” to demonstrate the point: “global solutions need global problems”. The real issue is that “global problems” are emphasised in order to overcome domestic problems of legitimacy. There is no popular will for environmentalism, nor for much at all. It is the same as any other politics of fear in this respect, whatever the ‘science’ says.

      • ‘Moreover, it is a myth that ‘laissez-faire’ ideas do not require ‘regulation’.

        I guess that might be true if you changed the meaning of “laissez-faire’ or called it ” Laissez-faire Light.” However, I accept only standard definitions of words.

        A definition of laissez faire from Webster’s online dictionary:

        “a doctrine opposing governmental interference in economic affairs beyond the minimum necessary for the maintenance of peace and property rights”

        A definition of laissez faire from a business dictionary

        “One of the guiding principles of capitalism, this doctrine claims that an economic system should be free from government intervention or moderation, and be driven only by the market forces.”

        Read more:

      • So it would seem that the problem is deferred to the definition of ‘minimum’ and ‘necessary’. Apropos of which, the substantive point was that any economic theory can be justified on what is ‘necessary’ to prevent environmental damage. In fact, the conclusion of Hardin’s essay is sub-titled “recognition of necessity”:

        >>Perhaps the simplest summary of this analysis of man’s population problems is this: the commons, if justifiable at all, is justifiable only under conditions of low-population density. As the human population has increased, the commons has had to be abandoned in one aspect after another.<<

      • Growing population density is no friend to libertarianism.
        If there weren’t so many people around we would be free to relieve ourselves anywhere we liked, as dogs and cats are inclined to do.

        Actually, we wouldn’t have to be as clean as cats. They bury their doo doo. We wouldn’t have to do that if there weren’t so darn many people around.

      • Max_OK


        Your “doo-doo” (i.e. BS) meter just went off when you drifted into musings about “laissez-faire” economics.


      • It would seem that the experience of the past few years, in Europe and the USA is that the more government interferes, the worse things get for joe public.

      • Max OK said:

        Growing population density is no friend to libertarianism.
        What does that mean? One of the most libertarian places in the civilised world was Hong Kong (pre absorption into the PRC – don’t know about today). It was also one, perhaps the most, of the most densely populated parts of the world.

        Another was the US State of Wyoming, with hardly enough people to fill up a district in the tiny island of Hong Kong. But, Wyoming has a strongly libertarian culture as well.

        All this rubbish pop psychology a la Lewandowsky is getting wearisome. But I and others will keep calling it for what it is. Do not imagine, Max, that the sheer volume of your nonsense will get you off the hook.

      • Jeremy Poynton,

        True. And here is an example of how regulation reduces a country’s productivity, international competitiveness and the standard of living of its people:

      • johanna said on September 15, 2012 at 11:36 pm

        “One of the most libertarian places in the civilised world was Hong Kong (pre absorption into the PRC – don’t know about today). It was also one, perhaps the most, of the most densely populated parts of the world.”

        Hong Kong has universal health care (similar to Obama Care) and draconian drug laws, neither of which are popular with libertarians. However, I would be pleased if all our libertarians moved there, particularly those Ayn Randies.

      • “Growing population density is no friend to libertarianism.”

        It’s no enemy either – ie a growing population is no excuse for totalirian politics. Once population growth means we run out of wilderness to do fire-and-forget doo-doos in, that land will then have owners whose property rights must be respected.

        And it is not the case that only laissez faire ‘light’ does allow minimal government interference, but rather that laissez faire ‘heavy’ does not (ie has zero role for government, ie anarchism).

        The norm of laissez faire is for a light government touch, eg as per the policies Tea Party.

      • Max-OK, I think you will find that universal health care came after the PRC resumed HK. My comment referred to the period prior to that, when it was nevertheless very densely populated. As for the drug laws, while these were imposed by the British, like a lot of other laws, they were more apparent in the breach than the observance.

        You have not come up with a skerrick of evidence for your absurd assertion.

      • ‘Drifted drifted into musings about “laissez-faire” economics.” ? ?

        Mini Max, have you forgotten that Lewandowsky’s survey is being discussed in this thread?

        Have you forgotten Lewandowsky said “we fi nd that endorsement of a laissez-faire conception of free-market economics predicts rejection of climate science… ”

        Rejection of climate science is a must if you want to be a Laissez-faire Loony, a libertarian, or an Ayn Randy.

      • “… we would be free to relieve ourselves anywhere …”

        What is it about political environmentalism and scatological preoccupation?

        Libertarianism is surely about more than peeing where you want to, and its critics do not dignify themselves — let alone make a robust argument for environmental politics — when they reduce it to such. That’s the kind of error and failure to understand arguments against environmental politics that lie behind Lewandowsky’s paper: he’s not responding to, or really identifying a phenomenon in the real world; he’s merely projecting his own prejudices onto it.

        One reason why (some) contemporary conservatives (contra conservatives of a previous era) may more more inclined towards climate scepticism is that they don’t need to make appeals to the natural science to make their political claims, and can make arguments on their own terms accordingly. On the other hand, contemporary left/progressive thinking has suffered a more traumatic break with its theoretical tradition and constituency. Social democracy has a harder time mobilising support, and so perhaps is forced to find a basis for its political institutions above national democracy. You don’t see such emphasis on global political institutions on the political right.

      • Andrew Russell

        Because “climate science” is not science. Real scientists follow the Scientific Method. Your “climate scientists” refuse to do so.

      • Guys,

        Keep in mind that you are trying to converse with someone who apparently thinks that CO2 will help fruits and vegetables continue to grow even after you remove them from the vine, bush, tree or ground.

      • johanna | September 17, 2012 at 1:35 am |
        Max-OK, I think you will find that universal health care came after the PRC resumed HK.
        Nope ! HK’s universal health care dates back to 1993. The PRC resumed HK in 1997.

      • timg56 incorrectly stated September 17, 2012 at 1:19 pm
        Keep in mind that you are trying to converse with someone who apparently thinks that CO2 will help fruits and vegetables continue to grow even after you remove them from the vine, bush, tree or ground.”
        I was just kidding about that, hoping David Springer would bite. But CO2 can benefit fruit that’s been picked.

  20. My service in naval intelligence has allowed me to arrive at similar conclusions as Rutan has, i.e. if someone hides data (sources) under spurious reasoning, distrust the intel.

    The CAGW crowd needs to come clean and release the data and codes underlying their conclusions. Far too much time has elapsed already.

    • What data and codes are being hidden?

      Please don’t say” if they are being hidden, how do I know what they are? “

      • Max_OK

        You ask

        What data and codes are being hidden?

        Read the Climategate e-mails or ask Mosher.

        Max (not from OK)

      • Do you know what “are” means ?

      • Ho hum. The ‘data and codes hidden’ meme. A wrapper for the conspiracy theory wherein ‘climate scientists’ are exaggerating/faking warming for some dark purpose or other which may or may not involve world socialist government under the UN and George Soros. If you only realised how loopy and paranoid you sound you would be sore ashamed ;-)

      • Hey BBD,

        Did you get tired of being a fool at Bishop Hill?


      • Bad Andrew

        Nope, I got banned for asking awkward questions about who funds the GWPF. I leave the cap and bells stuff to you.

      • Although on reflection, I did get rather tired of the fools at BH.

      • Not half as tired as the wise contributors at BH got of you, mon brave.

        It may be that you have something useful or interesting to say. But your thoroughly unpleasant manner of saying it is such a turn off that few ever listen. Perhaps you console yourself in your isolation with the delusion that you are cleverer than everybody else? And/or that you are Saving the World.

        But it makes no difference. Nobody’s listening to you.

      • Go read “The Hockey Stick Illusion” by A W Mountford for details of hidden data & code.
        Start with Mann et al’s various papers and the refusal to provide p values for intermediate steps.

      • BBD

        Evidently you think that when Mann &co emailed each other saying how they were hiding data and generally sabotaging the science procecss, they were making it up.

        And also apparently cannot see how this government-funded corruption directly serves the purposes of an expansion of government, by fostering belief in CAGW, thus justifying more taxes and a general lurch towards totalirianism.

        If you only you realised how loopy and gullible you sound you would be sore ashamed .

      • Joggernaut

        If I thought that *anything* in the so-called climategate emails indicated a real conspiracy I’d be as beady-eyed about it as you appear to be. Unfortunately, nothing speaks to me of more than the usual human failings hysterically over-hyped by the usual suspects for the usual libertarian reasons.

        Over-hyping is not the only problem here. The other is *false equivalence*. Any attempt to claim conspiracy based on the Mannean hockey stick and a few emails is based on this logical fallacy. MBH98/99 and some emails ≠ climate science.

        Arguments based on logical fallacies and put forward for political reasons are always bollocks.

        One final reality check: if there is a conspiracy, then why is ‘insider’ Glenn Tamblyn saying that we need to get one set up to save mankind? He clearly knows there *isn’t* a conspiracy.

        Bottom line: this whole ‘lurch towards totalitarianism’ meme is nonsense peddled by libertarians and neurotics.

    • Chad Jessup | September 15, 2012 at 11:14 am |

      ‘They’ did release data and code.

      A long time ago. Go look for them. Naval intelligence service should make it no challenge at all to get to them.

      There’s links in old posts here at Climate Etc.

      Or is this specific data and code, about things that the world long ago passed by and moved on from? Because right now, today, no one needs any hidden data or hidden code to make the ‘CAGW crowd’ case.

      Blue eyes prove radiative scattering effects. It’s not spurious reasoning, and the source is as plain as the eyes in a person’s head. Heat-seeking missiles prove greenhouse gas effects. Or don’t you believe in missiles? You can measure CO2 and other GHG levels. People all over the world do. You can measure CO2 and other levels from bubbles of trapped air in deep ice from past millennia. You can estimate and compare temperature and CO2 levels. None of this requires hidden code or hidden data. You can go get new data yourself if you doubt it.

      So I don’t know what the frig you’re talking about. But then, neither do you.

      • Bart R

        Read the Climategate e-mails.

        Sure, “some” data were released.

        But “some” data were NOT released.

        And that is what is being discussed.


      • Bart R – I merely asserted a professional observation based upon my experience, and then you turned it into an ad hominem attack.

        Manacker gave a good rebuttal to your point, so there is no need to pursue that issue any further.

        “…Or don’t you believe in missiles?…” WHAT!!!!! As the old cliche goes, paraphrasing here, if the CAGW crowd has friends like you, they don’t need enemies. For your information, I mainly do not read posts from like-minded people; I instead read Vaughn Pratt, yourself, Joshua, and a few others in an effort to understand both sides of the controversy.

        It would behoove you to present a more respectful appearance to people who possess other ideas.

      • Chad Jessup | September 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm |

        Thank you for your courteous and measured reply.

        I’m sure you will understand, given the nature of the topic, if I make a few quibbling remarks on what you’ve said.

        To constitute observation, professional or otherwise, as opposed to mere opinion, one would require objective evidence to observe. Instead of furnishing specifics, your professional observation sounds more like rehashed polemics. Given the ambiguity, I’m sure you’ll understand if I repeat the request that you furnish specifics as to who ‘They’ are, and what specific data or code ‘They’ continue to hide from you that anyone depends on to form conclusions from.

        Do you mean Dr. Micheal Mann? Pfft. As if his absent stuff is necessary to the ‘CAGW crowd’ for them to make their argument. Phil Jones? Not likely.

        What code or data is missing from which specific ‘CAGW crowd’ argument that you feel undermines all CAGW arguments to the point of collapse? Rationally, I mean?

        And this naval intelligence work you did, did it find the WMDs? Because I have the greatest respect for those working in intelligence, I ask out of what I assure you is a mere layman’s curiousity. If there’s something too classified to share with us, I’ll understand that you have to hide your data or codes. While we’re on the topic of things you apparently don’t know, it isn’t ad hominem to point out a person’s ignorance after demonstrating it. It’s ad hominem to pretend a person’s failings to undercut their argument. You may want to get that straight in future. Given the ‘intelligence’ in your job descriptor, navy or no.

        And CAGW doesn’t have friends like me. See, I’m not the pal of the ‘CAGW crowd’. I’m not their friend, when it comes to objective discussion of the issues. I’m the guy who takes apart everything they say and subjects it to rational scrutiny. Like you pretend to, and manacker wishes he could even once; the Climategate emails don’t mention Burt Rutan by name even once that I’m aware of; if Rutan’s talking about the Climategate emails from first-hand experience of the events, that’d be one thing. Instead, it sounds like he’s spinning a folksy tale based loosely on Climategate to lend himself plausibility he simply lacks.

      • Bart R, you appear to take offense about my usage of the phase “CAGW crowd”. I am not stating that in the pejorative sense, as I consider myself a part of the AGW crowd, albeit a believer as in a minor degree.

        I have been separated from naval intelligence for decades, but I would suspect the intelligence community knew the truth about WMD’s in Iraq. Don’t trust everything reported in the mass media.

        My experience there has taught me to disbelieve most anything that comes out of the federal government unless proven by an independent, reputable source. My initial reaction to the Iraqi WMD issue was to set off my personal Bravo Sierra model detector, for things “didn’t quite add up” as they say, and as history shows, my reservations were proven correct.

        Politicians maintain their own agenda, and facts/truth serve as no impediment whatsoever.

        Concerning the release of data/code, I rely on current statements by scientists who claim that they are still being stonewalled. Am I going to conduct a google search for that? No. If Phil Jones cannot locate his missing documents that support his views, any conclusions referencing those should be cast out.

        Burt’s issue with transparency is still valid.

      • Chad Jessup | September 15, 2012 at 5:02 pm |

        The apostrophe’s don’t indicate perjorative. Just that the term’s a bit vague.

        I mean, I’m in the RAGW crowd myself; Risks increasing due AGW is proven to sufficient level to act and to attribute. Anything else seems superfluous to me, so I don’t believe some vague CAGW crowd would want me in it, questioning why they’re going to so much extra effort, dithering over extra decimal points.

        And I don’t doubt there are scientists who ignore requests for data, or who turn them down; that’s hardly outside my experience, and I’ve had decades of direct experience with how academicians would prefer to handle their data. For the most part, they’d hide it in their underwear if they could.

        It still doesn’t make Rutan’s story plausible. Because if rocket science hero Burt Rutan knocked on the figurative door of most climatologists, after they swooned and asked for his autograph and offered him iced tea, I’m pretty sure they’d raid their underwear for every last scrap of raw data for him, on the spot.

      • Well if the code is anything like the samples in CG1 it’s not fit for purpose. I spent 25 years in IT (programming/design/analysis/support) and anyone who came up with that crap would have been out on their ear. Add to that the fact that there was no documentation and clearly no QA and you have software that should have never been used. Ever.

      • Jeremy Poynton | September 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm |

        So you looked at samples in CG1 and passed judgement on the whole body of climate modelling software conclusively from that one brief look?

        Yeah, we in the professional IT world have a word for IT experts like that. It’s “Good-bye.”

      • Well, you should look through ModelE and MIT GCM. The latter is an excellent piece of software. When I say look I mean read the whole thing.
        I started with ModelE 5 years ago. If you dont have any experience in physics modelling ( it aint IT bub) then you might want to study that first.

      • Andrew Russell

        “They did release data and code” ?

        Utter garbage. Michael Mann hid (he thought) his data and code in an FTP directory named “CENSORED”. He never released it, Steve McIntyre discovered it by accident. And Mann to this day refuses to release his verification statistics for the Hockey Stick (, and has repeatedly lied about that. Kieth Briffa only released his Yamal data years after he should have, and only because a Royal Society publication finally told him to or they would withdraw his paper. Lonnie Thompson has NEVER released his ice core data, as recently well documented at Climate Audit.

        Michael Mann’s claim there has been independent verification of the Hockey Stick is a lie, as documented by McIntyre that all those “independent” studies used the same cherry-picked tree rings, same phony PCA statistcs, same co-authors, same reviewers, etc. etc. And they turned Mia Tijlander’s data upside down and kept that secret until SHE outed them.

        To this day, there is no actual scientific evidence that the Earth’s climate is outside the natural variability of the Holocene, and there is no evidence that the Earth’s climate is actually dynamically unstable – that it exhibits positive feedback to temperature perturbations.

        Which is why catastrophe-mongers hide their data and their methods, because they are anti-science frauds

      • You expect me to condone rather foot-shooting suppression of data due paranoia just because I think Rutan is making stuff up?

        There’s a huge world of evidence for mismanagement, mistreatment, hiding, losing, forgetting, stealing, forging and changing data. It’s a terrible blight on all of Science, as bad now as when the Bernoulli’s did it over three centuries ago.

        Worse, now, because we have so much better means to track origins of source data, first recordings of ideas in electronic format, access of that data and so forth. The ongoing encouragement of these tired and counterproductive approaches to data by the Scientific publishing industry and publish-or-perish University administrations and the extreme wonkiness of copyright and patent laws is an appalling scandal.

        And I’ll still wait for Rutan to name and shame the specific scientists he specifically personally asked for raw data, before I’ll believe it happened to Rutan personally.

      • Regardless of what code and data is hidden and what released, CAGW is still very far from established. Only advocacy groups like the IPCC pretend otherwise.

    • My BS detector just pegged a meter; in fact, it just bent the little rod that keeps from spinning.

      • JCH

        Mine, too.

        Got to get a new one.

        This one’s busted.

        I should send Bart R the bill…


    • Chad –

      FWIW, I think that asking for code and data is basically legit. The lack of availability is a problem and it is counterproductive.

      That said, I think that there is some legitimacy to concerns about where appropriate limits might be drawn on making code and data available. It’s an interesting debate — one where the dialog and practice have not kept up with the technology and the common interest.

      I also think that much of the speculation that I’ve seen as to why code and data haven’t been made available is counterproductive. It just becomes another skirmish in the food fight.

      • you really dont have to wonder why data and code were not made available. The mails spell it out. In one case the researcher did not like the fact that the person requesting the data was out to prove him wrong.
        In another case, the person requesting the code because the method described in the paper was wrong ( the code didnt match the method in the paper and the guy holding the code knew this ). And in other cases the data was withheld because the researcher didnt like skeptics and thought they were oil shills. The funny thing was that none of the people requesting data were Oil shills. BUT industry lobbies have co opted the issue. Had Mann and Jones been less paranoid there would be no Mcintyre and no climategate. If you want to examine motivated reasoning, read the mails.

      • And the beauty of Climategate is that you don’t have to infer their motives from their actions or dream up huge conspiracy theories as to why they behaved in the way they did. They lay it out front and centre in their own writings.

        So when Jones says

        ‘Why should I show you my data when you’ll just try to find something wrong with it?’, there is no confusion or interpretation or ‘out of context’ of his remark.

        And they all give the lie to the dying myth ‘Trust Us, We’re Climate Scientists’

      • Had Mann and Jones been less paranoid there would be no Mcintyre and no climategate. If you want to examine motivated reasoning, read the mails.

        Spot on Steve. And once one looks for historical parallels for this weird form of projection of conspiracy-mongering it’s hard to avoid Godwin.

        Not because all parallels hold – Adolf and co were nationalists and derided the supranationalists of the League of Nations. But they were paranoids who thought their worst enemies were conspiring against them and that this justified, indeed necessitated, their own conspiracy.

        Not a good place to be or journey to be on. Thank God for Judith who read the warning signs and disembarked from the death train.

  21. “The most biased of guys is an Academia or Government climatologist. He promotes and keeps his own job by being an alarmist.” Burt Rutan 2009.

    The _most_ biased. Not slightly biased. Not a little biased. Not somewhat biased. Not very biased. Not extremely biased. The _most_ biased. What utter BS, Rutan.

    Has Lindzen lost his job? Curry? Christy? Spencer?

    Sure, Tim Ball lost his job, but that had nothing to do with his ideas, and he’s making plenty of hay from those ideas despite utter lack of qualified research, merit of logic or support from evidence.

    Wasn’t Hansen forced to go outside government to the news media to speak about his climate findings when his government superiors tried to shut him down? That’s a documented real occurence.

    In Canada, no government climatologist or scientist of any type is allowed to speak to the public at all, ever, without a political appointee’s say so.

    In the USA, under the Bush administration, management of which scientists would and would not be picked to speak to the media was a political game favoring the Bush administration’s beliefs, up to and including limiting and changing press access to scientists who would follow the script on Katrina.

    So, no. Rutan’s not supported by evidence. He’s full of BS on who is the most biased guy.

    • Because Canada has enough BS from David Suzuki for everyone.

      • YFNWG | September 15, 2012 at 11:30 am |

        Thank you for your efforts to make something about Canada.

        I’m sure if you keep at it, someday something actually will be about Canada in some meaningful way.

        Though I’m sure you’ll forgive me if I don’t hold my breath waiting for that day to come.

        Or at least I’m sure you’ll apologize.

    • Bart R

      My “BS meter” just pegged out on your last post.


    • “Has Lindzen lost his job? Curry? Christy? Spencer?”
      Is it just possible that tenure is the missing variable?

      • Pooh, Dixie | September 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm |

        Then wouldn’t the existence of tenure utterly destroy Rutan’s argument that academic climatologists are the most biased guys, right there?

        Only the untenured ones seeking tenure would be so affected.. which brings to minds stories I’ve heard about the very tenured, very tenure-affecting William Gray and hurricane researchers required to add “therefore, Global Warming is false” to their papers.

        Rutan’s scoring own-goal after own-goal in his writing. When we look for examples of the excesses he complains of in climatology, we find them in plenty, simply on the opposite side of the argument he’s making.

        What is it that leads Rutan to ignore every single instance of these very serious faults in those whose conclusions somewhat match his own biases?

      • No…it doesn’t destroy the theory.

        Tenure is nice if you are at a University where there is no chance of the department going away. The best way to make sure your department doesn’t go away is to make it a ‘profit center’. That generally means grants of some sort or the other.

        You might wish to view the Penn State Department of Meteorology Strategic Plan to see an example of how this works –

        The other way to secure your position is to take an ‘endowed chair’. I.E. A professorship that will never go away because someone has donated enough money to fund it forever…for example the Alfred Sloan Chair of Meteorology at MIT.

      • Harrywr2,

        Did you see my question/comment here:
        regarding your comment

        A simple rule of thumb is $20/ton for coal yields a fuel cost of about 1 cent/kWh.

      • peterdavies252

        I think that Rutan needs an editor because some of his writing is poorly worded. I believe that Rutan is using the AGW issue to generate attention to himself more than to put down the AGW science and the prognostications that go with it. His analysis still makes sense overall.

      • Pooh, Dixie | September 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm |

        It appears harrywr2 | September 15, 2012 at 7:21 pm | has furnished an answer to your objection.

        Tenure is not a missing variable, if the tenure-granting department is at risk.

        Which, it strikes me, would rather more strongly compell a department to deny AGW than to affirm it; corporate donors are so much easier to get, and to lose, than individuals.. and individuals in the USA are so much likelier to be shy of controversial subjects than safe ones.

        I’d say on the whole the entire argument tends to present more of a case for academics suppressing pro-AGW evidence and conclusions than forwarding them as a way to ensure their jobs.

        A climatologist is far more likely to ensure their job by showing how the climate of Mars might support life in some bygone era. Because the public would rather be entertained by fictional Martians than face real responsibility for the consequences of their own choices.

    • In Canada, no government climatologist or scientist of any type is allowed to speak to the public at all, ever, without a political appointee’s say so.

      That must be why IPCC-nik, Andrew “climate change is a barrage of intergalactic missiles” Weaver was recently seen on the – with all his biases and political advocacy colours glowing brightly,

      He and some colleagues have written a paper predicting disappearance of permafrost – on the basis of computer simulations that he (or one of his cohorts) has “redefined” in order to call it an “experiment”.

      Weaver seems to be following the footsteps of CRU’s prince of spinners – the now defunct NOTW’s Neil Wallis – and is turning himself into a “highly partial and contrived PR machine” …. as is Lewandowsky.

      The rapidly increasing proliferation of such activist-riddled “science” from the likes of Weaver and Lewandowsky sends one’s BS detectors into overdrive.

      • hro001 | September 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm |

        I was unaware Andrew Weaver was an employee of the Canadian government. Can you tell us when that happened?

        Though if it’s news to you that Andrew Weaver’s an activist, you’re about a decade out of date. Maybe your BS detector has a built in decadal lag?

        So, what are your specific scientific criticisms of Weaver’s permafrost paper, on facts, inference from the data, observations of your own, or any other reasonable basis applicable to Science?

        I mean, other than a BS detector you claim exists, but that there is no objective evidence for outside of your own testimony?

        Would your BS detector pass any objective test of its validity? Would it meet any standard of verification? Even the low, low standards climate models meet?

        I doubt it.

        I think the so-called “BS detector” of the majority of people is just indigestion, knee-jerk reactionism, disconfirmation bias, or fear of new ideas from soapy-gutted cowardly weaklings who can’t face the prospect of a world that isn’t all warm and pink like their nursery.

    • The alleged gagging of scientists’ comments to the press is nothing compared to the overall effect of a huge climate bureaucracy and the huge government budget for the climate science profession. All these people know full well they are there so advance government, were selected at least in part on their ideological alignment with this, and know that the own advancement is tied to it.

      And even if Hansen had to go private to air his views, he is still forming them by living off the taxpayer.

      • Add Joggernaut to those skeptics who believe in conspiracy theory of government and scientists.

        Statements like “living off the taxpayer”, revealing an underlying hate of public servants/tax/government, which is another common tell of the ideology that drives many climate skeptics.

  22. “I felt it was important to inform people that this wasn’t completely true,,, A public service to let people know.” ~Kristen Byrnes (Ponder the Maunder)

    • she was pretty much a fake as subsequent communication with her relatives made clear to me

      • … way to encourage teenage BS detecting.

      • heh i got that feel too that she was just a front for here relatives to push their own political statements under the guise of an innocent child.

        I wouldn’t say it though, as I had no proof. But now we’ve entered this brave new world where the tripping of “BS detectors” is sufficient evidence to reach conclusions I shall.

  23. My experience mirrors Burt’s experience in more than one way.
    Maybe its an aerospace thing. I can definitely identify with the
    experience of being personally attacked when asking for data.
    That experience, well, sometimes you have to call BS on your own team.
    My experiences at RC, and other AGW blogs.. jeez. I believe in AGW and I would like to see the data and those requests somehow make me an Oil shill. I call BS on my own tribe.

    The other weird experience is seeing the guys at SkS go nutso with their conspiracy theories about how I fingered Gleick.

  24. Burt Rutan has written what many people have sensed for some time, but in particular following the Climategate revelations, the exposing of the IPCC fabrications/exaggerations and Pachauri’s “2500 scientists”, “voodoo science” and “flat earther” gaffs.

    The BS detectors set off alarms in a general public that was already starting to become skeptical of the CAGW premise as a result of the media ballyhoo accompanying the release of IPCC’s AR4 report and Al Gore’s “AIT” film.

    It is no coincidence that close to 70% of US poll respondents feel that climate scientists fudge the data.

    Then came the disastrous climate summits at Copenhagen, Cancun, etc. (each one worse for the IPCC case for global “mitigation” than the previous one). The US congressional decision to scrap “cap ‘n tax” was another major blow. China’s refusal to play the CAGW mitigation game made it even worse.

    In the UK a silly TV PR campaign, repeated MetOffice forecasts of “BBQ summers” and “milder-than-normal winters” with snow “a thing of the past” (all of which failed miserably) and former PM Gordon Brown’s “50 days to save the world” hyperbole all caused more BS detectors to go off.

    Worst of all, all those thermometers out there (even the ones next to AC exhausts or asphalt parking lots) stopped cooperating with the CAGW crowd: it stopped warming (oh horrors)!

    The various psychobabble reports rationalizing “why” the general public has not grasped the seriousness of the CAGW threat (poorly educated public, political biases, propaganda from the “denial machine”, poor communication by scientists, etc., etc.) only made the BS detectors and alarms go off even stronger.

    This all simply demonstrates that Abraham Lincoln’s statement was correct:

    “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. “


  25. “So I decided to take a look at that and just see if this conclusion was arrived at ethically. It’s obviously an extremely important issue which has gotten a huge amount of media attention. I was particularly concerned because the proposed solutions will have enormous impacts upon costs of energy, which of course, will increase costs of everything.”

    Ethically? Ethically? Was the conclusion arrived at ethically?!

    What the heck kind of engineer looks at conclusions for their ethics, not their rationality, physical soundness, truth, bases in evidence or confidence?

    BS detected, Rutan.

    And really, what’s Burt Rutan’s basis for claiming enormous impacts on costs of energy, and costs of everything? It sure isn’t evidence, qualified Economics expertise, or logic.

    Considering Rutan’s one of the world’s leading experts in energy efficiency, oughtn’t he consider that an easily and cheaply achievable America with 80% more efficient energy use would be less costly, and of course decrease the cost of everything?

    More Rutan BS detected.

    • Bart R

      More BS detected in your last post.

      Keep it coming.

      It’s piling up.


      • manacker | September 15, 2012 at 11:44 am |

        No need to pat me on the back.

        I actually feel quite sickened rooting out these BS-laden Rutanisms. My respect for the guy is immense. His contributions of lasting value. His tendency to BS is largely forgiveable.

        But it’s still a transparent tendency to BS.

      • Bart R

        Should I (likewise) “feel sickened rooting out these BS-laden Bartisms”?

        Rutan has apparently poked a stick into a festering sore -causing howls of pain and denial.

        But what he has observed makes good sense.

        You are not refuting the validity of his message, just spreading more BS to try to cover it up.

        It’s not working.


      • manacker | September 15, 2012 at 11:57 am |

        I can think of all sorts of reasons to suggest you might be sickened by your conduct; the least of them would be how great a person you regard me as independent of the ideas of mine you’ve found objective error in.

        A little of what Rutan has observed makes a little sense to look into; Rutan’s late to the party on most of these issues, however, and his motives are deeply suspect. He’s wrong on fact repeatedly, false in logic, and not greatly helpful in disentangling truth from fabrication.

        On the whole, we’d be better off if he’d chosen target shooting as a hobby. Because then he might be able to hit the mark.

      • Bart R

        Read Rutan’s statement again on BS detectors as related to CAGW disaster claims “where someone is trying to sell something with a bunch of data, where they cherry pick a little bit…bias a little bit.”

        You’ll see he “hit the mark” pretty accurately.

        Your “motives” for stating that “his motives are deeply suspect” are, themselves “deeply suspect”.

        See why the meter keeps pinging?


        PS Yer in a hole…

      • manacker | September 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm |

        Is it to do with observer bias?

        Standing as you are in Terra Ignota on the far side of the globe, over there on the nullarborian island of illogic, to you anyone on top of the issue would appear to be in a hole, so really, how does your perspective help us?

    • Bart R | September 15, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply

      “What the heck kind of engineer looks at conclusions for their ethics, not their rationality, physical soundness, truth, bases in evidence or confidence?”

      Rationality, physical soundness, truth, bases in evidence or confidence are what comprise engineering ethics, dipthong.

      • David Springer | September 15, 2012 at 11:48 am |

        Can you point to anything at that comprises the engineering ethics you speak of?

        The Lord Monckton diatribe? Heck, is Monckton a qualified engineer now, too? Or is it Monckton’s ethics that Rutan’s holding in high esteem?

        Or the Rutan reasoning-contrary-to-logical-rules slide show?

        See how many points Rutan scores on

      • Everything at his website speaks to those principles. Which bits do you imagine speak of waste and fraud as opposed to a constant devoted and notoriously successful quest to improve aerospace technonogy?

      • David Springer | September 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm |

        Could you be less vague than “everything”?

        Could you point to Monckton’s engineering qualifications? No? His ethics qualifications? No? Something in what Monckton says that is itself ethical or stands up to engineering standards by any measure?

        That’s one thing, sufficient to disprove ‘everything’.

      • “His ethics qualifications?” You are too funny.

    • I’m not sure CO2 addicts are interested in fuel efficiency. If you assume well-being is a function of fuel consumption, using less fuel wouldn’t be a good idea.

      • Max_OK

        You are apparently ” not sure CO2 addicts are interested in fuel efficiency.”/em>

        Well, let’s do a quick sanity check on that.

        The USA (undoubtedly a “CO2 addict, as a nation”, has steadily invceased its overall carbon efficiency (GDP generated per ton of CO2 emitted).

        As a part of this, automobile fuel efficiency has steadily increased, as has energy efficiency in industry.

        In fact, the “industrially developed” nations (EU, USA, Japan, etc.) have a much higher carbon efficiency ($2,000-3,000 per ton CO2) than the developing nations, such as China and India ($500-600 per ton).

        So your assumption is wrong.


      • Increases in fuel efficiency were mandated by government, and this wasn’t popular with the free-market advocates. It went against their philosophy.

      • [Re-posted with corrected formatting]


        You are apparently ” not sure CO2 addicts are interested in fuel efficiency.”

        Well, let’s do a quick sanity check on that.

        The USA (undoubtedly a “CO2 addict, as a nation”, has steadily inceased its overall carbon efficiency (GDP generated per ton of CO2 emitted).

        As a part of this, automobile fuel efficiency has steadily increased, as has energy efficiency in industry.

        In fact, the “industrially developed” nations (EU, USA, Japan, etc.) have a much higher carbon efficiency ($2,000-3,000 per ton CO2) than the developing nations, such as China and India ($500-600 per ton).

        So your assumption is wrong.


      • manacker | September 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm |

        Wow. Them’s some big cherries you picked there.

        Since 2005, and overall since before 1975 on a per-vehicle type basis, you’re right.

        From 1985 to 2004, however, the trend was backwards, and purposely so. Cars got less efficient, and emitted more CO2, across the industry on average. And even today, the average efficiency of US consumer vehicles is freakishly bad.

        But if you look at production share by vehicle type historically, you’ll see there was a push in the 1990’s to shift consumer taste toward SUV’s, which have much worse efficiency. Also, there’s a purposeful shift across all markets to expand taste for driving over alternatives, resulting in a huge increase in vehicles on the road worldwide. So overall, your argument remains cherry-pickingly false except in the narrowest sense.

        Don’t you ever get tired of being so spectacularly wrong?

      • Bart R

        You have apparently not looked at the statistics for GDP and CO2 by country (see attached)

        These show us that the industrialized nations (those Max_OK refers to as being “addicted to CO2”) are actually much more efficient in their GDP generation per ton of CO2 than the developing nations.

        The trend in all nations has been for GDP per ton of CO2 generated to increase over time.

        Some (non-BS) statistics (source Wiki and CDIAC)

        World population has increased from 3.7 to 7 billion from 1979 to 2011 = 1.9X (or at an exponential rate of 1.6% per year)

        Global GDP increased 5.8X over this period (rate of 4.4% per year)

        World CO2 emissions increased 2X (or at a rate of 1.7%/year)

        [IOW per capita CO2 emission increased by a cumulative 6% over the 31-year period.]

        And the “carbon efficiency” of the world’s economy increased by 2.9X (rate of 2.6% per year).

        How this will work out at the anticipated slowdown of population growth to only 0.4% per year for the rest of this century (to around 10 billion by 2100), is anyone’s guess.

        That’s where the “BS” often creeps in.


      • Bart R

        Typo in last post:

        1970 to 2011 is a “41 year period” (not “31”). Rest of numbers are OK


      • Nonsense. I’m far more interested than the average person in getting things done at lower cost and/or effort. That’s pretty much the core principle that drives engineers to be engineers. That and the money and the babes of course. Engineers are renowned as chick magnets, ya know. ;-)

      • It is the pocket protectors that drive women nuts :)

    • Munging data is not ethical.

      • Pooh, Dixie | September 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm |

        Munging reputations to discredit opposing views is perceptibly less ethical.

        See, hold Burt Rutan’s reputation in the highest possible regard. As an aerospace engineer, innovator, forward-thinker, he’s a hero.

        But where he argues cases, I have to conclude routinely Rutan smears ideas that he objects to, because when I look into what Rutan says, into the assertions he makes, I find he is making false or so-overly-generalized-as-to-be-unverifiable statements with no other apparent effect than to discredit the source. I’ve shown cases of this in the past hour on almost everything I can find from Rutan on the topic.

        While Rutan has a few good ideas on the topic, especially the ideas he had about energy efficiency independent of his Jack-Ripper-style one-world-government paranoia, he’s poisoned his own well.

      • Bart R

        Forget “Rutan’s well” or his “Jack-Ripper-style one-world-government paranoia”

        Read his “message” about BS detectors and the reasons why many of these go off when they are subjected to the CAGW dogma – and then figure out what the purveyors of that dogma (IPCC et al.) need to do to get their act straightened out (so the meters stop pinging).


      • manacker | September 15, 2012 at 1:05 pm |

        We need Rutan to tell us to be skeptical?

        Steven Schneider said, in one of his last public addresses, “I don’t know any good scientist who isn’t skeptical.”

        No one’s arguing against using skepticism.

        Raising a flag and rallying troops to march in a false cause against a threat that isn’t there — like lack of skepticism — isn’t leading, it’s misleading. It’s exactly the sort of scam Rutan claims to be warning against.

        Hopping on Rutan’s Johnny-come-lately hurry-up-boys-I’m-right-behind-you bandwagon is silly.

      • Bart R

        Stephen Schneider also told scientists to weigh whether or not they should be “honest” or “effective”.

        That what Rutan’s statements on BS detectors is all about: communicating “effectively” versus “honestly” in science.

        Is that so hard for you to grasp?



      • manacker | September 16, 2012 at 7:55 am |

        You keep trying to bring attention back to what you suppose is “Rutan’s message”. To keep the topic “on message”. And you don’t think that sets of BS alarms?

        The medium is the message. Burt Rutan is the medium. The message is a liar.

        So, no, Joggernaut | September 16, 2012 at 5:30 am | — Burt Rutan’s message is not one of concern about ethics. We know he has little regard for ethics by how casually he lies to Forbes. We have to become more skeptical of everything he says, and of everyone who believes him.


        What’s the harm in Rutan lying and saying he was denied data? After all, other people were actually denied data. Seems hardly important.

        But it is important, because it isn’t the way things really happened. They happened to some people who were not Rutan. Rutan including himself in the list of people it happened to makes everyone reporting about, investigating, caring about, researching, analysing, and looking for solutions to the actual issue of transparency in Science fools. They now have bad data to base their conclusions on. And that bad data is Burt Rutan.

        Which is a level of hypocrisy on his part, considering the message he appears to be trying to portray, that is just out of this world. Which I have come to understand is just typical Rutan.

      • manacker | September 16, 2012 at 7:55 am |

        Yet another case where you appear to have decided to be “effective” rather than honest.

        Could you just once make an exception and try that honesty thing?

      • Just like AGW science, it had been peer reviewed and was then wrapped in plastic before the sale.

      • Bart, I have vacillated on giving Manacker the benefit of the doubt as to the honesty in his arguments. I have nearly forgiven him for screwing up a data set with statistical outliers early on, but now I am not so sure. Who knows what kinds of questionable factoids he inserts into his rhetoric?

        Auditing the kind of long-winded book-keeping arguments he makes is exhausting work. That’s probably why he does it. Manaker’s got a system. It works to perpetuate the FUD.

    • peterdavies252

      I agree that Rutan’s choice of words was unfortunate. Any audit should not commence on the basis that there is wrongdoing to be uncovered.

      Perhaps it would be better to say that because of the controversy around some of the prognostications of the alarmists, It was decided to look more closely at the underlying data.

      • I think that “unfortunate” doesn’t really suffice. If it were somehow accidental, then maybe unfortunate would be accurate.

        But, IMO, there is no reason why he wouldn’t have worded it as you did unless he’s a tribalist who is not really interested in resolving problems so much as he is in flinging Jell-O Mold (or exploiting problems for partisan goals).

      • Joshua,

        Do you see yourself as a tribalist?

      • peterdavies252

        I was presupposing that Rutan was not acting tribally. I am more inclined to the view that although he has a somewhat high opinion of himself, he was genuinely seeking the truth and that his choice of words was indeed accidental. I certainly don’t expect that my POV on this subject would be widely supported by other readers of CE. Just sayin’ ….

      • Peter –

        I’d say that just about everyone here is a tribalist. There may be a few exceptions that I’ve seen. Maybe Billc. Maybe Pekka. Maybe John Carpenter. Maybe a couple of others I’ve forgotten about.

        Even further, everyone, even those I just mentioned – are subject to motivate reasoning. Motivated reasoning as a product of fundamental cognitive and psychological elements in how we reason. It is a well-established phenomenon. The key, IMO, is to acknowledge that we are all subject to that kind of bias, and to work together to control for that bias. That requires trust and good-faith efforts to share opinions.

        And just because it is apparently so often misunderstood – most notably at Climate Etc. by Judith – saying that we are all affected by motivated reasoning is not the same thing as impugning someone’s motivations.

        For example, as I have told you before – I assume that your motives could fairly (roughly) be described as wanting to achieve the most good for the most people. Although you regularly argue otherwise, I share that motive.

      • peterdavies252

        In your response to Peter Lang I also see your assessment of his motives as being shared by not only by yourself but by me as well. Having said that, however, I prefer not to be ascribing motives to anyone at all, because to do so would seem to be applying a form of motivated reasoning.

      • peterdavies –

        because to do so would seem to be applying a form of motivated reasoning.

        Of course, this is true. Ascribing motives to someone that we’ve never met, that we’ve never seen interact with real people in real contexts, that we’ve never seen resolve dilemmas in real life – can only be done if someone is manifesting biases.

        Guilty as charged. I should simply say that I don’t assume “bad” motives on the part of anyone involved in these exchanges. Yes, I probably do assume “good” motives – as I generally think that most people I’ve ever met are motivated by what I consider to be “good” intentions (even if they don’t always act in accordance with those motivations for a variety of reasons). But in making that assumption about “good” motivations (as opposed to a lack of assumption about “bad” motivation), I am revealing motivated reasoning. My assumptions that most people have “good” motivations is, indeed, rooted in my social, cultural, and political identifications.

      • peterdavies:

        I was presupposing that Rutan was not acting tribally. I am more inclined to the view that although he has a somewhat high opinion of himself, he was genuinely seeking the truth and that his choice of words was indeed accidental.

        Seeking the truth and acting tribally are not mutually exclusive. Again, this speaks to an erroneous conflation of motivated reasoning with assumptions about someone’s motives.

      • Joshua,

        You didn’t really answer the question about you. Instead you said everyone is tribal. But it is you that is continually trying to say others are tribal and by implication you are not.

        You said:

        For example, as I have told you before – I assume that your motives could fairly (roughly) be described as wanting to achieve the most good for the most people. Although you regularly argue otherwise, I share that motive.

        What did you mean by: “Although you regularly argue otherwise,”?
        Did you mean you think I argue to not do the most good for the most people?

        If so, you have misunderstood. I believe the difference between those who argue for more regulation, more state control, more taxes, more bureaucracy, world government, and high cost climate mitigation schemes and those who argue for the opposite, is that those who oppose all this stuff have a far better understanding of the real world. i believe those who argue for all this intervention solution are idealists and naive. They also do not recognise the human consequences of what they propose.

      • Peter –

        You didn’t really answer the question about you. Instead you said everyone is tribal.

        If everyone is tribal, Peter, that would include me. It would be absurd for me to claim that I don’t belong to a tribe. Just as it is absurd when anyone else on these threads makes such a claim. What continuously surprises me is when people who self-identify as “skeptics” accept such absurd claims.

      • “But it is you that is continually trying to say others are tribal and by implication you are not.”

        Peter, this is not true about Joshua… he readily admits to being tribal. What he is somewhat more elusive about is what tribe he belongs to. Many think they know, yet I am not so sure about that, perhaps even Joshua himself knows not. Perhaps he will tell.

      • Joshua

        Your last post set off my BS meter again.

        Instead of reading (and absorbing) the message, you are questioning the motives of the “messenger”.



      • And Peter –

        Did you mean you think I argue to not do the most good for the most people?

        No. My point is that you argue that I, as a member of my tribe, am not motivated to achieve the most good for the most people. Go back and check your posts for all the times you have impugned the motivations of “progressives.”

        If so, you have misunderstood. I believe the difference between those who argue for more regulation, more state control, more taxes, more bureaucracy, world government, and high cost climate mitigation schemes and those who argue for the opposite, is that those who oppose all this stuff have a far better understanding of the real world. i believe those who argue for all this intervention solution are idealists and naive. They also do not recognise the human consequences of what they propose.

        Let’s be clear. I am not suffering from the misunderstanding you speculated about. I fully understand that you think that your political beliefs reflect an understanding of the “real world,” and that I, like my fellow tribe members, am an “idealist” and “naive.” You have made that quite clear in comment after comment that you have made.

        I don’t make those kinds of generalizations. I have met people of all political stripes that, IMO, have varying degrees of understanding about the “real world.” It my experience, it is not possible to draw a causal link or even discern a direct correlation between pragmatism, or rational thinking, or understanding of the “real world,” and someone’s political ideology. I think that anyone who believes that such lines can be drawn suffers from an inability to be reflective about how cultural, political, or social identifications affect how they handle evidence and conduct analyses.

        The fact that you show such an inability so strikingly so often is the reason why I initially questioned your arguments w/r/t climate science. But just because you display tribalism doesn’t mean that you are always tribalistic. To reach such a broader characterization with any degree of validity, you need some sort of verification. Therefore, I will remind you of at least two occasions when I queried you to check to see if you had any seriousness about checking for motivated reasoning in your own analytical process.

        The first was when you claimed (paraphrasing) that greens were responsible for the deaths of tens of millions due to malaria – and I asked you whether or not your claim took into consideration the question of mosquito resistance to DDT. If you recall, instead of answering my question, you claimed that my question was a distraction.

        The second was when you made a highly implausible claim that Pekka (again, paraphrasing) didn’t have any idea what he was talking about when he was discussing the economics of wind power. Part of the basis for you making that claim related to an assertion Pekka made on a particular issue – and when Pekka provided evidence that his assertions were validated, and I asked you to comment on the information he provided, you failed to respond.

        But let’s be clear. Just because you not only show evidence of tribalism, and just because you show an inability to control for how your tribalism affects your own analysis, doesn’t mean that I think that I can generalize about everyone that shares some of your political beliefs. To do so would not be a skeptical thing to do.

      • Finally, Peter –

        Because I can understand that my syntax was somewhat ambiguous:

        Did you mean you think I argue to not do the most good for the most people?

        Although as peterdavies has pointed out, it reflects motivated reasoning on my part, my assumption is that you, like I, are motivated by a goal of achieving the most good for the most people. Most people I’ve met are similarly motivated. I have told you before that I think that you and I share values.

        Consider the methodology in conflict resolution that is based on distinguishing positions from interests. Here is a link. It was just the first Google hit – it seems a bit simplistic, but I think it will do the trick:

      • Josha,

        I haven’t a clue want all that drivel is about. I do note that it is the lefties who run about doing studies trying to show that conservatives are dummer than Lefties because they do not accept CAGW. The Lewandowsky survey is an example of how distorted that is.

        Regarding the DDT ban, my point was that the same ideologies (the loony Left) were behind getting DDT banned as are behind the CAGW extremism and scaremongering. Same thing, different era. And just as the DDT ban caused millions (or what ever the figure is) of avoidable fatalities from malaria, so the Left’s proposed ridiculously high cost CO2 mitigation policies would cause tens of millions of avoidable fatalities. The Left’s proposed CO2 mitigation policies would be far more damaging than the DDT ban.

        Suck it up, and then have an extended rant.

      • Joshua
        @ September 15, 2012 at 11:03 pm

        Regarding your second comment, I’ve recognised that there are some people who are so tied into their ideology that it comes before everything else. It defines them. It defines how they do and report science. For them it is “ideology driven science”. These people cannot be communicated with. You are one of them. Others are Vaughan Pratt, WHT. Fan, BartR. Tempterrain. All have closed minds and will only consider information that supports their ideology.

      • Peter Lang,

        You say “I haven’t a clue”. I know That’s the problem.

        For instance you probably didn’t understand this comment:

        “A second attribute of conspiracy theories is that any new contrary evidence is incorporated into the conspiracy by simply broadening its scope. If someone points out that the elephant is an elephant despite its pink earlobe, then that person clearly is part of a conspiracy that wants to bestow imaginary elephants upon the world.”

        Let me explain:

        In your case you are obsessed that AGW is a conspiracy of the left. Now I do admit that I vote Labour, who regularly win elections in Australia so are hardly “loony”, but there are plenty of people in other parties like Malcolm Turnbull ( an Australian Liberal -read Conservative) who would agree with the science on AGW too. You think
        “the same ideologies (the loony Left) were behind getting DDT banned as are behind the CAGW extremism and scaremongering

        So you must think all scientists are part of the “loony left”. And if they disagree? If they claim to vote Conservative, as many must surely do?

        You’ll claim: Well of course they would say that wouldn’t they. That’s what lefties do. They even lie about being left -wing.

        Do you see what I mean, now?

      • @Joshua

        “Seeking the truth and acting tribally are not mutually exclusive. Again, this speaks to an erroneous conflation of motivated reasoning with assumptions about someone’s motives.”

        I would like to elucidate my earlier point about ascribing motives, I agree that we all have certain reactions and thoughts that spring from our upbringing and our personalities and that this most certainly affects our perception of what we hear, read and view, but I do not make assumptions that other people’s motives were not squeaky clean but generally take what has been said at face value, until it has been proven otherwise.

        Seeking the truth implies to me that the truth seeker has an open mind and tribalism does not fit with this quality.

      • Any ‘auditor’ who does not start from the basis that the auditee is a mendacious shyster who has laboured mightily to defraud those he is supposed to serve is doomed to failure. The Andersen guys made that mistake at Enron and it was a disaster for both parties.

        True audits are not supposed to be pleasant experiences with happy smiling participants and mutual expressions of goodwill. They should be rigorous, thorough and very probing. Honest people should not dread them, but they need to take them seriously.

        If they are not, then they are just nice chats over coffee. They are not audits.

        And IMO if a bit of published science can’t stand up to that level of scrutiny then it is junk anyway.

    • With the Climategate frauds still fresh in everyone’s minds, Bart’s alleged BS detector still goes off at Rutan’s concern with ethics.
      Therein lies the problem. Dishonesty in the cagw position is now so endemic, concern with basic honesty and integrity is now politically incorrect.

  26. I know many climatologists read Climate Etc. Though I imagine most skip my comments, I’m wondering if maybe one of their colleagues with a sense of humor could nudge them about Rutan’s BS claim:

    “So when I decided to look closely at the anthropogenic [man-made] global warming crisis claims, I avoided focusing on media reports, and instead, went directly to available raw climate data. The intent was to see if that data might just as reasonably be interpreted differently.

    Then, what really drew me into the subject, was when I found that I couldn’t obtain the raw data that I was looking for. I was shocked to find that there were actually climate scientists who wouldn’t share the raw data, but would only share their conclusions in summary graphs that were used to prove their various theories about planet warming.

    If you are a climatologist who was approached by Burt Rutan for data, and can confirm that you denied it to him, could you speak up?

    Because I think he’s making that story up. I just can’t see any climatologist turning down Burt Rutan’s request for raw data.

    Anyone? At all? Ever?

    • See Moshers post up thread, he couldn’t get data either. You think Mosher is making it up too?

      • I know (some of) Mosher’s story.

        Rutan’s is different.

        He’s Burt-Freaking-Rutan, a world famous aerospace engineer of top standing. Mosher’s a black-hat marketing guy who hangs out with McIntyre and Muller online, and I say this with the greatest respect to Mosher and the immense unrecognized contributions he’s made and is making currently.

        The comparison isn’t even close.

      • So you’er accusing Burt Freaking Rutan of being a liar.


        And with Climategate emails confirming the denial of data to others.

        Real nice.

        And real stupid.

      • What makes you think those Rutan may have asked data from would even know who the hell he is? Why would climate scientists innately know who Burt Rutan is? Your argument is based on the idea that Burt Rutan is ubiquitously known among the climate science community. I would argue McIntyre, Muller and Mosher are names far more recognized among that peer group than Rutan…. So I don’t see that argument as too valid.

      • Yes, I’m accusing Burt Freaking Rutan of being an obvious and implausible liar, if no one comes forward to substantiate his tale and he refuses to name and shame the scientists who specifically denied his specific request for their raw data.

        Because if Burt Rutan made a plausible attempt to obtain climate data by writing even the briefest notes explaining who he was and why he was interested in their data, as a fully qualified aerospace engineer, and he was turned down cold, then we’ve got a much, much bigger story and much, much bigger problem with that scientist’s specific actions than a mere issue of alarmism, and Burt Rutan would have had an ethical obligation as an engineer to raise the issue to engineering and science bodies as a formal complaint.

      • Bart R,
        You need to calm down and take a different perspective. In the last few months, I have written 3 very polite e-mail inquiries to scientists involved in recent climate science publications, seeking clarification of various things. No threats, no snide innuendos, no biased questions, just simple, straight requests for clarification. I received just one response – despite follow-up requests. The one response was from a labelled skeptic scientist.

        I am a retired engineer. I cannot recollect ever not receiving SOME response to similar types of questions posed to other engineers who published in my chosen field. So how should I interpret the lack of response from climate scientists in this instance?

        You are choosing to call Rutan an “obvious and implausible liar” on the flimsiest of evidence – in fact none at all. Think about it for a while.

      • Paul_K | September 15, 2012 at 5:52 pm |

        See, now that would make for interesting reading.

        Could you post those emails here? Because it’d certainly help us understand what you’re saying, and put into perspective Rutan’s claims.

      • Bart R,
        “Could you post those emails here? ”
        Don’t be a total a$#hole.

      • Paul_K | September 15, 2012 at 6:52 pm |

        You mean you won’t share your data?

        And how should a BS detector react to that?

    • BartR asks that any climate scientists who denied data to Burt Rutan speak up. Presumably silence will mean none did.

      Does anyone here cheat on their taxes? I will take silence from anyone as proof that they do not.

      My answer:

      [crickets chirping]

      • David Springer | September 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm |

        Oh, David. As if it’s a secret you cheat on your taxes.

        Rutan’s free to name and shame them if they don’t fess up first.

    • Curiuos George

      Bart, nice try. I see a crowd of climate scientists all eagerly pronouncing “I,TOO, REFUSED TO GIVE BURT RUTAN MY DATA”. How about brains?

      • Curiuos George | September 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm |

        Let’s compare Rutan vs. Mosher.

        Rutan is a bona fide space age rocket scientist hero. Mosher is a dyed-in-the-wool Black Hat Marketer (the capitals are intended and earned) who knows things about manipulating people that would turn you inside-out if he explained them to you.

        I believe Mosher’s version of the story where Mosher says he was denied raw data. It’s a true story. It really happened to Mosher.

        I don’t just believe it because I happened to be lurking CA when it happened. I don’t just believe it because I’ve read about it from dozens of other well-informed sources. I believe it because Mosher supplies the facts (albeit colored a bit by his perspective) in a forthright manner consistent with the way things really work.

        I don’t believe Rutan’s story. His sounds fake. It doesn’t reflect the way things really work. It doesn’t have forthright details that can be objectively verified. It’s a fictional story of something that could have — and we know did — happen to other people, not Rutan.

        So even though it really happened to Mosher, a real person, I have to say Burt Rutan is no Mosher.

      • Curiuos George

        Climatologists eager to share their data? Please get complete Law Dome data for us.

      • Curious G –
        Start here.

      • I also do not believe Burt ( full disclosure when I worked in aerospace we didnt like Burt) Burt doesnt show up on any FOI list i’ve ever seen.
        I will say this. the community is 100% better than it used to be. I regularly request data and get it. So, I think skeptics need to move on from many of the claims. There was a proper way to put this all to rest;

        Every university, institute, etc should have a proper data custodian.
        When work is complete and papers published the data gets handed over to the custodian. they own the data. get the fricken scientists OUT OF the data management business. there brains are needed on real problems, not storing and passing out data to curious hobbiests. Truthfully I feel really bad asking somebody for their data. they have better things to do then send me files. Just post the stuff.

        The other thing is Burt has done nothing with the data that has been made available

      • Well Bart, at least you finally answered my original question even though it was directed to someone else and took several tangential and irrelevant turns… thank you and I agree.

      • Curiuos George

        Pat – I meant complete. Isotope analysis etc. And for a complete core. If you have a good link for Yamal, that would be highly appreciated.

    • BartR,

      Aren’t you aware that Michael Mann avoided, for five years (or there abouts), providing the raw data and his methodology for the hockey stick to Steve McIntyre. He obfuscated, gave misleading replies, sent the wrong data, and kept this going for years.

      And surely you are aware, that the raw data for much of the science is not available anywhere. It is not documented and available as is essential in engineering. Quality assurance simply does not apply in science as it does in engineering.

      Do you not recall a few months ago a thread on Climate Spectator about climate sensitivity and that the data the paper was based on was lost. the lead author posted to say it had been lost and could not be recovered.

      And CRU has destroyed all the original temperature records. the only ones they’ve kept are the ‘adjusted’ records.

      Where have you been if you are not aware of all this?

      • My BS sensor is set to high gain (high sensitivity) on climate science. people lie you and the other CAGW ‘tribalists’ as Joshua calls them, are making me very aware of the BS being sprouted by the CAGW alarmists.

      • Peter Lang | September 15, 2012 at 9:21 pm |

        Sorry, you’ll have to do better.

        If you think the data management of climatology is bad and suspect (it is), you’d be appalled by the data management in cancer research, AIDs research, arthritis research, nanotechnology, metallurgy..

        Mann’s unpleasantness is not a particularly important eccentricity. Nor are Burt Rutan’s oddities important, other than that we have to conclude Rutan, to construct his message, was forced to fabricate details of his story. Even Manacker appears to realize this, trying repeatedly to chase us off the trail of Rutan’s prevarication and reassert ‘the message’.

        This keeping on message thing, it sounds contrived. Like a Rutan yarn.

      • BartR,

        You say:

        If you think the data management of climatology is bad and suspect (it is), you’d be appalled by the data management in cancer research, AIDs research, arthritis research, nanotechnology, metallurgy.

        But that’s not a valid argument. It’s like saying:

        but, but Teacher, Teacher he/she was doing it too.

        The reason it is not a valid argument in the case of climate change, is that climate science is being used to argue for hugely costly (many tens of trillions of dollars and enormously damaging to the world economies) mitigation strategies. Is is far higher investment than the investment and consequences for any single drug.

        In the case of climate science we don’t have sufficiently good information to justify any significant investment. We cannot do the sort of due diligence we require companies to do before they buy another company. We cannot do the sort of cost benefit analysis a company does, and the share holders expect, before making an investment. We don’t have the information to do cost benefit analyses that can justify any expenditure on climate mitigation policies (other than ‘No regrets’ policies; i.e. thjose that can be justified on their own withou needing climate change arguments to justify them).

        That is the point. Do you agree? If not, why not?

      • Peter L. – It seems an inescapable conclusion that the CO2-mitigators willfully ignore the cost of mitigation that would effective drop CO2 levels. Surely it must be willful ignorance that they won’t acknowledge the expense and other severe implications. If not willful ignorance, then they really aren’t very bright – which I don’t believe to be the case.

      • Peter Lang | September 15, 2012 at 10:19 pm |

        I did indeed have elements of the “Tu Quoque” fallacy in my comment; however, to paraphrase jim2 | September 15, 2012 at 10:37 pm | — costs are ignored on both sides of the balance sheet.

        In my case, I don’t believe most costs are actually knowable. Anyone claiming to have tallied costs inevitably has done no more than kitchen sink accounting of the shoddiest sort. Have you seen detail accounting using degree day (see calculations?

        Seems impossible to come to much of an understanding of the total costs absent understanding of how degree days work, or what the degree day amounts are. And who accounts for the benefits of increased fuel efficiency of vehicles? Not hybrid. Not electric. Just more efficient design of relatively conventional fossil fueled cars and trucks? You surely don’t believe the current average US vehicle is very efficient, do you? Or that it would cost substantially more to produce more efficient vehicles?

        So where the heck do you come up with trillions of dollars? Is it the cost of shutting down coal plants and replacing them? Coal plants have a limited lifespan, and most of the US coal plants are due for shut down in the next quarter century. That cost is already due to happen.

        The cost of alternatives? Again, a case that does not wash with the march of technical innovation, between nuclear, solar, wind, and of course efficiency. Not quality-of-life diminishing efficiency through cutting service, but quality-of-life enriching efficiency through technical innovation. Do you figure those externalities, mainly benefits, into your trillions?

        No, and you can’t, and I can’t either. There’s no basis in Economics for producing from the variable and shifting exigencies of a world under new parameters and constraints — the ones we choose or the ones forced on us by Physics should we continue to dither — to produce a detailed cost accounting. As close as we can get is a summary of Risk vs Write-off.

        And that equation does not favor continued CO2E.

        And that’s even if we accept your rather baldly asserted and completely unsubstantiated by the facts conclusion “In the case of climate science we don’t have sufficiently good information to justify any significant investment.”

        The poorer our information, the more pressing significant investment becomes, because Uncertainty adds to Risk, and makes Write-off more costly.

        We know by the physics of gas molecules with three atoms, like H2O and CO2, that there is a greenhouse effect. We know inevitably at some level of emission we will see more rapid climate shifts than otherwise due GHE, and we know adapting to even relatively slow climate shifts is a costly prospect. We know this is costly because we’ve seen the natural shifts and their impacts on civilizations which simply disappeared due to the shifting climate. We don’t need more evidence to understand that.

        Or do you really believe we’re a wiser civilization than any past one, despite all evidence to the contrary? In Economics there’s a name for that thinking. It’s called the Greater Fool.

      • BartR,

        What on earth is all that babble about?

        It seems to demonstrate a complete ignorance about how rational decisions are made. It suggest you would advocate that decisions you made based on your ideological beliefs. That would be really good for the world, wouldn’t it? I expect people like Hitler thought that way too.

      • Peter Lang | September 16, 2012 at 3:22 am |

        Dude, when you get so far gone you can’t tell Olivia Munn from Adolf Hitler, you need to take a break and get some perspective.

  27. “I was particularly concerned because the proposed solutions will have enormous impacts upon costs of energy, which of course, will increase costs of everything.”

    Rutran tripped my BS meter.

    A mandated higher mpg for motor vehicles doesn’t increase the costs of everything.

    Energy-saving appliances don’t increase the costs of everything.

    Switching from coal to natural gas for electric power generation doesn’t increase the costs of everything.

    A revenue-neutral carbon tax doesn’t increase the costs of everything.

    A carbon tax targeted at balancing the budget and paying down the national debt wouldn’t increase the cost of everything any more than an increase in the income tax.

    • Yes, it will increase the cost of just about everything, Max. Almost everything uses energy to manfacture and distribute. Even an appliance that uses less energy is still made more expensive if energy is more expensive. Duh. You pegged my Imbecile Detector.

      • Yes, Springer, I know you believe when you spend money it disappears. I used to think that too. As a child, if I had 25 cents and spent it on candy, I thought my quarter was gone never to return. When your mind matures, we should discuss the subject of money.

      • David Springer

        So you wouldn’t care if your rent doubled because the landlord’s costs went up? After all your rent money doesn’t really leave your possession. Did I get that right?

      • Springer, when I spend money, someone else gets that money. It does not disappear.

        Now, I can make money disappear just by putting it in a fire, thus reducing the money supply, and fighting inflation in a small way. But I wouldn’t do it.

      • Max,

        Using such simple arguments isn’t going to get you much. Yes, money or wealth or what term you want to use does not “disappear” when it leaves a person’s possession. What does disappear is the ability of that person to utilize it. Using your argument, one can say that it is ok for the government to take 100% of your income, as it isn’t disappearing. It simply is being used by someone else. Therefore if you truly stand by your point, you will donate that portion of your income you are currently allowed to retain to a government of your choice (i.e. local, state or federal). Here is the chance to really put your money where your mouth is Max.

      • timg56 said on September 17, 2012 at 1:56 pm

        Using such simple arguments isn’t going to get you much. Yes, money or wealth or what term you want to use does not “disappear” when it leaves a person’s possession. What does disappear is the ability of that person to utilize it.”

        Well, I know that’s wrong, and I’ll tell you why. several weeks ago I spent a five-dollar bill at the supermarket, and just last week I got the very same bill back in change from that supermarket. The very same five-dollar bill, money I will be able to utilize again. You probably don’t watch your money as closely as I watch mine.

        BTW, I did not say it would be OK for the government to take 100% of “my income.” However, I wouldn’t mind f the government took 100% of your income, and none of mine.

      • Max,

        If you want to believe that $5 bill you received in change was your own money coming back to you to reuse, by all means. With a concept of money like that, it doesn’t really matter how closely you watch it.

        As to your other comment – I’d say it likely illustrates the difference between us. You are fine with actions that negatively impact others, as long as they don’t do the same to you. I proposed a voluntary action on your part. Standing behind what you profess with a concrete action. You on the other hand are all for having the government take what is mine, so long as they don’t do the same to you. Nice Max.

    • Not all costs are monetary.
      Committee on the Effectiveness and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards, Board on Energy and Environmental Systems, and Transportation Research Board. Effectiveness and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards. Washington, D.C: National Academy Press, 2002.

      Page 70. Safety discussed: This section of Chapter 4 addresses the question of how safety might be affected by future improvements in fuel economy. The key issue is the extent to which such improvements would involve the kind of vehicle downweighting and downsizing that occurred in the 1970s and 1980s.
      Although there are arguments that not all increases in vehicle weight benefit safety, these arguments do not contradict the general finding that, all other things being equal, more mass is protective.
      “The heaviest vehicles in each class (cars, SWs, and pickups) have about half as many fatalities per registered vehicle as the lightest vehicles.” See Figure 4-7, page 71
      Page 73. “Despite this confounding, carefully controlled research has demonstrated that, given a crash, larger vehicles provide more occupant protection independent of mass. In crashes between vehicles of similar mass, smaller vehicles have higher fatality rates than larger ones (Evans and Frick, 1992; Wood, 1997; Evans, 2001)…. Theoretically, increased size of one vehicle can be beneficial to other road users as well, to the extent that the increased size translates to more crush space (Ross and Wenzel, 2001; O‘Neill, 1998).
      Page 74: “Single-vehicle crashes account for almost half of light duty vehicle occupant fatalities. As with multiple-vehicle crashes, the safety literature indicates that as vehicle weight and vehicle size decline, crash risks increase. … Klein et al. found that there was a 10 percent increase in fatality risk associated with a 1.000-lb reduction in vehicle weight in single-vehicle, nonrollover crashes. Similarly,NHTSA’s 1997 analysis estimated that there is aslightly greater than 1 percent increase in fatality risk associated with a 100-lb reduction in vehicle weight in these crashes.’

      Sorry that I haven’t found a more recent study. But I don’t expect to find one after 2008.

      • Pooh, Dixie | September 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm |

        Ah, the vehicle safety canard. This is a case where people’s BS-detectors appear to be poorly tuned. When someone raises a ‘safety’ alarm with you, do you not yet know to be skeptical about it, and look more deeply?

        Some of what the report says taken out of context paints a slightly bad case for increasing fuel efficiency (which is after all the CAFE purpose, not lowering CO2E, and NOT safety, that’s someone else’s area of expertise); however in the conclusions of the report you cite, page 113, Finding 13 says these safey concerns are uncertain and that they could be minimized or reversed (ie, higher fuel efficiency could increase vehicle safety) due removing heavier vehicles from the road.

        Looked at even more closely, the 2002 report suggests going to the real experts ( for better safety analyses by actual safety experts, instead of by fuel efficiency experts with zero grounding in actual safety research guessing at safety issues.

        Which gets us to this 2011 presentation (; while it’s about the topic of uncertainty in attributing safety issues to curb weight, it does helpfully report:

        page 6: “Weight reduction is not harmful.”
        page 9: “SUV weight reduction of 20% has an overall benefit.”

        It took the auto industry years and hundreds of millions of dollars to make SUVs as safe as they are despite their weight. Having more heavier vehicles in the mix on the highway in general makes everyone less safe overall. And heavier does not equal safer, at all. Equating weight with safety has always been a marketing ploy.

      • Bart R: The word “canard” gives me a bit more liberty in responding. “Having more heavier vehicles in the mix on the highway in general makes everyone less safe overall. And heavier does not equal safer, at all.”
        Rubbish. Page 74: “Single-vehicle crashes account for almost half of light duty vehicle occupant fatalities.” Hitting a tree or bridge abutment is to contend with the mass of the earth.
        Citing a “presentation” by this administration (2011) does not persuade after the EPA treatment of Alan Carlin.
        As to “heavier vehicles in the mix”, have you considered that different people have different requirements? E.g., family size, payload, comfort that reduces fatigue? Or does “one size fit all” in your opinion?
        “Liberty” is the right to decide for one’s self within Consititutional law.

      • Pooh, Dixie | September 17, 2012 at 11:51 am |

        You’ll have to decide, which Liberty you want: the one granted by the Constitution, or the one granted by a canard.

        Because the presentation, while it was given in 2011, used facts from reports produced in 2005 and 2006, and while you invest all things associated with George W. Bush as True, and all things not associated with George W. Bush as False, I can only respond to that attitude with “WMD?”

      • “You’ll have to decide”: Both.

    • Max_OK’s BS meter tripped at the idea that more expensive energy will make everything else more expensive.

      Whoever installed it must have connected the red and the green wires the wrong way round, so that it only goes off when something correct is said, and stays silent in response to BS.

      (Probably the same guy that installed Joshua’s and Bart’s).

    • Max,

      RE Energy-saving appliances don’t increase the costs of everything

      Depends on how you account for cost. I just replaced my refridgerator. Was told that expected life of the appliance was 7 years, though I may be lucky and get up to ten years of useful life. The machine it replaced lasted for almost 20 years. One of the primary reasons the new ones last half as long? They have to make parts lighter in order to reduce energy usage.

      Now I haven’t yet done a cost analysis to see how much in energy savings I can expect over the next 7 – 10 years, compared to the cost of having purchase a new machine twice as often as the previous model, but should the energy savings prove less than what I spent on the replacement, then it is fair to state that it cost me more.

  28. Bart R

    Your last post pegged it out again.

    Come with a specific rebuttal of Rutan’s premise, namely that the CAGW mania has set off “BS detectors” in many people, and that the general public is becoming increasingly skeptical of the exaggerated CAGW claims and of the climatologists who are making them.

    That’s the topic here, Bart, not some silly sidetrack to divert attention from the topic.


    • manacker | September 15, 2012 at 11:50 am |

      That’s Rutan’s premise?

      It’s not easy to find, buried as it is under so much Rutan BS.

      Rutan’s comments might just as easily be interpreted differently. (If those words sound familiar, they’re Rutan’s fallacious approach to Science, violating Newton’s 4th Principle.)

      You could read Rutan’s statement as an indictment of the moral turpitude of standing silent if you know lies are being spread. Which would prompt me to do exactly what I’m doing: speaking up and standing up to Rutan’s lies and alarmism.

      Why aren’t you?

  29. Damn. BartR got my BS meter spinning so fast levitated to an altitude exceeding 100 kilometers. If it can do it again within 2 weeks and it can be scaled up to carry a passengers I can win the Ansari X Prize!

    Oh wait… someone already won it. Nevermind.

  30. “I even read Al Gore’s book, which was very enlightening…but not in a good way. When you look for data to back up his claims, you immediately discover that they are totally unsubstantiated.”

    They are totally unsubstantiated. This implies all Al Gore’s claims are unsubstantiated anywhere. Not that Al Gore was sloppy with footnotes or failed to produce references, but that all of Al Gore’s claims in his book (which one?*) are impossible to find support for.


    You have to call BS on this Rutan assertion. Anyone can go out and find an Al Gore claim and substantiation for it in two minutes with Google.

    Al Gore’s claims have been tried in court of law, where they’ve been found substantially true, except that in a few cases Gore exaggerates. But for exaggeration, Gore’s got nothing on Rutan.

    • My comments are now being deleted at Shaping Tomorrows World (Lewandowsky’s blog) and I’m always polite..

      • I’m seldom polite, post almost exclusively here, and frankly don’t keep track much of my past comments. Heck, I seldom give a second thought to the comments as I post them. ;)

      • Bart R

        ” I seldom give a second thought to the comments as I post them”

        Maybe that’s why they set off everyone’s “BS detector”.


      • manacker | September 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm |

        Huh. And here I thought it was because I say things people haven’t thought of yet themselves, or that gore (excuse the pun) their sacred oxen.

        See, I don’t mind if someone else does me the service of finding, identifying and fixing my BS for me. I’m grateful if they do.

        And the second you’re right about anything I’ve said, ever, you know I’ll thank you too.

      • “And here I thought it was because I say things people haven’t thought of yet themselves,” What is the word…?

      • Tom | September 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm |


      • Show.

        Times Online, November 29, 2009

        SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

        It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.

        The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.

        The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building.

        The admission follows the leaking of a thousand private emails sent and received by Professor Phil Jones, the CRU’s director. In them he discusses thwarting climate sceptics seeking access to such data.


      • It was complete balls. You could calculate the last 150 years of warming from data available from US institutions.

        The data was always available to calculate the past global warming independent of .UEA, and so check that UEA’s result matched.

        A lot of effort was made by deniers to pretend it couldn’t be done, but it could.

      • Sorry, Tom. I’m with T.L. Wool, but not that much with him; while it is possible for people to find the data from first sources and reproduce UEA’s results — as Muller et al did with BEST — I don’t say there wasn’t mismanagement of data, or that it wasn’t shameful and stupid.

        I say Rutan it appears tells a folksy story that happened to other people as if it happened to him, to lend plausibility to his own tale.

        All the difference in the world.

      • Yes Bart, that is the power of knowing the facts.

      • Tom | September 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm |

        Yes Bart, that is the power of knowing the facts.

        Oh, you thought by “lending plausibility” I meant a good thing. No, no, no.

        When you lend plausibility to yourself by making up your own facts out of thin air because you believe something like it happened to someone else, then you’re not actually plausible. You’re just a fraud.

        Which is what I’m saying it appears Burt Rutan did in his Forbes interview, which the interviewer ought have fact-checked, but I doubt he did, as a fact-checker would have noticed what Mosher noticed.

        That is, that it seems Burt Rutan was pretending to be Mosher for the purposes of making himself seem more heroic.

      • Heroic? Bart, sometimes whether you are a liberal or a conservative you feel you need to deal with what is stuck & stinks, that is on the bottom of your shoe.

      • Tom | September 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm |

        Which in this thread happens to be Burt Rutan’s apparent lies in Forbes.

        Which he, or Forbes, could go a long way to clearing up by naming and shaming the scientists who directly denied Burt Rutan personally data when he asked for it, preferrably including documentation of the requests.

      • While they are at it why not find out how PJ, ‘dumped’ their valuable data: burned, buried at sea or landfill?

      • Tom | September 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm |

        While they are at it why not find out how PJ, ‘dumped’ their valuable data: burned, buried at sea or landfill?

        I imagine because even Forbes doesn’t aspire to get yesterday’s old news wrong on purpose. Perhaps you’re thinking of Fox?

    • Bart R

      Don’t fall into the trap of defending Al Gore’s “AIT” movie.

      It just sets off everyone’s BS meter almost as much as the film itself did.


      • manacker | September 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm |

        Defending? I haven’t even seen it.

        I’m just reporting objective facts about Rutan’s claims about a book he didn’t specify the name of; there’s no defense of Gore implied. Gore did, after all, heavily exaggerate. That’s not endorsement.

    • Bart R

      In October 2007 the UK High Court in London identified nine “errors” in Al Gore’s “AIT” movie “.

      The judge stated that, if the UK Government did not agree to send to every secondary school in England a corrected guidance note making clear the mainstream scientific position on these nine “errors”, he would make a finding that the Government’s distribution of the film and the first draft of the guidance note earlier in 2007 to all English secondary schools was an unlawful contravention of an Act of Parliament prohibiting the political indoctrination of children.

      These nine errors were
      – claim that sea level will rise 6 meters as a result of AGW
      – claim that Pacific Islands are drowning
      – claim that Gulf Stream may be “shut down” as a result of AGW
      – claim that CO2 drove temperature in past interglacial warm periods
      – claim that AGW was causing the snow of Mount Kilimanjaro to melt
      – claim that AGW dried up Lake Chad in Africa
      – claim that hurricane Katrina was caused by AGW
      – claim that coral reefs are “bleaching” because of AGW
      – claim that polar bears are being killed swimming long distances to find ice that has melted away because of AGW

      In addition, there were several other questionable claims in “AIT”, which the UK court did not address.

      Face it, Bart R – “AIT” caused a lot of “BS meters” to go off (including those in the UK court.).


      • manacker | September 15, 2012 at 12:36 pm |

        Face it? It’s what I said. Though when I said it, I strove to be objectively correct.

        In context, the plaintiff’s BS meter went off over 40 times, in their complaint. The UK high court found only nine. That makes the BS meter inaccurate over 80% of the time. This is almost as bad as your own record for being wrong.

        So when you say there were ‘several other questionable claims the UK court did not address’, what apparently you mean is that the UK court supported the remainder of AIT entirely. Which I can’t comment on very much, not having seen it.

        Oh, and of those 9 ‘errors’, the courts ruling differs substantially from what you claim. (Look it up.) Why?

    • Al Gore’s claims have been tried in court of law, where they’ve been found substantially true

      Does that include NY York being 20′ under water by now btw? (Or was that Hansen ?)

      I always knew we should rather consult courts about climate science.

      • Tomcat | September 16, 2012 at 5:52 am |

        Actually, that was Watts.

        See, it’s a made-up story that never happened. It’s total BS based on something that actually did happen (involving Hansen), but differently than Watts stooges reported and re-echoed it.

        You believe everything you see on the Intertubes?

        Give your head a shake.

  31. My BS detector started pinging when I heard apocalyptic theories combined with give us your money combined with we will tell you how to live to serve the greater cause – in this case, Gaia.

    It’s a tired old routine, really, which has been practised by many a religious movement throughout history (including the ‘secular’ religious movements).

    • johanna | September 15, 2012 at 11:57 am |

      Yeah, I hate those apocalyptic-Rent-Seeking-tell-you-how-to-live people too.

      • Bart R

        So now you toss in the “Koch Bros.” to shift the topic from “BS meters” detecting problems with CAGW claims.

        Another “ping”.


      • BS is BS

        It’s incredibly hard to calibrate any measurement when you ignore half of what you’re measuring. Especially if you’re buried up to your neck in that half.

    • Apparently our BS meters are calibrated to about the same standard.

  32. The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

    I shall keep the concept of “motivated reasoning” firmly in mind when I both read and interpret Judith’s upcoming post on this summer’s Arctic sea ice melt. It might be an excellent self-study on the topic for both the author and the readers.

    I do find the whole topic of conservative vs. liberal, who is more educated on the topic of climate, and motivated reasoning to be quite fascinating. Who is judging the metric by which “more” educated is being evaluated? What is their motivated reasoning is choosing this metric? How does the old enemy of all true skeptics– confirmation bias– playing into to issue of motivated reasoning? You could, for example, compare the published science that a conservative reads to that which a liberal reads. Or even more to the point, look what facts that each side pays attention to in any given study or set of data. The point being that motivated reasoning exists on both sides of the issue, and thus both of Judith’s hypotheses are correct on one level or another.

    • I’m curious about the 30 year record-low Arctic Ice Melt too. I’m curious about how you AGW boys are going to explain the satellite record showing average temperature of the lower troposphere cooling at the same time summer Arctic sea ice extent is retreating.

      I explained it to my own satisfaction long ago with the analogy to an engine producing heat (tropics), a radiator (open ocean in the Arctic), and a thermostat that opens wider when the engine gets warmer (sea ice). When the thermostat opens wider the radiator gets warmer even as the engine gets cooler. The basic mechanism is no mystery. The only real questions involve the amount of hysteresis. In climate science parlance I guess hysteresis in this case would be translated as “melting in the pipeline”.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)


        1. Arctic lower tropospheric temperatures have not cooled over the past 30 years– quite the opposite. The fact that the permafrost is melting as well is a big clue that this is the case.
        2. A lot of energy is being brought into the Arctic via warmer ocean currents and this is adding greatly to the melt and also ties directly back to the fact that the majority of the energy imbalance in the Earth energy system has gone into the oceans and this is being transported to the Arctic in some measure.
        3. No matter what happens in the Arctic you’re own “motivated reasoning” will lead you to find any reason other than anthropogenic global warming as the cause. The big clue that this is the case is your statement “I explained to my own satisfaction”. A real skeptic never “explains” anything to their own satisfaction. You want to believe what you believe, but you can’t believe that about yourself. A bit of an irony, eh?

      • David Springer

        Which part of “average temperature of the lower troposphere” did you not understand? If I’d meant to constrain that to “average temperature of the lower troposphere over the Arctic” I would have said “average temperature of the lower troposphere over the Arctic”.

        Now try again, if you can, and this time leave your strawmen at home.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)


        I don’t think we care much about the average temperature in the middle of Africa when it comes to melting Arctic sea ice. It is the energy coming into and staying in the Arctic that determines how fast Arctic sea ice and permafrost are going to melt. Since the topic here was Arctic sea ice, it was actually you who brought a “straw man” into the discussion with your average global tropospheric temperature, and worse still, a completely incorrect one based on who knows what kind of data.

      • R Gates (The Warmist):

        A lot of energy is being brought into the Arctic via warmer ocean currents t …

        Energy moving from location A to location B does not mean overall warming. Especially since average temperatures (that you choose to ignore above) remain constant.

        … and [] ties directly back to the fact that the majority of the energy imbalance in the Earth energy system has gone into the oceans

        This is not a “fact”, it is but your oft-cited hypothesis posing as one. As you too have said before, we simply do not know how much is energy in the deep oceans.

        IOW, this is just your confirmation bias, which is why I have stripped the “Skeptical” from your moniker …

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        So Tomcat,

        Since you seem to deny the validity of all the research and data that show ocean heat content to have been increasing for many decades, then what moniker shall we add to your name? Because we don’t know exactly how much the heat content has increased all the way to the bottom the world over and because uncertainty increases the deeper we go does not mean we don’t have a high degree of certainty in the trend.

      • R. Gates, The oceans have accumulated energy since 1955 and there is transfer of energy within the oceans. The increased transfer of energy to the northern oceans is increasing the rate of Arctic sea ice melt. Climate didn’t start in 1955 though. The general heat capacity increase in the oceans started well before 1955. In fact, there was considerable loss of ocean heat content between 1940 and 1945 in the southern hemisphere where man made aerosols should have been less of a factor than in the northern hemisphere which should be obvious with the northern hemisphere’s higher sensitivity to volcanic aerosols.

        Here is a pretty picture of the internal imbalance of the oceans.

        There is a piece or two missing from the puzzle.

      • R Gates
        If as you (now) claim the heat content of the oceans is well known, where are the plain graphs of ocean temperature (at all depths) over time, similar to those for the atmosphere?
        Only a few months ago you said that deep ocean temperature temps were very poorly understood. Has there been some major revolution or revelation since then ? Or has your enthusiasm for your (Trenberth’s) hypothesis that extra heat is hiding out in the deep ocean got the better of you?

  33. Max_OK | September 15, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply

    “I’m not sure CO2 addicts are interested in fuel efficiency. If you assume well-being is a function of fuel consumption, using less fuel wouldn’t be a good idea.”

    Amazing logic failure. Your parents must be deeply ashamed.

    If well being is a function of fuel consumption then if you can use it more efficiently you can get more well being out of the same amount of fuel.

    • What’s the matter with you? If burning more fuel makes me happier, why would I want to burn less by being more efficient. Are you crazy enough to think Hummer drivers would be happier driving sissy little hybrids like the Prius?

      • David Springer

        I there are two cars where everything is equal except fuel economy why would I want the one with the worse economy? If I have the one with the better fuel economy I can afford to be out on the road enjoying it more.

        You make no sense, kid. But you must know that by now.

      • Springer, I like to burn rubber, but I doubt you can understand that pleasure. You probably drive a wimp-mobile.

      • OK_Max, sell your Prius.

      • Max,

        Where do you get the idea that “burning fuel” makes people happy? I doubt I could find anyone who gets a feeling of happiness from burning any fuel, for any application. What people receive from burning fuel – warmth (or cooling), fast, convienent transportation, food – can bring happiness. But burning it? Not likely.

        The only consideration I give to burning a fuel is how much it costs me.

    • Interesting too that opinions seem to change when persons are a part of the system compared to when they retire, as for instance… Joanne Simpson; “Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly….As a scientist I remain skeptical…The main basis of the claim that man’s release of greenhouse gases is the cause of the warming is based almost entirely upon climate models. We all know the frailty of models concerning the air-surface system.”

  34. So with the master’s red ink over my work, I’m going back and having another look at it.

    Memorable phrasing. What a morsel.

    Thanks JC.

  35. If I read you correctly then I fit your hypothesis. I am a fallen liberal, one whose BS monitor went to red on reading IPCC AR4 WG1 amid the hype at the Incovenient Truth release time.
    The whole NPR/National Geographic Climate Connection series and similar media tripe sent me firmly to the opposition camp, since the BS meter was a constant drone or throbbing at that point.

    Now I would be classified by your social scientists as a conservative/skeptic, mostly because the BS detector makes me delerious with insomnia whenever I hear the latest policy fix for the non-problem.

    Who wants to take responsibility for conversions like mine?

  36. There are multiple triggers for BS warning lights in the climate debate. They fall generally into two categories. Other commenters have identified many. From the perspective of a geologist, here’s my general list:

    A few scientific triggers:
    1. Dramatic conclusions drawn on less than 200 years of data in a climate system that fluctuates on an immense range of time-scales from months to millions of years.

    2. Fundamental data (historic land temp data) acquired with wide variety of instruments of varying precision and operator skill, being used for a purpose and at a resolution for which it was never intended.

    3. Heavy dependence on geographically limited geologic proxy record for periods beyond 200 years.

    4. Heavy dependence on proxies in general, each of which (likely) depend on many assumptions that are difficult to validate, and most of which will ultimately become more, rather than less, limited in their applications as time allows more thorough scrutiny.

    5. General complexity of climate system, which is (potentially) influenced by many factors about which we know little (solar activity to microbe activity).

    6. Heavy dependence on highly complex models. While models provide an excellent method of testing certain features of any natural system, the output of models can be highly dependent on the concept of the modeler.

    7. Heavy dependence of model projections on unpredictable economic and ecological systems.

    8. Lack of model validation

    A few social triggers:

    1. Absolute insistence that no other alternative can be considered or discussed: the science is done.

    2. Apocalyptic language of proponents.

    3. Demonization of opponents and efforts to destroy their livelihood (from “crimes against humanity” to removing uncooperative colleagues from their positions).

    4. Co-occurrence of scientific conclusions with pre-existing policy positions that usually have something to do with the flow of large sums of money.

    5. Protection of data

    6. Opaque and recurring “adjustments” of fundamental data (historic land temp data).

    7. Economic claims about policy prescriptions that are clearly at odds with fundamental economic principles and plain old sound money sense.

  37. …they’ll know we’re all corrupt stooges and our “master” is …

    So they admit what they are.


  38. Is this ClimateGate3?

    But it is not yet November?

  39. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    Personally I have never been able to detect any BS. I was reading the journal Science about 6-8 years ago and there was an article about a previously unknown mechanism by which variations in solar output might produce variations in Earthly weather. That stimulated me to start reading more of the science of weather, climate, the hypothesis of AGW and so on. It seemed to me that the more I read the more it became apparent that the knowledge base is too incomplete and too imprecise for any long-term policy to be built on it. The incompleteness and imprecision are thoroughly documented in the textbooks, monographs and peer-reviewed literature, “hiding in plain sight”, so to speak. All you have to do is notice the hundreds of pages on which there are no comparisons of models to data, the hundreds of simplifying approximations in the derivations, and the somewhat smaller number of hundreds of pages on which models and data do not fit very well.

    Attention to “bs”, “fraud”, conspiracy etc is distracting. Focus attention on the holes in the knowledge.

    • The problem is when too much confidence is ascribed to the conclusions, in the face of obvious holes in the knowledge. And those pointing out holes in the knowledge are described as ‘deniers.’

      • That was the aspect of the Lewandowsky paper that surprised me. Lewandowsky doesn’t understand the difference between Skeptics and Deniers.

        “NASA faked the moon landing—therefore (climate) science is a hoax: An anatomy of the motivated rejection of science”

        “Accordingly, climate “skeptic” blogs have become a major staging post for denial, although blogs are also used to disseminate scientific evidence by supporters of climate science.”

        “…climate deniers believe that temperature records have been illegitimately adjusted to exaggerate warming (e.g., Condon, 2009)”

        “Rejection of science must be distinguished from true scepticism, which may prompt the revision of a scientific claim on the basis of evidence and reasoned theorizing. Skepticism is not only at the core of scientific reasoning but has also been shown to improve people’s discrimination between true and false information (e.g., Lewandowsky, Stritzke, Oberauer, & Morales, 2005, 2009).”

      • That was the aspect of the Lewandowsky paper that surprised me. Lewandowsky doesn’t understand the difference between Skeptics and Deniers.

        Oh I’m pretty sure he does actually. The term ‘denier’ was only coined by people who wanted to counter skepticism, but had no answer to it, so they mislead others that it is ‘denialism’ (lots of handy Holocaust imagery comes with it too of course).

    • David Springer

      We can’t focus on the science. It’s settled, don’t you know?

  40. Without any doubt, Kevin Trenberth set off my BS detector. Narrowing down the top of the atmosphere energy imbalance to 0.9 +/- 0.18Wm-2 was truly an unbelievable feat of modeling expertise. Since the model he referenced just happens to be James Hansen’s, I expanded the range of my BS detector a touch to all that doubt satellite measurements in favor of model experimentation.

    • K Trenberth and J Hansen have little understanding of energy around their backyards. Surprised they can both BS for decades.

  41. “This was frankly astonishing because analyzing data is something I’m very good at.”

    Speaking of things that redline the BS detector.

    What a moron.

    • Andrew Russell

      His aircraft and spacecraft fly. Unlike your nonsense.

      Phil Jones – (
      “The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I?ll delete the file rather than send to anyone.”

  42. Who knows what data he was asking for and which scientists he asked? Was he looking for raw tree ring data, station temperature records, original ice cores, raw satellite measurements, CO2 measurements, ocean pH measurements, computer outputs, infrared and solar radiation measurements, geological proxies, ocean temperature measurements, CO2 emission inventories, sea-ice area measurements, glacier data, …? Which of these myriad lines of evidence was he questioning and why?

  43. The problem is that many people think this issue is too important to be limited to a fair and open discussion. They don’t think they can get action unless they panic people with a description of an imminent climate disaster. They may be correct, but you have to learn to take everything they write with a grain of salt and you can’t expect fair and even civil treatment from them when you disagree with them. This is easy to understand when their world view is that people that disagree with them are dupes or people who are desstroying the planet for private gain.

  44. Here’s a link to “An Engineer’s Critique of Global Warming Science”

    “These consensus issues are discussed in some detail in three PowerPoint charts included near the end of my “An Engineer’s Critique of Global Warming Science” report. The bottom line: there is no consensus on the claims of planet catastrophe.”

  45. For BS detectors the fact that the socio-cultural hegemony of global warming theory is a Western phenomenon is very interesting and that politically it has become a Left vs. right issue is very revealing.

  46. Pingback: The Daily Lew – Issue 5 | Watts Up With That?

  47. I got to ask, how much skepticism generated by science and environmental journalism.

    These journalists have a hard job and the hardest part of their job is keeping their job. They have to crank out (n) number of column words a week and develop a following. Climate hysteria fits their needs perfectly.

    But those columns are also what triggers our bullshit detectors.

    Climate reporting always “worse than we thought”. The message is always that the world is teetering on the tipping point. The science is always gee-wiz and always bad. A headline one day will be contradicted by a beneath the fold “never-mind” study the next.

    Face it, it is why people turn to the skeptical websites for answers.

  48. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Near the end of the comments on the most recent Climate Etc Week In Review we encounter a startling assertion:

    Judith Curry asserts  “Joe Bastardi’s forecast [of early Arctic freeze-up] is actually closer to reality than the people that predicted an ice-free Arctic this summer.”

    Judith, for examples of (what you call) “Motivated (?) Reasoning”, let’s turn our (what you call) “BS detectors” on those folks who (in your words) “predicted an ice-free Arctic this summer.”

    And conversely, as an examplar of (what you call) an “auditor” of (in your phrase) “deep investigations of problems with climate data” … heck, let’s use the person whose predictions you praise … Joe Bastardi!

    But golly … in carrying through this educational program, it’s been unexpectedly difficult to find prominent scientists and/or bloggers who concretely predicted “an ice-free Arctic this summer”?

    Judith Curry, please help us tune our BS detectors … and improve our sensitivity to motivationed reasoning … by identifying the specific writings and/or specific people that you had in-mind, who predicted an ice-free Arctic this summer!

    This is an obstruction to our learning … because all of us Climate Etc readers are anxious to compare and contrast the works of the consensus BS disseminators with those of an exemplary auditor of climate science, namely Joe Bastardi!   ;)   :grin:   :lol:   :!:

    After, if we are to confidently identify motivated reasoning, we need to study clear examples of it!   :!:   :!:   :!:

    Motivated reasoners beware, eh?   ;)   :grin:   :lol:   :!:

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Gosh, it’s mighty quiet, in regard to Judith’s cadre of “people that predicted an ice-free Arctic this summer.”

      Who are these mysterious “predictors”? The world wonders!   :?:   :?:   :?:

      They exist in Judith’s mind … and they exist in Steve Goddards’ mind …

      … but to say it gently, these people (apparently) do not exist in reality, do they?   :?:   :?:   :?:

      So by what ineffable cognitive process(es) does this idea originate?   :?:   :?:   :?:

      The world wonders!   :!:   ;)   :!:

      • fan, my bet on Lucia’s blog was for a minimum extent of 2.89 million kilometers squared. That is still 2.89 million kilometers squared from being ice free. To be completely ice free we might need to move either Greenland or Alaska.

        Unless there is another large volcano, 2.89 will be a good bet for the next few decades.

      • I think it’s time for people to discuss in more granularity the various definitions of ‘disappear’ for the Arctic Sea Ice.

        What if the polar cap is ejected entirely from the polar gyre, ending up mostly outside its historic extent? Does that count?

        If it breaks up into a toroidal gyre? Does a North Pole absent ice cover count, even if there’s still some residue caught up in the various eddies?

        If we see a dynamic melt-refreeze cycle in the same summer due cyclonic influences?

        It’s not bound to be a phase of many years duration, but it’s going to be fascinating to watch over the next half decade or three.

      • the definition of ‘ice free’ Arctic Ocean seems to be summer minimum of 1 million square miles of sea ice. The ice near the Canadian Archipelago and Greenland is very difficult to melt, so I guess that ice doesn’t count in ‘ice free’

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        So to be clear, Judith Curry, the “people that predicted an ice-free Arctic this summer” do not in fact exist?

        Their existence was asserted by Judith and by Steve Goddard … uhhh … why exactly   :?:   :?:   :?:

      • This is getting stoopid. Read the links i just posted. He has a name: Paul Beckwith. you can decide whether or not he ‘exists’

        Peter Wadhams has said this year:

        “It could even all go this summer,” he said. “So I think the 2015 date is now looking a bit conservative. We may end up having an ice-free summer before then.”

        I KNOW Peter Wadhams exists.

      • curryja | September 15, 2012 at 6:55 pm |

        I ought rephrase my misgivings.

        While I wouldn’t call the expulsion from the Arctic of on the order of zero (which is approximately one million square miles or kms?) area of some form of surface ice by cyclonic activities the most probable outcome in any year going forward, it appears plausible over the course of some imminent decade.

        I expect, given the phase transition, historical methods and measures are no longer appropriate or relevant.

        Unless by historical methods and measures one means as Hartmut Heinrich described events.

      • Judith –

        Peter Wadhams has said this year:

        “It could even all go this summer,” he said. “So I think the 2015 date is now looking a bit conservative. We may end up having an ice-free summer before then.”

        That is also not validation of what you said. It is not a “prediction” that the Arctic would be ice free by the end of September.” It is only speculation – certainly not a prediction – and it obviously invalidates your claim as even if you wanted to misconstrue it as a prediction – it would also include the possibility of the summers of 2013 and 2014.

        Yes, Judith – this is stoopid. It is a debate about something that in the full context, is totally inconsequential. But it is an example of tribalism, and as such, coming from you, it is an instructive example.

        And you could easily put an end to the stupidity by just acknowledging your error. And hopefully, after doing that you might speak about your reflections on: (1) why you would make such an obvious error and, (2) fail to be accountable for that error.

        We would all benefit from that. Lead by example, Judith.

      • “It is a debate about something that in the full context, is totally inconsequential.”

        Joshua is POed because he thinks that Dr. Curry is horning in on his territory. The raising of the inconsequential, masquerading as “debate.”

        Inane arguments about terminology are his exclusive territory.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Judith said:

        “The ice near the Canadian Archipelago and Greenland is very difficult to melt, so I guess that ice doesn’t count in ‘ice free.”

        Difficult yes, but it too will go. Sure, there might be chunks here and there that survive for a few years and be included in that under 1 million sq. km total that will be considered an ice free Arctic. But as the Arctic basin clears out, giving as an ice free north pole, etc. warmer water will begin eating at the ice along the Canadian Archipelago and the north coast of Greenland and with the open Arctic basin some of that ice could even be dislodged from these areas to diverge into warmer waters and melt there. Either way, it will go.

        In regards to who shall prove to be closer or more accurate in their predictions– You sort of have three camps. Skeptics like Joe Bastardi who has been calling for a “recovery” to begin for many years now, the average climate models that say we’ll see an ice free Arctic sometime between 2030 and 2070, or people like Maslowski and Wadams, who are suggesting the probability is high we’ll see an ice free Arctic (less than 1 million sq. km) sometime before 2020. If CryoSat-2 hadn’t confirmed the essentially validity of PIOMAS I might have favored the 2030-2070 group, but Maslowski’s 2015-2016 “high probability” is looking pretty good right now. Bastardi should simply stop talking about the Arctic sea ice and stick with weather– unless he wants to spend some time with Dr. Francis to see how the two might be related. Like that would ever happen!

      • Joshua
        You’re not being clear. Why do you imagine that Judith reports others saying there will likely be a ice-free Arctic, makes her tribal ?

      • BFJ –

        You’re not being clear. Why do you imagine that Judith reports others saying there will likely be a ice-free Arctic, makes her tribal ?

        Judith reporting what others report would not make her tribal. Spinning what others report, and not owning up to that spin, and falsely attributing her “reporting” as a response to statements that hadn’t been made yet, and making inaccurate statements about what she has or hasn’t said, all reflect tribalism.

        We are all tribal here. So tribalism in and of itself isn’t the point. Finding one more example doesn’t add much to the debate. But how people react to tribalism is important. And showing an appropriate accountability for tribalism would enable Judith to lead by example.

        When people start stepping up to the plate to own their tribalism, we can begin to get past the obstacle that tribalism creates. No sooner than that. Until that time, all we have is more Jell-O flinging.

      • Just chalk that as yet another of Judith’s statements that she has failed to validate when questioned. the list is long.

        JC comment: try reading my comments, I reproduce my response here:

        Discussed at Stoat, see esp the comments

      • Joshua I read the ice news every day. there were a couple people who suggested that with the right weather this year we could get to ‘ice free” which is 1million sq km. A figure that
        was thrown out a long while back when Serreze speculated in a similar fashion. I’d say the same thing for 2013. We could, with the right weather, hit 1M. The 5 and 4 meter ice up along the CA is going to be tougher to melt out and fast ice is probably going to be tough to melt out, although I dont know if fast ice counts since its landed

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Judith it appears that your post and Steve Goddard’s posts were based on a strained construction of *one* cherry-picked line, on *one* cherry-picked slide, on *one* cherry-picked presentation, by *one* cherry-picked researcher.   :!:   :!:   :!:

        Is this *really* the entire set of “people that predicted an ice-free Arctic this summer”   :?:   :?:   :?:

        Do these standards not light-up pretty much anyone’s “BS detector”?   :roll:   :roll:   :roll:

      • Judith – this is what you wrote:

        There are even predictions of an ice free Arctic Ocean by the end of Sept. I’ll do a post later in Sept on “what is going on and what does all this mean.” But in the mean time, here is highly confident prediction: the Arctic Ocean will NOT be ice free by the end of Sept.

        When simply asked to link to those predictions at that time, you failed to do so.

        When did you write that? Why, on August 25th. The two links you posted here were put up after August 25th. So obviously, when you made your statement on August 25th, you weren’t thinking of the comments in those two posts. In stead of just making your initial mistake, you offer this weak after-the-fact rationalization. Clearly, you realized your mistake initially – and that is why you didn’t answer the questions as asked.

        When tonyb stood in for you on August 25th to link to WUWT – he linked to a post where Anthony deliberately misrepresented what one climate scientist said, in 2007. You said absolutely nothing – even when it was pointed out how Anthony twisted the statement of a climate scientists. It is time for you to call out tribalists on both sides of the debate, Judith.

        But even beyond that fairly banal points of error – clearly your statement was meant to indicate that there was some significant contingent of “true believers,” as you like to say, who were predicting an ice free Arctic this summer.

        Judith – just say that you overstated your case because sometimes you allow motivated reasoning to interfere with your analysis, and move on.

        When you don’t just admit these things to yourself, then you make mistakes like the one I just noted, and also mistakes like the one I will note below:

        On August 25th, as I noted, you said:

        But in the mean time, here is highly confident prediction: the Arctic Ocean will NOT be ice free by the end of Sept.

        And on September 14th, you said:

        I did not make a prediction about the arctic sea ice.

        Judith – you’re better than this. This are stupid errors. They are easily corrected.

        You can still play an important role in this debate. You can be a bridge-builder. But to do so, you will need to take a step back from the junior high school cafeteria lunchroom table.

      • I do seem to remember Judith taking a shot at climate scientists who can’t admit error…..but I think she had Gavin Schmidt in mind. :)

      • Mind-reader-Michael, why do you think that Gavin is stupid?

      • Joshua

        When I ‘stood in ‘ for Judith (and the extra money came in useful) as far as I recall it was because no one else had supplied the link and without it the conversation was pointless. I dont remember endorsing the prediction.


      • Wrong again Joshua Beckwith was on the record before the 25th
        If you read the arctic news every day you’d know that.

        The presentattion on the page she linked to was UPDATED the 27th
        but the discussion /prediction of an ice free septem had been going on since the storm.

        Here is Paul talking about his PREDICTION in the past tense on the 25th

        “Paul Beckwith

        Paul Beckwith, B.Eng, M.Sc. (Physics),
        Ph. D. student (Climatology) and
        Part-time Professor, University of Ottawa

        Losses of 100,000 square kilometer per day loss of sea ice area are being reported by various sources. Images of ice speed and drift, in conjunction with ice thickness, would support this.

        This rate of loss is as large as that lost during the August 3rd to 10th cyclone (700,000 to 800,000 square kilometers lost for the duration of the cyclone).

        My prediction that we’ll lose virtually all sea ice by September 30th, 2012, still seems very reasonable.”

        On Neven’s site I read about his predictions and visited his site

        Since August 10th I have been predicting that the sea ice will be completely gone from the Arctic by the end of this years melt season. Here are presentations that lead me to conclude this…I post all this stuff in real-time on facebook (Paul Beckwith) and twitter (PaulHBeckwith); please friend and follow me. Note that the last link is a presentation I gave on Jan 17th this year discussing all the sea ice links to extreme weather, etc. and the imminent sea ice failure…

      • steven –

        Wrong again Joshua Beckwith was on the record before the 25th.

        I stand corrected. There might be some argument as to the difference between “ice free” and “los[ing] virtually all sea ice” – but that would be mostly a semantic argument.

        The rest of my points, however, stand. She indicated multiple predictions as if it were somehow representative of a significant % of the “true believers” (as she likes to call people) – when in fact she has after-the-fact supplied one reference to one comment made by one scientist. She didn’t respond to requests at the time for her to provide links to back up her assertion. One of the links she provided, after-the-fact, as an explanation for her statement on the 25th – was to comments made after the 25th. Really? Something written after her comment motivated her comment? Don’t you think that’s a bit odd?

        She said that she didn’t make predictions when she did make predictions.

        And she falsely classified speculation about the period before before 2015as a prediction for 2012.

        Please note that last night she felt was important enough to respond to my post in bold – and not as a distinct comment but a response injected directly to my post — something that she has rather rarely does. That suggests a sense of urgency on her part last night.

        But today, she doesn’t think it is important to respond to my follow-on explanations of her errors to her interjected and bolded response, and she has moved on. I certainly don’t expect her to respond (let alone read) all my posts. But, IMO, it is interesting to see how the nature of her responses to my posts on this topic changed rather quickly.

      • tonyb –

        When I ‘stood in ‘ for Judith (and the extra money came in useful) as far as I recall it was because no one else had supplied the link and without it the conversation was pointless. I dont remember endorsing the prediction.

        First, the link you provided illustrated deliberate inaccuracies on the part of Anthony. Second, please note that Judith did not refer to that example once she got around, weeks later, to justifying her statement.

        Between your extra money and the huge sums I get for trying to “distract” the important work of “skeptics” posting comments on blogs – we could enjoy a good burger and micro-brew together if you’re ever In Philly.

      • Nonsense Joshua. As I follow the ice news every fricken day and read tons of material on it every day I can tell you this. Judith’s noting of a some predictions out there about an ice free arctic in sept of 2012 was exactly right. If you read any damn science, if you stayed up to speed on things her statement would not have triggered you stupid little game of prove it prove it prove it. Frankly I was shocked that she was following it closely enough to read about Paul’s prediction. You will also find it funny to see Goddard naming me as one of the people who predicted ice free september. So, your interpretation of what judith meant or implied is un important because you are un informed and you refuse to be educated. you refuse to read any science. You refuse to look at any data. You refuse to question those in our tribe or call them to account. If I were Judith I would block your IP for being terminally stupid.

      • Frankly I was shocked that she was following it closely enough to read about Paul’s prediction.

        That’s pretty funny, steven. I’d say it is questionable that Paul’s prediction was what motivated her original statement – which came on the heels of Anthony’s deceptively spun post (as tony so obligingly pointed out).

        Of course, that speaks to none of the rest of my criticisms – all of which stand. She said multiple predictions – and pointed to only one prediction made at the time of her post. She also pointed to predictions made after her post – which is obviously problematic. She also mischaracterized speculation about the period between 2012 and 2015 as a “prediction” about 2012. She also mischaracterized her own statements.

        Your loyalty to her is admirable. Unfortunately, it extends to defending her tribalism. Notice how you keep ducking those other points.

        You have called for me to be banned a number of times in the past. And IIRC, not only here. I find that rather amusing. Maybe Judith will comply with your advice. Let’s see what happens.

      • PIOMAS is a data-based model estimate of sea-ice volume. This is decreasing much faster than area is. So much so that simple extrapolation gives 2015 as the first ice-free summer.

      • Yup, 2015 if current trends continue.. However, we might see more ice form on the pacific side in the winter.. I’d say we hit 1M sq km min before 2030…hmm whats the over under? 2020.. take the under bet

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        An ice-free Arctic by 2020 would completely blow away the validity of any of models– and I think the probability is high that this will happen. The more important question is what positive feedbacks or other additions of energy to the Arctic are the models missing? Afterall, just a little over five years ago, an ice-free Arctic by 2100 seemed pretty startling but that was what the average model was saying and now we’ve moved that up by 80 years! What specifically are most of the models missing? It must be something pretty major. Did they underestimate the amount of warm water that would be entering the Arctic from lower latitudes? How fast the ice would thin? Changes in ocean or atmospheric circulation patterns bringing more energy to the Arctic? Other positive feedbacks?

      • It’s not only that the PIOMAS curve extrapolations indicate loss of summer ice by 2020, but also the loss of winter ice by 2040, i.e. the Arctic Ocean doesn’t even freeze (!). Another one to add to the its-worse-than-we-thought files.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Once we get a series of ice-free summers, certainly the additional energy added to the Arctic region from additional SW absorption alone will be enormous. Some models have shown much of this extra energy leaving right into space during the long polar winter, but more recent observations are showing an increase in low level clouds over the Arctic in the fall with increasing open water, leading to more DWLWR, and thus keeping more heat in and allowing less to escape.

        An Arctic ocean that doesn’t even freeze in winter months by 2040? Possible…and quite Miocene-like!

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Just for fun, here’s a link to what the coast of Florida looked like during the Burdigalian-Langhian stage of the Miocene:

        It might take us a few centuries to get there, so don’t sell your Florida beachfront property just yet…

      • R. Gates

        “it might take a few centuries for us to get there”

        Or millennia.

        [Or never…]

        Then, again, we might end up having another Ice Age.

        Who knows?


      • R. Gates

        Forgot to post link to attachment showing Florida coast during last Ice Age.

        [All that “prime beach property” was several hundred miles from the water.]


      • Let’s do a quickie “BS meter” test on the various projections being made that 2015, 2020 or 2030 will see an “ice free late summer Arctic”.

        NSIDC data tell us that the linear trend since satellite measurements started in 1979 is -0.09 million square km per year, with around 3 million sk reduction in extent (as compared to the 1979-2000 NSIDC baseline) over the entire period.

        Unfortunately, we do not have satellite data prior to 1979, but other data suggest that the Arctic sea ice had receded in the 1930s/1940s and recovered again to reach a high level around 1979, when the satellite measurements began.

        NSIDC data tell us that the extent is now at an all-time low (since 1979) at around 4 million sk.

        IF (the BIG word) the current linear trend since 1979 continues, the late summer Arctic sea ice should be 100% gone in 4/0.09 = 44 years, or by year 2056.

        [Doubt if any of us will be around to witness this.]


      • R. Gates

        Your ” Arctic ocean that doesn’t even freeze in winter months by 2040″ doesn’t pass my BS meter.

        Check the end-March statistics and run an extrapolation of the current trend.

        You’ll see that there is no way that Arctic sea ice is about to “disappear in winter”



      • Folks, we have just witnessed a case where claims are made that are so exaggerated that they do not pass the “BS detector” test.

        R. Gates has just stated that it is not inconceivable that the Arctic will be ice free in winter by 2040.

        This statement is so ludicrous that anyone who looks at the data can see it.

        The “BS meter” goes into alarm mode.

        Why do people (even those who call themselves “rational skeptics” have to make such totally irrational statements?

        Read the lead article and you’ll see the answer to that question.


      • I used to think, based on area extrapolation, it would be at least the 2040’s before summer sea-ice was gone, but then I saw the Arctic ice volume projections such as this
        From this, even the winter ice will be gone by the 40’s. Note the loss is already accelerating because of the positive feedback, even if the temperature rise continues linear as it has been.


        Follow the blue curve. If 1 million square kilometers is the definition of “ice free” , then “ice free” will likely not be until well after 2040, if there are no significant volcanoes or significant northern high latitude land use changes. Now it can bounce around near ice free in the summer, but unless there is a cataclysmic shift in the axis, winter ice free is impossible.

      • The current decline in Arctic sea ice is not linear, but accelerating downward. A linear extrapolation is not warranted at all. The positive feedbacks seem to be multiple and interrelated. No model has foreseen this as no model can predict a dragon-king regime changing event that alters the dynamic of a system as much as we’re seeing the Arctic being altered.

        Ice-free summer Arctic quite possible (perhaps even likely) before 2020, and given what this might mean for additional warming regionally and globally, an ice-free winter Arctic by 2040 cannot be ruled out as several more dragon king events with new unforeseen dynamics could be in the offing. As long as greenhouse gases continue to increase to levels not seen in 800,000 years and probably far longer, all bets are off and Miocene conditions, which during part of it saw a year-round ice free Arctic conditions, could be possible.

  49. “Serious social scientists have identified a split (liberal vs conservative) in terms of support vs skepticism of the climate change argument, with the conservative skeptics being generally more educated on the topic. How to explain this, other than motivated reasoning by the conservatives?

    Here is an alternative hypothesis: the motivation reasoning is on the other side, the liberal defenders of the CAGW consensus.”

    Be careful thinking like that. It is hard to stay in the middle when you start to really look at the tactics and motivations of the two “sides” to the political debate that are at the core of all the myriad policy disputes roiling the culture.

    There is, and has been, no symmetry between the tactics and motivations of progressives vs. conservatives. And not just in climate science.

    Progressives expressly embrace “the ends justify the means” in their philosophy. Conservatism rejects this, putting principle above results. This is perhaps most explicit in legal writing, where progressivism is embodied in “legal realism,” and while conservatism relies on original intent analysis.

    There is a reason that when Climate Progress could not sustain itself, it was folded so seamlessly into Think Progress. The principles of progressivism, or more accurately the lack there of, are consistent across the political spectrum.

    There is a reason that comments like “never let a good crisis go to waste,” and “…we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have” are common among progressives but not conservatives.

    There is nothing new in (or exclusive to) the climate debate.

    • There is something new… and the mask of objectivity and valuing truth for its own sake has been torn off academia and the liberal mainstream media. As a result, anyone who cannot admit Al Gore is a charlatan is no better than the quiet German population who ignored what was going on under their noses no more than 70 years ago and no less ignorant and supersitious than those who burned witches. Global warming represents the Dark Ages of reason at the close of the 20th Century and Age of Self-Defeating Nihilism as we enter the 21st.

      • I consider myself second to no one in my contempt for Al Gore, but this comment could give Godwin’s Law a bad name.

      • Democracy is not a magic word. Authoritarians and liberal fascists that live in a democratic society can and do vote.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Once more Wag you prove how very ignorant you are about a great many things– but especially about larger political and economic realities.

      • Bush hatred has nothing to do with anything George Bush ever did to deservie it. Fear of global warming has nothing to do CO2. Just as anit-Americanism exploding across the Middle East this last week has nothing to do with a movie trailer put together in Cerritos, California. To understand this you must first realize that Jews never did anything to deserve the Holocaust. Businesses and people work in the free enterprise economy are not the enemy and neither are coal miners.

      • Wow Wag…just wow.

  50. I see a lot of problems with how people are interpreting Lewandowksy’s conclusions, or perhaps they have only read second-hand distortions of it. What he concluded was that free-market ideology is a very reliable predictor of global warming skepticism. Second, some way behind that conspiratorial thinking is also a predictor. Get the attribution right. If something is a predictor, it doesn’t mean it also works backwards. Global warming skepticism doesn’t predict that you are a conspiracy theorist, but this interpretation is what has the skeptics up in arms.

    • Jim D, you hit the nail on the head.

    • Setting aside the fact that the paper’s Title isn’t supported by the data and the intentional use of sensationalism.

      Where does one find a group of people who do not support free-markets? Wouldn’t one need to be as ignorant as a stone to reject our global free market?

      Also, less than 15% of respondents were found to be skeptics and of those a percentage relates to warmers who faked their response. Yet, the conclusion imply a direct correlation to Skeptics.

      Also, his definition of the term Skeptic is inaccurate.

      How the paper managed to get through Peer Review is astounding.

      • The title was phrased correctly from a logical standpoint. It is not at all surprising that conspiracy theorists also reject AGW. They might be a small minority of the population, but if you survey them, why would you be surprised they think that? I don’t know what society you live in, but there are people who prefer regulation to deregulation, government to corporations, collective responsibility to individualism. These are the distinctions that define the free market ideology against other types.

      • To a certain extent I understand the convenience of using free markets to imply political views in an international survey due to the meaning of the political party terms in different countries. It simply strikes me as a very sloppy generalization that has little to no merit in quantitative research but the entire survey is qualitative open ended reasoning.

        If we use Lord May’s definition of Affirmer and Denier, blind acceptance or blind rejection of IPCC conclusions based on little to no understanding. Then I could see a logical correlation with acceptance of various conspiracy theories. But that would have required additional questions that were never presented.

        The survey, from my perspective, is nothing more than propaganda.

      • He seems to define skeptics as people who don’t agree to statements that start with “I believe…” on his survey for CO2 questions. This seems fair enough to me. He also defines them as rejecting climate science.

      • John from CA, do you know what “free-market” means?

    • Even the Chinese had to introduce some degree of free market into their economy – hmmm – I guess that’s why they shun global warming “fixes.”

      • I don’t know if it is their free market, but their solar and wind energy businesses have become among the world’s largest in recent years. The US has lost out in that growing market.

      • We will do well to “lose out” on that expensive form of energy. No loss for the US at all. The Chinese government has subsidized their solar industry and make panels at a loss. Some business! Who wants to be in a losing business?? Let the Chinese have it.

      • Forward thinking there. Let’s use all the fossil fuels, then think about alternatives.

      • And in this country, Obama has uses “green” programs to pay off his cronies and donors with his favorite currency – other people’s money.

      • JimD,

        As in the solar panel factories they are laying workers off from or shutting down?

      • Well, sure, some degree. Nothing wrong with some free-market. Nothing wrong with a lot of free-market. But a pure 100% free market ain’t so good. Besides, China is cheating by using their State-directed capitalism in a world market that’s pretty free.

      • Government funding to spark new industries is against the whole concept of free markets, but it does work, as we see.

      • Yeah, sure, Jim D – I guess you don’t get out much do you? Notice any of the failed “green” companies sponsored by the government? There is a slew of them. It’s much better to let private investors lose their money on these pie-in-the-sky ideas than let Obama lose our money. We didn’t have a choice – and I don’t like that.

      • Don’t you think that was from foreign competition? The renewable energy market is very active, and sometimes even the US has losers in it, but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get into it. It is an ideal area for profit-making because everyone needs energy, and some governments also subsidize their renewable energy industries because of this (see the oil industry too), but it is far from a free market making it an unfair playing field for going it alone.

      • jim2, just pretend none of your tax paid for things you don’t like, and I will pretend none of mine paid for things I don’t like. Then we’ll both be happy.

      • Jim D – sure, it’s foreign competition alright. It ‘s the Chinese government subsidizing a money losing business to keep the serfs there in a job so they don’t rebel. If the renewable energy market was attractive, the government wouldn’t have to subsidize it. The only thing attractive about it IS the “other people’s money” offered by the government.

      • jim2, so you’re still saying just give up on that market. Don’t try to make better products with more advanced technology in the US if the government has to help. Does that go for the auto industry too?

      • It’s fine for the gov to fund some basic research – but it should not grant money to set up companies. Big difference. And the gov shouldn’t be funding that loser of a car, the Volt. What a waste of money we don’t even have. The gov should have let GM go through bankruptcy. GM would still be here, but free of onerous pensions and other obligations.

      • Unfortunately for this idealistic free-market thinking is that there are progressive countries out there where governments have no hesitancy in propelling their own industries in the world market with some financial aid, because it helps jobs at home.

      • Let other governments waste their money as they choose, that does not mean it is a good thing or that the US should emulate it. In fact, if they are making something we need, we should just buy it from them and take advantage of the cheap price. Of course, even subsidized we don’t need solar, but cheap cars are always welcomed.

      • It is not wasting money. It’s jobs, GDP, all those good things.

      • “Government funding to spark new industries is against the whole concept of free markets, but it does work, as we see.”

        It’s one thing to hand out research money and fund demonstration projects. It’s another to build an entire industry with tax revenues. GM could “out-compete” every automaker in the world if Uncle Sam gave it enough money to sell cars below production cost.

        Anyway, however China’s solar industry was built, it was built with the expectation that European taxpayers would fund it. That’s not looking like such a great bet right now.

      • They are not building industries from nothing. They are incentivizing them, and helping them to be competitive in the global market.

      • Jim D,

        You could be right: perhaps they see that the mostly low efficiency Si-ingot panels they produce are a great long-run bet even though solar efficiency is advancing steadily and they have a corner on the primary resource necessary for that advancement (REE). Or maybe they saw (past tense) a huge cash cow in European solar subsidies. My money is on the latter.

        At any rate, if it’s a long-run bet, the rest of the market doesn’t agree. The typical Chinese solar stock (LDK, JASO, CSUN, TSL, YGE, JKS, CSIQ), trading as ADRs in the US, is off 85%-90% since the beginning of 2010. Several are trading at <2% of their 2007-2008 peaks.

        Indeed, JimJ, JimD, Jim Cripwell and Jim2 (I hope I didn’t leave out any jims), there are too many jims. In the future, I’ll go by Jimmy.

      • Jimmy, then I would see that as a US opportunity in the global market rather than a problem for China. Better technologies should win out, and the US should be capable, especially if the research is funded well. The solar energy market is only increasing, so if those companies are going down, somebody else is winning.

      • Government funding to spark new industries is against the whole concept of free markets, but it does work, as we see.

        It works to the extent of sparking new industries, the cost being older ones it necessarily wipes out. And since the motivation is inherently political, the overall result is likely to be that the artificial new ones create less value that the old ones they displace.

      • Jim D,

        Basic research is always welcome. I have no argument with that, nor with demonstration projects, or even seed loans such as the much-maligned Solyndra loan. My problem is with the taxpayers funding the creation of entire industries that are unprofitable to replace industries that are profitable.

        “The solar energy market is only increasing”

        My take: solar stocks rose in anticipation of many decades of massive European subsidies for solar power – that is, because of a long-term view of profitability. It’s now clear that those subsidies won’t materialize. It’s not only unlikely, it’s impossible. Euro-zone countries will build out fossil fuel / nuke capacity trumping the future solar market. Solar power will increase in the near-term as scheduled projects are completed, but in the mid and long-term its growth will slow dramatically.

        “Better technologies should win out…”

        They should and will. But only in the very long run – 20 years or more. No solar technology is now competitive with nat gas or coal. Without subsidies, which are impossible in the debt-riddled West, it won’t happen.

    • ” Second, some way behind that conspiratorial thinking is also a predictor.”

      So those who think that big oil, the Koch brothers and Heartland are responsible for the failure of the CAGW movement must be closet skeptics.

  51. I think what happens is this. People who already believe that man is “hurting” the Earth, when they hear that global warming is man-induced and that large sums of money must be spent or sacrifice to “save the Earth” – these people simply accept it without much investigation into the bases of the claims. People who care about the economic condition of their country and the economic situation of its citizens, on the other hand, are alarmed at the huge economic cost of mitigation. If these people are scientifically literate – say they have a degree math, natural science, or engineering – they are motivated to examine the bases of the claims and find the bases wanting.

    • This gets into the definition of Alarmists. I honestly wish someone would settle the meaning of these terms and share the meaning across all boundaries of this debate so we could at least communicate correctly.

      IMO, Alarmists have a vested interest either psychological or financial with the outcome/solutions and and understanding of the science that varies from zero to 100%.

      It wasn’t by accident that the creation of the IPCC included solution work groups. The IPCC is thus Alarmist by design.

    • Jim 2 is on the money.

      Almost universally, there is a claim to moral righteousness among the AGW believers: they’re doing what’s “right” for the planet, for humanity. To ignore or refute AGW is moral heresy. JimD claims that Lewandowksy’s work simply correlates AGW skeptics with free-market ideas. Assuming that’s a fair characterization, flipping the data around, one could claim Lewandowksy’s work demonstrates that AGW believers are anti-free market: they oppose profit in general on moral grounds and, particularly, the profits of the fossil fuel industry, which they view as the root of all evil. I doubt AGW was “created” or manufactured specifically for this purpose. However, it clearly has been exploited for this purpose in a dramatic way, by people both inside and outside the scientific establishment.

  52. Burt Rutan becomes aware of the government conspiracy.

    “And then I got mad,” he said. “Nobody’s doing anything about this.”

    “Actually some were, but because the government got scared it started pumping funding toward anyone who said he was working on global warming Rutan said.

    • MaxOK. how do you manage to get the “conspiracy” strawman into this acount >

    • Max_OK

      “Burt Rutan becomes aware of the government conspiracy.”

      Which government Max? Somalia, Sweden, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Switzerland, Soutj Korea.

      Or are you just referring to the American myopia that thinks the world just consists of the lower 48. That towering aspect of the American psyche; narrow parochialism..

      So lets say, just for the sake of argument that there is a US government conspiracy about this. Can you explain to me why Dwight D Eisenhower started this conspiracy? Because the conspiracy most certainly started in the 50’s and was centered primarily on Cold-War era Defence scientists.

      With the Cold War in full swing, with fears of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, the scary ‘duck & cover’ advertisments on TV, exactly why did Ike feel he needed or wanted to institute a secret government conspiracy around climate change? This is the same Ike who warned us of the dangers of the Military-Industrial Complex. Why did Ike start the conspiracy Max, that has lasted for 2 generations?

      Exhibit 1. A scientific paper called: “The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climate Change” – rather telling name there. Published in the journal TELLUS in 1956. Author, Gilbert Plass, a physicist who also worked on things like missile guidance systems. This conspiracy started before I was born Max, and I ain’t no spring chicken any more.

      Is that what you think? That while fighting the Cold War, a Presidential assasination, the civil rights movement, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, the campaign for racial equality etc, the US government on both sides, the Presidency, the Congress and the Judiciary – and the Military – all signed off on this conspiracy. Republicans & Democrats over the years signed off on it. Reagan signed off on it. Through the 60’s and beyond they got other governments around the world to sign off on it.

      All because Ike thought it was a good idea to put another issue on the table – a rather crowded table? In the middle of all the ferment of the mid 20’th century they started a conspiracy because it might be useful 1/2 a century later.

      Is that what you, and presumably Burt really think? Really!


  53. Here is Glenn Tamblyn (Skeptical Science author/moderator) secretly conversing with his SkS pals on their off limits forum and saying “we need a conspiracy to save humanity”. The Viet Cong comparison is a nice touch too. There’s talk of convening a “war council” too. Bolds mine.

    And this isn’t about science or personal careers and reputations any more. This is a fight for survival. Our civilisations survival. .. We need our own anonymous (or not so anonymous) donors, our own think tanks…. Our Monckton’s … Our assassins.

    Anyone got Bill Gates’ private number, Warren Buffett, Richard Branson? Our ‘side’ has got to get professional, ASAP. We don’t need to blog. We need to network. Every single blog, organisation, movement is like a platoon in an army. ..This has a lot of similarities to the Vietnam War….And the skeptics are the Viet Cong… Not fighting like ‘Gentlemen’ at all. And the mainstream guys like Gleick don’t know how to deal with this. Queensberry Rules rather than biting and gouging.

    ..So, either Mother Nature deigns to give the world a terrifying wake up call. Or people like us have to build the greatest guerilla force in human history. Now. Because time is up…Someone needs to convene a council of war of the major environmental movements, blogs, institutes etc. In a smoke filled room (OK, an incense filled room) we need a conspiracy to save humanity.

    [As quoted by Geoff Chambers in this Bishop Hill thread. ]

    Yet skeptics are being painted as the conspiracy nuts by the very same people.

    • If it was a secret conversation, was it hacked?

      • leakers

      • Whistle blowers ?

      • maybe it just leaked out through gaps in the internet

      • you sadly miss the point — is it factual.

      • Was it hacked? It was a private blog. All any of the members had to do was make it public. So why would “was it outed by an insider” not be an option? There is a growing number of the younger scientists that think the old guard has lost it, after all.

      • Then whoever did it should own up to it, not hide. Has the leaker identified himself? Do we know whether he was there under false pretenses?

      • I would hope so, but I doubt they will. There was a young climate scientist that commented on this blog after the AGU conference last year mentioning that the talking points were becoming more of an ideological indoctrination. They don’t have the tenure or reputation to do a Curry, so they just forget to hide a password now and again. Remember, none of us old guys are to be trusted :)

      • I picked up the following from BishopHill. I don’t know if it’s the perp or someone else’s comment.

        “A lot of everyday conversation among SkS authors reads like hateful vulgarities.”

        HA HA, yeah, unlike here where everyone is so sweet and gentle.

      • Lewandowsky would call this line of reasoning conspiracy theory. Thanks for proving the point.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Anthony Watts, you and most folks on Climate Etc (including me!) appreciate that progress is most rapid when the strongest skepticism confronts the strongest physical theories and the strongest physical evidence.

      So it is a mystery to many folks (including me!) why WUWT focusses so commonly on the weakest science?

      For example, why attack Stephan Lewandowsky in no less than nine ( :!: ) recent WUWT posts … while studiously ignoring the well-respected and thoroughly documented analyses of Naomi Oreskes that similarly deal with patterns of motivated reasoning associated to neodenialism.

      Heck, your partners at the Heartland Institute are well-positioned to advise WUWT as to whether Oreskes’ conclusions regarding the strong organizational link between tobacco-science disinformation and climate-change neodenialsm are well-founded, eh?   :?:   :?:   :?:

      Conclusion  Focusing on Stephan Lewandowsky’s weak research makes WUWT‘s brand of skepticism look weak!   :!:   :!:   :!:

      Advice to WUWT  The public discouse would be far better-served if WUWT picked stronger opponents, Anthony Watts!   :!:   ;)   :!:

      • Fan

        I have to agree that nine Lewandowsk posts was eight too many but then you wander off into tobacco related matters which, for some reason, you believe are related to climate scepticism when we have told you many times the connection is only in your mind as far as most sceptics are concerned.

      • Andrew Russell

        Well respected Naomi Oreskes? Thanks – that is the best laugh I’ve had all day!

      • Is it a small world too?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Gosh … for sure, Climate Etc regulars will recognize plenty of familiar neodenialist institutions among Aboul-Enein and Kessler’s List of Philip-Morris alliances (A Question Of Intent: A Great American Battle With A Deadly Industry, 2002), eh ClimateReason? eh Andrew Russel?   :)   :)   :)

        Why is that, the world wonders?   :?:   :?:   :?:

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Seriously, climatereason, why does there exist (in your view) such a tight correlation between institutional tobacco-cancer denialism and institutional climate-change neodenialism?

        Is the answer more complicated than simply “money”   :?:   :?:   :?:

        The world wonders   :!:   :!:   :!:

      • fan

        I have told you before I do not believe Climate scientists are perpetrating a hoax or are involved in a conspiracy theory. Please extend me the same courtesy and accept that i do not believe in fake moon landings, or that the earth began 4000 years ago, or that elvis is still alive, or that princess diana was murdered by the royal family and try to get yourself away from the notion that if we believe in natural climate change that we are also automatically rabid smokers under the control of the tobacco industry

        I would suspect that the overwheming majority of sceptics on this site also do not subscribe to the silly analogies you and others make in order to try to demonstrate (to your own satisfaction) that we are totally irrational beings as well as climate conspiracy theorists and therefore you can safely discount our views on aGW.


      • Oreskes a “serious” writer lol

      • A synoptic critique is necessary here. Not guff like ‘lol’. You want to be taken seriously? Try being serious.

      • BBD,

        On Oreskes being a serious writer.

        She is serious in what she writes – i.e. she believes what she writes.

        She is serious in the sense that she is well published.

        It is when you get to the point of deciding whether or not to take what she says seriously that one can raise the question. If you already believe in what she writes about, then you probably will. I personally have a hard time taking her opinions seriously on the topic of climate change.

    • Anthony

      Glenn Tamblyn says:

      we need a conspiracy to save humanity.

      In other words, no conspiracy to save humanity currently exists; GT thinks we need one.

      Yet skeptics are being painted as the conspiracy nuts by the very same people.

      Sceptics apparently believe there is some sort of conspiracy. Tamblyn’s sub-rosa statement suggests they are wrong.

      • The SkS secret forum was deliberately leaked so people would find the statement “we need a conspiracy to save humanity” and assume there wasn’t already a conspiracy.

        Meanwhile the conspiracy of Lizard People who run the IPCC are pleased by recent developments.

      • No, SkepticalScience was hacked so that thinking folks would find the statement “we need a conspiracy to save humanity” and assume that was so convenient that John Cook must have deliberately leaked the information so to trick people into thinking there was no existing conspiracy after-all, and by knowing that people would instead come to the conclusion there WAS a conspiracy that skepticalscience were trying to hide.

      • lolwot,

        you know this to be true how?

        Or is this simplt an attempt at humor?

      • Doubless little pockets of conspiracy like this do exist, but that is hardly the point. The real driving force is vested interest – the state selects and pays climate scientists, and also has a considerable vested interest in what they ‘conclude’. By no stretch of the imagination is state climate science neutral (even ignoring climategate and other such shenanigans).

      • Punksta

        The real driving force is vested interest – the state selects and pays climate scientists, and also has a considerable vested interest in what they ‘conclude’. By no stretch of the imagination is state climate science neutral

        You think that science is telling power what it wants to hear? Seriously? Who told you that? Climate science is as popular as mange with policy makers here in the UK, and no doubt everywhere else. It is *not* the good news. This argument is absurd.

      • The real driving force is vested interest – the state selects and pays climate scientists, and also has a considerable vested interest in what they ‘conclude’.

        Another not-example of conspiracy-mongering.

      • BBD says: “Climate science is as popular as mange with policy makers here in the UK, and no doubt everywhere else.”

        Obama here in the US loves it. He uses it as a excuse to funned money to his financial supporters via “green” companies. Hardly an anathema to him.

      • jim2

        Obama here in the US loves it. He uses it as a excuse to funned money to his financial supporters via “green” companies. Hardly an anathema to him.

        Can you prove this? How much money are we talking about, who are the recipients and what is the exact mechanism of funds transfer in each case?

        Even if your (evidently) Republican interpretation is correct – which remains to be seen – you are missing the point. Re-engineering the energy infrastructure to reduce emissions is a wicked problem for policy makers. They don’t want to have to do it. Nobody wants to have to do it. So arguing that government is in cahoots with ‘climate science’ for *mutual benefit* as Punksta does is just daft. Actually, it’s more than daft. It’s insane.

      • BBD – I guess you don’t keep up with news in the US – understandable, but the cases of Obama funneling money to his bundlers (fund raisers) is well documented. I’m not going to burn a lot of my time looking up these facts for you, you obviously have access to the internet, but here’s one:

      • Jim2

        “Obama here in the US loves it. He uses it as a EXCUSE to funned money to his financial supporters via “green” companies. Hardly an anathema to him.”

        An excuse? Maybe the right word is Reason. ‘Funnel’ money, in your language, to those who might do something about things. Maybe those people aren’t the best recipients, perhaps. But what is your alternative? Ask Sen Inhofe where the money should go? Ask some of the other wing-nuts.

        There is a fundamental premise in your argument. That their motive for doing these things is political. So simply a counter argument. Their motive for doing things is scientific, BUT their freedom of action is constrained by the Political. They have a congress filled with Tea Part wing-nuts and getting anything done is just about impossible. So they compromise because it is a choice between aiming low and being successful, or aiming high and failing.

        If America stopped electing idiots, much more might happen.

      • Also, BBD, you apparently are politically naive. Politicians only care about retaining their power – that means the liberal ones, liberal in the US sense, will kow tow to environmental groups to get votes. This technique is as old as history itself.

  54. Below is a link to Burt Rutan’s site on climate. Lots of entertainment here.

    For example, addressing a group, Burt says “The CO2 % in this room will
    increase more during this talk than the atmospheric CO2 % did in the
    last 100 years.”

    I wonder how many in the audience left thinking we raise the level of earth’s atmospheric CO2 just by breathing.

    • If Rutan is right and his PDF represents “An Engineering look at Man-Caused Global Warming” then it suggests engineers are ill-equipped to analyze scientific data and that job should be left to scientists.

      Rutan writes of engineering: “Consequences if wrong (people die)”.

      True and perhaps it’s precisely because Engineers have real-life “make or break” situations to fall back on that they don’t have to become as equipped to weigh up uncertain data like scientists do. They can just find out the facts behind the data by trying them with various levels of control (to prevent the people dying part).

      On the other-hand scientists don’t necessarily have the luxury of being able to confirm a theory with a simple real world test though. Instead scientists have to be able to weigh up multiple lines of evidence and data, often conflicting, for reliability and how the total fits together into a consistent puzzle. It’s more like detective work.

      I am not brighter than Rutan, but I didn’t fall for so many myths as Rutan does in his PDF, so I would put it down that he’s approached the subject with an engineering mind and I’ve approached it with a scientific mind (or perhaps a parroting mind because I’ve read the myths debunked elsewhere).

      For example Rutan throws together a bunch of different CO2 records on page 22 as if they are all equally likely, or something, it isn’t clear. Whereas a climate scientist would weight them up along with much more information to reach a more accurate conclusion.

      The biggest problem I see is that he doesn’t seem to properly analyze the consequences of the patterns in the data and test things for consistency and reach the “most plausible” model. For example one one page he shows a graph comparing solar activity to US temperatures. A nice fit (although perhaps not so when proper data is used). But the first thing I think of is that global temperature doesn’t track US temperature, so if solar activity does track US temperature it follows that solar activity doesn’t track global temperature. Yet Rutan doesn’t seem to make that jump. Perhaps unable? You tell me, do engineers not have to make such inferences?

      On the other topic, the Stephan Lewandowsky paper/poll about conspiracy theories is BS. Although behind the conspiracy theory nonsense, he did suggest (but not prove) my opinion which is that the real predictor of climate skepticism is the holding of an extreme-free-market ideology.

      • lolwot

        the real predictor of climate skepticism is the holding of an extreme-free-market ideology.

        Well there is that old and Stern judgement:

        The science tells us that GHG emissions are an externality; in other words, our emissions affect the lives of others. When people do not pay for the consequences of their actions we have market failure. This is the greatest market failure the world has seen. It is an externality that goes beyond those of ordinary congestion or pollution, although many of the same economic principles apply for its analysis.

        How could any self-respecting free-marketeer let that go unchallenged?


      • It would indeed be an extreme free-markteer that would deny that CAGW, if true, would be a market failure, owing to the difficulty of ownership rights in the air. Such people are vanishingly small in number. Almost all are straw constructs of the likes of BBD.

      • Punksta

        It would indeed be an extreme free-markteer that would deny that CAGW, if true, would be a market failure, owing to the difficulty of ownership rights in the air. Such people are vanishingly small in number. Almost all are straw constructs of the likes of BBD.

        I note the weasel use of ‘CAGW’ and ‘if true’. There is a superabundance of free-marketeers running around vociferously denying the potential seriousness and sometimes the very existence of AGW.

        This is no strawman. You are doing it here.

      • @lolwot

        Would you care to expound on what you mean by

        ‘an extreme-free-market ideology.’

        If this is a true predictor it ought to apply to the UK sceptics as well as the US. Please do not use analogies from US politics as we Brits have absolutely no idea what they mean. Example, few in UK advocate withdrawing to a shack in Montana and shooting all passers by. Neither are abortion, evolution or bible-bashing big news round here. So you might classify an Evangelical Christian, anti-abortion, intelligent designer Mountain Man from Montana as an extreme free-marketeer. But you’d not find any such in UK, while we have plenty of sceptics.

        So are the nation-independent characteristics – in your opinion – of an ‘extreme free-market ideology’.

      • “If this is a true predictor it ought to apply to the UK sceptics as well as the US.”

        It does. Monckton, Delingpole, Lord Lawson, for example.

        See the clip around the 1:49 mark where Monckton talks about “giving Australia a proper dose of free market thinking”

        (not to mention the video is quite relevant to the thread subject of conspiracy theories)

        Here’s James Delingpole advocating the IPA, a free market think tank:

        There’s far too much of this stuff for it to be a coincidence.

        Extreme free market ideology means is a belief the market will solve all problems, or at least that government intervention is not a solution. It generally goes hand in hand with a desire for very small government. Generally people who think that get threatened by the idea that the market can’t deal with climate change (which it can’t), or that a big government intervention might be needed.

      • OK, so if that is your definition of ‘extreme free market ideology’, what would be your definition of just plain ordinary ‘belief in free markets’?

        What evidence would I need to be able to distinguish the two?

      • @lolwot

        My question about the difference between ‘extreme right-wing ideologues’ and ‘believers in the free market’ was directed at you. I forgot to put the
        @lolwot tag on the front. Sorry.

      • my opinion which is that the real predictor of climate skepticism is the holding of an extreme-free-market ideology.

        Correlation is NOT causation. I do not hold with “extreme-free-market ideology”, I am pro-UN, pro-EU, Liberal Democrat/Labour voter, broadly supportive of Keynesian economics, and definitely in favour greater regulation in our economy. I went to Steve McIntryre’s talk in London and he also distanced himself from some of the Libertarian comments made by members in the audience who probably would have fit your description.

        I am sympathetic to the motives of FOI poster who leaked the climategate emails. My liberal leanings make me an active member in the community fighting environmental and socially damaging policy, and that includes policy derived to combat CAGW. It is environmentally and socially destructive, if it is based on flawed and over-confident predictions of climatology.

        My main and principle objection is that the actual evidence supporting CAGW just isn’t there and therefore the policies are NOT justified – other than ‘no-regrets’ type policies which are good things to do anyway. Conservation, efficiency, sustainability – these aren’t just things I agree with, I actively support.

        What I don’t support is the hi-jacking of sciences objectivity for a ’cause’, or committing humanity on a pointless, futile and unnecessary path, when we have so many other problems in which we should be investing our ingenuity.

        So how are you going to explain skeptics whose motives for objecting to CAGW are entirely based on the science, rather than as you constantly assert, an objection motivated by a free-market ideology?

      • Agnostic –

        So how are you going to explain skeptics whose motives for objecting to CAGW are entirely based on the science, rather than as you constantly assert, an objection motivated by a free-market ideology?

        My observation is that highly active “skeptics” (such as we find in the “skept-o-sphere”) who fit the description you offer are a distinct minority. We might disagree about that, but it clearly isn’t a majority. And we can easily point to rather clear data that political orientation correlates rather strongly with opinions on the climate debate.

        Now as you say, obviously, correlation does not mean causation. It could be just coincidence. It could be that both variables are manifestations of a common causation – that political identification acts as a moderator or a mediator within a causal relationship. It could be that there is something about the brains of “skeptics” that are different than “realists” – no matter their political orientation.

        Personally, I would reject all those possibilities. As I would reject a causal relationship as the one that you suggest as being explanatory for the larger phenomena related political ideology with outlook on the climate science. For example, we could just as easily argue that there are many who – based on interpretation of the science – believe that most recent (what they believe is) anomalous warming is likely attributable to ACO2 – and that such warming has potentially significant and dangerous ramifications. (That is, in fact, easily proven as the “mainstream” position among “realists.”)

        Your question gets back to two basic points. The first is that assuming “motives” is not the same thing as identifying underlying phenomena in how all humans reason, particularly w/r/t controversies that overlap with significant social, political, and cultural identifications, such as the climate debate. The second is that there are variable that influence “motivated reasoning” other than straight-up political identifications. It is an important variable, but far from the only one.

        So I will ask you a simple question in return. Why is it that in the “skept-o-sphere” I can find many incorrect or exaggerated or facile or specious or politically expedient arguments being made by people who say that their opinions are based “entirely on the science?” Surely, at least a partial answer is my “motivated reasoning.” Is it fully explanatory? As just one of many very concrete examples I could provide – how would my “motivated reasoning” explain why often I see “skeptics” say that the “climate science community” says that “the science is settled” even though very few climate scientists have ever argued that – and given that the most prominent, official conclusion of the most officially recognize body of climate scientists states uses the terms “most” and “likely” as a way to, specifically, quantify uncertainty in a way that directly contradicts the claims that they are saying that “the science is settled?”

      • @lolwot:

        [… T]he real predictor of climate skepticism is the holding of an extreme-free-market ideology.

        I’d suggest you’re taking a too “broad-brush” view of the subject here. As a libertarian and strong supporter of “free” markets, let me address your notion:

        The classic libertarian view (since the 70’s at least) is that a “free” market is not vulnerable to certain types of corruption that tend to infest centralized power systems. This is because there are always competitive players against any large organization (within the market system) so that the corruption of centralized power within that organization just makes it less competitive and it loses out to other players without that corruption

        Thus the support of a “free” market becomes almost mandatory for anyone having a profound skepticism towards centralized authority. This doesn’t mean that some level of centralized authority is necessarily the “root of all evil”, especially if there are powerful checks and balances to prevent it from getting out of hand. However a relatively small government administering a light system of regulation over a much larger economy and population base is much less vulnerable to the specific types of corruption libertarians tend to be concerned with, because when it gets out of hand it can be controlled by general opposition (from economy and population).

        Anyone who is generally skeptical is going to tend to support a “free” market of sorts, then, due to skepticism towards totalitarian centralized authority. Better informed skeptics will also be skeptical of a totally uncontrolled “market”, as it may well be subject to other types of corruption. This includes (in my experience) most of the older-style libertarians. Those who are generally skeptical, especially of established “authority”, will also be skeptical of the AGW hype, especially given how many people pushing it want a massive centralized authority with irresistible enforcement powers. We saw that in the Soviet Union, as well as other places most of us can think of.

        With the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the general exposure of just how badly things went there, many Marxists and fellow-travelers totally rejected their former ideology and jumped on the “libertarian” bandwagon. These people are sometimes called “neo-libertarians”. Rather than the more open-minded skepticism that had generally characterized older-style libertarians, they turned to “worshiping” the “free market” as opposed to “worshiping” the “Dictatorship of the Proletariat” or whatever it is Marxists worship. Like Creationists, they aren’t really skeptical about anything, they simply reject anything that opposes their neo-libertarian ideology the same way Marxists and fellow-travelers reject anything that opposes their ideology. (And Creationists reject anything that opposes their religious ideology.) But they don’t really understand that their opposition isn’t the same thing as the skepticism of older-style libertarians.

        But AFAIK there are still a very large number of libertarian skeptics who support a “free” market of sorts, and are very skeptical of the whole AGW hype. Many (most, IMO) are also skeptical of scientific “authority”, and unfortunately the large majority of them lack the scientific training and understanding to evaluate the issues themselves. The problem is distinguishing these skeptics from those who are opposed to any interference with the “free market” and will use any rhetorical BS to support their position.

      • AK

        You make an observation about the dangers of ‘Centralised Authority’, and I see much of the case you are making. However, what one often sees from so called (or perhaps self-titled) Free-Marketeers is statemenmts sugesting that government is this dubious ‘Centralised Authority’, and nothing bu government. I think that view is wrong. In the world we live in therir many focal points of power (I would prefer the term ‘Centralised Power’ rather than ‘Centralised Authority’). Governments are one of them. But not the only ones. Major corporations are equally instances of ‘Centralised Power’. Governments certainly have legislative and regulatory power. But large coorporations have serious economic power, ias great as governments – “Your going to bring in that regulation! Well we are taking our business, our factories and all thoose jobs to another country.” Major corporations routinely play countries off against each other in tawdry bidding wars to see which country will offer them the best ‘terms’ to set upin their country. The sight of politicians off all stripes, from many countries falling over themselves to suck up to large corporations is rather revolting. But heaven help you if you are the politician who lost that bidding war, and those jobs – your voters just won’t understand.

        So the idealised notion of a Free-Market that many espouse does not exist. Not because it is some great antidote to the pernicious nature of the one ‘Central Power’ – Government. Rather because the Free Market does not exist and has not for several decades. How can it possibly exist when it is riddled with other instances of ‘Central Power’ all through it.

        One possible answer would be if Government’s used their legislative power to strip the other ‘Central Powers’ of their power. Then Free Markets might actually be possible and then the problem becomes how to use Free Markets to constrain the only remaining Central Power – Government.

        Government could achieve this easily, but only if it were implemented world wide to corporations couldn’t ‘constituancy shop’.

        When any company grows above a certain size – say a billion dollars – then it is compulsoraly broken up into smaller entities, much as happend to AT&T many years ago. If large corporations are forced tobreak themselves up when they get too large, then Free-Markets might be possible. Until then, Free Markets are a fantasy.

      • @Glenn Tamblyn:

        Your post reminds me of Orwell’s 1984: Black is white! Up is down! Slavery is Freedom!

        A system of competing large corporations and competing (and semi-cooperating) nation-states is NOT a centralized authority. For examples of the latter, see the Roman Empire after Diocletian, or the Eastern Han (and other phases of Chinese empire) or various phases of the Byzantine Empire. In each case, it was only the intervention of outside “barbarians” that rescued the victims from the hell-on-earth such centralized authority had degenerated into. (IMO!)

        I’m not here to argue the merits of libertarianism (neo- or otherwise), this isn’t the venue. I’m simply describing the position and why it leads to an extreme skepticism towards “problems” that require massive centralized authority to solve.

  55. @Jim D | September 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    Recommended listening. Some skeptics seem to be deep-down angry people
    Is it not reasonable to be angry about the corruption of science?

    I was a believer in AGW for the simple reason that I trusted scientists to seek the truth. Indeed, if anyone were to do that, it would be scientists. What alerted me was the appalling abuse that those who dissented from AGW received; my skepticism can indeed be put down to George Monbiot’s incessant Ad Hominems in the Guardian against non-believers in the cause.

    That led me to blogs such as Watt’s Up, Bishop Hill & Climate Audit. Whilst educated to degree level (Oxford), I do not have a “scientific” mind per se, so must rely on the judgement of others to guide me. Climategates I & II confirmed to me that all was not well – indeed, all was very bad – in the world of Climate Science, and here we are today.

    My reading of Lewandosky is that he is in fact sick.

    • Jeremy Poynton,

      “What alerted me was the appalling abuse that those who dissented from AGW received; my skepticism can indeed be put down to George Monbiot’s incessant Ad Hominems in the Guardian against non-believers in the cause.”

      So you’re saying that hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of scientific man hours, which have all contributed to our present level of scientific understanding on the climate issue don’t count for very much at all because of what you consider to be George Monbiot’s (who, for your information, isn’t a climate scientist) rather caustic comments in the Guardian?

      Taking your logic, if that the right word for it, a step further, George should be applauded for single handedly saving the Earth from the menace of AGW simply by being nasty to people.

    • Lewandowsky did a study, published it, and got attention from his attention-seeking title. The study itself is very straightforward, and the predictors are not surprising if you interpret the direction of attribution correctly, which many have failed to.
      Schneider addressed the issue of anger in the video too. When a skeptic said they were treated like Holocaust deniers and child molesters, he had a very sympathetic response due to being called a one-world-government pushing conspirator, and many worse things. The way he answered was masterful and he certainly silenced that topic in the debate.

      • Jim D, sorry but the study isn’t straightforward in the sense that the methodology doesn’t support the conclusions. Poor experimental design means the only inferences able to be drawn from the study relate to the information that those who responded gave (gamed or otherwise).

        Instead the authors attempt to claim predictive powers and empirical support for attributes of the general population/blog followers (the authors aren’t even careful on this point).

        Shouldn’t have been published IMHO. Good example for a first year experimental design course in psychology of all the pitfalls in social science research.

      • I think the conclusions were too obvious to publish.
        1. That people with free-market ideologies strongly tend to be AGW skeptics.
        2. That people with conspiracy theory tendencies tend to be AGW skeptics.
        If you disagree with these conclusions, it may be because you are a rare skeptic that doesn’t fall into one of these categories, but I suspect most will find they do, as we see on these blogs as evidence.

      • 3. They tend to be crackpots and cranks, at least the skeptics that comment here.

      • WHT


        Dang it, Webby, you just made the BS detector go off again.


      • Here you go, a list of crackpots that post here:

        The SkyDragons

        This is a treehouse coalition of crackpots who apparently don’t believe in electromagnetic radiation and photon absorption models, and in particular the greenhouse gas theory. Claes Johnson is representative of the science side of Sky Dragons, and they have a wheeler-dealer posing as a lawyer, John O’Sullivan, doing the marketing. Acolytes and disciples such as the Australian Doug Cotton spam the blogs with SkyDragon-inspired FUD. The eight (8) SkyDragons actually collaborated on a book and even though the theory is discredited, it still gets a high average (4 star) review on Amazon — except for one reviewer that says “The book contains numerous misconceptions of physics. To correct or explain all of them would need a document almost as long as the book itself.”

        Joe “Joe’s World” LaLonde

        This is a crayon-toting skeptic who poses such elementary models and by-hand constructions, that it induces cringe-worthy embarrassment. I always refer Joe to the other skeptics as “one of your own, and you deal with him”. They do the virtual pat-on-the-head and allow him to keep commenting. Below is the evidence of his handcrafted handiwork, with penciled-in annotations of the Earth’s rotational velocity at different latitudes. As if it meant anything.

        Stefan “TheDenier” Mikitch

        A certifiable Australian crackpot who wants to have everyone locked up that disagrees with him. Apparently, a survivor from an iron curtain country, this may have some relevance to his tenacity. I argued with him that methane is lighter than nitrogen and oxygen gas (he believes it is heavier and that is why it stays underground and doesn’t rise) and he created a page dedicated to me on his website called “METHANEGATE”. I don’t think people want to deal with him, because in the back of their mind they think he might just try to track his opponents down.

        Herman Alexander Pope

        A retired scientist from a NASA research lab, HAP is an eerie clone of the Chauncey Gardner figure from the Peter Sellers movie “Being There”. Consider the vague and nebulous quotes he regularly adds to blogs, such as this:

        “When the Arctic is liquid, Earth is cooling

        When the Arctic is ice, Earth is warming

        This is the Thermostat of Earth”

        or this bit

        “The temperature, during the past ten thousand years, has cycled from warm to cool to warm to cool many times. in more recent times we had the Medieval Warm Period, followed by the Little Ice Age, followed by the Warm Period that we are in now. This will be followed by another cool period. The Oceans are warm, the Arctic is open and the snows have started to rebuild the snow packs and glaciers. The ice will advance and cool earth until the Oceans cool and the Arctic stays frozen year round again.”

        Note the similarities to the fictional movie dialogue, with the simpleton Chance the Gardener mistaken for the profound thinker Chauncey Gardner :

        President “Bobby”: Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Ben, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?

        [Long pause]

        Chance the Gardener: As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.

        President “Bobby”: In the garden.

        Chance the Gardener: Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.

        President “Bobby”: Spring and summer.

        Chance the Gardener: Yes.

        President “Bobby”: Then fall and winter.

        Chance the Gardener: Yes.

        Benjamin Rand: I think what our insightful young friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but we’re upset by the seasons of our economy.

        Chance the Gardener: Yes! There will be growth in the spring!

        Benjamin Rand: Hmm!

        Chance the Gardener: Hmm!

        President “Bobby”: Hm. Well, Mr. Gardner, I must admit that is one of the most refreshing and optimistic statements I’ve heard in a very, very long time.

        [Benjamin Rand applauds]

        President “Bobby”: I admire your good, solid sense. That’s precisely what we lack on Capitol Hill.

        And to keep one guessing this HAP paragraph actually reminds one of Miss Anne Elk

        “Comparing two different Curve Fits of temperature data does not have anything to say about my Theory. No one should care if an astronomically based curve fit is better or worse than a general circulation curve fit. Actual Ice Core Data supports my Theory. Every time it gets warm and opens the Arctic, it then gets cool. Every time it gets cool and the Arctic closes, it then gets warm. “

        On the Crackpot Index scale, HAP gets 20 points for naming his simple theory after himself, “Pope’s Climate Theory”. He also gets the maximum possible bonus, 50 points for claiming a revolutionary theory but giving no concrete testable predictions, aside from claiming that the future climate will be the same as the past . Spouting vague and nebulous pablum like Chance the Gardener won’t cut it, and HAP might want to provide some way to make this quantitative before he reaches an all-time record crackpot score. But I have a feeling he won’t, because it is possible that his ramblings are part of an elaborate joke.


        Another iron curtain survivor, Vukcevic is mild by the standards of the other crackpots listed, and claims that all climate changes are due to natural variations from solar activities. To his credit he creates very elaborate slides, but the curve fits are in the eye of the beholder.

        Fred H. Haynie

        The name reminds me of the huckster “Mr. Haney” from the TV show Green Acres, but this guy is the real thing, a retired environmental scientist that worked for the EPA. Like the fictional Haney, he is selling a third-rate product to anyone gullible enough to believe him. His theory is that excess CO2 in the atmosphere is not caused by anthropogenic emissions from fossil fuels and he has reams of analyzed data in the form of presentations to back this up. He has said : “One reason I retired early from research at EPA years ago was good science was beginning to be sidetracked for political purposes.”

        Oliver K. Manuel

        Another retired NASA type, a crackpot known for his persistence in pushing his “Iron Sun” thesis. Manual is some sort of adjunct professor with several people pointing out his extensive citing with respect to police blotters and criminal news reports. This is very creepy stuff (note that the creepy picture to the right is from Manuel’s own site) and I think no one wants to mention it, and often comments get deleted if his record is brought up. It is possible that this is also an elaborate joke, because he blithely proceeds with pushing his theory whenever someone brings up his background. You would think that a normal person would want to run off and hide, or perhaps clarify the situation.

        Harry Dale Huffman

        A crackpot who doesn’t believe in greenhouse gas theory and tries to disprove it by looking at the atmospheric data from the planet Venus. This is odd, since Venus was the poster child for the runaway GHG theory ever since Carl Sagan and others first analyzed the CO2-rich Venutian atmosphere in the 1960’s. Huffman uses a strange argument that involves only a certain Venus altitude which he then compares to an equivalent Earth value. Huffman is largely discredited because of his other theories, one of which involves aliens and why the shape of the Australian continent looks like an upside-down sheepdog (his wacko Erich von Däniken-like theory here, believe it or not).

        Girma Orssengo

        A persistent Australian commenter who relentlessly posts a single graph which purports to show little global warming over the last 150 years. The important point is that Girma knows how to lie with graphics, using all of the visual tricks that presentation experts like Tufte warn laypeople about. Girma’s favorite trick is to cherry pick and massage the data, compressing it enough, that to the naive reader, the temperature trends appear flat. Unfortunately Girma is impervious to suggestions and he persists on pefecting his lying-with-graphics skillset. The sad fact is that Girma is also a research scientist who publishes peer-reviewed articles in another field.

        Tony (climatereason) Brown

        A skeptic who tries to imply that a historical record of subject qualitative anecdotal evidence can overturn the objective quantitative statistical evidence of the paleoclimatologists. The historical painting displayed is by a medieval Flemish artist and was offered as evidence that Europe was cooler at one point. The Swiss Alps or Italian Dolomites in the background is evidence for a metaphorical change in climate associated with the period known as the Little Ice Age. You see, Brown claims the painting was of a lowland area in Belgium, while the shape of the mountains suggest the Dolomites. And thus, voila, allegorical proof for significant natural temperature variation!

        Eventually, when someone figures out how to deal with subjective qualititative anecdotal data, using qualitative reasoning perhaps, then historical reconstructions will make some great strides. As it is, everyone is familiar with the “in our day” stories: “When I was a kid, it was fifteen miles to school. Uphill. Both ways. In the snow. And we liked it !!”. That describes the problem — skeptics can use uncalibrated data to make any point they want, and untrained readers will fall for anecdotal arguments.

        David Postma

        A skeptic who claims that the energy balance models for solar insolation are wrong, mainly because a factor of ½ is missing from the conventional model. This is a Capricorn One kind of crusade that Postma carries, as he likely thinks this mistake has lead to a big coverup which involves every scientist that has ever solved the first order radiative energy balance equations.

        Arno Arrack

        A skeptic who thinks that all global warming is just a shift of warmer ocean circulation into the Arctic region, thus generating a natural climate change. His research papers consist of pages and pages of circumstantial narrative evidence, which is generally typical of theories that can’t be tested. He also wrote a book, called “What Warming?”, for which the basic research was rejected by both Nature and Science journals. He goes on to whine about this awkward turn of events in the foreword to the book and then references Lysenko! Huge points on the Crackpot Index for that remark!

        Nasif Nahle

        A scientist with a similar goal of the Sky Dragons in discrediting the greenhouse gas theory. He claims to use an apparatus similar to some of the original experiments, demonstrating laboratory proof that CO2 evidences no warming as a greenhouse gas.

        No one can argue with this scientist, as his counter-argument is to mock back, and then ending the discussion with a smiley.

        Chief Hydrologist

        An Australian civil engineer who invokes chaos and complexity theory at every turn. This makes him one of those null climate modelers who suggest that nothing can be done to predict future AGW. He says he chose his screen handle based on a Simpson’s character who transformed from a hydrologist into a criminal mastermind (and is fittingly the brother of Sideshow Bob). He claims omniscient powers:

        “I can look at sea level pressure at the poles and predict winter storms, I can look at sea surface temperature in the Indian Ocean and predict seasonal rainfall in Australia and Africa, I can look at sea level pressures in the Pacific and predict seasonal to decadal influences in rainfall over much of the world. What can you do? Absolutely nothing at all because you understand nothing at all – you apply a method to data that you don’t understand. It is about as dumb as a computer. You are a lard arse know nothing loser. ”

        The chief is a nasty Australian (with alter-ego sock-puppet handles such as Captain Kangaroo and Dionysus), who if I saw getting on a bus, I would wait for the next one.

        Joachim Seifert

        Another barely intelligible eastern European crank who thinks that it has something to do with solar variations … actually I don’t know what his theory is because he asks you to purchase his pamphlet in the original German from Amazon. Seifert also provides an ISBN number, 978-3-86805-604-4, so you know it has to be correct!

        Stephen Wilde

        An empty business suit, a British lawyer, that set up a website called Climate Realists. He pushes a theory on how the sun could control the Earth’s climate described here. Somehow a more active sun causes the upper atmosphere ozone levels to change, and then the jet streams to move, and thus modifying the average global temperature. Interesting only in that you can see how a lawyer would believe that a legal-defense-like argument fitted together with circumstantial verbal evidence would make sense. Only in the world of the Chewbacca Defense.

        Latimer Alder

        A former UK chemist turned software dude who doesn’t necessarily have an alternate theory but specializes in creating consensus through his various sockpuppets.

        Latimer Alder
        Sterling English
        Your Average Joe
        Joe Sixpack

        As Latimer Alder takes on multiple personalities through the form of sockpuppets, he essentially treats all his fellow skeptics like gullible fools. This is projection and framing amateur-hour-style and is all quite sociopathetic.

        Nicola Scafetta

        A Duke PhD with a theory that asks “Does the Sun work as a nuclear fusion amplifier of planetary tidal forcing? A proposal for a physical mechanism based on the mass-luminosity relation”. Something this complicated probably won’t cut it.

        Philip Haddad

        An occasional commenter who pushes the theory that the only warming is due to the burning of fossil fuels itself. He is one of the types, a retired PhD chemist with too much time on his hands, writing futile editorials to small-town newspapers.


        A skeptic who makes pronouncements as if he is descended from a 17th century scientist. This would-be Robert Hooke adopts an almost Olde English style, often talking in the third person and using such words as fisics to ridicule climate scientists.

        So first Myrrh is saying that the greenhouse gases water/carbon dioxide cool the Earth by taking away the heat from the surface of the Earth through the Water Cycle and it is this cycle which has been expunged from the AGW world to pretend that greenhouse gases warm the Earth.


        Cooling the Earth is a two-fold process in our convected weather system, convection is the method of heat transfer in fluids, gases and liquids are fluids. Our atmosphere is a heavy volume of real gas which is a fluid. AGWSF fisics says it is empty space of ideal gases. Real and Ideal are two technical terms used to describe gases. Ideal gas is an imaginary construct, it doesn’t exist, no real gas obeys ideal gas law because ideal gas doesn’t exist.

        This wouldn’t be so bad, his using words such as aether and referring to shortwave instead of visible light, but when he tries to convey his own brand of physics, it becomes comical.

        Doc Martyn

        A biological researcher who believes that past global warming was caused by space dust, see this post. That was labelled Part 1, but he never got around to Part 2, which he said spelled out the connection between the dust rich in iron content, and ocean biological activity. He also spends time in comments showing how important his own medical research is, thus establishing his clear credentials at climate science.

        Spartacusisfree (aka mydogsgotnonose)

        An engineer with multiple sockpuppet handles who claims that the radiative properties of CO2 don’t apply to the atmosphere, further asserting that:

        There is absolutely no experimental proof of any CO2-AGW [IR band absorption at TOA does not count because it can be explained by a combination of self-absorption of thermal IR and band blocking at the earth’s surface by GHGs in self-absorption. If I’m right, the latter means no CO2-AGW is possible.]


        I became a ‘denier’ after I concluded there were 5 errors in IPCC physics. I may be mad, bad and deluded, but I want a second option because I’m a scientist who believes no-one.

        The option to consider is that Spartacus talks in gibberish word salad.

        Peter Lang

        Not the skilled American acoustic guitarist, but an Australian with a fixation on nuclear energy as a solution to climate science.

        “nuclear allows fuel transportation (and the energy used in doing so) to be reduce by around a factor of 20,000 with current technology and up to a factor of 2 million in future technology (that’s 20,000 to 2 million times less coal ships passing through the Great Barrier Reef)”

        His fallacious argument is that AGW caused by CO2 is a hoax, but nuclear technology will save humanity independent of that revelation. See List of fallacious arguments — strawman.

        He doesn’t have a theory,but represents the dozens of commenters who think that climate science is in the hands of progressives intent on controlling the world.

        Captain Dallas

        The Florida Keys fishing guide/skipper, a retired mechanical engineer with expertise in thermo, is the master of the gibberish scientific-sounding word salad. I only give him credit for hosting a blog —, where he goes through imaginative gyrations in second-order theorizing, yet it doesn’t really go anywhere. He is a prolific commenter and almost seems to use his word salad as chum to attract gullible passers-by as if they were a school of fish. He can’t seem to catch the big one though, and uses the standard excuses as to why he always comes back skunked. One of my favorites is when he claimed that his PC expired when it was working to hard to do some heavy computations.

        Go to his fishing guide blog instead, it is much more informative. It is a judgement call as to include Captain Dallas on this list, as he tries hard, documents his thoughts, but ultimately is misguided in his approach. The best of the worst, a bonefish-headed guy that may have gotten too much sun out on the tarpon flats.

        Paul Vaughan

        A nutty guy who keeps promising scientific revelations regarding seasonal cycles that will put all the mysteries to rest. He specializes in posting images that look like the following — no explanation, no real units displayed, nothing but a pretty picture:

        Since he is so cryptic, I will be too, and just leave it at that.

        David Springer

        Some dude with some knowledge on science and technology. I don’t really care what he has to say, but he says it with such authority.

        Typical Springer on Climate Etc:

        “I have a bullhorn and sometimes insult them as they pass by for entertainment purposes. “

        Entertaining like this list is entertaining. This comes to mind: You_kids_get_off_my_lawn!

        Alexander Biggs

        Another Australian with a Larrikin theory in which he says all the CO2 temperature increase occurred early in the 20th century.

        Tim Curtin

        And another Australian with a web site where he claims that increasing temperature is natural, or it is due to N20, but not CO2. An economist by education he talks in pseudo-science gobbledygook:

        “Applying Econometrics to the Carbon Dioxide “Control Knob”

        My just published paper (in The Scientific World Journal) paper uses econometrics to test various propositions underlying claims that observed global temperature change is mostly attributable to human-caused greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide, and that although water vapour is recognized to be a dominant contributor to the overall greenhouse gas (GHG) effect, its effect is merely as a “feedback” from rising temperatures initially resulting only from GHGs and not at all from variations in the pre-existing natural evaporation that produces most atmospheric water vapour and rainfall. The paper shows that global warming is not exclusively attributable to GHG like CO2, both because atmospheric water vapour existed before there were any significant increases in GHGs or global temperature and also because there is no evidence that such increases have produced measurably higher volumes of evaporation. Thus reducing emissions of CO2 is unlikely to be the effective climate “control knob” claimed by NASA’s Hansen, Schmidt, and Lacis (2010).”


        “Luckily for us, as we would cook if left to the blocking of radiation by N2 and O2, they eventually combine into N2O, which is present in the LWIR spectrum, even if only at 319 ppb (less than 1,000th of the CO2) and thereby emit their relatively small radiative forcing (W0.16/sq.m.) into space through the relevant wavelengths (mostly at about 8 μm) of the spectrum.”

        Again, this is just gibberish word salad which makes no sense.


        A strange character that bases his counter-AGW theories solely on taking the opposing premise that a climate scientist would. This contrarian has a world-view that amounts to up is down and down is up. Atmospheric CO2 are not the result of man’s input but are just a result of ocean warming. And atmospheric CO2 does not warm the earth but actually cools it. If there is one character that feeds the FUD, Edim is the guy.


        A pretentious engineer who makes occasional appearances, claiming that he has important research to do, can’t spend much time on climate science, and has made great achievements in his career. He does know something about signal processing and control systems, that’s for certain, yet he has little or no intuition on the natural sciences. If you want to see some trash-talking go to this thread where he tries to prove that rising atmospheric CO2 is all due to temperature shifts caused by ocean upwelling.

        “I have not worked out the full details because I have other more important technical research to pursue, but it is fairly clear that the simple derivation I worked out in another forum which follows establishes that an integral relationship between CO2 and temperature, such as the data unequivocally show, is reasonably to be expected. This, or something very much like it, is clearly the dominant process in place. Even you might be able to understand it if you free your mind from dogma.”

        “I have also had numerous peer reviewed publications. I have also spent 20+ years doing this stuff and collected at least 100′s of GB of data and analyzed it successfully, to the point the results were used in finished products which worked exactly as expected. I am also right in the particular instance.”

        It is all so wrong but his bluster and bull-rush maneuvering is a thing of beauty.


        A Climate Etc commenter and blogger with a theory that any warming of the earth is caused by increasing levels of bright sunshine. This is apparently substantiated by lots of data that purports to show that the consensus data has problems. Assertions alone do not make a good theory, while cherry-picking of data sources do not help the cause.


        Another even more bizarre and mysterious blogger who has really gone off the deep-end.

        “When using a language whose alphabet is finite — including maths — no general infinite systems may be fully characterized.”

        Based on spelling of “maths”, Mr. Limits is most likely not USA educated.

        “The single most pervasive tool of science — mathematics — is currently falsely founded as per infinity.”

        So the claim is that due to a foundational error in mathematics, climate science is all wrong. That’s his claim on Climate Etc if you want to look it up. You can pay $10 if you want to read his 29 page pamphlet explaining everything. Perhaps we can chalk it up to weirdness attracting more weirdness.

        Jim Cripwell

        A retired Canadian engineer who relentlessly claims in his comments that there is no empirical evidence for CO2-caused warming of the atmosphere. Since an experiment hasn’t shown any direct evidence of warming, only indirect in his opinion, that the principle of AGW cannot be proven.

        This is in spite of people telling him over and over that CO2 is a potent greenhouse gas, and scientists and engineers have used the knowledge of radiative properties of CO2 to create marvelous inventions from infrared CO2 gas lasers, to iron smelting furnaces which use the properties of CO2 to control the temperature for high quality steel.

        So classify his theory as epistemiological, which brings us to the last ……

        David Wojick

        A PhD epistemologist who was angling for a contract with the Heartland Institute. Leaked documents showed that Wojick was going to be paid $100,000 to develop “educational” climate science modules for The Institute. Scary that he would be involved in teaching anything about climate.

        Here are Wojick’s comments from one blog thread:

        “Human behavior, including scientific discourse, exists in the world. It is therefore open to scientific analysis. That is what I do.”


        “My claim to fame is having discovered the hidden structure of expressed thought (writing and speaking) or, in simple terms, how sentences fit together. This is science, Logic to be precise, not philosophy. “


        “I think I understand the climate debate better than anyone, not because I know more about climate but because I know more about the logic of complex issues. “


        “The coal burners are my heroes and I am proud of my advocacy work, especially as I am winning and you are losing.”

        Presented in his own words. You skeptics figure out what all this means.

        These are your guys, climate skeptics, you deal with them.

      • @web hub telescope

        I wonder where you got the weird idea that ‘consensus’ is something I care about?

        As far as I can remember I have rarely written about it as a concept, and if so even more rarely in an approving tone. It is not something that I am much interested in,nor persuaded by.

        Einstein wrote – in reply to a book ‘100 Scientists against Einstein’

        ‘”Why so many? If I were wrong, then one would have been enough!”

        and he was right to point out the folly of ‘consensus thinking’.

        And anyway I can have far too much fun pricking the immense pomposity and self-regard of the alarmist intellectual poseurs around here to worry about forming a ‘consensus’ with anyone. It is a target-rich environment.

      • WebHubTelescope | September 16, 2012 at 2:11 am |

        I know this is going to come off as pot-kettling, but what is with the ad homs?

        I have zero objection to a catalogue of the ideas and the failings of the ideas — or of identifying the crackpottery of the ideas — of people who publicly correspond on Science, and you perform a useful function by compiling it.

        However, some balance is in order.

        Claes, in particular, ought be recognized as a mathematical and scientific scholar. That he holds fast to an obsolete paradigm of Science is hardly more eccentric than that you hold fast to peak oil, or that I hold fast to Capitalism. The difference is, you and I don’t abandon perspective and let our ideologies and biases color our logic or perception of evidence.

        Postma’s vain attempts have produced at least one useful diagram. It could be, with some adjustments, a good tool for analysis and communication of issues related to incidence.

        Even that non-lawyer-claims-to-be-a-legal-genius guy performs the useful service of reminding us why we should be skeptical of assertions and claims, regardless of their source. That’s gotta count for something.

        Oh, and Joachim Seifert’s thesis appears to have more to do with orbital excursions than with solar variation. Which isn’t an uninteresting minor topic in astronomy;

  56. Good Lord. This is like being in a room full of squabbling toddlers. I think I shall go to bed.

    • Is there any particular reason why your name above is linked to the Manchester City website? Is Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan encouraging supporters to promote climate denialism ?

  57. Jim’s summary way above can stand for mine, too. In Australia we couple BS with ‘artist’, to describe someone who waves hands and spouts the stuff. One such was described as ‘an artist in a widely used but difficult medium’.

  58. JC says “Here is an alternative hypothesis: the motivation reasoning is on the other side, the liberal defenders of the CAGW consensus. Once the ‘consensus’ argument stepped beyond climate science into the realm of ‘dangerous’ impacts and ‘solutions’ involving global changes in governance and energy policy, BS detectors were triggered in people who didn’t share that motivation.”

    If this was the case, everyone agreed on the science until the ‘impacts and solutions’ part came up. Then the skeptics started seeing the BS in the science itself too. Meanwhile the AGW side stayed with the science despite these ramifications. So it was the skeptics whose politics governed a change in their view of the science itself. Who has the motivated reasoning here?

    • Robert I Ellison

      BS motivated argument. I was a good little environmental scientist reading the first assessment report in the early 90’s. I concluded that the solutions were technological. Then went back to looking for causes of decadal rainfall regimes in Australia. I was staring at the PDO wondering how sst in the north Pacific had anything to do with Australian rainfall and realised that the periods were exactly the same as temperature trajectories as well. An OMG moment. To quote myself again – and I know it is a bit rude.

      Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. 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.

      Four multi-decadal climate shifts were identified in the last century coinciding with changes in the surface temperature trajectory. Warming from 1909 to the mid 1940’s, cooling to the late 1970’s, warming to 1998 and declining since. The shifts are punctuated by extreme El Niño Southern Oscillation events. Fluctuations between La Niña and El Niño peak at these times and climate then settles into a damped oscillation. Until the next critical climate threshold – due perhaps in a decade or two if the recent past is any indication.

      So what am I to do with all this science that doesn’t seem to figure in your calculations at all? I think it is groupthink frankly. Asymmetric psychopathology. Admittedly – it is a bit difficult to separate out the sceptic crazies sometimes but better to do so than to gloss over the crackpots like you guys do.

      • You might be interested in these. In particular, the animations support the lags seen in observations (at least for the period in which observations are available).

        Tisdale, Bob. “Everything You Every Wanted to Know About El Niño and La Niña….” Scientific. Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations, September 3, 2012. ($8.00 for download)

        Have you searched the web, looking for information about La Niña and her big brother El Niño? You know, those colossal cooling and warming events in the tropical Pacific that cause flooding in some parts of the world, drought in others—heat waves here, cold spells there—blizzards and record snowfall in your driveway, but a snow-free winter at your favorite ski resort. Yup, those El Niño and La Niña. Scientists have given them that highfalutin name El Niño-Southern Oscillation or ENSO for short. ….
        … you keep finding technical web pages with very similar overviews, and, if you’re lucky, three schematics: one for El Niño conditions, one for La Niña and one for ENSO-neutral or “normal” conditions. Frustratingly, those three illustrations look the same to you, leaving you scratching your head. No matter where you turn, what you read, you still have no idea what they’re talking about. But you still want to know what those blasted El Niño and La Niña things are all about.

        __________. “Animations Discussed in ‘Who Turned on the Heat?’” Scientific. Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations, September 3, 2012.

        Errata: Page 27 of text, line 7 – eastward, should read westward. Same typo is on page 27 of Preview. Refer also to “Who Turned on the Heat?”
        Page 10 of text, last line: “could care less” should be “couldn’t care less”. (Most persons in the U.S. would not notice or be concerned about the difference, but I was reminded there is one.)

      • Dr. Curry: Might this be a good post topic? Except for the price, but it is justifiable by a lot of work on Bob Tisdale’s part. It is long, because of a lot of illustrations.

  59. Cambridge chemist John Emsley said, “The greatest catastrophe that the human race could face this century is not global warming but a global conversion to ‘organic farming’ — an estimated 2 billion people would perish.”

    • wow such alarmism

      • There are billions of people living in the world who would not consider a Big Mac or Wal Mart as evil as you do.

      • That is actually a hilarious sequence of posts – given that Wal-Mart is the biggest organic retailer in the country.

        In following your scare-mongering logic – then Wal-mart is, in fact, evil, as it is the primary mechanism for practices that “could” lead to “an estimated 2 billion people” perishing.

        Ya’ just gotta love the logic of “skeptics” like Wagathon.

      • What are a few things about our way of life that if changed would make America less hated by the Left?

      • McDonald’s aren’t evil, but some are unsanitary. I see trash on the floors, dried catsup on the tables, etc. But what really turns me off is the restrooms, some of which smell bad, have no soap and no paper towels. I just hope those aren’t the restrooms the employees use.

        I no longer eat hamburgers. The thought of traces of feces in hamburger meat is disgusting. Cooked doo doo is still doo doo. I’m mostly a vegetarian, and eating bug fragments doesn’t bother me so much, but I try not to think about it.

        Wal-Mart is predatory. A capitalist should be predatory. Knock of the competition. Kill the free-market. Maximize profits.

      • The compassionate and merciful Allah probably was a vegetarian too.

      • Max_OK yeah, it is much better raw and in traces on spinach, melons, tofu and more organic hosts for bacteria :)

      • The desire of the liberal fascists to impose their will on the rest of us underlies everything they believe.

      • Max_OK

        PING! (My BS detector just went off)

        You say you “no longer eat hamburgers”

        Then you give a detailed description of what McDonalds establishments look like, including their rest rooms.

        What in hell are you doing in McDonalds restaurants if you don’t eat hamburgers?


      • The Left would rather use it free speech rights to blame Bush and spread fears about global warming than to oppose those who would deprive Salman Rushdie of his free speech rights.

      • lolwot, actually, “global” conversion to organic farming would be a huge risk. The same too big to fail scenario. It is a systemic risk thingy :)

    • Well – look at that!

      Scare-mongering about scare-mongering.

      Never seen that before.

      • Are we ecochondriacs?

        …the predication of government, and United Nations’, policy for energy growth on the unsustainable myth of global warming is a serious threat to us all, but especially to the 1.6billion people in the less-developed world who have no access to any modern form of energy. The twin curses of water poverty and energy poverty remain the real scandals. By contrast, the political imposition on the rest of the world of our Northern, self-indulgent ecochondria about global warming could prove to be a neocolonialism too far.

        ~Philip Stott

      • Joshua


        You did it again!


  60. My own personal BS detector

    Yes, the idea of a ‘BS detector’ encapsulates my own skeptical views on this subject. In case anyone is interested I will summarise.

    I am a software developer. I have worked in areas as diverse as astronomy, fluid dynamics and forensic genetics. I do not claim to be an expert in any of these fields, but I understand them well enough to read cutting edge papers and implement the ideas on computers. That requires a good general understanding of the scientific process.

    I am skeptical about three stages of the CAGW argument
    1) The temperature projections based on anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions
    2) The doom-and-gloom predictions based on that temperature rise and
    3) The policies suggested to mitigate the effect

    Readers of this blog will be familiar with the many problems with contemporary “climate science”. Manipulated and hidden data, dodgy statistics, the unreasonable weight given to computer models based on uncertain physics. But actually I am much less skeptical about (1) than (2) or (3). I would be surprised if human activity is not warming the planet, though I find the high-end projections implausible (and inconsistent with the temperature record for the past decade and a half).

    When I first learned that human activity was measurably increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere I was worried. It is a natural and sensible question to ask if this could lead to a tipping point that would turn the earth into a furnace like Venus. It is also easily answered, and not by running a lot of detailed climate models. Once you discover that CO2 in the Eocene was several times anything human activity could produce in the next few centuries, you have your answer. The Eocene was the “age of mammals”, with Titanotheres and other huge beasts. Clearly life throve in the Eocene. So we are NOT “killing the planet” with CO2. Both CO2 and temperatures have varied greatly in the geological past and life has done perfectly well, thank you.

    Stories that the *rate of change* of temperature caused by AGW will cause a mass extinction are also clearly BS. Except in a few very special environments diurnal and seasonal temperature changes are far greater than the changes predicted for AGW over the next century. Also, we are living in an ice age in which temperatures have fluctuated by up to 20C every few hundred thousand years for the past 3 million years or so. Most existing species must have survived several such cycles. And the transitions between glacial and interglacial periods are thought to be quite rapid – with rates of change at least as great as the late 20th century warming. If corals were killed off by a few degrees of temperature change they would not have been around for the past 500 millions years!

    Just about every prediction of the negative effects of global warming have been grossly exaggerated while the positive effects have been ignored. A good case can be made that in the long term life on earth would benefit from higher CO2 and temperatures – they were certainly both higher for most of the history of life on earth.

    But it is when we get on to policy that the BS detector goes off the scale. Anyone who was seriously worried about AGW would be lobbying for a rapid expansion of nuclear power, as the only plausible way to continue to eradicate poverty while reducing carbon emissions. James Lovelock said that, and suddenly everyone went quite and stared at their sandals.

    The policy shambles is the big give-away. Clearly everyone knows we are in no real danger. CAGW has become a source of huge new funding for “climate science”, a convenient peg upon which the hair shirt and lentils brigade in the west can hang their anti-capitalist agenda, and an excuse for politicians to raise taxes and boss us around. Meanwhile the Chinese and Indians – who live in hot places – continue to build coal and gas power stations. Why? Because they are too stupid or short-sighted to understand the danger? No, because they understand very well, and have made the sensible decision that lifting their people out of poverty is more important than worrying about a couple of degrees of temperature rise. Economic growth will pay for adaption.

    Actually, it might have been sensible to cut GHG emissions until we have a better handle on how large the temperature rise is going to be. But failing to do so is vanishingly unlikely to be catastrophic. However we squandered that opportunity when we let the tree-huggers dictate the terms of the response.

    So what we have is the worst of all worlds. In the west our politicians have a new excuse to tax us, and spend the money on useless windmills. Meanwhile the developing world ensures CO2 levels will continue rise anyway. The only consolation is that within my lifetime (I hope) we will know for sure what the climate response to CO2 is, because we are doing the experiment.

    • Well, schoolteachers will tell you that the Earth is like a bathtub filled with CO2 — like ‘water’ — with a drain at the bottom and a faucet at the top and what comes in is equal what goes out and then modernity comes along and while humanity contributes just a little extra compared to natural sources of CO2 sooner or later — unless we make the drain bigger — the extra ‘water’ will pour over the sides and then the floor will get wet and that will open up a pathway to hell on earth (or, at least in America) and the destruction of all forms of life (except malaria-carrying mosquitoes and mice with hantavirus). Scared yet?

    • if it was more like mid-Cretaceous by the 22nd century, rather than Eocene, would that change your view? The mid-Cretaceous favored only small mammals and dinosaurs? Imagine SE US summers but worse, with higher heat and 90’s humidity. There would be major problems for medium sized mammals to be away from their air-conditioning in that climate.

    • Gareth, thanks very much for this comment. My very first comment on this blog questioned the motivation of the AGW community with regard to proposed mitigation themes. I believe this is the very heart of the issue and will be the winning argument. Otherwise I guess we can kiss our soaring birds goodbye. Right, Web.
      Another Jim (how many are there on this blog??)

    • Gareth,

      Before you start lecturing others on BS you might just want to make sure you get the science right yourself.

      You comment : Once you discover that CO2 in the Eocene was several times anything human activity could produce in the next few centuries, you have your answer.

      It was about 800ppmv or just about twice the current level: