PBS Ombudsman

by Judith Curry

A segment on climate change last Monday evening produced a storm of protest from critics who felt the program mislead viewers — by a faulty application of journalistic balance — about the very real threat of global warming and man’s contribution to it, as well as a sprinkling of support from those who think that threat is overstated and that balance was just the right touch for the NewsHour. – Michael Getler, PBS

Watch Skeptic No Longer Doubts Human Role in Global Warming on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

In summary:  the show was centered around Richard Muller, and his ‘conversion’ from skeptic to believer.  Several other people were interviewed, including Bill Collins and Anthony Watts.

The ‘storm’ of protest in the green blogosphere is summarized in the links provided by Lubos Motl.  Apparently PBS was inundated with comments.  This motivated the PBS Ombudsman, Michael Getler, to write a lengthy piece on this issue entitled Climate Change Creates a Storm.  Some excerpts:

It was not the PBS NewsHour’s finest 10 minutes. In my view, and that of hundreds, even thousands of others, the program stumbled badly. On the other hand, it was not the end of the world, so to speak.

But almost from the moment it ended, email began pouring into my mailbox, hundreds of them. A representative sampling is posted below. Some are quite long. At the same time, several analytical and opinion pieces attacking or supporting the segment were posted online — almost certainly driving more email traffic — by liberal and conservative commentators, and man-made climate change supporters and criticsherehere and here.

Later in the week, a petition arrived listing 15,000 names associated with “Forecast The Facts,” a group demanding an investigation into “how and why PBS NewsHour promoted falsehoods about climate change and slander against climate scientists.” They focused on the broadcast segment and an accompanying blog post by Michels involving a more extended interview with another guest on the program, Anthony Watts, who the “Facts” group described as a “climate change denier and conspiracy theorist.” I will come back to him as well.

The reason I wrote, at the top of this column that, although the segment was badly handled, it wasn’t the end of the world, is as follows.

Michels, at the start, talked about “the world of climate change, where most scientists and a much smaller group of skeptics remain bitterly divided.” He talked further in the interview about whether politicians “listen to the 97 percent of scientists who say that it is real or they pay attention to the vocal community of skeptics will determine to a large extent what regulations and what laws get passed.”

Aside from interviewing Muller in the broadcast, he interviewed William Collins, senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, who talked about the rapid changes in global warming and the human-enhancement of that change, and Jon Krosnick of Stanford University who pointed out that “the voices of skeptics on climate change are very loud in this country and particularly effective in Washington at the moment. But they are a very, very small group.”

Michels also pointed out, usefully, that “neither presidential candidate is talking about climate change but, in Congress, it’s a different story; 74 percent of Senate Republicans publicly question the science of global warming” and more than half in the House.

And physicist Muller got the last word: “We will be experiencing weather that’s warmer than Homo sapiens ever experienced. And I tend to think that’s going to be bad and we should do something about it and we can …”

But the missteps created by the program and committed on the air and online dominate the reasons why this segment is being most widely viewed as falling short of NewsHour standards. I feel that way as well. And the main factor was the choice and appearance of Anthony Watts as someone interviewed on the broadcast, and also interviewed at much greater length by Michels on the NewsHour’s “Rundown” blog. My focus is only on the broadcast, which is what most people wrote and commented about to me.

Watts did not seem to get more time than some of the other major figures but he seemed to dominate the program. Watts is a broadcast meteorologist, entrepreneur and the founder of the “Watts Up With That?” blog that focuses on global warming. He is a leading skeptic, especially about the role of humans in the warming process, and his blog is billed as among the most popular and widely viewed on the subject.

Although global warming strikes me as one of those issues where there is no real balance and it is wrong to create an artificial or false equivalence, there is no harm and some possibility of benefit in inviting skeptics about the human contribution and other factors to speak, but in a setting in which the context of the vast majority of scientific evidence and speakers is also made clear.

What was stunning to me as I watched this program is that the NewsHour and Michels had picked Watts — who is a meteorologist and commentator — rather than a university-accredited scientist to provide “balance.” I had never heard of Watts before this program and I’m sure most viewers don’t, as part of their routines, read global warming blogs on either side of the issue.

I’m not being judgmental about Watts or anything he said. He undoubtedly is an effective spokesperson. But it seems to me that if you decide you are going to give airtime to the other side of this crucial and hot-button issue, you need to have a scientist.

As it turned out, Michels, in his blog post on Monday, revealed that Watts had been recommended to him by The Heartland Institute, that he described as “a conservative, Chicago-based non-profit that is one of the leading groups that doubt that climate change — if it exists — is attributable to human activities.” The Heartland connection, which has included some funding, was not mentioned on the air.

Watts is articulate and confident and used his time well to make some strong assertions. A key one that he is associated with is his past efforts to show that climate warming data is inaccurate because weather stations where measurements are taken often soak up heat from their surroundings. Michels did not challenge that view, which has been disputed, and, in a highly unusual move, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) sent this statement to The NewsHour:

 “The American public can be confident in NOAA’s long-standing surface temperature record, one of the world’s most comprehensive, accurate and trusted data sets. . .

The NewsHour also heard, after the broadcast, from a scientist whose views had been included in the broadcast. As Michels later wrote in his blog: “In our broadcast piece, we said that ‘… Judith Curry, professor of earth sciences at Georgia Tech, who suspects natural variability accounts for climate change — not human-produced CO2 — said Muller’s analysis is ‘way oversimplistic and not at all convincing …’ Curry wrote to us earlier today to say that she believes we didn’t characterize her position fully and said she was ‘appalled’ with what we said.

“Here’s what Curry told us: ‘It is correct that I found Muller’s analysis ‘way oversimplistic and not at all convincing’, but the statement implies that that I don’t think human-produced CO2 accounts for any of the climate change we have been seeing. This is absolutely incorrect. For my views on climate change, see my blog Climate Etc. In my most recent posts on the Arctic sea ice decline, I estimated that about half the decline could be attributed to human induced CO2, which is in line with the latest analyses from the CMIP5 climate models.’

“In retrospect, we should have said that Curry suspects natural variability accounts for some amount of climate change, but she also believes human-induced CO2 plays some role in what has been happening to the planet.”

JC comments:  I have to agree that this was not PBS’ finest hour, but not exactly for the same reasons as described by the PBS Ombudsman.  Doing a major segment on climate change was in principle a good idea, but pulling off an effective one hour segment on this complex topic required much more thought and investigation and involvement with journalists that are experienced with this topic.
Centering this show on the faux conversion of Richard Muller set this story down a certain path that turned out to be unfortunate.  Richard Muller has never questioned the CO2 contribution to climate change.  His ‘skepticism’ has focused on the hockey stick and was further triggered by the Climategate emails whence he questioned the reliability of the historical surface temperature records.  That said, Richard Muller has become an important figure in the public debate on climate change, I just wish the story surrounding Muller was better presented (e.g. such as this interview).
PBS clearly wanted to include something about the critics of Muller.  I was contacted a month ago for a photo of myself, to be used briefly in a segment about Muller (I was not interviewed for this).  I have been critical of Muller’s press releases and the originally released version of his latest paper on attribution (whereas I am coauthor on 4 papers from the BEST group).  In terms of other critics of Muller, Watts and McKitrick stand out.  Watts was chosen for this segment apparently not for his specific criticism of Muller, but based on the recommendation of the Heartland Institute.
IMO, Watts handled himself very well in the on-air interview and also in the extended written interview.  Nothing that he said was unreasonable.  It is rather bizarre that on this particular show, I came across as the ‘denier’ and Watts as the ‘lukewarmer.’
The outrage over Watts seems to be not so much what he said, as over his being given any airtime at all.  On a program discussing climate science, is Watts the appropriate spokesperson?  I would say not.  However, on a program discussing the public debate over climate science, Watts should be front and center.  His blog WUWT has far and away the largest traffic of any climate blog in the world (as per Alexa).  As such, Watts is a figure of central importance in the public debate on climate change.  To those who don’t like this fact, I advise you to take the time to understand why WUWT is so successful and maybe you will learn something about the public debate on climate change.

678 responses to “PBS Ombudsman

  1. Climategate is the result, sixty four years (2009 – 1945 = 64 yrs), of world leaders taking advice from guilt-ridden scientists in 1945 to:

    1. Establish the United Nations on 24 Oct 1945

    2. Abolish national boundaries and constitutions, and

    3. Hide FTRG – the force that sustains our lives !

    Here’s the rest of the story:


    • Too true.

      On a related note:

      > The master gave me a lesson on what to do, and I flunked. I bought her $1.10 worth of sandwiches, and hadn’t asked her anything, and now I know I’m gonna get nothing! I have to recover, if only for the pride of my teacher.

      — Richard Feynman

      • True words of wisdom.

        Speaking of which, here’s a nice story:

        After my talk, some of the protesters came up to press me about the woman-driver story. “Why did it have to be a woman driver?” they said. “You are implying that all women are bad drivers.”

        “But the woman makes the cop look bad,” I said. “Why aren’t you concerned about the cop?”

        “That’s what you expect from cops!” one of the protesters said. “They’re all pigs!”

        “But you should be concerned,” I said. “I forgot to say in the story that the cop was a woman!”

        Who can forget such detail?

        Richard Feynman, of course:


      • willard

        I love it!


      • Manacker,

        Me too.

        Don’t forget the bit about taming a belligerent audience with a talk about the proton.

        PS: Oh, you have still to answer a few questions I asked you on another thread. I hope you have not forgotten.

      • wiillard

        Pardon me, but I truly have forgotten the question you have asked me on another thread,

        Is it relevant to our topic here?

        Can you ask it again?



      • A true story of a woman driver and a cop

        A woman acquaintance from Germany was living temporarily in an Oklahoma city.

        One day she was stopped by a cop after having run through an intersection after the stop light had just turned to red.

        She elected to go to court, rather than pay the fine. Her husband tells her that this was foolish on her part – she would have to pay court charges on top of the fine.

        In the courtroom (where her husband was a spectator) the judge (also a woman) asked the policeman to describe what happened.

        “The lady was driving from east to west on Main Street at Second and crossed the intersection after the signal light had turned to red”, says the cop

        The judge asks the woman to respond and she does.

        “I wasn’t driving from east to west, but from west to east.”

        The judge asks the policeman to explain.

        He admits that he made a mistake; it was really from west to east.

        “Case dismissed”, says the judge (as her husband’s jaw almost drops and it almost appears that the judge has winked at his wife).

        So much for female logic, sense of orientation and justice.


      • David Springer

        I beat a traffic ticket in court too. Reckless driving. On a busy street during lunchtime on a workday I darted out of a mall parking lot, left turn, into the opposite lane. Four lane road with a center turn lane. I had a compact car which was quick to accelerate to the 20mph of the traffic flow. I accelerated to 20mph as I was crossing two lanes of opposing traffic, began turning left in the center lane, and neatly inserted myself into a gap in the traffic. I startled the person to the rear of me in the lane I entered who then hit his brakes. The cop was behind that person, following too closely, and he had to hit his brakes too possibly causing him to spill his coffee or something. Anyhow the cop was pissed and pulled me over and gave me a ticket for reckless driving. I didn’t believe it was reckless. So I contested it in court.

        It was just me, the judge, and the cop alone in the courtroom. Close to the end of the day (3pm). The judge asks the cop to describe the incident. He does. I’m taking notes as he goes. Then the judge asks the cop if he can identify the suspect. The cop points to me (remember there’s only the three of us in the courtroom) and says “I guess it’s him if he’s the one who signed the ticket.” The judge raises an eyebrow and says “Can you positively identify him as the driver?” The cop says “Your honor I write hundreds of traffic tickets every month. I can’t possibly remember all the faces.” The judge says “I am dismissing this case. You must be able to positively identify the accused.” The cop became livid at that point. I hastily made my exit before he could.

        Misdemeanors, unlike felonies, require an eyewitness who can, under oath, positively identify the perpetrator. You have a right to face your accuser. Thus if you contest a misdemeanour traffic ticket the cop has to show up and positively identify you.

        I suppose in the case mentioned above the cop’s powers of observation were brought into serious question when he failed to get the direction of travel correct for the accused.

        The saying “You can’t beat city hall” obviously has exceptions.

      • I cannot concur with your driving behaviour – sounds like an uneducated teenager.

    • The conclusion to the AGW debate was recorded in ancient scriptures:

      “Truth is victorious, never untruth”
      Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.6; Qur’an 17.85; etc.

      Pity those who decided to hide the powerful force released from tiny neutron-rich cores of uranium atoms over Hiroshima on 6 Aug 1945.

      That same powerful force made our elements and gave birth to the solar system five billion years (5 Gyr) ago.


      The Voyager Mission to the edge of the Solar System recently found that the event that made the Solar System 5 Gyr ago now extends eighteen billion kilometers (18 x 10^ 9 km or 18 G km) from its center, the Sun.


      • So true.

        Speaking of powerful forces:

        On another occasion I was with both Gell-Mann and Feynman and the subject of kooky letters and phone calls came up. Feynman started relating the story of how one crazy woman called the office about some ridiculous theory of magnetic fields. He just could not get her off the phone. Gell-Mann responded, Oh, I remember that woman. I got her off the phone in less than a minute. How’d you do that? Feynman asked. I told her to call you. That you were the resident expert in the topic!


      • Gell-Mann is easily Feynman’s equal. Considering how many people drop quotes of Feynman’s at the drop of a hat, they should be aware of what kind of force Gell-Mann is, and he is still going at it, while Feynman is taking a dirt nap.

        From his Nobel prize speech in 1969:

        “For me, the study of these laws is inseparable from a love of Nature in all its manifestations. The beauty of the basic laws of natural science, as revealed in the study of particles and of the cosmos, is allied to the litheness of a merganser diving in a pure Swedish lake, or the grace of a dolphin leaving shining trails at night in the Gulf of California.
        [We] are driven by the usual insatiable curiosity of the scientist, and our work is a delightful game. I am frequently astonished that it so often results in correct predictions of experimental results. How can it be that writing down a few simple and elegant formulae, like short poems governed by strict rules such as those of the sonnet or the waka, can predict universal regularities of Nature?

        Perhaps we see equations as simple because they are easily expressed in terms of mathematical notation already invented at an earlier stage of development of the science, and thus what appears to us as elegance of description really reflects the interconnectedness of Nature’s laws at different levels.

        I would recommend Gell-Mann’s book The Quark and The Jaguar, and skip all the sections on particles and head for anything to do with complexity.

        “Both biological and cultural diversity are now severely threatened and working for their preservation is a critical task. “

        Remember that Gell-Mann is a signatory of one of the climate change documents, backing the consensus science. And he is combative to say the least.

      • Gell-man is a climate scientist? how many papers did he write on climate science? The double standards of the alarmist religion are triple what they used to be

      • “Gell-man is a climate scientist? how many papers did he write on climate science? The double standards of the alarmist religion are triple what they used to be”

        You forget how many of the fake climate skeptics try to raise Feynman from the dead, and then pretend that he would have an opinion on climate science one way or the other. I would say that it averages about once a day that Feynman gets mentioned here. See John Carlos Baez’ crackpot index for some snark on how Feynman’s name is constantly being taken in vain.

        All I am saying is that here we have Gell-Mann, who is still kicking, has co-founded a famous institution based on researching system complexity (The Santa Fe Institute) and had made his opinions known on consensus climate science, and you guys can’t take it, and instead have to project your fantasies on to somebody that is inert.

        It really is fantastical projection on your part, no mystery there.

      • WHT. I would not presume to guess what Feynman would have said about AGW. But I am pretty sure he would not have liked the climategate emails. It is Feynman’s views on the scientific method that are being referred to here.

      • I didn’t realize that Feynman was a fragile orchid when it came to mixing it up. Wasn’t he born in Brooklyn? Isn’t that the home of the fainting couch?

      • WebHubTelescope,

        You should know that there’s never enough place for both Murray and Richard:

        Once I made the mistake of inviting both Feynman and Murray Gell-Mann over for dinner with a couple of other guests. Almost the entire evening was spent with the two of them sparing back and forth, You don’t have to say that, I already know that. Then the other one would say something, and again, You don’t have to say that, I already know that. Back and forth it went. My wife Laura turned to Gweneth Feynman, and said, Why do they even bother? Gweneth responded, We try to keep them apart as much as possible. Later that evening, we were all sitting around the table talking when someone said something and Murray Gell-Mann remarked, Oh, that’s a pleonasm. Everyone went, What? It’s a sentence with a triple redundancy, Gell-Mann stated. Gell-Mann is well known among his associates for his pedantic knowledge of language and facts. Feynman and I sneaked into my library where we looked it up in the dictionary. Gell-Mann was right. Feynman hit his fist on the table, and exclaimed, DAMN IT! He’s always GODDAMNED right, always! Let’s see if we can catch him tonight, I replied. Later in the evening, the subject of antiquarian books on witchcraft came up and Gell-Mann said, Do you know the Malleus Maleficarum written by James I in 1623? No, Murray, the Malleus Maleficarum was written by Sprenger and Kramer in 1486, James I wrote the Demonology in 1597, I said authoritatively. Gell-Mann, looking very astonished, turned and said, WHAT? At that moment there was the great beginnings of a smile on Dick’s face, but it hadn’t been proved yet. Gell-Mann again said, WHAT? I pulled out my Encyclopedia on Witchcraft and verified the titles, authors, and dates. Feynman slid under the table laughing, and roaring, Let the trumpets roar and the angles sing! I’ll never let you forget this, Murray! I knew it was an act all along!


      • I should have emphasized “Let the trumpets roar and the angles sing!” for Chief. He likes angles.

      • Willard,
        I also found it humorous that Gell-Mann’s Nobel remarks resembled Chief Hrydologist’s pretensions.

        “litheness of a merganser diving in a pure Swedish lake, or the grace of a dolphin leaving shining trails at night in the Gulf of California.” looks very similar to what Chief has said when he is trying to be self-serving in his role as an environmental scientist.

        Gell-Mann was also reported to have said:

        “If I have seen further than others, it is because I have been surrounded by midgets”

        I don’t believe this is true, but it fits his style :)

      • WebHubTelescope,

        Chief can write poetry with zest and gusto and may have been the only denizen to ever outplay me in philosophy. It does you a disservice to constantly sneer at what amounts to two simple stanzas:

        A World of Chaos
        Not enough data.

        If you really want to understand why he clings to these stanzas, why wouldn’t you take a chance to try to understand him? He left enough breadcrumbs to reveal his own humanity. I just hate distasteful Big Dogs.

        BartR’s mention of the halo effect made me realize why:

        Thorndike’s first study of the halo effect was published in 1920. The study included two commanding officers who were asked to evaluate their soldiers in terms of physical qualities (neatness, voice, physique, bearing, and energy), intellect, leadership skills, and personal qualities (including dependability, loyalty, responsibility, selflessness, and cooperation). Thorndike’s goal was to see how the ratings of one characteristic affected other characteristics.


        This halo effect might explain the sexiness of Richard Feynman. (Biases are not always wrong.) Here’s how he’s being portrayed:

        In spite of the dark period in his life after the death of Arline, he was a sunny character who made people feel good, a genuinely fun-loving, kind and generous man, as well as being the greatest physicist of his generation. And it is that spirit, rather than the physics, which makes people so curious about the artifact — Feynman’s famous van, replete with diagrams


        God damn it, you’ve got to be kind, WebHubTelescope!

        Or else go play with the other Big Dogs.

        Thank you for your consideration,


      • Yes, but Climategate indeed.

        Speaking of personal correspondance, here’s what Feynman said about the scientists building an atomic bomb:

        > Now, with regard to our own things as human beings, naturally — I myself, for example — worked on the bomb during the war. Now how do I feel about that? I have a philosophy that it doesn’t do any good to go and make regrets about what you did before but to try to remember how you made the decision at the time .

        Our emphasis.


        What one can find just by clicking “Surprise me!”

        A nice stychomantic experience.

  2. What a wonderful example of what is wrong with the politics of global warming! If you knew nothing about the subject at all and had only read of this episode, you would understand why these bullies are such a threat to freedom and the future of science.

    Science cannot function honestly and effectively in a country run by the bullies. This has to create doubt about any “findings” produced in such an oppressive environment.

    • Yes,down with democracy – how dare people express doubt over the handling of an issue – unles they are climate ‘skeptics’ and then they should call for scientists to be sacked, imprisoned, beaten, etc etc…..

      • Drama queen, much?

      • Sadly, it is a few scientists and journalists on the other side (the alarmists) that consistently make statements in the press and in e-mails and “secret” blog sites that anyone who does not agree with them is guilty of crimes against humanity and that some day it will be against the law to say that man is not causing global warming and nonsense like this.

        Why is it that leftists and other statists (think Mao, Stalin, Hitler, yes the national socialist party, Progressives, Greens) are always the ones that claim they love humanity and the little guy and are always so morally outraged yet they are always the first ones to try to limit free speech and to resort to violence?

        Think about the poor woman a few years ago who had her leg broken by leftist hooligans after leaving a republitard fund-raiser. Got very little air time except on Fox news.

      • It is people like you who make it easy for journalists to dismiss genuine skepticism about climate change. Just one stupid comment like that makes them dismiss all skeptics as unhinged, opinionated, wingnut conspiracy theorists who love to demonstrate their lack of knowledge on a wide range of subjects. O. Manuel doesn’t help either.

      • It is unhinged, opinionated, alarmists like JamesG who deny and try to hide the totalitarian advocacy that drives the ‘consensus’. And the journalists who share that bias.

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        If only there was someone who gave enough of a flip about your mouth breathing sad attempts at distorting the conversation.
        It could be called “idiot tracker’ or some such.

      • Perhaps we should take up a collection and buy him an Australian Shepard. That way, when the braying jackass next gets out of his paddock, he’ll have someone to shepard him back home.

      • Exactly, Down with Democracy! Democracy is Mob rule and tyranny of the majority.

    • Dr. Curry, I applaud your statement, and remain in admiration of your integrity.

      Stan, when it comes to politics and public policy, scientists have 1 vote each, the same as everyone else, in spite of the efforts of Post Normal “Scientists” to somehow change that equation. At least you admit that global warming is mostly politics over science, a step in the right direction for all eco-radicals who drive the climate debate. But too, your example mirrors the eco-radicals’ absolutist, totalitarian mindset, that brooks no criticism. That’s a very poor model for political success, and will scare the bejeezus out of those you may want to influence. As you need the public on your own side to carry political power, maybe tempering your attitudes and tolerating dissenting opinions will actually help you, not only to embrace nuance and circumspection in your beliefs about the natural world, but in convincing people they’re not on an Orwellian Animal Farm in which they’re side is the horses and you’re side is the pigs.

      • Opps “their side” and “your side.” I had originally written this as “they’re the horses and you’re the pig” but decided that was too personal. I don’t wish to unnecessarily offend, but still wish to make a strong and pointed assertion based on the literary allusion.

    • Reminds me of the way that the anti-war campaigners were treated by conservatives.

  3. To those who don’t like this fact, I advise you to take the time to understand why WUWT is so successful and maybe you will learn something about the public debate on climate change.

    Like any successful media outlet WUWT is successful because it knows its audience and tells them exactly what they want to hear.

    • Yes – what I’ve learned is that if you tell a comforting lie often enough in the blogospereic echo-chamber, you can get many people to repeat it.

      • Michael says : “Yes – what I’ve learned is that if you tell a comforting lie often enough in the blogospereic echo-chamber, you can get many people to repeat it.”

        Anyone who visits WattsUpWithThat (proponents of AGW, skeptics, those straddling the line) can learn many things—including that climate science has its basis in fatally flawed climate models—if those visitors can remove their blinders. The CMIP3 model hindcasts and projections of sea surface temperatures for the Indian & Pacific Oceans (90S-90N, 20E-70W), or about 70% of the surface area of the global oceans, show they should have warmed 0.31 deg C over the past 19+ years, if they were warmed by anthropogenic greenhouse gases:
        But they haven’t warmed.

        The only thing climate models are good for is proving sea surface temperatures are not warmed by greenhouse gases.

        The graph is from this post:
        And it was cross posted at WUWT here:


      • Bob T. said:

        “…climate science has its basis in fatally flawed climate models..”

        Absolutely untrue Bob and you should know better than to post such nonsense. Models are not the basis of climate science. Fundamental physics, chemistry, and thermodynamics are the basis of climate science. Climate science existed long before the first model was created.

      • David Springer

        Models are a product of climate science. Or possibly an expression of climate science. If it were like other products there’d be a recall because the product is defective.

        Tisdale may have conflated AGW with climate science.

        AGW is not climate science, per se, but a product of climate science. AGW is most certainly obtained from climate models. GCMs could not be made to reproduce 1980-2000 without adding anthropogenic forcing to the model. This is rather well known. It does not follow that there is no other way to modify the model to reproduce the warming. Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack. The failure of the models to predict the lack of warming 1998-2012 (and counting) is evidence of the anthropogenic forcing addition not being correct. The model is still deficient with the addition. Its skill improved for the 1980-2000 period but at the expense of a deficiency in a later period. In fact in another thread here I pointed out Dessler 2012 reanalysis of a dozen GCMs found that those without the anthropogenic forcing get the 2000-2010 period correct while the models with the forcings do not. Where does that leave us in evaluating whether the addition of anthropogenic forcing corrected the flaw in the models? In my view any objective assessment of this raises grave doubt that adding anthropogenic forcing to the models corrected the flaw.

      • David Springer

        fyi – Gates

        •Dessler, A.E., Observations of climate feedbacks over 2000-2010 and comparisons to climate models, J. Climate, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00640.1, in press, 2012. Preprint and Supplement


        Required reading.

      • “Anyone who visits WattsUpWithThat (proponents of AGW, skeptics, those straddling the line) can learn many things” – BT

        Yep, like that scientists deliberately falsfied the US surface station record to fraudently produce a warming trend (oops, forgot that Anthony has quietly dropped that one – no apologies, of course), or that there is a UHI effect in Antartica…..and many other piles of bunk besides.

      • I did Micheal make up those ‘facts’ about Watts, or can he give references ?

      • R. Gates, in response to my comment, “…climate science has its basis in fatally flawed climate models..”, you replied, “Absolutely untrue Bob and you should know better than to post such nonsense.”

        I’ll rephrase my statement just to make you happy: Anyone who visits WattsUpWithThat (proponents of AGW, skeptics, those straddling the line) can learn many things—including that climate science, as portrayed by climate models, has fatal flaws—if those visitors can remove their blinders.

      • Bob

        In order to glean some of that you have to ignore all the wingnuts. I stopped commenting there when they introduced Astronaut “Schmitt” who actually blamed Obama for the gulf oil spill. I gave up on them totally as genuine skeptics when they believed en masse that a Spanish skeptic economist had really been sent parts of a bomb rather than a fuel filter that was misposted. I think about 5% of the readership of that blog are truly skeptical. The rest just don’t like taxes.

      • I think about 5% of the readership of that blog are truly skeptical. The rest just don’t like taxes.

        I think probably 1% of avowed alarmists truly believe in it. The rest just love taxes. For other people.

      • Punskta,

        Watts SPPI ‘report’;

        “instrumental temperature data have been……systematically, and uni-directionally tampered with……” (p.6).

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        You are in the aerobics level of lie repeating. You should do a video on how to do it.

    • andrew adams
      More importantly, WUWT provides alot of facts and wide range of perspectives on climate. See his very helpful Reference pages
      Anthony Watts is the true scientist regarding surface station measurements. See below. Watts was instrumental in exposing and publicizing ClimateGate
      I strongly encourage you to actually study the evidence and articles at WUWT. You might even learn something.

      I just wish PBS provided more hard objective evidence on the full range of climate changes. I recommend PBS interview Prof. Emeritus geologist Don Easterbrook and address the evidence in his:
      Easterbrook, D.J., ed., 2011, Evidence-based climate science: Data opposing CO2 emissions as the primary source of global warming: Elsevier Inc., 416 p.

      • David,

        None of Watt’s claims on surface stations has stood up to the slightest scrutiny. Many of the “sciency” articles there have been shown to be nonsense, much of the rest are just throwing mud at climate scientists. There may be others which have some worth but I’m not prepared to wade through the garbage to find them.

      • David Springer


        All of Watt’s claims on surface stations have stood up to intense scrutiny. Many of the “sciency” articles there have been shown to be accurate and few of the rest are throwing mud at climate scientists. There may be some of little worth but even Nature publishes stuff that turns out to be wrong.

      • Andrew

        Surface stations is an admirable project, even if WUWT is a denier blog. And, no, I’m not going to cite peer reviewed studies to prove what should be plain to you. The data collection where the rubber meets the road is important. Overall, the result of surface stations will not change the picture much, however, it does reduce uncertainty and doubt. That’s huge.

        The reflexive defensiveness of your post fuels conspiracy theories and doubt. Climate science is it’s own worst enemy.

      • andrew,

        just like Michael Mann throwing mud at Nate Silver? Dr Mann is an inverate slinger. But then, it is a well known fact that trenches can get extremely muddy. So the good doctor has plenty available, brave warrior that he is.

      • tim56,

        Well I wasn’t aware of Nate Silver until you mentioned him. A quick Google led me to Mann’s HuffPo piece criticising the chapter in Silver’s book relating to climate change. Is that what you were referring to ? It don’t see anything objectionable in Mann’s article, it certainly doesn’t qualify as “mud slinging”.

    • No, it is because the audience get to say what they feel and ask questions that get answered. WUWT is a great example of how a blog should be run, and the threads are invariably fascinating.

      • Really? Whenever I’ve looked the comments have been a total cess pit. Watts may well run his blog in a way his readers like buty that doesn’t make his content any good.

      • Well perhaps your not liking the comments isn’t really the point. What I said was that the blog is popular for, among many other reasons, allowing a broad range of people the opportunity to make their views known and to ask questions . There are many people who have a lot of knowledge who respond in helpful and informative ways and this has great value. There are certainly trolls and intolerant bigots who show up from time to time but they are dealt with quite well but by and large the process there certainly adds to what one knows.

        I have seen many AGW supporters come on line there and put forward their views and I have seen them engaged with educated and informed skeptics. There is no one official stance on WUWT so all opinions are welcome there. The site itself is moderated with a light touch and snips seem to be the result of site rules transgressions to do with profanity or abuse of others.

        Many of the threads are extremely useful in extending one’s understanding of the natural world, science, technology and even some politics as it applies to the climate debate. Just recently Bob Tisdale has put up a great thread on ocean heat content and how it has changed (or not) over time and it is an absolute gem. Others have mentioned the reference pages that are linked from WUWT and I have to say that the links are straight to the source whether it be sea ice, ocean, solar or whatever you need. You can even suggest additional pages if you wish.

        WUWT is a friendly, interesting and tolerant blog that allows and encourages all points of view. The site perfectly reflects Anthony Watts’ character but it certainly isn’t an echo chamber. Why not pull in and take it for a spin? Put forward your ideas and see how they hold up in the rowdy give and take there, you may even find out things you didn’t know.

      • Your answers and language reveal more about YOU than they do about Watts. Why are you people so full of anger?

      • That is massive projection on your part.

      • LearDog,

        Is this question directed at Andrew Adams? Sometimes, I do wonder if Andrew Adams ever were angry. Insulted, perhaps. But angry?

        I’ve seen more anger in a few of Fred Moolten’s comments. Even if I’ve seen him swear once or twice, I’ve Andrew never gets angry. Hell, I seldom see him try to get even.

        If a tribe can succeed in angering Andrew Adams, I would try to understand why. The expression “cess pool” might provide the appropriate dig. If you have a problem with Andrew Adams’ temperament, I suggest this shows tone trolling symptoms more than anything.

        If you want anger, I can give you my best impersonation of mike.

      • Hi Willard,

        Thanks for your comment!

        I have to say that I do get quite often get quite angry with some of the stuff I read here (and elsewhere) and sometimes I have reacted in a less restrained way. But generally I figure that angry people on the internet is a commodity of which there is an over supply, so I feel no need to add to it, and when reading others’ comments I find that reasonable responses to unreasonable positions are the most effective tactic. Also, being very much a non-expert on the subject at hand I try to be careful not to come across as too arrogant.

        But largely it’s my natural style anyway – I have no objection to “robust” argument on important subjects, and some people who overtly adopt a “reasonable” tone use it as a cover to push unreasonable positions. And excessive politeness can sometimes come across as passive-aggressive.

        I have to say I miss Fred’s comments. He did get rather riled with people sometimes but had the knack of putting them down very very firmly but in the politest possible terms.

      • @andrew adams

        I miss Fred too. Used to be that n the few occasions I couldn’t sleep I would just start to read one of his posts starting with a long dissertation on how much reading he said he’d done and the history of the subject since Aristotle …and if you could stay awake that long then he’d pop up with the standard alarmist line straight from sceptical science or real climate.

        But the real touchstone of his writing was his knack of dodging any direct questions. Any specific like ‘where does it say that/’ or ‘show me the data’ got the same vague and waffly answer as his tedious introductions. References to review articles, ‘it is generally understood’ and other non-specific generalities.

        If he really did know anything about what he wrote about he covered it up very well with the screeds of polite but tedious boilerplate.

        Its back to the diphenylhydramine for me.

      • My take on Fred was that he tried to read a fair chunk of the literature and seemed to understand a good deal.

        His style certainly didn’t suit those with goldfish-like attention spans.

        Climate Etc comments are much poorer (i.e. dire) without him.

      • Keith AB,

        Thanks for your considered reply and sorry for the delay in responding.

        The strong impression I get is theat WUWT is welcoming to people who share the majority viewpoint but there certainly is a tendency amongs at least a section of the commenters to dismiss dissenters as “trolls”. Of course it is hardly the only blog guilty of this, I could make similar criticisms of others (including some which I think are otherwise very good) but at WUWT there seems to be a faction who display what I would call “aggressive ignorance” who tend to overwhelm the more recent commenters. There does seem to be real bitterness, hatred even, towards climate scientists (especially Mann) and I also think that Anthony is guity of pursuing vendettas. he also seems very ungratious when his mistakes are pointed out.

        But as you make the invitation and you seem like a reasonable guy I will pop over some time and see if I am proved wrong.

      • @michael

        It wasn’t Fred’s longwindedness I found so painful…as I said it was a great insomnia cure. Cheaper than pills and quicker.

        But it was his total inability to answer even the simplest follow-up question with anything other than waffle.


        Fred: ‘In my extensive and copious reading of every paper under the sun about everything you can think of I know all there is to know about ‘Ocean Acidification’. This is happening at a dangerous rate’

        Me: Please show me where it has been measured as actually occurring

        Fred: Extensive studies I have found in my thorough research show this.

        Me: OK. Please show me one.

        Fred: It is generally understood – and having done an enormous amount of reading I agree with the scientists – that it is happening

        Me: Fine. I’ll agree that you’ve done a lot of reading. Now where specifically can I see this data

        Fred: You need to do as much reading as I have to fully understand the issue

        Me: No. Just show me the data

        Fred: Not my job to do your reading for you. If you are as diligent and thorough as me you will be capable of asking me valid questions. I cannot bring myself down to your level.

        Me: So you haven’t got any

        Fred: In my extensive and copious reading of every paper under the sun about everything you can think of I know all there is to know about ‘Ocean Acidification’. This is happening at a dangerous rate

        repeat ad nauseam.

    • Cultic information bubbles are an interesting sociological phenomenon. Before one starts accusing others of being in one, would you agree that it’s wise to make sure you’re not in one of your own?

      But how do we know if we’re in an information bubble? Would an indicator be a very low tolerance for information that comes from outside the bubble? Yes, I think so. Would it have a knee-jerk feel, and with lots of anger and overwrought emotional sensitivity, characterized by drama and exaggeration? Yes, I think so.

      And what do we see from the PBS blowback from the alarmists? Is it uniformly consistent to an unnatural degree? Is it fundamentally rational? Does it rely on logical fallacy such as ad hominem? Does it make you believe any of them listened to what Anthoy Watts actually said? Is it scientifically instructive, as in “here’s my alternative view of that point?” Is it politically instructive to the other side of the debate in favor of your own position? Or, does it hint at cultic, exclusionary totalitarianism that rewards internal piety, ala Scientology?

      Someone ought to do a study. ;-)

    • andrew,

      you lose credibility when you say stuff like this. Is there a blog out there that does not to at least some extent say what its viewers want? Or is it a matter of a blog being a means to express one’s opinion and the size of its viewership being a function of how many people agree with that opinion?

  4. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Beth Cooper asks: “Pray what is a ‘neodenialist’ fan?”

    Thank you for your question Beth Cooper!   :)   :)   :)

    Answer  Neodenialism seeks to reject climate-change mitigation measures upon self-serving short-sighted economic grounds, as contrasted with the scientific ignorance, quibbling, and cherry-picking of traditional climate-change denialist cognition.

    What is your next question, Beth Cooper   :?:   :?:   :?:

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Whoops, wrong thread!  :oops:

      The above was a response to Beth Cooper’s critique regarding the responsibilities that are associated of scientific knowledge.

      In which respect, the PBS ombudsman is doing a pretty good job, eh?   :grin:   :grin:   :grin:

    • It’s not fair picking on the handicapped.

    • @A Fan

      Are your collected works going to be translated for an English language edition? Or must we wait for the movie and hope that they provide subtitles?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      FOMBS – ‘Using a new measure of coupling strength, this update shows that these climate modes have recently synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year 2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the
      global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature.’ Swanson and Tsonis 2009

      As I say – I am a catastrophist in the sense of Rene Thom rather than a denialist. As an environmental scientist – I am certainly aware of the need to limit POP’s. But you are a twit of monumental proportions heading down a path of stupendous incomprehension in overweening arrogance, ignorance and smugness. That you are certain it is simple and that you have got it absolutlely right is a psychopathology of groupthink and it will end badly as these things always do.

      How do you progress? Review your assumptions and grow and learn. I am happy to be of assistance.

      Whoops wrong thread

  5. “It is rather bizarre that on this particular show, I came across as the ‘denier’ and Watts as the ‘lukewarmer.’”

    Every single time I have been at a reported event or involved in a story that has been reported, the reports have never matched reality.
    The program was set up as a ‘Road to Damascus’, the script wanted to chart the journey from denier to alarmist; Antony obviously spoiled things by his reasonable comments and started an astroturfing crusade of emails demanding that the narrative be purified.

  6. Getler never heard of Watts but he knows what the truth is about climate change. How droll. I have learned that a lot of people, including science teachers, do not know that there is even a debate. Hence the outrage. Hopefully people were shaken a bit.

  7. “As such, Watts is a figure of central importance in the public debate on climate change. To those who don’t like this fact, I advise you to take the time to understand why WUWT is so successful and maybe you will learn something about the public debate on climate change.”

    That is interesting question. It seems first thing is Watts puts a lot effort in what he does- he has a good work ethic. Also, and related to this, is he is interested in the topic of climate. He not interested promoting a dogma, but rather his interest is in the subject. Like stamp collector is interested in everything to do with stamps. And he has experience in public relations and knows something about computers.
    In contrast, Watts could have probably done better job than PBS, in presenting this PBS program on climate. He knows the people involved and knows what questions to ask- he knows what the debate is about.

  8. Concerned Citizen

    The media is incapable of understanding its own deficiencies in coverage of nearly all news. The very capacity of the news systems means that every tidbit of information is repeated endlessly somewhere regardless of quality. Hence something that resonates with a substantial portion of the population is repeated more and becomes “fact” in no time. “The consensus” (with its hundreds of varied meanings to individuals) has been that type of fact for a long time now. Stubbornly, many laymen that have put substantial thought into it still don’t buy in to the “every change in the world is now due to warming” and “let’s change the world NOW (for the worse) or the race is endangered” themes. Perhaps someone in the media should look into that apparent dichotomy a little more closely.

  9. John DeFayette

    Outrage is in order. Is there anyone who listens to or watches NPR/PBS who can stomach a contrary voice on CAGW?
    I hope that PBS will be held accountable for the very real health crisis they created with the Watts segment. Can you imagine the spike in suicides?

    How telling: “I had never heard of Watts before this program….” Surprised, anyone?

  10. “IMO, Watts handled himself very well in the on-air interview……Nothing that he said was unreasonable” – JC

    Yep, just that climate scientists were into it to create jobs for themsleves and others are pushing it asa trojan horse for more regualtion and taxes.

    Pretty mild compared to some of the more wacky conspiracy theorists out there.

    • You need to study Public Choice theories. Its not about conspiracy. People do tend to believe what is beneficial to them. Read the science on this issue!

    • David Springer

      Server is still running and content is current.

      They were probably using namecheap’s dynamic DNS service. If you happen to have a dynamic IP address (i.e. one subject to change without notice) you can get a domain name ( i.e. mywebsite.com) along with a service that checks your IP address and if it changes the service automatically updates the WWW name servers with the new IP address. This is real handy for people who have, for instance, cable modems in their private residences. Cable companies usually offer unlimited bandwidth to residences but don’t guarantee the IP address. They charge an arm and a leg for a fixed IP address. You can combine the cheap residential broadband rate from your ISP with a cheap Dynamic DNS service. There are free DynDNS services but you don’t get to pick out your own name with the free ones.


      For those of you who don’t know

      • Or the domain name could simply not have been renewed on time since the whois info showed an expiration date of 9/21.

      • David Springer

        When your ISP also supplies your domain name you pay one bill and failure to pay it results in your server no longer having an internet connection. When the two are separated your domain name can go tits up but the server is still connected to the internet. The facts on the ground are that the domain name expired but the internet connection is still alive.

  11. The globe is cooling, folks; when the email campaign to announce it will begin even kim doesn’t know.

  12. I concur with your conclusion:

    “…As such, Watts is a figure of central importance in the public debate on climate change. To those who don’t like this fact, I advise you to take the time to understand why WUWT is so successful and maybe you will learn something about the public debate on climate change.”

    I was glad to see that the Ombudsman clarified your views on the subject of climate change and attribution. Hopefully, PBS will put a link to this post on their web site for “the rest of the story”.

  13. Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

  14. “email began pouring into my mailbox, hundreds of them

    All the old ladies who were watching PBS at the time?

    This is the typical Climate Science M.O. Project meaning onto the meaningless.


  15. Thank you, fan, yer definition really brought out the fine distinctions, lol, ‘shortsighted’ versus ‘quibbling.’ And now Part 11 of the question, defining ‘neoCAGWist?’ Might it possibly have ter do with ‘neofunding’ and ‘neogrants?’

  16. Coolingate emails Kim, :: grin::

  17. Suppose scientis make strong claims based on certain instruments. Someone checks those instruments and finds likely errors, of just the sort supporting the strong claims. If that person is not a scientist then what they do is even more important than science. But in fact instrumentalists are central to science.

  18. I saw approximately a half hour of the program. From that and growing familiarity with your approach here I say you posting is spot on.

    Scientists in all sectors–private, academic, government–are ultimately going get tarred on this issue as a result of lack of engagement (regardless of POV). The situation is well out of hand.

    Thank you for your summary.

    • mwgrant, of all of the comments here, I just had to backup and say ditto to yours. Climate science’s entire integrity is at the crossroads right now, but which road will it take? Will it ever find the courage to bear the pain that is bound to follow if it picks the high road? I used to think it always would but now I’m not so sure.

  19. Anthony Watts is ‘successful’ for the same reason Michael Moore and Rush Limbaugh are successful. That you recommend his blog for any reason other than lessons in critical thinking is shocking.

    • So speaks an intellectual giant.

    • WUWT is the most comprehensive climate reference source in the blogosphere. All data are linked to the original sources, such as NOAA, NSIDC, Cryosphere today, Policlimate, etc. I’m not aware of any other blog that makes all climate information available at source. This way the information is free of the ideological interpretation rampant in the Climate Crisis? debate. Anthony, and other’s comments are insightful, entertaining, and informative.

      Thanks Judith.

      • “All data are linked to the original sources, such as NOAA, NSIDC, Cryosphere today….This way the information is free of the ideological interpretation rampant in the Climate Crisis”

        WUWT smears such sources when the data doesn’t fit it’s political stance.

      • lolwot
        Watts properly takes to task any and all for their errors. Watts et al. have posted a public draft for feedback and discussion. If you have any constructive scientific issues with it, then make them. Otherwise, it appears that you are the one doing the smearing.

  20. David L. Hagen

    “A university-accredited scientist” may be politically correct, but it is not a requirement to be a “scientist” who follows the “scientific method”. Anthony Watts probably knows more about the condition of the actual state of US meteorological weather stations than anyone else, through his volunteer driven Surface Stations project. See Is the US Surface Temperature Record Reliable (2009)

    In other words, 9 of every 10 stations are likely reporting higher or rising temperatures because they are badly sited.
    It gets worse. We observed that changes in the technology of temperature stations over time also has caused them to report
    a false warming trend. We found major gaps in the data record that were filled in with data from nearby sites, a practice that propagates and compounds errors. We found that adjustments to the data by both NOAA and another government agency, NASA, cause recent temperatures to look even higher.
    The conclusion is inescapable: The U.S. temperature record is unreliable.

    A detailed analysis was published in:
    Analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical
    Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends
    Souleymane Fall, Anthony Watts, John Nielsen‐Gammon, Evan Jones, Dev Niyogi, John R. Christy, and Roger A. Pielke Sr. JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 116, D14120, doi:10.1029/2010JD015146, 2011

    Comparison of observed temperatures with NARR shows that the most poorly sited stations are warmer compared to NARR than are other stations, and a major portion of this bias is associated with the siting classification rather than the geographical distribution of stations. According to the best‐sited stations, the diurnal temperature range in the lower 48 states has no century‐scale trend.

    Their findings were supported by the U.S. General Accounting Office (August 2011) Climate Monitoring: NOAA Can Improve Management of the U.S. Historical Climatology Network

    That “hard” science exposed NOAA’s bureaucratic incompetance, forcing them to play catchup. The National Climate Data Center of NOAA set up an alternate U.S. Climate Reference Network , now with 114 stations. In a preliminary evaluation, Roy Spencer has found “Spurious Warmth in NOAA’s USHCN from Comparison to USCRN”

    1) even at “zero” population density (rural siting), the USHCN temperatures are on average warmer than their Climate Reference Network counterparts, by close to 0.5 deg. C in summer.

    2) across all USHCN stations, from rural to urban, they average 0.9 deg. C warmer than USCRN (which approaches Anthony Watt’s 2 deg. F estimate for July 2012).

    This evidence suggests that much of the reported U.S. warming in the last 100+ years could be spurious, assuming that thermometer measurements made around 1880-1900 were largely free of spurious warming effects. This is a serious issue that NOAA needs to address in an open and transparent manner.

    This exposes NOAA’s politically correct statement as a coverup:

    The American public can be confident in NOAA’s long-standing surface temperature record,

    Watts et al. have a new paper in progress that shows New study shows half of the global warming in the USA is artificial See Watts’ Work Page

    Well sited stations consistently show a significantly lower trend than poorly sited stations, no matter which class of station is used for a baseline for comparison, and also when using no baseline at all. Comparisons demonstrate that NOAA adjustment processes fail to adjust poorly sited stations downward to match the well sited stations, but actually adjusts the well sited stations upwards to match the poorly sited stations.

    I’ll take real “hard” science by Watts any day over spurrious bureaucratic adjustments to historic temperature records. His “hard science” results show him to be a true scientist, in contrast to “university-accredited scientists” with PhDs who are corrupting the scientific method with spurrious adjustments, coverups and political activism.

    • Published? So what, my mama can publish. That still don’t make him no “university-accredited scientist.” Besides, Tony ain’t got no CAGW membership card, so he can go get his own art show, to paraphrase Python.

      • “So what, my mama can publish.”

        So much for the Published Works Climate Science. We thought we had something there.


      • You appear to be laboring under a common illusion.

        Science is not whatever a scientist does. Science is science that anyone does.

      • Excellent point. It is an error to ever think of Science as a thing or as infallible. Every scientist who has ever lived has been wrong about things over their career, often quite important things. The good ones keep working on it trying to advance our understanding in the right direction and admitting when they’ve been wrong.

        The first clue that there’s something broken at the top of climate science is to look for examples in the last fifteen years of any leading CAGW-proponent climate scientist admitting they were wrong about any significant element in their work (despite some overwhelmingly obvious factual evidence). You won’t find any. Case closed. Whatever CAGW “climate science” is, it’s not a science. By their own admission (in published emails), CAGW activist scientists (aka ‘The Team’) see what they are doing as “The Cause”.

      • When the Watts study is published I’ll be willing to bet that the study, data and code will be made available to anyone who wants to take a look to check his work. Frankly I find that approach refreshing and certainly worthy of the title “scientific” and a good sight better than the majority of climate studies/code/data that are hidden behind paywalls or worse, never released at all.

      • Mr. Watts has a close family member associated with the Union of Concerned Scientists. Although, I believe Anthony (and not Kenji) has actually published.

  21. Pingback: Dr. Judith Curry on the PBS debacle | Watts Up With That?

  22. Judith,

    You’ve noticed that “.. on this particular show, I came across as the ‘denier’ ”

    You think that is “bizarre”? I’m not sure why. That’s the way you’ve been moving in the last few years. It’s not just on the PBS show either. The things you’ve been saying, the impression you give, makes you come across as a denier of CE too.

    • You confuse the social aspects of the climate debate, where I disagree strongly with some members of the establishment over various actions, versus the details of the scientific debate, where I am not in strong disagreement other than levels of uncertainty.

      • Bernard, is that you?

      • A denier isn’t someone that denies climate change. Many people that are labelled deniers openly admit that it is happening. Yet they are still labelled deniers.

        What they are denying is the infallibility of the establishment. Change from without has never been welcomed by those on the inside. It is strongly resisted, often by force.

        Denier is a social label, to establish that you are sub-human (Untermensch) and therefore your opinion is of no value. Ot worse, you opinion is dangerous. No different than the term beatnik or hippie in earlier generations, which were often violently suppressed.

      • Then you and Watts are of the exact same mindset…and credibility I might add, as “scientists.” Climate Science is 99% Data Analysis, for which the scientific method is equally as valid as any insight into mechanisms (The other 1%, where the ‘self-proclaimed real scientists’, such as yourself, live). Watts has held the Data Analysts accountable for presenting bad data, wrong data and fraudulent data! Steve Macintyre and Monckton have also been instrumental in this regard…and all equally derided for not being the ‘elite scientist’ group.

        IOW, what I’m saying is: You had no right to dismiss Watts for not being qualified to be included in a debate on climate science, when in fact, data analysis and presentation is much more difficult, and equally as important! Any person with Common Sense (regardless of scientific credential) can be right in calling out methods (models? surely you jest), data and presentation.

        This insight is the heart of the “debate” that Watts has caused at PBS. He showed that ‘even a normal guy’ can figure out that the way CAGW is presented to the masses is complete nonsense. He showed that ANYONE can be scientist!

        …and that flipped some people out. Maybe even you.

      • “He showed that ‘even a normal guy’ can figure out that the way CAGW is presented to the masses is complete nonsense.”

        All he shows is that a normal guy who has a certain political stance will imagine holes in science that don’t exist. If anything he’s a posterboy for exactly why the science should be left to scientists.

      • Actually, when Anthony was recently arguing with Walt Meier from the NSIDC about sea ice it was really rather embarrassing to see him make such a fool of himself. Walt’s intimate knowledge of sea ice measurement tools is vastly superior to Anthony’s. Anthony should have just accepted what Walt was saying, but he kept going on. Any objective observer couldn’t help but feel a bit sorry for Anthony when Walt completely (but politely) destroyed his arguments.

      • Why, anybody can have a brain. That’s a very mediocre commodity. Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on the Earth or slinks through slimy seas has a brain. Back where I come from, we have universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts and with no more brains than you have. But they have one thing you haven’t got: a diploma. Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Universitartus Committiartum E Pluribus Unum, I hereby confer upon you the honorary degree of ThD. (Doctor of Thinkology, the Wizard explains.)

      • I’ll let ol’ Albert deal with “….holes in science that don’t exist…”

        “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research, would it?”
        “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
        Albert Einstein

        Yet they froth at the mouth about Watts for daring to raise the issue of station siting and funding.

        The science is settled, well understood and 97% of climate scientists have formed the consensus. Yet they continue to apply for further research funds from the public. ;) Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Have a nice day everyone.

      • social aspects of the debate — as illustrated by Climategate.
        political aspects of the debate — The Bishop Hill blog is a must-read.
        scientific details — Climate Audit is a must-read. How can anybody read CA and not say that there are certain scientific details which are very disagreeable?

        One of the complaints about the PBS show was that the host said scientists “believe”. On the question of human attribution to CC and/or GW, no proof has been offered and the uncertainty level is disputed. Some think this, some think that. I think that ‘belief’ is an appropriate word here since the science is not settled. After “hide the decline”, there is “hide the uncertainty”.

      • Judith,

        I’m not saying that you actually are a scientific denier, in fact I’d say you obviously aren’t if you scientific publications are a true guide, but rather that you “come across” or give the impression , as you admit happened on the PBS show, that you are siding with them.

    • We are ‘certain’, not skepitical. Please make a note.

    • tempterrain,

      Real scientists like Professor Curry are committed to advancing our understanding of Nature, regardless if the results are embraced by

      1, Believers, or
      2. Skeptics.

      These temporary labels that will switch as more truth is revealed.

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

      • Well-said Oliver. Nature is powerful & beautiful. She deserves our respect (and sometimes demands it).

    • tt, that is only in your little bivalent world. Go back to watching TMNT.

    • Tempt –

      I will say that when I watched that clip a few days ago, it was clear to me that they significantly distorted Judith’s position.

      Certainly, Judith seems to be wading towards the extreme end of the pool. I would say that I was “surprised” to find that level of inaccuracy.

      • Joshua, Talking about “the extreme end of the pond”, this is an interesting turn of events.

        One lesson learned is probably this: if you don’t do the science correctly and present it correctly, you will likely get misinterpreted. Surprise, surprise.

        Another lesson learned is that a Bestest Science Blog award counts more than academic or institutional research.

        It’s up to 43 climate clowns with alternate theories documented just from this blog. It looks like a lot more are coming over from WUWT. I suppose I could try to document what is going on over there but I am a’feared that it would run in the hunderds of crackpots.


      • WHT –

        The link URL needs an “i.”

        It’s always interesting to follow a link back to the earlier discussions at Climate Etc., and to note the difference in quality of discourse. It’s an interesting question as to whether the deterioration of the dialog is a function of Judith’s drifting towards W/UWT, or whether it is coincidental. I tend to think that the degree of balance in a blog’s comments are an outgrowth (proportionately) of the balance (or lack thereof) of the blogger.

        I see that Max is now on you list. Interesting question as to whether his error was deliberate. I have found a couple of times now that he absolutely refuses accountability for unarguably incorrect statements. He avoids correction, obfuscates about his error, ducks and hides when confronted. Could be evidence w/r/t the question you pose.

      • Re: The link URL needs an “i.”

        WebHubTelescope muffing his own URL … *priceless*!


      • Jim linking his name to a FREEPER site, that is so retro.

      • ” It’s an interesting question as to whether the deterioration of the dialog is a function of Judith’s drifting towards W/UWT, or whether it is coincidental. I tend to think that the degree of balance in a blog’s comments are an outgrowth (proportionately) of the balance (or lack thereof) of the blogger.”

        The latter I agree with. Just like in the natural world, maintenance energy has to be added to a blog to keep it from drifting towards entropy. John Carlos Baez, who is an authority on scientific crackpots, having been on the sci.math newsgroup for ages, knows how to run a science blog.
        The problem is that it takes effort, which detracts from the immediacy and free-for-all aspects.

        “I see that Max is now on you list. Interesting question as to whether his error was deliberate. I have found a couple of times now that he absolutely refuses accountability for unarguably incorrect statements. He avoids correction, obfuscates about his error, ducks and hides when confronted. Could be evidence w/r/t the question you pose.”

        I had to add him because recently people have been pointing out how deceitful his analysis is. He walks a tightrope between clear logical thinking and advocacy, but peppers it with enough false claims and inaccuracies that he needs to be called out on it — in my case, just as with Robert’s Idiot Tracker, I wanted to document Max’s deceitful tactics for historical purposes.

        Hey, isn’t that all that McIntyre and Watts do?

      • WebHubTelescope | September 23, 2012 at 10:11 am

        “Jim linking his name to a FREEPER site, that is so retro.”

        a) Please note for future reference the name is “_Jim” (a Google searchable term)

        b) On the internet there is no boundary where conspiracies do not intrude and to which I say “Conspiracy theories are the favored tools of the weak minded.” Working to debunk them (on FR and elsewhere) provides hours of entertainment (e.g. try defending the Feds on FR from the standpoint of the known, hard objectifiable facts at Waco vs the popular misconceptions as spread by McNulty’s films e.g. “Waco: The rules of engagement”)

        c) it would be an error on your part to assume I support any and all positions espoused on FR. As an adult, you should be aware that opinions can be diverse on certain subjects even among even like-minded people appearing on any given website. I hope this is not news …

        d) it was an available place to park a web page

        e) I lasted roughly 4 posts on DU (Democrat Underground) asking really innocuous questions but of decidedly steadfast progressives; parking a webpage there wasn’t obviously a possibility …


      • Nice try marginalizing your association to the Freeper cult.

        “Conspiracy theories are the favored tools of the weak minded.”

        I think you are paraphrasing what my former governor Jesse the Mind said: “Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak minded people who need strength in numbers”. And now it is Ventura who is hosting a show called http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_Theory_with_Jesse_Ventura on cable, third season coming up.

        The point is that everyone has to use their best judgement as to who is the whacko and who is the whackee.

      • “… weak minded people who need strength in numbers”.

        Present-day climate alarmism to a T

      • .
        WebHubTelescope | September 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm

        “Nice try marginalizing your association to the Freeper cult …”

        Well, I guess we can take it that you make your ‘bed’ intellectually and politically with the likes of DKos, DU, HuffPo and DeSmogBlog et al then?

        Nice …



        This then raises an issue … Why are you a socialist, or, why are you, and when did you become, a communist?


        BTW, you have a new post on your little blog contending your use of “ice-out days” as gospel indicating CAGW is “highly subjective” …


        Judith C., this is my last post on this subj so not to worry this continuing ad infinitum.

      • wow the political links of the skeptics just get deeper.

      • _Jim the Freeper essentially claimed on my blog that the accuracy concerning ice-out dates is subjective based on what he read about Lake Minnetonka. This lake is actually a special case filled with many bays and islands. Settlers early on could have referred to it as a chain of lakes, with each bay referring to a different lake. Here is an image of the lake:
        Case in point, Stubb’s Bay could be considered a different lake entirely.

        Read my response on the blog and I explain carefully how quick ice-out happens on a typical open lake that dots the upper midwest landscape, which is the kettle or pothole lake caused by the receding glaciers thousands of years ago.

        You get the extra lesson, as the only college class I took in geology happened to be a course on limnology. :)

      • WebHubTelescope,

        I notice in your ‘climate clowns’ link you pay particular attention to commentators who use a few other screen names.

        As always, that is psychological projection coming from the Climate Believer Cult.

        Take “Gneiss”, for example. “Gneiss” also posts as:

        Harry Lebowski
        Alan Statham

        That is a list from about 18 months ago. No doubt “Gneiss” has added to his screen name list.

        That doesn’t really matter, I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy.

        I will also point out the fact that the “consensus” argument is entirely bogus. The “97%” number always bandied about is fabricated on questions which force that response.

        The true scientific “consensus” (if such a thing even matters) is clearly on the side of scientists who are skeptical of catastrophic AGW. Nothing can alter the fact that more than 31,400 scientific professionals, all with degrees in the hard sciences — including more than 9,000 PhD’s — have co-signed a statement which reads in part:

        The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the forseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth. [source]

        Unlike John Cook’s sock puppets, the OISM Petition required co-signers to have verifiable science degrees, and they had to mail in their co-signed statement. No emails were allowed, because as we know, emails and electronic surveys can be gamed. Every signature was vetted, with a few illegitimate fakes removed.

        THAT is the true ‘scientific consensus’ regarding CO2: it is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere. More is better.

        The OISM Petition was circulated prior to, and in response to Kyoto. No doubt there are many more scientists that have changed their minds since then, and become skeptics of AGW. Even more are skeptical of catastrophic AGW. And the OISM Petition was limited to U.S. degreed scientists and engineers only. If scientists and engineers worldwide had been able to participate, there is no doubt that the number of co-signers would be double or triple the numbers.

        Finally, if Dr Curry is a straight shooter, she will do the right thing and reverse her derogatory dismissal of Anthony Watts as not being a scientist. I suggest she look up the definition of “scientist”. My desktop dictionary gives the following definition:

        n. a person who is studying or has expert knowledge of one or more of the natural or physical sciences.

        Anthony Watts has an expert knowledge of the USHCN and meteorology in general; probably more expert than many USHCN-employed scientists. Anthony is a published, peer reviewed author; credentials that 97% of his critics lack. So do the right thing, Judith, as you see fit.

        There you have it: deconstruction of the Climate Believers sock puppetry hypocrisy, deconstruction of the “consensus” myth, and deconstruction of Anthony Watts’ nasty critics.

        Give me more red meat! ☺

      • D Boehm for the win!

      • All that doesn’t matter Boehm when you consider the list of 40 + consists of a bunch of clowns with theories that exist solely for entertainment purposes.

        They make you laugh like a clown makes you laugh.

  23. owqeiurowqeiuroqwieuro

    Anthony, why do you hate polar bears so much?

  24. Class act, as always. Thank you Dr. Curry.

  25. Were the Wright brothers trained scientists and engineers? No, they were bicycle makers who used the scientific method? Is Watts a Wright brother?

  26. I must admit I was a bit surprised at the ‘outrage’ given what Watts actually said. It does appear that there’s a concerted campaign to portray Watts and others as worthy of contempt. To read some of the emails and the response of Michael Getler you’d have thought that Watts was advocating paedophilia or incest, rather than just saying that he doubted the consensus view that almost all of the recorded warming was due to CO2.

    I wonder if PBS will actually take the time to go back, review the interview and the criticism and realise that, as a public broadcaster it is their duty to give Watts and people like him an opportunity to question some aspects of the consensus.

    Is this campaign and the Lewandowsky paper the start of a concerted attempt to portray people who are sceptical as if they’re somehow deranged, corrupt or even, less than human?

    I was already depressed enough about the state of the debate…

  27. My instinct tells me that the proponents of CAGW are getting desperate. They have had a virtual lock on the MSM for decades on the subject of CAGW, yet the number of skeptics/deniers is, if anything, increasing. I cannot put my finger on anything definite, but there are straws in the wind. The US elections do not seem to have CAGW as a major issue; the British Cabinet is rumored to be in a bitter debate between George Osborne, and the Lib. Dems. on how “green” British policy should be; much of the empirical data is refusing to support CAGW; the number of coal fired electricity generating stations, on a world wide basis, is going up and up; there seems to be no end in sight on how much in the way of fossil fuels there is to use. And so on. Nothing definite. Just harbingers of things to come.

    It was Mahatma Gandhi who, famously said “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” My instinct telkls me that this PBS broadcast was one of the first shots fired in the campaign where the proponents of CAGW are going to fight us skeptics/deniers.

  28. I saw this interview some days ago. All I could say was “Gosh he is so balanced” The warmists seeing him there would have made their blood run hot, as as far as they are concerned NO ONE disagreeing with them should be reported on by the MSN

    Mr A Watts as far as I am concerned is an expert; particularly in the area of land based temperature readings and the politics of global warming. Any one who knows his work will agree with me on that point. WUWT is a wonderful resource, it is NOT a place of worship for realists, it presents everything in a clear concise manner.

    The warmists think: “Better watermelon than expert”

  29. First, I’d like to say, congratulations, Dr. Curry. If everyone in the debate took your approach and tone, we’d get our current state of knowledge sorted out and have a solid basis for further discovery.

    Second, I admire your courage as much as I regret such courage should be necessary.

    I would like to add, however, that Anthony is qualified — scientifically — to contribute to the debate. He is an genuine expert on the instrumentation side (and has even designed new instruments).

    You may not be aware, but his his recent paper (of which I am #2 co-author) now fully addresses both TOBS bias and MMTS conversion. And, unlike Menne et al. (2010), or even Fall, et al. (2011), we weed out recent station moves as well as NCDC/MMS data allows.

    And our results still hold.

    The gap between Tnean trend of well sited stations and the NOAA-adjusted record is narrowed somewhat (yet is still extremely wide), but the gap between well and poorly sited station trends is even wider than before (over 0.10 C/decade for the study period).

    The findings are very clear that well adjusted station trends are adjusted upward to match those of the poorly sited stations rather than the poorly sited station trends being adjusted downward to conform with the well sited stations.

    That is a very important finding, indeed, and has great significance to the current debate. So, yes, I contend that Anthony does have an important place on the strictly scientific side of it.

    Again, thank you for your honesty, impartiality, and forthrightness in this current political mess surrounding what ought to be be a strictly scientific endeavor. Let us make our observations — and let the chips fall where they may!

  30. Does anyone other than Richard Muller’s daughter think there has been about 1 C of warming in last fifty years?

    We have had satellites measuring global temperature for over 30 years, if select 25 years of that record, you have less than .5 C, and therefore one needs more than .5 C for years prior to 1979 [when satellites began].

    Richard Muller said from 1880’s warming has been exclusively caused by humans, does anyone wish to argue in favor of this notion?
    Related to this does anyone think humans stopped global glacier advance around 1850, and had anything to do to retreat of glacier from say, 1850 to 1910?

  31. Watt’s middle of the road skeptic view on PBS belies his denier themed blog. Upthread, it was pointed out that the popularity of WUWT is related to it’s entertainment value and audience appeal. Sure, he posts some interesting articles and it can be scanned every 3-5 days in a matter of minutes to see if there are any nuggets. However, most of the blog is tilted to feed cheap raw meat to his conspiracy loving, self-assured, echo-chamber.

    There is nothing to figure out Dr. Curry. Watts is the P.T. Barnum of climate bloggers: Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.

    • “entertainment value and audience appeal”

      “it can be scanned every 3-5 days”

      Even Warmers like it.


    • Examples Howard? (didn’t think so)

    • Nonsense. Anthony on TV is of the same stuff as Anthony on his blog. And he does not “cater to his audience”. He observes what he observes, and his audience comes to him.

      And unlike nearly all of the alarmist bogs, he and his moderators freely allow expression of views from all points on the spectrum. And perhaps that is one reason for his huge popularity — he is NOT preaching to an echo chamber.

      • Oh and is it true that the regular WUWT commenter Smokey who attacks those who criticize the articles is actually a moderator at WUWT who is sockpuppeting?

      • I haven’t seen that. Find an example lolwot.

      • Don’t know about that one, lolwot. Charles the moderator sometimes comments as Jeez, but I gather that is fairly well known. He is certainly open about it – see for example this comment at The Blackboard http://rankexploits.com/musings/2012/lewandowsky-can-reveal-this/#comment-103047.

      • Check it out: http://www.flickr.com/photos/belette/7979429455/lightbox/

        Smokey happens to have the gravitar of WUWT moderator dbstealy.

        He forgot to log out when switching names?

        Smokey of course is the most noxious commenter on WUWT who is always swooning over Watts and praising the articles while attacking those who dare make criticisms. And if he’s also dbstealy he also gets to play with the moderation queue and whose comments to publish and whose to leave hanging.

        Interesting huh?

      • lolwit: “Smokey of course is the most noxious commenter on WUWT who is always swooning over Watts and praising …”

        A “claim”; indicative of your perception with or without any correlation in reality …


    • Howard: What you say is just plain rubbish. You know nothing of the readers and followers of WUWT. For starters the followers of WUWT are world wide. It is rare indeed to read postings there that are from uneducated or misinformed people. Compare that to the warmists sites; they are crawling with uneducated fools. You are just flipping! Typical warmist!

      • Okay, you are right. Barnum’s axiom applies to the entire world.

      • Actually, Barnum’s most famous (attributed) axiom refers to a sucker being born every minute. The observation about the intelligence of the American public is a rendered-down version of a much longer passage from H.L. Mencken. What prompted Mencken was the possible success of the newly launched ‘Readers Digest’. Who would’ve thought …?

      • The sad truth is that sites like WUWT and Climate Etc are a lot like kook hang-outs such as the syndicated radio program Coast-to-Coast AM, which apparently has 3 million gullible listeners that either will believe in anything, or want to tune in to figure out “Why people believe in weird things”, to quote Michael Shermer.

        WUWT is just a bit kookier than Climate Etc, just like Alex Jones is kookier than C2C.

        The benefit of blogs is that critics don’t have to be put on hold to make their opinions known, and Climate Etc is preferred IMO because the people in charge don’t have the know-how to ban someone.

      • WHT –

        I love C2C. I didn’t realize that it’s still on.

      • Yes, C2C is interesting in the crazed kooks it attracts. It apparently had even a larger listenership when Art Bell was running things. Anthony Watts is probably a lot like an Art Bell, running the show with a lot of yes-men around him. That’s the way that well-oiled conspiracy machines work.

      • WebHubTelescope | September 22, 2012 at 11:50 pm

        “The sad truth is that sites like WUWT and Climate Etc are a lot like kook hang-outs such as the syndicated radio program Coast-to-Coast AM, …”

        Another error; I personally can’t stand C-C AM … you just don’t know much about the audience at WUWT with any certitude, do you?


      • “Another error; I personally can’t stand C-C AM … you just don’t know much about the audience at WUWT with any certitude, do you?”

        Au contraire. Where does a potential audience of perhaps 3 million English-speaking people interested in pseudo-science go to if they have conspiracy or alternate theories of their own?

        Obviously they are drawn to kook sites such as WUWT. Where else will they go? That is a huge population of potential customers of pseudo-science, and they will necessarily reveal themselves on the internet as well. These are both social media after all.

        It is so bad where I am located that we both have a radio station that hosts a local nightly show on pseudo-science called Darkness Radio, and also dredges up reruns of Art Bell episodes from 10 years ago to run on the weekends.

        There is a huge audience for this kind of crap, and that’s why sites such as WUWT and the lesser ones exist. You really ought to read more of Michael Shermer ‘s writings, and Martin Gardner before him. People have an innate need to believe in weird stuff.

      • Web

        Try to answer reasonably-

        Assuming that you are correct and WUWT is a website with a “skeptical that warming is dangerous bias” in the articles it publishes, how is the readership different or the basic goals of the site different than say Scientific American, or Discovery, or Skeptical Science where there is a warming is seriously dangerous bias?

      • WebHubTelescope | September 23, 2012 at 11:55 am

        “Au contraire. …”

        Batting zero and unaware of it …


      • Actually, these kinds of sites are a mix of Freepers, kooks, contrarians, fake skeptics, poseurs, ID cultists, and conspiracy theorists.
        If I left someone out, I am sure you will correct me.

      • You’ve got it.

        The dedication put into blogs like StevenGoddard and ClimateRealists is much of the same as the motive behind people who really want to tell the world that Obama was born in Kenya and spend hours scanning PDF documents for suspicious marks to justify it.

        They are hunting for the conclusions they want and it’s all driven by their politics,which is generally a type of politics of hate where they feel compelled to find dirt to put on their political opponents. These places are a subversion of knowledge.

      • You nailed it lolwot.

        My problem is that I have equal interests in science and in why people believe in weird things about science. The good that comes out of these seemingly conflicting interests is that the latter keeps me motivated to do the former properly.

      • They are hunting for the conclusions they want and it’s all driven by their politics…………These places are a subversion of knowledge.

        A good description of the IPCC and the whole CAGW idea on which political action is sold.

      • The fact WEB spends so much time here gives credence to his claim of Climate Etc being a kook hangout.

    • Howard said:

      “However, most of the (WUWT) blog is tilted to feed cheap raw meat to his conspiracy loving, self-assured, echo-chamber…Watts is the P.T. Barnum of climate bloggers: Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.”
      There is some truth in this, but Watts is more than a P.T. Barnum. He is also seen (among some of his followers) as their Beacon of Light, Commander of the Forces, leading the charge to expose the falsehoods and uncover the “Truth” as they all wish to see it. And the pseudo-skeptic “Truth” is this: that, when it comes to Anthropogenic Global Warming, it may exist in some small level, mainly around the big urban heat islands, but whatever level, it is nothing to worry about, and those who say it is something to worry about are either deluded and mislead by the Hansen/Mann/Trenberth “Team” or they are one of the Team and are trying to make money off of spreading fear of anthropogenic global warming.

      • I do not visit WUWT blog often but I do find them reasonable and way better than Hansen/Mann/Trenberth’s BS.

      • R. Gates | September 22, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Reply

        “There is some truth in this, but Watts is more than a P.T. Barnum. …”

        An observation hardly worth spit; Gates, where is your blog? As not just a few recommended you should start?


    • Just ask Al Gore

  32. When politics entered climate change it ceased being science.
    You can read the same tired predictions over and over in the media or you can stop here or at WUWT to read contrary and interesting posts and you may actualy learn something new.

  33. Is it not celestial comedy riots in the Middle East over perceived slight to the Prophet and brouhaha over perceived slight to AGW

  34. Man-on-the-street, non-specialist, interviews are a journalistic staple, and a matter of legitimate interest to readers/viewers. The News Hour does not hesitate to use them when they think it appropriate. For example, in their May 19, 2009, broadcast, Heidi Cullen puts Laura Devendorf on national TV with this unrebutted comment:

    “LAURA DEVENDORF, Sunbury, Georgia: We’re worried about sea level rise, indeed. I think everyone on the coast is. You can just sit there and see the tides getting bigger.”

    Given that NOAA reports sea level rise along the Georgia coast as 2.98mm per year, I conclude that Ms. Devendorf has remarkably good eyes. But I don’t see a need to organize an internet lynch mob to attack the News Hour.

  35. From “JC comments:”
    “On a program discussing climate science, is Watts the appropriate spokesperson? I would say not. However, on a program discussing the public debate over climate science, Watts should be front and center. His blog WUWT has far and away the largest traffic of any climate blog in the world (as per Alexa). As such, Watts is a figure of central importance in the public debate on climate change. To those who don’t like this fact, I advise you to take the time to understand why WUWT is so successful and maybe you will learn something about the public debate on climate change.”

    I can agree with Dr. Curry’s assessment on WUWT & Watts, but not without clarifying. The quality of discussion of natural climate variability has been in STEEP decline at WUWT during the past year (primarily due to the hyperactive disruption tactics of 2 of Watts’ leading wingmates who appear to be on fanatically intense missions to suppress anything that’s not “on message” and also due to a fatal lack of functional numeracy not only in the general readership but also in “leaders”), but since no other blog has yet gotten serious about challenging WUWT’s dominance (something which should be easy to do if the will & pragmatism exist in a single capable leader with enough time & resources), Watts retains the role of climate blog king by acclamation.

    On Muller:
    Muller’s view of natural climate variability is hopelessly naive &/or unforgivably deceptive (too dark either way). However, I have observed that at the local level in my community, people know about him and have fallen hook, line, & sinker for his false narrative. This is more than creepy. It’s not sensible to ignore the power & beauty of nature.

    Overall, my assessment is that sensible parties are facing militant campaigns to distort perception of nature’s power & beauty on at least 2 main fronts.

  36. curryja says: “It is rather bizarre that on this particular show, I came across as the ‘denier’ and Watts as the ‘lukewarmer.’”

    Anthony IS a lukewarmer, as are many of his regular contributors, like me. I simply haven’t been able to find evidence of an anthropogenic component in OHC or SST records. For that I’m labeled as a denier. Climate models show how the oceans are supposed to warm if they were warmed by greenhouse gases, and all that climate models have been successful at is showing that greenhouse gases do not warm the oceans.

    • Dr. Curry: I both understand & appreciate the awkward position you’re in as a result of the general public’s naivety about Muller’s narrative & natural variability. Watts’ position has move so far so quickly during the past year, that I’ve actually wondered seriously if he might have stumbled into some kind of a conflict of interest (perhaps inadvertently). Dr. Curry: Many are counting on you to maintain natural balance & integrity in the face of relentless artificial firestorms. Bon Courage.

      • Watts’ position has move so far so quickly during the past year,

        All motion is relative. Perhaps it is you that has moved quickly in the opposite direction.

        that I’ve actually wondered seriously if he might have stumbled into some kind of a conflict of interest (perhaps inadvertently).

        That is a serious charge coming from nothing but wishful speculation. Back it up, withdraw it, or leave it to tarnish your own name.

      • I will consider writing to Watts privately to express my concerns.

    • Bob says:

      “I simply haven’t been able to find evidence of an anthropogenic component in OHC…”

      But you can account for the approximately 23 x 10^22 Joules of energy added to the oceans down to 2000 meters over the past 40+ years? Did it all come from your beloved ENSO?

      • R, Gates: Like the troll you are, you keep repeating your same tired argument, to which I have responded numerous times. Your inability to learn is overwhelmed by your inability to retain.

    • Lets be clear.

      lukewarmer means.

      1. radiative physics is correct. co2 warms the planet
      2. a doubling of co2 causes 3.7 watts of additional forcing
      3. 3.7 watts of forcing causes a warming of no lesss than 1.2c
      4. the probability that the warming will be less than 3c is greater than

      last time i talked to anthony i think he thought sensitivity was less than

      • Steven Mosher said:

        “The probability that the warming will be less than 3c is greater than
        Is this based on the same set of models that said the Arctic would not be ice-free in the summer until 2040 or even 2070? Just curious, as it seems we’ve not quite got a good grasp on all the positive feedbacks that might be creating some surprises. A greater than 50% probability on constrained climate sensitivity below 3C would seem to indicate a high degree of confidence that we’ve got a good handle on most (greater than 50%) of the dragon-king events that may be lurking out there..

      • 1. radiative physics is correct except back radiation. No CO2 physical property has the ability to warm the planet.
        2. if a doubling of CO2 causes 3.7 watts of additional forcing comes from any climate modeling result than it is a BS.
        3. 3.7 watts of forcing causes a warming of no lesss than 1.2c is BS if it is a result from climate modeling.
        4. the probability that the warming will be less than 3c is greater than
        50% is BS.
        Therefore, lukewarmers are unscientific like the CAGW alarmists.

      • EM wave/resonant molecule denier.

        Can’t say it any plainer than that.

        Recommend you look into (pun on words) IR Spectroscopy for some badly needed remedial education …


      • _Jim,
        You seem lack of any energy magnitudes. Do you understand em wave/resonant any at all? Recommend you begin pay attention to appreciate how little CO2 energy compare with the atmospheric air mass, the land mass, the ocean mass.

      • “lukewarmer means”

        – according to the Steven Mosher dictionary. Mosh, I humbly suggest that the word has not been around long enough to have a commonly agreed meaning.

      • Steve Mosher: Please identify the source of your definition of LukeWarmer.

      • Re: Mosher’s (incorrect) lukewarmer definitions.

        A key requirement to being a lukewarmer is to believe in some negative feedback. That much is certain.

        Debatably, a lukewarmer must also believe negative feedbacks dominate the positive feedbacks. The uncertainty in total feedback means that a lukewarmer can believe any sensitivity greater or equal to zero.

        I would go farther. If you believe sensitivity is greater than 1.5 C per doubling, you believe in significant net positive feedback, and “lukewarmer” ought not apply. “Warmer” or “Warmist” better describes that range.

        Lastly, if you believe there is greater than 3 deg C per doubling, you believe in strong positive feedback, you discount 3 billion years of the geologic record, then you can and should be called a “catastrophist.”

      • A key requirement to being a lukewarmer is to believe in some negative feedback. That much is certain.

        It is not. May also believe is less/no positive feedback.

      • An alternative for lukewarm belief is that models overpredict the water vapor feedback

      • Re: tomcat.
        I don’t know if a lukewarmer can believe in no feedbacks at all. The system is too complex to believe feedbacks do not exist. What is highly uncertain is their magnitudes.

        Re: curryja
        Mosher was very wrong to place a 1.2 deg C net sensitivity floor on the lukewarmer definition. That means a lukewarmer must believe in net positive feedbacks.

        My definition allows a lukewarmer to have a 0 deg C floor. A lukewarmer’s ceiling is where net feedbacks are negative (sensitivity < 1.2 C per CO2 double) or mildly positive (1.2 to about 1.5 deg C per double). Your "overpredict water vapor feedback" might be included if the values are within these ranges.

        Accepting a net negative sensitivity requires a different label.

        An alternative for lukewarm belief is that models overpredict the water vapor feedback That would be a sufficient, but not necessary, condition of the definition of a skeptic. Someone can belive this and still hold net sensitivity is likely > 3 deg C per double. Would that person be a “skeptical catastrophist” or a “catastrophist skeptic”?

      • I concur with Mosher.

      • Is your last name Warm?

  37. “.. on this particular show, I came across as the ‘denier’ ”

    Apostates always fare worse than heathens.

  38. The Medium Is the Message. Al Gore is gone.

    Everyone knows PBS owes its existance to the Left. So, we know this will be propaganda and what are we told

    The pretense to consensus is gone. Why else would it be considered an effective message to label a schoolteacher a skeptic and then hold him out as a sane and intelligent person who changed his mind on the issue of global warming. It’s like holding out the president of the government schoolteachers union as someone who once was skeptical of communism than no longer believes in the free enterprise system.

    • PBS and NPR should be deprived of government funds. They are just a propaganda wing for the left.

      • …and, add the UN and IPCC to that list.

      • and, add the UN and IPCC to that list: Hear, Hear!!

      • They get most of their funding from listener/viewers and corporate sponsorships.

        Which explains both the PBS Ombudsman piece and the recent backpedalling by NPR on how they reported the Stanford study on Health Impacts (or rather, lack of) from eating organic foods. Both are worried about alienating a significant portion of their funding base.

        It is understandable, but it also abandons any claim to being uncompromised.

  39. PBS is my favorite channel. It was not the PBS ombudsman’s finest hour either. He caved in to the alarmists. He is using the science is settled argument and there is no uncertainty in climate science. Muller was misrepresented by the press as a skeptic but really he was only a skeptic of the methodology. PBS kept that angle. He always believed in the cause.

  40. Now… if Kristen Byrnes (Ponder the Maunder) said she now believed in global warming… That Would Be NEWS.

    But, it wouldn’t do the Left any good if she did change her mind. Why Because the Left spent years painting the picture that she was nothing more than an unintelligent little girl whose opinon was much worse than irrelevant: it was disrespectful of the genius of Al Gore.

  41. Muller; WTF: He is NOT an ex skeptic, that is a lie. The only thing he is is a FAKE.

    • Most interesting to me will be the day that Muller discovers the great winged attribution he has hung around his neck.

      • Kim: I annoys the crap out of me that the MSM ignores the fact that he is a fake skeptic. The alarmists are using this fake defection as proof of their unfounded science/religion.

      • Well, Muller will either catch on, or he won’t. It’s his choice.

      • John DeFayette

        The Mullers caught on a long time ago. Ever hear of GreenGov? That is, before the Obama Administration picked it up for their in-house award. It was a Muller & Associates division promoting the usual “renewable” choices for governments. There may have been skepticism in the family, but it never deterred them from getting on the money train as it was leaving the station.

  42. Similarly, it would not change a thing if Al Gore did a mea culpa and admitted he lied. That would change nothing. Everyone knows politicians lie. And it defies logic to believe that a liar admits he lied is now telling the truth.

  43. The system is broke. This sort of thing by PBS is like the wolf in the final scene of The Grey… the ten seconds after all the credits have rolled and just before the screen goes black.

  44. This is how a hoax dies.

    • Wagathon,

      I sometimes wonder how the end of this will go down. Will we just look on the internet one day and the cyber-sky will be empty of Warmer Trolls, when we are used to seeing large squadrons of them everyday?


      • Bad Andrew: The warmist cause is falling apart far far faster than I thought possible. I can hear them screaming as they loose the plot completely. See; the money is running out.

      • I so badly want to avoid being bitten by the ‘shadenfreude bug’. Hey, if it warms up, I’ll be immune to the virus.

      • Ack, I ‘c’ a need, duh!

      • It ends as per Freeman Dyson with a Dyson Sphere and with WebHub still droning on about his belief in the peak oil myth.

      • This is the way the world goes on,
        This is the way the world goes on,
        This is the way the world goes on,
        Not with a bang catastrophe,
        With wimpering adaptation.

      • MYSTERY says

        “WebHub still droning on about his belief in the peak oil myth.”

        I find it instructional for the fake skeptics here to consider a data set that has a huge dynamic range and little noise (apart from the data that oil companies withhold). This essentially described the state of the data on world-wide crude oil production.

        There is very little uncertainty in the general trends, for example, consider that of United Kingdom crude oil production is steeply dropping just as was predicted by people that actually cared about the future.

        Same thing is happening to Norway
        Same thing is happening in Mexico
        Same thing is happening in Indonesia
        Same thing is happening in Egypt

        And even Saudi Arabia is not immune

        Saudi crude burn hits new records in June, July.
        DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia burned record monthly volumes of oil in June and July, official government figures show, contrary to the top crude producer’s plan to temper its summer oil burning spree this year with more gas. The world’s leading oil exporter burned an average of 743,500 barrels per day (bpd) of crude in June and July, up 82,000 bpd from the same months last year, mainly to make electricity to keep the population cool, data issued under the Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI) showed on Wednesday.”

        Isn’t that interesting that Saudi Arabia burns about 4% of the crude oil that the USA consumes during those months just to keep themselves cool? That is in a population of 28 million. If they were the size of the USA, they would use 40% of their crude for air conditioning.

        So what exactly is the myth? That bedlam will ensue? That must be your thinking, because I have never written about that.

        I actually write about systems, i.e. the earth and man’s interaction with the earth, which is something that is apparently beyond the capability of the fake skeptic. They would rather get on with their political agenda, which is more often than not to pooh-pooh any interest in alternative or renewable energy analysis and strategies.

      • Peak oil and iron sun are pretty much the same ball of wax.

      • @web hub telescope

        What is all this crap about

        ‘United Kingdom crude oil production is steeply dropping just as was predicted by people that actually cared about the future’ ?

        I live in the UK. I was just growing up when North Sea Oil and Gas started up as viable production sources. Some of my (now elderly) chums worked on the geology and mapping of the fields back in the 1960s.

        As far as I can recall there was nobody at all who believed anything other than that North Sea Oil was a sudden – but temporary – windfall. Our geologists and oilmen and project managers and even some civil servants aren’t inclined to believe in the power of moonbeams or fairy dust r wishful thinking any more than I do…they leave that to the greenists.

        So all your stuff about ‘people that actually cared about the future’ is just emotional bollocks. I assume that you add such fabrications to make you feel that somehow you occupy the moral or intellectual high ground. But your need to do so merely illustrates the weakness of your position.

        Whether the UK has overall made wise use of our good fortune is another debate.

        Still, there’s always shale gas to come. The barriers to having a serious look to see if it has potential for us are crumbling fast. The only downside I can imagine is that it will give you yet another opportunity to drone on about your models…this time about Peak Shale Oil………..

      • MYSTERY said:

        “Peak oil and iron sun are pretty much the same ball of wax.”

        People that suffer from delusions of grandeur are not able to separate reality from fiction.

        Listen to what Latie Latimer says:

        “As far as I can recall there was nobody at all who believed anything other than that North Sea Oil was a sudden – but temporary – windfall.”

        See, that is what a peak is — a boom-and-bust cycle. Get it?

        “The only downside I can imagine is that it will give you yet another opportunity to drone on about your models…this time about Peak Shale Oil”

        Somebody has to do it, wouldn’t you say? Since you asked, here is an analysis of the Bakken shale:

        No real peak as each well starts declining right away. The overall peak in this case has do with staggered starts. It is actually quite interesting math if you fake skeptics actually cared about practical modeling.

      • @web hub colonoscope

        I think I was about 10 yo when I first understood that inflection points are where the first derivative of the curve hits zero.

        Having understood it once I think I’m pretty much well versed in what ‘maxima’ (and indeed ‘minima’) are. I do not need constant reinforcement of the concept from you, however clever you think your sums are. And it may be a shock that lots of others understand it too.

        If you ever have something new to say about it, feel free. But otherwise you are just tediously repeating yourself with junior school concepts.

        The analogy between your witterings and OK Manuel is not too far from the mark.

      • “The analogy between your witterings and OK Manuel is not too far from the mark.I “

        You would be right about that if it was the case that Manuel had the intellectual sense of something bigger than a flea, and Manuel wasn’t “wittering” because of his subconscious need to call attention to his criminal exploits
        (see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/29/new-book-slaying-the-sky-dragon/#comment-542062 ) .

        That’s why we call them clowns.

      • A comment from WUWT and The Missouri Miner? What is the Missouri Miner? Who is the conspiracy theorist now? WHT is that your source for your Peak Oil theory too?

      • I believe that is the school newspaper at which Manuel is some sort of adjunct professor or was one. The charges are real.

        The only conspiracy theory is whether somebody high-jacked his name and is pranking everyone. I kind of doubt that though.

      • What makes you think the charges are real? You make a pretty serious accusation based on a weak source. Maybe you can now see your credibility problem for other claims?

      • The charges are real, and he has been convicted and is wearing an ankle monitor. That explains why he is a first responder to every top-level post. He is literally chained to his computer.

      • WHT, you seem mighty close to your computer, too. How much do you know of ankle monitors?

      • Some of us have day jobs and we blog and write comments to blogs when time permits.

      • Global warming has never been the problem. It is the symptom of the real problem.

        The West is dying. The 47%’rs are a stone around the necks of the productive.

        Society is staggering around blind to reason. Nothing will change until the grip on the economy of unelected and unaccountable government bureaucrats is broken.

        When everyone understands that it is a joke to believe that schoolteachers will save the world, global warming alarmism will disappear. Outside the Western world there is no global warming alarmism.

      • Who is John Galt?

      • Wag said:

        “The West is dying. The 47%’rs are a stone around the necks of the productive.”

        Yep, we should strip those Veteran’s and
        seniors of their government subsidies, right? Hell, let ’em cake!

      • To the Left, revenue is money extorted from the economy–by the government, and for the government—the people be damned.

  45. PBS screwed up.

    They admit it.

    But they stick with the mantra.

    So where’s the news?


  46. Regret attributes,
    Egrets and albatrosses.
    Where’s my money back?

  47. Although, like our hostess here, I think Anthony Watts has done a great deal to shine some light on the climate science behind all the scare stories being spread by the mainstream media throughout the western world, as well as bring the whole science/policy debate to the public with WUWT, I’ll have to say I also agree with her on this point.

    Watts was certainly not a bad candidate to discuss those things of which he is very much aware and knowledgeable (and this includes a good overview of meteorology, climatology and climate science), but he is NOT an acknowledged and recognized climate scientist, i.e. an “insider” of this scientific discipline..

    So he lacks the scientific “gravitas” that a Richard Lindzen (or our hostess, for example) could have given to the skeptical message.- i.e. to the message that there is too much “uncertainty” in all the attribution assumptions being made to be able to make any realistic prognosis of our future climate. (as Tomas Milanovic expressed in on the “best case II” thread.

    Just my thought.


    • You may be right but i think there is more insight to be gained in the looking at the choreography and reasoning behind the casting that underlies the show. What PBS attempted was to use Watts as a foil like it might, for example, use Rush Limbaugh. But, PBS does not have the guts to put on a Rush Limbaugh. It was never about scientist vs. scientists. We’ve seen that before and the skeptics always win that debate. PBS was trying to pull an Al Gore. But, they can’t use Al Gore because now everyone laughs and points at the naked man on the stage looking like an idiot.

    • Interviewing Anthony Watts on a television program about catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. What’s the big deal? It’s not like PBS appointed a railroad engineer to supervise compilation of a scientific report designed to guide political decisions affecting trillions of dollars of economic activity.

      Now THAT would have been stupid.

    • So what do you think the reaction of Warmists would have been had Lindzen appeared and talked on the show? The Ombudsman would still be called for. Complaints would still have come in. This is an orchestrated email template. Look at the similarity of the complaints to the Ombudsman.

  48. Well IMO the reasons for Anthony’ popularity are obvious: It is because the warmists claimed “consensus” even before anyone knew what there was supposed to be any “consensus” on, and then they did their best to shut down the debate even before it had started.

    Then the press gave up journalism and began preaching instead.

    In such a situation, lots of scientists and laymen needed a place where real debate could take place and different ideas and theories could be openly and freely aired and scrutinized, and healthy criticism and skepticism could take place.

    WUWT and other blogs like it became what they are simply because there was a great need for a forum for true freedom of speech – internationally.

    • Bebben, I have said just as much. The lack of an open and honest debate in the media is why blogs like WUWT thrive. There is certainly a raging debate about CAGW but you wouldn’t know that if you relied on TV and newspapers.

  49. I think you’re potentially perpetuating the problem by calling Watts “a leading skeptic.” What does that mean, exactly? He’s a fringe figure who tries to capitalize on creating the perception of controversy on climate science. I don’t think anyone who follows climate science closely takes him seriously. Now, he’s getting more than his 5 minutes of fame from all the exposure AFTER the PBS episode. I do think PBS erred by giving credibility as a global warming denier.

    • I don’t think anyone who follows climate science closely takes him seriously.

      I think you need to recheck your data.

    • “I don’t think anyone who follows climate science closely takes him seriously.” WTF, you really do not know what you are talking about. Please go back to the rock from which you came and crawl back under it.

    • When did he deny global warming? You didn’t watch the show, you just drank the cool-aid

  50. The PBS Ombudsman doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get what an ombudsman is supposed to do; he doesn’t get what skeptics are complaining about; he doesn’t get what ‘balanced’ means. He certainly knows nothing about climate change and doesn’t seem interested in learning.

    Robert Redford’s 2010 film “The Conspirator” is worth watching as a metaphor for the treatment of CAGW skeptics. Perhaps it was intended as a metaphor for Guantanamo. In any case, it is claimed to be historically accurate and concerns the trial and conviction of an innocent woman for the conspiracy to assassinate President Lincoln, complete with the full range of political interference. This bit of that history was never taught in schools! Just like the full Climategate story is never told in the MSM now. The ratings in IMDB do not reflect how good this film is; perhaps because it airs dirty laundry.

  51. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    One the most hilarious insights into the cognition of WUWT/Andrew Watts comes when we contrast WUWT’s obsessive criticism of Stephan Lewandowsky (sixteen WUWT article to date, and counting) … as contrasted with WUWT’s blasé disregard for the norms of science associated to Anthony’s now-notorious press release New study shows half of the global warming in the USA is artificial.

    If Anthony/WUWT had worked as hard on their own weak data analysis, as they have worked at criticizing a cherry-picked example of someone else’s weak data analysis, then the multiple flaws of the WUWT analysis might have been corrected by now, eh?

    Common sense in skepticism  It is common-sense that the most rapid progress in climate-change science comes when the strongest criticism is addressed to the strongest science.

    Anthony Watts/WUWT flings this common-sense rule of rational skepticism to the ground, and dances upon it, eh?   :(   :shock:   :(

    Conclusion  The PBS criticism boils down to the dual poles of climage-change denialism: Whenever WUWT criticism is strong, it’s not directed against good science. And whenever WUWT criticism is directed against good science, it’s not strong. And WUWT’s posting more-and-more of the former, can never compensate for WUWT’s deplorable abandonment of the latter.   :shock:   :(   :shock:

    • Ah, a challenge! “Weak data analysis,” is it? Bring it on, then.

      I’m his prime data guy, so if there is anything weak about our (Watts, et al., 2012) analysis we’d welcome any independent review pointing it out, as we would need to address it.

      • You already issued a press release for the paper.

        You know full well that if a climate scientist had issued such a sensationalist press release for a paper that was found to contain serious errors, Watts and co would have criticized them to high heaven and demanded a retraction.

        So where’s YOUR retraction?

      • As you are no doubt aware, the paper was previewed for independent review. We stated in the paper we’d be dealing with TOBS. Independent reviewers urged us to deal with this immediately. So that’s what I did. While I was at it I factored in MMTS conversion (using Menne, 2010 and 2009 as benchmark).

        Also, Fall et al. (2011), of which I was a co-author, was lauded by the alarmist community (and received the congratulations of Dr. Muller). Yet it did not address either TOBS or MMTS. Or recent station moves either, for that matter. Yet it wasn’t considered “weak”, it was considered “just fine”. Yet for some reason, those issues have all of a sudden become “weaknesses” in Watts, et al. (2012). But then, the results are not as pleasing as Fall et al. (2011), are they? So all of a sudden, these considerations become “serious errors”. Very well. We have addressed those “serious errors” (thanks to the fact of the preliminary release). And the results still hold up. For that matter, the results hold up no matter how you slice and subdivide the data.

        So, no, I don’t think we’ll be retracting anytime soon.

        If you come up with any further issues that need addressing, of course, we would be pleased to address them.

      • TKO

      • You sidestepped my point about your press release.

        Your press release claimed: “The new analysis demonstrates that reported 1979-2008 U.S. temperature trends are spuriously doubled, with 92% of that over-estimation resulting from erroneous NOAA adjustments of well-sited stations upward”

        a) Does your new analysis support that claim?

        b) Where was the retraction of your press release when it was found to be in error?

        As for your claims that you’ve now fixed the error, if I were Anthony Watts and you were a climate scientist I might respond like so:

        Unfortunately you have not succeeded in terms of how science views, you know, a successful inquiry. Your paper has not passed peer review. I don’t trust your competence because you got it wrong last time and I don’t trust your honesty until you retract your false claims made in the press release. I will keep going on about that holding against you until you retract. And if you do retract I will make a song and dance about the retraction highlighting your admission of error. I also find your “science by press release” unbecoming of the gold standards of true science that I myself, as a very competent science-minded individual would practice. Also, have you released all your data yet?

      • lolwot,
        your comments do make sense ocassionally.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Evan Jones, is there any news on when a station list will be made available? I tried to identify the Class 1/2 stations since you guys didn’t list which ones changed, but when I did, my results didn’t match what your paper said, at all. It may just be that you had a bad figure, but it shows you really need to make the information available.

        To clarify, only 13 stations supposedly dropped out of the 1/2 category in your new paper, but when I plotted the 71 stations from that category on your map of 1/2 stations, far more than 13 were missing. It was more like 30.

    • “multiple flaws of the WUWT analysis might have been corrected by now, eh?”

      Really pal, bring it on, make my day, please do your review. “Peer? lol.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Evan Jones says  “We’d welcome any independent review pointing it out.

      jb frodsham says  Really pal, bring it on, make my day, please do your review.

      Gentlemen, whatever version of “An area and distance weighted analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends” was eventually submitted for peer review, than as a matter of courtesy to the public, please post that manuscript to the ArXiV Preprint Server, along with all subsequent revisions of it.

      Please note that James Hansen and his colleagues are scrupulous in extending that courtesy to the public.

      If Anthony Watts/WUWT decline to extend that public-and-professional courtesy, then please explain why not.   :?:   :!:   :?:

      If the manuscript has not yet been submitted for peer-review, then please explain that crucial omission   :!:   :!:   :!:

      And finally, please consider that WUWT’s repetitive criticism of weak research like Stephan Lewandowsky’s on-line poll, while far more important scientific tasks remain uncompleted, may reflect poorly upon the competence, values, and judgment of WUWT.   :!:   :!:   :!:

      • Really? That’s your response? Some question marked smileys? You stated “If Anthony/WUWT had worked as hard on their own weak data analysis, …..” and then more blathering. What you heavily implied is that you had some insight to their data analysis. Well, which is it? Do you know something or not?

        And, then you believe he posts too much on Lewandowsky, sorry that doesn’t fly. He needs disparaged every day for the rest of his life. That wasn’t weak science Lewdy was doing. It was an egregious attack on skeptics. It’ was malfeasance. Clearly, none of this would be necessary if the science community were to act on such clear cases of scientific malpractice. But, they don’t. They never have. We can argue science issues, but, I don’t believe people should be criticized for responding to unwarranted character attacks on entire populations and bigotry against entire populations.

        So, do you have any insights to the data analysis or not?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        As the LAPD’s Sgt Friday was fond on saying “The facts ma’am. Just the facts.”

        And the plain, verifiable fact is simply this: Anthony Watts/WUWT have not backed-up denialist claims with rational criticism or with fresh scientific insights.

        Conclusion  It’s “game over” for WUWT’s brand of climate-change denialism, for the simple reason that in the long run, “Nature cannot be fooled.”

      • Oh, okay, so you actually had nothing. Why didn’t you just say so? Personally, I think you’re off your rocker if you think skepticism is done. It’s all but won. Because, like you said, nature won’t be fooled. 30 years of doom and gloom and ……… nothing. No increase in flooding, no increase in droughts, a decrease in ACE, a decrease in strong tornadoes, sea level measurements are in a laughable state, temps aren’t responding to polar amplification nor accelerating CO2 emissions regardless if you think they are accurate or not. Well, I could go on, but I think it’s clear to most rational people that the hyperbole stated in the last couple of decades was entirely overstated. The fact is no one is buying all of the bedwetting about the climate anymore. The market saturation point was reached years ago, and some people, that’s all they’ve ever heard their entire lives and still nothing.

        Climate change denialism….. funny, skeptics have always stated that the climate changes.

      • Fan of more discourse, it seems the WUWT fanboys here are unaware that Watts and co’s “game-changing” “science by press release” paper’s conclusions were completely flawed.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        You are correct lolwot!   :)   :)   :)

        In accord with typical short-sighted neodenialist values, Watts’ claimed “article” served (apparently, since there was a press release of it) various short-lived ideological purposes … and (apparently, since it has never been finished or submitted for review) the work never *had* a long-lived scientific purpose.

        Watts and his colleagues can refute this appearance quite naturally: (1) finish the article, (2) submit it for scientific review, and (3) post it publicly on the ArXiV server.

        The norms of science are simple, rational and long-lived, eh   :?:   :?:   :?:

      • lolwot appears to be experiencing something of a disconnect. The skepticalscience article he cites contains objections that I alsready clearly stated have been addressed.

        (Of course, since our revised results are substantially unchanged, one might conclude that those very objections were not of very great bottomline consequence to begin with.)

      • “Of course, since our revised results are substantially unchanged, one might conclude that those very objections were not of very great bottomline consequence to begin with.”

        If you were a climate scientist WUWT would not let you get away with that excuse. No, the fact you made an error and advocated a conclusion based on that error in a press release would be a big scandal.

        Talking of advocacy, what was with the sudden rush to make that press release? If you just wanted “independent review” why the sudden rush at the weekend to get it out there?

        Was it to get it out in time for Christy to cite the work in a senate hearing the following week?

        Was it to get it out in time to get the conclusions (tut tut it hadn’t been independently reviewed had it!) into the media?

        Was the objective to counter Muller’s release?

      • lolwot,

        linking to SkS as proof of anything is one giant fail.

        You are always going on about real climate scientists, yet SkS doesn’t have anyone remotely close to being a climate scientist. It also has a track record for making changes to posts and comments after the fact. Perhaps you were never taught the simple truism that all one has to do is lie, cheat or steal once and forever be a liar, cheater or thief. You may be willing to take at face value something from a known cheater, as SkS is. You also apparrantly don’t mind looking the fool.

      • fan,

        It is not surprising that you see nothing to criticize in Lewandowsky’s recent work. Hopefully you exhibit a greater degree of scholarship and integrity in your own work.

        It is hard to believe anyone would be willing to defend Lewandowsky’s paper. That it got published at all certainly does not project a good image of the peer review process.

    • Nice bit of swagger there but it would be more convincing if you had got Anthony Watts name correct.

      • If he doesn’t think we will finish up and submit, he really doesn’t know us very well!

        And of course all data and methods will be made publicly available in a manner that will allow for full replication (or refutation) of our results.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        All Climate Etc folks who rationally assesses the arguments the Watts’ New Paper – Analysis and Critique will appreciate the reasons why the press-released manuscript has not been submitted for review … because the WUWT analysis *was* gravely flawed, eh?

        What is *more* mysterious is that, during ensuring weeks, Anthony Watts/WUWT has found the time-and-energy to post obsessively about the (seemingly minor) Stephan Lewandowsky study, but has *not* found the time-and-energy to address the (seemingly major) flaws of WUWT’s own press-released research.

        WUWT, indeed?   :?:   :?:   :?:

        Science-by-press-release, and skepticism-by-press-release, equally are harmful to rational discourse, eh?   :?:   :?:   :?:

        Conclusion  Watts and his colleagues can refute the appearance of denialistic publicity-seeking quite naturally: (1) finish the article, (2) submit it for scientific review, and (3) post it publicly on the ArXiV server.

        There’s no excuse for delay … is there?   :?:   :?:   :?:

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        That will be wonderful if you do. But things may not be so wonderful after that.

      • When that will be publicly available, evan m jones. alarmists are hidding data and so WUWT is hiding data. The world is gradually loosing patients.

    • I foolishly and in a moment of inattention clicked on A Fan’s apparent link to ’16 WUWT articles to date and counting’.

      It just led back to the main post here.

      Nothing to do with ’16 articles’ whatsoever. No evidence that there are 16 articles at all. There may be, there may not be, but this link has nothing to say on the subject

      Warning to all readers:

      Even if you bother to read A Fan of John Sidles incomprehensible ravings, do not assume that the links he supposedly provides have anything to do with the subject he pretends they do. Do not be fooled by the apparent existence of backup material….you need to either ignore everything he writes (as I usually do) or waste your time checking everything.

      I recommend the former course.

      • Fan is not the only troll commenting on Climate Spectator. Others are:

        – Tempterrain
        – WebHubTelescope
        – BartR
        – Robert
        – Vaughan Pratt
        just to name the first few that come to mind

      • Peter Lang,

        So, everyone who disagrees with you, on Climate Etc, is a troll? I think that is what you are saying. If you had your way, your POV would be allowed and no other.

        I don’t think I’ve ever accused anyone of being a troll. Not even you. I would say that you are a very unpleasant individual with extreme political opinions though. I just wonder how you get along with dealing with people who might have different political views to yourself in the real world? Do you have any sense of diplomacy or do you just crash on regardless and offend most people you meet?

        If you spoke to them in the same way in real life you’d be very quickly put in your place. If you fancy telling me to my face that I’m a troll I’d be happy to arrange a meeting. But I should warn you that I’m very fit, six foot tall and most people would think twice about taking me on.

      • Fight back. You are 7 ft tall. 6 ft tall shadow is nothing to be threatened.

      • Peter Lang | September 23, 2012 at 2:07 am |

        I believe you’re confused. This is Climate Etc.

        http://www.climatespectator.com.au/ is what came up when I Googled “Climate Spectator”. It’s Australian, so I doubt anyone’s ever heard of it. Well, you know, anyone not from Australia, if you count Australians.. which hardly anyone ever does.

        Could you explain what you mean by troll, exactly? Specifically, with objective measures, so I can compare your list to your definition, because when I look at your list and compare the views, style, contents and anything else about the four others you’ve lumped in with me, I see little in common among them either with each other or with me, other than persistent use of reasoning and logic.

        Does “troll” mean something like “reasonable person”?

      • Peter Lang is a confused old guy. So there is no possibility that I’d ever physically harm him! But I will be in Canberra, where he lives, in November and I would challenge him to meet up for a drink and to call me a troll to my face. Incidentally there is only one Peter Lang in the Whitepages so I know we will be quite nearby!
        Robust debate is fair enough but it shouldn’t be any different over the internet to what it would be when it is face to face.

      • tempterrain,

        Prepare to be surprised.


        Peter Lang,

        I’m asking for a recount!

      • Sorry for mistakenly referring to Climate Etc as ClimateSpectator. Climate Spectator is an advocacy site for extremist views of CAGW, extreme advocacy for renewable energy and hatred of nuclear energy.

        Tempterrain is most definitely a troll by the common definitions of troll:

        One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.

        a troll is someone who posts inflammatory,[3]extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[4] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion

        These describe TT’s comments and tactics to a T.

      • Pete,

        A troll is generally someone who tries to get attention by posting things everyone will disagree with. For instance if you had a Peter Lang Fan Page on Facebook and I wrote things like Peter Lang is an unpleasant , confused, senile, politically extremist, cantankerous, cowardly old git -then, I’d be a troll.

        But just on a point of information, Pete, Climate Etc isn’t your personal website set up for you to read how marvellous you are. Its supposed to be about a forum where opposing sides of the argument can try to find some common ground. To be fair to Judith, I don’t think she thinks it’s her fan page either, and even though I’ve often given her a hard time she’s never called me, or anyone else, a troll, even though she’s got a much stronger case for doing so than you have.

        You owe us all an apology and I’m very much tempted to knock on your door to demand one in person when I get the chance.

      • Tempterrain,

        You are clearly a Troll posting stuff like this:

        Peter Lang is an unpleasant , confused, senile, politically extremist, cantankerous, cowardly old git

        You say:

        But just on a point of information, Pete, Climate Etc isn’t your personal website set up for you to read how marvellous you are.

        Since when has it been your job to tell me or anyone else what they should and shouldn’t post. Why do you feel it is your role to write stupid, brain dead comments in response to a large proportion of the comments I post.

        Here’s a reasonable suggestion: Why don’t you just ignore every think I say? Just pretend you have an ignore button.

        Better still, stop being a troll altogether!

      • Peter Lang,

        You’ve just written:

        Since when has it been your job to tell me or anyone else what they should and shouldn’t post ?

        Even though I haven’t actually done that.

        Then, somewhat contradictorily, you proceed to tell me that I should ignore your posts.

        Well, Pete, when you write something sensible, I might just do that. Until then I think I might enjoy just keeping on rattling your cage.

      • Peter Lang | September 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm |

        One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.

        a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion


        Your definition has next to no resemblance to Vaughan Pratt or to Robert. If you dispute this, cite 3 posts by each that meet this definition.

        Also, there are some dozen denizens who come to mind who meet this definition more than anyone you listed; it appears qualification in your list is limited only to those who disagree with you. Tch.

        That’s called “confirmation bias”. As such, your list (already off-topic and extraneously disruptive to normal on-topic discussion) must be viewed as inflammatory argument. Which would make you a troll, Mr. Lang, by your own definition.

        Me, I prefer to rise above the propaganda technique of Name Calling. (http://mason.gmu.edu/~amcdonal/Propaganda%20Techniques.html)

      • LA, Its possible that Fan just made a mistake with his link. I’ll leave him to answer that himself; but, to keep you going in the meantime, I’ll give you this:


        Looks like there could well be 16 articles. Maybe more.

      • @tempterrain


        I’ve read most of them over the weeks as the trainwreck of Lewandowsky’s credibility slowly hits the buffers of reality and the shroud waver of ridicule leaps from the guards van to signal the end of the line(*).

        And the great McSteve has been giving the Aussie prof the runaround too.


        But my real point was about A Fan of John Sidles’ inability to communicate clearly or to check his sources. Sad :-(

        *Copyright Humphrey Lyttleton ISIHAC

      • Max,

        No I didn’t notice anything much out of the ordinary this Aussie winter, except that it was very dry in August and nothing grew in my veggie garden, and I don’t think anyone else did either. This is for July.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Latimer Alder confesses “I foolishly and in a moment of inattention clicked on A Fan’s apparent link to ’16 WUWT articles to date and counting’”

        Thank you for correcting the malformed link Latimer Alder!

        The intended link is to the WUWT tag archive — hosted by WUWT/Anthony Watts himself — that presently lists  12   13   14   15  16  “Stephan Lewandowsky” articles … uhhhhh … unless Anthony’s posted another screed in the last five minutes!   :lol:   :roll:   :lol:   :roll:   :lol:

        It is a genuine pleasure to increase your knowledge, Latimer Alder!   :)   :)   :)

        Q:  Why does WUWT/Anthony Watts obsess over Stephan Lewandowsky?

        A:  Some questions are beyond *anyone’s* knowledge, eh Latimer Alder?   :lol:   :roll:   :lol:

        Bonus observation  In regard to malformed links, it is best to keep in mind the galaxy-wide principle that Klingons never bluff!   :)   :grin:   :lol:   :!:

      • @A Fan of John Sidles

        Thank you for (correctly this time) drawing the readers attention to the egregious behaviour of ‘Professor’ Lewandowsky and his ridiculous paper

        It is just like ‘Gergis et al’ deja vu all over again


        …only this time its slower and Lewandowsky is prolonging the agony for himself. Perhaps its the recent cold winter that has chilled those Australian brains?


        On reflection, perhaps it would be better if I didn’t look too closely. I was never much of A Fan of seeing bear baiting or going to public hangings. so watching Lewandowsky’s career go down the pan in detail is maybe beyond my squeamish stomach.

        But for those of a stronger constitution you must really go to the main man if you want to get the meat. Start here


      • Latimer

        I would put the Aussie cold winter down to the unusually high levels of Antarctic ice. Obviously though it is nowhere near as relevant as Arctic ice.

      • @climatereason

        Thanks Tony. You have a good point.

        But if I extend your logic a little further, we might expect that the recent unusually low level of Arctic ice would mean that we can expect warmer, wetter winters in the UK.

        But no…the Great and the Good of the Climate Establishment tell us the exact opposite. That ‘global warming’ will make the winters colder!


        Go figure. Then wonder why increasing numbers of ordinary people think that the Great and the Good are talking out of their arses.

      • “Aussie cold winter ” ?? What “Aussie cold winter ” ?

      • Latimer,

        If the views of the “climate great and good” on this question do not match your assumption then maybe the problem is that your assumption is incorrect.

      • @andrew adams

        OK. You explain why global *warming* is going to make the UK winters *colder*. It would be nice if your argument is suitably robust to stand up to thirty seconds scrutiny by the early evening regulars in the Dog and Duck.

        ‘Because they are climate scientists – trust them!’ would not cut the mustard. You need to have something more substantial than pleas to ‘authority’.

      • You ask Tony:

        “Aussie cold winter ” ?? What “Aussie cold winter ” ?

        Perhaps tony b is referring to this one:

        Much of central Australia is experiencing an unusually frosty winter, the frostiest in more than a decade in some parts and there’s much more to come.


        Cold weather across Australia’s two largest wheat growing states has slowed crop growth, officials said, threatening yields in the world’s fourth-largest exporter…

        For August the daily maxima were apparently warmer than average, while the daily minima were colder, with Queensland reaching a “lowest level since 1989”

        You were there. Didn’t you notice it? (You need to get out more – especially at night.)


      • Yes, Andrew you nailed it.

        These skeptics wobble back and forth between a weak challenge to the science and when that fails, a rationalization of the outcome.

        That’s why we call him little Latie. He first produces a naive view of the science, and when his play-time game is debunked, he throws a tantrum and says the equivalent “I never did like that game anyways”. That is the weak rationalization, known to parents of children everywhere. ha!

      • Latimer,

        From the study linked to in the Guardian article

        While the Arctic region has been warming strongly in recent decades, anomalously large snowfall in recent winters has affected large parts of North America, Europe, and east Asia. Here we demonstrate that the decrease in autumn Arctic sea ice area is linked to changes in the winter Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation that have some resemblance to the negative phase of the winter Arctic oscillation. However, the atmospheric circulation change linked to the reduction of sea ice shows much broader meridional meanders in midlatitudes and clearly different interannual variability than the classical Arctic oscillation. This circulation change results in more frequent episodes of blocking patterns that lead to increased cold surges over large parts of northern continents.


      • @webster hub telescope

        What the f..k are you wittering on about now?

        No ‘weak rationalisations’ here.

        Just asking a simple question – the sort that Latif on the next thread said had to be asked by somebody.

        If we are having global warming, how come the predictions are for our winters to get colder?

        But I guess you’ll be happy…the iceout dates for your lakes will start increasing again. Though how many fellow residents of the Twin Cities will share your joy at an extended winter season is open to doubt.

      • @andrew adams

        So which of the two should I take away to my mates in the Dog and Duck?

        Viners prediction that ‘snow will be a thing of the past’ because of global warming’ or Liu et al’s post-hoc rationalisation for a couple of cold and snowy winters that they too were caused by global warming?

        Unless I have missed something fundamental, these two views are pretty much diametrically opposed to each other. On the one hand – colder, on the other warmer. On the one hand – more snow, on the other less. They cannot both be right – or at least not under any world view that I’ve ever come across. One (at least) must be wrong.

        But both are presented by ‘well-respected’ senior climateers. Viner worked at the Climatic Research Unit, Liu and his co authors are at Georgia Tech. Both would no doubt wish us to believe in the mantra ‘I’m a Climate Scientist, Trust Me’.

        Possibly we can compromise and say ‘we don’t know’. Which would be a welcome expression of uncertainty from the climatology establishment. But would probably get one or both expelled for heresy.

        Meanwhile – just like every other winter – I’ll prepare for cold snaps, warm snaps, lots of snow, no snow, windy day and not windy days. And when any of them happen I’ll call them consequences of the weather. Not of global warming.

      • Latimer,

        I was waiting for you to bring Viner’s snow remark into it!

        Actually you might be surprised to know that my own view (others here who are better informed may disagree) is that yes, it is highly uncertain what future winters here in the UK hold in store.
        I know nothing of Viner’s views apart from as reported in the Indie, and I’m loath to pass judgement based on a single remark to a journalist, but I think what he said was maybe slightly rash but not completely unreasonable based on our knowlege at the time – and my purely anecdotal recollection is that until the first of our recent bad winters we had in fact had a long spell of mild winters.
        But the unexpectly rapid decline of the sea ice, with the posited link to our recent cold winters has, so to speak, put the cat amongst the pigeons and it will be very interesting how things pan out over the next few years.

      • “What the f..k are you wittering on about now?”

        That’s the other thing that little children do. Besides rationalizing behavior when they don’t get what they want, they put their fingers in their ears.. Latie is no different, but he has now learned how to swear.

      • @andrew adams

        Well, we don’t disagree too much then.

        But this whole little saga is very instructive about the value of climatological predictions…and the caution we need to take in acting upon them.

        Let’s assume for the moment that all parties acted in entirely good faith.

        So 10 years ago Viner concludes (quite logically IMO) that ‘global warming’ will make UK winters warmer. And that snow is a phenomenon of cold not warm. Therefore he (perhaps unwisely, but in good faith) says ‘snow will be a thing of the past’.. And he is from the ‘Climatic Research Unit’ which sounds like the sort of place who should know about such things. It may be that others in the Climate Establishment disagreed at the time, but (for reasons we do not know) nobody publicly disagreed. Remember also that concern about global warming was on the up at that time. The pollies were gearing up towards the Climate Change Act..and because of climate change’ was being used to justify all sorts of daft ideas.

        Local authorities – always under pressure for their budgets – cut their investment in winter weather stuff, as the received wisdom was that it would hardly ever be needed.

        And for a few years it looked like Viner was right. Our winters were pretty benign

        But then – wham – we get two cold winters and (by UK standards) lots of snow. Our infrastructure – neglected because we didn’t expect ever to need it – is totally inadequate for the task, and chaos reigns. Heathrow is shut for god knows how long because of inadequate planning. Schools have to close. People get stuck for 24 hours on a motorway just outside London. At least one major retailer had stopped selling winter weather gear like hats an gloves the week before because ‘they’re never needed after the middle of December’ It’s a complete balls up all round..

        And what’s the reaction from the Climate Establishment? A nice lady from the Met Office goes on the telly to tell us all with a straight face that the unexpected cold and snowy weather is a completely expected consequence of global warming.

        Result of all this? People’s faith in weathermen – never high – sinks lower.People’s faith in global warming ratchets down a notch or two. And people’s willingness to put up with pollies who preach about it plummets.

      • Latimer,

        Yes, in this case the models got it wrong – the sea ice has been reducing far quicker than expected, and the likely impact of this on weather patterns was maybe not appreciated until fairly recently. That’s the way it goes sometimes, some things can change more rapidly than others are are thus harder to predict. The fact that in this case the effects of AGW were more rapid and dramatic than expected is hardly cause for comfort.

        I think people in the UK are entitled to be a bit confused. I doubt if any more than a tiny minority are aware of Viner’s remarks (they were 12 years ago, in our smallest sellig daily newspaper) but they may still be wondering why we are having such bad winters all of a sudden when they were getting used to having mild ones due to global warming.

        But I also think that the British people are perfectly capable of understanding nuanced arguments which may at first seem counter-intuitive, and I don’t believe that in most cases if it were explained to them why things appear to be changing they would dismiss it out of hand.

      • Lat,

        I learned early on that fan is a two trick pony. A dependence on emoticons and links to non-relevant material.

        Fortunately my stepson went to Washington State.

      • Latimer AlderI have concluded A Fan is a BS “artiste” and blue and yellow are his favorite colors. Pretty posts of the contrived post modern style without substance or meaning.

  52. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    To those who don’t like this fact, I advise you to take the time to understand why WUWT is so successful and maybe you will learn something about the public debate on climate change.

    I second that. Besides the posts, and comments on the posts, there are links to peer-reviewed papers and to substantial data bases. His link to the Arctic ice extent includes information on Antarctic ice extent, for example.

    If PBS decides to redo this segment some time in the future, whom would we recommend they include in place of Anthony Watts? Roger Pielke Sr? Judith Curry? John Christy? Maybe we could vote, and pass on a recommendation to PBS?

    • I second that. Besides the posts, and comments on the posts, there are links to peer-reviewed papers and to substantial data bases.</blockquote?

      You think that the links he provides is a significant explanation for the success of his website? Really? What % of his readers do you think ever follow any of those links?

      • “What % of his readers do you think ever follow any of those links?”
        Does anyone know the answer to that question? All I can say is “I do”

      • jb frodsham says;

        All I can say is “I do”

        – – – – – –

        jb frodsham,

        I am Spartacus. I click the links too. : )


      • jb, I think most of the regulars there do. I don’t comment much there anymore because I’m off with my own blog, but yes, between the 3 computers I have I’ve got hundreds of papers which I’ve read.

      • I do as well as it happens.

      • I can think of few better examples to illustrate the conflation of “skepticism” with skepticism.

        I ask for speculation about what % of Anthony’s readers follow the links, and in response I get personal testimonials – as if somehow they answer the question.

        They don’t.

        I would say that there is much reason to speculate that only the most “climate debate committed” of readers would be likely to follow the links – by definition an outlier group. We know, for example, that the number of blog readers invariably far outnumber the number of blog commenters.

        Projecting from your own experience as if it would somehow answer the question fails the most basic of skeptic acid tests. This should be abundantly obvious. Appealing to ignorance by saying that we can’t actually know the answer without any uncertainty seems likewise pretty much the antithesis of skepticism. Of course we can’t know for certain. We can use common sense and information we have available to make educated speculation along with acknowledging uncertainties.

      • @Joshua:

        I ask for speculation about what % of Anthony’s readers follow the links, and in response I get personal testimonials – as if somehow they answer the question.

        Everyone generalizes from one example. At least, I do.

        — Vlad Taltos (Issola, Steven Brust)

        This is called the “typical mind fallacy“:

        There was a debate, in the late 1800s, about whether “imagination” was simply a turn of phrase or a real phenomenon. That is, can people actually create images in their minds which they see vividly, or do they simply say “I saw it in my mind” as a metaphor for considering what it looked like?

        Upon hearing this, my response was “How the stars was this actually a real debate? Of course we have mental imagery. Anyone who doesn’t think we have mental imagery is either such a fanatical Behaviorist that she doubts the evidence of her own senses, or simply insane.” Unfortunately, the professor was able to parade a long list of famous people who denied mental imagery, including some leading scientists of the era. And this was all before Behaviorism even existed.

        The debate was resolved by Francis Galton, a fascinating man who among other achievements invented eugenics, the “wisdom of crowds”, and standard deviation. Galton gave people some very detailed surveys, and found that some people did have mental imagery and others didn’t. The ones who did had simply assumed everyone did, and the ones who didn’t had simply assumed everyone didn’t, to the point of coming up with absurd justifications for why they were lying or misunderstanding the question. There was a wide spectrum of imaging ability, from about five percent of people with perfect eidetic imagery[1] to three percent of people completely unable to form mental images[2].

        Dr. Berman dubbed this the Typical Mind Fallacy: the human tendency to believe that one’s own mental structure can be generalized to apply to everyone else’s.

      • Dumb Josh. Really dumb.

      • I just go for the cartoons by Josh, Joshua. All the other information I have found there is “by accident”. I suppose I need a (/sarc) tag for you

    • Watts actually is the right direction but the wrong person. It’s the right direction because someone like Watts realizes that global warming is no longer about science. He knows that it is more social than science. But with Watts, you will never get the outrage that anyone who sees global warming as a moral issue will have. If PBS was really about truth they would address the issue of liberal fascism and how global warming is nothing more than a tool that the Left is using to subvert Americanism.

      • “If PBS was really about truth they would address the issue of liberal fascism and how global warming is nothing more than a tool that the Left is using to subvert Americanism.”

        Here you go. This is the ideology that underlies climate skepticism in the US. This is what drives their analysis of the science much as how the Bible drives the analysis of the science by creationists.

        Exercise to the reader: Count how many instances of “Liberal” and “left” and “state run” rants have been made by climate skeptics in this thread.

      • You are describing academia: Leftist, liberal and a part of the government-education complex.

    • “If PBS decides to redo this segment some time in the future, whom would we recommend they include in place of Anthony Watts? Roger Pielke Sr? Judith Curry? John Christy?”

      None of them should be recommended as they are lukewarmers. Plenty of real skeptics here are good candidates.

  53. Judy,

    I suppose you followed on your own suggestion before suggesting it:

    > I advise you to take the time to understand why WUWT is so successful and maybe you will learn something about the public debate on climate change.

    Why do you think WUWT is so successful?

    What does this understanding makes you learn about the public debate on climate change?

    Many thanks!

  54. Nothing that he said was unreasonable.


    Global warming has become essentially a business in its own right. There are whole divisions of universities that are set up to study this factor, and so there’s lots of money involved, and so I think there’s a tendency to want to keep that going and not really look at what might be different.”

    OK. Yeah, that’s reasonable. Climate scientists aren’t looking at what “might be different” because they can milk the business of AGW.

    • Joshua, do you think it’s reasonable for someone (you) to persistently defend a science (and it’s scientists) that you admittedly do not understand?


    • at what “might be different” because they can milk the business of AGW.

      We have psychologists who can get $100K+ grants to establish a link between climate deniers/skeptics and conspiracy ideation. There is no denying that AGW gravy train is full of gravy.

    • David Springer

      Is $15 enough for you to screw up enough courage to post using your real name?

    • Joshua

      CAGW is the sexy it topic resulting in loads of scientists and lesser academics piggy-backing with all the other lemmings. What psychological impairment do you have that forces you to deny the very core of human nature? You need to see a doctor and take a pill


  55. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    fan of *MORE* discourse: Whenever WUWT criticism is strong, it’s not directed against good science. And whenever WUWT criticism is directed against good science, it’s not strong. And WUWT’s posting more-and-more of the former, can never compensate for WUWT’s deplorable abandonment of the latter.

    You have a half a point, so to speak. Lots of weak science gets highly quoted and circulated in pro-AGW circles, and the Lewandowsky farce is an example. So it is good that someone like WUWT makes the effort to address the inadequacies. In my estimation, most of the global warming alarmism is driven by the bad science, so it is extremely important to have an effective antidote to it; WUWT is the most effective antidote (although Stephen Goddard provides a relentless and humorous adjunct.)

    You don’t have an example of really good science that you want WUWT to address, but you can always post a link and a short summary at WUWT in response to a post. More importantly, the good science does not support the alarmism of Hansen, Ehrlich, Holdren, the EPA and the Democratic supporters of immediate stringent reductions in CO2. The good science is replete with caveats, and references to the cavities that require future research.

  56. It has been frightening to see how the Warmist\AGW mob have acted in a similar fashion to the radical muslim extemists with their fake outrage and angry mob protests, except being cowards they have done it vicariously via the web

  57. I did not find the PBS piece bad. Perhaps I am immune because of seeing all this stuff before on skeptic blogs. They had 15000 people petition PBS for putting on a non-scientist. To me it seems extreme, but its is also encouraging that people see when someone is BS’ing on a public platform and want to call them out on it.
    Meanwhile we await Watts’s study on Canadian and Alaskan stations to see if he can prove that the melting permafrost is also due to poor station siting.

    • “They had 15000 people petition PBS for putting on a non-scientist”

      Gotta link or something?


      • I guess we’re no longer worried about polar bears. Now it’s permafrost.

      • It was in the main post, “Forecast the Facts” link.

      • Jim D, the link just says “thousands” of “Forecast the Facts” members claim, but no further details. I’d like some, if you know where to find it.


      • I just went with the number in the above post before the link.

      • It’s interesting that the number came to exactly 15,000 people. ;)

        Must be true.


      • The 15K figure shows desperation in trying to paint a situation of extreme circumstances — only, the writer is such a dunce he does not realize that he would be more effective connoting the supposed gravity of it all by saying–e.g., more than nine thousand

      • Hmmm. Maybe 15,000 is more than 100% of viewers. :-)

      • Why pick at nits.

        Whatever the number of complaint letters PBS received, I’m willing to take at face value they far outnumbered those supporting the piece.

        All one has to do is recall the backlash NPR’s piece on the Stanford organic food study received and how fast they backpedelled on their report to recognize what is going on. Contrary to the popular view of some, public radio and tv gets the majority of funding from their listener/viewers, not the government. They can’t afford to piss off a significant segment of those supporters. The people writing in are also the most likely to send in that annual check.

      • Is that your job then? To denigrate Watts.

        You can’t even do that right. go over there and spend some time understanding what is going on, then try your snide little prickles. You are clueless.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Wonder if Watts et al. will be still talking about station siting data when we get our first ice free summer Arctic ocean in a few years?

      • If there is a problem with station siting data it won’t go away just because of what the Arctic does – or doesn’t – do.

        And having seen some of the photos of station positioning, it is pretty clear that there has not been any effective attempt to ensure consistent measurement standards for many years.

        And if you start with ‘bad’ data, no amount of post hoc rationalisation or ‘adjustment’ or tweaking will ever turn it into ‘good’ data.

        You just have ‘adjusted bad’ data.

      • “when we get our first ice free summer Arctic ocean in a few years”

        Hip! Hip! Hooray! The Inuits will be very happy to have warmer weather in the longer summers. Less depress and less suicidal events.

      • Yeah, why don’t they all just move to Miami??

      • They would love to move to Miami but the US will not grant Immigration Visa to their poor neighbours.

      • What will it prove, things are getting warmer and man is the cause? How would you convince us of your opinion?

  58. Judith,

    My respect for your venue has risen from an already high level because you are shining a spotlight on the PBS Ombudsman story. Thank you for addressing it in a timely manner.

    I think your posting is necessary to stimulate important discussion, because I am getting the uneasy impression that there is, in the climate science related blogosphere/ media, an increase recently in intellectual violence directed at those reasonably critical of the significance of AGW research.

    My impression is the locus of sources of the increase in intellectual violence appears to approximately be the venues of John Cook; it may just be a coincidence.

    I am quite concerned that continued growth of intellectual violence will incite some physical harm on critics of AGW research.

    My uneasiness is emotively expressed in these lines by J.R.R. Tolkien:

    “. . . for the world is changing: I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth, and I smell it in the air . . .”


  59. An editorial comment:

    JC: On a program discussing climate science, is Watts the appropriate spokesperson? I would say not.

    This question and answer are easily taken out of context as I have just done. While your next sentence restors the context:

    However, on a program discussing the public debate over climate science, Watts should be front and center.

    Anyone who want to distort your meaning can simply copy the first two sentences and not be lying.

    I suggest an edit that seems more in line with your context: is Watts an appropriate spokesperson? I would say there are others who I would prefer ahead of him to discuss the science.

  60. Just as global warming is not the problem but the symptom of a problem so too is PBS. Does anyone seriously believe we as a society can change Leftist ideology from the inside? Using government money to fund global warming alarmism is like donating tax dollars to the Catholic church and funding PBS is like giving money to Castro and Chavez.

  61. David Springer

    Watts knows as much as anyone about so-called climate change and a lot more than the vast majority.

    That said if it’s a credential pissing match they want Richard Lindzen should have been on the program.

  62. What we are learning this week from the news is that you can really tick people off if you make light of their religions, AGW Alarmism is no different.

  63. Judith, Were you given any explanation for the way that they botched your position? Did they offer an apology?

  64. You can’t have an articulate, reasonable person present a view skeptical of the CAGW dogma. The whole point of having a sycophantic media like the PBSNBCABCCBSNYTimesWashingtonPostTimeNewsweekClimateProgressHuffingtonPost media is to filter out all the heresy.

    That is why Anthony Watts must be shunned. His site is a conduit to ideas good little progressives don’t want to think about. If they want to know what skeptics think, they can just go to SkepticalScience. That way everything that might be a risk to their inner cognitive dissonance is filtered out.

    You don’t have to ever check out WUWT, listen to conservative talk radio, or watch the (increasingly fewer) conservative commentators at Fox News. By relying on the filtered media, you can rest safely in your cocoon of belief that all those who disagree with you are stupid, or evil, or probably both.

    The intellectually sterile followers of PBS, upon hearing from a clear spoken, well informed speaker like Anthony Watts, articulate views skeptical of the progressive consensus, must have felt like guests at Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death, when the stranger in the red costume entered the room. Progressivism cannot survive exposure to the real world. It can flourish only in the carefully insulated minds of progressives, and their computer models and massaged statistics.

    But it’s OK. It’s over now. Anthony is gone. You can all go back to dancing the progressive lemming dance…for about 45 more days.

    • And yet skepticalscience does represent the rubbish I hear climate skeptics pushing. Don’t deny it, climate skeptics really do make the arguments in the list of common climate myths that skepticalscience has published.

      • Brilliant analysis. So I will start a site that does nothing but debunk drowned polar bears, disappearing Himalayan glaciers, fake hockey sticks, the end of winters in England, and that will prove that CAGW supporters are liars and frauds.

        (Notice that I didn’t say “all” CAGW supporters, but just left the implication ala lolwot.)

        The obvious problem is that the straw men SS spends so much time deconstructing are not the actual arguments most skeptics make. But then, those who rely on filtered media wouldn’t know that. So I can understand your ignorance.

      • David Springer

        Ya beat me to it.


      • lolowot,

        And yet SkepticalScience does represent the rubbish I hear climate skeptics pushing.

        You make comments like this, but neither you nor any of the other commenters who share your CAGW Alarmist views have been prepared to debate the substance of the comments I and other serious skeptic contributors have made on the “Skeptics: make your best case – Part II” and many previous threads.

        Even Professor Richard Tol agreed carbon pricing cannot work in the real world, yet the comment was ignored by the CAGW alarmists.

        I posted comments showing clearly the costs and benefits of carbon pricing policies, but no CAGW alarmists were willing to debate them seriously. They have not been refuted so I believe they have been tested by the community here and stand.

        I’ve posted a comment here: http://judithcurry.com/2012/09/18/skeptics-make-your-best-case-part-ii/#comment-242651 which includes this:

        Uncertainty about the problem is a given; uncertainty about the chosen solution is inexcusable. This is to say, we should be confident that our solutions are going to be effective, and the more expensive the solution the more confident we should be.

        It was ignored by the CAGW Alarmists.

        Why are the CAGW Alarmists avoiding debating the substantial points put up by the skeptics?

        My perception is that they cannot be refuted, so the CAGW Alarmists prefer to avoid debating these comments and/or they decide it is tactically better to make dismissive, diversionary or silly one line responses.

        This reinforces that the CAGW Alarmists do not have a good case (for CAGW or for high cost mitigation policies).

      • I am not interested in the policy side of things, more the disinformation skeptics spread on the science side of things.

        If skeptics were just questioning policy why do they devote so much time to obfuscating arctic sea ice records?

      • If skeptics were just questioning policy why do they devote so much time to obfuscating arctic sea ice records?

        They don’t. The question is, why does lolwot feel the need to make up this lie ?

      • @lolwot

        For the sake of the record I do not believe that I have ever shown the slightest interest in arctic (or antarctic) sea ice records. For me its like watching a football game between two teams I don’t care about…mildly entertaining but not engaging at all. I cannot understand what all the fuss is about, and – if I were ever to meet a polie close up – I don’t think I;d find them very cute and cuddly.

        But your remark shows that you are still falling into the trap I have often warned you about. You cannot describe sceptics by simply assuming that they are the ‘anti-particle’ of alarmists. Alarmists have but one narrative as handed down by the gods of real climate, sceptical science and joe romm. But sceptics are sceptical for all sorts of reasons.

      • “They don’t.”


        Oh they do. This summer I saw skeptics try everything to obfuscate the arctic sea ice record, from blaming satellites inability to read meltponds, scrambling to find records that disagreed and hold those up as “better”, to blaming it on one arctic storm, to citing Antarctica.

        And this is after years of effort since 2007 to obfuscate the fact arctic sea ice is in decline by claiming it’s recovering. I have no doubt we’ll see as we head into winter skeptic blogs claiming the ice is recovering and obfuscating the longterm decline.

      • Lolwot,

        I am not interested in the policy side of things, more the disinformation skeptics spread on the science side of things.

        If skeptics were just questioning policy why do they devote so much time to obfuscating arctic sea ice records?

        Why are you not interested in policy? What is the point of all the climate science it if is not for the purpose of influencing policy. Most CAGW advocates want to impose irrational policies on us – high cost, more controls, world government etc. All on the basis of a fraud. By saying you are not interested in the policy but you are interested in the misinformation campaign (CAGW Alarmists too), suggests you are mor interested in pushing an ideology than in trying to find pragmatic solutions.

        You ask “If skeptics were just questioning policy why do they devote so much time to obfuscating arctic sea ice records?”

        Well similar questions apply to CAGW Alarmists:

        1. why do they devote so much time to temperature and not to the Impacts/consequences and to the impacts consequences of the irrational policies they advocate?

        2. Why do they spend so much time obfuscating about artice and not mention the antarctic

        3. Why do they spend so much time obfuscating about the impacts and consequences of the irrational policies they advocate.

        4. Why do CAGW Alarmists hod IPCC AR4 up as their bible and ignore that it is:

        • Politicised

        • Biased

        • Alarmists

        • Scaremongering

        • ‘End justifies the means’

        • Not objective

        • Overly influenced by Green NGOs and extremists

        • ‘Policy driven science’

        • The science is not being done properly – vast majority of funding is for new research and negligible funding for checking, and trying to replicate previous results. And vast majority of funding is for those who support the ‘consensus’ (CAGW Alarmists) not sceptics.

        • Lack of transparency

        • Data and methodologies not made available

        You get the picture. The standard and precedent for the obfuscation on climate science has been set buy the Climate Scientists themselves. They wanted themselves to be considered as honest. They have not been. The public trust is gone. So don’t blame the skeptics for doing what the proper science would have don itself, but has not been .

        If you are not interested in the outcomes of the science – i.e. – the policy outcomes, then nothing you say is of much relevance. IMO, it is simply ‘pushing a barrow’ – your ideology.

      • @ Lolwot: I would disagree about the “policy side of things” That’s central to the argument. It’s no co-incidence that those who find the policy implications of an acceptance of the mainstream scientific position difficult to reconcile with their political philosophy are the ones who also attack that position the hardest.

        @ Peter Lang: You ask why “CAGW alarmists” are unwilling to debate the economics of climate mitigation. The answer is that we aren’t, but its pointless having that discussion with someone who starts off by saying that climate change isn’t happening, or that climate change is natural, or that if it is happening and it isn’t natural then it must be a good thing. The next argument, which you never tire of telling us, is that even if it isn’t such a good thing after all, then we can’t afford to anything about it and BTW all this CAGW nonsense is part of a Left wing conspiracy anyway.

        Well, excuse me if we are somewhat sceptical of your motivations, Pete. We do have just a few concerns that your advice isn’t quite as impartial as it might be.

  65. No one can be an expert of all the academic disciplines required to fully understand the planets climate. The last time I looked there were over a hundred. Even if one was the most brilliant person the world has ever known, he/she could only be an expert in four. This is the root of the problem. It is just extreamly complex. To me the very idea that computers can model the climate system accurately over decades is really laughable. I have met many warmists who think we can control the climate NOW. Very strange.

    If it had not been for the net the warmists would have won. But no they have lost, but not because of vast amounts of money from big oil/coal. (Now that I call a conspiracy theory) But simply that the climate has failed so far to live up to the model predictions.

    • The issue isn’t modelling the climate accurately over decades. The models don’t need to be accurate (as in 100% perfect) in order to provide evidence that there will be big a large change in climate from human emissions.

      • What are the models modelling?

        An imaginary world which gets none of the great heat we in the real world feel from the Sun, none of the Sun’s thermal energy transferred by radiation reaches them because there’s some kind of invisible glass barrier stopping it from entering the atmosphere and where instead Light from the Sun, not a thermal energy, heats up land and ocean – both impossible physics in the real world but modelled in their fictional world as “shortwave in longwave out”.

        Where their visible light can do impossible things like heat water when in the real world water is a transparent medium for visible light. Where their visible light can move whole molecules into kinetic energy, heat, when in the real world visible works on the much much tinier electronic transition level; as for example in the real world the electrons of the molecules of nitrogen and oxygen absorb visible light and spit it back out again, called reflection/scattering, which is how we get our blue sky.

        Where their carbon dioxide supermolecule wearing its knickers on the outside of its pants defies real world gravity, but they’ve solved that, their empty ideal gas space in a container has no gravity, nor has their modelling rain because absent from their Carbon Life Cycle, both to create an imaginary world where their carbon dioxide can accumulate in the atmosphere, and, where their carbon dioxide traps heat defying its real world character which has a heat capacity less than one. Not that they’ve ever demonstrated that their version is physically possible, how can they?

        Where they’ve missed out the Water Cycle altogether, because water cools the Earth, and they want to pretend that it warms it in their “greenhouse gases warm the Earth 33°C”. Not that they’ve ever provided any real world science to show how their greenhouse gases do this.

        Where they have no convection because they don’t have a heavy fluid gas ocean for an atmosphere, but empty space with non-existant hard dots of massless ideal gas molecules zipping around at great speed under their own molecular momentum bouncing off each other – they have no weight, no attraction, no volume, not subject to gravity. Their models are of an atmosphere in an imaginary glass container on an imaginary bench in an imaginary lab..

        So all they can do is skweem and skweem and skween that their ‘science’ is proved, but they can never fetch it..

        An idiotic fantasy world fisics is their garbage in – they can only get garbage out.

      • Well said Myrrh. I have been astonished for some time that the whole edifice of CO2 driven global warming is based on a physical nonsense. The fact is that visible light warms the oceans and infra red warms the land. The warm land radiates and warms the air which rises and cools. The infra red on the ocean, whether from the sun or re-radiated by the green house gases, simply stimulates evaporation thus cooling the oceans by taking heat up into the atmosphere using water vapor.

        The water cycle is by far the biggest driver of climate and it is driven by the sun.

      • We have another live one with Keith AB.

        Watch as he is perfectly able to present his theory as a scientific-sounding rhetorical word salad, but ask him to create a toy mathematical model to demonstrate this effect, we will hear nothing but crickets.

        A real scientist would take this up as a challenge. A fake skeptic runs in the corner and hides.

      • Webby does not understand science and has no clue of radiation and energy. Its too difficult for him to understand physical properties of CO2 and H2O.

      • Thank you Keith AB, but it is really is in all their basic fisics, in the real world visible light from the Sun can’t heat water because water is a transparent medium for visible light, it can’t absorb it, it tries and slows it down somewhat, but has to pass it on, called transmitted.

        It takes bringing together the range of real world science basics from different disciplines to see what they’ve done here. All the arguments about ‘backradiation’ and the 2nd Law have missed seeing that they’ve excluded the actual beam thermal energy from the Sun…

        ..that’s the real missing heat in Trenberth’s AGW comic cartoon energy budget.

        I’ve put up a science challenge re visible light here:

      • Myrrrrrhhhhh is one of my favorite climate clowns http://tinyurl.com/ClimateClowns
        He sounds so scientifically medieval, the court jester of the clowns.

      • The clowns all inhabit the comic cartoon AGWScienceFiciton world – but you can’t hear this because there’s no sound in your empty space ideal gas through the looking glass with Al atmosphere.

        And you don’t know what I’m talking about, so you can’t see the joke.

        How does carbon dioxide accumulate for hundreds and thousands of years in the atmosphere defying gravity? Does it tie a few nitrogen and oxygen molecules together for a balloon?

      • Webby likes to be a climate jester.

      • myrrh,
        Too difficult for webby to understand science. Give him a break.

      • “SamNC | September 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm |

        Too difficult for webby to understand science. Give him a break.”

        Sam is on the list as the most inarticulate skeptic I don’t think even he knows what he is saying.

      • Webby is a climate jester. Jesters do not need to understand science.

    • jb,
      There is no way that climate modeling can be good enough to present the real world. Climate modeling is GIGO so far. Calling for actions based on the GIGO is really beyond stoopid.

  66. PBS has a plethora of presenters who are committed left wingers. They also share another common trait, ignorance about all things scientific. None of them have the intellectual capacity to comprehend what Watts and other skeptical scientists offer.

    The best remedy for PBS and NPR is to end all federal funding and make them compete with other news sources for market share and financial support.

  67. Muller on Watts
    by Andrew W. Montford

    [Dr.] Richard Muller is interviewed in the current issue of Physics World (H/T Jonathan Jones). The article is not online as far as I can tell, but there are some interesting comments that I will reproduce here.

    lf Watts hadn’t done his work, we would not have reliable data today. The fact that he did that means he’s a hero; he deserves some sort of international prize.

    • Diogenes: “lf Watts hadn’t done his work, we would not have reliable data today. The fact that he did that means he’s a hero; he deserves some sort of international prize.”

      JF: Well said. How about a Nobel peace prize? Now would that not throw a cat among the pigeons. Never happen of course. After all Gore and Arafat got one, sorry they shared one. I can think of many realists who could share that prize with Mr Watts.

  68. “On a program discussing climate science, is Watts the appropriate spokesperson? I would say not.”.

    I agree with Dr. Curry in this. IMO Anthony is “merely” an excellent choice (and did a wonderful job); the perfect choice would have been Vahrenholt and/or Luning, who switched views in the opposite direction of Muller’s alleged flip. I’d love to see one or both of them debate Muller on PBS!

    (cross-posted at WUWT)

  69. The outrage directed at PBS over this is nothing more than a contemporary version of bookburning and an attempt to end any debate except on terms favored by fanatically green AGW believers. It’s the Church of AGW attempting to cleanse the world of sacrilege and sinners. It should be repugnant to all Americans. What next? Richard LIndzen burned at the stake? Or Steve McIntyre?

    That the ombudsman would agree with those who want to eliminate Anthony Watts from the debate, was predictable, given that much of the funding for PBS comes from liberal/leftist sources.

  70. It is an outrage that a ‘non believer’ was given a platform to cast doubt on the principles held sacred by the faithful.
    The program went to wild extremes, casting doubt even on the blessed Greenhouse Theory – (peace be upon it).
    Mass demonstrations around the world will surely follow.
    The evil PBS will have to accept the consequences of their reckless actions.

  71. lurker passing through, laughing

    PBS Ombudsman makes another good point in the very long list of good points in support of defunding PBS, CPB and the other state funded media.

  72. Does anyone seriously believe a PBS Ombudsman is there to bring about accountability? Anyone who believes that does not understand that giving a Nobel to Al Gore should be considered a mark of the devil not an award. The current society is not your father’s Western civilization.

  73. I am rather incredulous at the reaction to Anthony Watts appearance on this attempt at faux-balance (shades of BBC but worse) and suspect that a significant proportion of the ad-hom write-ins were co-ordinated astroturfing. Judith’s summary is most reassuring, although I consider a dedicated meteorologist of such obvious investigative credentials has equal or greater credentials as a scientific spokesperson as any other scientist to comment on the science itself, not just the public debate of climate science.

  74. “That said, Richard Muller has become an important figure in the public debate on climate change, I just wish the story surrounding Muller was better presented (e.g. such as this interview).”

    Ok Dr. C. Me too. That Muller not only doesn’t seem interested in correcting the record, but in fact is perpetuating this myth of being a converted skeptic, presumably for his own gain, says much about his character.

    • Poker guy, I think you may have the rng end of the stick wrt muller. It may seem hard to see from where you are but a lot of people accepting the orthodoxy think skeptics are merely skeptical that there has been any global warming at all. One of my main observations is that the moderate skeptic view point is simply not understood or else it is actively misrepresented. I think muller may have considered himself skeptical of global warming until the BEST study. I suspect he has come to the debate from the ‘outside’ as it were, without fully understanding what the skeptical objections were.

      On the other hand maybe you are right.

    • pokerguy

      Is Richard Muller the erstwhile CAGW skeptic, that studied the science and “saw the light” to become a supporter of the CAGW premise (with much media ballyhoo)?

      Or is he an opportunist, who saw this “conversion” as a chance for his career (or, even, to help his daughter)?

      Which raises the question: was the whole former “skeptic” role real, or was it a ruse to set up the “conversion” story?

      Will the REAL Richard Muller please stand up?

      These questions will probably never be answered to everyone’s satisfaction, so let’s forget about it and take him at face value.

      After all, folks, he’s just one human being (e pluribus unum, as they say…)


  75. “theduke” wrote “The outrage directed at PBS over this is nothing more than a contemporary version of bookburning..”

    Couldn’t agree more. The next thing, now that they’ve tried pathologizing
    skepticism, will bean attempt to criminalize it. Of course the presumption in our democratic country is that the climate debate will be resolved peacefully. I think this is far from guaranteed.

  76. Anthony does science. You do not have to be an accredited academic to do science.

    But it’s obviously ok for the alarmists to have a go at him as a non-expert. After all, they have their own experts, who have been mobilized by no less than Ban-ki Moon and Rajendra Pachauri during Oscar week this year.

    The UN climate effort, managed by the same office, has broader ambitions. “You have power and influence to send to millions and billions of people around world,” Ban told his Los Angeles audience. “To make planet Earth environmentally sustainable is a political and moral imperative.”

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Thom Yorke, Will.i.am, Cate Blanchett, etc, etc. Congrats on all your prolonged TV appearences showing your advanced knowledge of all things climate. Listen and learn, people, listen and learn!

  77. Anthony Watts isn’t a scientist in the same way that Benjamin Franklin wasn’t a scientist. When he found that the paint on Stevenson screens had been changed to be out of spec, Mr Watts didn’t apply a correction from a model of the different emissivity, he put up some screens and painted them with different finishes to see what happened. When he became concerned that siting might be a problem, he set up a huge volunteer force to _go and look_.

    When Steve McIntyre was told that tree rings needed heavy equipment and lots of money to update he went out and did it between Starbucks coffees.

    Compare and contrast with the reaction of real scientists when faced with the WWII blip, or the lack of a tropospheric hotspot, or a decline in tree ring widths when they should have been increasing according to the theory. Real scientists smoothed the blip away, real scientists inferred the hotspot by measuring high level winds and playing with numbers, real scientists hid the decline rather than amend the theory. And they smeared the temperature signals into gumbo to 1200 km and declared that the poor siting didn’t matter.

    Tell me, Dr Curry, which sort of scientist do you trust? The real ones or the really real ones?


    • Julian

      I dont know if you saw my reply to your comment a couple of days ago where you were bemoaning the fact that no one appears to be investigating the interesting matter of oil coverage in the arctic that you recently raised.

      Cambridge Uni does not reconvene for another week so this might be a good time to contact Peter Wadham. Alternatively Cambridge University runs an open forum wherebyscience questions are answered by Scientists. Just google ‘Cambridge Naked Scientists.’

      I would suggest either of these would be a good place to start, it may well be that there is already research being conducted


      • Thanks. I’m sure the good scientists of the other university (the first member of my family I’ve traced to a university went to the real one in the early 1600s, but not me, straight into the Forces and as such just a pull-back oh look it goes up gorblimey pilot) have better things to do than deal with the half-baked musings of the public. Had someone managed to measure the aerosols over the Gulf spill and found the drop in numbers I suggest then it would be worth trying, but not until by chance an observsation confirms them.


      • Julian

        I’ve seen them answer far more half baked musings than yours. You obviously need to be succinct, polite and logical but what you surmise is an interesting matter that someone somewhere must have an answer to. Its worth a try


    • Julian,

      Your argument that climate scientists don’t do experiments or make observations is wrong. I’ve paraphrased your argument but that’s essentially what it amounts to.

      Cryosat2 and Argo deployment are examples of experiments/observations.

      But sometimes such things are not available and so scientists have to work with what they’ve got and apply theory to the gaps. That’s real science. For example there is no convenient way to simply re-measure the expected hotspot without a timemachine. So using a proxy is completely valid approach.

      • lolwot, you have paraphrased without understanding, Let me give you a classic example, YAD061, the tree with a six sigma signal. Would A Watts just have accepted an outlier as a godsend and used it in as many papers as possible? I doubt it. McIntyre certainly wouldn’t, he would have looked at it and tried to find out what was going on. Both would have tried to use other samples, not fallen upon the skewed data with glad cries because it confirmed their bias. But the latter is the response we see with the real scientists.

        Hot spot: there are measurements of the volume where the hotspot should be. It is not, I think, a one-off phenomenon, some passing signal, it is an inherent part of the greenhouse warming*, so no time machine is needed. Now, it’s either there or it isn’t. How do you prove it is there? A real scientist finds a proxy and uses stats to prove that although it can’t be measured by sondes it is there really really, honest guv, would I lie to you. Scientists of SM and AW’s type, the non-real scientists, scratch their heads and send up more balloons. And if they find that they can’t use the data without inventing a time machine, or a proxy which has error bars so wide they encompass the orbit of Saturn,, they _don’t use the data_.

        As for the correction of the WWII blip, words fail me — but not SM who actually looked up the records to find out if the assumptions behind the bucket correction were right. Not, as it turned out, nul points for real science.

        But no doubt you know best. You think that the way to deal with errant data is to correct it, not redo it. You, after all, are a real scientist. They should have had you on PBS with Dr Curry.

        *perhaps you know better. Please correct me if the hotspot is a signal that shows briefly and then blends back into the .. err… backround. I’d be very interested in the science behind that.

      • “Let me give you a classic example, YAD061, the tree with a six sigma signal. Would A Watts just have accepted an outlier as a godsend and used it in as many papers as possible?”

        We have to of course juxposition this against cases where scientists have been accused of tampering with data when they remove outliers. Eg outlier removal from raw temperature data (they’ve adjusted the raw data!) or, to quote Tim Ball “the outrageously selective work of G.S. Callendar” for daring to remove outliers from measured CO2 records.

        Ultimately there are many levels of checks. Even if Briffa completely screwed up his reconstruction he isn’t the only one making reconstructions so our understanding of neither rely on a single tree or on Briffas work.

        Over time you end up with a converging picture like this:

        The expected hotspot is not some spot of hot air. It’s an expected warming trend over many decades. Therefore floating more balloons up there isn’t going to help, not unless you have a time machine by which you can float balloons up in the past 30 years too in order to get the trend. The tropical radiosonde record aint so great.

        It’s funny because skeptics spend a lot of effort attacking the global surface record. But it’s skeptics that are happy to assert the tropical radiosonde data is good enough to conclude no hotspot exists.

      • Iolwot

        What is the source of your comparitive graph-Mann, Loehle etc?


    • David Springer

      Julian Flood | September 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply

      “When Steve McIntyre was told that tree rings needed heavy equipment and lots of money to update he went out and did it between Starbucks coffees.”

      Mann should have chopped more trees instead of hugging them @ 1 minute 26 seconds:

  78. Can someone define “scientist” for me. “Academic” certainly isn’t in the definition.

  79. Those 15,000 signatures on that petition remind me of some recent history where the consensus, scientific and common, held that blacks and women were mentally and morally inferior to whites and men, respectively; so, therefore, the blacks and females should be relegated to second class citizenship status.

    If one believed otherwise, he/she was just a “nigger lover” and a wimp.

  80. Consensus is the inverse of science.

    • It is the substitute of hypothesis for reality.

      So long as AGW believers refuse to accept that the null hypothesis of global warming has never been rejected (that all climate change is natural), in that cotext, a consensus only means a majority do not believe in scientific method and simply reject science altogether — sort of like simply changing the Constitution to say whatever a majority wants it to say.

  81. Couldn’t we all have forecasted what the PBS viewers’ response to this type of show would be months in advance to its airing. The Liberal and AGW proponents mentality is so predictable that it is beyond boring.

  82. WUWT is more a conspiracy theory blog than a science blog.

    Although I wish I could come up with a less laden analogy, I feel calling WUWT a science blog is much like calling a 9/11 Truthers blog an Engineering blog. Just because they have posts about structural engineering and guest posters who are engineers and talk complex stuff about melting metal at high temperatures, that isn’t sufficient to make it an educational resource on Engineering. Sure someone with no clue about engineering would probably learn some stuff about engineering, but far more importantly they’d go away with some serious misinformation on an important topic too.

    An actual Engineering blog would be far less sensationalist and tabloid like.

    What you get on WUWT, why it’s so popular, is Alex Jones style entertainment, not science. The audience of WUWT I see from the comments are very much into inventing/believing their own exciting version of science and believing the “mainstream” science is a lie only believed by scientists because of a conspiracy.

    It should be taken with a pinch of salt, as entertainment value only, much like no-one takes Steven Goddards blog very seriously (I hope!). It certainly shouldn’t be used as balance against actual science.

    • It’s really simple: schoolteachers have taken on airs. That has brought them under scrutiny and we see a lack of integrity, a lack of respect for truth and honesty and utter contempt for the hand that feeds.

  83. I stopped watching and donating to PBS in 2004. I tuned in to watch a much advertised PBS commentary comparing George Bush and John Kerry. When I realized it was just a big political advertisement for Kerry and an attack on Bush, I emailed OPB and told them to cancel my membership. CAGW is a equal political argument as much as a scientific argument and obviously more than one viewpoint is uncomfortable and to be censored if possible. Whenever someone argues that people without climate academic degrees are not qualified for this discussion, I just comment that if we had waited until Bill Gates and Steve Jobs got degrees in computer science, we would not be having this discussion now.

  84. Here are a few climate skeptic commenters in this very thread displaying the same underlying political ideology:

    Bill: “Why is it that leftists and other statists…”

    theduke: “much of the funding for PBS comes from liberal/leftist sources”
    W F Lenihan: “PBS has a plethora of presenters who are committed left wingers”

    Wagathon: “global warming is nothing more than a tool that the Left is using to subvert Americanism”

    jim2: “PBS and NPR should be deprived of government funds. They are just a propaganda wing for the left.”

    dennis adams: “The Liberal and AGW proponents mentality is so predictable that it is beyond boring”

    lurker passing through, laughing (aka Hunter): “PBS Ombudsman makes another good point in the very long list of good points in support of defunding PBS, CPB and the other state funded media.”

    GaryM: “Is it true that when a CAGW scientists dies, he is greeted in heaven by 72 air-headed progressive co-eds?”

    It’s this kind of anti-state ideology that I believe underlies climate science skepticism, much like a religious ideology underlies evolution science skepticism. Both have their bogeymen: “leftists” for the climate skeptic and “atheists” for the evolution skeptic, and the reason learned men accept the theory they do not is inevitably explained as a conspiracy by those bogeymen as well as scientific corruption for grant funding.

    The political/religious ideology comes first and determines their stance on the science before they’ve even looked at it. Only then do they fish for scientific justification for that stance, any old pap will do. Hence we get a whole slew of very odd, bizarrely incorrect and wildly inconsistent climate skeptic and evolution skeptic arguments against the science.

    It all fits.

    • We know what global warming is all about. Nominally, it’s the sun stupid. Everything else is dogma.

    • Funny lolwot, in a very small way you are correct. You would be correct in a big way if you understood that one could say the same thing about the anti-capitalist/eco-religious idiology that exists within the comments on alarmist blogs like RC and SkS. One could even go through and make a list just like you did here.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      No – I can’t find anything wrong with those statements. Even the co-ed one was merely a tongue in cheek allusion he religious overtones of AGW groupthink space cadets. As I say – I think nearly everyone has the science wrong. You can pretty much tell – dogmatic assertions lacking qualifiers are almost certainly wrong – bing.

      • No – I can’t find anything wrong with those statements.

        Man. That’s a shocker!

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Daear Collectivism is salvation – we have discussed the lack of moral equivalence beteen us. You are a dog faced, neosocialist, green/left, colectivist, anti-democratic scumbag. I am a defender of my enlightenment heritage and freedoms. I don’t think any rapprochment is possible. Let’s just meet up on Main St at noon packin’ heat.

      • That’s great, Chief. I see you’re still maintaining your laser-like focus on the important work you do posting comment after comment saying the same things over and over at this blog.

        BTW, I may have missed some of those vitally important posts – do you still talk about why you have to wipe off your laptop?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I have to take some time off from cogitation on chaos, climate and tango poetry – I do it by baiting collectivist offal like you. Do you think really that you can accuse me of passive/aggressive – paling in comparison with your vapid characterisations. You drop in with unwelcome and irrelevant one line snark and expect to leave it there? I go well over the top in what is obviously self parody and a joke about moral equivalence and you reply with a typically nasty little jibe. I would suggest you lighten up – but I don’t think you are capable of it. You are one of a number of tediously unimaginative posters who imagine that their words drip with – if not the wisdom of the ages or the poetry of Bill Shakespeare – then at least a solemn and pompous diatribe. Boring.

      • David Springer


        Will $16 buy enough courage for you to comment using your full name?

    • Or is this just more fishy AGW science?


      Don’t smell the fish it is still dreaming wot?

      • Ahoy, Cap’n.

        Got a coupla links for you:


      • Joshua, if you continue to focus on the true meaning of life, Freedom of Bacon, you will transcend to a new level of intellectual awareness.

        BTW, “”Breaking with climate-change orthodoxy, he said NAO cycles were probably responsible for some of the strong global warming seen in the past three decades. “But how much? The jury is still out,” he told the conference. The NAO is now moving into a colder phase.

        Latif said NAO cycles also explained the recent recovery of the Sahel region of Africa from the droughts of the 1970s and 1980s. James Murphy, head of climate prediction at the Met Office, agreed and linked the NAO to Indian monsoons, Atlantic hurricanes and sea ice in the Arctic. “The oceans are key to decadal natural variability,” he said.”


        Coming soon to a blog discussion near you :)

      • Cap’n

        It is interesting that you mention Latif in a thread where there is much discussion about WUWT:


        That whole situation was one of the first that made me understand just how deep the tendency towards “skepticism” has undermined the climate debate.

        It’s a shame. As a skeptic, I burn my bacon when I see “skeptics” give skepticism a bad name.

      • I hadn’t seen that post Joshua, I have been lost in my non-linear crackpot theory closet :)

        Nothing like a technical sounding name for a climate phenomenon.

      • And BTW, Cap’n

        I love this quote that you provided:

        Breaking with climate-change orthodoxy, he said NAO cycles were probably responsible for some of the strong global warming seen in the past three decades. “But how much? The jury is still out,” he told the conference. The NAO is now moving into a colder phase.

        Now compare that this quote Latif gave after “skeptics” responded to what he said about “global cooling:

        “If my name was not Mojib Latif, my name would be global warming. So I really believe in Global Warming.

        I think that maybe you left your skepticism in the pocket of one of your other shirts?

      • joshua, I am in no way skeptical of global warming, i am skeptical of the idiots doing the more publicized climate science. There is a difference between being a “skeptic” and a smart ass :)

      • Cap’n

        I am skeptical of the idiots doing the more publicized climate science.

        Well, that was my point, wasn’t it? A selective skeptic is a “skeptic,” in my book.

      • “Cap’n

        I am skeptical of the idiots doing the more publicized climate science.

        Well, that was my point, wasn’t it? A selective skeptic is a “skeptic,” in my book.”

        So are getting to point of everyone being skeptical- or least lacking as much desire to preach the talking points.

      • g, “So are getting to point of everyone being skeptical- or least lacking as much desire to preach the talking points.” Never! Why let common sense get in the way of science :)

      • Watch the next few rounds for a clue to why the Consensus corner is in a panic about their champ and the cuts over his eyes. The power of the punch is still there, but the swings are now strawmakers, and he’s floating like an iron butterfly.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You don’t have the chops to be scientifically sceptical – or even to understand what it means. You are simply an AGW space cadet who has a belief system that includes global warming, you like others appropriate the objective voice of science as you believe it is and wish to translate that into a social agenda. It won’t work because spin it as you may – the fundamental finding that most recent warming was mostly anthropogenic is not correct. This is not say that climate catastrophe (in the sense of René Thom ) is not inevitable. Simply that you and your represent a different threat to progress and social stability.


        ’Decadal climate prediction is of socio‐economic importance and has a potentially important role to play in policy making. While seasonal prediction is an initial value and centennial climate projections are basically boundary value problems, decadal prediction is a joint initial/boundary value problem. Thus, both accurate projections of changes in radiative forcing and initialisation of the climate state, particularly the ocean, are required. Although the first promising steps towards decadal prediction have been made, much more work is required. Two problems deserve special attention. First, a sufficient understanding of the mechanisms of decadal‐to‐multidecadal variability is lacking. The atmospheric response to mid‐latitudinal SST anomalies, for instance, is still highly controversial and future research should treat this as a key topic. Second, model development is still an issue. One the one hand, state‐of-the‐art climate models suffer from large biases. On the other hand, they are incomplete and do not incorporate potentially important physics.

        A negative tendency of the predicted PDO phase in the coming decade will enhance the rising trend in surface air-temperature (SAT) over east Asia and over the KOE region, and suppress it along the west coasts of North and South America and over the equatorial Pacific. This suppression will contribute to a slowing down of the global-mean SAT rise. http://www.pnas.org/content/107/5/1833.full

        Using a new measure of coupling strength, this update shows that these climate modes have recently synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year 2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an
        increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature.

      • Chief Hydrologist


        Learning climate from the media is like learning sex from playboy. The Latiff quotes need to be put in context – and I have quoted from the latest study.


      • Poor Chief –

        You are simply an AGW space cadet who has a belief system that includes global warming, you like others appropriate the objective voice of science as you believe it is and wish to translate that into a social agenda.

        Try though I might to give you the tools of a skeptic, you continuously make the same basic errors.

        Time after time I have pointed out the fundamental flaws in your thinking, in painstaking detail. It has been my hope that you might learn, perhaps at least improve from a complete failure as a skeptic to a fledgling skeptic. But you just can’t get out of your own way.

        Chief – you show here that you actually have no idea what I believe, and thus, once again, you wind up making a stupid error. A skeptic waits for evidence to draw a conclusion. If the evidence isn’t forthcoming, he conducts an investigation. He explores possible counterarguments. He verifies the evidence he finds. He questions his own biases.

        You do none of the above. And as I’ve pointed out so many times in the past – it leads you down a path of confirmation bias, where not only do you make such obvious errors, you are blinded to even seeing how wrong you are. Even when I repeatedly point it out – in hopes that you might see my corrections as tools for you to adopt and use on your own.

        If you want to know what I believe, Chief, you need to: (1) stop drawing conclusions w/o basing them on evidence and, (2) ask questions to fill in the gaps in your knowledge.

        This is basic stuff, my brother. I’m sure that if you walk back from your overconfidence a bit, scale back your ego a notch or two, mix in a tad of introspection and self-examination, climb down a peg or two off your high horse, ask yourself about what might be your own biases, stuff like that, you can get the hang of it. I’m sure that it must be tough for someone who thinks himself so exalted – but give it a shot. You won’t keep making such basic errors. Perhaps you might also try letting loose with a tad less venom. Perhaps with less spittle flying, your perceptive abilities might improve?

        Either that, or turn in your skeptic ID card.

      • man, you guys really have made a hash of the word skepticism as it relates to a method, skeptical, as it relates to doubting certain propositions, and skeptic as it relates to a ‘position’ in the climate debate.

        For most part Josh is correct. Many ‘skeptics’ ( those who dont buy all or part of the consensus theory ) practice ‘skepticism’, a method, with respect to the claims of others. That method, employs various tactics or strategies to undermine the positive claims of the prevailing theory.

        If that is all they did, if question and doubt was the extent of their behavior they could maintain consistency. However, what you will find, and what Joshua notices quite aptly, is that some ‘skeptics’ fail to apply skeptical tools to their own pet theories. the are selectively skeptical.

        And Josh Im only given you points on this since its a point I raised years ago.

      • OK, let me get this straight. Muller’s no longer a skeptic and that’s good. But Muller should still be skeptical, so that’s bad.

        Whew, I don’t think I’m gonna get this skeptical thing figured out ’til I read some more Joshua.

      • Chief Hydrologist


        Scientific scepticism is of course about using primarily deductive arguments to evaluate a claim that lacks evidentiary gravitas. I take care to stay near the data. I am not sceptic – if you care to read belowyou will find that I am a climate catastrophist in the sense of Rene Thom. That is a trifle too subtle a distinction for Joshua.

        ‘In experimental philosophy, propositions gathered from phenomena by induction should be considered either exactly or very nearly true notwithstanding any contrary hypotheses, until yet other phenomena make such propositions either more exact or liable to exceptions. This rule should be followed so that arguments based on induction be not be nullified by hypotheses.’ Isaac Newton

        Joshua is a hopeless troll who substitutes voluminous drivel and personalised pop psychology for any meaningful content at all. He is a political actor of the worst kind pure and simple. Joshua belives that I should stick to the science and leave the politics to him. Joshua can insert it and spin.

        Is this your contribution – an argument from the particular to the universal on a shaky foundation? I’m not impressed at all.


      • David Springer

        And Mosher gets spanked. Again. You’d think he’d learn to avoid that.

    • climate skeptic commenters in this very thread displaying the same underlying political ideology:

      The very same thing can be said of the other side of the debate – that the reasoning for believing in CAGW is politically motivated. I’m afraid that I think you are right far too often…but not all the time.

      I am skeptical and definitely align myself in the left of politics. For the longest time, even after having found the science supporting AGW to be very weak, I thought it was a moment in which the world could be united toward a common purpose, and that it should play out regardless. I now believe that unless the common purpose is real, it would never happen. You can’t fake it.

      Personally, any comment that includes politically motivated reasoning, including many of yours, I simply ignore. I am only interested in the science and the truth, which I don’t believe has been established yet. The debate falls strongly along politically partisan lines in the US but it’s not so strong elsewhere. At some point, it might be worth examining the fact that some people have reasonable non-political science-based objections to CAGW, AGW, and the proposals to tackle it.

      • Agnostic

        At some point, it might be worth examining the fact that some people have reasonable non-political science-based objections to CAGW, AGW, and the proposals to tackle it.

        How do you make that determination? Are you aware of the overtly political orientation of the vast majority of “skeptics” who post here? Since you acknowledge that the correlation is not likely merely coincidental, then how do you determine for an individual whether the correlation might be causal or related to an in-common causation?

        Certainly, it is worth examining the possibility of what you mention. In fact, that is my specific point of interest in observing the debate. But what I see, for the most part, is a vast oversimplification of that issue and/or widespread outright denial of its relevance or at least widespread diminishment of the possibility of its relevance – and all of that: (1) not grounded in evidence and/or (2) in direct contradiction to the available evidence.

      • Unlike Agnostic, I was formerly a green leftie feminist. The scale of malfeasance in the CAGW camp lifted the veil from my eyes. I used to believe that us lefty types would never lie, behave dishonestly, plot against others. Climategate, Michael Mann fighting disclosure, Gleick? Cognitive dissonance is not something I entertain, how long can you continue to believe in “the cause” when the “facts” are only the ones you make up. When other equally credentialled scientists are dehumanised, and demonised. WUWT shows facts from original sources in the reference pages, no lies there. So you don’t like some of the commenters. Neither do I. But their comments aren’t “disappeared” like on Lewindowski’s or SkS. The blog isn’t massaged to show what “we” want to show. SkS is considered a reliable source of information by my local paper! Amazing – how long can this go on?

      • Agnostic,

        The very same thing can be said of the other side of the debate – that the reasoning for believing in CAGW is politically motivated.

        So what exactly are the political motivations?

  85. Pingback: A PBS Overreaction | Climate Science: Roger Pielke Sr.

  86. EternalOptimist

    judith has made it clear than Anthony W is not to comment on climate science.
    so should all future commentators wait to be disbarred, or should Judith provide a list of those who are allowed to comment ?

  87. Above, Jim Cripwell comments, “My instinct tells me that the proponents of CAGW are getting desperate.”

    Agree 100%. It is a comment that I made just two days ago on my blog ( http://meteorologicalmusings.blogspot.com/2012/09/climate-crimes.html ) and have made several other times. For people who claim to have the science on their side, they certainly don’t act like it.

    “Crime,” “denier,” “worse than a ‘crime against humanity, it is a crime against the planet’,” etc., etc., is not the language of scientific discourse. It is the language of advocates losing an argument.

    • I would say the clearest example of losing the argument is your acronym CAGW.

      Put it this way, 10 years ago climate deniers were denying GW. Yes that’s right, they were arguing the world hadn’t warmed since the start of the satellite record.

      Once they couldn’t deny that anymore they stuck a letter in front of it: AGW so they had something left to deny.

      Well the rest is obvious…I only wonder what the next letter prefixed to the acronym will be.

      • If you are directing the comment at me, you are mistaken about my views. I’ve always thought CO2 traps heat, there is no doubt. There is also little doubt temperatures are warmer than they were 30 years ago. AGW exists.

        However, we do not know the extent of human effects, not just w/r/t greenhouse gases, we don’t understand solar effects on the atmosphere, we don’t understand how land use changes affect climate (at least on the regional scale), we don’t understand whether increasing CO2 concentrations affect the atmospheric in a logarithmic manner (classic theory) or more linear (climate models), how clouds affect the radiation budget, etc., etc., etc.

        With all of these items not fully (or, in some cases, even well-) understood) and with climate models’ predictions running (so far) significantly on the warm side, there is little doubt that there is anything “catastrophic” in the foreseeable future. Thus, the “C.”

      • Thus, the “C.”

        You are attributing the “C” to others, making it a straw man argument.

        As you admit, the reasoning behind this is your belief that “there is little doubt that there is anything “catastrophic” in the foreseeable future.”

        But believing that does not magically make a “theory of CAGW” exist. Rather, you are expressing a hypothesis: “Global warming is basically not dangerous to human welfare.”

        It is the difficulty in supporting that extraordinary claim with extraordinary — or any — evidence that leads “skeptics” to seek refuge in the straw man of “CAGW.”

        But perhaps you are an exception: what is your evidence for your claim that there is nothing “catastrophic” in the foreseeable future?

        You should probably start by defining your use of the word “catastrophic,” then describe the possible catastrophic effects of global warming, and finally explain why you consider all of them unlikely to come to pass.

      • ” I’ve always thought CO2 traps heat, there is no doubt. ”

        You thought betrayed your science.

      • David Springer


        Perhaps you missed the last time I corrected you. CO2 restricts the flow of thermal radiation at certain charateristic frequencies as surely as sunglasses do for visible radiation. If you contest the former but not the latter you’re scientifically illiterate. If you contest both you’re an imbecile. Do you contest both?

      • The next letter will be C for Certain, because currently CAGW is only viewed as a possibility by the IPCC, but it is hard to argue against possibilities, so they have to make it sound like it is the level of certainty that they oppose. These letters beyond AGW are just part of the strawman. The AGW is where the science stops. The C depends on impacts of climate change and timeliness of responses and preparation.

      • lolwot

        Again, you’ve got it all wrong with your absurd claim that “climate deniers” introduced the concept of “catastrophic anthropogenic greenhouse warming”.

        WHO is telling the world (based on computer simulations) that human GHGs are almost certain to have been the cause for most of the global warming observed since ~1950?

        WHO is using these extremely uncertain conclusions to predict that the world will warm up to 6 degrees C by 2100, based on computer-estimated “climate sensitivities” and increases of human GHGs?

        WHO is telling us that this will have CATASTROPHIC results, with glaciers disappearing that now provide fresh water for millions, with global sea levels rising by 2 feet by 2100 causing entire island nations to disappear (and the hint that this could be much worse if “dynamical processes related to ice flow”, particularly in Greenland, take place), with agricultural yields in many African regions drastically reduced leading to food shortages, with increased intensity and occurrence of hurricanes, droughts, floods, heat waves and other extreme weather events?

        Answer: Why, that sounds like the IPCC!

        WHO is frightening lawmakers and the public with dire warnings of imminent irreversible climate “‘tipping points’, the concept that climate can reach a point where, without additional forcing, rapid changes proceed practically out of our control”?

        WHO is talking about sea level changes “within this century that can be measured in meters if we follow business-as-usual fossil fuel emissions”?

        WHO is warning us that “the dangerous level of CO2 is at most 450 ppm, and it is probably less” or with “extinction of species” resulting from human-caused global warming?

        And WHO has spread the alarming warning that “the stakes, for all life on the planet, surpass those of any previous crisis. The greatest danger is continued ignorance and denial, which could make tragic consequences unavoidable.”?

        Tell me, lolwot, did “climate deniers” make all this hyperbolic scare mongering stuff up?

        Or was it the “CAGW” movement, led by IPCC and a bunch of overenthusiastic climatologists that simply got carried away with their own importance and are trying to bamboozle the entire world with their warnings of catastrophic impacts resulting from AGW?

        I think you know the answer to that question.


      • Warnings of *potential* catastrophic impacts resulting from AGW are valid. The rate of CO2 rise in historical context and what is known about the direct effects of CO2 supports potential catastrophe from indirect impacts.

        But that isn’t CAGW. CAGW is the idea that catastrophe is *certain* and that’s why CAGW is a strawman, because no-one (well some will I am sure) is making that claim. The concept of CAGW seems to have been invented by climate skeptics to give them an easier target, although perhaps they just don’t realize the difference.

        Instead of arguing against CAGW, try arguing against the idea that AGW *could* lead to catastrophes. You won’t be able to. You’d need positive knowledge that the climate won’t react in a dangerous way to AGW, which is knowledge no-one has.

        JimD also points this out in the comment above.

        In fact all the examples you give in your comment seem to be scientists and such warning of what might happen.

        Take this quote for example: ““the stakes, for all life on the planet, surpass those of any previous crisis. The greatest danger is continued ignorance and denial, which could make tragic consequences unavoidable.””

        Hansen is talking about “stakes”, and “greatest danger” and note the word “could”. This isn’t CAGW. A CAGW statement would be:

        “There *will* be tragic consequences and most life on the planet will die.”

        That statement is easy to be skeptical of because how can the author know? But Hansen’s statement, how can you be skeptical of it. What positive statement does he make other than AGW could cause tragic consequences? If you want to be skeptical of that you need positive evidence that the impacts of AGW will be too small to matter. Ie the burden is on you.

      • Max,

        No Lolwot has it right. You deniers like the term CAGW. It’s your invention. Its the big strawman argument – you omit to mention that when the IPCC use the word Catastrophic they also say there is a low probability of such an occurrence – then you yourself say CAGW is unlikely to happen as if you’re in disagreement with the IPCC.

        If we must have a term, then HAGW (H for harmful) is close to the IPCCs meaning of a very likely outcome. (>90%)

        Its still worth taking the trouble to minimise the harm though. That’s the rationale for bring CO2 emissions under control.

      • Two more corkers from lolwat…

        CAGW is of course an accurate description of the establishment alarmist position, ie that a catastrophe is almost certainly upon us. It was not coined by the catastrophists themselves, for the simple reason that it is too honest a description, and hence doesn’t support the political advocacy that motivates it.

        And the burden of proof is not with skeptics to show is NOT a racing certaInty (and hence justifies even more socialism and taxes), but with the catastrophists to show that it IS.

      • Were going to:
        Drop the ‘C’
        Drop the ‘A’
        Drop the ‘G’
        Go with “W”, to stand for the weather today.
        Which way will the wind blow lolwot?

      • I think its our turn to add the next letter. How about H? For Harmful Anthropogenic Global Warming? HAGW

        Its not catastrophic as the the IPCC have used the term, but something that’s bad, and should be avoided.

      • The last 1.5C degrees of global warming have produced a vast net benefit, sustaining more total life and more diversity of life. So will the next 1.5C degrees of global warming, if we get it.

      • “HAGW” is not bad. (We have also in the past had DAGW (dangerous)).

        To be avoided – yes, if the benefits outweigh the costs. And if and when it becomes known man/CO2 is actually the culprit. Which we are still very far away from knowing,

      • I concur, BB, on these two very important points. I’d modify the construction of your conditional in this way: ‘yes, to be avoided if the benefits of avoidance outweigh the costs’ in order to make more clear your meaning.

        It is trivial to show that the benefits of the last 1.5C degrees of warming outweigh the costs, and by a ‘vast’ margin. It is not so trivial to project the same scenario into the future, but it is not so difficult, either. This scenario is what has been completely and mystifyingly ignored in a sort of blind madness.

        As Manacker has shown, there is not enough fossil fuel on earth to raise the temperature of the oceans more than a tiny fraction of a degree. Given the long slow Holocenic descent into the next ice age, it is almost absurd to worry about future warming, and worse than absurd, probably catastrophic, to not worry about future cooling.

      • University of Maryland has the motto “Fear the Turtle”

        What does your school use? “Fear the Future” ?

        24 years and we are still waiting for the first “bad” thing to show itself.

  88. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘Thinking is centered around slow changes to our climate and how they will affect humans and the habitability of our planet. Yet this thinking is flawed: It ignores the well-established fact that Earth’s climate has changed rapidly in the past and could change rapidly in the future. WHOI

    ‘In closing, results presented in our paper suggest that AMO teleconnections, as captured by our stadium-wave, have implications for decadal-scale climate-signal attribution and prediction. Potential mechanisms underlying the stadium-wave and related interdecadal variability are topics of active and controversial research, reliant upon technological leaps in data retrieval and computer modeling to advance them toward consensus.’ http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/guest-post-atlantic-multidecadal-oscillation-and-northern-hemisphere%E2%80%99s-climate-variability-by-marcia-glaze-wyatt-sergey-kravtsov-and-anastasios-a-tsonis/

    It seems a little improbable that climate can be understood from a PBS special. More an intellectual gladiatorial contest with entrenched and tribalistic supporters on both sides. Science advances but the debate is stuck in the 20th century because it has ceased to be a discussion in good faith on science and is a battle of values with each side looking to gain the high ground of science. Both sides are wrong without a doubt because there is a new kid on the block in terms of understanding the underlying physics of climate.

    Chaos theory is not a theory of climate. It is a theory of complex and dynamic systems. It says that complex systems, such as climate models, exhibit certain behaviours. Chief amongst these is sensitive dependence, dragon-kings (also called noisy bifurcation) and slowing down. If this behaviour is looked for and found in climate – as it has been quantitatively using network models with modern data for decadal climate shifts – then we can be sure that we are dealing with dynamical complexity.

    Thus we can look in the right place for answers but it tells us nothing at all about the processes in play. At this stage there are a few ideas about identifying dragon-kings and slowing down but nothing that has moved much beyond the conceptual and descriptive.

    Sensitive dependence happens when the value of control variables passes a critical threshold. The control variables are solar irradiation, orbital eccentricity or atmospheric composition. At some tipping point changes start propagating through the system with changes in cloud, snow, ice, biology, dust and ocean circulation. As this stage there are extreme fluctuations as the system components adjust and readjust to the rapidly changing state – this is when climate extremes happen such as the 1998 El Niño. It is followed by a period of damped oscillation as climate settles into the new state – called slowing down – until a new climate threshold is passed and climate shifts again.

    We can use terms such as phase space or strange attractors but they are simply terms for climate shifting from one more or less stable state to another. The different states have different characteristics – different temperatures, different rainfall patterns, more or less ice, changes in ecosystems, etc – and different climate averages which are not predictable beforehand. The shift may be benign or it may be utterly inimical to human societies.

    It will be interesting to see how the culture war plays out against a backdrop of a bifurcating climate.

    This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature. Swanson and Tsonis, 2009, Has the climate recently shifted?

    The potential for a lack of warming over the next decade or three is certainly there in the scientific literature. But I suspect the issue will quietly fizzle out as the potential for conservation farming to sequester 500 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide is appreciated – as it becomes the primary means of feeding the planet in the current green revolution – and as new energy technology emerges.

    Shall we be patiently anticipating (or dreading) the next climate shift? I know I anticipated the last shift in terms of rainfall – but it seems the stakes are higher than merely proving the theory of Australian rainfall regimes. I will anticipate the next shift with some trepidation.

    • Hmmm….rather excellent post Chief.

    • Top post CH. Underscores the absurdity of thinking we understand the climate and can predict what it will be like in 100 years. However, “trepidation” is an apt word – we really have no idea what the next climate shift will bring. Can we do anything about it? Well, definitely not mitigation – that is ruled out both by our ignorance of what it will entail and our inability to know what the consequences of any human action will be. Adaptation is an after the event strategy, but may be the most cost effective. Longer term, perhaps we should be thinking of how to prepare for the next glacial.

    • Professor Bob Ryan

      Very interesting Chief Hydrologist. In as far as I have pondered the arguments from a Catastrophe Theory point of view it would appear that the CAGW position is that with the state vector being global temperature, atmospheric water vapor being the control vector and the CO2 and possibly other long persistence but trace GHG’s being the splitting vector then sudden changes in state will occur. I must say I don’t see the underlying structural function that would create the bifurcation but I would appreciate your view on this.

      As for the PBS piece I thought it was well balanced although I can see why our host would be upset at the way her views were characterized. What strikes me about this broadcast and what followed is that the global warming debate does not polarize people, they are polarized already. They wear their views like a glove – because they fit.

      ps: before anyone comments that Catastrophe Theory is too simple, been superseded etc., don’t bother – I know that. I am interested in what others might regard as the appropriate vectors into the model.

  89. Chaos theory also highlights the importance of a a starting point expectations on the final outcome. The outcome denpends on “the length of your string.” For example, we now know that global temperatures have been in a falling trend over the last 4,000 years.

  90. The avalanche of “responses” generated by those who man the machines at the various branches of The Fear Factory™ was, unfortunately, somewhat predictable: Very irrational and very undemocratic. Their motto seems to be “freedom to smear for me, and no freedom of speech for thee”.

    But speaking of democracy and “fears” … some have suggested that we need “a survey”. This may not be quite what they had in mind (and it is slightly O/T, albeit related and cross-posted at a few other blogs) …

    Canadian IPCC-nik, Andrew Weaver has recently declared that he will be a candidate for the Green Party in BC’s spring 2013 election. And as you may (or may not) know James Delingpole has entered the political fray as an independent anti-windfarm candidate in a U.K. by-election.

    I would be extremely surprised if Weaver would ever declare that human generated CO2 is anything less than the equivalent of a “barrage of intergactic ballistic missiles”. I would be equally surprised if Delingpole would ever declare that CO2 – whether generated by humans or mother nature – is anything less than crucial for the survival of our planet.

    If an election slate were to be limited to Delingpole vs Weaver, it’s probably not too much of a stretch to suggest that those who might favour one or the other would consider the opponent as “extreme”. But I wonder if there is a correlation (if not causal relationship) to be found in fear of CO2 and “extreme” voting.

    So I invite you to step outside the earth bound voting booth and imagine a virtual constituency for which an election is pending: Delingpole vs Weaver.

    Survey participation invited: Does fear of CO2 cause extreme voting?

    Please cast your ballot … and spread the word :-)

    Hilary Ostrov

  91. On the one hand, it is heartwarming to see Anthony get so much love here at Climate Etc. It’s always nice to see tribe members gather around and give each other support. Such behavior reflects an important behavioral instinct.

    On the other hand, I’m not sure it’s surprising, but it is certainly amusing to watch “skeptics” rally ’round Anthony – given his well-established track-record of promoting facile and/or fraudulent (you can decide) non-skeptical arguments in the climate debate.

    Finally, I just want everyone to know that I ran out and got a few new boxes of tissues. I need more because of all my weeping from having to watch the unfairly hostile treatment that Anthony has received. Good thing that Anthony raises himself above that hostile treatment. Why just look at the gentlemanly way that he treats Mann and other climate scientists. Look at how he polices his blog for comments that might reflect undue hostility or politicization of the climate debate. Look at the way he came down on Willis for his personal attacks against Muller. And on a more personal note, look at the way he leveled an unfair charge against me and then put me into moderation so he wouldn’t have to have others read my explanation of how his charge was facile and just flat out wrong.



    Please strike that last example.

    • David Springer

      Would $16 be enough for greed to overcome fear enough so you’d use your full name in a comment?

    • Sounds like you visit and read Mr Watts site very frequently, Joshua.

      Do you post there often or are you just spewing non-sense feed to you by the Rommulans about that site?

  92. The skeptic denizens have tied themselves in pretzel knots with this one. On the one hand they are protecting PBS for their airing of Watts and his views, but on the other hand they oppose its funding because its viewers complained too loudly.

  93. Does mankind cause global warming? Both yes and no are correct answers. It depends on the era:

    1910 – 1940: yes.
    1940 – 1970: no.
    1970 – 2000: yes.
    2000 – 2012: no.

    So there is no simple answer to the question. No one knows what will happen in the future. If we cannot agree on the past and present what hope is there for agreement on the future?

    • Alexander,

      What an odd way of looking at things. There is a simple answer to the question as to whether or not human activities have warmed the climate, but that answer has only come through decades of very intense research. Much hard work has come to find out that the answer: to a very high degree of certainty…the answer is yes. Your back and forth “yes”, “no”, “yes” is of course absurd. At some point in the 20th Century, the human fingerprint on the global climate revealed itself, and nothing has changed. Periods of natural short-term variability will either mask or enhance the underlying warming caused by human activity, but over the long-term, warmer will be get.

      As far as “agreement” in the future. You’ll never get 100% agreement on anything when humans are involved. But in regards to whether or not humans are warming the planet, there is already a majority of scientists that recognize this fact. The only real area of disagreement is what to do about it, and if we do nothing, how warm we might get.

      • “At some point in the 20th Century, the human fingerprint on the global climate revealed itself”

        When was that exactly?


      • Not that you really care or actually believe it but I think approximately in 1960 we can begin to see the warming at a greater than 50% probability of having a anthropogenic component, and of course by 1980 that probability and strength of the signal increased dramatically.

      • Three times in the last century and a half, the rate of temperature rise has been the same, and only in the last of these was CO2 also rising. Phil Jones, heself, told me so.

        So show me the signal.

      • Three times I heard the gate on the side my house slam today. The first time was my son putting his bike in the backyard. Should I assume the other two were the same cause? Can similar effects have different causes, especially in complex systems?

        Of course they can, and that’s why attribution studies are so important to find the exact causes for any given long-term change in climate, especially when similar effects can have multiple causes, sometimes acting together and sometimes not.

      • I don’t see no signal, R. Gates, but I sure agree with your last paragraph @ 11:00 PM.

      • “but I think approximately in 1960 we can begin to see the warming at a greater than 50% probability of having a anthropogenic component”

        If you could actually detect a “human fingerprint” you wouldn’t throw “I think” and “approximately” and “50% probability” at me… you would just point to when it happened.


      • Three times in the last century and a half, the rate of temperature rise has been the same, and only in the last of these was CO2 also rising. Phil Jones, heself, told me so.

        CO2 was rising the whole time, so I doubt that was what Phil Jones actually said. That doesn’t necessarily mean CO2 was the primary cause of previous temperature rises, but that’s fine – as R. gates points out similar things can happen for different reasons.

      • It seems to me that most significant elements in global climate in last 500 years was the growth of glaciers- globally. And within last 200 years the retreat of glaciers- globally.

        Other global indicators such as treeline or frost-line has not been as significant. And large regional areas have not had much change- something like the greening and/or desertification of Sahara which occurred thousand of years ago.
        During the last 500 year there has been large changes in in terms of human population and use of fossil fuels. And due to farming one has had a large effect upon natural vegetation, but not much change in terms regional climate- different plants but not much difference of seasonal weather. Or southern California where was once desert, there a different apparent climate, due to areas being watered, but watering stopped, easily within decades it would revert back to desert climate. Or one could call it temporary teraforming- rather than fundamental change in climate.
        So we could embark on massive project which greened the Sahara desert and this no doubt would have regional climate affects, but if we cease to green the Sahara desert it seems to me it would revert back into a desert- in others words, it’s not changing global climate. Or course if somehow change global climate so that the Sahara desert would green that would a different thing [and something I doubt we know how to do].

        So with the given that humans growing population have had an impact upon climate, what other effects other glacier advance and retreat has been significant change in global climate.
        And finally do you think human have had significant affect upon on glacial advance or retreat?

  94. If nothing else, WUWT comes away with […what would be in the commercial world…] a million dollars of free advertising supplied by PBS and bolstered an order of magnitude by the fire storm of protest over his appearance in the program.

    The CAGW Alarmistas could not have picked a ‘worst’ [in their lights…] person to appear for the Climate Realist position. Watts is photogenic, reasonable, and persuasive. Oddly, he comes across as not having a dog in the fight, just there to give you the straight scoop, like the weatherman he is.

    He was, and is, brilliant — irrespective of what one may think about his positions in regards to CliSci.

  95. Warmists seem to be only able to exist at the extreme end of the climate science spectrum, they just do not understand how other people can have views along the spectrum. As for them trying to claim some sort of intellectual high gound, that is pure delusion on their part, that and an unhealthy dose of arrogance.

    • Every age has its witch doctors, shawmans, charlatans, etc. At the close of the 20th century that has been Western academia, Most of the charlatans prefer to work their flimflammery in private as much as possible — protected by the govenment-education family. There was no Carl Sagan-types with their fearmongering delusions who were drawn to the spotlight but the AGW hoax needed it and that is when Al Gore stepped forward to fill that void.

  96. Chief Hydrologist

    Fingerprints on the climate crime scene? Numbered points from SkSc.

    1. Humans are currently emitting around 30 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year (CDIAC). Of course, it could be coincidence that CO2 levels are rising so sharply at the same time so let’s look at more evidence that we’re responsible for the rise in CO2 levels.


    2. When we measure the type of carbon accumulating in the atmosphere, we observe more of the type of carbon that comes from fossil fuels (Manning 2006).

    I am a bit dubious about this. ‘CO2 produced from burning fossil fuels or burning forests has quite a different isotopic composition from CO2 in the atmosphere. This is because plants have a preference for the lighter isotopes (12C vs. 13C); thus they have lower 13C/12C ratios. Since fossil fuels are ultimately derived from ancient plants, plants and fossil fuels all have roughly the same 13C/12C ratio – about 2% lower than that of the atmosphere. As CO2 from these materials is released into, and mixes with, the atmosphere, the average 13C/12C ratio of the atmosphere decreases.’ (realclimate) An increase in carbon emitted in respiration or plant combustion will have the same effect as fossil fuels.

    3. This is corroborated by measurements of oxygen in the atmosphere. Oxygen levels are falling in line with the amount of carbon dioxide rising, just as you’d expect from fossil fuel burning which takes oxygen out of the air to create carbon dioxide (Manning 2006).

    In warmer temps respiration increases and anthro. emissions are still a very small part of the total.

    4. Further independent evidence that humans are raising CO2 levels comes from measurements of carbon found in coral records going back several centuries. These find a recent sharp rise in the type of carbon that comes from fossil fuels (Pelejero 2005).

    The reduced carbon-13/carbon-12 is not restricted to fossil fules – see above.

    5. So we know humans are raising CO2 levels. What’s the effect? Satellites measure less heat escaping out to space, at the particular wavelengths that CO2 absorbs heat, thus finding “direct experimental evidence for a significant increase in the Earth’s greenhouse effect”. (Harries 2001, Griggs 2004, Chen 2007).

    So we don’t know – but let’s assume it is the case. Harries etc use data obtained through an ‘aperture’ at different times to calculate ‘brightness temperature’ as a function of wavelength. It works by excluding the photons that are scattered by interactions with greenhouse gases. It is quite a convincing demonstration of the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere. It doesn’t and cannot mean that there is less radiation escaping to space. It can’t because of heat compensation – the planet warms and emits more photons.

    6. If less heat is escaping to space, where is it going? Back to the Earth’s surface. Surface measurements confirm this, observing more downward infrared radiation (Philipona 2004, Wang 2009). A closer look at the downward radiation finds more heat returning at CO2 wavelengths, leading to the conclusion that “this experimental data should effectively end the argument by skeptics that no experimental evidence exists for the connection between greenhouse gas increases in the atmosphere and global warming.” (Evans 2006).

    The ISCCP-FD data shows more IR emitted at top of atmosphere (TOA) (0.5W/m^2) and less SW emitted (-2.1 W/m^2) between the 80’s and the 90’s. It is confirmed in the tropics by ERBS. There should really an effect from greenhouse gases – but distinguishing it from natural variability remains problematic. Ditto for points 7, 8, 9 and 10.

    7. If an increased greenhouse effect is causing global warming, we should see certain patterns in the warming. For example, the planet should warm faster at night than during the day. This is indeed being observed (Braganza 2004, Alexander 2006).

    8. Another distinctive pattern of greenhouse warming is cooling in the upper atmosphere, otherwise known as the stratosphere. This is exactly what’s happening (Jones 2003).

    9. With the lower atmosphere (the troposphere) warming and the upper atmosphere (the stratosphere) cooling, another consequence is the boundary between the troposphere and stratosphere, otherwise known as the tropopause, should rise as a consequence of greenhouse warming. This has been observed (Santer 2003).

    10. An even higher layer of the atmosphere, the ionosphere, is expected to cool and contract in response to greenhouse warming. This has been observed by satellites (Laštovi?ka 2006).

    As a climate change catastrophist (in the sense of René Thom) – I think we should wary of the strength of both natural and anthropogenic control variables and of the large (nonlinear) climate responses.

    BTW – it is time we had another category for climate beliefs – climate change catastrophists (in the sense of René Thom). Is there anyone else out there?

    • Chief, I am not a climate catastrophist, I am a climate curiousist :) I still am trying to figure out what is real or illusion in the paleo data. The drought data seems to be pretty accurate and the SST paleo close enough to work with, but temperature is a poor substitute for energy in a moist air environment. Then Cecil probably told you that already.

    • Chief,

      Why are you suddenly sounding so rational?

  97. Aims and objectives of the Let’s Stifle Debate Society:

    1 Maintain and extend our strangle hold on policy decision making through extending influence and power of the UN. the IPCC and other global monoliths.

    2 Extend our network of media fellow travellers ter disseminate our message, run vociferous email campaigns focusing our message. Fire renegade editors, ostracize independant journals, a la Michael Mann.

    3 Extend our propoganda …er…message. Infiltrate education institutions, capture school education programs ter open young minds ter progressive, anti enlightenment values.

    4 Anything else we can think of …

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Oh yes – I will have to study Spanish.

      Poesía de gotán –the poetry of the tango

      I have my found my last passion – and I shall have to study Spanish.
      Sometime before the leaves turn brown and fall to a gutter where an
      Iridescent sheen of corruption echoes the dance hall mirror ball – I
      Shall take my polished, black tango shoes and dance once more.

      Dance because there is no tomorrow, dance indifference to pain,
      loss and longing. Dance for life and love. Dance the tango.
      Sometime when my lover stands proud and flashes delight from
      Her eyes, the thigh glimpsed in a slit of dress, a promise of red lips.

  98. The problem with Michels’ handling of the interview is that he didn’t do enough to dispute Watts’ claim that the US temperature record overestimates global warming because of the prevalence of bad surface stations. This theory has been totally discredited by the publication of about a dozen peer reviewed papers, using a number of different methods. In response to Mueller Watts published an article on the internet, that disputes Mueller’s analysis, but fails to correct the good station data for changes in the time of observation (TOBS) which causes a spurious cooling trend among about 30% of the stations if left uncorrected.
    Instead he prefers to focus on the raw data.
    It seems Mr Watts neglected this needed correction because it suits his purpose.

    • You seem a bit out of touch. All that you mentioned is being handled, see:

      This new paper when through peer review will refute the dozen you mention, not the other way around. It’s called normal advancement of science.

      • Wayne,
        Thank you for pointing out comment 24344. Since there are so many posts here, I missed reading that post.

        The above post by Evan Jones, to which you referred me, says that the same paper, Watts ballyhooed in his press release, has been revised because of objections during peer review and TOBS analysis has been added. These are very same objections that I, a layman found when I looked at the paper myself. So the question is if the new paper Watts and Jones is pushing, made a TOBS correction to the good station data, why would his results be different from Menne et. al.?

        I notice that Lolwot addressed Jones’ comments on the revised paper quite well.


        When and IF the paper gets published, and we find out what it really says, there will another discussion. Until then, the published peer reviewed literature seems to show that bad versus good stations, and the UHI, are not causing significant errors in the average temperature anomaly; although the absolute temperatures are certainly being affected.

      • Eric, you seem to think this is all about UHI. It is not.

        Watts paper is all about ΔUHI and most importantly, that delta over long periods of time.

        All cities are warmer than when you are far removed. NASA has satellite thermographs if you may doubt this fact. Just don’t forget the decadal spans in the time dimension as the cities grew from small towns into these cities where the station thermometers are usually located. It is this delta UHI that warps the delta temperature slopes. (what is being called GW)

      • You are wrong. I didn’t say it is all about the UHI. Also no one claims the UHI does not exist.

        The controversy is about Watts claim that global warming is largely an artifact of bad stations plus the UHI. There are a large number of peer reviewed papers that show the opposite, plus the to be published paper that Mueller has submitted.

        Watts’ unpublished paper, put up on the internet, along with his press release touting his results, has not been accepted for publication. The reason seems to be that his conclusions do not take into account the corrections required for changes in the time of observation, which clearly introduce an artificial cooling bias in the good station data. This error would be obvious to any layman who is familiar with the published literature on this subject. I saw it pretty quickly when I looked at the figures in Watts’ paper. It is puzzling why someone who claims to be an expert would submit a paper with this obvious flaw.

        Evan Jones one of the coauthors, claims that a correction has been made, but we have yet to see the corrected paper.

      • “The reason seems to be that his conclusions do not take into account the corrections required for changes in the time of observation, which clearly introduce an artificial cooling bias in the good station data. This error would be obvious to any layman who is familiar with the published literature on this subject. ”

        Assuming someone wasn’t familiar with this literature, why does matter about the time? Is not the high and low of each day?
        Or it seems one could choose, any two points in a day [or 12 points], but if comparing to another temperature record, one needs to compare apples to apples- you must measure it in the same way.
        Which leads to main question why does one way have a cooling bias [and other doesn’t have a warming bias]?

      • gbaikie

        From what I have read in papers and online, a change in the customary time of observations from afternoon to morning is know to create an apparent cooling.
        Here is a discussion of temperature data corrections:


        A change in the time of observation does alter the maximum minimum thermometer readings. This analysis of what’s wrong with Watts paper, which I just discovered explains why:


        “The purpose of the (Watts) paper is to determine whether artificial heat sources have biased the USHCN data. However, accounting for urban heat sources is not the only adjustment which must be made to the raw temperature data. Accounting for the time of observations (TOB), for example, is a major adjustment which must be made to the raw data (i.e. see Schaal et al. 1977 and Karl et al. 1986).

        For example, if observations are taken and maximum-minimum thermometers reset in the early morning, near the time of minimum temperature, a particularly cold night may be double-counted, once for the preceding day and once for the current day. Conversely, with afternoon observations, particularly hot days will be counted twice for the same reason. Hence, maximum and minimum temperatures measured for a day ending in the afternoon tend to be warmer on average than those measured for a day ending in the early morning, with the size of the difference varying from place to place.”

        The more I read about this, the more egregiously stupid the new Watts paper appears to be.

  99. The reality of all the PBS angst is, the liberal science acolytes fear the unwashed masses may find out about WUWT then start questioning the phony scary CO2 narrative themselves.

  100. Late to the party but …

    “Centering this show on the faux conversion of Richard Muller…”

    So you’re on record calling Muller a liar?

    Serious stuff, Judith, serous stuff.

    I feel your universe shrinking around you …

  101. Harold Pierce Jr

    ATTN: R. Gates

    The conc of CO2 in a sample of local air at the MLO or any other remote site is always reported for pure, dry air comprised of nitrogen, oxygen, the inert gases and carbon dioxide. This type of air occurs nowhere in the earth’s atmosphere. You can’t use these conc data in model calculations.

    In real air, which is an engineering term for local air the intake ports at air separation plants, this is always water vapor and lots of it.

    For example, tropical air at 90 and 100% RH has ca 20% less CO2 than dry at STP per unit volume.

    The mass of atm gases in any unit volume of the atmosphere depends on pressure, temperature, and abs humidity. Weather maps show no uniform distribution of temp, pressure and rh. Hence the GHG’s are not uniformily distributed in the air as is assumed in model calculations. Hence, model calculations are fatally flawed.

    • “Hence, model calculations are fatally flawed.”
      Climate modeling GIGO.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      The models are wrong. Trenberth and a whole host of others from the “team” admit as much. It is evident by the fact that the average model for sea ice from just a few years ago appears extremly off on how rapidly the Arctic sea ice is declining. This is a big deal because it means they are not capturing all feedbacks and are also vastly underestimating how much energy is coming into the Arctic through the oceans and atmosphere. But the inaccuarcy of the models had nothing at all to do with the basic validity of the science.

      • David Springer

        The operation was a success but the patient died, in other words?

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        We know pretty much every bit of the relevant physics involved with a drop of rain rolling down a pane of glass, down to the subatomic level. We can even create a simple model that will show different scenarios for how that drop of rain will travel. We even know with a high degree of probability, given some initial state, that the drop of rain will eventually wind up at the bottom. Yet, we also know, that as accuarate as the basic physics are in our model, that the model will be wrong. It will never tell us exactly the path that drop will travel or exactly when it will arrive at the bottom. There simply are limits to what models can tell us because of natural variability and the nature of deterministic chaos. How much more complicated is the climate?

      • @TSW(aRG)

        Hard not to conclude that your raindrop model is therefore utterly pointless.

        Common experience and Newton tell us that a raindrop will generally progress from the top of a window to the bottom. Your analysis says that models can tell us little more.

        Same with climate. Arrhenius told us in 1907 that a bit more CO2 would make it a bit warmer. He even gave us some numbers that the real world observations roughly stick to. It is only the models that try to tell us something else…and now you point out that they are probably fundamentally incapable of predictions anyway.

        And for all practical purposes ‘the inaccuarcy of the models had nothing at all to do with the basic validity of the science’ tells me nothing of any use whatsoever. If all the models based on ‘the science’ are wrong, why should I pay any attention to any of it – other than as an interesting hobby? It has no practical value.

  102. The very simple reason for the torrent of criticism of PBS is that Anthony Watts did not conform to the believers’ stereotype of a denialist. Had he been interviewed in front of his cave dressed in bearskin, they would have been delighted.

  103. These terms came in this order as I remember it
    GW — AGW — CAGW

    Skeptics had a problem. Warmists were using GW to define their position but since we were coming out of the Little Ice Age it was impossible to deny GW.

    Then Skeptics began using AGW to more clearly define what they were opposing but the problem was mankind was warming the earth a little.

    Finally Skeptics have found a term that clearly defines what they are opposing — CAGW.

    No skeptics deny the earth is warming and no skeptics deny that mankind adds a tiny bit to that warming. What skeptics deny is CAGW — that the warming caused by mankind is catastrophic.

    This confusion of terms has greatly added the warmists allowing them to cast many aspersions on skeptics — but now the terms of the argument seem to have been properly defined — and the warmists have been backed into a corner. They have to defend a clear position — a position which is proving untenable to defend — CAGW.

    It is interesting to note that the warmist have tried to shift the argument away from CAGW to shouting about Extreme Weather Events. They seem to desperately want to get out of the corner they have been backed into.

    Eugene WR Gallun

    • Eugene Gallum,

      Yes. That sums up the history and current situation very well.

      I’d like to hear from the CAGW alarmists if they argue that extreme weather events are catastrophic?

      If they agree extreme weather events are not catastrophic, then the decisions as to whether or not we should spend money on mitigation should be made on the basis of cost-benefit analyses – i.e. the costs of mitigation versus the damages that would be avoided by that mitigation.

      If extreme weather events are not considered catastrophic, but some other proposed impact is, then what is that catastrophic impact? What is the probability of occurrence?

      • I’d like to hear from the CAGW alarmists if they argue that extreme weather events are catastrophic?

        I’d say they weren’t – that is too strong a term. But they are Harmful. No-one can deny that New Orleans has been seriously harmed by Hurricane Katrina for instance.

        So I’d suggest that the C in CAGW be replaced by H.

      • @tempterrain


        There seems to be some evidence that as CO2 has gone up in the last decade, the number of hurricanes has gone down. So if you want to use hurricanes as your proxy, you should be setting fire to all the carbon you can find.

        Shall we try ‘B’ for Beneficial? BGW?

      • Latimer,

        OK Lets have a list

        BAGW There are some benefits. Potatoes can now be grown in Greenland for example

        HAGW This would be the 3 degrees of warming and the 1 metre rise in sea levels, and other outcomes, which the IPCC describe as “bad” and also having a “high degree of probability”.

        CAGW This would include all truly catastrophic outcomes. Like the Venus effect, of course, or even a sudden rise in sea levels of several metres caused by the loss of of one of big Greenland or Antarctic Ice Sheets. The IPCC describe these as unlikely, or as having a low degree of probability, but they are not impossible.

      • @tempterrain

        BAGW – just off the top of my head.

        Less need for domestic heating in colder climes. Southern England to have climate of the Loire Valley. Reduced airplane flights as people can do sunny staycations in Northern Europe, , Fewer cold related deaths among the poor and/or elderly. Longer growing seasons for crops…more food in ‘temperate’ climes. UK wine industry thriving even more etc etc

        re your HAGW

        IPCC did not forecast 1 metre of sealevel rise..they forecast up to 0.59m (Table SPM3)

        And I keep on trying to frighten myself about such a small rise, and I can’t. I spent Saturday afternoon in Central London watching the tide flow in and out of the Thames. The range at London Bridge – right in the heart of the City – is about 4.4m today. By Friday it will be 6.0m.


        Lets be clear what this means. On Friday, over a period of 395 minutes, the effective sealevel in the centre of one of our great cities will change by 6.0m. The average rate of change is about 15mm/minute. And we will cope. We’ve known about tides since man first encountered the sea many hundreds of millennia ago. We know how to use them to sail, and how to build sea walls and other infrastructure. They are known issues. They are predictable and we can plan for them.

        So lets now add to our unremarkable and entirely normal signal of 15mm/minute the extra due to global warming a la IPCC. Remember that this is 590mm/100 years. In mm/minute units the additional rate is therefore 590/52560000 = 1.12 x10^-5 = 0.000012 mm/minute. And this too, is predictable and we can plan for it.

        Please try to persuade me – with real practical examples – that a 0.6m sealevel rise in 100 years is going to be anything more than a minor inconvenience – and can be sensibly accommodated within the normal pattern of sea defence work.

        Answers detailing Tuvalu will be rejected. There are even fewer Tuavluans (10,544) than can be accommodated in many League 2 football grounds on a Saturday afternoon. Fewer than there are polar bears (c 25,000). For the special case of Tuvalu, we can make special arrangements if the sealevel rise pans out as predicted.

      • LA,

        You can’t just assume that 0.59m of sea level rise this century will be accurate. The IPCC haven’t got it right on the rate of Arctic ice loss. They haven’t got it right on the rate of ice loss in Greenland and Anarctica either and I expect that their next report may well be more “alarmist” on sea-level rise than previously. We’ll see.

        Judith herself criticised Lomborg who was making the same mistake as yourself. She said his attitude toward risk was also troubling.

        “He focuses only on the middle range of the panel’s projections, dismissing the risk from the higher end of the range. But if the risk is great, then it may be worth acting against even if its probability is small. Think of risk as the product of consequences and likelihood: what can happen and the odds of it happening. A 10-degree rise in global temperatures by 2100 is not likely; the panel gives it a 3 percent probability. Such low-probability, high-impact risks are routinely factored into any analysis and management strategy, whether on Wall Street or at the Pentagon.The rationale for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide is to reduce the risk of the possibility of catastrophic outcomes.”

        I wouldn’t quite agree with all that. There would also be a rationale for reducing emissions even if we knew for sure that the outcomes wouldn’t be catastrophic, and they’d just be bad. Bad is certainly the most likely. But there is certainly no rationale for not reducing emissions just on the off-chance that everything will turn out well.

      • @tempterrain

        Fine. I share your scepticism about the accuracy of the IPCC predictions. They f…d up the Himalayas big time and then made a complete balls of
        correcting themselves, so little that they say should be taken too seriously.

        So let’s assume that the IPCC is out by a factor of two.

        The effective rate of sealevel rise is then 0.000024 mm/minute, compared with the unremarkable 15mm/minute which we will see on Friday this week. It is still something like on fivehundredthousandth the rate that we know we can cope with without breaking sweat.

        And we can play the game of ‘what about the worst case’ to supposedly justify any actions you want about anything. ‘We had to destroy the village to save it’ is where that line leads.

        Eventually you have to work to a set of sensible assumptions, Doesn’t mean that you don’t check and recheck them as you go along..but you have to start somewhere.

        IIRC sealevel is rising at about 2mm per year…giving a century long rise of about 8 inches (20cm). Its been doing this for a long time and until the recent CAGW scare, nobody really noticed it at all. And despite all the blood curdling .and shroud waving predictions that its going to accelerate, it hasn’t even started to do so yet,..and there is some evidence that it is slowing down.

        The IPCC prediction is