Climate Change Denial, by Haydn Washington and Jon Cook

Climate Change Denial is the new book from ecologist Haydn Washington and the founder of Skeptical Science, John Cook, and I bet from the title alone you’ve already decided what you think of the book. It addresses the phenomenon of climate change denial, and wonders why even ‘as the climate science has become more certain, denial about the issue has increased.’

You can read my review over at The Ecologist.

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130 Comments on “Climate Change Denial, by Haydn Washington and Jon Cook”

  1. Stefan Thiesen May 13, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    Thanks for the hint! Will read. Here in Germany the phenomenon also is on the rise, and although most proponents of climate change denial are real crackpots, a number have science Ph.D.’s, and a few even are Professors (although only one, Prof. Gerlich, is a Physics Professor, albeit one not specialized in atmospheric science). Unfortunately in the public the impression now is wide spread that “the scientists cannot even agree” on whether climate change is happening in the first place, or not, while nothing could be further from the truth.

    The climage-change-denier scene is complex. The seeds certainly were laid by fossil fuel lobbies, but I think there is more to it. On a very simple level: there is a market for conspiracy theories and related publications. But why is there a market for climate change denial books? I am not sure about the actual numbers, but my impression is, that more denial books than actual atmospheric science textbooks are sold. Of course the latter tend to be a bit on the complicated side. It seems that it has something to do with fear. People (especially many conservatives) cling to their life models and world views, which provides fertile ground for fear mongering about a global “eco dictatorship”. The unknown is greeted with fear and insecurity. Enter the book that tells: it’s a lie, everything is fine! Nothing will happen! We can continue to grow forever!

    Another aspect is called “risk habituation” in risk research. It occurrs when people are constantly confronted with a certain risk until they finally get used to it and become increasingly complacent. In his book “Collapse” Jared Diamond describes the risk perception of populations living down-stream of a large water reservoir dam. As one would expect, the perceived risk level decreased with distance from the damm. With one exception: the population living directly below the damm had, in fact, the lowest risk perception. In my eyes this goes even beyond mere “risk habituation” but in fact is a psychological effect akin to those described in Daniel Goleman’s book “Vital Lies”. When something is just too terrible to think of, humans tend to not think of it. Or – outright deny it. That’s why INDEPENDENT science is so important . It does (or is supposed to) transcend human psychological quirks, beliefs, illusions and delusions that are not rooted in the real world outside the human cranium. Such as: Nuclear power is safe.

    Climate change deniers should read James Hansen’s book “Storms of my Grandchildren”. One of the world’s leading atmospheric scinetists, he describes the possible worst-case outcomes of climate change. Something to chew on for policy makers. Strangely though, he does not apply the same level of risk assessment to nuclear energy and is a proponent of that energy form.

    • Jeremy May 13, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

      A quick scan of Amazon’s top environmental titles for 2010 has two denial titles in the top five. Overall the real science outsells the skeptics, but the best-selling titles look like BBC nature documentary tie-ins. James Lovelock and Al Gore are also doing well.

  2. Robin Guenier May 13, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    First, Jeremy, many congratulations on the arrival of little Zachary. I do hope mother and son are doing well.

    Now the book. So the authors aim to reverse the growth in numbers of people who do not accept the need for drastic action to avoid dangerous climate change? Well, here’s some advice – know your enemy. An obvious example: serious critics of the dangerous man-made global warming hypothesis are well aware that the climate changes. Labelling them “climate change deniers” immediately limits the book’s readers to those who agree with the authors. Not, I suggest, the best strategy.

    More specifically, such critics are not motivated by a wish to shut out bad news, do not fear change, are not ignorant of ecology, do not ignore reality, are not part of a “concerted denial movement”, do not subscribe to conspiracy theories, are not influenced by “big business paying millions to protect their own interests”, are not apathetic (far from it) and are not looking for “a more comfortable lie” or something that fits “libertarian politics” or a consumer lifestyle. What motivates them, in contrast, is a wish to establish the truth – the precise opposite of the authors’ assertion.

    It’s because so many supporters of the dangerous man-made global warming hypothesis persist in pointless attacks on such “strawman” targets that scepticism is gaining strength. To have any hope of reversing this (to er … “roll back denial”), advocates of the need for urgent action should focus, not on being rude about their opponents, but on the much more difficult and serious task of persuading them of the validity (not proof) of each the following claims:

    1. first, that recent warming is not a continuation of natural variation, but is somehow anomalous;

    2. then that the primary cause of the anomaly is Mankind’s emission of “greenhouse” gas, especially CO2;

    3. then that, if the anomaly continues, it will cause serious problems for humanity and the environment;

    4. then that the solution proposed would avert these problems;

    5. then that the solution proposed is cost effective; and

    6. and finally that the solution proposed is politically and globally achievable.

    Now that would be getting somewhere.

    Cheers – Robin

    • Jeremy May 13, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

      There are straw men on both sides Robin, because the best writers on climate change don’t assume that everyone’s part of a denial movement or are conspiracy theorists. Too many are, but there are attention-seeking climate scientists and exaggerating journalists too. If you were to read the book, you’d find it meets all six of your requirements.

    • Robin Guenier May 13, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

      Yes, Jeremy, of course there are foolish people on both sides. But surely you agree that, if the book is really intended to slow scepticism’s growing strength, its title is an ill-judged and counter-productive mistake? And my list of “motivations” comes exclusively from your review and from Haydn Washington’s Q&A in Skeptical Science. Do you really think such assertions are a good way of changing opponents’ minds? If not, why reiterate them? I know many such opponents and I assure that not one of them fits any aspect of this unwise caricature. Yet these are the people the authors should be addressing.

      If as you say, the book meets all six of my requirements, there is no hint of it in either your review or in Washington’s Q&A. Considering their basic importance, that’s – to put it mildly – odd.

  3. Jeremy May 14, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    The book is not necessarily aimed at those who deny climate change, nor is it intended to argue them around. It’s looking at the phenomenon of denial itself, and as I mention in the review, their view is that the suppression of unpalatable truths is a human response and not an insult to throw at people who don’t agree with you. It’s more nuanced than you suggest, and so is my review – I mention several times that it is unfair to caricature an entire movement.

    Tell you what, if you read it, I’ll read a book on climate change of your choice in return.

    • Robin Guenier May 14, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

      Hmm – that’s a most interesting idea. Thanks. Although not optimistic, I’m open to persuasion.

      I’m not optimistic because a book labelling critics of the authors’ beliefs as “climate change deniers”, illustrating that with the sad old cliché of a head-in-the-sand ostrich and (according to both you and its author) pursuing its targets with ad hominem attack, strawman argument and appeals to authority, seems on the face of it unlikely to contribute anything much to the debate. But perhaps, as you suggest, I’ve misunderstood and there’s more to it than that.

      As well as being extraordinarily important, the climate change debate is endlessly interesting: the gift that goes on giving. It embraces history and pre-history, geography, the interaction of a multitude of scientific disciplines, statistical analysis, logic, language, economics, prediction, cultural and social attitudes and politics – domestic and, especially, international. I’d be wrong to assume that the book cannot contribute.

      So here’s an idea. We’re almost neighbours. Why not email me suggesting a time and place for a meeting – same arrangement as last time perhaps? You’ll swap your book for one of my choice. We’ll catch up on things – especially perhaps young Zachary. Then, when we’ve each read the other’s book, you’ll create a MWH post where we each review our conclusions. Make sense?

      • Jeremy May 14, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

        Our culture is in a state of climate change denial, that’s more the point here, rather than climate change denial being something that bad and foolish people do. That’s not a book I’d bother to read either.

        I’m happy to meet up and swap books. It will be a while, as I’m on paternity leave at the moment and it’s impossible to plan anything. But in theory, yes, same arrangements as last time would work fine, and let’s post our conclusions on the blog.

  4. Alex Cull May 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    Jeremy, your review highlights some interesting things. Washington and Cook suggest that denial is a fundamentally human yet delusional reaction to something scary, and they accept that an increasing majority of the public are sceptical about CAGW. And so, according to the authors’ logic, most people in society are therefore (potentially) engaged in a dangerously pathological turning away from the real world. Part of the solution, according to Washington and Cook, is for everyone to just stop being delusional and face reality (possibly I’m over-simplifying.)

    Now, as you’ve probably guessed, I’m one of those who are rather likely to disagree with the authors. Nevertheless, it would be a good exercise to read the book, as this is one example, among many, of an attempt to solve what is seen as a double conundrum – 1) why people are sceptical about CAGW, and 2) how their minds can be changed.

    My personal hypothesis, by the way, is that there isn’t really much of a mystery about this at all. Firstly, to claim that the opinions of the general public are even in part influenced by a “concerted denial movement” led by baddies like Exxon and the Koch Brothers is, I think, slightly silly. The reality is that people have been exposed over the years to a constant stream of lectures, blandishments, exhortations, dire warnings, lurid newspaper headlines, earnest TV news items and OTT ad campaigns all about the dangers of catastrophic climate change and with very little in the way of dissent or opposition. If it was all about communication, 97% of the population would now be convinced. But we aren’t.

    One big reason why the majority aren’t convinced, in my opinion, (and aside from any critique of the science) is that our experience tells us there is nothing going on, in the world of weather events, that has not occurred before, in one decade or another. Floods, heat waves, thunderstorms, droughts, cold winters, hot summers, waterspouts and tornadoes have been happening time out of mind, and if living memory does not serve to remind us of them, there are history books and newspaper archives, now becoming ever more readily accessible over the internet. As for gently rising sea levels, this has been noted for centuries, unaccompanied by much in the way of undue panic. In short, people are not afraid of catastrophic man-made climate change in the same way that people are not afraid of other things that theoretically might exist but for which remarkably little convincing evidence is on offer for the average person – evil spirits, for example, or aliens or sorcery.

    What I find fascinating (and this is one reason why I’ll gladly read the book and others like it) is what it says about the authors themselves – how they explain the public’s lack of faith, how they suggest that the situation should be remedied, and what is going through their minds when contemplating what must for them be a very perplexing and urgent problem. I’m sure it will not be a wasted experience and that there will be something to learn. And as Robin states, this whole debate is endlessly interesting, and will be with us all surely for a long time to come; and how dull the world would actually be if we all thought alike!

    • Jeremy May 14, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

      Yes, I don’t think we can lay the blame for climate apathy on a denial movement, although it’s one of many factors. I don’t think we need to look much further than consumerism. The average person in the UK watches four hours of television a day, and every fifteen minutes they will be reminded that they are the centre of the universe. It’s not that people believe or don’t believe in climate change, they don’t even think about it. It’s just not on the radar, any more than poverty is, or AIDS, or even domestic politics. Even if you read the news, it will be alongside adverts for cars and cheap flights. In our current culture, the number of calls for social change or civic responsibility are outnumbered a thousand to one by calls to consume and think of yourself.

      Add the fact that climate change is a slow motion disaster, and it’s not hard to see why nothing happens on the climate front. Only those very close to the land or actively looking for patterns are aware of trends over decades. You can demonstrate that the earth is warming each year, but we experience one day and its weather at a time. You can show that the number of weather-related disasters has risen, but the news only covers the latest hurricane or flood at a time. It all happens very slowly, and like a boiled frog we don’t spot the incremental dangers.

    • Robin Guenier May 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

      Jeremy:

      It would speed things up if I were to come to your place, meet Zachary and swap books. Possible? I hope so as I’m now looking forward to reading the book.

      I’m inclined to agree with Alex: global warming scares have been ubiquitous in Western society for about 20 years now and I think the public, if it thinks about it at all any more, is simply bored by the whole subject. If there is a “denial movement”, it’s been hopelessly unsuccessful at getting its message into the mainstream media. Anyway, I rather doubt if there is such a movement – certainly I’m unaware of any evidence for one in the UK.

      As for your “slow motion disaster” – well, so far as UK temperatures are concerned, I agree about the slow motion bit. You’re right that those close to the land in England are aware of a gradual warming over time with, for example, indications of earlier onsets of Spring. And that’s supported by the instrument record: the record for central England (the world’s oldest instrumental temperature record) indicates (link) warming since 1695 – over 300 years. But, as the rate of increase has only been about 0.5 deg. C per century, it’s hardly surprising that most people are unaware of it. The reason they haven’t noticed it causing disaster is of course because it hasn’t.

      I’m unaware incidentally of any evidence that “the number of weather-related disasters has risen”.

  5. Stefan Thiesen May 15, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    @Jeremy:
    You wrote: “A quick scan of Amazon’s top environmental titles for 2010 has two denial titles in the top five.”

    Two denial titles in the top five strikes me as a lot. I checked with Amazon.de, and there are no denial titles under “Geography and Climate”, but several among the top 20 in the category “environmental policy” (Umweltpolitik). Anyway: you are right. All in all the science – including actual collegel level textbooks – are leading by far. But the scandal seekers tend to be so much noisier.

  6. Gator May 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    Before you get sucked in by Cook, read these…

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2010/03/john-cook-skeptical-science.html

    http://www.climateviews.com/Climate_Views/Download_Articles_files/CookRebuttalb.pdf

    The frauds have never proven that our climate is unnatural. Not one peer reviewed paper exists that refutes natural variability as the cause of recent cliamte change. That and lies being told by alarmists is the reason for increased sanity, and skepticism.

    • Jeremy May 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

      erm, yeah. both links there completely prove the book’s main points.

  7. Gator May 23, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    ‘erm, yeah. both links there completely prove the book’s main points.’

    Good comeback Jeremy! Why not let others decide.

    Now, how about that natural variabilty that has never been disproven? Got any snappy comebacks for that?

    • Jeremy May 23, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

      Nope, nobody contests that there is natural variability. There’s nothing to contest, we know the climate changes naturally. However, it is quite possible to measure the effects of volcanic and solar activity etc, and lay that activity alongside CO2 emissions over the last 50 years, and see that natural variability cannot explain the current situation on its own.

    • Jeremy May 23, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

      By the way, I’m not trying to be flippant. Those links genuinely do prove cook’s point – they’re pure denial. Case in point, one of them states “the reality is that most scientists disagree with the basic tenets of the AGW orthodoxy”. Bullshit. Every national academy in the world endorses climate science as it is currently understood. Even the statement itself if stupid – it can’t be ‘orthodoxy’ if a majority don’t agree with it.

  8. Gator May 23, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    Step out of the echo chamber Jeremy. Over 31,000 scientists in America alone have signed their names to a petition refuting AGW. How many can you name on the alarmists’ side?

    I can also provide over 900 peer reviewed papers that either refute AGW or the alarmists’ planned mitigations. Who is in denial now?

    Skepticism is the heart of scientific study. The scientific method has been abandoned by alarmists, just as they abandoned the first step in the investigation, disproving natural variability.

    There are no peer reviewed studies that can ‘overlay’ forcings to prove that any of the warming we have seen is anything more than localized UHI effectsand natural cyclical warming and cooling.

    NOAA reports that the oceans have been cooling for over 15 years…

    “Per the latest NOAA/NCDC U.S. temperature data records, the 12-month period ending March 2011 was the 6th coldest March-ending period for the last 15 years. In terms of a single month, March 2011 was 79th coldest March in the past 117 years.
    The per century cooling trend of this period, a minus 2.9°F, took place in spite of the huge warmth produced by two large El Niño events during this 15-year span: 1997-1998 and 2009-2010.
    For the 10-year period ending March 2011, the cooling trend accelerates to a very significant minus 12.9°F per century rate, again, per the updated NOAA/NCDC temperature records.”

    And…

    “According to the NOAA State of the Climate 2008 report, climate computer model simulations show that if observations find that the globe has not warmed for periods of 15 years or more, the climate models predicting man-made warming from CO2 will be falsified at a confidence level of 95%”

    “Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.”
    According to Phil Jones, there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995 [16 years, 3 months ago]. Ergo, the climate models have already been falsified at the 95% confidence level and it’s time to revert to the null hypothesis that man made CO2 is not causing global warming.”

    The claim that we have a warming problem is false. It has been both warmer and cooler in the past. Warm periods have always been boom times for life on Earth, cold spells are deadly. Even IF the planet was warming, that would be good news.

    Jeremy, you still need tio provide proof that this climate cycle is unnatural. I know for a fact you cannot do that. I do not see the point in fixing things that are not broken.

    Over 31,000 scientists and more than 900 peer reviewed papers agree with me.

    Quit denying natural avariability and the scientific method Jeremy.

  9. Jeremy May 23, 2011 at 10:08 pm #

    Send me links to those papers please.

    And I know the petition you mention. Look it up, and see how many of those 31,ooo are climate scientists:

    http://makewealthhistory.org/2009/06/15/31478-scientists-agree-climate-change-is-a-hoax/

  10. Gator May 23, 2011 at 11:07 pm #

    Love the duplicity Jeremy! They are only scientists if you say so, profound.

    I can guarantee that there are more Earth Science related scientists on my list than yours.

    Actually, I am a trained Geologist. I now work in a more lucrative field, but spent many years in the Earth Sciences department of a major university. I spent a couple of those years as a climatoliogy student (1986-87) as well as Remote Sensing student (my major at one point).

    NOAA is the source of the data here…

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

    And as I stated above… ‘“According to the NOAA State of the Climate 2008 report…’. Did you read or skim?

    Again, I always enjoy the ad hominem attacks of the warmists, ‘deniers’, ‘how many are climatologists’, etc… instead of addressing the facts, science and empirical data, we get hand waving.

    Still waiting on one of those grantologists to write a peer reviewed paper that refutes natural variability as the cause of recent climate changes. Been waiting for decades…

    Warm = good. Cold = bad. Study ice ages and interglacials for 30 years and then get back to me.

    • Jeremy May 24, 2011 at 9:13 am #

      “There are no peer reviewed studies that can ‘overlay’ forcings to prove that any of the warming we have seen is anything more than localized UHI effects and natural cyclical warming and cooling”

      Google Meehl et al, 2004. Their paper ‘Combinations of Natural and Anthropogenic Forcings in Twentieth-Century Climate’ overlays volcanic and solar activity and finds that 20th century warming cannot be accounted for without human activity.

      Can you send me links to some of those aforementioned 900 peer reviewed that refute AGW please?

  11. Gator May 24, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    Hey Jeremy! Meehl et al 2004 is a modeling scenario. It is not real.

    “Ensemble simulations are run with a global coupled climate model employing five forcing agents that influence the time evolution of globally averaged surface air temperature during the twentieth century.”

    This is a large problem the wramists have, telling fact from fiction.

    From their conclusion…

    “But at regional scales, Meehl et al. (2003) show that coupled feedbacks MAY affect the response in different ways. The relationship between global and regional responses is the now the subject of a further investigation.”

    SOLID!!!

    As I stated, you cannot provide any proof that the climate changes we have seen are anything other than natural. Quit playing with models, step out of the echo chamber and observe the real world. Models are designed by people for people, GIGO.

    The IPCC’s Table 2.11 (2007) reveals, by the IPCC’s own admission, it has ‘low’ or ‘very low’ understanding of 80 percent of all factors impacting climate.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-9-1.html

    It is not possible to accurately model that which you barely understand.

    I will ask you again. Please provide even one peer reviewed paper that refutes natural variability as the cause of recent climate changes. So far you have failed miserably.

    • Jeremy May 24, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

      1) There’s nothing wrong with models, if the data is good. The model here runs on observed, real world measurements of CO2, volcanic and solar activity, collected over decades. The model isn’t extrapolating into the future, it’s a tool for making sense of the natural changes and the human ones together. If you can dig out any of those AGW refuting studies, I bet they use models too. This is such a boring cliche of the climate ‘skeptic’ debate, by the way.

      2) you’re cherry picking your quotes. The conclusion also states “the late-twentieth-century warming can only be reproduced in the model if anthropogenic forcing (dominated by GHGs) is included”. Sure, there is so much we don’t know about the way the climate works. Good thing there are so many people working on it, and that they are honest enough to admit what they don’t know.

      I’ve given you exactly what you asked for. You’ve rejected it because it uses the entirely legitimate scientific practice of modelling. And yet you accuse me of being duplicitous when I question your list of 31,000 scientists. Have you seen the website of the petition? It lists the qualifications, so I’m not making this up – it’s their own membership information. Last time I checked there were just 39 climate scientists in that 31,000, and over 9,000 engineers.

      If you want to fix your car, do you take it to a plumber or a carpenter? Obviously you take it to a mechanic. Likewise, if I want a bridge built I’ll call on those engineers, but I’m taking my opinions on the climate from those best informed, thank you very much.

      PS. Can you send me links to some of those aforementioned 900 peer reviewed studies that refute AGW please?

  12. Gator May 24, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    Hey Jeremy! Of course you are going to zealously defend models, it is all yhou have. Apparently you do not know much about modeling, especially IPCC style.

    We’ve been told the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is comprised of the world’s top scientific minds. But my research has uncovered something rather different.

    “One group of IPCC authors are 20-something grad students. Even though their experience of the world is neither broad nor deep, the IPCC has long relied on their expert judgment. Another group are those who’ve been appointed because they’re of the right gender or from the right country. (Since the IPCC is a UN body it’s hardly surprising that it considers these factors important.) A third group are activists and activist scientists…Instead – as outlandish as this sounds – the IPCC recruits the same people who work with these models on a daily basis to write the section of the climate bible that passes judgment on them. This is like asking parents to rate their own children’s attractiveness. Do we really expect them to tell us their kids are homely?”

    And again, if you have a low to very low understanding of forcings, your models are garbage (GIGO).

    Obviously you are a zealot. I show no warming for 15+ years as well as the admission by NOAA modelers that this invalidates their models. And what do you do? Defend the models. Delusional.

    And do not get me started on picked cherries. You really do not want to go there, I will embarrass you further.

    Our climate is 100% natural and you cannot show otherwise.

    For the edification of others, here is the whole article from which I just quoted.

    Fixed: The IPCC’s Climate Model Evaluation Game

    May 3, 2011
    The IPCC recruits the same people who work with climate models on a daily basis to write the section of its report that “evaluates” them.

    We’ve been told the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is comprised of the world’s top scientific minds. But my research has uncovered something rather different.

    One group of IPCC authors are 20-something grad students. Even though their experience of the world is neither broad nor deep, the IPCC has long relied on their expert judgment. Another group are those who’ve been appointed because they’re of the right gender or from the right country. (Since the IPCC is a UN body it’s hardly surprising that it considers these factors important.) A third group are activists and activist scientists.

    But there’s yet another large contingent of people – climate modelers. While these individuals are often called scientists, their line of work has little in common with traditional science.

    The scientific method involves forming an hypothesis, testing that hypothesis in the real world, and then confirming, adjusting, or abandoning the hypothesis according to what those real-world tests reveal.

    Because there’s no duplicate planet Earth on which experiments may be safely conducted, no one actually knows what will happen if a little more carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere. (Scientists believe CO2 used to comprise less than 0.03% of the atmosphere – 280 parts per million – prior to the industrial revolution. Currently, at 390 parts per million, it’s approaching 0.04%.)
    All this climate concern is based on a hypothesis that says our planet is so unstable a slight increase in one particular trace gas will trigger disaster. Since there’s no way to actually test this hypothesis, some people have adopted an alternative approach. They say that supercomputers programmed with complex mathematical formulas confirm that a bit more CO2 really will lead to bad things. In the view of climate modelers, these computer simulations are as good as hard evidence.

    But this requires a rather large leap of faith. The world (both natural and human) is chaotic and unpredictable. It rarely unfolds in the manner that even the smartest people, aided by graphs, charts, and computers think it will.

    Unlike those in other professions, climate modelers inhabit a virtual reality. If an engineer’s bridge is faulty, it doesn’t matter how highly his fellow engineers may have praised its design, the real world will make its shortcomings evident to everyone. Since climate modelers are insulated from real world checks-and-balances (there’s no way to verify their long-term predictions in the short term), the only thing that seems to matter are the opinions of other modelers. This is a recipe for tunnel-vision. It is group-think waiting to happen.

    The research bodies and governments that fund climate modeling teams around the world don’t appear to have taken any precautions against group-think. Nor has the IPCC subjected climate models to rigorous evaluation by neutral, disinterested parties.

    Instead – as outlandish as this sounds – the IPCC recruits the same people who work with these models on a daily basis to write the section of the climate bible that passes judgment on them. This is like asking parents to rate their own children’s attractiveness. Do we really expect them to tell us their kids are homely?

    The relationship between one country’s climate modelers and the IPCC illustrates this point. George Boer is considered the architect of Canada’s climate modeling efforts. As an employee of Environment Canada (which also produces weather forecasts), he has spent much of his career attempting to convince the powers-that-be that climate models are a legitimate use of public money. There has been a direct relationship over the years between how persuasive he has been and how many staff he’s been permitted to hire, how much computing power he’s been permitted to purchase, and the amount of professional prestige he has acquired.
    Given that his own interests are closely linked to the effectiveness with which he has promoted climate models, he is emphatically not the sort of person who’s likely to conduct the cold, hard assessment the public is entitled to expect before the entire world begins taking climate model results seriously.

    Nevertheless, when the IPCC chose 10 lead authors to write a chapter titled Climate Models – Evaluation for its 1995 report, Boer was among them. So was Andrew Weaver, another Canadian whose entire career depends on climate modeling. (The term ‘climate modeler’ would seem to apply to a minimum of five of that chapter’s eight other lead authors.)

    When the same chapter of the 2001 edition of the climate bible got written, the story was similar. Weaver and two more climate modelers were selected to repeat their lead author roles. Boer, along with four other Canadians who earn their living as climate modelers, all served as contributing authors. (Gregory Flato, John Fyfe, Steve Lambert, and Francis Zwiers.)

    By the time the IPCC published the 2007 climate bible, had it realized that asking climate modelers to evaluate their own handiwork was a big, bad, biased idea? Nope. Climate modelers once again comprised the overwhelming majority of lead authors for the Climate Models and Their Evaluation chapter.

    On that occasion the lead author from Canada was a colleague of Boer’s named John Fyfe. As Fyfe’s online bio indicates, his official title is: Research Scientist, Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis. Three more Canadians who depend on modeling for their bread-and-butter also served as contributing authors. (Paul Kushner, Adam Monahan, and John Scinocca.)
    A Canadian is now one of two senior (coordinating) lead authors for the chapter titled Evaluation of Climate Models that will appear in the upcoming edition of the climate bible (see page 5 of this 27-page PDF). His name is Gregory Flato and, quelle surprise, he works at the same institution that employs many of those mentioned above.

    I’m sure he’s a marvelous human being, but this gentleman knows full well that if the world were to decide that climate models are a colossal waste of time and money, he and his colleagues would be out of a job.

    There is not the slightest possibility, therefore, that his chapter will come to such a conclusion. This means that nothing like an independent assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of these models is actually taking place.

    But the story gets worse. Climate modelers also write other IPCC report sections – including the crucial attribution chapter. This is where the most important question of all gets decided: Is the slight recent warming of the planet due to human activity or is it simply part of a natural warming and cooling cycle that has been going on for eons? For the IPCC’s 2007 report, the two most senior authors of that chapter – Gabriele Hegerl and Francis Zwiers – were both climate modelers.

    The IPCC may claim that the large contingent of climate modelers who contribute to these reports are the world’s best experts, but I think that’s a stretch. In July 2007, five IPCC authors wrote an article for Scientific American in which they referred to climate models as crystal balls.

    On the one hand, they declared it a certainty that people, plants, and animals would all be living with the consequences of human-induced climate change “for at least the next thousand years.” On the other, they said:
    Unfortunately, the crystal ball provided by our climate models becomes cloudier for predictions out beyond a century or so.
    Each of us has to make up our own minds regarding whom to trust and what to believe. But when I became a grownup, I stopped believing in crystal balls.

    • Jeremy May 24, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

      There were literally thousands of people contributing to the IPCC report, that’s one of its great strengths. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest that some of them may have been undergrads, since the whole shebang was reviewed and critiqued and reviewed again for four years before it was released. I’ve met Sir John Houghton, who was chair of the IPCC when the last report came out. You wouldn’t believe how wide the pool of contributors was or how many stages of review and discussion they went through.

      Models aren’t all we have. We have several decades of very reliable data showing a warming trend. We have several centuries of slightly less reliable data showing how abnormal our current situation is, and thousands of years worth of data locked up in ice cores and trees rings that is harder to interpret. I wasn’t sure about climate change for quite some time. It’s the existing data and the obvious upward trend that convinces me now.

      Your objection to models is somewhat bizarre, when you yourself admit how complicated this science is. To give one example, the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, endorsed by Anthony Watts, is working with 1.6 billion temperature records. I suppose they could go away and work it all out with a slide rule and report back to us in a million years, but I don’t have a problem with them developing a computer model to help them interpret the data.

      Besides, show me some of those 900 studies that refute AGW (I presume you’re referring to the Heartland Institute’s list), and I’ll point out their models for you too.

  13. Gator May 24, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    Oh yes, do keep insulting working scientists as morons who cannot figure out basic logic. That always wins hearts and minds, I mean you guys are doing such a bang up job with public opinion and all.

    • Jeremy May 24, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

      Do you take your car to the plumber?

      PS. Can you post some links to the aforementioned peer-reviewed studies that dispute AGW theory?

  14. Gator May 24, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    The IPCC is a governmental body, not a scientific body…

    “Testimony to Subcommittee on Energy and Environment
    Committee on Science, Space and Technology – March 31, 2011
    Professor J. Scott Armstrong, University of Pennsylvania, with Kesten C. Green, University of South Australia,
    and Willie Soon, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
    Abstract
    The validity of the manmade global warming alarm requires the support of scientific forecasts of (1) a substantive long-term rise in global mean temperatures in the absence of regulations, (2) serious net harmful effects due to global warming, and (3) cost-effective regulations that would produce net beneficial effects versus alternatives such as doing nothing.
    Without scientific forecasts for all three aspects of the alarm, there is no scientific basis to enact regulations. In effect, it is a three-legged stool. Despite repeated appeals to global warming alarmists, we have been unable to find scientific forecasts for any of the three legs.
    We drew upon scientific (evidence-based) forecasting principles to audit the forecasting procedures used to forecast global mean temperatures by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) –leg “1″ of the stool. This audit found that the procedures violated 81% of the 89 relevant forecasting principles
    We also did an audit of the forecasting procedures used for two papers that were designed to support proposed regulation related to protecting polar bears – leg “3″ of the stool. On average, these procedures violated 85% of the 90 relevant principles.
    The warming alarmists have not demonstrated the predictive validity of their procedures. Instead, their argument for predictive validity is based on their claim that nearly all scientists agree with the forecasts. Such an appeal to “voting” is contrary to the scientific method. It is also incorrect.
    We conducted a validation test of the IPCC forecasts based on the assumption that there would be no interventions. This test found that the errors for IPCC model long-term forecasts (91 to 100 years in the future) were 12.6 times larger than those from an evidence-based “no change” model.
    Based on our analyses, we concluded that the global warming alarm is an anti-scientific political movement.
    We then turned to the “structured analogies” method to forecast the likely outcomes of this movement. In this ongoing study, we have, to date, identified 26 historical alarmist movements. None of the forecasts for the analogous alarms proved correct. In the 25 alarms that called for government intervention, the government impost regulations in 23. None of the 23 interventions was effective and harm was caused by 20 of them.

    Conclusions from our analysis of the procedures used to forecast alarming manmade global warming
    Global warming alarmists have used improper procedures and, most importantly, have violated the general scientific principles of objectivity and full disclosure. They also fail to correct errors or to cite relevant literature that reaches conclusion that are unfavorable. They also have been deleting information from Wikipedia that is unfavorable to the alarmists’ viewpoint4(e.g., my entry has been frequently revised by them). These departures from the scientific method are apparently intentional. Some alarmists claim that there is no need for them to follow scientific principles. For example, the late Stanford University biology professor Stephen Schneider said, “each of us has to decide what is the right balance between being effective and being honest.” He also said “we have to offer up scary scenarios” (October 1989, Discover Magazine interview). Interestingly, Schneider had been a leader in the 1970s movement to get the government to take action to prevent global cooling. ClimateGate also documented many violations of objectivity and full disclosure committed by some of the climate experts that were in one way or another associated with the IPCC.
    The alarmists’ lack of interest in scientific forecasting procedures 5 and the evidence from opinion polls (Pew Research Center 2008) have led us to conclude that global warming is a political movement in the U.S. and elsewhere (Klaus 2009). It is a product of advocacy, rather than of the scientific testing of multiple hypotheses. “

  15. Gator May 24, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    And of course we have an unforgivable list of offenses committed by your ‘thousands of scientists’ (actually a handful of scientists in a wide variety of fields, and thousands of bureaucrats)…

    IPCC Criticism
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) officially released its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) in 2007. This document is often regarded as the definitive word on the science behind global warming. However, AR4 gives a distorted, misleading, biased and often erroneous picture. Examples of these distortions are listed here, with attention focused on the Working Group 1 Report “The Physical Science Basis” (WG1), and in particular its Summary for Policymakers (SPM). Curiously, the SPM was released in February 2007, several months before the main report. Confusingly, a “Synthesis Report” was issued in November 2007, with its own SPM. More background to the structure of the IPCC report is given here.

    Errors, Distortions and Exaggerations in the WGI Report

    How the IPCC invented a new calculus. The IPCC authors invented a new way of measuring the slope of a graph, in order to create the false impression that global warming is accelerating.
    The table that didn’t add up. The WG1 SPM was approved by the IPCC even though it contained a table with arithmetic errors. The table was quietly corrected with no admission of the error.

    False statement about Antarctic sea ice. The IPCC claims that there is no significant trends in Antarctic sea ice. In fact several papers (ignored by the IPCC) show a significant positive trend.

    Misleading claims about sea level rise. AR4 gives the misleading impression that the rate of sea level rise is increasing, using the trick of switching from one measurement system (tide gauges) to another (satellites).

    Incorrect calculation of an average. An arithmetic error was made in the calculation of an average of a contribution to radiative forcing. Hence four diagrams in AR4 are wrong and misleading.

    False claims about Antarctic ice sheet. The IPCC claims that the Antarctic ice sheet is melting and that this is contributing to sea level rise, but recent research papers show that in fact the ice sheet is thickening.

    Dubious claims about Greenland ice sheet. The IPCC claims that the Greenland ice sheet is melting and causing sea level to rise – ignoring or misrepresenting research that shows the opposite.

    Erroneous claims about snow cover. The IPCC makes the false claim that snow cover is decreasing in both hemispheres.

    Exaggerated claims about water vapour. The IPCC summary claims that water vapour has increased. In fact studies show no significant trend or in some cases a decrease.

    Misleading claims on increased tropical cyclone activity. The IPCC states that tropical cyclones have increased, by cherry-picking start dates, but their own data shows no evidence of this.

    The IPCC contradicts itself over the medieval warm period. The IPCC’s own data shows clear evidence that the medieval warm period was as warm as the late 20th century, but the text states the opposite.

    False statement about paleoclimate studies. The IPCC claims that there is increased confidence in proxy temperature reconstructions, but in fact the opposite is the case.

    Proxies that aren’t proxies. The IPCC makes use of ‘proxy’ data such as tree rings to justify their claim that current temperatures are unusual – but this data doesn’t match measured temperature.

    Downplaying the urban heat island effect. The IPCC significantly underestimates the influence of the fact that many temperature measurement sites are located in cities.

    The UN misquotes its own report. A UN press release coinciding with the release of AR4 blatantly misquoted the report, incorrectly claiming that man-made global warming was unequivocal.

    Underestimating past variation in carbon dioxide. The IPCC claims that variation of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere was very low, ignoring published research that shows much greater variation.

    Biased reporting of the literature. One of many examples where the IPCC ignores or disparages research that does not support its agenda, in the area of past solar activity.

    Where’s the beef? The crucial step of the argument for global warming – how carbon dioxide causes heating – is barely mentioned and the numbers not justified by the IPCC.

    Hypothetical positive feedback. The alarming predictions of the IPCC rely on the assumption of a strong positive feedback, for which there is no evidence.

    The lost continent of Antarctica. A world map of ‘global warming’ in the SPM omits Antarctica, where there has been cooling.

    Misleading claims about increased greenhouse effect. The IPCC claims that observations show an increase in the greenhouse effect, referring to one paper but ignoring more recent ones.
    Misleading statement about ocean heat. The IPCC SPM says that ocean heat content is increasing, without mentioning a paper that shows recent ocean cooling.

    Ignoring research that does not fit the agenda. Work of a Finnish research team with 34 publications in the field of tree ring temperature reconstructions is completely ignored by the IPCC.

    Inconsistent statement about wind strength. The IPCC SPM claims that the strength of westerly winds has increased – but if true this would be evidence for cooling of the atmosphere.

    Error regarding total radiative forcing. The ‘total net anthropogenic radiative forcing’ given by the IPCC is incorrect, according to climate scientist Roger Pielke.

    Unfair citation of criticism. IPCC author Kevin Trenberth cites his own criticism of the work of other authors, but does not mention those authors’ response to his criticism.

    Ignoring criticism of the surface temperature record. Many papers have been written raising questions about the accuracy and bias of surface temperature measurements, but these are ignored by the IPCC.

    No explanation for mid-century cooling. The IPCC has no consistent or valid explanation for a period of cooling from 1940-1970.

    False statements about tropospheric warming. The IPCC claims that the troposphere (lower atmosphere) has warmed more than the surface, but the IPCC’s own graphs show that this is not true.

    Unsubstantiated claims of human influence. The IPCC makes confident claims about man’s influence on the climate but has no evidence to support these claims.

    Misleading temperature trends (1). The IPCC claims that the trend from 1906-2005 is larger than that from 1901-2000 due to recent warm years, but in fact this is due to a sharp drop in temperatures from 1901-1906.

    Misleading temperature trends (2). The IPCC compares chalk with cheese in order to convey the false impression that temperature trends are increasing.

    False claim of warming since the TAR. The IPCC’s claim that temperatures have increased since its 2001 Third Assessment Report is demonstrably false.

    More false statements on temperature trends. The IPCC significantly underestimates temperature trends in the early part of the 20th century.

    False claims about hurricanes. The IPCC makes unsustainable claims about increasing hurricane activity and a link with global warming, ignoring key papers that find no link; this lead to one expert resigning from the IPCC.

    If you don’t like it, resign. Some scientists who do not support the IPCC agenda find they have no alternative but to resign from the IPCC process.

    Reviewer comments ignored. The IPCC reports undergo a process of review by scientists and goverments. But many valid comments and criticisms of the IPCC view are simply ignored.

    Exaggerated claims of increased precipitation. The IPCC summary greatly exaggerates the claims from its main report about an alleged very slight increase in heavy rainfall events.

    Trying to suppress work that doesn’t support the agenda. IPCC authors try to keep a paper by McKitrick and Michaels out of AR4, “even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is”.

    Hiding the decline – in the number of storms. IPCC authors insert a line about increasing wind strength into the final version of the SPM. They discuss evidence for declining number of storms but decide not to mention this.

    Hiding inconvenient proxy data. The IPCC refused to show proxy ice core data showing a warm medieval period in the Southern hemisphere, despite acknowledging a lack of such data and despite reviewer comments.

    False confidence in man-made warming. The IPCC SPM claims “very high confidence” regarding the quantification of man-mad global warming, but the main body of the report is much more cautious.

    Spinning the literature on cloud feedback. IPCC authors regurgitate chunks of their own papers on clouds, but cut back sections that refer to negative cloud feedback.

    Cherry-picking solar irradiance reconstructions. The IPCC selects outdated estimates of past solar radiance (to try to ‘explain’ early 20th century warming) while ignoring more recent research that shows very little variation.

    False confidence in long-term climate predictions. The IPCC makes the ridiculous claim that predicting the climate 50 years ahead is much easier than predicting the weather a few weeks ahead.

    Errors, Distortions and Exaggerations in the WGII Report

    Incorrect claim about Himalayan glaciers. The IPCC incorrectly said that Himalayan glaciers could melt to one fifth of their current area by 2035. This is probably a misreading of 2350.
    False claims about disaster losses. The IPCC claims a link between disaster losses and climate, by relying on a single cherry-picked non-peer-reviewed paper.

    Unsubstantiated claim about loss of Amazon rainforest. Chapter 13 of WGII claimed that 40% of the Amazon rainforest could ‘react drastically’ to a change in climate. The source for this was a WWF report that does not even support the claim. See also BBC report and The Telegraph.

    Error about the Netherlands and sea level. Chapter 12 of WGII claims that 55% of The Netherlands is below sea level. In fact the figure is about 26%. See also reports here and here.

    Unsubstantiated claims about Africa. A claim repeatedly made by the IPCC that agricultural yields in some African countries could fall by 50% as soon as 2020 has no basis.

    False claims about wildfires and climate. The IPCC claims that wildfires influence tourism, relying on newspaper reports and ignoring three expert reviewers who identify problems with this claim.

    Errors, Distortions and Exaggerations in the WGIII Report
    The report of Working Group III of the IPCC is concerned with “Mitigation of Climate Change”.

    Richard Tol, Professor of Economics, has investigated WGIII and reported his results at Roger Pielke Jr.’s blog. In his overall summary, he writes that the IPCC “substantially and knowingly misrepresents the state of the art in our understanding of the costs of emission reduction. It leads the reader to the conclusion that emission reduction is much cheaper and easier than it will be in real life.” He also writes that “all errors point in one direction: alarmism about climate change”, and refers to the “inability of the IPCC to constructively engage with valid criticism”. His specific criticisms are as follows:

    Part I. Claims by the IPCC in WGIII chapter 11 that climate policy would stimulate growth and create jobs are biased and not based on peer-reviewed literature.

    Part II. Again in Chapter 11, the IPCC highlights work that supports the view that costs of emission reduction are low, while ignoring or misquoting studies that find such costs are high.

    Part III. In the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) in WGIII, the IPCC underestimates the costs of emissions reduction, failing to correct its estimates for selection bias.

    Part IV. In Chapter 3, the IPCC misrepresents a paper (Fisher et al 2006), ignoring complaints about this by reviewers.

    Part V. In Chapter 3 and in the SPM, the IPCC incorrectly claims that exchange rates are immaterial, and misrepresents the literature. Several reviewer comments on this are ignored.

    Part VI. In the SPM, Table SPM1 underestimates the cost of reducing emissions, by a misleading process of “double counting”. The errors were pointed out by reviewers, but ignored by the IPCC.

    Acknowledgements: These examples come from many different sources. Many of them arise simply from a careful reading of AR4. Many originated from a thread at climate audit (which no longer exists) so thanks are due to those who contributed to that – especially Max. Several examples come from Roger Pielke’s Climate Science blog.
    A note on timings: Most of the items on WGI were written in the second half of 2008. The WGII and WGIII articles were written in early 2010, when the mainstream media started to note these errors.

    Yeah, it’s no wonder more people believe in ghosts than AGW, it’s a joke.

  16. Jeremy May 24, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    The IPCC is a scientific body organised through government… like NOAA incidentally, or a thousand other organisations. I don’t see your distinction, especially since your copied and pasted series of sweeping generalisations above is from the The Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, which sounds distinctly like a governmental body to me.

    PS. Can you post some links to the aforementioned peer-reviewed studies that dispute AGW theory?

  17. Gator May 24, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    “PS. Can you post some links to the aforementioned peer-reviewed studies that dispute AGW theory?”

    Yes. And I can also provide the rebuttal for each and every bogus criticism of the list.

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html

    I know how the alarmists operate, they attack people and make false claims. They do not address the hard science or facts, such as their own addiction to cherries.

    Just as you have yet to show anyone that our climate is anything other than antural. Instead you atempt to denegrate the 31,000 working scientists who have studied the issue and rejected the AGW hypothesis.

    We are no longer living in the dark ages. You do not have to be a high priest to read the holy books. It is interesting to note that societies with the most access to information, and the more a society is educated on AGW, the less likely they are to accept it.

    I used to be in the minority as a skeptic and it was like being a Jew in Nazi Germany. But now most people I meet are skeptics and most openly laugh at the idea of AGW. Science is not about consensus, but loosing numbers while ramping up the campaign should tell the alarmists something.

    Just to get things started, yes, all of those papers are peer reviewed. No, they are not all 100% against AGW, but each gives doubt to the hypothesis and/or the mitigation.

  18. Gator May 24, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    “The IPCC is a scientific body organised through government… like NOAA incidentally, or a thousand other organisations. I don’t see your distinction, especially since your copied and pasted series of sweeping generalisations above is from the The Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, which sounds distinctly like a governmental body to me.”

    Then let’s agree to throw out all governemt bodies and government funded research. I can agree to that. After all, if “Big Oil’ can sway opinion, so can ‘Big Brother’.

    Found any proof that natural cycles are not responsible for recent cliamte change?

  19. Gator May 24, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    “Do you take your car to the plumber? ”

    I can work on my own car, thankyou.

  20. Gator May 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    And then to address your claim of ‘thousands of scientists’…

    The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change misled the press and public into believing that thousands of scientists backed its claims on manmade global warming, according to Mike Hulme, a prominent climate scientist and IPCC insider. The actual number of scientists who backed that claim was “only a few dozen experts,” he states in a paper for Progress in Physical Geography, co-authored with student Martin Mahony.

    “Claims such as ‘2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous,” the paper states unambiguously, adding that they rendered “the IPCC vulnerable to outside criticism.”

    Now, I will ask again. Can you provide EVEN ONE peer reviewed paper that refutes natural variability as the cause of recent climate changes?

  21. Stefan Thiesen May 24, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    @Gator: I have seen these discussions for the last 20 odd years, and it is tiring. I am also losing my patience, which I am not supposed to. I am certainly far less tolerant about global warming contrarian ACTIVISTS than Jeremy is. What they in fact are is science deniers, and if we lose the scientific method to rely on, we are left in the darkness. There is little else that can lead to common reproducible results. We would be forced to rely on our BELIEFS only. Unfortunately our (mankinds) beliefs are utterly unreliable and diverse.

    Regarding the content of what you say and claim: John Cook also took it upon him to address the most common global warming denier arguments, one by one, on his website – although I am sure you know it: http://www.skepticalscience.com/. There is little to add.

    Now about your argument – I can give it all back: you are a typical denier, and your arguments are the same as always. They are pretty void. You use the same empty rhetoric trickery that is commonly used by creationists, which can be confusing – occasionally even paralyzing when done cleverly – but it all is empty phrases. You remind me of a medieval inquisitor. Global climate change denier arguments are surprisingly similar to those of the medieval inquisitor Heinrich Kramer described in his work “Malleus Maleficarum”. He is so tremendously logical when he talks about witches (and how to identify them and torture them and punish them). The reason is simple: he defined those logics himself. Just like you define science, while accusing Jeremy of denying the scientific method.

    Gator: I am afraid you do not talk like the trained scientist you are should talk – you talk like a person with an agenda, calling others frauds, alarmists, grantologists and other niceties while accusing your opponents of “ad hominem attacks”.

    About your “List of Scientists”: do you, by any chance, refer to the notorious “Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine” Petition Project? Is it that? If so: you can’t be serious!

    About your NOAA/ENSO Link: global warming deniers regularly attack scientists for projecting insufficient local data to a global scale. Now what did you do? You used data that refer to local ocean surface temperatures in the tropics (of all places) to make a point about global ocean temperature trends? Aside from the fact that the data are not really that conclusive and since true surface temperature is measured (by Satellites), this temperature might in fact be altered by evaporation effects – i.e. higher air temperature can technically result in lower surface water temperatures at the top layer. So – it’s more complicated. As it always is. There is another point: The data sets for the time before the early nineties are extrapolated. Which is based upon models. I seem to recall that someone criticized the use of models per se…

    Speaking of models. Models are not reality. The map is not the world. But a representation of the world. The models ARE based upon empirical studies. They are matched against observation. This is part of the model validation process. People tend to be confused by the word, but numerical models are everywhere nowadays and pervade the entire world of science and technology. And: they work! The reason, quite simply, is complexity. Complex systems obey the same physical laws as simple laboratory or thought models (ah – that word again), but they also display new characteristics, namely chaos and uncertainty, which cannot be solved analytically but require numerical solutions. Are the results 100% sure? They aren’t. How, actually, do we normally behave in unsure and potentially risky situations? We are careful and try to stay on the safe side.

    About “disproving natural variability”: why would any scientist in his right mind waste his time trying to disprove natural variability? This is not and has not what it ever has been about. The history of climate change research is a different one: Radiative forcing was discovered in the 19th century, and that there might be an additional human signal was proposed in the sixties of the 20th. The entire issue is about an additional signal caused by various effects – from massive global land use change to fossil fuel combustion – that is added to a system with, originally, unknown sensitivities.

    In this context I find it interesting: you first emphasize natural variations, which, of course, exist. Then (again) you use regional data (continuous US states) from a limited period (one that suits your argument) and project that onto the global situation. This is the methodology of an attorney at court, not that of a scientist.

    Uncertainties (again): the link you provided to the IPCC in my view is an example for pretty good transparency. The IPCC itself shows where it is weak, and where more research needs to be undertaken. And most of the points mentioned there refer to either 2nd (or lower) order effects or to required further clarifications details in feedback mechanisms. A key point: the confidence level of understanding radiative forcing is given at 90%. (at the same time: we are talking about models here – it is not consequent of you to first brush aside the validity of models altogether and then use confidence levels related to or derived from the very same models you criticize). You do the same when you use the internal model variability to support your point. It may be, indeed, that the climate variability expressed in the models have to be adjusted. Or, worse: it may be that CLIMATE CHANGE does affect the climate variability in such a way that they divert from the models that were validated by matching them against past climate. For example. I am only guessing.

    Warm is good and cold is bad? Interglacials? How do you know? I thought it all is too uncertain to know for sure in the first place? Might not the fact that we live in an entirely different world now with 7 billion humans, totally different species and massive land use change somehow factor in? And do not past climate records show that disastrous changes can happen? I would not rule out the possibility that global “warming” could lead to overshooting negative feedbacks that lead to a new ice age. The issue is radiative forcing and global climate change. Feeding energy into a chaotic system.

    You wrote: “It is not possible to accurately model that which you barely understand.” It is not? This is what modeling and theoretical research is all about! To gain understanding of that which you don’t understand. The model results by Meehl et al were also matched against observation and the ensemble was in good agreement with observation. Good enough for me to count as evidence for the validity of the models. And it is highly valuable to realize that a system behaves in an unpredictable fashion. When something is unstable you don’t touch it, right?

    And then there is the 2002 EU report titled “Late Lessons from Early Warnings”. Ultimately what we are talking about is risk assessment and abatement.
    http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/environmental_issue_report_2001_22

    One issue I don’t quite grasp: very few sane individuals would ever attempt to carry out a heart transplantation without appropriate training. But everyone seems to have something to say about climate science, which is a far more complex field. That is rather mysterious. Why is that so? Partly because there are vested interests. And your opinion that there is no concerted action is at best naive. It has long been known that powerful interest groups have invested millions into spreading contrarian propaganda. You can look some of them up at the Union of Concerned Scientists. (probably all the members and supporters are grantologists and frauds from your point of view).

    But by all means: please provide us with the list of 900 PEER REVIEWED papers. refuting AGW.

  22. Gator May 24, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    Hey Stefan! Can you disprove natural variabilty? No? Sad.

    Your appeals to authority and models is laughable. I am laughing right now.

    For you to claim that I do not speak lie a trained scientist is a hoot!

    Look up the scientific method and get back to me. I was a climatology student 25 years ago and have followed the science since. You have nothing but failed models and predictions.

    Now, get back to square one and disprove natural variabilty and stop smearing other scientists. You have piddled around for over 30 years and have nothing to show, you still cannot show a human fingerprint on global temperatures.

    Do your job and stop forcing skpetics do it for you.

    Hey Jeremy, I guess you called for reinforcements. Next time find somone armed with facts.

  23. Gator May 24, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    Oh, and thanyou Stefan, for showing your contempt for science…

    “About “disproving natural variability”: why would any scientist in his right mind waste his time trying to disprove natural variability?”

    Yeah, why waste time disproving the most obvious asnswer when you have an agenda? Guess it was just too darn inconveneient once it was discovered this could not be done. So skip step #1 and leeap toward your agenda!

    Do you have any idea how silly you sound? Advocating the leap to wild conclusions.

    You sir are the denier of the scientific method, and this not just my opinion, it is the opinion pf Dr John Chrtisty (et al) and the Law department of the University of Pennsylvania.

    “A cross examination of global warming science conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Law and Economics has concluded that VIRTUALLY EVERY CLAIM advanced by global warming proponents FAIL to stand up to SCRUTINY.
    The cross-examination, carried out by Jason Scott Johnston, Professor and Director of the Program on Law, Environment and Economy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, found that “on VIRTUALL EVERY MAJOR ISSUE IN CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE, the [reports of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] and other summarizing work by leading climate establishment scientists have ADOPTED VARIOUS RHETORICAL STRATEGIES that seem to SYSTEMATICALLY CONCEAL OR MINIMIZE what appear to be FUNDAMENTAL SCIENTIFIC uncertainties or even disagreements.”
    Professor Johnson, who expressed surprise that the CASE FOR GLOBAL WARMING WAS SO WEAK, systematically examined the claims made in IPCC publications and other similar work by leading climate establishment scientists and compared them with what is found in the peer-edited climate science literature. He found that THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY DOES NOT FOLLOW THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD. Instead, it “seems overall to comprise AN EFFOR TO MARSHALL evidence in favor of a PREDERMINDED POLICY PREFERNCE.”

    Gee, that sure explains leaping over step one!

    • Jeremy May 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

      People comment here on their own initiative Gator, and you’re the one making yourself look foolish.

      How? Because you haven’t bothered to read my comments. I said right at the beginning that nobody contests that there is natural variability. Stefan said it too. Why do you keep coming back to it, demanding that we prove something that nobody is claiming? We agree with you. Did you hear that? WE AGREE WITH YOU. No serious scientist is out to disprove natural variability.

      However, I gave you a peer reviewed study that shows the interplay between natural variability and human activity, but you deemed it unworthy science. If you won’t respect the science, we have no basis to form arguments either way.

      I’ve asked five or six times for you to make good on your claim that you have 900 studies that refute AGW and you haven’t posted any. So I’m done here.

      I’m not ducking the discussion. If you’re ignoring what I’m saying, then we’re not discussing, are we? I’m just wasting my time. No doubt you’ll want the last word – be my guest.

  24. Gator May 24, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    Actually Jeremy, this is what Stefan said, I read just find…

    “About “disproving natural variability”: why would any scientist in his right mind waste his time trying to disprove natural variability?”

    And I gave you the link for the papers. Do you not read?

    Sad that you admit defeat so easily. But thanks for giving me the last word.

    I stand by sound science and the scientific method. I do not debate from a position of emotion or religion. I instead study the billions of years of empirical data we have that tells us that our climate fluctuates wildly all on its own. There is nothing unusual or unprecedented about the recent climate shifts we have experienced.

    Before we destroy wealth that could be better used to stop the suffering of millions, we need to make damn sure we are correct. By Lomborg’s calculations, the amount of money we are spending on climate science and mitigation is enough to feed, clothe, shelter and give medical care to every human being on this planet. Why do you hate people so?

    On a related note, we are still looking for 50 million climate refugees we were promised, and some ‘missing heat’.

    In their ‘Testimony to Subcommittee on Energy and Environment Committee on Science’, J. Scott Armstrong, Kesten C. Green, and Willie Soon stated in regards to the sort of alarmism that is associated with AGW…

    “Based on our analyses, we concluded that the global warming alarm is an ANTI-SCIENTIFIC POLITICAL MOVEMENT. We then turned to the “structured analogies” method to forecast the likely outcomes of this movement. In this ongoing study, we have, to date, identified 26 historical alarmist movements. NONE of the forecasts for the analogous alarms proved correct. In the 25 alarms that called for government intervention, the government impost regulations in 23. NONE of the 23 interventions was effective and HARM was caused by 20 of them.”

    They go on to testify before congress stating…

    “We drew upon scientific (evidence-based) forecasting principles to audit the forecasting procedures used to forecast global mean temperatures by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) -leg “1″ of the stool. This audit found that the procedures VIOLATED 81% of the 89 relevant forecasting PRINCIPLES.”

    “We also did an audit of the forecasting procedures used for two papers that were designed to support proposed regulation related to protecting polar bears – leg “3″ of the stool. On average, these procedures VIOLATED 85% of the 90 relevant PRINCIPLES.”

    “The warming alarmists have not demonstrated the predictive validity of their procedures. Instead, their argument for predictive validity is based on their claim that nearly all scientists agree with the forecasts. Such an appeal to “voting” is CONTRARY TO THE SCIENTIOFIC METHOD. It is also incorrect.
    We conducted a validation test of the IPCC forecasts based on the assumption that there would be no interventions. This test found that the errors for IPCC model long-term forecasts (91 to 100 years in the future) were 12.6 TIMES LARGER than those from an evidence-based “no change” model.
    Based on our analyses, we concluded that the global warming alarm is an ANTI-SCIENTIFIC POLITIAL MOVEMENT.”

    Of course, if you like I can also add what Dr John Christy testified before congress. OK, but just a taste though!

    “The term “consensus science” will often be appealed to in arguments about
    climate change. This is a form of “argument from authority.” Consensus, however, is a
    POLITICAL notion, NOT a SCIENTIFIC notion. As I testified to the Inter-Academy Council last
    June, the IPCC and other similar Assessments do not represent for me a consensus of
    much more than the consensus of those who already agree with a particular consensus.
    The content of these reports is actually under the control of a relatively SMALL NUMBER of
    individuals – I often refer to them as the “CLIMATE ESTABLISHMENT” – who through the years, in my opinion, came to act as GATEKEEPERS of scientific opinion and information, rather than brokers. The voices of those of us who object to various statements and emphases
    in these assessments are by-in-large dismissed rather than acknowledged.”

    And Dr Bellamy says…

    “WHAT OTHER EVIDENCE DO WE HAVE TO SUGGEST THAT THE CLIMATE MODELS ARE UNLIKELY TO BE RELIABLE
    1. Since 1995, world temperatures have actually plateaud despite a continued increase in CO2 emissions.
    2. In 2005, NASA launched a satellite known as the Aqua satellite. One of the purposes of this satellite was to test two assumptions which all climate models rely on:
    i) That there will be a warming in the troposphere above the equator (This is the signature of the greenhouse effect)
    ii) In laymen’s terms, an increase in CO2 in the troposphere would be accompanied by an increase in water vapour (the most potent greenhouse gas of all).
    The Aqua satellite found NO WARMING IN THE TROPOSHERE above the Equator and NO INCREASE in water vapour accompanying the increased CO2.”

    And 60 smart German scientists say…

    “A real comprehensive study, whose value would have been absolutely essential, would have shown, even before the IPCC was founded, that humans HAVE HAD NO MEASURABLE EFFECT on global warming through CO2 emissions. Instead the temperature fluctuations have been WITHIN NORMAL RANGES and are due to NATURAL CYCLES. Indeed the atmosphere HAS NOT WARMED since 1998 – more than 10 years, and the global TEMPERATURE HAS DROPPED significantly since 2003.
    NOT ONE of the many extremely expensive CLIMATE MODLELS predicted this. According to the IPCC, it was supposed to have gotten steadily warmer, but just the OPPOSITE has occurred.
    More importantly, there’s a growing body of evidence=2 0showing anthropogenic CO2 plays NO MEASURABLE ROLE. Indeed CO2′s capability to absorb radiation is already EXHAUSTED by today’s atmospheric concentrations. If CO2 did indeed have an effect and all fossil fuels were burned, then additional warming over the long term would in fact remain limited to only a few tenths of a degree.
    The IPCC had to have been aware of this fact, butCOMPLETELY IGNORED it during its studies of 160 years of temperature measurements and 150 years of determined CO2 levels. As a result the IPCC has LOST ITS SCIENTIFIC CREDIBILITY. The main points on this subject are included in the accompanying addendum.
    In the meantime, the BELIEF of climate change, and that it is manmade, has become a PSEUDO-RELIGION. Its proponents, WITHOUT THOUGHT, pillory independent and fact-based analysts and experts, many of whom are the best and brightest of the international scientific community. Fortunately in the internet it is possible to find numerous scientific works that show in detail there isNO ANTHROPOGENIC CO2 CAUSED CLIAMTE CHANGE. If it was not for the internet, climate realists would hardly be able to make their voices heard. Rarely do their critical views get published.”

    Gosh, that’s alot of deniers! And gosh, it looks like they are telling the truth.

    What I find most gratifying about all of this is that time has shown and will continue to show AGW is an agenda, and not science.

    Remove all the cold biased stations you like from the GHCN, and it wtill will not warm the planet. The truth always comes out in the end, and we are near the end of this AGW scare, thank God.

  25. Red Jeff May 24, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

    The problem with alarmism is that it asks me to think for myself as long as I ultimately believe as you do. The threadbare arguements of Exxon, tobacco, big coal, flat earth, evolution and the such is at this point in time too much of a credible stretch to be rehashed ad nausium (sp?). As a matter of pure coincidence, both 50,000,000 climate refugees nor The Rapture happened. Despite sincere conviction and belief in both. Does this not sound similar? Or, is the difference in that alarmism is right wherein religious conviction is not.

    Does it not seem eerily similar that each climate/religious senerio is only to be fulfilled after the departing of the most righteous adherents? Are not the visions of heaven/hell the same with exception of locale? One on Earth, one in the ‘ether’?

    The fact is I come to a different conclusion than you. I am neither ignorant, nor unscientific. I have no TV and haven’t for over 15 years. I read vast amounts on a great many subjects and am sure to read the comments as well. The fact you would be quite ignorant in subjects of my knowledge is not a reflection of your stupidity, but instead a reflection of the knowledge you have yet to learn. I am no different, I am ignorant in a great many things, and, as such, my learning will continue, despite your protests that the “debate is over” and it is time for me to put away my books and simply echo your words.

    As I have always said… “teachers teach you to question authority… unless it is theirs.” Feel free to quote it.

    Respectfully….. Jeff

  26. Jeremy May 25, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    Wow, I love the way the internet generates cliches so quickly. Of course, you got your information about the 50 million refugees thing after it had already been spun as a false prediction, rather than from UNEP themselves.

    Read in context in the original report, you’d find that a) it wasn’t a prediction – it is mentioned as a possibility. b) The report talks about environmental refugees generally, not just those displaced by climate change. Taking in famine and drought victims, those displaced by deforestation or relocated for large building projects such as dams, and 50m is not an outrageous guess. c) the point of the report isn’t to speculate on the number of environmental refugees, but to argue that the international community needs to create the category of ‘environmental refugee’. d) Since we still don’t have that category, we don’t actually know how many environmental refugees there are. It could be 20 million, it could be 50, or 100. We don’t know because nobody’s counting, so UNEP’s estimate has been neither proved nor disproved.

    You’ve declared UNEP’s work to be the same as the wackos announcing the end of the world. But considering how casually you disregard the above facts and repeat the uninformed chatter of the internet, I’m hardly inclined to take lessons from you in thinking for myself.

  27. Red Jeff May 25, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    Thank you for responding. Changeing semantics: prediction/possibility doesn’t change the fact it’s untrue. As you freely admit the number could be 20-50-100 million (OR 0) no one knows… that doesn’t stop the fearmongering of alarmism. The fostering of opinion as fact is nowhere more widespread than in the alarmist mantras. It’s not only in invisible refugees but disappearing flora and fauna…

    On average, one extinction happens somewhere on earth every 20 minutes. Ecologists estimate that half of all living bird and mammal species will be gone within 200 or 300 years” Dr Phillip S. Levin and Dr Donald A. Levin (2002)(Dr Donald A. Levin is Professor of Biology, University of Texas, Austin; his son Dr Phillip Levin is a biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service) http://www.green-blog.org/2008/07/23/what-top-world-scientists-say-about-the-climate-emergency/

    Since year 2000 there has been 5,259,600 minutes therefore there have been 262,980 species gone extinct. Can anyone tell me 1/100th of 1 percent of those species? In plain words can anyone tell me 26 species extinct since the year 2000?

    NO because it’s pure unadulterated Bull.

    Or as I like to say “Where are the corpses?”

    Another smartass aside… How many species are there? Double dare you to attempt a guess… a single number +/- 25%. Another piece of pure speculation based on opinion.

    Can you tell me at what point did your science became your religion?

    • Jeremy May 26, 2011 at 9:46 am #

      There are exaggerators on both sides. You’re one yourself – you’re saying these kinds of comments are “pure unadulterated bull”, when there’s more than a grain of truth in the refugees thing and the species thing, even if it is dressed up in extreme language. It’s up to thinking people to work out that truth for themselves, neither to swallow it whole nor to reject it entirely.

      I’m not a scientist and science is not my religion. I’m just trying to act justly, and love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

    • Red Jeff May 26, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

      So calling an exaggeration “bull” makes me an exaggerator also? That defies logic. As for the “grain of truth”, rather than simply profess it, please give it… 1/100th of 1%’s worth… 26 species. Thats the main reason for the alarmist’s downfall, the clinging to clearly unreasonable theories with a ‘well, it could happen’ attitude. As for “It’s up to thinking people to work out that truth for themselves” thats a pretty piss poor excuse for a University of Texas professor’s rubbish. Considering alarmist’s mantra of appealing to wiser authority figures (the ol’ 90-97-98% consensus) you must relize your own contradiction.

      The formula for extinction rate = (# of species extinct)/(total # of species)/time.

      Again I ask how many species are there? Here’s what I’ve found…

      1.The biosphere supports between 3 and 30 million species http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/66191/biosphere
      2.there could be anywhere from 5 million to 100 million species http://www.livescience.com/4593-greatest-mysteries-species-exist-earth.html
      3.an estimated 13-14 million species that exist. cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/species_extinction_05_2007.pdf
      4.biologists estimate there may be more than 150 million species of living things on the earth. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Species#Number_of_species
      5. E. O. Wilson in his 1992 book The Diversity of Life, stated “How many species of organisms are there on earth? We don’t know, not even to the nearest order of magnitude. The numbers could be as close to 10 million or as high as 100 million.”
      6.Total number of species (estimated): 7–100 millions en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species#Numbers_of_species
      7.species on Earth range from 5 to 30 million http://www.enviroliteracy.org/article.php/58.html
      8.Given a conservative estimate of 4 million to 6 million species on Earth today http://www.conservation.org/act/get_involved/Pages/stop-the-clock-methodology.aspx

      So with NO ACTUAL knowledge of the denominator number Alarmists nevertheless pronounce “The current overall extinction rate is about 100 to 1,000 times the natural, or background, extinction rate.” news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6901056.stm

      Since I asked this question yesterday another 72 species vanished. How about naming 1… just 1, or am I exaggerating too much?

  28. Red Jeff May 26, 2011 at 4:13 am #

    As a further aside, and more pointed remark regarding the complete lack of practical focus alarmist religion is promoting…

    California, one of the most enviro-progressive jurisdictions is more concerned with the weather in 100 years than their citizens safety right now… “The Supreme Court on Monday endorsed a court order requiring California to cut its prison population by tens of thousands of inmates to improve health care for those who remain behind bars.
    The court said in a 5-4 decision that the reduction is “required by the Constitution” to correct longstanding violations of inmates’ rights. The order mandates a prison population of no more than 110,000 inmates, still far above the system’s designed capacity.
    There are more than 142,000 inmates in the state’s 33 adult prisons, meaning roughly 32,000 inmates will need to be transferred to other jurisdictions or released.” http://hotair.com/archives/2011/05/23/supreme-court-orders-release-of-over-30000-prisoners-in-ca-to-improve-health-care/

    And all NEW convicts into the system means another must be released from the currently incarcerated. It’s high time that you spend, spend, spend folk realize paper grows on trees… money doesn’t. Re-examine your priorities and accept there is a divergence of church and state… all other religions have.

    • Jeremy May 26, 2011 at 9:51 am #

      Well, some of us aren’t so sure about what California is up to. From where I’m standing it looks like they’ve been pretty reckless on a whole bunch of fronts. Which is, presumably, why they’re entirely broke.

      I’m not sure what link you’re drawing between California’s prisons policy and its environmental guidelines. I do know that the US has the highest incarceration rates in the developed world, and that there are other ways to make people atone for their crimes than jail. It won’t necessarily make the state less safe. But this is a whole other thing.

    • Red Jeff May 26, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

      Ontario-UK-California… it’s like asking which is the dumbest of the 3 Stooges. We’re all in the same financially sinking boats.

  29. Stefan Thiesen May 26, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    @Gator: You said being a “global warming skeptic” was like being a Jew in Nazi Germany. So you were branded with a publicly visible sign? Then you were separated from your family, all your possessions were taken from you, you lost all your citizen’s rights, and ultimately your family was brutally murdered – together with the families of all other global warming deniers? Sorry – but your rhetoric are full of fouls. You even (deliberately, I have to assume) misrepresent the meaning of the simple word consensus. When I referred to your writing style as unscientific, I exactly meant statements like indirectly calling your oponents Nazis.

    Regarding your critique of evaluating the work of climate modelers – who would you entrust with formally evaluating the work of theoretical physicists? A paper about relativistic cosmology usually is reviewed by experts in relativistic cosmology and not, say, experts in laser spectroscopy. You seem to attempt to turn the word “modeler” into a four letter word. Most modelers I know are mathematicians or theoretical physicists, but they do not work in isolation. The groups are interdisciplinary. And are you saying that systems science is no science?

    Regarding your critique of so many young people being involved: most physics Nobel laureates did their pivotal work before the age of 30.

    @Gator & Red Jeff: Why doesn’t looking at funding sources of denier organizations have credibility?
    To put things into perspective: THE IPCC has an annual budget of around € 5.3 Million, most of which is not spend for PR purposes. So regarding bias and interests, let’s remember that climate scientists are generally publicly employed scientists. Professors here in Germany, for example, cannot even be fired. They have no direct material advantage from arriving at certain results, unless they receive additional payment from third parties. Question: who is likely to be more unbiased and independent and act in public interest – a state prosecutor or a corporate lawyer? Koch Industries spent $49.5 million on oil and gas lobbying from January 2006 to December 2010. During this period in the oil and gas sector, Koch Industries was outspent only by Exxon Mobil ($100.3 million), Chevron ($63.2 million) and ConocoPhillips ($52.2 million). That’s $ 256.2 Million for general lobbying.

    The Koch foundations alone funded climate denier groups with more than $31.6 million from 2005 to 2009. Exxon Mobil provided about $10.2 million to similar organizations over the same period. This means within 4 years $ 41.8 Million were shelled out for climate denial campaigns by these two corporations alone. More than enough for a divide and rule campaign.

    http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/polluterwatch/koch-industries-secretly-fund/

    Regarding the giant list of peer reviewed papers allegedly deconstructing anthropogenic global warming: it is deeply flawed. For one: most papers and authors I quickly checked are in the one or the other way cross-connected to the same network of EXXON, Koch brothers, Western Fuels and the notorious Marshall and Oregon Institutes. (You’ll probably consider this irrelevant, although you use precisely that argument by accusing “modelers” of “being from the same institute” etc. Question: who is likely to be more unbiased and independent and act in public interest – a state prosecutor or a corporate lawyer?) The papers, that I only scanned quickly, also span a vast variety of – partly contradictory – claims and statements. In some cases a individual scientists carried out experiments and/or measurements that are meant to prove all globally available data sets wrong. Many of the papers use inappropriate language and personal attacks. At least one (Gerlich/Tscheuschner, both German physicists) completely denies the existence of atmospheric radiative forcing of any sort. That one I know well, as it is a favorite of some hardcore German Climate Change deniers (which are also connected to the very same aforementioned US interest groups), but the paper is so flawed that it was rejected by one of the largest – but more moderate – climate change skeptics groups in Germany, the so called “EIKE – Europäisches Institut für Klima und Energie”, which is very, very, very similar in design and style and mission to the “Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change”. However – the EIKE is slightly more professional than “populartechnology”, so they realized that this paper (Gerlich/Tscheuschner) would explode into their face. Another paper I know is the 1977 Dyson paper on storing CO2 by planting trees. A great idea! But it makes no statement whatsoever about risks from global warming and mentions, rightly, the judgment still was out at that time. The now 86 or 87 years old Freeman Dyson has strong opinions on global warming, but mainly criticizes the (in his view) dominating arrogant style in the field and he freely admits he is not an expert. He also thinks that other issues might be more important (he mentions marine pollution, species extinction), which is a point that can be discussed. Otherwise: it should be obvious that none of us here can read through the hundreds of papers. I, for one, haven’t been involved in the field for quite some time, and neither do I have the expertise nor the time to go into depths. I do generally trust the experts. I have little other choice. And I do bring my car to a car mechanic, because the car I drive is a bit too complex for home remedies. When I was a student I also trusted my physics professors more than the fellow who stood in front of the nuclear physics institute with a bulletin board displaying an elaborate theory concluding that atoms don’t exist. I also have experienced big industry tactics first hand, so I have no illusions about the mechanics, tactics and ethical standards of global corporate lobbyism. Tell me about “group think”. The “60 Scientists” you mention signed a letter of the EIKE lobby group to Chancellor Merkel. EIKE for example shares a PO box with the European branch of the “Commitee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT)”, which, again, was sponsered by EXXON mobile with US$ 578,000 and received US$ 175.000 from the Sarah Scaife Foundation as well as US$1.105 Million from the Carthage Foundation. CFACT/EIKE are no scinetific bodies or institutions – they are industry funded ideological pressure groups, and one of the hallmarks of EIKE publications is that they, too, use tremendously aggressive, offending and foul language. Again: who shall we trust more: corporate lawyers or public prosecutors?

    Judging from your writings I presume that you know every website about the topic. But other readers of this blog might be interested:

    There is a good book chapter in Agnotology: The Cultural Production of Ignorance, edited by Robert Proctor and Londa Schiebinger, Stanford University Press. Challenging Knowledge: How Climate Science Became a Victim of the Cold War Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway. http://www.project2061.org/events/meetings/climate2010/media/Challenging_16Oct07.pdf See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnotology.

    And here be a list with papers and statements debunk AGW denier papers, many of them on the “populartechnology” list:
    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/anti-agw-papers-debunked/

    All in all I consider this a futile discussion, mainly because it has been chewed through over and over again.

    • Red Jeff May 26, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

      Stefan, seeing as how many EU countries are in such dire financial straights I would have thought you would have noticed how expensive government mandated global warming policies have hurt your economies. I understand that it’s other peoples money you wish to spend on your unfounded fears, however, I am wondering when this lavish waste will stop. Like Greece, Ireland, Italy and Portugal will it stop when you run out of money and not until?

      California’s Proposition 23 was defeated by well meaning, honest, better than me folks who spent as such…
      Thomas Steyer — $5,049,000
      National Wildlife Foundation — $3,000,000
      L. John & Ann Doerr — $2,000,000
      Sierra Club — $1,260,890
      The League of Conservation Voters — $1,250,000
      Vinod Khosla — $1,037,267
      Gordon Moore — $1,000,000
      James Cameron — $1,000,000
      Robert J. Fisher — $1,000,000
      ClimateWorks Foundation — $900,000
      The Nature Conservancy — $800,000
      Bill Gates — $700,000
      Claire Perry — $500,000
      Green Tech Action Fund — $500,000
      John P. Morgridge — $500,000
      Julian H. Robertson Jr. — $500,000
      Wendy Schmidt — $500,000

      Thats $21,000,000. to defeat 1 Californian proposition. By YOUR OWN NUMBERS “Koch Industries spent $49.5 million on oil and gas lobbying from January 2006 to December 2010. During this period in the oil and gas sector, Koch Industries was outspent only by Exxon Mobil ($100.3 million), Chevron ($63.2 million) and ConocoPhillips ($52.2 million). That’s $ 256.2 Million for general lobbying.” Exxon spent $20,060,000 per annum on general lobbying. These folk outspent Exxon’s yearly budget to defeat 1 proposition. Would a situation like that even be noticed by you or do you dismiss it as justified?

      My government is entering into an agreement with Samsung solar paying $7 BILLION… show me Exxon’s similar spending……….. Here let me help…… this is how Canada’s oil and gas industry pay’s for my benefits… “The truth is our energy industry pays a lot of tax ­­– an awful lot of tax. In 2006 – the last census year we’ve got – our oil and gas producing industry paid $4 billion to governments for exploration and development rights, $15 billion in production royalties, $6 billion in federal and provincial corporate income taxes, and $1 billion in municipal property taxes.

      Then there’s the equipment and service sector all across Canada that supports this development. Besides employing more than 800,000 Canadians directly and indirectly, oil and gas support industries paid $9 billion in corporate and payroll taxes.

      Then there’s taxation on consumer products. In 2006 there was $5 billion paid in federal excise taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, $8 billion in provincial excise fuel taxes, and $2 billion in fuel GST.

      So the total taxes and royalties paid on oil and gas from concept to consumer in 2006 from this so-called “subsidized” industry was at least $50 billion.” http://wildrosealliance.ca/speech/danielles-speech-to-the-reseau-liberte-quebec/

      So Stefan, when you ask “Why doesn’t looking at funding sources of denier organizations have credibility?” then you must agree that when the shoe is on the other foot it must be as pertinent.

  30. Stefan Thiesen May 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

    @Red Jeff: from your point of view CA climate protection policies and prison policy are at odds because public risk would arise from releasing prisoners? I find this interesting, because it seems that you are employing the precautionary principle when it comes to potential risks acrueing from the release of prisoners, while you refuse to use the very same principle for environmental protection. One should also not forget that most environmental protection/climate mitigation and adaptation measures also address the resource issue. Renewable energies therefore are in any case a reasonable future investment, no matter whether global climate change is human induced/amplified or not. The same is true for coastal protection: it doesn’t matter what the cause of sea level rise is. It is rising, and the topic has to be addressed.

    One cultura difference: you point out the risk from potentially released prisoners, while I should add that there are Many people in California serving lifetime sentences for offenses that are minor offenses at best in most European countries and even legal in some. So all those people are free here, and our crime rates, in general, are much lower.

    • Gator May 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

      Stefan cannot get his facts straight. Sea level rise is not a concern either.

      “Europe’s Envisat satellite measured a drop in sea level of almost 20 mm since the beginning of 2010, and is now lower than at the start of their record eight years ago.”

      http://stevengoddard.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/chart_117.png

      And the precautionary principle applies to releasing criminals?

      “The precautionary principle or precautionary approach states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking the action.”

      Sorry Stefan, it does not take a rocket scientist to see the risk. And the studies have been done…

      “There is a strong nexus between prisoner reentry and public safety, principally because the rates of recidivism among prisoners are so high. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has published the most comprehensive studies of recidivism among prisoners (Langan and Levin 2002; Beck and Shipley 1989). The most recent study tracked the rearrests, reconvictions, and returns to prison of a sample of the 272,111 individuals leaving prison in fifteen states in 1994. According to this study, more than two-thirds (67.5%) of prisoners released in 1994 were rearrested for at least one new crime within three years. Nearly half (46.9%) were convicted of a new crime; more than half (51.8%) were returned to prison, either for a new crime or for technical violations of parole (Langan and Levin 2002). Findings from the earlier study of a 1983 release cohort were remarkably similar. Examining 108,580 state prisoners released in 1983 from eleven states, Beck and Shipley (1989) report that 62.5% were rearrested over a three-year period, very close to the 67.5% for the 1994 cohort. The reconviction rates varied little from the 1983 to the 1994 cohorts, with 46.8% of 1983 releases reconvicted. The return to prison rate was lower for the 1983 cohort, at 41.4%. ”

      Please stop spreading disinformation and get with the facts.

      FACT – There is nothing unusual or unprecedented about our current climate or how we got here.

    • Red Jeff May 26, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

      Stefan, when you reread your statement… “it seems that you are employing the precautionary principle when it comes to potential risks acrueing from the release of prisoners, while you refuse to use the very same principle for environmental protection.” it may dawn on you how foolish it is.

      Using beyond faulty logic I declare a country with no crime laws to have no crime, or as you say using different words “Many people in California serving lifetime sentences for offenses that are minor offenses at best in most European countries and even legal in some. So all those people are free here, and our crime rates, in general, are much lower.”

      Stefan, any opinion on specious species extinction?

  31. Gator May 26, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    Hey Stefan! A linguist you are not.

    I did not say being a skeptic was ‘exactly’ like being a Jew in Nazi Germany. But you know I do recall alarmists saying that folks like me should be rounded up, and I do recall coal trains beinfg referred to as ‘death trains’. The rhetoric flys on both sides, and again, you alarmists seem to have difficulty discerning various forms of information. You cannot tell models from the real world and have selectively alarmist memories.

    And thanks for bringing up the funding, I was going to get around to that…

    “The US government has provided over $79 billion since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, foreign aid, and tax breaks.” (2009)

    “Carbon trading worldwide reached $126 billion in 2008. Banks are calling for more carbon-trading. And experts are predicting the carbon market will reach $2 – $10 trillion making carbon the largest single commodity traded.”

    “Meanwhile in a distracting sideshow, Exxon-Mobil Corp is repeatedly attacked for paying a grand total of $23 million to skeptics—less than a thousandth of what the US government has put in, and less than one five-thousandth of the value of carbon trading in just the single year of 2008.”

    Koch brothers money also pales, and has also been used to fund warmists in Berkely. The figures I have read show alarmists are funded at about a 3000 to 1 ratio.

    And bless you for mentioning Oreskes and futrther weakening your credibility. The entire reason I ended up at this farsical website is because I saw that fraud Washington qu0ting that thoroughly trashed propaganda produced by Oreskes to try and show a 97% consenus for AGW.

    Only a fool or a liar would point to the Oreskes paper as proof of anything other than massive and shameful piece of propaganda. And further lies from alarmists.

    Missing heat, missisng hotspot, missing ferugees, missing extinct species, ice cap NOT missing, oceans cooling, plants thriving, alarmists crying.

    There is nothing unusual or unprecedented about the curent climate or how we got here.

    There is not EVEN ONE peer reviewed paper that refutes natural variablity as the driver of climate change.

    If you cannot show the climate changes are unnatural, you cannot say man is responsible. Basic logic. Period.

    Maybe the reason I do not sound lkike a scientist to you is because I am not. I was trained as a geologist and got a job making things instead of taking things. I was a climatology student 25 years ago and also was trained for a remote sensing position with the Defense Mapping Agency.

    Those who you consider ‘scientists’ dwell in a theoretical world of models and wild conjecture. I do not.

    It bears repeating…

    There is nothing unusual or unprecedented about the curent climate or how we got here.

    There is not EVEN ONE peer reviewed paper that refutes natural variablity as the driver of climate change.

    Quit promoting nonsesnse. Quit fudging numbers regarding funding and do something productive with your time.

  32. Jeremy May 26, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    Thanks for your final piece of advice there. I’m off to do something productive with my time… Can I suggest you do the same?

    • Gator May 26, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

      Don’t worry, I am getting to Stefan next.

  33. Stefan Thiesen May 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    @Gator:

    There is one point where we totally agree: that “carbon trading” is bogus. Although I guess we arrive at that conclusion for entirely different reasons.

    You wrote:
    “I used to be in the minority as a skeptic and it was like being a Jew in Nazi Germany.”
    Close enough in my view. This is always an extreme comparison, no matter who uses it, unless it refers to similar attrocities. A gay person in Uganda might for example almost feel like being a Jew in Nazi Germany.

    I’d be curious to know what’s in those funding numbers you mention. Tax breaks – for whom? Under what conditions? Technology funding: what kind of? “Carbon sequestration” (fossil fuel industry benefits)? Nuclear energy?

    But I see this is not leading anywhere. You have your opinion (that’s wht it is), and I tend to trust our state universities and independent study groups. So far I see no evidence that they are all comprised of unqualified individuals who are part of a global conspiracy.

    I will now follow your suggestion.

  34. Gator May 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    “You have your opinion …”

    No, I have facts Stefan.

    Fact #1 – There is nothing unprecedented or unususal about our current cliamte or how we got here.

    Fact #2 – There is not one peer reviewed paper that can show man is altering climate on a global scale because there is not one peer reviewed paper that refutes or even quantifies natural variability.

    These are facts and not opinion. Again, you guys have issues with logic and facts.

    ” …and I tend to trust our state universities and independent study groups.”

    Really? How about SPPI or the ICCC? The Heartland Institute? Dr Lindzen? Dr Christy?

    I do not trust anyone to whom I am not related or do not know intimately, I verify. That is the difference between you and I.

    I trusted the academics and government data when I wrote my paper on desertification 25 years ago and was humiliated because, just like AGW, not one prediction came true.

    Trust is for families and friends, and otherwise fools.

    Fact #3 – The opposite of skeptical is gullible.

    “So far I see no evidence that they are all comprised of unqualified individuals who are part of a global conspiracy.”

    Neither do I. Some few are qualified.

    Global conspiracy? Is that a little over the top? Let’s see.

    Webster’s says that a conspiracy is an agreement amongst conspirators. Well, we have a manufactured ‘consensus’. Isn’t that an agreement? What about Kyoto? And those who are in this agreement have worked together to withold information and change the geologic record. Plus they have regular global meetings. You know, that thingy called the United Nations, that spawned the Intger”governmental” Panel on Climate Change. Are they not always working together to push through global climate legislation? You know, a global carbon tax thrust upon an unwilling public.

    Gee, global conspiracy starts to sound a little more correct when you reason it all out. Thanks for clearing that up Stefan! One day I will teach you how to connect the dots too.

    Of course you are not looking for conspiracy, in fact you are putting on blinders and advocating, just like those that Stalin called useful idiots. His words, not mine. I would call you a zealous enabler and confiscator of freedoms, among other things.

    I refuse to sit idly by and watch innocent humans suffer and die as the result of, not just misguided poilicies, but evil policies. I know everyone gets excited when something is declared ‘evil’, but in this case it applies.

    Fact #4 – The founders of the most free country in the history of the Earth declared that my individual rights are a gift from God. And that NO MAN has the right to deny my freedoms. Anyone who atttempts to usurp God’s will, free will, is evil. Our founders realized that a society that adheres to the 10 commandments operates best. As far as additional parameters for a civil society, that is up to the people to decide, not the elites.

    Fact #5 – Cass Sunstein famously said that… “some conspiracy theories, under our definition, have turned out to be true.” He has also said that he wants to shepherd society through ‘nudges’, regulations meant to restrict freedoms. Sunstein wants to ban conspiracy theories.

    Gee, that seems odd for someone who has admitted that they can be true.

    Fact #6 – Sunstein would ban advocating that the theory of global warming is a deliberate fraud.

    Fact #7 – Sunstein is Obamas Regulatory Czar.

    I could show you more facts and conspiracy, but you would just further deny them.

    It bears repeating…

    Fact #1 – There is nothing unprecedented or unususal about our current cliamte or how we got here.

    Fact #2 – There is not one peer reviewed paper that can show man is altering climate on a global scale becuase there is not one peer reviewed paper that refutes or even quantifies natural variability.

  35. Jeremy May 26, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    Just so you know, you’re carrying on without me here.

    If you want to go round in circles on this forever, you have more time than I do.

    • Gator May 26, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

      Giving up so easy? Sad, maybe your heart isn’t actually in this.

      Well, if you ever find a way to identify a human fingerprint on global temperature, please do tell.

      God Bless.

    • Robin Guenier May 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

      Jeremy/Gator:

      I’m sorry that your interesting exchange appears to be over. Two weeks ago (13 May), I observed here that,

      … advocates of the need for urgent action should focus, not on being rude about their opponents, but on the much more difficult and serious task of persuading them of the validity (not proof) of each the following claims:
      1. first, that recent warming is not a continuation of natural variation, but is somehow anomalous;
      2. then that the primary cause of the anomaly is Mankind’s emission of “greenhouse” gas, especially CO2;
      3. then that, if the anomaly continues, it will cause serious problems for humanity and the environment;
      4. then that the solution proposed would avert these problems;
      5. then that the solution proposed is cost effective; and
      6. and finally that the solution proposed is politically and globally achievable.

      Jeremy replied that the Washington/Cook book “meets all six of [these] requirements”. Well, I’ll be reading the book soon so can check for myself. But if it does, I would have expected Jeremy to have no difficulty in refuting, by reference to peer-reviewed empirical evidence, the claim that “there is nothing unprecedented or unusual about our current climate”. It is, after all, only the first item on a list, all six of which must – in my view – be substantiated if the case for urgent action is to be made and the sceptics silenced. Yet, unless I’ve misread him, he seems to think that something as fundamental as demonstrating the validity of the claim is a poor use of his time. Jeremy: it seems to me that either you believe the CAGW hypothesis is valid and can substantiate the fundamentals underpinning that belief – or, in truth, you’re not sure and “your heart isn’t actually in this”. BTW, for someone who is “trying to act justly”, that would be a perfectly respectable position.

      Would either of you care to comment?

  36. Gator May 28, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    Hey Robin! I stand with the science. Not knowing your background I am not sure just how much you know about the actual science versus the hype.

    The fact remains that there is no peer reviewed science to refute natural variabilty as the cause of recent climate changes. In fact, there is no peer reviewed science that can even quantify natural forcings. Without this knowledge it is therefore impossible to blame man for any global climate changes. The IPCC admits in AR4 that they have a ‘low’ to ‘very low’ understanding of 80% of forcings. I would say that their knowledge is exaggerated, and this is simply because they refuse to honestly investigate all forcings.

    The IPCC is not a scientific body. As the name clearly states, this is an ‘InterGOVERNMENTAL Panel on Climate Change. Governments like nothing more than acquiring more power and more money. Governments have the final say on what is in the report. They have not figured out how to tax the Sun yet, so they pursue a harmless trace gas that they can tax.

    If you read the skeptic’s arguments (and there are many, many, many to read, each with their own take on what drives climates), you will find that they have found a multitude of fraud coming from the IPCC and related entities. Repeated fraud, for decades. Why on Earth, if the science is so very settled, do we see the alarmists cooking the books over and over again?

    They have tried to erase the MWP, they have removed cool biased weather stations, they have produced propaganda (the courts words, and mine) like Gores film and book, they have knowingly included environmental activist propaganda in the official IPCC reports, they have colluded to keep skeptic papers out of journals (and been quite effective), they have refused FOI requests, they have threatened to destroy data to keep it out of skeptics hands… I could go on all day long.

    And still, in thirty years, after hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent (wasted), they cannot show that there is anything unusual or unprecedented about our current climate. Sure they say there is, but they cannot back those claims with sound science.

    Instead they will call me names, claim that I am in the employ of ‘Big Oil’ ( I wish!) and dismiss the facts.

    Robin, if you are interested in looking at the dark underbelly of the alarmist beast, there is a plethora of material out there and I would be happy to share. We have seen all of this before, this is not the first bogus eco scare thrust upon mankind. I actually fell for one as a climatolgy student 25 years ago and that inspired me to make sure this nonsense is not repeated, especially not to the point of confiscating our wealth and freedoms.

    It does not take a climatology degree to figure this out. It only takes a logically trained mind and research. There is nothing new under the Sun when it comes to climate.

    Climates are always changing. There is no such thing as a ‘stable’ climate or ‘norrmal’ temperatures. It has been much warmer and it has been much cooler. If the alarmists were honest, they would warn us to take precautions for cool periods. But how to tax the Sun…?

  37. Jeremy May 28, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    I did send Gator a link to a study, but it wasn’t good enough for him. And having repeated myself about ten times, I figured there were better uses for my time.

    Which I stand by. Sorry Robin, I’m not going to carry on with this one.

  38. Stefan Thiesen May 28, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    Re. “natural variability”:
    Here is a PNAS paper: Long-term natural variability and 20th century climate change,
    by Kyle L. Swansona, George Sugiharab and Anastasios A. Tsonisa, Atmospheric Sciences Group, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53201; and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093,
    Communicated by Robert May, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, July 31, 2009
    http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16120.abstract
    That is one paper (as opposed to “not a single one”). But probably it is foolish and irrelevant anyway for the one or the other reason, especially, of course, since it uses models.

    Re. “CO2 is GOOD and lets plants grow better.”
    That is a simplistic claim every professional plant grower knows to be wrong. The key term is “limiting factors”. Even now there is more than enough CO2 in the atmosphere that would allow plants to grow more than they do, but, depending on the respective environmental conditons, they don’t. Limiting factors can be water, iron, phosphate, nitrates – even light. You can pump as much CO2 into a given water body – without additional fertilizer there will be no algal bloom (fortunately not, because global algal blooming would not really be desirable.) As for trees, here a sample study (very empirical! Though they make an annoying reference claiming that their results confirmed models). The study shows, confirming many similar studies, that the fertilizing effect of CO2 is short lived:

    PNAS: CO2 enhancement of forest productivity constrained by limited nitrogen availability
    Richard J. Norbya, Jeffrey M. Warrena, Colleen M. Iversena, Belinda E. Medlynb, and Ross E. McMurtriec
    Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37830; Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW 2109, Australia and School of Biological, Earth, and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
    Edited by William H. Schlesinger, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY,
    http://www.pnas.org/content/107/45/19368.abstract?sid=65c0391d-b8dc-4cfa-8cc0-34dd42410bbc

    Re. radiative forcing: I consider a recent paper by Prof. Pierrehumbert (U. Chicago) to be rather enlightening:
    Pierrehumbert RT 2011: Infrared radiation and planetary temperature. Physics Today 64, http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/papers/PhysTodayRT2011.pdf

    And here is a link to the Royal Society’s “Simple Guide” to climate change “controversies”: http://royalsociety.org/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=5591

    As for the rest… lack of time keeps me from responding, and, again, I don’t think it would lead anywhere. One good thing sprang from this discussion: it made me look through the climate topic on the web again, what I didn’t really do much during the last ten years. I cannot discuss the topic at the highest level, but I did have a fair amount of training surrounding the topic. For a lay person it is hopeless to distinguish between all the hogwash, pseudo science, distractions, private opinion blogs and campaigning of all shades and colors on the one and (much quieter and less visible) real science on the other side. Whenever I looked more closely at work that claimed to refute global warming, the greenhoue effect at large or the anthropogenic contributions, it turned out to be flawed. Of course I did not look at all papers. But the basic physics is clear. See Pierrehumbert.

    • Gator May 29, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

      Hey Stefan! Yeah, I am familiar with that halfassed paper. It does not include anywhere near all forcings. But that is to be expected from models. Man made for a man’s agenda:

      Short-term climate prediction: An unrealistic project

      By S. Fred Singer, President, SEPP

      Two widely acclaimed research papers (1,2) have tried to explain the current lack of warming in terms of natural influences on climate, but have limited their discussion entirely to internal oscillations of the ocean-atmosphere system. I do not find this explanation satisfactory. There is no theory to account for the various internal oscillations and they do not appear in current climate models. More to the point, the authors neglect the effect of any external forcing from variable solar activity. Yet geological evidence conclusively demonstrates such solar forcing effects on climate; it is difficult to account in other ways for the detailed correlation, observed in stalagmites, between carbon-14, a cosmic-ray produced isotope, and oxygen-18, the conventional indicator of terrestrial climate. While the exact mechanism at work is not completely settled, it is quite unrealistic to assume that this well-established process, which operated for millennia during the Holocene, is no longer operating today.

      It is unreasonable also to assume also that two independent forcings are causing decadal-scale climate variations. I am therefore of the opinion that solar activity provides the trigger for the quasi-periodic internal oscillations, like PDO etc, — which is not a new idea.

      In addition, both papers subscribe to the basic (and unsupported) IPCC claim of a substantial anthropogenic contribution from GH gases — contrary to the NIPCC summary report “Nature — Not Human Activity — Rules the Climate” See here

      References

      1. “Long-term natural variability and 20th century climate change” by Kyle L. Swanson, George Sugihara, and Anastasios A. Tsonis; PNAS, 14 September 2009, 10.1073/pnas.0908699106 — expanding on their paper in GRL (2007)

      Abstract: Global mean temperature at the Earth’s surface responds both to externally imposed forcings, such as those arising from anthropogenic greenhouse gases, as well as to natural modes of variability internal to the climate system. Variability associated with these latter processes, generally referred to as natural long-term climate variability, arises primarily from changes in oceanic circulation. Here we present a technique that objectively identifies the component of inter-decadal global mean surface temperature attributable to natural long-term climate variability. Removal of that hidden variability from the actual observed global mean surface temperature record delineates the externally forced climate signal, which is monotonic, accelerating warming during the 20th century.

      2. Keenlyside et al. 2008, Nature 453, 84 — 88

      Coauthor Prof Mojib Latif, from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University in Germany, has been looking at the influence of cyclical changes to ocean currents and temperatures in the Atlantic, a feature known as the North Atlantic Oscillation. When he factored these natural fluctuations into his global climate model, he found the results would bring the rise in average global temperatures to an abrupt halt.

      He told more than 1500 gathered in Geneva at the UN’s World Climate Conference (WCC-3 Aug 31 — Sept 4, 2009) that in the next few years a natural cooling trend would dominate over any warming caused by humans. The NAO is now moving into a colder phase. 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.

      Latif claimed that NAO cycles also explained the recent recovery of the Sahel region of Africa from the droughts of the 1970s and 1980s. Few climate scientists go as far as Latif, an IPCC author. But more and more agree that the short-term prognosis for climate change is much less certain than once thought. 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.

      Stefan, you are either one of the most ill informed people on this subjectb or a liar. Plants use water much more efficiently when CO2 levels are higher. I have personally studied plant growth at varying CO2 levels and the results are always ther same. Plants react positively to CO2. Here is a list of studies you really need to spend some time with:

      Growth Response to CO2 with Other Variables
      Disease
      Light
      Multiple Variables
      Nutrients
      General
      Iron
      Nitrogen
      Ammonium vs. Nitrate
      Crops: Other
      Crops: Rice
      Crops: Wheat
      Fungi
      General
      Grasses
      Trees: Aspen
      Trees: Other
      Trees: Pine
      Trees: Spruce
      Phosphorus
      Non-Ozone Air Pollutants
      Ozone
      Agricultural Species
      General
      Tree Species
      Aspen
      Beech
      Birch
      Miscellaneous
      Yellow-Poplar
      Salinity Stress
      Temperature
      Agricultural Crops
      General
      Grassland Species
      Woody Plants
      UV-B Radiation
      Marine Ecosystems
      Terrestrial Ecosystems
      Water Submergence
      Water Stress
      Agricultural Crops
      Grassland Species
      Woody Plants

      All can be found here:

      http://www.co2science.org/subject/g/subject_g.php

      Quoting Stefan: “Whenever I looked more closely at work that claimed to refute global warming, the greenhoue effect at large or the anthropogenic contributions, it turned out to be flawed. Of course I did not look at all papers. But the basic physics is clear. See Pierrehumbert.”

      Really? Sir you are in denial ( a denier?). You can find fault with skeptics (correct) empirical observations and yet see no issue with climate miodels that ignore the Sun. WOW!

      But, coming from someone who dismissed natural variabilty, it is obvious you are a fanatic…

      Definition of FANATIC: marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion.

      Uncritical devotion. That sums you up very well.

      “Raymond T. Pierrehumbert is Louis Block Professor in Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago. He was a lead author on the IPCC Third Assessment Report, and a co-author of the National Research Council report on abrupt climate change.”

      Well golly, why didn’t you say so! A government tool. Nice.

      Let’s see how far ‘peer review’ has fallen, since grantologists started particpating…

      If you bothered to watch, you just saw a Berkeley professor who believes in man made global warming, tell his class that some peer reviewed papers are worthless, that they lie. And oopsy, he was referring to alarmists’ work.

      Peer review has become ‘pal review’ in some circles. PhD now often simply means ‘Pals have Degrees’. The science has been corruptred. You are proof positive of that.

      PS – How are your book sales doing? I’ll bet you would not sell as many if the truth were to get out that AGW is a fraud. Good thing you have no monetary interest here!

  39. Gator May 28, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    Hey Jeremy! If you want to resubmit that paper we can review it again, to make sure everyone understands.

  40. Robin Guenier May 28, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    Jeremy:

    I’m surprised you have better uses for your time than answering my simple request on this important matter. I think the only link you have provided for Gator is Meehl et al (2004). But that’s a very limited study: a computer simulation of the climate that assumes temperature is determined by “five forcing agents” – two natural and three anthropogenic. But, unless you think that Meehl’s “five forcing agents” are all that need be considered in relation to the climate system (and surely you don’t?), that isn’t what I requested: a refutation of the claim that “there is nothing unprecedented or unusual about our current climate”.

    Gator:

    I suggest however that a clever warmist (of whom there are several) might have a simple answer to my (and your) request. A good move might perhaps be to accept that there’s nothing unprecedented or unusual about recent warming – obviously similar (indeed, even more severe) periods of warming have happened throughout Earth’s history. The difference this time – our warmist might argue – is Mankind’s undoubted and completely unprecedented emission of GHGs: it’s the continuation of those emissions that’s the new factor and that’s why the CAGW hypothesis has to be taken seriously.

    Of course that wouldn’t deal with my other five points. But what do you say?

    • Gator May 28, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

      Hey Robin! I say we have seen much higher CO2 levels with no tipping points. Estimations run
      as high as 20 times more:

      http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/ClimateChange/images/temp_co2_hist.jpg

      I say CO2 is beneficial to our environment and a recent peer reviewed study shows CO2 has cooling as well as warming mechanisms. From Nasif S. Nahle, Director of Scientific Research Division at Biology Cabinet Mexico:

      Conclusions

      My assessment demonstrates that there will be no increase in warming from an increase of absorptivity of IR by water vapor due to overlapping spectral bands with carbon dioxide.

      On the overlapping absorption spectral bands of carbon dioxide and water vapor, the carbon dioxide propitiates a decrease of the total emissivity/absorptivity of the mixture in the atmosphere, not an increase, as AGW proponents argue 1, 2, 3.

      Applying the physics laws of atmospheric heat transfer, the carbon dioxide behaves as a coolant of the Earth’s surface and the Earth’s atmosphere by its effect of diminishing the total absorptivity and total emissivity of the mixture of atmospheric gases.

      Dr. Anderson and I found that the coolant effect of the carbon dioxide is stronger when oxygen is included into the mixture, giving a value of ΔE = 0.3814, which is lower than the value of ΔE obtained by considering only the mixture of water vapor and carbon dioxide.

      I say we should not starve people or plants:

      I say the models all fail miserably because they are mopdeling the forcings incorrectly:

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/25/argo-era-nodc-ocean-heat-content-data-0-700-meters-through-december-2010/

      I say it is about time we defund the IPCC and turn this investigation over to scientists who seek truth over agenda:

      “We need to get some broad based support,
      to capture the public’s imagination…
      So we have to offer up scary scenarios,
      make simplified, dramatic statements
      and make little mention of any doubts…
      Each of us has to decide what the right balance
      is between being effective and being honest.”
      - Prof. Stephen Schneider,
      Stanford Professor of Climatology,
      lead author of many IPCC reports

      “We’ve got to ride this global warming issue.
      Even if the theory of global warming is wrong,
      we will be doing the right thing in terms of
      economic and environmental policy.”
      - Timothy Wirth,
      President of the UN Foundation

      “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony…
      climate change provides the greatest opportunity to
      bring about justice and equality in the world.”
      - Christine Stewart,
      former Canadian Minister of the Environment

      “The data doesn’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations
      on the data. We’re basing them on the climate models.”
      - Prof. Chris Folland,
      Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research

      “The models are convenient fictions
      that provide something very useful.”
      - Dr David Frame,
      climate modeler, Oxford University

    • Jeremy May 29, 2011 at 11:52 am #

      I told Gator that there were studies comparing natural forcings to CO2 emissions and presenting them side by side. Gator denied that any such studies exist, so I posted Meehl et al – not because it’s the best or the only study on the subject, but because Gator said such things didn’t exist.

      Robin, your six point verification thing is all very well in theory, but try applying it to any other hazard, and it doesn’t work in the real world. To take one example, remember the Toyota recall recently? Can you imagine them waiting to prove conclusively that there was brake failure? Waiting to see “If the anomaly continues”? It would have meant more car accidents, and more deaths they would have been liable for. The precautionary principle kicks in and you sort the problem. To me, the risk management case on climate change is the most compelling reason for action, which is something I really don’t think skeptics think about hard enough.

      Two reasons why I think I have better uses for my time:
      If you’re after a robust and informed debate, there are dozens of great blogs where such things happen every day already. I’m not a climate scientist, and I actually rarely write about climate science on this blog. There are better places to hold the argument you want to have.

      Secondly, I’m interested in a much broader ranging conversation that looks at climate change, economics, and development, and I don’t want to spend my limited amount of writing time arguing the science. Nothing personal – I have a three week old in the house and blogging time is at a premium.

    • Robin Guenier May 29, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

      Jeremy:

      1. The principles employed in my “six point verification thing”, work particularly well re other real world hazards. Not only did I not demand “conclusive proof” but I specifically said I was not looking for proof. Nor did I say anything about “waiting to see” if the anomaly continues. Read it again (carefully this time) and you’ll see it applies precisely, for example, to the Toyota situation – and indeed I’m sure was so applied by Toyota. (I’ll expand on that if you like.)

      2. I agree this is not the best blog for climate change discussion. (Although I must say that Gator’s contribution is both “robust” and “informed” and not, as you think, “fatuous” – sad that you choose to apply that insult to someone who has made some serious and obviously well-informed points.) But, Jeremy, you started this thread with your partial review of the Washington/Cook book. My recommendation is that you steer well clear of climate change in future.

      3. As for the Precautionary Principle – that too is a dangerous road for you to embark upon. I won’t expand now except to say that taking action (“something must be done”) is commonly worse than doing nothing. A good example would be Christian Aid’s attempt to stop the World Bank from investing in a South African coal-fired power station, an action that, if successful, would have destroyed the best hope for many thousands of diseased and starving children. (It failed because of the votes of China and India – both of whom have abundant evidence of how a supply of electric power can transform the lives of millions of people.)

      4. I have every sympathy with your discovery of how a three week old can take over your life – I trust you’re grateful that he lives in a comfortable Western society with, in particular, the massive benefit of reliable electric power.

      • Jeremy May 29, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

        Very grateful, yes indeed, having lived without such things myself for many years.

      • Jeremy May 29, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

        No chance of me avoiding climate change in future! Check in tomorrow, in fact. If you don’t like my take on it, there’s plenty of people saying what you want to hear. In fact, if you enjoy Gator’s company, I can recommend Climate Change Dispatch, where he can be found boasting of his mighty debating victories on this site, and questioning my faith. Considering most of his comments begin by questioning my grasp of the english language, and proceed to accuse me of being ignorant and in league with billionaire’s interests, fatuous is a well chosen and entirely apt word.

    • Robin Guenier May 30, 2011 at 7:54 am #

      Jeremy:

      It’s not a question of my looking for people saying what I want to hear. I’m anxious to hear all sides of this debate and to develop my own views. You may be surprised that I first got involved on the warmist side (responding to an article in the New Statesman) but am by nature an iconoclast and decided to have a look at what I kept hearing the the “authority” on the matter: the IPCC report. It was reading that that persuaded me to be sceptical.

      As for your new post, well getting into both politics and climate change could be a heady mix and a recipe for many more comments. I hope Zachary isn’t going to be neglected.

  41. Red Jeff May 29, 2011 at 1:52 am #

    I don’t bother with Jon Cook because he is just a cartoonist “This site was created by John Cook. I’m not a climatologist or a scientist but a self employed cartoonist and web programmer by trade.” (insert http here)://web.archive.org/web/20071213172906/www.skepticalscience.com/page.php?p=3 .

    If I were a denier cartoonist spouting science you would laugh me out of the building. However, when the cartoonist is alarming he’s an expert deserving of rapt(ure) attention.

  42. Stefan Thiesen May 29, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    @Red Jeff: I am afraid your are misrepresenting the qualifications of John Cook.

    So who is John Cook? (taken from his website “Skepticalscience”)
    “He (John Cook) studied physics at the University of Queensland, Australia. After graduating, he majored in solar physics in his post-grad honours year. He is not a climate scientist. Consequently, the science presented on Skeptical Science is not his own but taken directly from the peer reviewed scientific literature. To those seeking to refute the science presented, one needs to address the peer reviewed papers where the science comes from (links to the full papers are provided whenever possible).”

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/about.shtml

    So John Cook is a trained solar physicist, thus being, at minimum, an expert in radiation transfer, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics and spectroscopy. All these are issues that somehow strike me as relevant for the understanding of atmospheric science. He certainly should be able to sift through literature and run a topical website on climate.
    He also makes an excellent recommendation: criticism of peer reviewed papers should be addressed at the respective authors, ideally by submitting a response to the peer review process. And – it is not a conspiracy when an amateur’s pretentious challenge to a heavyweight champion is not accepted. It merely is pointless. A matter of quality assurance, which is what the peer review process is all about.

    Last but not least: here be the sourcewatch list of climate change denier arguments and respective rebuttals – whether one likes sourcewatch or not – for many arguments links are provided to peer reviewed publications:
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Climate_change_skeptics/common_claims_and_rebuttal#Temperature_drives_carbon_dioxide

    • Gator May 29, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

      Hey Stefan! Since you are on a tear about Cook, here is the balance…

      John Cook, a former student of physics in Australia, has constructed an interesting website trying to attack the opinions of climate skeptics.

      Skeptical Science: Getting skeptical about global warming skepticism
      It’s been in my climate bookmarks for quite some time but no one really cared about it so I didn’t want to respond. However, his talking counter-points were recently adopted by an iPhone application. Moreover, Andrew Revkin promoted the website, too. So let us look at his points and counter-points.

      On his website, you can currently see 102 observations by the skeptics (or some skeptics); 2 of them were added by March 29th and I can’t constantly update this web page so that he’s likely to surpass his 104 points sometime in the future. Each of the “slogans” is accompanied by a short attempted rebuttal by John Cook. And if you click it, you get to a long rebuttal. So let’s look at them:

      1.It’s the sun: I agree with Richard Lindzen that it’s silly to try to find “one reason behind all climate change”, because the climate is pretty complex and clearly has lots of drivers, and this applies to the opinion that “everything is in the Sun”, too. Cook shows that the solar irradiance is too small and largely uncorrelated to the observed changes of temperatures. I agree with that: a typical 0.1% change of the output is enough for a 0.025% change of the temperature in Kelvins which is less than 0.1 °C and unlikely to matter much. But I find it embarrassing for a student of solar physics such as himself to be so narrow-minded. The Sun influences the Earth’s atmosphere not only directly by the output but also indirectly, by its magnetic field and its impact on the cosmic rays (via solar wind etc.) and other things. He has completely ignored all these things. Of course, I am actually not certain that these effects are very important for the climate but the evidence – including peer-reviewed articles – is as diverse as the evidence supporting CO2 as an important driver.

      2.Climate’s changed before: Cook says that the previous history of the climate shows that the climate is sensitive to imbalances. Indeed, it is and it has always been. And he says that the past history provides evidence for sensitivity to CO2. Well, it virtually doesn’t. CO2, much like other effects, adds imbalances and pushes the temperature around. But there exists no way to disentangle CO2 from many other effects or argue that it has become the most important driver. So the climate continues to change in the same way as it did in the past, by the typical changes per year, decade, and century, and Cook has offered no evidence whatsoever that something has changed about the very fact that the climate is changing.

      3.There is no consensus: This counter-point #3 is clearly obsolete: Cook tries to argue that 97% climate scientists endorse something – it sounds like a TV commercial. Most of his graphs are obsolete, too – the current support for various AGW-related statements is close to 1/2 of the figures he copied in an “optimistic” moment for his favorite political movement. The reality is that most scientists disagree with the basic tenets of the AGW orthodoxy – and even people like Phil Jones now agree that nothing unprecedented is going on with the climate right now (including no statistically significant warming in 15 years, and the existence of a medieval warm period), while Kevin Trenberth has agreed that the climate hasn’t warmed and the popular models are inconsistent with this fact – what a travesty. There still exist large bodies of climate scientists who prefer to promote the panic – because they’ve been hired to do so or because it results from their political biases (which are mostly leftist in the Academia). The funding for climate science has increased 10-fold in the last 10-20 years – purely because of the possible threat – which means that 90% of the people (or 90% of the funding) is working on proofs of this pre-determined conclusion. At any rate, these discussions provide us with no evidence for the actual science – they’re just about an attempt of the largely political movements to intimidate the scientists in the very same way in which Nazis wanted to intimidate the “Jewish science” by the consensus of the “Aryan scientists”. Einstein would tell them that it’s enough to find one scientist to prove Einstein wrong.

      4.It’s cooling: Again, Cook’s graphs and statements are obsolete and a few years from the moment he wrote the page were enough to falsify his new predictions about the accumulating heat. The reality is that between 1998 or 2001 or other years on one side and 2009 on the other side, the global mean temperature dropped. Sometimes it’s cooling, sometimes it’s warming. The year 2010 is likely to be much warmer than 2009, approaching the temperatures of 1998, but when the El Nino fully switches to a La Nina, things can be very different. The fact that there’s been no significant warming for 15 years has been accepted by both sides of this debate. And since 1998, it’s just cooling. Cook has no counter-arguments. He just says that the heat flows influence the temperature and I agree with that. Except that he doesn’t show in which way the flows are going to go e.g. in the next 10 years.

      5.Models are unreliable: Cook says that models have made predictions that were successfully compared to observations. Except that this is not enough for the models to be reliable. For them to be reliable, it would have to be the case that the models have produced no predictions that were inconsistent with the observations – because one wrong prediction is enough to falsify a model. Clearly, such falsification has taken place with all of them. In particular, all IPCC-endorsed models predicted a warming since 1998 that didn’t occur. They’re gone. Again, both sides agree that we can’t rely on them. Kevin Trenberth agrees that the disagreement of the models and the data is a travesty. There are hundreds of recent examples showing how deeply flawed the existing IPCC-endorsed models are.

      6.Temp record is unrealiable: In his counter-point, Cook talks about the urban heat island effects that are “negligible”. Well, they’re surely not negligible because the estimated urban warming in typical large cities exceeds the whole assumed warming caused by CO2 – something like 0.6 °C. So it matters a lot whether the urban effects are isolated. But the urban effects are far from being the only problem with the surface temperature record. The number of recently found dramatic problems with the surface record is so huge that I can’t even enumerate them here.

      7.It hasn’t warmed since 1998: Cook claims that the Earth continued to accumulate heat. If you check his evidence, you will see that it is a circular reasoning because the sources also use the models in which the warming should have continued. The fact is that no warming has occurred since 1998 so it’s likely that there’s also no warming in the “pipeline”. Cook emphasizes that 1998 was a year of a strong El Nino. Of course, it was, but it was not unprecedented or unrepeatable. The most recent El Nino episode reached more than 2/3 of the maximum of the 1997/1998 El Nino episode. So they’re surely comparable, to say the least. If 2010 will match the temperatures of 1998, it still means that the “trend-like” warming per 12 years is only comparable to 1/3 of the effect of one El Nino, or 1/6 of the difference between an El Nino and La Nina peaks. It’s very small.

      8.Ice age predicted in the 70s: Cook claims that these predictions were largely media-based. Well, the same is true about the current global warming alarm. It’s mostly media-based and good scientists are simply not working on such conspiracy theories. It’s still true that less good scientists are working on them, and they were also working in the 1970s. Sometimes it’s the very same people. For example, Rasool and Schneider predicted a new ice age in 1971 – in an article in Science. The relative importance of the “scientific community” and the “media” is pretty much the same as it was in the global cooling alarm in the 1970s – the recent global warming hysteria just got far more severe than the global cooling hysteria 35 years ago.

      9.We’re heading into an ice age: Cook claims that CO2 beats all other things. At some point in the future, this statement will of course become ridiculous. Ice ages may be 10 °C cooler than the interglacials. Because of the logarithmic character of the greenhouse warming, one can’t ever compensate 10 °C of cooling by an added CO2 because the concentration would have to jump something like 256-fold. It’s clear that a “big” ice age will return in a multiple of 10,000 years and the people will only be able to deal with it if they have a much stronger technology than the current ones. Also, a “little” ice age may return within a century, and a possible cooling by 2 °C, as seen historically, will be greater than the effect of the CO2.

      10.Antarctica is gaining ice: Cook claims it’s not, when looked at the whole continent. Well, the graphs of the sea ice area in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres show that both of them are very near the normal levels right now, as extracted in the last 30 years or so. In the last 50 years, Antarctica was cooling, but such things are due to many coincidences. It is completely plausible that in the next 50 years, it will be the Arctic that will be cooling. It’s preposterous to promote these random changes to “signals from God”: the huge variability of the polar regions is a rule rather than an exception.

      11.CO2 lags temperature: Cook uses the usual talking counter-point, trying to say that the influence goes in both directions. Qualitatively speaking, it’s right. Quantitatively speaking, the influence of CO2 on the temperature during the ice age cycles has been so much weaker than the opposite influence that it is pretty much undetectable and remains a theoretically justified by empirically unsupported speculation. It’s clear that the outgassing etc. – the influence of temperature on the concentration of gases – explains the bulk of the correlation between the temperature and the concentrations as seen in the Vostok ice core (and others). It’s a very important that the Vostok charts provide us with no evidence of the greenhouse effect and whoever is saying something else is a liar: Al Gore has been caught as one of them but there are many. More generally, it’s preposterous to pretend that the greenhouse effect is “on par” with the opposite effects because it’s at least one order of magnitude smaller and undetectable in practice.

      12.Al Gore got it wrong: According to Cook, despite small errors, AIT is consistent with science about the basic questions. What a complete nonsense. Courts in the U.K. enumerated 9 major errors – and there are dozens of other errors that have been admitted – and especially because of the overall misleading alarmist bias of the movie that couldn’t be supported by the science, the judge allowed the movie to be screened only if the teachers also explain the kids what the errors are and why the movie is just a political propaganda. Even though the movie is just 5 years old, it’s already clear that it failed the test of time. All the details predictions have been falsified – for example “new record hot years” that should follow 2005, strengthening hurricanes that should have flooded parts of Florida by now, and so on. Scientifically speaking, the movie is complete garbage and whoever doesn’t realize this trivial fact shouldn’t be treated as a serious party in discussions.

      13.Global warming is good: Cook claims that the negative impact on agriculture, health, economy, and environment outweighs any positives. In reality, the overall impact is positive in all four cases. The agriculture becomes more effective, is able to feed people more easily, the economy grows, the fees for heating go down (and they exceed the money paid for cooling today). Cook’s statement is preposterous: if there were warming, it would be beneficial for life on Earth and the human society, too. Even 5 °C of warming would be a net positive. Cook’s methodology to “prove” that the negatives win is completely absurd. He first decided how many “positives” and “negatives” he allows in each category (so that the negatives dominate), and then he randomly added a few papers supporting them. That’s a completely wrong methodology. If he actually calculated the effects on agriculture in dollars rather than in “talking points” (whose number was predetermined, anyway), he would see that the positives outweigh the negatives by an order of magnitude or more.

      14.It’s freaking cold: He correctly says that a few extreme local weather episodes aren’t enough to calculate the global or long-term trend. However, it’s exactly the alarmist movement – and the likes of Al Gore – who would be making this error all the time. I agree that the record-high/record-low ratio has dropped to one-half or so. But this change is unspectacular. In some counting, it is just a 1-sigma effect because the numbers are comparable: you can say that the overall warming that’s been accumulated hasn’t yet reached one times the normal noise. Clearly, the ratio can continue to grow in the future but this is what would happen given the same change of the temperature, whatever its reason is. The longer record we have, the more we deviate from the temperatures at the beginning – whether the cause is natural or man-made – and the more extreme ratio of hot or cool records (in either direction) we have to get. There’s nothing to be surprised by here.

      15.Hurricanes aren’t linked to global warming: Cook says that while he’s uncertain about the frequency, intensity goes up. Again, this argument could have sounded OK a few years after 2005 when his article was written but in 2010, it’s preposterous. The data just don’t show any increase of the intensity and the most recent 4 seasons – all of them were among the quieter ones on the record. The data don’t show it and the theory doesn’t imply what he says, either. The hurricanes are driven by temperature gradients, and because the global warming should influence primarily the polar region, and therefore reduce the polar-tropical differences, it should reduce the storminess, too.

      16.Mars is warming: Mars temperatures are driven by dust and albedo, we learn, and there’s “no evidence” of a “long-term warming”. Well, the dust and albedo are arguably important on the Earth, too – among other things – and the evidence of a “long-term warming” is comparable on both planets (and other planets). Some changes of the Martian dry ice caps seem more dramatic than what we are observing here on Earth. Which of the planets is more able to preserve a constant temperature is a subtle question – and I actually think it is the Earth. But the qualitative observation that both planets show some change and follow the same laws of physics is a basic conclusion of the scientific reasoning. Only crazy people could disagree with it. Clearly, if the trends on all planets tend to be correlated, it’s some evidence for a solar or astronomic origin of the changes.

      17.Cosmic rays: I appreciate Cook’s balance in this point. He agrees that it’s an open question whether the cosmic rays affect the climate, but points out that certain previously working correlations broke down recently – so that the correlations in the last 30 years seem significantly weakened when looked at globally. I agree with that. But that doesn’t yet rule out all conceivable variations of the theory claiming that the cosmic rays matter. I think that many of the cosmic rays climatic correlations continue to be much more convincing than the CO2-temperature ones.

      18.1934 – hottest year on record: Cook says that the U.S. is just 2% of the globe. Well, it is just 2% of the globe but it’s giving us a hugely higher percentage of reliable temperature data that go back to 1900 or so simply because the data density is proportional to the “density of advanced civilization”. So there may be other regions that do show some warming from the 1930s but they’re (even) much less reliable than the U.S. record. The U.S. record simply does matter, despite its mistakes. Moreover, the U.S. temperatures are what the Americans should be primarily interested in, anyway. The idea that the global temperatures are more important for the Americans than the national/regional/local ones is preposterous.

      19.It’s just a natural cycle: Cook claims that the “recent global warming” is the first one in which both hemispheres change in the same direction. That’s ludicrous. In the history, the “aligned” trends on both hemisphere were more frequent than the “opposite” trends. After all, the whole Earth was cold in ice ages. The idea that the heat is just moving from one hemisphere to another, as long as natural factors dominate, is scientifically naive. Most of the heat transfer is between the Earth and the outer space – vertical radiation – and changes of the local albedo, cloudiness, and perhaps even greenhouse gases matter. There are lots of natural cycles that are indisputably real and if Mr Cook believes that he can distinguish the recent changes from all of them by a 3-word argument, then he is crazy.

      20.It’s urban heat island effect: He claims that it hasn’t affected the trends. It’s just ludicrous. As the cities go bigger, the effect is getting stronger, and because most weather stations are in cities or close to cities, we get a possible source of bias that is as large as 1 °C per century. The idea that we can neglect this effect when interpreting the surface measurements of temperature is extremely careless.

      21.Sea levels don’t rise: By many methods, he “shows” that the rise has been “accelerating” in the last 100 years. However, the first graphs he includes also show that the rate has been “decelerating” since 1990 – and almost no change since 2006. He doesn’t discuss these observations. He only cherry-picks “bumps” in the data that are convenient for his predetermined religious message. The fact is that the observed sea level rise is sometimes accelerating, sometimes it’s decelerating, it can also go negative, but it’s surely negligible. Realistic estimates of the sea level rise until 2100 go from -10 cm to +50 cm. Whatever the final answer is, they will pose no problem and they will be an order of magnitude below the rate measured when the Earth was exiting the last ice age (when the continental ice sheets could still melt).

      22.Arctic icemelt is a natural cycle: John Cook says that it’s melting and it’s great because that’s what the models predict. Too bad for the models because the Arctic sea ice are has returned back to the normal (average in the last 30 years). But I guess that such a wrong prediction is not a problem for John Cook: he’s only interested in the successful predictions and thinks that wrong predictions are not a problem for a theory.

      23.Hockey stick is broken: Cook claims that many newer papers have produced the same hockey stick. Papers written by Mann’s allies, using the same errors and distortions, could have done this job, but serious science has definitely rejected the hockey stick as the shape of the reconstructions. Newer, better, independent reconstructions simply do not look like a hockey stick. The Medieval Warm Period is back, too – it’s been agreed even by people such as Phil Jones. Mann’s methodology belongs to the darkest chapters of the history of science.

      24.Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas: Cook agrees that H2O is the number one – but he interprets H2O as a slave whose goal is to amplify the warming effect of CO2. This description by Cook is a classic “tail wagging the dog”. Quite generally, it is almost impossible for a “big effect” to become a “slave” to a “small effect”. The water vapor concentration is affected by most other components of the climate system, too. CO2 is just a small factor influencing H2O. Moreover, H2O is also able to create clouds which, if low-lying, have a powerful cooling effect on the climate. Whether the net feedback caused by H2O is positive or negative remains to be seen but there are many “first-order” effects caused by H2O itself that don’t depend on CO2 in any way.

      25.Other planets are warming: Cook offers three counter-arguments: not all of them are warming; the Sun has been cooling since 1950; explanations of the warming of some planets exist. Well, not all planets are warming – the Earth is not warming 100% of the time, either. Different celestial bodies have different “inertia” and lags etc. The Sun has been “cooling” only when we look at the total output which is unlikely to be the key method how the Sun affects the planets: as we’ve mentioned, there are much more significant changes linked to the solar magnetic field etc. that Cook completely neglects. Finally, explanations may exist for other planets, but whether they’re correct is far from obvious. There are proposed explanations for the Earth’s changes, too. Clearly, Cook wants to instantly accept hypotheses that are convenient to him while he wants to infinitely obstruct the proposed hypotheses that are inconvenient. One can’t do science with a bias that is as huge as his.

      26.Greenland was green: He agrees but says it was a local phenomenon. Again, this could be true or not. It is actually unlikely for the temperature of a large region to stay anomalous warm, relatively to the surrounding regions, for centuries. Interestingly enough, similarly local observations of the Arctic today are considered to be one of the arguments that Cook likes. Again, there are clear double standards here. All these arguments – in both ways – are vague and surely not “exact”. A slight bias in the method which arguments are accepted is enough to reach completely wrong conclusions which is what Cook does.

      27.Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions: I agree with him on this point. He correctly says that while there are larger sources and sinks, they naturally cancel with a big accuracy, while the human contribution doesn’t cancel, which is why the CO2 concentration is higher than in the last 800,000 years. I agree with that. It’s still 10-20 times smaller than it would be half a billion years ago – when the temperature was not too different from the present one. It’s also 20 times smaller than the concentration needed for people to start to feel dizzy. It’s an innocent concentration of a harmless gas that has become the pillar for the life as we know it today – it’s the plant food that doesn’t harm animals, either.

      28.Oceans are cooling: I don’t think that we have too reliable data on this point. Clearly, the oceans were sometimes observed to be cooling and sometimes they were warming, with a given methodology. Clearly, Cook endorses the methodology to eagerly look for possible errors with the sensors whenever an observation is inconsistent with his beliefs. What can I do with that? A proper scientific analysis of such things requires one to be equally active when searching for possible errors in both directions. Cook shows that he is incapable to sustain this impartiality – and it seems likely that the authors he cites suffer from the same problem.

      29.We’re coming from the Little Ice Age: He agrees we have been, until 1940, when the natural factors reverted and could no longer explain the changes. This is a sloppy analysis: first, there was indeed a 30-year period of cooling after the 1940s; second, the number of large volcano eruptions recently dropped, and because the eruptions have a cooling effect, their shortage implies an extra warming; it’s also untrue that the solar activity was recently lower than in half a century ago. The relatively recent cycles were strong and the decline is a very recent fact of the latest solar cycle. The added statement about the CO2 driving the changes since 1970 is unsupported. Moreover, note that the greenhouse emissions didn’t start in 1970. They were almost the same in the 1960s, too. But because there was no warming in that decade, Cook tries to hide those emissions. All these “small tricks” and “distortions” belong to his propaganda toolkit, and when combined, they’re obviously enough to completely mislead the reader (and himself).

      30.It cooled mid-century: He claims that the natural forcings worked until 1975 when the greenhouse effect began. That’s, once again, ludicrous. The 1940-1975 cooling is unexplained by any well-known forcings, and the idea that people could explain it remains a speculation and a wishful thinking. There’s no reliable, justified, testable, yet viable model here, and the problems of the models to agree with the 1910-1945, 1940-1975, or 1975-2010 periods are comparably difficult. Of course, sometimes, the models are fine-tuned to reproduce one of the intervals “roughly correctly”, but then the other intervals fail. There is no asymmetry between the periods here and the cooling around the 1950s is an argument against the importance of the CO2 greenhouse effect – much like the recent cooling since 1998. It’s just inconvenient but it’s the same kind of an argument that the AGW advocates are using all the time whenever these arguments suit them. In a discipline where many arguments are 2-sigma if not 1-sigma signals, such a bias is lethal.

      31.Climate sensitivity is low: That’s a typical headline of some of my talks. Cook says that it’s 3 °C because of many reasons. The fact is that the direct calculation gives 1.2 °C and all balanced analyses of the Earth’s history, including very old geological data, suggest that this is about right, i.e. the net feedbacks are small, with an unknown sign. All papers or claims going to 3 °C or higher are fabricated and cherry-pick something to “hype” this number that almost certainly can’t reach 3 °C. The promoted positive feedbacks may be viewed as a quantification of the hype, exaggeration, and fraud: 70 percent of the IPCC figure for the climate sensitivity is fabricated because a higher value is favored by the “big picture” of the political process.

      32.It warmed before the 1940s when CO2 emissions were low: Cook says it was because of solar and volcanic drivers which disappeared later. But this is a pure speculation because those drivers are very hard to quantify – especially in the era 50-100 years ago. Cook only cites two papers and they really don’t agree with each other. There are many other papers but there’s no clear picture about the important drivers responsible for the 1900-1940 warming. We should avoid the “illusion of knowledge” here.

      33.There’s no empirical evidence: Cook offers what he considers the key empirical evidence: CO2 is measured to rise; satellites show that it blocks some IR rays; oceans are apparently collecting heat. This gives a “line” of evidence, he thinks. Well, there’s no doubt that we’re adding CO2 to the atmosphere. But whether it matters depends on a “line” of hypotheses and several of them are only supported by a very poor evidence. The chain is only as strong as its weakest link: it’s a point that Cook and others completely misunderstand. He apparently thinks that the more convoluted chain of arguments he constructs, the more likely it will become – and one vague evidence for each link is enough. However, the truth is the opposite one: the longer the chain of the relationships whose importance should be high is, the less reliable the chain becomes, and tthe more evidence we need for every individual link. The empirical evidence that CO2 is actually blocking the escaping IR radiation is extremely poor and the estimates of the heat accumulated by the ocean – and similar quantities – is often being changed by 100% or so. We don’t really know the sign with any degree of confidence that would be worth talking about. To summarize the situation, there’s no empirical evidence that CO2 actually affects the climate, and we only have theoretical reasons to think that it should have *some* effect – but we also know dozens of other things that should have an effect.

      34.Mt Kilimanjaro’s ice loss is due to land use: Cook agrees that it’s not due to global warming only – but misrepresents the main causes. The main causes are due to changes of precipitation patterns that don’t necessarily depend on “land use”. He correctly says that the observation about the unimportance of global warming for Mt Kilimanjaro doesn’t mean that the “globe isn’t warming”. But he fails to say that it doesn’t mean that the “globe is warming”, either. Similar episodic evidence is often used to support the AGW orthodoxy but whenever it’s shown that the arguments don’t work, such findings are being ignored by the AGW proponents. Honest scientists simply can’t ignore the inconvenient findings, so because Mt Kilimanjaro’s ice loss has been used as an argument supporting AGW, and because this argument has been shown to be wrong, it’s obvious that it has become an argument against AGW.

      35.CO2 effect is weak: this is clearly the same point as 31 about climate sensitivity, and others. It doesn’t even seem that John Cook realizes it’s the same thing. Again, he claims that this CO2 effect is directly measured by energy flows. Lindzen and Choi recently showed that the energy flows, on the contrary, prove that the large positive feedbacks attributed to H2O etc. can’t exist. But whatever the primary driver is, it hasn’t been empirically determined what it is.

      36.Glaciers are growing: I agree that there are glaciers that are growing and I agree that most glaciers – if counted as “individuals” – were retreating in the last 50 years or so. I don’t think that the statement that the retreat is “accelerating” is supported by anything else than a wishful thinking. It’s a part of a whole fog of unsubstantiated guesses, speculations, and lies that have become a part of the standard alarmist talking points because they no longer think it is wrong to produce downright lies. The recent GlacierGate scandal – and the Indian alternative studies about the Himalayan glaciers – are just one major example showing that most of the widely spread statements about the “accelerating retreat” of the glaciers are simply lies unsupported by anything

      37.Polar bear numbers are increasing: He says that the polar bears have to die because there will be no ice which means that there will be no seals which means that the bears can’t eat anything. This is a three-story argument and each part of it is highly disputable, to say the least. First of all, it’s very unlikely that the sea ice will completely disappear in any foreseeable future: also, the polar bears don’t live just on sea ice but also on islands of Northern Canada etc. Also, it’s untrue that the seals themselves are endangered, and it’s untrue that the bears can only hunt for them in the middle of the sea. In most cases, it’s actually not the case. So Cook’s evidence that bears should face problems is extremely shaky – especially relatively to the direct observation of the final result which says that the polar bear population has increased by a factor of 5 in recent decades, from 5,000 to 25,000 or so.

      38.Extreme weather isn’t caused by global warming: in Cook’s view, there is “growing empirical evidence” that intense hurricanes, heavier rainfall etc. are here and caused by global warming. This is a two-story argument. One wrong floor would be enough for the argument to die. However, both of the steps are actually wrong. First, even if these “extreme events” would be growing, there’s absolutely no reason to think that it’s caused by rising global temperatures: the case of hurricanes was discussed previously. Second, the intensity and frequency of “extreme events” is actually not increasing at all, so there’s nothing to explain here.

      39.IPCC does not represent consensus: Cook says that the IPCC guys are leaders and that the reports are too conservative. That’s, of course, nonsense in both cases. First, the IPCC is being elected by the governments – because it’s an “inter-governmental panel” on climate change – e.g. by politicians whose vast majority has no idea about science, and not even about the question who is a good scientist and who is not. They’re clearly choosing scientists according to their willingness and likelihood to produce the predetermined conclusions. Concerning the “conservative IPCC reports”, it’s a preposterous statement because every single problem that has been found about the IPCC report as of today was in the direction that the IPCC was more hysterical than what the science says – it was never in the other way around. Cook’s statement is a downright lie.

      40.Satellites show no warming in the troposphere: He agrees but claims it’s an error, due to “satellite drift”. Well, again, inconvenient observations have to be doubly attacked, questioned, and an error has to be found. It’s a biased treatment. The fact is that the tropical troposphere should show, if the greenhouse model of warming is correct, the fastest warming trend. In reality, it shows one of the slowest trends and it’s very likely that the right interpretation is that this observation by itself rules out the greenhouse model of the recent warming. It’s surely inconvenient for fanatical believers but this emotional fact doesn’t make this argument less convincing from a scientific viewpoint.

      41.CO2 is not a pollutant: Cook agrees that it’s not a pollutant and global warming (and ocean acidification) are the two impacts. But changes of the temperature are mostly not caused by CO2, and even if they were, they’re small and harmless. Ocean acidification is at most by 0.2 in several centuries – from 8.1 in the past to 7.9 in the future. That’s a negligible change relatively to the intervals that the life in the oceans tolerate. Recall that aquarium fish can live in pH between 5 and 9.

      42.There’s no correlation between CO2 and temperature: He agrees it’s been recently absent but says it was due to El Nino and La Nino episodes. Indeed, they’re a major part of the answer because they’re much more important for the temperature than CO2. But even El Nino and La Ninas are far from being the only natural factors that matter. Still, these phenomena exist and it’s just wrong to imagine that there is no natural variability of this sort in the climate. Because CO2 and temperature have been largely uncorrelated in the last 50 years, they will probably remain largely uncorrelated in the next 50 years, too. And it’s just irrational to imagine that small changes to the CO2 concentration will have a direct impact on the temperature. They have small enough of an impact for them not to matter.

      43.Climategate CRU e-mails suggest conspiracy: According to Cook, it’s just a distraction to look at these e-mails. In reality, these e-mails not only “suggest” conspiracy but they “prove” that the key authors have conspired to hide or erase or suppress inconvenient evidence, either obtained by their own methods or obtained by others. While “conspiracy” should be an unlikely event, the Internet has surely made it possible – and easy – for a group of a dozen of researchers to synchronize their behavior in order to distort the conclusions of their discipline in a particular direction. As the CRU documents show, it has affected every single major source of evidence supporting the AGW line of reasoning, especially the reconstructions and the question whether the recent changes were new in any sense, as well as the verification of climate models which was not done properly.

      44.Scientists can’t predict weather: And Cook says it doesn’t matter because the chaos averages out. Except that e.g. in the recent Self-similarity of temperature graphs TRF article, I demonstrated that the chaotic character of the temperature changes survives from weeks to centuries or millennia. The signal-to-noise ratio remains pretty much constant even at longer timescales, and certainly decades. The actual empirical evidence shows that decades are still way too short for us to be able to “average the chaos out”. After all, decades are the time scale of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and many other chaotic cycles affecting the oceans and the atmosphere. Cook’s claim is wrong.

      45.CO2 levels were higher in the past: Cook claims that whenever the CO2 levels were higher, the solar output was lower. This is preposterous. There is no easy inverse correlation between the Sun and the CO2. When the concentrations were 10,000 ppm, more than 25 times higher than today, the solar output was often close to the present one. Nevertheless, the temperatures were similar to the present ones up to a few degrees of difference. This fact by itself shows that CO2 can’t have a big effect on the temperature.

      46.Greenland is gaining ice: He claims that while the bulk of the Greenland is growing, the coastlines are losing ice, which is right. The overall volume is likely to be decreasing in recent years, indeed. And maybe not: the errors of these measurements are way too high. However, his usual statements about an “acceleration” are just a silly cherry-picking of bumps. The “accelerating” effect in his graph is barely visible and there are hundreds of similar patterns that would suggest “deceleration” but the likes of Cook simply ignore them because such a deceleration is not useful for them. To summarize, there’s no statistically significant and attributable acceleration – that would go beyond “chance” – in the data. In fact, we know that the overall melting of ice on the Earth has surely decelerated dramatically a few thousands of years ago.

      47.Neptune is warming: It’s because of summer coming on Neptune, Cook argues. Well, maybe, and maybe not. Cook uses some bizarre “Heidi” paper and on the detailed page, Dr Foukal debunks this bizarre paper.

      48.Jupiter is warming: it’s due to internal turbulence, he says. Note that Cooks like oversimplified slogans that give you one reason for everything – one sentence you should memorize – and the explanations are always different. He’s always satisfied with the first guess as long as it is consistent with the basic AGW religion. That’s not how science works. Clearly, all the effects on Neptune may matter on Jupiter, too. And vice versa. The vastly different character of the explanations shows that these changes of the planetary temperatures haven’t been understood reliably. Papertiger and others have interesting complaints about the “internal” explanations for the Jupiter. Of course, the main and only important goal of Mr Cook is to “kill” all solar or cosmic explanations because they’re inconvenient. But they can be true and it remains to be seen whether they matter. Preconceptions of AGW bigots will play no role as science selects the relevant arguments.

      49.There’s no tropospheric hot spot: this has been discussed in the point 40. Cook says that it has to be due to measurement errors. Probably not. It’s just true that the measurements he’s trying to attack are, despite their errors, still much more reliable than other measurements that Cook wants to rely upon. This selection of which evidence should be trusted and which evidence should be considered erroneous only reflects his bias, not any rational arguments.

      50.Pluto is warming: coming summer, too, like with Neptune in 47. Again, may be right, may be wrong. There’s no detailed evidence over there.

      51.It’s the Pacific Decadal Oscillation: his argument that it’s not the case is that the last time PDO switched to a cool phase, the temperatures were 0.4 deg Celsius lower than today. But most of the time since that switch belonged to a PDO warm phase in which the temperatures are generally increasing (and keep on increasing). So his argument doesn’t disprove anything. He has confused a function from its derivative.

      52.Greenland ice sheet won’t collapse: Cook sees everything accelerating and refers to the sea ice levels. However, the change of the sea ice level is very slow, and in agreement with the pre-industrial natural rates, so there’s nothing qualitative here to discuss. The Greenland has been discussed in 46, too.

      53.CO2 effect is saturated: He claims that energy flows show it is not. Well, there is no proof via energy flows that it is not saturated, but it is true that it is not saturated. However, the effect is slowing down with the concentration. The same relative increase causes the same temperature change. So when the concentration was 200 ppm, a 1 ppm increase caused the same warming as a 2 ppm increase today when the concentration approaches 400 ppm. This slowdown is very important. Effectively, it means that even if the concentration of CO2 were rising exponentially, the greenhouse warming caused by CO2 would be linear. That’s because the exponential is inverse to the logarithm. ;-) This slowdown is just another example of the inherent stability of the processes in Nature – a negative feedback. 54.It’s the ocean: He says that “oceans have been warming” which completely misses the point of the sentence “it’s the ocean”. The sentence “it’s the ocean” clearly meant that the internal dynamics of the oceans, similar to the turbulent dynamics that he believes to be responsible for climate change on Jupiter in point 48, is responsible for the changes of the Earth. He has given us no counter-argument against this point whatsoever.

      55.Volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans: It’s a favorite misconception of some skeptics, and I agree it’s a misconception (it appeared on the Great Global Warming Swindle, too). Volcanoes are just like a “few natural factories” and correspondingly, they emit roughly 100 times less CO2 than the people. On the other hand, they’ve been doing it for billions of years, so it’s still true that most of the CO2 in the atmosphere came from similar natural processes, and not from industrial CO2 emissions which are very recent and will only last at most for a few more centuries.

      56.CO2 measurements are suspect: Well, indeed, the CO2 can be measured to be rising, but many people still misunderstand the high fluctuations of CO2 in various environments. The concentrations of CO2 in various places of the forest and/or in various rooms of your building differ by hundreds of ppm from each other. It’s completely normal and causes no problems.

      57.Animals and plants can adapt: Cook says that many extinctions were largely caused by CO2. That doesn’t agree with the scientific literature. Almost no theories of extinctions caused by CO2 remain alive in the scientific literature: much more convincing reasons have been found. Cook says that organisms can’t adapt because the change is too fast. That’s bullshit. It’s not fast but even if they were fast, the organisms that live today are genetically capable to live in temperatures that differ by a dozen of degrees from the existing one. That’s because their genetic material hasn’t changed much for millions of years – evolution is very slow – and during the millions of years, the temperature has surely changed by dozens of degrees, anyway. So the changes pose no problem for the “inherent” abilities of animals and plants to withstand it. Moreover, there are trivial ways to adapt – move to a different latitude, altitude, and/or move the seasonal cycle closer to the winter – or a combination of these things. We can observe that no species are actually being threatened – or going extinct – by the climate change, too – and pretty much all opposite statements ever made have been proved wrong.

      58.Less than 1/2 of papers support global warming: Cook agrees that most or one-half of papers don’t express any opinion about the AGW orthodoxy. Cook interprets it by saying that it’s because the authors think that the orthodoxy is “obviously true” and they want to discuss “more advanced” things such as mitigation. That’s a ludicrous wishful thinking. One can also conjecture that these papers don’t say anything because the authors assume that it’s obvious that AGW is crap – and they want to discuss something more sensible instead.

      59.It’s aerosols: Cook suggests some incomprehensible problem with the timing in 1975 and 1990. Whatever the problem is exactly supposed to mean, it’s clear that any of the IPCC and related models using aerosols to “handwave away” the cooling in 1940-1975 suffer from the same timing problem, but with a much longer duration and much larger amplitude. Aerosols remain an unknown and no models with them work reliably. Cook can try to obscure this fact but he can’t obscure it. It even remains plausible that a changing amount or character of the aerosols is responsible for most of the climate changes in the 20th century. There’s no available method to disprove this conjecture today.

      60.It’s El Nino: Cook says that it can only explain the short-term changes but not the decadal ones. But he fails to notice that the frequency of El Ninos, relatively to La Ninas, has been higher during the recent “warming” decades. Again, it’s completely plausible that most of the centennial changes are about the accumulated heat from the El Nino or La Nina episode whose representation is never quite dictated by “gender quotas” (recall that the words mean “boy” and “girl” in Spanish). Also, the relative frequency of El Nino and La Nina episodes may be affected by additional, slower cycles such as Pacific Decadal Oscillation. To summarize, there’s no reason to call 30 years a “long term” when it comes to implications of ENSO cycles.

      61.It’s a climate regime shift: A 2009 paper by Tsonis and Swanson was claimed to explain the warming as a qualitative switch to a different mode of the climate which is surely a priori plausible. However, Cook argues that he can divide the temperature into “internal” and “externally driven”, proving that the latter is inherently increasing. However, the amount of “linear trend” included in various “regimes” is completely arbitrary, essentially assuming that the average “internal trend” was zero (without any justification), so he can’t possibly prove that the internal regimes in the 20th century contributed no “trend-like” warming. The “separation” is impossible in general – and Tsonis and Swanson only got such a separation by “construction”. The difference only looks monotonic because it was smoothed in this way – the internal effects were defined so that they can remove the biggest wiggles. Cook applies a flawed circular reasoning if he claims that the monotonicity of the difference actually implies that the “other (CO2-driven?) warming” was monotonic. It wasn’t. The monotonicity was only improved by construction – by trying to subtract the wiggles – but such an operation can be done with noise and random possible signals, too. To summarize, Cook hasn’t demonstrated that the regime shifts can’t account for the “trends”. I don’t claim that it’s inevitably so but I do claim that his “proof” is flawed.

      62.It’s microsite influences: barbecue devices etc. often sit in the stations and Cook says that it doesn’t matter. In reality, a huge portion of the surface stations was affected by such things and the accumulated errors often exceed 1 degree Celsius. A priori, the effect of the microsite influences may be both warming and cooling. In reality, because of the increasing energy (and heat) used by humans, the actual impact of the microsite influences almost always overstates the warming trend. But I do think that the paper that Cook cites is realistic, assuming that it didn’t use some wrong adjustments along the way, and the microsite effects could actually be as small as the picture indicates.

      63.Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate: I agree with him that this is too sloppy an argument. However, Cook mentions one or two numbers – 26 gigatons of CO2 emitted per year. Humans are dramatically changing the composition of our “climate”, he said. He probably meant the “atmosphere”, not the “climate”, because “composition of climate” really does sound silly. However, whether 26 gigatons is a lot or not has to be judged relatively to the atmosphere. It’s just 1-2 parts per million of the atmosphere – one or two millionth. So the mass may look large relatively to your lunch but it is negligible relatively to the atmosphere. And don’t forget that even the whole atmosphere is just 1 part per million of the mass of the Earth! Humans are not changing the composition of the atmosphere in a substantial way. They’re just changing a trace gas – CO2 – that is very important for life to exist and that is importantly linked to the key industrial processes. Carbon dioxide is vastly less important for the climate than it is important for life and industrial processes.

      64.It’s land use: Cook says that these effects are small etc. However, the changes to the albedo obviously induce temperature changes that reach tenths of a degree or degrees per century, too. There are additional effects – sewer systems reduce evaporation over cities and modify the wind patterns, humidity, precipitation, water vapor greenhouse effect, and many other things. It’s very unreasonable to keep CO2 greenhouse effect and dismiss all these “land-use” effects because the latter are almost certainly comparable in their influence on temperatures.

      65.Medieval Warm Period was warmer: Cook says that only locally – globally, it was cooler, he argues. However, the “reconstructions” he offers are linked to the discredited hockey-stick studies (and especially the discredited people behind them). The best evidence is actually historical in origin, from the traditional civilized places, and it does suggest that the period was warmer than the present. It’s unlikely that the whole world was “much cooler” than expected from these temperatures. But even if it were so, the temperature e.g. in England was (and is) more important for the Englishmen than the global mean temperature. Finally, in a recent BBC interview, top alarmist and hockey-stick advocate Phil Jones admitted that the MWP was warmer than the present on the whole Northern Hemisphere and he only speculatively suggests, with no real evidence, that it could have been different on the Southern Hemisphere. Even if the MWP were only warmer on the Northern Hemisphere, it would still make the claims that the present is “unprecedentedly warm” very awkward.

      66.It’s methane: I agree with Cook that – regardless of the unknown feedbacks – methane contributes roughly 1/3 of the greenhouse effect of CO2. Whether it’s negligible depends on your calculations. Clearly, methane is less clearly correlated with the industrial things that the environmentalist movement wants to reduce – so it’s not interesting enough for them. But a 30% error in some calculation is pretty high. Methane adds more greenhouse effect than e.g. all the transportation on the Earth, and methane probably has a bigger potential to change than the CO2 emissions from transportation. Only complete calculations can settle such things – and calculations based on the assumption that everything but CO2 can be ignored are definitely wrong.

      67.IPCC were wrong about Himalayan glaciers: While Cook agrees that the year 2035 was wrong and unfortunate, he insists that they’re retreating at an “accelerated” rate. That’s not what the Indian report that studied the question found. Many of them are advancing and the general rate of their retreat hasn’t accelerated. It’s clear that even under the business-as-usual, the glaciers can’t disappear in less than 300 – and probably 1,000 – years and some advocates of the climate panic are deliberately trying to hide this fact. Moreover, the error wasn’t just a typo. It’s just one among hundreds of examples in which the IPCC is trying to exaggerate the hypothetical problems and invent fake stories. Every single IPCC error that’s been admitted was about the IPCC’s attempts to exaggerate the hypothetical threat. It’s no coincidence: this exaggeration and fabrication is the reason for the IPCC’s very existence. And it has always been.

      68.500 scientists refute the consensus: Cook says that they don’t, and if they do, they just repeat “myths”. Well, he can try to label them “myths” which doesn’t change the fact that they often confirm and substantiate textbook material on the climate that every serious researcher in the discipline should be familiar with. See e.g. these hundreds of peer-reviewed articles or 31,000 scientists who disagree with the AGW orthodoxy, including 9,000 with PhD degrees.

      69.Solar Cycle length proves it’s the Sun: Cook says it’s been “settled” in recent years that the Sun couldn’t have contributed to the changes since 1975. And I would agree if he said that one or two previously “suggestive” correlations have broken down once new data were included. However, the changes since 1975 contain a lot of chaotic weather events. It’s still true and important that the Sun does matter for climate change – over centuries etc. Nothing has changed about the geological evidence linking the solar activity, cosmic rays, and the temperature on the Earth. Nothing has changed about the correlations between Maunder and Dalton minima on one side and the little ice age on the other side.

      70.The science isn’t settled: Cook correctly says that science is never “quite” settled and different statements are known at different confidence levels. However, many of the key statements surrounding CO2 and climate are only claimed to be known at the 90% confidence level which is really just an euphemism for a 50% confidence level because a tiny amount of cherry-picking and distortion is enough to make 50% results look like 90% results. At any rate, the man-made climate change science isn’t anywhere close to the conventional disciplines of hard science. And judging from the fact that the proponents of AGW are scared of the 5-sigma standards that are normal in proper scientific disciplines, it seems that they realize that all their “signals” will go away when a bigger amount of evidence is taken into account. If the “signals” for AGW were real, it would be straightforward to extend them to 5-sigma discoveries which has never happened – and it seems likely that it will never happen.

      71.Phil Jones says no global warming since 1995: Cook correctly says that the claim was about no “statistically significant warming” since 1995 but he obviously misunderstands what it means. He says that it shows our “inability to find a signal” over a short period. However, the period since 1995 is not short. It is comparable to the timescale where the “climate” often begins according to many people. In a period that is as long as 15 years, the global warming not only fails to be serious: it fails to be detectable with the most accurate gadgets and the most accurate statistical techniques to average over the globe that we have. Because a warming can clearly only become “dangerous” when it is much higher than the temperature differences we can actually detect, it follows that even if the observed warming were man-made, we will need at least a century for it to become “threatening”, and claims that we must urgently change our civilization in this year or in the next year are unjustifiable.

      72.Hansen’s 1988 prediction was wrong: Cook is trying to defend the indefensible. He says that the actual emissions followed Hansen’s scenario B and so did the temperature. In reality, the actual emissions clearly followed Hansen’s scenario A – business at usual – for which Hansen predicted a warming that was roughly 3-times faster than the actual one that has occurred since that time. If the initial points of the graph are merged according to the proper rules, we may actually see that the warming that has occurred since Hansen’s 1988 testimony was even lower than in his scenario C, e.g. a nearly complete and sudden stop of the industrial activity. Hansen’s predictions were spectacularly wrong.

      73.Naomi Oreskes’ study on consensus was FLAWED: Cook says that all criticism has been retracted – and he only knows about the criticism by Benny Peiser (whose name is misspelled by Cook). In reality, Peiser only retracted his own version of the Oreskes paper because there were (finer) errors in his version of the analysis. But the very fact that Oreskes’ paper has been COMPLETELY WRONG is indisputable. For example, point 68 above discussed and linked to hundreds of peer-reviewed papers that have contradicted the “consensus” and that were COMPLETELY MISSED by Oreskes’ FLAWED METHODOLOGY. More precisely, some of them were published after Oreskes’ paper – a moment when the meltdown of what Oreskes called the “consensus” has rapidly accelerated – but the main message for the present era remains: it’s just a straight denial to claim that there are no peer-reviewed papers contradicting the “consensus”. There are hundreds of them. They’re surely inconvenient for Ms Oreskes or Mr Cook but sadly for them, that doesn’t make them “unreal”.

      74.Record snowfall disproves global warming: Cook actually says that record snowfall pretty much proves global warming. The champions of climate panic have always loved to interpret individual weather events as “proofs” of global warming and the likes of Mr Cook do so even when it is completely irrational. See Global warming causes snowstorm in D.C. for some explanations why global warming can’t possibly have this effect. If the annual mean temperatures increased by 1.5 °C per century or so, places like Prague would see almost no difference. However, the reduced amount of snow would actually be the most visible difference. The total amount of snow cover in a year would drop by something like 25%. The percentage of snow-covered days is proportional to the percentage of days whose average temperature is below the freezing point. The latter would clearly decrease a bit in a warmer climate – but not enough to cause any real problems or qualitative changes. Also, global warming reduces the polar-tropic temperature differences which should reduce the storminess, driven by the gradients, and make the “extremely large” storms of all kinds less frequent. The opposite claims are scientifically unjustifiable – they’re only being said because the proponents of climate panic like to spread fears and bigger storms are “worse” than smaller storms. They rely on the assumption that no one will ever check what they say – and everything they say in this respect is scientifically invalid.

      75.Sea level rise predictions are exaggerated: Cook clearly doesn’t like the IPCC mean value, which is 43 centimeters per century, so he even doesn’t offer the figure. Instead, he speculates that the accelerating melting in Greenland and Antarctica may increase the figure to 75-200 centimeters per century: he claims that the IPCC doesn’t include this contribution. However, it’s not really possible for ice to “suddenly” increase its rate of melting by an order of magnitude. Such a “regime shift” is not supported by any serious work – except for a wishful thinking by Mr Hansen and a movie by Al Gore. While the 43 centimeters per century in the IPCC report is unspectacular, the truly realistic estimates such as those by Nils-Axel Mörner, probably the world’s #1 expert in this discipline, predict something like 0-20 centimeters of sea level rise per century.

      76.The Sun is getting hotter: I agree with Cook that the Sun’s output has been decreasing since 1978 – but once again, I disagree that the total radiated energy is the only parameter that determines the Sun’s influence on the Earth’s climate. But I would agree that there exists no immediately convincing theory that would link the temperature changes of the last 30 or 50 years to the solar parameters.

      77.Water level correlates with sunspots: It’s just another variation of the methods to test the correlation between the solar activity and the climate on Earth. I agree that the agreement in this particular correlation has been unimpressive since the 1970s, but so was the correlation between CO2 and temperature. Clearly, a full theory of the climate is more complex than either, and chaotic, largely unpredictable dynamics is likely to play a key role here.

      78.Solar cycles cause global warming: I agree with Cook that the 11-year cycles don’t give any useful contribution that could modify our estimates of the CO2 climate sensitivity. He discusses Tung 2008 but it is probably unnecessary. 22-year cycles may be more important but the case is not too strong, either. However, the slower cycles – that led to Maunder and Dalton minima etc. – are more likely to have an influence on the climate and the correlations continue to work. It’s not nice that Cook is trying to pretend that by his discussion of Tung 2008, he “debunks” the influence of all solar variations. He surely doesn’t.

      79.CO2 is coming from the ocean: I agree it’s not, not only because of the isotopic composition. However, if the warming were substantial, we know – from the ice-age cycles – that the oceans will release something like 100 ppm per 6 °C of warming. It takes some time for the oceans to heat up and for the outgassing to operate.

      80.It’s not us: This is a surprisingly basic and general point to appear on the 80th place. As “proofs” that it’s us, Cook mentions satellite-measured energy flows and the stratosphere cooling. However, the latter is a general by-product of any near-surface warming, so it says nothing whatsoever about “us”. To see whether the warming is due to the greenhouse effect, we need to look at more specific “fingerprints” of the greenhouse effect, namely the warming in the tropical mid troposphere where the greenhouse theory predicts the fastest warming trend. And according to the observations, it doesn’t work at all: when the relevant criteria of the type Cook mentions are used correctly, science clearly says that it’s not us. The energy flows disagree between the observations and the greenhouse-dominated models, too: see Lindzen Choi 2009. Again, it’s not us. Cook’s arguments are complete bogus.

      81.Over 31,000 signed the OISM Petition Project: Well, I don’t like these “body counts”. But Cook says that the number is just 0.3% of science graduates – probably right – and the list only contains 39 scientists who are climate science specialists. That’s nice but the 2500 people in the IPCC only represent 0.03% of science graduates, the percentage of climate scientists who actually mater in the institution is also low – relatively to e.g. railway engineers and NGO activists. And yes, it’s true that the bulk of the climate scientists have been bought to spread the panic: 90% of the current funding for climate science is spent for the fabrication of fake evidence supporting the alarm (just compare the funding levels before the AGW became the most popular question of the climate science with the current funding which is 10 times higher). So indeed, I am not going to dispute Cook’s assertion that most of the people who are paid to promote AGW do their job: the discipline is corrupt.

      82.2009-2010 winter saw cold spells: I agree with him that it’s primarily due to the strong phase of the Arctic Oscillation and doesn’t immediately influence the global mean temperature. On the other hand, such events are often more important than the changes of the global mean temperature. While Cook correctly says that the Arctic Oscillation and similar events are different from the changes of the global mean temperature, he doesn’t correctly deduce which of them is more important. The cold spells of the 2009-2010 winter were clearly more important e.g. than an estimated “underlying” 0.01 °C increase of the global mean temperature from the previous winter. So the focus on the global mean temperature is a focus on one of the least important things about the climate.

      83.Ice isn’t melting: Ice has been largely melting for several centuries, since the bottom of the little ice age, and sometimes it was accelerating and sometimes it was decelerating. At longer time scales, such changes have alternated many times. However, Cook always says that every melting is “accelerating” – he repeats this adjective about five times just in this point. The actual data he uses to argue for such “acceleration” clearly have too much noise for the acceleration to be statistically significant. So he’s simply comparing trends in various intervals, and if they’re accelerating, he celebrates them. If they’re not (e.g. his final graphs), he hides the fact. The resulting picture says nothing else than his whole “research” is composed of cherry-picking. Ice has been largely melting for a few centuries – with some glaciers etc. advancing but most of them retreating – but what the causes have been and whether the process will continue or will revert is yet to be seen. Clearly, not all (or most) changes of the ice volume since 1800 can be explained by the industrial activity.

      84.Mike’s Nature trick to “hide the decline”: Cook correctly says that the trick was to merge the tree-reconstructed noisy data from

  43. Gator May 29, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    “I told Gator that there were studies comparing natural forcings to CO2 emissions and presenting them side by side. Gator denied that any such studies exist, so I posted Meehl et al – not because it’s the best or the only study on the subject, but because Gator said such things didn’t exist. ”

    I did not ask for ‘studies’. Can you not read? I asked for a peer reviewed paper that refutes natural variability. If you do not understand the difference, you need to back out of the thread, you are in over your head.

    “Robin, your six point verification thing is all very well in theory, but try applying it to any other hazard, and it doesn’t work in the real world.”

    That’s funny!!! No, I mean it. I laughed my arse off reading that one. AGW is nothing but hypothesis and theory, that the models repeatedly prove does not apply to the real world. Matthjew 7:5…

    You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

    “…and I don’t want to spend my limited amount of writing time arguing the science.”

    That is because you cannot. Like the book above, which disparages people but says virtually nothing about the science. Skeptics have made a monkey out of AGW. The proponents are afraid to have open debate and do NOT want to discuss the science, because they have none. They have models and anecdotal ecvidence, that’s it. Oh, and outright lies too.

    It all gets back to this. If you cannot quantify the natural forcings, you cannot blame man. Because there is nothing unusual or unprecedented about our current climate or how we got here.

    • Robin Guenier May 29, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

      Gator:

      Re my “six point verification thing”, see my reply to Jeremy just inserted about five comments above this. (This thread is getting complicated.)

  44. Gator May 29, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    Judging from what I have witnessed over the last thirty years, the alarmists are lucky none of therm have been jailed for fraud. They scream ‘academic freedom’ as if it were a license to kill, and it may be just that. Starving innocent humans and denying (more deniers) them cheap affordable energy to meet your agenda is inhuman. There is nothing wrong with our climate, the problem is inside of you.

  45. Red Jeff May 29, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    Stefan, Jon Cook is a cartoonist, he clearly and proudly tells everyone on his site. Cook may be a “So John Cook is a trained solar physicist, thus being, at minimum, an expert in radiation transfer, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics and spectroscopy” as you claim but even YOU admit he’s NOT a climate scientist. By the same rules you arbitrarily impose on those you disagree with it is obvious that Cook is (as a cartoonist) completely unqualified to speak on the subject of global warming…

    Unless, of course, he’s repeating alarmist scripture… then he’s a profit prophet.

    I guess it’s one of those crazy ironies of life. While you’re reading this Stef, any comment on EPA’s Lisa Jackson and Sen. Inhofe BOTH admitting to the overwhelmingly safe fracking process? I hear Germany is fearful of earthquakes and tsunami leading them to close their nuclear industry. Did they use the same reasoning when they announced their abandonment of fracking?

  46. Gator May 29, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    Just realized Cook’s list of embarrassments was truncated, and I hate to short change you guys…

    84.Mike’s Nature trick to “hide the decline”: Cook correctly says that the trick was to merge the tree-reconstructed noisy data from the past with the instrumental record in recent decades. Because the trees’ dynamics looks much more muted, the reconstructed temperatures in the distant past look much less variable than the actual temperatures measured by the thermometers. So the recent changes are artificially magnified by the trick is merging the two sources. In fact, as Cook realizes, it’s worse than that: since 1960, the trees would imply that it’s been cooling! It’s the so-called “divergence problem” that makes the whole methodology based on tree rings highly suspect, to say the least. Cook’s bizarre claim is that the effect causing the “divergence problem” only affects the reconstructions after 1960. That’s just like saying that until 1960, the Earth was flat but it became round after 1960. Laws of physics can’t suddenly change in this way. Whatever is causing the divergence problem may have also invalidated – and probably invalidates – the trees’ testimony about the temperatures in the Middle Ages, too.

    85.Climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted: He realizes that the chaotic behavior is there but just like most alarmists, Cook believes that the chaos goes away if you look at changes in a few decades. Well, it doesn’t. The chaotic, pink-noise-like changes of the temperature extend to timescales as long as millennia: see Self-similarity of temperature graphs. So it’s actually conceivable that most changes that we can see at any time scale between hours and millennia are changes of a chaotic character and therefore largely unpredictable. The problem here is that 30 years or so “looks long” relatively to the human life. But the human life has nothing to do with the climate. When we look what are the timescales at which the pink noise really starts to be regulated by negative feedbacks etc., we find that it is probably longer than a millennium.

    86.It’s albedo: Cook claims that the long-term change of the albedo – reflectivity of the Earth’s surface, roughly speaking – would imply cooling (because the Earth was getting increasingly reflective, he thinks) but there’s no “recent trend”. This is a very problematic assertion by itself. Again, what is meant by the “long-term changes”? Clearly, whatever the trend is, it couldn’t have been going on indefinitely because the albedo always has to belong to the obvious interval, between 0 and 1. Even more importantly, Cook contradicts himself. He claims that the albedo was increasing – the Earth was going more reflective in the long run (which would imply cooling). However, the ice-albedo feedback is a major feedback that should amplify the warming: the darker surface you have, the more energy it absorbs, the warmer it gets, and the more ice/snow melts. Cook can’t have it both ways! Clearly, he would like the albedo – as a separate reason of the warming – to be going up so that it would add a cooling effect in the past, thus leaving more warming to CO2. On the other hand, he would love the albedo to go down in the future as a side-effect of the CO2-induced warming, to amplify the warming. He not only creates arguments that would “explain” predetermined conclusions – but his arguments actually contradict each other directly.

    87.CO2 is not the only driver of the climate: But according to Cook, it’s the dominant one and is increasingly faster than any other radiative forcing. The first comment is clearly nonsensical: the CO2′s radiative forcing is just 3.7 W/m^2 per doubling (and there has been less than one since the pre-industrial era) while the clouds themselves remove about 30 W/m^2. This is about an order of magnitude higher than the CO2 forcing – and there are many similar forcings that are comparable to the clouds, of course. After all, they have to add up to 235 W/m^2 that the Earth thermally radiates. But even when we look at changes, it is not true that the change linked to CO2 is the fastest change. We need roughly 200 years for a CO2 doubling, so it is 0.5% of doubling per year, or 0.005 times 3.7 = 0.02 W/m^2 change per year. Virtually any other known climate driver is faster than this! This fact remains to be true for all major drivers at the timescale of 10 or 20 or 30 years. After all, that’s why it’s so easy for the climate to show no warming for 10 or 15 years. Whether a CO2-induced warming becomes “inevitable” after 50 years depends on whether or not the other drivers have to average to zero at this time scale – which is far from obvious, to say the least.

    88.IPCC were wrong about the Amazon forest: And Mr Cook thinks it wasn’t. Of course that it was completely wrong. For example, a 2007 paper by NASA studied the impact of the unusually strong 2005 drought on the region. The forests not only showed to be resilient but the drier regions of the tropical forest actually got greener! It’s no contradiction because the region could actually be receiving higher-than-optimal precipitation on a typical year. Also, it should not be shocking that the IPCC wrote invalid statements about it because it was building upon a green advocacy group’s ideological booklet rather than science. Unfortunately, such things became common with the IPCC and the climate community in general: it may be fair to say that the bulk of the climate science community has become an advocacy group rather than an impartial scientific institution.

    89.Water vapor in the stratosphere stopped global warming: Susan Solomon 2010 realized
    (or “discovered the wheel”) that H2O in the stratosphere is an important climate driver. It seems that it has acted as a negative feedback, compensating for the warming caused by other factors (maybe including CO2). Cook argues that “long-term warming trend” suggests that such a negative feedback can’t exist. I can’t possibly understand the logic of his argument. His argument seems to be “one number, a 100-year warming, is positive, which is enough to rule out all inconvenient statements, theories, and observations.” Well, it’s surely not enough. There’s been no warming e.g. since 1998 and although the reasons behind this fact may look chaotic because it could have been both warming or cooling (or none), science may still try to explain the detailed reasons. Solomon showed that a particular effect was nonzero and proposed it mattered for the changes since 1998 (among other things). As far as I can see, Cook has offered no rational counter-evidence whatsoever.

    90.Scientists retracted claim that sea levels are rising: Cook correctly says that the critics who made these authors retract the paper actually wanted to increase, not decrease, the predicted figure. After all, the main critic of the paper was Stefan Rahmstorf of RealClimate.ORG, a Gentleman who is trying to push all numbers in the discipline in one particular direction all the time. However, it’s still true that the authors have retracted the paper. Point 75 discusses more reasonable estimates of the sea level rise.

    91.CO2 is not increasing: I agree with Cook it has been increasing: the 12-month running averages were increasing almost exactly linearly (unlike the temperature which is chaotic). About 40% of the newly emitted CO2 remains in the atmosphere today. It’s likely that this percentage will increase because more properly, we shouldn’t count the absorbed CO2 as a percentage of the emissions but as a percentage of the excess CO2 that is already in the atmosphere. Every year, we emit the equivalent of 5-6 ppm or so but the CO2 concentration only increases by 2 ppm or so. Clearly, the Earth has to absorb the remaining 3-4 ppm every year. It’s absorbing this amount of CO2 because the CO2 concentration is elevated and the processes that absorb it beat those that emit CO2. However, this amount absorbed by Nature will get even bigger if the deviation from 280 ppm – the temperature-dependent equilibrium value – gets larger. For example, if the CO2 concentration reaches 560 ppm, the Earth may absorb 10 ppm a year which may exceed our emissions in 2100 when the concentration may reach 560 ppm. The CO2 concentrations may stabilize or start to drop at that point. If we stopped emitting CO2 completely, the concentrations would begin to drop by 3-4 ppm per year.

    92.Mauna Loa is a volcano: I agree with Cook that the specific features of Mauna Loa don’t invalidate its measurements of CO2.

    93.CO2 was higher in the late Ordovician: The CO2 concentration was much higher e.g. 444 million years ago but the temperature was similar to the present one, disfavoring the idea that CO2 has a big impact. Cook cites a paper by Dana Royer which assumes tthat the solar constant was 5% lower at the time – which is plausible but supported by no further science in the paper. The paper observes CO2-temperature correlations but, much like Al Gore, fails to see that the bulk of this correlation is explained by the temperature’s impact on CO2, not the opposite influence. Because of this reverted causal relationship, it’s a fundamentally flawed paper. Geological arguments like this one do indicate that the climate sensitivity can’t exceed 1 °C much. A linear regression gave us 0.9 °C per doubling.

    94.It’s not happening: Quite a general point after these specifics. Cook’s “new” arguments are that everything is “accelerating”: it’s been discussed many times. Nothing is really accelerating. And the warming in the early 20th century was actually pretty much the same as the warming in the last 35 years, suggesting no role for the humans (whose activity got much more intense since 1900). Claims about “acceleration” are cherry-picked observations from noisy graphs or downright fabrications. Cook’s additional argument is that plants and animals are migrating closer to the Pole. This may statistically be the case – but they’ve been arguably doing such things for millions of years. And let’s admit, even if the warming were important, the behavior of the animals is more rational than what some people recommend to the humanity. Birds don’t stop building nests or using their key means of transportations such as their wings but they just migrate if they feel too cold or too warm. A migration by a hundred of miles can completely undo the temperature effect of a Fahrenheit degree of warming. That’s enough of a reaction to 100 years of warming for a sensitive yet sensible organism (or species).

    95.Global temperatures dropped sharply in 2007: Cook says that it was due to La Nina and “exacerbated by” low solar activity. He gives us two reasons but he can’t say what is the relative weight of the two phenomena. In fact, in other points, he dismissed the possibility that the solar activity may matter. The reason why he gives us two causes is not that he actually knows that both of them operate – but because a bigger number of non-CO2 reasons will make it more likely for a naive reader not to think about the links to CO2. Whenever it’s cooling, it’s cooling because of dozens of natural causes. Whenever it’s warming, it’s only warming because of man-made reasons. A simple propagandistic exercise – and Cook’s readers must be really silly to buy all of his statements, especially in this awkward combination.

    96.Trenberth can’t account for the lack of warming: Kevin Trenberth admitted that we can’t account for the lack of warming and it’s a travesty that we can’t. In other words, the climate scientists have no idea what’s been happening with the climate in the last 15 years. Yes, as Cook agrees, it’s because of the internal variability and energy flows they can’t understand right now. So it seems that Cook agrees with this point – it is not really possible to disagree. So he at least tries to spin this point by suggesting that the misunderstood internal variability and uncalculated energy flows don’t matter. Of course that they do matter: they’re what this climate problem is all about. However, Cook thinks that a public support for the AGW orthodoxy by Kevin Trenberth is more important than that they have no clue about the causes of the recent cooling etc. However, people who think rationally about this problem realize that what matters is the understanding of the energy flows – which doesn’t exist – while some public religious rituals in which some IPCC representatives endorse some basic religious dogmas don’t matter for a scientific conclusion. Cook’s hierarchy of values is unfortunately the inverted one: religion matters and equations don’t.

    97.It’s CFCs: Cook says that the greenhouse effect from the (ozone-depleting) freons may be negligible. And it may be. But it may also matter, especially in combination with other things. Various people have tried to link the ozone hole and the global mean temperature in various ways. Cook apparently doesn’t like it because it dilutes his CO2 message, so he doesn’t discuss these papers even though he pays lots of attention to less important or convincing papers involving CO2. Well, I am not thrilled by links between freons and the climate, either – except that it doesn’t matter what we feel. There could still exist such a relationship. It’s not just about the direct IR absorption that may be negligible. The UV absorption and modified chemistry and biology may matter, too. The inherent strength of freons as greenhouse gases is huge. For example, HFC-23 stays in the atmosphere for 200+ years and it is more than 10,000 times stronger a greenhouse gas than CO2. It’s clear that if we say that the greenhouse effect is important, we must look at methane, freons, N2O, and other things, too.

    98.CO2 emissions do not correlate with CO2 concentrations: Well, I agree that in the long run, the CO2 concentration demonstrably increases because of the CO2 emissions. The isotopes are an extra way to demonstrate it. However, it’s important to note that this point has nothing to do with the temperatures. Neither CO2 concentrations nor CO2 emissions are significantly correlated with the global mean temperature – not even at a multi-decadal scale. It follows that they won’t probably be too strongly correlated in the future, either. It is a childish mistake to imagine that by changing our CO2 emissions, we will be “directly” changing the temperature. The influence is pretty much undetectable.

    99.It’s ozone: Cook says that O3 stopped declining in 1995 while the temperatures continued to growth. Well, they surely continued to grow less than expected by the AGW advocates: there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995, after all. The ozone could matter – and it could also matter with the opposite sign than he assumes: many of these points have been sketched in point 97 about the freons. More generally, you can see that Cook has an extremely biased attitude to all these questions. Whenever there is a potential climate driver different from CO2, he is satisfied with a tiny glimpse of an imperfection – showing that it’s not a perfect explanation of everything – to conclude that the effect is completely irrelevant. Whenever CO2 is the candidate, he is ready to ignore any problems, add any extra adjustments and additional effects employed as “minor slaves” of the CO2. This is not a rational attitude of a scientifically inclined person: it is the approach of a hopelessly biased religious bigot.

    100.It’s satellite microwave transmissions: Well, while it’s ludicrous to claim that the energy emitted by the satellites can cause a significant warming (I surely agree with Cook on this one), similar effects should be carefully checked when the same microwaves are being used to measure the temperature from the satellites (and I believe that they’re thinking about it). When demonstrating tthat the satellites’ energy is negligible, Cook makes elementary errors in arithmetics: 5/500 is not 1 but 0.01, so the real result is 100 times smaller than his figure: the satellites are too weak by a factor of 100 million, not 1 million.

    101.Tree rings diverge from temperature after 1960: We have already discussed the divergence problem in point 84. Cook repeats his preposterous conclusion that the divergence itself has to be man-made, too. In particular, he blames the divergence on “global dimming” and “man-made drought”. The only evidence that the tree proxies worked before 1960 is their rough agreement that existed for a few decades but broke down after 1960. Note the dramatic difference in his interpretation of similar “divergences” in various contexts: when some of the impressive graphs showing the correlation between cosmic rays and the climate failed to be convincing after year XY, Cook immediately uses it to throw the whole cosmoclimatology away. But because he apparently likes tree proxies, when the correlation between trees and temperature fails – and it’s been failing for 50 years – he invents new effects (and man-made ones!) that must surely be responsible for this divergence. Once again, double standards caused by the lack of objectivity if not religious bigotry. Even if drought or dimming were the reason for the “divergence”, similar things could have occurred in the medieval period, too. There exists no good evidence that we can actually determine all the relevant factors that decide about the width of the tree rings.

    102.A drop in volcanic activity caused warming: Incredibly, Cook says that such a drop could have caused (a part of) the early 20th century warming but it couldn’t have worked recently. Does he postulate another jump in the laws of physics? While he’s eager to cite papers that “work” and explain the eartly 20th century warming, he doesn’t cite any recent papers. After all, there have been no recent large volcano eruptions: the 1991 eruption of Mt Pinatubo remains the latest large eruption and it’s been almost 20 years. If you look at his very own graphs, you will see that the eruptions in 1880-1920 were more frequent than those in the recent decades. So his own methodology doesn’t support his conclusions. He’s inconsistently mixing and spinning papers about different things, comparing apples and oranges with his predetermined conclusion that apples are more orange in color.

    103.We didn’t have global warming during the Industrial Revolution: Cook correctly says that the CO2 emissions were a tiny portion of the present ones. Around 1800, they were 100 times lower than they are today. The only problem with his argument is that we actually did have global warming during the Industrial Revolution. I recently published the texts by Thomas Jefferson about climate change that sound almost indistinguishable from the “modern observations” of climate change even though they are 200 years old. Similar observations exist when it comes to the melting ice and other aspects of “climate change”. So the real problem is not that we didn’t have global warming during the industrial revolution: the real problem was that we did have global warming – or cooling – during ages when people could already observe the world but they were not yet emitting any substantial amount of CO2.

    104.Southern sea ice is increasing: Cook agrees but says that it surely has nothing to do with warming or global climate change. It must be due to “complex phenomena” such as changes of the winds and circulation. Note that such comments would be unthinkable if he tried to discuss the Northern sea ice. As we have noticed, all “warming” observations are about the climate, important signals that you should appreciate, worship, extrapolate, and be afraid of. On the other hand, all “cooling” observations are just an irrelevant weather that you should dismiss, humiliate, and spit on. With such a biased attitude, it shouldn’t be shocking that Mr Cook ends up with an irrational orthodoxy based on 104 largely obscure misinterpretations, misunderstandings, and myths – and that his opinions about the most important questions are upside down.

    Looks like the cartoonist needs to stick to drawing pictures!

    I took psychology classes in college. Does that make me a psychologist. Art classes. Artist?

    Degrees really do not mean that much, it is what one does with one’s degree. And we can only hope it was actually earned.

    Jeremy has a journalism degree, but if you look at his actions, he like you is actually an activist. And Stefan, as far as I can tell Jeremy does not profit off of his alarmism. How are those book sales doing?

  47. Gator May 29, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    Woohoo! Coup de gras baby!

    “Last but not least: here be the sourcewatch list of climate change denier arguments and respective rebuttals – whether one likes sourcewatch or not – for many arguments links are provided to peer reviewed publications:”

    From the ‘Sourcewatch’ about page…

    “Please be advised that nothing found here has necessarily been reviewed by professionals with the expertise required to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information. That is not to say that you will not find valuable and accurate information in SourceWatch; much of the time you will. However, SourceWatch cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here.”

    Awesome Stefan! Sure glad you sciency types are using only the best peer reviewed info.

    And who is behind this misinformation site? Why it is the ‘Center for Media and Democracy’. Who are they?

    “The Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) is a liberal non-profit American-based media research group. It was founded in 1993 by ENVIRONMENTALIST writer and POLITICAL ACTIVIST John Stauber, but has been run by Lisa Graves since 2009.”

    Also heavily funded by the one world order proponent George Soros.

    Propaganda pages? Supported by far leftists and activists? That is your best shot?

    What an embarrassing failure for you to be exposed as the profiteering activist that you are.

    I find it interesting that Jeremy’s three favorite organizations are also funded by Soros. No hard science but alot of rock solid propaganda. No wonder you are so wrong about climate, you are reading and sharing material, not written from a scientific perspective, but from an ideological perspective.

    And again, here is what your buddies say…

    “We need to get some broad based support,
    to capture the public’s imagination…
    So we have to offer up scary scenarios,
    make simplified, dramatic statements
    and make little mention of any doubts…
    Each of us has to decide what the right balance
    is between being effective and being honest.”
    - Prof. Stephen Schneider,
    Stanford Professor of Climatology,
    lead author of many IPCC reports

    “We’ve got to ride this global warming issue.
    Even if the theory of global warming is wrong,
    we will be doing the right thing in terms of
    economic and environmental policy.”
    - Timothy Wirth,
    President of the UN Foundation

    “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony…
    climate change provides the greatest opportunity to
    bring about justice and equality in the world.”
    - Christine Stewart,
    former Canadian Minister of the Environment

    “The data doesn’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations
    on the data. We’re basing them on the climate models.”
    - Prof. Chris Folland,
    Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research

    “The models are convenient fictions
    that provide something very useful.”
    - Dr David Frame,
    climate modeler, Oxford University

    “I believe it is appropriate to have an ‘over-representation’ of the facts
    on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience.”
    - Al Gore,
    Climate Change activist

    Yeah, even a theology school dropout can become an activist. Cool.

  48. Stefan Thiesen May 29, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

    @Gator: I am am a profiteering activist? Maybe let me know how to become one, and I might consider that career path. But an activist I am – are you not? I come to a conclusion and then try to do something about it. Like – voting. Or occasionally campaigning. You, of course, are not doing that.

    Question: would you use relativistic Physics to calculate the loads for an elevator? That is the standard you are setting when you demand to include ALL forcings in a climate model.

    You also constantly dismiss arguments – only by later using them yourself.

    And (who wrote that… Gator or Red Jeff…): that climate mitigation policies are responsible for the European financial crisis is a funny conjecture. Didn’t even know that we only had a crisis in Europe. I keep hearing “global financial crisis”. Of course it has nothing to do with speculations in derivatives, with rating agencies, with structural differences within the union, with state policies etc. It’s climate policies! How beautiful. Now let’s go about and construct a case.

    This is tiring and far too time consuming. Unfortunately I am not a profiteering activist. My life is much less interesting. Talk to the active researchers in the field. Not to me.

    See ya later, Gator et al.

    • Jeremy May 29, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

      Thanks for your comments Stefan.

  49. Gator May 29, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    “@Gator: I am am a profiteering activist? Maybe let me know how to become one, and I might consider that career path.”

    Is this not you?…

    New book on Renewable Energy Based Desalination that I co-authored
    11.08.2010 17:09

    Michael Papapetrou, Marcel Wieghaus and Charlotte Biercamp edited the “Roadmap for the development of desalination powered by renewable energy”, promoting research and startups of renewable energy based drinking water production as a means to alleviate drinking water scarcity related to overuse, overpopulation and climate change. The English written book is available via Amazon.de or directly via the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Research (ISE)/ Fraunhofer Verlag. It also can be downloaded HERE

    According to Amazon, it is selling (maybe) for anywhere from $22 to $46 for a 79 page pamphlet. Odd. I cannot find a single review, but keep beating the drum, maybe someone will buy one.

    “Question: would you use relativistic Physics to calculate the loads for an elevator? That is the standard you are setting when you demand to include ALL forcings in a climate model.”

    We are not discussing elevators. Or tobacco, or oil companies or any other unrelated topcis. We are discussing the FACT that you cannot quantify natural forcings and cannot show our climate is out if the ordinary.

    “You also constantly dismiss arguments – only by later using them yourself.”

    Please provide multiple examples since I “constantly” do this. More baseless accusations.

    Stefan, it is alwys surprising to me that the alarmists have no argument, especially those that shout the loudest.

    Oncer again, if youy gave the same weight to skeptic argumnets that you do to enviromental activist propaganda, you would reach the same conclusion as I have. But you are a fanatic, for profit, agenda or both.

    I have asked many times for even ONE PEER REVIEWED PAPER that refutes or even quantifies natural variability, and after days of trying you have failed miserably.

    • Jeremy May 29, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

      Gator, the Meehl et al link I sent you was peer reviewed, and this is the last of your fatuous comments I’m responding to on this thread.

  50. Gator May 29, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    Hey Jeremy! It is nonsense, peer reviewed nonsense.

    “Ensemble SIMULATIONS are run with a global coupled climate MODEL employing FIVE forcing agents that influence the time evolution of globally averaged surface air temperature during the twentieth century.”

    And I will repeat for the umpteenth time hoping that this time you will both READ and COMPREHEND…

    “The IPCC’s Table 2.11 (2007) reveals, by the IPCC’s own admission, it has ‘low’ or ‘very low’ understanding of 80 percent of all factors impacting climate.”

    AGAIN, it is IMPOSSIBLE

  51. Gator May 29, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    Hey Jeremy! It is nonsense, pal reviewed nonsense.

    “Ensemble SIMULATIONS are run with a global coupled climate MODEL employing FIVE forcing agents that influence the time evolution of globally averaged surface air temperature during the twentieth century.”

    And the big conclusion…

    “Meehl et al. (2003) show that coupled feedbacks MAY
    affect the response in different ways. The relationship
    between global and regional responses is the now the
    subject of a FURTHER INVESTIGATION.”

    Guess they solved that one!

    And I will repeat for the umpteenth time hoping that this time you will both READ and COMPREHEND…

    “The IPCC’s Table 2.11 (2007) reveals, by the IPCC’s own admission, it has ‘low’ or ‘very low’ understanding of 80 percent of all factors impacting climate.”

    AGAIN, it is IMPOSSIBLE to model that which you do not understand. AGAIN! It is impossible to model that which you do not understand.

    Understand yet? I can cut and paste until you do.

    I do not think you are that stupid Jeremy, I just think you are so invested in this idea that you cannot see straight.

    How good would you be at modeling climate today? Apparently all one needs is a basic understanding of only 20% to get it right. Right?

    Meehl et al 2004 set out to refute natural variability, and like Stefan, they fell flat on their faces.

    Who writes the code used for the models Jeremy? Could it be this guy?

    “The models are convenient fictions
    that provide something very useful.”
    - Dr David Frame,
    CLIMATE MODELER, Oxford University

    You see Jeremy, the alarmists have already admitted they exaggerate and lie.

    “We need to get some broad based support,
    to capture the public’s imagination…
    So we have to offer up scary scenarios,
    make simplified, dramatic statements
    and make little mention of any doubts…
    EACH OF US HAS TO DECIDE WHAT IS THE RIGHT BALANCE IS BETWEEN BEING EFFECTIVE AND BEING HONEST.”
    - Prof. Stephen Schneider,
    Stanford Professor of Climatology,
    LEAD AUTHOR of MANY IPCC reports

    You cannot win this argument because niether the facts nor the science are not on your side. The alarmists have repeatedly lied to us, falsified data, hidden data, blackballed scientists and journals, conspired to rewrite history… again I could go on for days. But what is the point?

    The point is that NOONE can refute natural variability as the driver of climate, NOONE can even quantify natural forcings, and NOONE can show our climate is unusual.

  52. Gator May 29, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    For once I agree with Jeremy. Yes Stefan, thankyou for illustrating your zeal for disproven science.

    The money quote was here…

    “About “disproving natural variability”: why would any scientist in his right mind waste his time trying to disprove natural variability?”

    Yeah, that would be inconvenient for a grantologist, might lose funding and have to compete in the real world for our dollars.

    I mean just because natural variabilty has been the driver for 4.5 billion years, why bother with it.

    So what if we cannot tell this climate change from any others, we have an agenda. Right?

    Books to sell, one world governments to form, wealth to redistribute (yeah, that quote was from one of your fellow countrymen, “But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.” Edenhofer, co-chair of the IPCC’s Working Group III, and lead author of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report released 2007), third world peoples to starve, etc…

    Can’t let facts get in the way!

  53. Red Jeff May 29, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    Jon Cook’s personal disinformation on climate change is simply stunning. The fact that people are still lining up to worship this alter is equally mind-boggling…

    Here is part of a transcript of a public science show and how the Cookie monster allows the propagation of misinformation http://www.abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow/stories/2011/3216474.htm

    Robyn Williams (interviewer): And then of course there’s the argument about computers and modelling… a film that was made by the new president of the Royal Society of London, Sir Paul Nurse… and also went to a fascinating place where they are actually showing climate models in action. You know, you’ve got a screen above and a screen below, one is the model showing weather patterns lines, streaming out according to the model, and the other one is the actual weather being shown from a satellite, and they are exactly the same. It’s quite remarkable.”

    John Cook: The models are getting more and more sophisticated.

    Why, if this were true, did the modlers not warn in real time of the Pakistani floods? Why, if this were true, did they not warn of the American tornado’s? Why, if this were true, did they not warn of the Aussie floods? Why, if this were true, did they not warn of the bitter South American cold.

    Perhaps it wasn’t corrected by Cook because he was using Mr. Williams as his own personal “usefull idiot” at the time. Not saying that he is now using Jeremy and Stefan… just commenting on Mr. Williams, thats all.

    • Gator May 29, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

      Hey Red Jeff! Maybe this is why…

      “There is no question that great progress has been made in climate modeling. I consider computer modeling to be an absolutely essential part of climate research. After all, without running numbers through physical equations in a theoretically-based model, you really can not claim that you understand very much about how climate works.
      But given all of the remaining uncertainties, I do not believe we can determine — with any objective level of confidence — whether any of the current model projections of future warming can be believed. Any scientist who claims otherwise either has political or other non-scientific motivations, or they are simply being sloppy.”

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/07/how-do-climate-models-work/

      Then you have other issues such as…

      “Instead – as outlandish as this sounds – the IPCC recruits the same people who work with these models on a daily basis to write the section of the climate bible that passes judgment on them. This is like asking parents to rate their own children’s attractiveness. Do we really expect them to tell us their kids are homely?”

      http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/05/03/fixed-the-ipccs-climate-model-evaluation-game/

      Oh and who can forget our man of the day…

      “The models are convenient fictions
      that provide something very useful.”
      - Dr David Frame,
      climate modeler, Oxford University

  54. Gator May 29, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

    “Re my “six point verification thing”, see my reply to Jeremy just inserted about five comments above this. (This thread is getting complicated.)”

    Hey Robin! Yes I saw your reply. It is a shame that this cannot be a reasoned debate. Per your six points, they have yet to complete even number one.

    “1. first, that recent warming is not a continuation of natural variation, but is somehow anomalous;”

    They tried to convince us that the MWP didn’t really happen. They even held an international convention whose primary function was to find a way to erase the MWP. Does that sound like science to you?

    I have a background heavy in geology and studied climatology for a couple of years as part of a comprehensive Earth Sciences studies. Ice ages were my first fascination, and then interglacials.

    Thank God for the interglacial! Give thanks and enjoy it while it lingers.

    • Robin Guenier May 29, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

      Gator:

      As you say, “they tried to convince us that the MWP didn’t really happen” and that the LIA didn’t happen – and even that current warming is unprecedented in the Holocene – i.e. that there’s been little change until now. And yet they call us “climate change deniers”. Odd that.

  55. Alex Cull May 29, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    Jeremy, going back to your response of 14th May (a while back, I know!) and your point about people close to the land being aware of climatic changes, this got me wondering about farmers and what they thought about climate change – after all, who would be closer to the land than farmers, and who less likely to be spending long hours in front of the telly? One UK site – Farming Futures – has surveys going back to 2008, where farmers were asked whether they thought they were affected by climate change at the present time and whether they thought they would be affected over the next ten years:
    http://www.farmingfutures.org.uk/annual-surveys

    It isn’t an ideal survey, by any means, as climate change is not defined in the surveys as “man-made climate change”, as opposed to natural climatic variability driven by phenomena such as the NAO, but if we assume that AGW is what was meant both by those who asked and answered the questions, an interesting pattern emerges.

    The survey in 2010 found that 38.4% thought they were affected now, and 56.8% thought they would be over the next ten years. However, in 2009 the percentages were 50.5% and 62.9%, respectively, and in 2008 they were 60.3% and 62.7%. The website mentions a new survey to be published in February 2011, which I’d be interested to see but it doesn’t seem to have surfaced yet (and not 100% sure that it will, as Defra now appears to have cut the funding for this project.)

    On a different site, Forum for the Future has the percentages for 2007, which were 53% and 62%.
    http://www.forumforthefuture.org/press-release/world-climate-changing-says-farmers

    On Forum for the Future, there is also an article by Jonathon Porritt in which he states: “Heading the list of hard to manage risks is climate change – which 38.4% of farmers in the UK consider is already affecting their business, according to a Farming Futures survey in 2010.” And 38.4% is still just over a third, which is a large chunk. But what Mr Porritt doesn’t tell us is that this number actually went down by 21.9% between 2008 and 2010, which is a very steep decline indeed.
    http://www.forumforthefuture.org/greenfutures/articles/The_storm_ahead+

    So it looks like 2008 was a peak, of sorts, and since then, farmers appear to have become – more doubtful? More sceptical? Less alarmed? It will be interesting to see whether anyone looks at these numbers and drills down to find out how and why attitudes have been changing.

    • Gator May 29, 2011 at 10:19 pm #

      Hey Alex! I hope you do not mind my interjection. But I live in the country on acreage and yes we out here are more likely to notice changes in climate and weather than urban dwellers. And more likely to be skeptical of AGW.

      I know climate change happens. I studied it for several years at a major university and have followed intensely since. In the thirty plus years of studying climate I did note a warming trend that has since ended. Climate change is real.

      So, when you look at the results of a survey asking farmers if they believe in climate change and/or if it effects them, of course they should answer in the positive. The fact is that people are understanding more about climate and some will read the question differently, and you begin to understand that it is a flawed survey. To get accurate results on belief in AGW, the question should read, “Do you believe man made CO2 is dangerously warming the planet?”

      After all, isn’t that the question we are all supposed to be asking?

    • Jeremy May 30, 2011 at 9:59 am #

      Yes, there was a peak in 2008 across the general public too. It was 2009 that the leaked emails came out, ending the year with the failure of the Copenhagen talks. I think it’s partly media overkill and boredom with the issue, and people’s fears also switched wholesale to the economy, so there’s a bunch of factors in play. It’s interesting that media attention nosedived right after Copenhagen too, particularly in the US.

      I live in the town, but I’m a gardener, and I notice a lot of stuff on the land too. Things definitely are changing. Here in England, a cold winter has been followed by an early spring. This April has been the warmest on record, and I’ve got peppers and squash growing well that don’t normally get going until early June. It’s also been dry, and my rainwater catchments have had nothing to do. March and April have been the driest for a century, so I wouldn’t be surprised if farmers’ opinions of a changing climate start to tick up again, whether or not they attribute it to AGW.

    • Robin Guenier May 30, 2011 at 10:56 am #

      Jeremy:

      As you know, I live (just about) in the country, am a gardener, am continually on the land (I’m off to walk my dogs round a neighbouring farm as soon as I’ve posted this) and, like you, have noticed changes in our part of England over the years. As I said on this interesting thread (congratulations BTW for hosting it!) a couple of weeks ago, those close to the land are aware of a gradual warming over time. And that’s supported by the instrument record: the record for central England (the world’s oldest instrumental temperature record) indicates (link) warming since 1695 – over 300 years at a rate of about 0.5 deg. C per century. As for farmers’ views, it would be interesting to see the results of a well-constructed survey, asking the right questions about climate change (see my post below). If I could get hold of a comprehensive list of UK farmers with their email addresses (perhaps from the Country Landowners Association?), I might be able to arrange for such a survey to be professionally conducted. It would probably need some incentive for respondents. That might be difficult. Any ideas?

  56. Gator May 29, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    “Check in tomorrow, in fact. If you don’t like my take on it, there’s plenty of people saying what you want to hear. In fact, if you enjoy Gator’s company, I can recommend Climate Change Dispatch, where he can be found boasting of his mighty debating victories on this site, and questioning my faith.”

    Actually it was not just me. I posted your ‘Faith’ page info at CCD and others there agreed you seem to have been misguided. After all, we are supposed to care for His children first, the planet comes somewhere later. AGW mitigation efforts would rob wealth that could be used to care for the hungry and sick. Even Australia’s climate czar admitted that mitigation would likely do nothing to change our climate…

    “Tim Flannery, Australia’s Chief Climate Commissioner, told The Daily Telegraph’s Andrew Bolt in a radio interview: “If we cut emissions today, global temperatures are not likely to drop for about a thousand years.”

    Just how many children do you plan to starve Jeremy? A thousand years worth? Will that be enough for Gaia?

    Don’t try to lay that nonsense on me if you don’t want it back double.

    Feed His children Jeremy, not the beast.

    “Wherever politics tries to be redemptive, it is promising too much. Where it wishes to do the work of God, it becomes not divine, but demonic.” Pope Benedict XVI

    • Gator May 29, 2011 at 10:52 pm #

      And I should clarify that Flannery quote by adding that he was discussing not just Australia, but global cuts having no effect for a thousand years. And he wants a carbon tax.

      Thank God he was honest.

      Yeah Jeremy, MY conscience is clear.

    • Alex Cull May 29, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

      Hi Gator, re the survey, I agree – and this is the problem with many (most?) of the surveys on attitudes to climate change – they do not define their terms properly and allow too many opportunities for ambiguity and contradictions. I think that as a result, we can tell that public attitudes are changing towards climate change, we can say that it’s likely that people generally are becoming more sceptical, but it’s harder trying to pin down exactly what people understand by “climate change” in the first place.

      • Jeremy May 30, 2011 at 11:41 am #

        I recommend IPSOS Mori’s ‘tipping point or turning point’ polls. Very detailed.

    • Robin Guenier May 30, 2011 at 8:41 am #

      Alex/Gator:

      The warmists seem to be experts in the manipulation of surveys. For example, in his review of the Washington/Cook book in the Ecologist, Jeremy tells us that “the science” (dangerous man-made global warming) is accepted by 97% of “climate scientists”. It’s a claim commonly made in warmist blogs (yes, Jeremy, I do read them). The research supporting the claim is this: Doran, P. T., and M. Kendall Zimmerman (2009), Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change, Eos Trans. AGU, 90(3). But that study is (a) hopelessly flawed and (b) didn’t find what Jeremy et al say it found. I’ll explain – and BTW I’m the founder chairman of an online medical research business and dealing with doctors has given me some expertise in the proper conduct of surveys and not least the correct phrasing of questionnaires.

      Back to the Doran survey. It’s hopelessly flawed because its sample size (79 respondents) and demographic (nearly all respondents were in the USA and Canada) make its findings valueless. But, even more interesting, it doesn’t support the warmist position. Here’s why:

      Essentially, it asks two questions. (1) Have global temperatures risen since the 1700s? And (2) was “human activity” a “significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures”? I (and perhaps Gator and Alex?) would answer “yes” to both. Note how (2) is hopelessly vague: what does “a significant contributing factor” mean? As mankind’s pre-1800 “contribution” was negligible, almost any “contribution” now (say 5%) would be “significant”. And neither question even mentions GHG emissions. Therefore, the survey cannot investigate the two key issues: were human GHG emissions a primary factor in any warming and would more such emissions be dangerous, justifying action? No, all it finds is that 97% of climatologists agree that the planet has warmed since 1800 and that human activity has contributed to an unspecified amount to that. Both are uncontroversial: I’m surprised 100% didn’t agree.

      This survey is not evidence of a consensus among climate scientists about the dangers of AGW. So why do warmists keep saying that it is?

      • Jeremy May 30, 2011 at 11:40 am #

        But that’s what we ‘warmists’ believe, that the earth has warmed and that human activity is a ‘significant contributing factor’ (but not the only one). It’s a responsible question, because no serious scientist would want to commit to an absolutist statement.

        There are extremists in the climate change camp, but most scientists are far more responsible than you give them credit for, more reasoned in what they say, and very careful to word their statements cautiously. Even the IPCC only says that AGW is ‘likely’, and 60 to 90% probable. That’s my own belief, by the way, although commenters here consistently accuse me otherwise. It’s not a done deal, the climate is always changing and the science will always be in development. I just happen to believe that it’s safer to act than not to, if the changes that we make will also be beneficial in other ways (ending fossil fuel dependency, for example, cutting waste, etc)

        Pushing the extremes constantly polarises the debate everyone assumes the worst about everybody else, and nothing constructive is ever said. It’s why this thread is so frustrating.

        Case in point, I see I’ve been accused of ‘starving children’ again this morning. No conversation is possible with people who take patient and reasoned statements, and respond with accusations of genocide.

    • Robin Guenier May 30, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

      No, I’m sorry Jeremy but your reply above rather suggests you’re not paying attention – finding what you expect to find rather than what’s actually there. A few points:

      1. My post above demonstrated plainly that the Doran survey, commonly cited as supporting the view that 97% of “climate scientists” accept the “science” – i.e. that mankind is responsible for dangerous global warming – is hopelessly flawed as a survey and, in any case, doesn’t support that view – I said nothing about its being “irresponsible”. Do you now agree that the survey is not helpful to those who believe in dangerous AGW?

      2. As I carefully pointed out, a lot of people agree that the Earth has warmed and that human activity “since pre-1800″ is a “significant contributing factor” – I do for one. But that doesn’t get us very far. To justify the draconian action being urged by some (see this for example) requires people (especially your “serious scientists”) also to agree that human GHG emissions were the primary factor in recent warming and that further such emissions would be dangerous. And that is what warmists say they believe. Don’t you? No one is asking for “an absolutist statement”.

      3. I’d be interested to know when I am supposed not to have given credit to most scientists for being responsible.

      4. I suggest you get up to date re the IPCC: since 2007, it has said “very likely” (90-95%), not “likely”. But it also refers to “most” warming as being “very likely” caused by AGW – yet nowhere defines “most”. All we know about “most” is that it’s not “all” and is more than 50%. So 90% of “most” could be less than half. But the IPCC’s problems go much deeper than that. Looking only at the Summary for Policymakers isn’t very useful. The place to go is WG1 and especially chapters 8 and 9. And they demonstrate huge areas of uncertainty and no hard science supporting that weird “90- 95%” claim in the SPM. In other words, many of the participating scientists are being “responsible” – and not very helpful to the warmist position.

      5. Your “safer to act than not to” brings us back to the dangerous Precautionary Principle. I won’t expand on my views on that now but, if by “act” you mean impose a global restriction on CO2 emissions, you really should wake up to reality: it’s not going to happen. Only a couple of days ago, France, Russia, Japan and Canada told the G8 they would not join a second round of carbon cuts under the Kyoto Protocol at United Nations talks this year (link) and the US has reiterated it would remain outside the treaty. We already know from Copenhagen and Cancun that there’s no chance that the so-called developing economies (especially China and India) signing up (I say “so-called” because these economies not only account for four-fifths of the world’s population but about half of global GDP and have about three-quarters of the world’s currency reserves and healthy balance sheets) – so who is left? Just the puny UK and maybe Germany. And nothing they can do can possibly make any real difference.

      6. Where, pray, have I pushed anything to “extremes”? Or failed to say anything “constructive”? I firmly believe that those who are demanding (especially in the UK) changes that are pointless (see above) and can only damage our economy and bring further hardship to some of our most deprived people (more “unintended consequences” – see below) are seriously mistaken. I believe it is most important to try to persuade people to understand that. Such a position is, I believe, both positive and constructive. OK, I can see what you mean about Gator’s way of putting things but that doesn’t mean he’s wrong. Yes, I have to accept that it’s unusual for a warmist blog neither to censor nor block such comments – so good for you. But, you know, the sceptical blogs are remarkably tolerant of differing views and do engage with them, so, although I’m pleased you too are tolerant, I can’t say it’s especially praiseworthy.

      7. Your “case in point”. The “starving children” issue arose initially from my comment about the doubtless unintended consequences of denying South Africa its coal-powered power station. It was a move backed by various UK charities all of which I have supported financially in the past. I am seriously dismayed at how short-sighted these once-worthy organisations have become. Am I wrong? That’s the issue (a “patient and reasoned statement”) – nothing to do with accusations that you are in favour of genocide.

      Jeremy – these are all reasoned points, raising serious issues. Why do you find them frustrating? I suggest you take a deep breath and then respond to what I’m actually saying. Fair enough?

      • Jeremy May 30, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

        Not necessarily talking about you Robin, sorry. The extreme statements are from Gator – but that’s just the problem with this kind of forum. This conversation is now fractured all over the place between sensible comments and diatribe. It’s why I don’t engage with the ranting, because it drags the whole debate down to mud slinging.

        Apologies for making you write out a comment about being constructive and measured, when it wasn’t about you.

        Want to start a new thread on today’s post, the one on natural disasters? I don’t want to close comments on this post, but it’s getting a little unwieldy.

    • Robin Guenier May 30, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

      Well, Jeremy, I’m glad your comments were not about me. So I suggest (as before) that you take a deep breath and then respond to what I said above. These were serious comments so I’d really appreciate a reasoned response. Thanks.

      Re the natural disasters post, well I’m not impressed by a report from Oxfam – one of those charities I used to support but is now firmly in the warmist camp. And even less so by a report from MunichRe – a vocal supporter of the dangerous AGW hypothesis and a massive financial beneficiary of climate scares. (Quelle surprise.)

  57. Gator May 29, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

    Thanks for the positive feedback Alex. I think we agree that it is past time to allow all parties equal access, funding, respect and gravitas to this science.

    The world deserves no less.

  58. Gator May 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    Hey Guys! If you interview the farmers in Canada, America, Central and South America you will find them talking about failed crops due to cold and wet weather. England may be having a dry spell, but we are not.

    There is the UHI that gets ignored by most in the warmist camp. It runs as much as 14F hotter in cities than the surrounding countryside. Most weather stations are located in urban to suburban settings.

    Once upon a time, the GHCN had over 6000 reporting stations located all over the globe. Then starting about twenty tears ago, frauds started eliminating stations, but not the stations themselves, just their reporting. The vast majority of stations removed were at higher latitudes, higher elevations or rurally sited. They are no more in the artic circle. This leeaves low latitude, coastal and urban weather stations as the dominant signal.

    Anyone with the left side of their brain can figure out what this purposeful manipulation of stations will do to the reporting going forward. We are now comparing hot apples to cool oranges.

    http://blog.qtau.com/2010/05/dude-where-is-my-thermometer.html

    It is undeniable.

    http://www.c3headlines.com/fabricating-fake-temperatures.html

    Jeremy, you said… ‘but most scientists are far more responsible than you give them credit for, more reasoned in what they say, and very careful to word their statements cautiously. Even the IPCC only says that AGW is ‘likely’, and 60 to 90% probable.”

    And yet Lance and I both have shown you just the opposite…

    “We need to get some broad based support,
    to capture the public’s imagination…
    So we have to offer up scary scenarios,
    make simplified, dramatic statements
    and make little mention of any doubts…
    Each of us has to decide what the right balance
    is between being effective and being honest.”
    - Prof. Stephen Schneider,
    Stanford Professor of Climatology,
    lead author of many IPCC reports

    This is a lead author, and he is saying this not as a confession of sin, this is their strategy. Need I list them all again? Jeremy I believe you are in denial, because I want to give you the benefit of the doubt, But you are making it difficult.

    “Case in point, I see I’ve been accused of ‘starving children’ again this morning. No conversation is possible with people who take patient and reasoned statements, and respond with accusations of genocide.”

    So you lightly dismiss the death of innocents, deaths we could have averted by using the 79 billion the US government has wasted on this nonissue, to feed and clothe the poor. Hundreds of billions of dollars and years of scientific research wasted. And you advocate for a thousand years of dead babies? What happens at the end of the thousand years? Do we keep starving people to death? I thought when the Aztecs went away, that the world was through with human sacrifice for good weather.

    Was the holocaust just an ‘accusation of genocide’? God is calling Jeremy. Do you answer the UN or God? Where is your heart Jeremy? What if that was your child starving to death while the alarmists of the world were boogeying down in Cancun?

    Something about your brand of Christianity does not smell right. You need to pray on this.

    • Jeremy May 30, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

      Gator, every comment of yours is insulting, haughty and disrespectful. I’m not censoring you or blocking your comments, and I’d appreciate it if you honour that by toning down your vitriol. I’m happy to discuss and I’m not afraid of defending my opinions, but not in this tone of aggressive extremism and character assassination.

      If you want me to engage, comment with a little more respect.

  59. Gator May 30, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    Hey Jeremy! Truth hurts. You need to do some soul searching instead of attacking my comments.

    Brother, where art thou? Where is your treasure?

    Be thankful YOUR child does not live in a country starved by AGW.

    I believe in redemption, prayed for you last night and will pray for you again now.

    • Jeremy May 30, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

      Go for it.

      But if you start chucking around facile comparisons to genocide, the holocaust, or human sacrifice again, I will block you and the adults will carry on without your contributions.

  60. Gator May 30, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    Hey Robin! You said… “Essentially, it asks two questions. (1) Have global temperatures risen since the 1700s? And (2) was “human activity” a “significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures”? I (and perhaps Gator and Alex?) would answer “yes” to both.”

    I would answer yes on one and no on two. Man’s only influence on temperatures is found at a local level, through land use changes. Out in the great landloocked countryside, temperatures have not risen in over one hundred years. Here is a NASA station graph…

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=425745560020&data_set=1&num_neighbors=1

    There are many of these. But you must be sure to avoid stations that have had any infrastrucure built around them, city parks do not work, nor do city and county facilities or airports. They must be sited just as they were a century ago or you will get UHI effect.

    Now, back to that Doran survey.

    “An invitation to participate in the survey was sent to 10,257 Earth scientists. The database was built from Keane and Martinez [2007], which lists all geosciences faculty at reporting academic institutions, along with researchers at state geologic surveys associated with local universities, and researchers at U.S. federal research facilities (e.g., U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, and NOAA (U.S.
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) facilities; U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories; and so forth).”

    Note that those surveyed all depend entirely on government funding to even exist, and exist within an echo chamber of political motives.

    “With 3146 individuals completing the survey, the participant response rate for the survey was 30.7%. This is a typical response rate for Web-based surveys [Cook et al., 2000; Kaplowitz et al., 2004].”

    So nearly 70% of those government scientists did not even feel compelled to respond. I thought the Earth was dying or something. Gee, is it possible that the 30.7% of those surveyed were zealous about something? Again, 69.3% could not have cared less!

    They had to eliminate 99.23% of those surveyed or 97.49% of those who responded, to get their desired results.

    We see this time and time again like a dog returning to its vomit.

    They removed over 75% of working weather stations to get the calculus needed to convince us it is getting warmer (this is why satellites no longer agree with NASA, 3 different sets of satellite data).

    They also removed over 1300 bore holes (over 84%) from a study to make the MWP disappear. And of course who can forget picking cherries from bristlecone pine trees!

    Yes, the same MWP that caused the alarmists to call an international conference, on how to make it go away.

    And somehow after all that, I am a denier. I do not deny the MWP or the scientific method.

    Just who is really in denial? Both Haydn Washington and Cook are pushing they Doran paper as if it were the gold standard.

    Jeremy, do you see anything wrong with their methodolgy?

    • Robin Guenier May 30, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

      Gator:

      My objection to the Doran survey is that it’s useless as evidence of climate scientists’ views about dangerous AGW. That’s because (1) technically it’s hopelessly flawed: after all those absurd eliminations, it covered only 79 respondents, nearly all from North America and (2) it didn’t even ask the questions that matter. Moreover, many sceptics would answer “yes” to both questions, depending on their interpretation of its ambiguous and imprecise wording.

      You may not know that four prominent sceptical climate scientists (Michaels, Lindzen, Christy and Carter) were asked (link) this about the survey:

      1. What are your answers to these two questions?
      2. Do you believe the second question is phrased correctly to determine if climatologists consider AGW a concern?

      Here are their replies:

      Patrick Michaels

      Yes and yes. The second question is phrased precisely to NOT determine whether or not the respondent feels it is a pressing concern.
      Anyone with experience in survey development (and I know people who do this) would recognize the hidden motive here. It is telling that such a paper would be accepted with such poor design and such a foregone conclusion.
      Pat Michaels

      Richard Lindzen

      As you know, polling is a dicey business. With respect to your first question, my answer to (1) is probably, but the amount is surprisingly small — suggesting that global mean temperature anomaly is not a particularly good index. My answer to (2) would be yes, but dependent on what is meant by significant. As to your second question, I agree that one can answer yes without any implication of alarm. Remember, according to the IPCC, we have already reached a level of radiative forcing that is almost as large as one would expect from a doubling of CO2. Even if climate sensitivity were 0.5C (which is generally considered to be of no concern) we would still be making a significant contribution to the small observed ‘warming.’

      John Christy

      1. What are your answers to these two questions?

      Generally temperatures have risen from the little-ice age minimum in the 19th century to the present.
      No one knows how much of this warming is due to human effects. In my opinion, most of the warming since the 19th century is due to natural variations.
      2. Do you believe the second question is phrased correctly to determine if climatologists consider AGW a concern?

      It was not phrased properly. For example someone might think that 10 percent of any warming constitutes a “significant” contribution, and so would answer yes to that question, even though the proportion of warming due to any human effect might in fact be small.

      Bob Carter

      Both the questions that you report from Doran’s study are (scientifically) meaningless because they ask what people “think”. Science is not about opinion but about factual or experimental testing of hypotheses – in this case the hypothesis that dangerous global warming is caused by human carbon dioxide emissions.

      When tested against empirical data, this global warming hypothesis fails. For example, there has been no increase in global temperature for more than 10 years despite an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide of more than 5%.

      Rephrasing them appropriately, the scientific answers to the two questions are therefore

      “1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, have mean global temperatures generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?”

      The answer depends (a) on what dataset you use (MSU satellites, ground thermometers, radiosondes), (b) the ways in which you plot and/or average the data points, and (c) the precise choice of endpoints.

      For all datasets, however, a true statement is that there has been no significant (i.e. within the bounds of error) global warming since 1998, and some of the datasets demonstrate cooling.

      “2. Is human activity a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?”

      It is unchallenged that human activity has an effect (in different places either cooling or warming) on local and regional temperatures, not least as a result of land-use changes. When averaged across the globe, however, the net human effect on the global average temperature statistic is indeterminable, presumably because it is so small that it is lost in the noise of natural variation.

      In addition, because carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and because the gas mixes globally in the atmosphere, human emissions must exert a prima facie global warming effect. In actuality, both positive and negative feedbacks then occur, which are poorly known, so there is an ongoing debate as to the magnitude of the net human greenhouse effect (the climate sensitivity issue). In any case, and again, the empirical data fail to demonstrate an unequivocal warming trend of human origin against the background of natural climate variation.

      Therefore, the null hypothesis that the temperature changes that have been measured since the advent of thermometers are natural remains unchallenged. The onus of providing substantive evidence for a dangerous human-caused greenhouse effect therefore rests with the proponents of that hypothesis, and to date they have failed utterly to provide it, basing their arguments instead on speculative deterministic computer models that are known to be inaccurate.

      As the author of the post to which I provided a link above says, “If scientists such as Patrick Michaels or Richard Lindzen, often called ‘deniers’, can agree with the survey questions asked, how can the study claim to prove any consensus?” Amen to that. As you say, anyone pushing this survey as support for the warmist position is in serious denial.

  61. Gator May 30, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    “Go for it.”

    Already have, and will continue. God bless you with wisdom I pray.

    “But if you start chucking around facile comparisons to genocide, the holocaust, or human sacrifice again, I will block you and the adults will carry on without your contributions.”

    Still stings. Good. Maybe you will remeber God’s children now, as well as your own.

  62. Gator May 30, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    “Gator, every comment of yours is insulting, haughty and disrespectful.”

    Jeremy, this makes you a liar. Careful, you are rapidly losing credibilty.

  63. Gator May 30, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    “The extreme statements are from Gator – but that’s just the problem with this kind of forum. This conversation is now fractured all over the place between sensible comments and diatribe. It’s why I don’t engage with the ranting, because it drags the whole debate down to mud slinging. ”

    No, the above book slings mud and I came here to stop it. Doran anyone?

    I bring science and facts, inconvenient facts for those with an agenda.

    The fact remains that Australia’s number one government proponent of carbon trading schemes said that even if the entire globe gets on board today, there is likely to be no change for ONE THOUSAND YEARS.

    That is a FACT. It is not a rant. It is not mud slinging. And it is not diatribe.

    Again, methinks thou dost protest too much!

    No outrage over the IPCC lead author or modeler lying to you? At least I am honest.

    No issues with a thousand years of draconian measures for nothing?

    Go ahead and smear me some more, while I continue praying for you.

    • Robin Guenier May 30, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

      And that, Gator, is precisely why I came here – to draw attention to the book’s baseless accusations. As I noted in my initial post (over two weeks ago), the fact of labelling sceptics as “climate change deniers” limits the book’s readers to those who agree with the authors. Not, I suggested, the best strategy. More specifically, I said, such critics are not motivated by a wish to shut out bad news, do not fear change, are not ignorant of ecology, do not ignore reality, are not part of a “concerted denial movement”, do not subscribe to conspiracy theories, are not influenced by “big business paying millions to protect their own interests”, are not apathetic (far from it) and are not looking for “a more comfortable lie” or something that fits “libertarian politics” or a consumer lifestyle. All these accusations appear, it seems, throughout the book (I hope to find out for myself soon). What motivates sceptics, in contrast, is a wish to establish the truth – the precise opposite of the authors’ apparent assertion. In my view, it’s because so many supporters of the dangerous man-made global warming hypothesis persist in pointless attacks on such “strawman” targets that scepticism is gaining strength.

      So your objective is admirable. However, here’s a serious suggestion. Continue with the science and facts – but try to tone down your approach in view of Jeremy’s more delicate sensibilities. Courtesy never did any harm.

  64. Gator May 30, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Hey Robin! Yes I am VERY familiar with the skeptics listed above and have had the pleasure of corresponding with Dr Christy. As you illustrate, skeptics are not about dogma, we sometimes diagree with each other. I for instance do not believe man’s additional CO2 forcing can even befound in all the noise. Others skeptics like the Dr’d Pielke would disagree.

    Yes, I want the truth. No matter what that may be.

    “So your objective is admirable. However, here’s a serious suggestion. Continue with the science and facts – but try to tone down your approach in view of Jeremy’s more delicate sensibilities. Courtesy never did any harm. ”

    It is doing innocent humans harm as we speak. I tell the truth, especially when God’s most innocent are being threatened. Call me whatever you like.

    • Gator May 30, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

      Oops! That’s ‘Dr’s Pielke’, and of course ‘disagree’…

    • Robin Guenier May 30, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

      No, Gator, you’ve missed my point. If you’re right that innocent humans are being harmed as we speak – and you probably are – we are facing a serious emergency. In an emergency, wise people take the action that’s most likely to get results. And when that action involves changing peoples’ minds (never easy) shouting at them, however strongly you may hold your views, is never a good move: all it achieves is to make you feel good and to make your your adversary even more stubborn than before. What’s the point of that?

      As I said, courtesy never did any harm. And sometimes it can help people review their position. Try it.

  65. Gator May 30, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    “Re the natural disasters post, well I’m not impressed by a report from Oxfam – one of those charities I used to support but is now firmly in the warmist camp.”

    I showed Jeremy where Oxfam, and the other two ‘charities’ he supports on his ‘About’ page are all three funded by George Soros.

    From the official Soros website…

    “What faith is George Soros?
    He identifies himself as an atheist.
    What are his views on religion?
    Soros respects all faiths and religious practices.”

    “He believes that people of faith and faith communities contribute to the public’s understanding of pressing social issues and often add a principled, moral aspect to debates that are too often dominated by politicians, statistics and polling.”

    http://www.georgesoros.com/faqs/entry/georgesorosviewsonreligion

    Sounds great right?

    “Soros has repeatedly called 1944 “the best year of his life.”

    “70% of Mr. Soros’s fellow Jews in Hungary , nearly a half-million human beings, were annihilated in that year, yet he gives no sign that this put any damper on his elation, either at the time or indeed in retrospect.”

    “During an interview with “Sixty Minute’s” Steve Kroft, Soros was asked about his “best year:”

    KROFT: My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson.

    SOROS: Yes. Yes.

    KROFT: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from your fellow Jews, friends and neighbors.

    SOROS: Yes. That’s right. Yes.

    KROFT: I mean, that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult?

    SOROS: Not, not at all. Not at all, I rather enjoyed it.

    KROFT: No feeling of guilt?

    SOROS: No, only feelings of absolute power.

    “The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States .”­ George Soros

    “World financial crisis was” stimulating” and “in a way, the culmination of my life’s work.” George Soros

    Soros who spends millions of dollars attempting to circumvent democracy, which he claims to support.

    “Radical progressive billionaire George Soros has spent some $45 million in recent years on efforts to take away power from voters to select judges, a new report released today by the American Justice Partnership reveals. The report by attorney Colleen Pero was introduced at an event held by the Heritage Foundation. It identified $45 million spent by Soros, who funds a large range of left-wing action groups, to “remake the judiciary and fundamentally change the way judges are selected in the United States.” “This movement to end citizen participation in state judicial elections has been moving swiftly and silently, below the radar of the citizens who would be impacted by Mr. Soros’ millions,” said Pero in a statement about her report, “and it was time to bring this effort to the public’s attention.”

    But this sums up our little charity giver best…

    In 1979 Soros established the Open Society Institute (OSI), which serves as the flagship of a network of Soros foundations that donate tens of millions of dollars each year to a wide array of individuals and organizations that share the founder’s agendas. Those agendas can be summarized as follows:

    •promoting the view that America is institutionally an oppressive nation
    •promoting the election of leftist political candidates throughout the United States
    •opposing virtually all post-9/11 national security measures enacted by U.S. government, particularly the Patriot Act
    •depicting American military actions as unjust, unwarranted, and immoral
    •promoting open borders, mass immigration, and a watering down of current immigration laws
    •promoting a dramatic expansion of social welfare programs funded by ever-escalating taxes
    •promoting social welfare benefits and amnesty for illegal aliens
    •defending the civil rights and liberties of suspected anti-American terrorists and their abetters
    •financing the recruitment and training of future activist leaders of the political Left
    •advocating America’s unilateral disarmament and/or a steep reduction in its military spending
    •opposing the death penalty in all circumstances
    •promoting socialized medicine in the United States
    •promoting the tenets of radical environmentalism, whose ultimate goal, as writer Michael Berliner has explained, is ”not clean air and clean water, [but] rather … the demolition of technological/industrial civilization”
    •bringing American foreign policy under the control of the United Nations
    •promoting racial and ethnic preferences in academia and the business world alike
    •promoting taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand
    •advocating stricter gun-control measures
    •advocating the legalization of marijuana

    I just wish he would not try and fool Christians into thinking he cares about people. He did not become one of the wealthiest men on Earth by giving money away.

  66. Gator May 30, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    “And when that action involves changing peoples’ minds (never easy) shouting at them, however strongly you may hold your views, is never a good move:”

    Who is shouting? Are you referring to the CAPS? That was to be sure Jeremy et al did not miss those passages. Alarmists are selective readers.

    I contend that I have been mistreated and mischaracterized. Jeremy’s first response to my posting of links…

    “erm, yeah. both links there completely prove the book’s main points.”

    And of course they do not. This was a childish response from day one.

    A few minutes later the same day…

    “By the way, I’m not trying to be flippant. (No not at all, ‘erm’) Those links genuinely do prove cook’s point – they’re pure denial(smear). Case in point, one of them states “the reality is that most scientists disagree with the basic tenets of the AGW orthodoxy”. Bullshit.(profane) Every national academy in the world endorses climate science as it is currently understood. (not true) Even the statement itself if stupid (smear) – it can’t be ‘orthodoxy’ if a majority don’t agree with it.”

    I did not start the cursing, smearing and general disdainful attitude. I did give it back.

  67. Jeremy May 30, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    Hmm, pointing out the oxymoron of a minority orthodoxy is a far cry from accusing someone of genocide, but since this has now degenerated into ‘he started it’, I’m going to do two things.

    1) I’m going to close comments on this post tomorrow morning. Fair warning I reckon, and you can get anything off your chest if you wish. Discussion can carry on elsewhere.

    2) I’m going to write a brief commenting standards policy. It’s depressing to have this many comments on a blog post, and for so few of them to be constructive – and I’ll include my own comments in that.

    • Gator May 30, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

      Did you or did you not start our relationship out with a smart ass comment that was equally untrue?

      The links I gave show scientific evidence Cook is not being honest.

      It is your website and you can do as you please. But I will tell your readers that Climate Change Dispatch does not censor comments ever.

      I hang out there because everyone gets an opportunity to speak their mind, without being heckled by the site administrator…

      erm, yeah. both links there completely prove the book’s main points. (false)

      By the way, I’m not trying to be flippant(No ‘erm’ is very respectful, really). Those links genuinely do prove cook’s point – they’re pure denial(false). Case in point, one of them states “the reality is that most scientists disagree with the basic tenets of the AGW orthodoxy”. Bullshit(profane). Every national academy in the world endorses climate science as it is currently understood(false). Even the statement itself if stupid (smear)– it can’t be ‘orthodoxy’ if a majority don’t agree with it. (false)

      Gator denied that any such studies exist, so I posted Meehl et al – not because it’s the best or the only study on the subject, but because Gator said such things didn’t exist. (lie)

      Considering most of his comments begin by questioning my grasp of the english language, and proceed to accuse me of being ignorant and in league with billionaire’s interests, fatuous is a well chosen and entirely apt word. (another lie)

      Gator, the Meehl et al link I sent you was peer reviewed, and this is the last of your fatuous comments I’m responding to on this thread. (smear, again baseless)

      Case in point, I see I’ve been accused of ‘starving children’ again this morning (lie). No conversation is possible with people who take patient and reasoned statements, and respond with accusations of genocide. (noone accused you of genocide)

      The extreme statements are from Gator (lie) – but that’s just the problem with this kind of forum. This conversation is now fractured all over the place between sensible comments and diatribe (hoping you are not aiming yet another personal attack at me). It’s why I don’t engage with the ranting, because it drags the whole debate down to mud slinging. (i do not sling mud, you reviewed book does)

      Gator, every comment of yours is insulting, haughty and disrespectful (lie). I’m not censoring you or blocking your comments, and I’d appreciate it if you honour that by toning down your vitriol (no vitriol here, I explained I am praying for you). I’m happy to discuss and I’m not afraid of defending my opinions, but not in this tone of aggressive extremism (not from me) and character assassination (again, I am innocent).

      Jeremy, the reason I did mention your reading comprehension is because I wanted to give you the benfit of the doubt. If it isn’t a comprehension issue then you are purposely twisting my words.

      I never accused you of genocide, that would be crazy. You do not have the resources, or intent.

      You created a strawman argument to smear me and that is lower than low.

      “A straw man is a component of an argument and is an informal FALLACY based on MISREPRESENTATION OF AN OPPONENTS POSITION. To “attack a straw man” is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by SUBSTITUTING it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the “straw man”), and refuting it, WITHOUT EVER ACTUALLY REFUTING THE ORIGINAL POSITION.

      Read my words and do not misrepresent me again.

      I will continue to pray for you Jeremy. Please stop smearing me.

      • Jeremy May 30, 2011 at 6:07 pm #

        It was a smartass comment, and it was true. But then we have different ideas of truth, don’t we? That appears to be the entire problem.

    • Robin Guenier May 30, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

      Come on Jeremy – I’ve made several comments that, by any reasonable standard, are constructive. Yet you’ve failed (so far) to respond to them. So I’ll give it another try. I suggested above that you take a deep breath and then respond to what I’d just posted – all serious comments. I’d really appreciate a reasoned response before you close comments. Or advise me where we can continue the discussion elsewhere. OK?

      • Jeremy May 30, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

        Sure, I said ‘so few’ are constructive. Some are, the majority aren’t. And this kind of martyrdom and defensiveness all round is exactly why I’m closing the thread. Now everybody feels victimised and hard done by. Fresh start people.

        You can carry on with the disasters post, or the short political one in between, or we can talk about something besides the climate for a change.

    • Robin Guenier May 30, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

      Does that mean Jeremy that I’m not going to get a response? Hmm – not so impressive.

  68. Gator May 30, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    “It was a smartass comment, and it was true. But then we have different ideas of truth, don’t we? That appears to be the entire problem.”

    No. You have the problem with the truth as I will now illustrate once again with your last comment.

    I gave 104 points that counter Cook’s assertions. Do you really want to say that all 104 are false? I’ll prove you wrong.

    Stop misrepresenting me and stop misreresenting the information I provide.

    Yes, you need a set of guidelines for this site, and someone else needs to write them for you.

    For you to resort to these kinds of distortions is more evidence of a weak argument.

    I’ll continue praying for you.

  69. Jeremy May 31, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    Sorry I didn’t respond to the last 100 or so points. But I guess I did suggest that you make them one at a time. I’ll put that in the guidelines, which I’ll write myself thank you very much. It’s my blog.

    Right, time to close this thread down. Funny, the actual review of the book above was actually placed on The Ecologist. The debate should have been held there. Never mind.

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