The Global Warming Cranks – George Will officially in their ranks

One would think given recent findings that antarctic warming is robust for instance, that the canard of antarctic cooling would go away. Or, that based on the round dismissal of the myth of 1970s global cooling warnings we’d stop hearing about that in the media too. But instead I’m watching TV last night and there’s all these unbelievable crank ads sponsored by the anti-regulation ideologues the Americans for Prosperity featuring fake expert John Coleman. His senseless rant against the stimulus and the evils of regulation is accompanied by text on the bottom of the screen declaring “global warming it is the hoax” and “it is the greatest scam in history”. It is amazing in this day and age that this shameless conspiracy theory is being broadcast on national television. There is no way that one can on the one hand describe anti-AGW denialism as skepticism, and at the same time be a proponent of such an absurd conspiracy that thousands of scientists around the world, and journals, and editors, and politicians are all in cahoots to falsify data about climate.

But if there is a truism about crankery that I can come up with to explain the persistence of debunked arguments, it is that good ideas may come and go, but we’re stuck with the bad ones forever. For instance, we saw this weekend that George will still thinks there were predictions of global cooling in the 1970s. Scibling James decries George Will’s inability to read what he cites, but this is nothing new. George’s Willful Ignorance on this topic has persisted for years this isn’t the first time he’s misquoted that exact same article, or the second time either despite being corrected by others. His incompetence at judging sources, and his inability to stop citing false information shows he’s simply unwilling or unable to differentiate between legitimate and false information, or even read for comprehension for that matter.

What can be our response to this consistent dishonesty from Will? A repeat of a cherry-pick not once, or twice, but three times despite this being clearly false? I think the only thing you can say about someone like this, a man who can’t be turned, is that they’re a crank.


  1. “a man who can’t be turned, is … a crank.” O rly?

  2. Alternatively they only turn one way. It’s from the original Oxford definition and I never really liked it. My definition is better.

  3. George is just getting old. Thanks for the perspective. Better start preparing for a big garden this spring. California might not come through with the goods this year.

  4. Steve Bloom

    Will’s column isn’t crankery at all. It’s propaganda of the “big lie” variety. A related current example is the “clean coal” campaign. I can’t think of a medical analog for this sort of thing, except perhaps the campaign against publicly-funded health care.

  5. The only people who are in denial are the pro warmers. Every day despite you and your kinds best efforts and hundreds of millions of dollars. its falling appart. The No side has no media and very little money and a small but growing number of scientists that have had enough of you and your kind. Science cant be in denial. Please attack the science and lay off the person. Prove the science wrong.
    Your blog is a environmental propaganda tool.. rename it.

  6. Steve Bloom

    Now that is a crank.

  7. Maybe you need to read up on that so-called “Antarctic warming.” Gavin Schmidt has already been caught in one lie since that study was released, and they still refuse to release the computer codes to the public as to how they reached their conclusions. With so much about transparency in the news these days, you’d think they’d just open the door to inquiring minds.

    You must be a RealClimate homer. They’ve been aggressively deleting comments since that study was released. Makes you wonder what they’re afraid of. But I’m sure you knew this.

  8. Uh oh, sounds like a conspiracy.

    As usual, there is no capacity to respond to the science, just conspiracy mongering and crankery. Steig EJ, Schneider DP, Rutherford SD, Mann ME, Comiso JC, Shindell DT are all liars, and those Nature reviewers fools, and the data, all faked!

    Nonsense. If you have a problem, write to Nature. Not their blog. Get a life.

  9. Norm Smith

    George Will presents some solid points. For example: “A recent Pew Research Center poll asked which of 20 issues should be the government’s top priorities. Climate change ranked 20th.”

    In other words people have wised up to the bogus “Hockey Stick” chart, and all the other fake science. People know a record cold temp and record snowfall when they see it.

  10. Norm Smith

    Four basic climate science questions for all the people on this website who believe humans caused global warming.


    1. How do you explain all the pre-industrial global warmings and global coolings of the past 12,000 years?

    2. Does the temperature history show an overall cooling trend since the temperature peaked 8,000 years ago?

    3. How can anyone say that the most recent temperature uptick since the Little Ice Age is “unprecedented” when clearly it is small and gradual compared to many of the prevous global warmings?

    4. Why was the Eemian interglacial much hotter than today’s Holocene Interglacial?

    Good Luck.

    I ask these questions only to show that nobody really understands the basic science behind our ever-changing climate. The simplistic notion that CO2 controls the climate is laughable


  11. Richard Simons

    Could those who deny that global climate change is taking place please clarify things for me.

    It has been well established for over 150 years that CO2 is transparent to incoming visible radiation but absorbs some infrared wavelengths that would otherwise leave Earth.

    Therefore the presence of atmospheric CO2 raises the average temperature of Earth (known for almost as long) and, in the absence of a negative feedback mechanism, an increase in CO2 is likely to increase global temperatures.

    There is no known negative feedback mechanism.

    Atmospheric CO2 has been increasing, with the increase coming from human sources (well established for over 40 years).

    Global temperatures have indeed been increasing for the past 80 or 90 years.

    Where exactly do you take issues with this?

  12. minimalist

    George Will, like all good little conservative pundits, has also taken to parroting Amity Shlaes’ revisionism about FDR and the Great Depression. Despite being owned on the air by Paul Krugman, to which Will had no reply (opting instead to stare down at his hands and hope it would all go away), Will then went on to repeat his bullcrap in an opinion column two weeks later.

    Will has occasional flashes of coherence, and he’s one of the few righty pundits who can successfully convey a sense that he is at least an intellectually consistent, and honest, conservatives. But it’s just a really good acting job; he just knows how to play up that ‘tweedy intellectual, above political concerns’ angle. He’s as apt as any of them to bend the truth and simply ignore all contradictory data. He does not argue in good faith.

  13. Tony Says Modelers Stink

    Good questions Norm!! I too do not buy into the AGM hype. To me, AGW is clearly has become a religion based more on the faith of some climate model, than the real science. I personally have been a software developer modeling complex physics for 25+ years, and all I can say about models is that they are all wrong. Some are more useful than others, but they are all wrong. Something as complex as the climate is probably impossible to model correctly since there are so many things that influence the climate. Then to think you can model something and extrapolate it 100 years into the future is totally absurd. Even a recent survey amongst climate scientist is revealing ( — only 5% think that climate science is mature, and half think it is “fairly mature”. So that means about half think that climate science is less than “fairly mature”. It is a trivial exercise to see that the climate models are not only wrong, but probably very wrong. The AGW faithful then like to use tactics similar to religion — Their Bible are the climate models they reference. They label blasphemers as “denialists” and they want to have ethnic cleansing (strip scientists of title and rank). They have prophets (like Al Gore) preach doom and gloom and how man should repent before it is too late. Hell and damnation are the “tipping point” of certain runway heat. Geeze, they even have a flood story about all the ice melting and raising the seas levels a 100 meters. The parallels to religion are amazing. Let’s stop the name calling and get to the hard science of the issue. In the long term, we’ll understand more and make better informed decisions. Or, as I like to say, “reality has a persistent voice.”

  14. Norm Smith

    Four basic climate science questions for all the people on this website who believe humans caused global warming.


    1. How do you explain all the pre-industrial global warmings and global coolings of the past 12,000 years?

    2. Does the temperature history show an overall cooling trend since the temperature peaked 8,000 years ago?

    3. How can anyone say that the most recent temperature uptick since the Little Ice Age is “unprecedented” when clearly it is small and gradual compared to many of the prevous global warmings?

    4. Why was the Eemian interglacial much hotter than today’s Holocene Interglacial?

    Good Luck.

    I ask these questions only to show that nobody really understands the basic science behind our ever-changing climate. The simplistic notion that CO2 controls the climate is laughable


  15. Norm Smith

    Sorry – I wasn’t spamming Please delete the accidental 12:42 re-post. Last night I got an error message when I tried to post my questions. So this morning I clicked “Post” again…

    …and saw it was already there.


  16. Yes, Norm, you were spamming. All your posts are spam. Even if you don’t mean to repeat yourself, you are repeating old conspiratorial fortune-cookies from 20 years ago. Why don’t you tell us about evolution defying the laws of thermodynamics while you’re at it?

  17. If you people were serious about your commitment to science, then you would be as angry with George Will as we are. Despite being repeatedly debunked on this specific line of argument, he continues to misleadingly quote selectively from the 30 year old paper. This reveals the true nature of global warming denialists: repeat the lie until it is believed as truth. If you weren’t one of them, you would be helping us to expose him.

  18. Norm Smith

    To Richard – That’s a fair question. If you look at that link I posted earlier you will see that Earth is always warming or cooling. Climate is never static.

    CO2 has always been a vital part of the ecosystem. It is not to be confused with air pollution.

    We should all be very concerned about air pollution and toxic waste.

    CO2 is only 0.038% of the atmosphere, and only about 5% of that is man made. There really is not much CO2 in the air. 95% of the greenhouse effect is caused by natural water vapor.

    CO2 is natural and good: We all produce CO2 every time we exhale. Trees take in CO2 and produce oxygen from it. If we somehow removed all the CO2 from the atmosphere(“carbon sequestration”) all plants would die the same day, and human extinction would follow.

    The simplistic notion that “CO2 causes global warming and controls climate” is equivalent to saying “hot dog sales cause recessions and control the economy”. It’s a gross oversimplification of an extremely complex, and poorly understood topic.

    Best wishes to everybody on both sides of this debate.


  19. Norm Smith

    To: TTT: Why don’t you put your brain in gear and take a stab at those basic climate science questions I posted?

    Questions are not “… old conspiratorial fortune-cookies from 20 years ago.”

    That’s just your way of saying you can’t answer the questions and you are frustrated. Don’t feel bad. I can’t answer ost of those basic questions either, and neither can anyone else. I just posted those to show that the basic’s of climate science are poorly understood, and we can’t be jumping to doomsday conclusions, especially when we are having a record cold winter that proves the climate models wrong.


    PS: Take a look at Nasa’s press release titled “Solar wind loses power-hit’s 50 year low”. It says the solar output is “13% cooler” and its not just a computer model either.

  20. Tony Says Modelers Stink

    Richard Simons: I do not think any one is challenging that the global climate is changing. It has changed a lot through out history, and will probably continue to change. I think people are challenging that it is man made.

    CO2 is a complex gas. It may absorb IR enregy, but it also emits some (see CO2 lasers). While there may be “no known negative feedback mechanism”, that doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

    The earth’s temperature has risen and fallen throughout time, and so has CO2. CO2 level usually lags temperature by 800 years, so I doubt CO2 causes the temperature to rise and is more likely the result of rising temperature. If there is a problem with this, then please explain why CO2 rose in the past, and then the temperature dropped while CO2 continued to increase?

    No one denies that CO2 is rising — that is easily measured. The issue is that man is causing CO2 to rise and that is causing temperature to rise. That hasn’t been shown to be the case. It is easy to see that sun spot activity has increased significantly from 1911 through 1961. While off the peak, it remains at elevated activity since the 1970s. If there is a smoking gun, I’d suspect the sun is causing earth’s temperature to rise, much like it is causing Mar’s temperature to rise and melts its ice caps.

  21. So, Norm, you just said “CO2 can’t be pollution because living organisms produce it”?

    Try eating human feces, then get back to me with the results.

    Five seconds of thought would have shown you that what you were about to say was utterly ridiculous, and would have prevented you from saying it. Why didn’t you invest five seconds in analyzing your own arguments, Norm? Why didn’t you save yourself?

    Answer: because you don’t take this seriously. You treat your own doubt as if it were knowledge. It isn’t. You’re asking–as you do correctly put it–basic questions, in an arrogant snotty way. That is why I, and hopefully no one else, will take the time to answer you. It would have been QUICKER for me to answer you than to write this, but you don’t deserve it. It’s first-year chemistry, look it up yourself. You are unserious about this topic, and about the methods of science and the process of learning in and of itself.

    Now please, go off and tell an aeronautics engineer that there’s no way airplanes can fly, what with them being so big and heavy.

  22. minimalist

    Norm, yes, your leading “questions” have been addressed elsewhere, such as on RealClimate. This blog is not RealClimate; it is not a blog for arguing with denialists; it is for exposing the dishonest tactics of denialists, which you display.

    Example 1: Lying with statistics / convenient omission of facts. You conveniently ignore the fact that atmospheric CO2 levels are higher now than they have been for at least 40 million years (380 ppm vs. 280 ppm). This means that the human output has tipped the balance away from the natural ‘sinks’ (biological carbon fixation and oceanic diffusion). And we can see this by the sudden and dramatic change in the ratio of carbon isotopes in the atmosphere ever since we started to burn fossil fuels. Thus, carbon emissions may be small compared to natural sources, but the CO2 produced from those natural sources are balanced out by the natural sinks, whereas the human source goes straight into the atmosphere. This isn’t new or challenging.

    Examples 2 and 3: Erecting strawmen and exploiting open questions and debates within science as a “weakness”. Yes, there were warmings in the past. Yes, these are subjects of intense study, often by people who still manage to retain the idea that AGW is happening today. And nobody — let’s repeat this, nobody — is saying that warming can only be caused by CO2. Of course there can be other causes. The issue is whether human interference tracks with the changes we’re seeing now.

  23. Tony Says Modelers Stink

    Hey TTT: where is good reference for all of the denalist’s debunking?

    As for your ridiculous “eating human feces” quote, feces is great food for plants and bacteria, so it is not consider it pollution. All that circle of life stuff. If human feces is pollution, then if a bear shits in the woods, is the bear polluting? The rest of your post is just ranting an name calling. You can’t answer the questions, do deny the science, state it was debunked, and duck the whole thing.

  24. Tony: Arsenic and uranium are all-natural too, so feel free to eat them along with the feces.

    Seriously, if you don’t get the concept of pollution, don’t try to bluff your way through a discussion about its consequences.

  25. Tony Says Modelers Stink

    Back to the science…

    If half of the climate scientists think that climate science is LESS THAN “fairly mature”, how much confidence should we put into the climate models and any predictions that those models make about the future?

    TTT: what is your background and training? Mine is computer science and physics working on algorithms and models in the defense industry, and weather effects are an important part of my work. I’m not a climate scientist, but I have a pretty good grasp on the physics and modeling techniques.

  26. minimalist

    Well, Tony, one would think that with those credentials, then, you could come up with something better than trying to overwrite a single poll question with your own convenient interpretation — as in, equating “not a mature science” with “we cannot ever know anything for certain, and it MAYBE IT WAS GHOSTS ALL ALONG WOOOoooOOOO.”

    Most scientists are cautious, and can hedge their bets. Absolute certainty is so rarely achieved. Yet some things are clearly beyond debate: biology is not, by many standards, a “mature” science, but that doesn’t mean it could turn out tomorrow that the creationists are correct. The more sensible — let’s say, “mature” — way to approach a field is on a case-by-case basis.

    And hey, that poll you linked actually does that w.r.t. AGW, but you conveniently don’t mention that, probably because it’s less ambiguous and it’s tougher to overwrite with your own biases.

    Scientists agree that humans cause global warming
    Ninety-seven percent of the climate scientists surveyed believe “global average temperatures have increased” during the past century.

    Eighty-four percent say they personally believe human-induced warming is occurring, and 74% agree that “currently available scientific evidence” substantiates its occurrence. Only 5% believe that that human activity does not contribute to greenhouse warming; the rest are unsure.

    Scientists still debate the dangers
    A slight majority (54%) believe the warming measured over the last 100 years is not “within the range of natural temperature fluctuation.”

    A slight majority (56%) see at least a 50-50 chance that global temperatures will rise two degrees Celsius or more during the next 50 to 100 years. (The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change cites this increase as the point beyond which additional warming would produce major environmental disruptions.)

    Based on current trends, 41% of scientists believe global climate change will pose a very great danger to the earth in the next 50 to 100 years, compared to 13% who see relatively little danger. Another 44% rate climate change as moderately dangerous.

    Seventy percent see climate change as very difficult to manage over the next 50 to 100 years, compared to only 5% who see it as not very difficult to manage. Another 23% see moderate difficulty in managing these changes.

    To your credit, you did post the URL of that poll, but leaving out the stuff that’s immediately relevant is pretty crappy.

  27. joerg s. d.

    @ Toni Says …. : I’m only an undergraduate in Physics, so I havn’t that much of a training yet. Your point about the models seems to be quite good but … if the models are soo unreliable, how do you know that the CO2 released by burning fossil fuels is not going to influence climate? I just don’t get – if you think that nobody can predict what’s going to happen how can you be sure it will be fine?

  28. Erasmussimo

    Tony Says Models Stink, you express your contempt for models, but you don’t say what kind of models you reject. Newton’s laws are models; do you hold them in contempt? How about the Stefan-Boltzmann Law? If you do accept Stefan-Boltzmann, then why do you reject the basic connection between CO2 and temperature? The fundamental physics is the most compelling argument in favor of the AGW hypothesis. That’s why people were predicting AGW long before there was any compelling climatological data available.

  29. Lucas McCarty

    Appeal to authority much?

    Now if you are going to use any source, expect it to be investigated and *don’t cherry-pick* results to suit your own interpretation. The STATS survey does not define what is meant by ‘mature’ in terms of how ‘mature’ climate science is, the described methodology doesn’t actually explain much about the methodology and we don’t actually even see the questions asked in the survey nor how many of the 489 professional scientists(what one of these is, is not defined either, only that they are a member of AMS or AGU) actually responded or if this is the number of respondents itself.

    Even then in this flawed and unscientific survey, the overwhelming majority of respondents say average global temperatures have risen due to human activity and over half believe it’s outside of the natural range of normal temperature variation.

    There’s no “back to the science” about it if it isn’t science to begin with; there’s nothing scientific to be gained from an *opinion poll*. It’s self-published article; I couldn’t find it listed as peer-reviewed in any online library. So despite avoiding a scientific source to support what is pretty flagrant denialism; it didn’t even support your position anyway except when you cherry-picked a single fuzzy item from it.

  30. Tony Says Modelers Stink

    I didn’t quote the whole article because it wasn’t relevant to my point — which is half of the climate scientist do not believe that climate science is ‘fairly mature”. That truly is OK, and it raises my opinion of them since they are being honest. The rest of the survey is opinion, and difficult to understand how they could have any of it when they themselves acknowledge they they do not fully understand the field. But it is only human nature to have an opinion, but opinions are not fact, nor are they actionable — even if there is a consensus. Recall that there was an overwhelming consensus of heavy weight physicists against Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, but Einstein turned out to be correct (so far). Consensus does not mean correctness.

    All of the dire consequences that are being touted are based on the climate models. If everything hangs on the models, then we need to look at them very closely. I’ve seen a zillion models that predict this that or the other, and most turn out to be BS once they come under close examination.

    What we have today is a bunch of people preaching that we have to stop CO2 before we burn ourselves up and/or flood the world. The assumption is that CO2 is causing it, or a large part of the warming. The reality is that CO2 may have nothing to do with it. The climate models say it is the culprit, but I seriously doubt it. That’s my opinion, based on extensive modeling experience. It is not fact, just opinion. The climate is so complex, there is no way they can model it or make a prediction into the future about it. Any data from the models is not actionable because they certainly do not factor everything that impacts the climate. I doubt we can even identify the things that impact the climate, much less model them. What is the interaction between the sun’s and earth’s magnetosphere? Do they have deep earth models of how the magnetic poles are moving? Did you know that the magnetic poles have been moving and accelerating for the last 100 years? What impact does this have on climate? Did you know the magnetic poles flip every 50,000 years. What does this do? Do the climate models have deep sun effects on what pumps the internals of the sun, which then impact the sun spots? I’d bet $100 that the climate models assume a static sun, or at most have a simple sun spot model that oscillates on the 11 year sun spot cycle. The last 300 years of sun spot data shows that the sun changes a lot, and I doubt the climate models are predicting where the sun will be in the future. If they even tried then they would be laughed out of the auditorium.

    The whole point is that there are some really hard to understand physics about the interaction between the sun and the earth, and to jump to some conclusion that CO2 is causing warming is truly amazing to me. CO2 is so small and the sun so big, it boggles my mind that anyone suspects it. Even water vapor dominates CO2 a greenhouse gas. What about all the water man has sucked out of the ground and pumped into the air to water crops? Is this factored into the climate models? Even if the sun was static (which it is not), then I’d look at water vapor over CO2 any day.

    I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. Modeling is really hard and always has many assumptions. Climate modeling is certainly impossible, and therefore not useful for anything, other than getting grant money from the government.

  31. Lucas McCarty

    Sorry but my brain cells are starting to shrivel at an alarming rate now.

    You’ve been asked specifically to say *which* models you object to and your reasons for objecting to them, probably for the purpose of ruling out that you are either a troll or a random anonymous internet moron spouting rhetorical canards for the purpose of getting a reaction like trolls want or just to argue a bankrupt position like a mindless contrarian.

  32. Tony Says Modelers Stink

    Models are tools that are useful for certain and limited means. Newtonian laws are great for simple problems, but they break down quickly once you become more realistic. I’m around a lot CFD (computational fluid dynamics) models, but we still have wind tunnels, because the models to not match predict what we measure. And this is simple lift and drag calculations of wing profiles, running on hundreds of Linux machines. Sometimes the models are close at making a good prediction, but many times they are not. All kinds of neat and weird little effects pop up that no one ever expected, and just like that the model is wrong again. Extrapolating models are especially vulnerable to errors, because they feedback into themselves. One little wrong assumption can be greatly magnified through successive accumulation of errors.

  33. Lucas McCarty

    You still haven’t even answered the fecking question: *which* models regarding climate do you object to, or do you object to them all simply because they’re models?

  34. Larrydalooza

    There is a segment of society… The “look at me” people. People shunned during there school days for being nerds are now trying to get their revenge by trying to confuse people with idiotic smartness. They want recognition and politicians use them to get money. Down with nerds.

  35. Erasmussimo

    TSMS, you write a number of things that I believe to be incorrect. For example, you write that “Newtonian laws are great for simple problems, but they break down quickly once you become more realistic.” Tell that to the astronauts who bet their lives on the ability of Newtonian models to plot their trajectories to and from the moon. Tell that to the scientists who planned the planetary probes that whipped around multiple planets in complex loops that permitted close passes by different moons for close examination. Those models worked magnificently.

    But it’s not just Newton’s Laws that permit astoundingly accurate predictions. An astronomer I know did a very complicated series of computations based on orbital dynamics PLUS some snazzy stuff about comets, and was able to predict that the Leonid meteor shower would produce a storm at a specific time and place on the earth’s surface. I was on a NASA research aircraft at precisely that time and place, and I saw something that few humans have ever or will ever see. And it was all based on (horrors!) a computer model!

    Or how about the models of solid state physics used to design and build integrated circuits? Those models are immensely complex, and yet here you are this minute reading my text making use of the chips that are made using those supposedly stinking models.

    I could go on and on, but there’s a deeper issue here: you don’t even get the basic physics, the stuff we teach in sophomore year. You wrote “The reality is that CO2 may have nothing to do with it.” If you wrote that on a test question on a second year physics course, I’d give you zero points, because you obviously don’t get the basics of blackbody radiation. Shame on whomever it was who purported to teach you physics and gave you a passing grade.

    You write, “All of the dire consequences that are being touted are based on the climate models” This is incorrect. All you need to do is carry out the basic calculations for heat flow on a brutally simple model of the earth as a blackbody. Even with the simple, stupid physics that a second-year engineering student would use, you’d be able to demonstrate that the earth would experience a rise in temperature on the order of a few degrees. Take it up to upper division level, and you could get a better approximation — and all of this is without consideration of any feedback effects. Once you get into feedback effects, yes, your results get more complicated. But the basic physics is pretty clear.

    Next, you make a huge logical blunder in stating that: “The climate is so complex, there is no way they can model it or make a prediction into the future about it.” Oh really? Gee, I predict that next December there will be snow falling in my vicinity. That’s a prediction, and I don’t need any computers to make it — and the probability of it being correct is extremely high. You can ALWAYS make predictions about the future. The two critical variables are 1) the probability that your prediction will be correct; and 2) the degree of precision expressed in the prediction. If I predict that the temperature on the southwest corner of First and Main in Columbus, Nebraska at 5:34 PM next August 16th will fall between 20º C and 40º C, there’s an extremely high probability that my prediction will be correct. If I predict that it will be between 28.743689ºC and 28.743690ºC, then the probability of my being correct will be much lower.

    But you make an even more serious logical error when you write: “Any data from the models is not actionable because they certainly do not factor everything that impacts the climate.” I challenge you to cite one single case of ANY prediction in all of human history in which the predictor factored in EVERYTHING that impacted the decision. There aren’t any. Do you think that George W. Bush knew the eating habits of Saddam Hussein before deciding to invade Iraq? Do you think that you knew every tiny fact about all the issues and both of the candidates before you made your decision as to whom to vote for in the November election? Since you couldn’t possibly know all those facts, did you draw the conclusion that it was impossible to take action by voting?

  36. Chicken Little

    Hey Norm,
    Don’t bother with TTT. If he had a clue, he’d give you the answers. I don’t think TTT is able to give us the hypothesis that AGWers are working with. Furthermore, I doubt he can cite any studies that show a direct correlation between CO2 increases and temperature increases. Whenever I ask the question on one of these forums, all I get is a referral to Makes me think that the AGWers are only capable of forwarding propaganda rather than engaging in scientific discussions. Afterall, their leader has told everyone that the “debate is over”. Zeig Heil and bring on the carbon tax!!!

  37. Furthermore, I doubt he can cite any studies that show a direct correlation between CO2 increases and temperature increases.

    Well, you can look at historical temp and CO2 levels and see a correlation. CO2’s greenhouse properties were first documented by Arrhenius in the 1890s, then there have been further refinements by Calendar in the 1930s and Plass in the 1950s. Ramanathan and Coatley (1978) gives the canonical contributions of the various greenhouse gases, CO2 included.

    Oh, sorry, I thought you wanted to talk about science….hey, where’d ya go?

  38. Erasmussimo

    Chicken Little, there is no direct or immediate correlation between CO2 and temperature increases, because the causal relationship has a long time lag in it. In other words, if you’re thinking that emissions of CO2 today must create temperature increases today, you can forget it — that’s not the way it works. We’re talking climate, not weather. Thus, the correct way to evaluate the relationship is to look at long-term temperature trends as compared to long term CO2 trends. One other factor that is very important: there’s a large positive feedback loop here. Increasing temperatures lead to releases of CO2, so what we have is a vicious circle. Thus, increases in CO2 can both lead AND lag increases in temperature. Again, this means you have to long at long-term trends, not month-by-month data.

  39. Chicken Little

    Booorris dahling,
    If global temps have been decreasing over the past 10 years and CO2 has been increasing, how does that translate to “CO2 causes global warming”? That kind of correlation indicates CO2 causes global cooling. No one doubts that CO2 contributes to the greenhouse effect. The argument, if we’re allowed to have one, is over how much of an effect it has considering that CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas making up about 0.03% of the atmosphere. Also of curious note, is why CO2 increases lag temperature increases in the big graph AlGore presented in AIT. Could it be that the ocean might have something to do with it?

  40. Erasmussimo

    Chicken Little writes:
    “If global temps have been decreasing over the past 10 years and CO2 has been increasing, how does that translate to “CO2 causes global warming”? ”

    Remember, CL, we’re talking climate, not weather. Climate operates over decades, not years. There’s no absolute definition in terms of years, but the right way to do this is to take ALL the data — not just cherry pick it as you are doing — and make a smoothed graph of it; typical smoothing intervals would be five to ten years. When you look at the data that way, the result is quite clear: the earth’s temperature is definitely increasing.

    Next, you commit another logical error with this statement:
    “The argument, if we’re allowed to have one, is over how much of an effect it has considering that CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas making up about 0.03% of the atmosphere. ”
    Your insinuation is that a teeny-tiny number must have a teeny-tiny effect. I suggest an experiment to test your claim. Please inject yourself with 3cc of a solution of 0.03% venom from Oxyuranus microlepidotus. Then report back to us on just how much effect such a teeny-tiny concentration can have. (You won’t — you’ll be dead.)

    Lastly, you write ” why CO2 increases lag temperature increases in the big graph AlGore presented in AIT. Could it be that the ocean might have something to do with it?”
    Not the ocean per se. As I wrote earlier, there are positive feedback effects. For example, permafrost contains large amounts of CO2. If the permafrost melts, that CO2 will be released. Thus, an initial increase in CO2 will cause an increase in temperature, which will cause an even greater release of CO2. This is called a vicious circle. Yes, the CO2 that is released because of the temperature increase lags the temperature increase. That’s cause and effect for you.

  41. Lucas McCarty

    Air conditioning keeps things cool. I went on holiday in Florida last June and the temperature was absolutely boiling in the car with the air conditioning working as hard as it could. Therefore: the claim that air conditioning can cool something is patently false.

    We’ve just had a record-breaking snowfall in Britain and all the cranks have been at it here “Bah! Global warming is a load of nonsense and this snow PROVES it!”

    Snow? In winter? NEVER! Despite not having had snow in most of England for nearly two decades; one freak event lasting a single day, with mildly cold weather for a week keeping ice from melting and suddenly it constitutes *proof* against the theory on climate change.

  42. “If global temps have been decreasing over the past 10 years and CO2 has been increasing, how does that translate to “CO2 causes global warming”?”

    Take an elementary statistics course and come back. 1998 was what they call an “outlier”, with high temperatures influences primarily by a strong El Nino.

  43. If global temps have been decreasing over the past 10 years and CO2 has been increasing, how does that translate to “CO2 causes global warming”?

    Really? I give you the sources you claim don’t exist and that mean people won’t give you and then you change the subject? Are you really this bad at argumentation?

    In any case Erasmussimo has done you the kindness of a free education. A little gratitude would be becoming.

  44. Hey fellows, don’t fall in the trap of letting these guys make you do their work for them, it’s not like it will satisfy them anyway. I bet you dollars to donuts that no answer to those 4 questions would serve, it’s just a way to generate more noise. Their inability to use google and use sources other than right wing crank sites is not your problem.

    If we remember, the original discussion is, and always is, look what a bunch of dishonest hacks these people are. So, on topic, can they really believe there is a global conspiracy to falsify data across all the climate researchers in the IPCC, the Science and Nature and other journal editors, and basically anyone else they don’t like all at the behest of Al Gore? And, can they really defend a hack pundit who has lied about a scientific paper not once, not twice, but three times over 5 years?

    The science is sound in the repositories of the legitimate journals and peer-reviewed literature. All the cranks can do is make a stink out here and in the media because no rules of discourse or standards of evidence apply.

  45. Erasmussimo

    You’re right, Mark. I have tried to honestly discuss the issues with AGW deniers over the years, and I have never met a single one who was capable of scientifically honest discussion. Every one twisted facts, abused statistics, misrepresented scientific studies — the list of abuses is endless. I have gotten better at staying polite with them, but the one certainty is that they eventually turn abusive when you contradict their claims too much.

    I would dearly like to meet one, just one honest, fair-minded AGW denier. I’m pretty sure that no such person exists.

  46. Chicken Little


    You were doing so well with your eloquent explanation that I was disappointed to see the bogus venom analogy. Thanks for making the attempt.

    MarkH has clarified that the purpose of the discussion was to point out what dishonest hacks the anti-AGWers are. My apologies. I guess I jumped in midstream. As long as you’re discussing dishonest hacks, is it fair to bring up Al Gore and Michael Mann? How about James Hansen? As for anti-AGW scientists, are Stephen McIntyre, Roy Spencer and Fred Singer all hacks? One last question. I understand that most AGWers accuse the other side of putting out bogus information on behalf of the oil industry. Are you suggesting that the AGW researchers are all unbiased and motivated only by their desire to bring truth to the world?

  47. Erasmussimo

    (Yes, I know, Mark, it’s a waste of time to be logical with these people, but I can’t help myself — I’m a teacher at heart.)

    Chicken Little, the venom example was not an analogy, it was an illustration. And I’d like to see your reasoning for declaring it bogus — other than the fact that you don’t like its implication that teensy-weensy numbers can be very significant.

    If you have complaints about scientists, present them. Make your case. Just throwing names around doesn’t mean anything. And last time I checked, Stephen McIntyre accepts the basic AGW hypothesis, but he challenges some of the methodology of its particulars. Besides, who cares about individuals? Science is about data, not individuals.

    You write, “most AGWers accuse the other side of putting out bogus information on behalf of the oil industry.” I don’t. I object to the deliberate retailing of falsehoods. I concentrate on the falsehoods. Can you do that?

    Then you write, “Are you suggesting that the AGW researchers are all unbiased and motivated only by their desire to bring truth to the world?” On this point, I gather that you’re not familiar with how science operates. I’ll be happy to explain it to you, if you are sincerely interested, but I suspect that this is just a talking point to you and you would not change your mind no matter what information I provided you.

  48. Chicken Little

    My purpose on this forum isn’t really to argue the science. I’m more interested in learning why there hasn’t been any serious debate on the subject. Al Gore stifled the debate long ago when he declared the debate was over. The feds helped by funneling money toward research related to global warming. What science-motivated researcher is going to deny man-made global warming if it means more research money. I’m sure you guys are aware that if your research turns up all the answers you’re looking for then the money goes away. Sure, the oil guys funded research and of course, the source of the funding invalidates the research. It is only the non-oil funded researchers who are capable of conducting pure and unbiased research.

    Eras was pretty good at pointing out that climate isn’t simple. There are many more variables to climate than he presented. He didn’t even touch on one of the major ones – solar cycles or sunspots. My guess is that AGWers aren’t really interested in proving man-made global warming anyway. They don’t have to be as they already control the “debate”. All I see them doing is promoting a fear campaign designed to scare people into accepting carbon tax legislation and gov’t funding of solar energy (not yet cost effective) and lame wind-power (not viable without a secondary source of energy such as natural gas – hence the reason T. Pickens is interested).

    I also assume that Eras, MarkH and others are quite confident that there is a consensus on global warming. I’d like to know who and how many climate researchers remain on the AGW side. Several have switched allegiance in recent years. I’ll close with comments from Michael Crichton on consensus.

    “I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

    Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

    There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”

  49. LanceR, JSG

    Yes. We should waste spend more time and money studying this issue. It’s too bad we can’t set up a global, possibly Intergovernmental, group or PClimate Change. Then perhaps we could get some real answers. Oh. Wait. We did that.

    If you have actual science, the proper venue is in peer-reviewed journals. Otherwise you are just another street prophet, stinking of cheap wine, yelling at passers-by. This forum is for discussion of denialism, and AGW deniers like Chicken Little and “Tony’s Got Emotional Issues” certainly fit the description.

  50. LanceR, JSG

    Crap. That’s what I get for not using preview. It should read:

    Intergovernmental, group or Panel to survey the current science involving Climate Change.

    And what is it about this issue that brings out the loons? Perhaps they are feeling the heat (pun intended)?

  51. Chicken Little: I’ll close with comments from Michael Crichton on consensus.

    Before you quote your Crichtoracle–Hollywood celebrity activist and personality cult devotee, the Barbra Streisand of the Right–let me quote him first, from his own autobiography:

    “Psychic spoonbending is real! Psychic auras are real and you can see them if properly trained! Demonic possession is real, and can be cured by exorcism, which is also real! I once met a plant that could speak English–and this isn’t a metaphor, I mean I really met a real plant that could really speak English! Oh, and the Germ Theory of Disease is all a conspiracy made up by greedy doctors to sell medicines that don’t work–they actually don’t know WHAT makes you sick.”

    There, now, you were saying?

    There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.

    This is impressive rhetoric from a Hollywood celebrity screenwriter, but it’s actually not scientifically accurate at all. What a shock!

    Of course science proceeds by consensus. Ask a doctor where in your body your heart is located, and he or she will point at your upper-left chest. Now, maybe you’re one of the fraction of a percent of humanity who has the heart on the RIGHT… or maybe you’re a really unique little snowflake and your heart is in your elbow or something. But more than likely not! Consensus is that the heart is in the upper-left chest, and you’ll just have to deal with that. Ask a thousand nuclear physicists to explain the difference between the firing mechanisms of uranium bombs versus plutonium bombs, and they’ll all give you the same description–without even personally examining every single bomb of every variety in the world! Why, it’s almost as if science worked by consensus!

    You defend Norm and Tony with their blinkered assertion that “anything produced by a lifeform cannot be a pollutant,” and you parrot giant TL/DR textwalls from a Hollywood celebrity. So I repeat: You do not take this issue seriously. None of you denialists do.

  52. Ah, the appeal to Crichton. It’s been a while since we saw that one. It’s just a Galileo gambit, and utter nonsense. Only someone who knows nothing about science thinks there is something too that argument. Do you think there is no consensus on evolution? Or on relativity? Yes, neither is perfect, but there is consensus on many a theory. I’ll make sure to relate your feelings on consensus the next time I attend a consensus conference at the NIH.

    The debate is over because the points on which you want to debate are over. Instead what we have is a political movement, not a scientific one, to delay needed action on environmental issues. All we have are dishonest attacks, like this one from Will, that do not contribute to the debate. The whole point of denialism is to extend debate where there is none.

    Finally, your examples of experts? Fred Singer? The guy tobacco companies hired to deny the link between tobacco and cancer? Or the hockey-stick obsessed McIntyre? Or the Intelligent Design promoting Spencer? Yes, they are hacks who have contributed nothing to climate science. I would not hang my hat on those names.

  53. Norm Smith

    1. During the late Orduvivian Period CO2 was OVER 4,000 ppm and Earth went into a 10 million year ice age. That says it all as far as CO2 and temperature.


    2. RealClimate is biased and unreliable. One of their head honchos is a guy named Mann who invented the thoroughly discredited “Hockey Stick” graph. Even Al Gore took the hockey stick out of his one sided movie, and the IPCC dumped it as well. Recently Mann took years of temperature data that proved Antarctica is cooling, and twisted it to show warming. You could call that “Mann Made Warming”

    3. All my opinions are backed by hard science, as opposed to conventional wisdom and “consensus/herd mentality”. 2009 will go down as the year global warming died.

  54. Erasmussimo

    Well, let’s start off with a healthy dose of irony from Chicken Little:

    “My purpose on this forum isn’t really to argue the science. I’m more interested in learning why there hasn’t been any serious debate on the subject.”

    Perhaps, CL, there hasn’t been any serious debate on the subject because you don’t want to argue the science? Actually, there HAS been plenty of serious debate on the issue, but I doubt that you have read any of that debate, because it takes place in scientific journals and other places of serious discussion. You might consult the IPPC reports over the years to see what serious scientific debate looks like. And please, don’t tell me that you think they’re wrong unless you’ve actually read them.

    ” The feds helped by funneling money toward research related to global warming.”

    Oh, yes, that would be the Feds under the Bush Administration, known for their insistence on open scientific debate? 😉

    ” I’m sure you guys are aware that if your research turns up all the answers you’re looking for then the money goes away.”

    Actually, you’ve got it backwards. If you do research that turns up all the answers, then it’s lots easier to get more funding, because you’re a proven scientist.

    “Sure, the oil guys funded research and of course, the source of the funding invalidates the research.”

    Name one paper submitted by a scientist that was funded by the oil companies that was rejected, and then show why the paper should not have been rejected. You can’t, can you? So why are you making claims based on pure fantasy?

    “He didn’t even touch on one of the major ones – solar cycles or sunspots.”

    If solar cycles are so important, then surely you can tell us what would be the change in temperature arising from a 1% increase in solar output. The calculation is trivially simple — you don’t even need a calculator. Of course, if you CAN’T do that calculation, then how do you know that solar activity is an important factor?

    “My guess is that AGWers aren’t really interested in proving man-made global warming anyway.”

    Guess all you want. When you have a logical case, I’d be happy to address it. But guesses aren’t much to consider.

    “All I see them doing is promoting a fear campaign designed to scare people into accepting carbon tax legislation and gov’t funding of solar energy (not yet cost effective) and lame wind-power”

    Have *I* been promoting a fear campaign? Have *I* argued in favor of a carbon tax or govt funding of alternative energy sources? In my long history, have I *ever* argued in favor of such things? And how do you know so much about me, anyway? 😉

    “I also assume that Eras, MarkH and others are quite confident that there is a consensus on global warming.”

    Assume whatever you want. You’re wrong in my case. There is no scientific consensus because consensus, if you look it up, means that everybody agrees. That is not the case. However, there’s no question that a majority of climatologists are convinced of the basic AGW hypothesis, even though they all disagree on the fine points.

    ” I’d like to know who and how many climate researchers remain on the AGW side.”

    Read the IPCC reports. That’ll give you an excellent idea of what is agreed upon. Or read the NAS statements on AGW. That’s even more reliable.

    Lastly, your quote from Michael Crichton is doubly wrong. In the first place, Mr. Crichton is no more qualified to speak on the science than Mr. Gore is. They are popularizers, not scientists. If you want to get your science from Reader’s Digest or the Sunday comics, fine. But if you want to learn about real science, I would urge you to read what real scientists have to say about it.

    Second, Mr. Crichton is utterly, totally wrong about the way science progresses. You should read one of the great classics in the field, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, written by Thomas Kuhn some 50-odd years ago. Mr. Crichton’s comments are ignorant balderdash.

  55. Well Eras, I’d disagree. A consensus means a majority of scientists agree on something. It isn’t unanimity. Most studies of this indicate almost all climate scientists agree there is anthropogenic warming. IPCC further created a consensus document in the form of their report based on debate on the scientific literature, similar to how the medical community creates consensus documents on medical treatments, or guidelines for diagnosis and staging of a tumor.

  56. I think Will simply has a difficult time changing his mind, particularly given his conservative leanings – he doesn’t want more government programs – and the fact that climate change doesn’t happen at the same speed as weather.

    I sympathize with his complaint about alarmism – after all, that’s how Bush got us into Iraq, and it’s how Obama justified the stimulus package – but there is, after all, cause for concern about climate change and it’s very difficult to see as a problem that markets themselves can be expected to address – as the atmosphere is shared globally and no one has any property rights in it.

    However, Will has had better moments, such as last June when he argued FOR a carbon tax – at least as a better option to cap and trade and tech subsidies:

    This should not be ignored by the skeptics.

    However, this latest editorial is indeed disappointing, because it turns its back on suggesting or considering any of the “no regrets” or pro-free market policies that could easily be agreed as common ground betweem “alarmists” and “skeptics”, as I keep noting:

  57. Tony Says Modelers Stink

    I do not dispute any Laws or models, but only when they are used correctly and will work for their intended purpose. Newton’s Laws work great for planetary prediction (actually, my senior project in school), but not for predicting a projectile fired from a magnetic railgun. You need more math and modeling details in order to be remotely accurate. Are Newton’s Laws bad — of course, not, but they are not the correct tool for everything. I have seen over and over where predictions do not turn out as expected in modeling. In other words, the model turns out to be wrong because the real world is different than expected. I’ve been modeling for 25+ years, and while I express a contempt for modeling, it is my career and it is a useful thing to do. My primary point is “don’t bet the farm on it.” And the more complex things get, you’d better watch out.

    Here’s my point exactly:

  58. One of their head honchos is a guy named Mann who invented the thoroughly discredited “Hockey Stick” graph. Even Al Gore took the hockey stick out of his one sided movie, and the IPCC dumped it as well.

    IPCC, AR4, Chapter 6, figure 6.10, p. 467. MBH 1999 (the “hockey stick”) is the first reconstruction listed. So much for wherever it is you get your info.

  59. MarkH, thanks for this visit to the climate-change cages of the denialism zoo. Did you cross-post this at WUWT or CA just to get a live presentation of the specimens?
    I’d just suggest one thing to make this visit more useful. In our local zoo, there’s tags about the various habitats and niches of the animals. It might be handy here as well. For example, we have cherry-picking and statistical ignorance (‘no warming since 1998’), ad homs (‘Al Gore is fat’), gross confusion (‘we don’t know everything in a model so we don’t know anything’), confusion of scientific and public discourse (‘there should be a debate’ – there was, in the scientific literature), the repetition of comforting lies (‘the hockey stick and antarctic warming are a lie’), the confusion of ‘auditing’ and science (and whatever happened to the surface stations project – you can’t just drop things down the memory hole because you don’t like the results), and the focus on tiny details rather thn the consilience of all the evidence. Next time, MarkH, could you PLEASE label the cages?

    Yes, science is harder than opinions. That’s why it’s science. Be a scientist and you can have a place at the table, even if you are a reprehensible individual. The process doesn’t care. Instead of relying on Marc Morano’s press releases (did you know he works for a politician?), you might wonder what the Royal Society, or the National Academy of Sciences, or some other group composed of scientists, with members who have specific expertise in the topic at hand, thinks about the topic. Say, like here:

  60. Chuck Cardiff

    Somehow this blog would be a lot more convincing if it were written by people educated in the physical sciences, instead of med students and a lawyer, occupations noted for their extreme gullibility and spectacular failures in spotting the obvious.

  61. minimalist

    Hey Tony, as long as you’re appealing to (non-)authority, does (not-actually-Hansen’s-supervisor)
    Theon maybe have some specific criticisms of the models? I mean, it’s obvious you’re not going to pony up, sooo…

    Oh wait, Theon doesn’t have anything specific either, just random grumblings about “darn kids and their models” and all the crowd-pleasing denialist bluster that plays well with Inhofe and the other loonjobs.

    I honestly feel sorry for you. It must eat away at your soul to make a living doing things you believe are completely, horridly wrong. But you needn’t take it out on everyone else.

  62. minimalist

    Hey Chuckie, you denialists, for your part, could be more convincing if you had any actual science to appeal to instead of flinging your poo in every direction, trying to muddy the waters, discredit various professions, and discredit the practice of science itself.

    Stay away from the monkey cages, folks, they’ve been eating their fiber today.

  63. Erasmussimo

    I’d like to express my appreciation to Norm Smith for presenting an actually scientific argument. His argument deserves a fair and reasoned response.
    First, he presents the case of the late Ordovician cooling, during which high atmospheric levels of CO2 were accompanied by low global temperatures. The conclusion he draws is that CO2 does not cause temperature increases.
    The error in the reasoning is the assumption that CO2 is the only contributing factor in average global temperatures. As many others have noted, there are many factors that contribute to average global temperatures. If you hold all the other factors constant, then average global temperatures will vary concomitantly with CO2 concentrations. That is the case with modern-day global warming: no other relevant factors have been measured to change significantly, but CO2 and average global temperatures are both rising quickly.

    There are a number of hypotheses to explain the late Ordovician cooling. The fact that other elements played a role does not mean that CO2 plays no role. In fact, the basic greenhouse effect of CO2 has been measured in the laboratory and is absolutely undeniable.

    Next, however, Norm uses an illogical argument, claiming that the folks at RealClimate are unreliable. Why? Because one of them, Mr. Mann, published some papers that Mr. Smith decries. He misrepresents the history of the hockey stick concept. It is true that there were some errors in Mr. Mann’s original paper; when the errors were pointed out, Mr. Mann re-worked the calculations and issued a new paper presenting the corrected results. This is science at its best, yet Mr. Smith seems to think that correction of an error constitutes proof of being wrong in all cases at all times. The fundamental concept colloquially referred to as “the hockey stick” has been demonstrated and supported by immense volumes of data. Global temperatures have shown a dramatic increase in the 20th century, an increase so rapid as to be unattributable to any normal climate mechanism.

    Next, Mr. Smith claims “Recently Mann took years of temperature data that proved Antarctica is cooling, and twisted it to show warming.” On the contrary, the data does indeed demonstrate warming. If Mr. Smith believes otherwise, he should provide his own analysis of the data.

    Lastly, Mr. Smith claims that “All my opinions are backed by hard science” That’s an admirable sentiment, but in the absence of actual hard science, the boast seems vainglorious. Please, Mr. Smith, present some scientific analysis. I would be particularly interested in reading your analysis of the Antarctic temperature data.

    Mark disagrees with my definition of consensus: ” A consensus means a majority of scientists agree on something. It isn’t unanimity” I will admit to being substantially wrong while claiming to be technically correct. The OED defines consensus as unanimity. However, quoting the OED is for prescriptivists; I acknowledge that I was being snotty, because the current common definition has expanded the narrow meaning of consensus to mean “a strong majority”. And on that matter, I’m in full agreement.

    Tony Says Modelers Stink provides a more nuanced explanation of his view that models cannot be trusted; however, his argument boils down to “models are sometimes right and sometimes wrong”, which is undeniably true and equally uninformative. And the link that he provides has no information that I could see regarding models. Perhaps it was much further down the page?

    We are given a happy dose of irony by Chuck Cardiff, who writes “Somehow this blog would be a lot more convincing if it were written by people educated in the physical sciences, instead of med students and a lawyer” So Mr. Cardiff is a climatologist?

    I would suggest that we can all learn more if we spend less time on personal jibes and concentrate on the issues. I certainly don’t want to try to dictate the tone here: I’m only offering a suggestion for everybody’s consideration.

  64. minimalist

    Your goals are admirable, Erasmussimo, but most of us learned the hard way that you’re just wasting breath. Good luck to you nonetheless.

    Just to get back on topic (George Will’s dishonesty), this blog post addresses another couple of Will’s false claims that I don’t think were covered by any of the links in Mark H’s original post.

    They’re also relevant because at least one of these claims showed up in this thread, courtesy of the poo-flinger brigade.

  65. Erasmussimo

    “Your goals are admirable, Erasmussimo, but most of us learned the hard way that you’re just wasting breath. Good luck to you nonetheless.”

    Yes, I know. I am reminded of that moment in World War I when ten thousand French soldiers shouted “Vive la France!”, leapt out of their trenches, and charged through fire and death across no man’s land. The German machine guns chattered, the German artillery fired, and within two minutes the French had been cut down to the last man. From a dugout in the hill overlooking this, a French general lowered his binoculars and exclaimed, “What a heroic effort!” This is a true story, not fiction.

    I’m feeling so heroic.

  66. Norm Smith

    To Erasmussimo:

    How do you explain all of the pre-industrial global warmings and global coolings? It looks pretty clear that Earth is always warming or cooling.

    The problem with Mann’s hockey stick is it erased the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. If is got the past wrong why do you trust it to predict the future?


  67. As expected, Gore’s and Obama’s brainwashed lemmings believe whatever they are ordered to believe by their “progressive” (communist) masters. They blindly follow the Pied Pipers. And they are ready to attack anyone who contradicts their masters’ lies, such as the man-made global warming lies.

    More than 650 international scientists dissent over the man-made global warming claims. They are more than 12 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers.

    Additionally, more than 31,000 American scientists have signed onto a petition that states, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate…”

    “Progressive” (communist) politicians like Obama seem determined to force us to swallow the man-made global warming scam. We need to defend ourselves from the UN and these politicians, who threaten our future and the future of our children. Based on a lie, they have already wasted millions and plan to increase taxes, limit development, and enslave us.

    If not stopped, the global warming scam will enrich the scammers (Gore and Obama’ Wall Street friends), increase the power of the U.N. and communists like Obama, and multiply poverty and servitude for the rest of us.

  68. minimalist

    As expected, Gore’s and Obama’s brainwashed lemmings believe whatever they are ordered to believe

    … says the chucklehead who can only wave around highly questionable, at least partially debunked lists of “authorities” who supposedly support their position (except many don’t).

    But please do continue to foam at the mouth about the Commies under your bed. It totally builds your credibility!

  69. Erasmussimo

    Norm Smith raises the fact of previous warmings and coolings to ask why this one is any different. The most salient difference in the current warming is the rate of increase of temperature. Sure, the earth has warmed many times in the past, but those warmings were slow, gradual processes, whereas this warming is much more sudden (in climatological terms) than anything we have evidence for. There have been some even more rapid coolings, arising from sudden injections of particulates into the atmosphere from large volcanic eruptions and meteor strikes — but those were coolings, not warmings.

    Next he raises the Medieval Warming Period. It’s interesting that AGW deniers are so fixated on Mann’s work, when it is both outdated and only one source among many. If you’d like to see the current work, the best overall summary you can find is the IPCC AR2 report, which you can find at In particular, I suggest that you consult Chapter Six, Figure 6.10 on page 467, which presents an amalgamated summary of many different studies. The MWP does in fact show up in that data, although you’ll be disappointed to see that it really isn’t much to speak of. The steepest possible rise you can squeeze from that data (cherry-picking the steepest slope) is about 7ºC per 1000 years, whereas the shallowest possible rise for the last 100 years is 9º per 1000 years. So even when you interpret the data in the manner most inimical to AGW, it still comes out to be a bigger effect. Moreover, the first derivative of the temperature curve is obviously zero at the end of the MWP increase, while the slope of the curve today is still very positive — meaning we’re just getting started.
    Norm then asks “If is got the past wrong why do you trust it to predict the future?”

    I don’t trust it to predict the future. I prefer to put my money on the best available evidence. Look at Figure 6.10. That’s the one to put your money on. And yes, that definitely shows a steep increase.

    In contrast to Norm Smith’s reasonable objections, Antonio Sosa regales us with tinfoil hat conspiracy theory. This is illuminating, because all AGW denial ultimately depends upon conspiracy theory. The only way one can counter documents such as the IPCC reports is to dismiss all scientists as part of some huge conspiracy. Mr. Sosa is taking no chances: his conspirators are communists, scammers, and the capitalists on Wall Street. This should cover just about everybody. I would suggest that Mr. Sosa keep a sharp eye out for the orbiting mind control lasers — any minute, we’ll zap him with one and he too will become one of our mindless slaves.

  70. Erasmussimo

    Oops, that’s the IPCC AR4 report I referred to, not the AR2 report. Sorry for the typo.

  71. Tony Says Modelers Shouldn’t Be Over Confident

    To the contrary, I truly like my job a lot. Modeling of complex real-world interactions is quite enjoyable, especially when they are close to what is measured in the real world. I am not taking it out on everyone else. This blog seemed to be a forum for debate about “climate deniers”. I consider myself a skeptic, perhaps a denier, but only because of my experience in modeling and seeing other software developers, managers, and companies “sell” what they consider the greatest this-that-or-the-other. Time and time again I have seen what are considered the best models around fail real world tests because the models cannot model some important details. Design trades always must be made for cost and/or performance reasons, and these decisions usually limits the capability of the model. When I hear that we need carbon taxes, and must cut CO2 production, all because the “world is about to end”, I take notice. Those are some mighty big claims with far reaching implications on society. Those claims are made based on information directly derived from computer models, and I have an inherent distrust of claims made on the basis of computer models.

    I’ve tried to do a little research into the design and implementation of climate models, but information is hard to find. If any of you have a good pointer to perhaps an algorithm design document, or even source code, I would appreciate it.

    The references I currently have include:

    Ref1 —

    Ref2 —

    Ref3 —

    Ref4 —

    Of the information I have found already, here are some specific concerns I have about the climate models:

    1) it appears that all climate models assume constant sun with an output of 1367 watts * m-2 [Ref1]. The zero-dimension models assume this, and Ref1 is vague about whether not the higher-dimension models assume constant sun. Ref2 about the HadCM3 model from NCAR explains significant detail about what they model, but they say nothing about a non-constant sun model. Even if someone could dream up a good model for the sun that is not a constant model, I am not sure how they could get the data for the past. How much energy has the sun output versus time? No one knows much about this, other than proxies from climate change (that defines a catch 22 by the way). Actual measured data is very limited in time, perhaps 30-40 years since satellites have been launched, and that amount of time is way too short for any climate assessment. Without hard data, it is impossible to go backwards in time to model the sun. Due to this issue, modelers are probably forced to model the sun as a constant.

    Without any doubt, the first order effects on the earth’s climate is the sun. It provides all of the energy needed to keep us from being about 1 deg-Kelvin. It is clear that the sun is not constant and has a high degree of variability. Examining sun spot history shows it changes a lot. Even during the 1900’s the change in sunspots has increased a significantly [Ref3]. Since the sun is the first order effect in the climate and the models assume constant sun, there is a huge error in model design. If you get the first order effect wrong, then the errors there could easily swamp getting all of the other effects correct (which I doubt).

    2) The model developers admit they have poor cloud and water vapor models. Ref4. Water vapor is by far the largest of the green house gases and completely dominates CO2 by a factor of 20. The conversion of water vapor to clouds is very complex and has a huge impact on climate. This suggest to me that this may be a second order effect in the models accuracy, and the climate model developers admit they have poor models in this area. At this point it is not worth even worrying about CO2 effects since it is, at best, a third order effect in any modeling.

    Now for a major complaint of mine, and that is testability. All models need to be tested and validated. Unfortunately, there is no way to test any climate models. A good test for a model is to built the thing and measure it against the real world and see how well it predicted events or conditions. If a climate model makes a prediction that it will be X degrees warmer in 100 years, there is no way to test that!! Now we need to rely on the opinions of really smart people. I’ve been a round a lot of really smart people, and seen many build complex software systems and models, and seen those models fail. And these are the top of their field in particular areas, just like the “scientific consensus.”

    Given that the models appear to make huge modeling assumptions on the first and second effects of climate modeling, it is clear to me to NOT place too much confidence in the model. I have seen really smart people fail in other modeling areas that are not as complex as the climate, and due to this is seems foolish to place too much confidence in these models. We could wait 100 years for the test to complete, then assess whether or not the model is correct, but the people with an agenda claim we can’t wait. “What if the model is correct?”, well then it is going to be a bit warmer. Is that bad? Not sure. Could be, and there are some good arguments that it could bad. But there are also some good arguments that it could be good. I guess time will time for sure.

  72. Tony, even without models, we’d be concerned about CO2 because of theory and observations. Plus, you seem to be unaware of many things that models can do–including hindcast GMST out of sample. The uncertainties wrt clouds are already figured into the range of outcomes.

    And you seem to be ignorant of the basic physics. Water vapor does not “completely dominate CO2 by a factor of 20.” It’s more like 5 times. And the work of Santer and others shows that models get the WV feedback response right–see the papers on Mt. Pinatubo. Since WV is the most dominant positive feedback, this is a good indication that the models are on target.

  73. Erasmussimo

    Tony, you raise valid points; I shall endeavor to explain them.

    First, regarding solar variability. It is possible to identify two basic kinds of solar variability. The dominant one is the overall system defined by the four equations of stellar structure. These clearly show that solar radiative output should be extremely stable. Here’s the basic idea: suppose that the core of the sun were to experience a sudden magical increment in temperature. That would increase the rate of thermonuclear reactions, which would radiative pressure outwards. This in turn would cause the sun to expand slightly, and its radiant output to increase. However, the expansion would cool the interior (simple PVR) so that the temperature would fall and the system would return to its previous state. In other words, the sun is in stable equilibrium. There is slow change because the chemistry of the solar core is slowly changing, but we’re several billion years away from that producing significant effects.

    Moreover, the density of plasma in the sun is so great that the travel time of a photon from core to surface is very long. I can’t remember the number but it’s many thousands of years. This means that some forms of energy transfer inside the sun are very slow indeed — meaning that we won’t see big changes in a short period of time.

    However, there are surface effects on the sun that do change much more quickly, specifically the solar wind, faculae, and sunspots. Precise measurements indicate a variability of less than 0.1%. Now, a variability this small would produce, at first order, a change in temperature of less than 0.1ºC. In other words, solar variability should have very minor effects on climate. Moreover, you are incorrect in stating that changes in solar radiant output are not factored into climate models. Please see IPCC AR4, Chapter 2, page 188 through 193 for a thorough discussion of these considerations.

    On the role of water vapor, there is extensive discussion of this in the literature. Yes, there remains considerable disagreement on the details, but modelers have applied a great many variations to their models and presented the range of results. In other words, there is no single model here. There is a number of major models, and each one has been run many different times with different assumptions built into it, and the range of outcomes is then reported. It is this overall range that is presented in the final reports. Again, I suggest that you consult IPCC AR4 on this, in particular, Chapter 8, which is devoted to the subject of climate modeling. I suspect that, with your background, you will enjoy the chapter. But please, read it with an open mind; don’t go in determined to find errors. Just apply normal scientific skepticism.

    One other thing about water vapor: its effect depends upon its amount. The reason that the polar regions are showing such rapid increases in temperature is that cold air contains much less water vapor than warm air. So we’d expect global warming to show up first in the polar regions, and to have very little effect in the tropics. Which means that, if you want to look for the signal, don’t look at average global temperature, look at the polar temperatures — and the evidence there shows much bigger changes than we have seen worldwide. The signal there is very strong indeed.

    Lastly, most modelers rely on retrodiction to test their work, not prediction. And the various retrodiction tests have yielded reasonably good results. There are still plenty of shortfalls, but the results are good enough to conclude that they’re not seriously misleading us about the future.

  74. Norm Smith

    To: Erasmussimo

    From: Norm

    Thank you for being the one person on this site representing the “humans caused global-warming” side has the intelligence, decency and capability to engaging in a true intellectual debate.

    I have made clear that I am on the “natural cycles” side of this issue, and you are clearly o the AGW side. Fair enough.

    Even though we disagree I would call you a “Great Debater”.


    Norm Smith

    PS: You may be surprised to know that I am the leader of a prominent civic group dedicated to environmental preservation and air-quality in a city of 80,000+ people. Additionally, I am a former Green Party candidate. I honestly have spent hundreds or thousands of hours studying
    “global warming” and I personally concluded that “natural cycles” trumps “human produced CO2” as the best explanation. I am currently working on a book titled “From the Eemian to the Holocene – a brief history of the last 125,000 years”.

  75. Erasmussimo

    Thanks for the compliment, Norm. And I’m happy to respect your opinion on the matter. Good luck with your book — especially explaining the Younger Dryas, as that one has generated LOTS of disputes! 😉

  76. Tony Says Modelers Shouldn’t Be Over Confident

    Erasmussimo, I too agree that you make good points, and I enjoy the debate and you added intellectual value to the conversaion. While I may be stubborn on my viewpoint, I do believe that I can drop my position in a second once I am convinced that I’m wrong. I’ve been wrong plenty of times, so I know I do not have a lock on ground truth. I’d much rather argue with someone who knows something, than end up in some Monty Python skit of name calling. That’s fun on BBC, and pointless when you are defending a position.

    So for all of you called called Norm and I idiots, or belong in a zoo with name plates, I would like to suggest that you are not a “Great Debater” like Erasmussimo, but you may be “Master Debaters”. As Larry the Cable Guy says, “I don’t care who you are, now that’s funny!!”

    Erasmussimo, I need to look into your references and get back to you and the group. I still think it comes down to the sun since it is the 10,000 pound gorilla in the solar system. Oh, the time it takes for a photon to leave the center of the sun is about 250,000 years (reference was a Discovery channel documentary). I could see it has possible. All the solar surface activity, however, is probably the issue. Solar flares rake havoc on electronics, and hence carry a lot of energy. As for the 1367 Watts per m2, is that for visible energy, or all RF specturms?


  77. Erasmussimo

    I believe that the 1367 W/m**2 figure is the bolometric power density — the sum of all the energy at all wavelengths. It’s measured at the top of the atmosphere, before anything gets filtered out.

    You know, there’s an interesting possibility to consider here. Our belief in the stability of solar output is based primarily on theoretical considerations. For example, the fact that the sun is the 10,000 lb gorilla in the solar system, as you note, is also one of the theoretical reasons why we expect its output to be stable. Something that big doesn’t change temperature quickly. Even the earth, small as it is, can take years to heat up or cool down. Perhaps I should sit down and do the calculation for the sun: what would happen if the sun suddenly stopped producing any energy? How quickly would its temperature fall?

    In any event, we also expect the sun’s output to be stable because it’s a Main Sequence star, and Main Sequence stars are stable. That is, all the variable stars we know are not on the Main Sequence. However, variability has always been measured by photometric means, which are accurate to maybe 1%. Which means that there could be a lot of Main Sequence stars that are variable with amplitudes of less than 1%. Now, if this were the case, it still wouldn’t affect the earth much: the Stefan-Boltzmann equation tells us that a 1% change in solar output will produce a 1/4% change in the earth’s temperature, which is less than 1ºC. Still, it would be interesting to check into it. I doubt if this kind of measurement has been done before, because you need very special equipment to get measurements with that kind of precision.

    However, it just so happens that we have just launched the perfect instrument for that task: Kepler. It has an astoundingly precise photometer on board, so that it can detect the slightest changes in brightness due to planetary eclipses of distant stars. It will be measuring 100,000 stars. Every one of those will be examined for variability. They’ll be looking for planetary eclipse variability, which has a distinctive graph. But they’ll necessarily be detecting (if not noticing) extremely low variabilities in all the other stars. So the question is, do the Kepler scientists intend to look for those extremely low variabilities? My guess is that they are planning to do so, because I know from personal experience that most NASA missions are Trojan horses in that the PR reason for the mission is only a tiny fraction of what they’re doing on the mission. Kepler is looking for earth-like planets — but it’s probably looking for a lot more. And the results of the Kepler mission might well give us very good data on low-amplitude variability in Main Sequence stars.

  78. minimalist

    I’d much rather argue with someone who knows something, than end up in some Monty Python skit of name calling.

    You’re right, a guy who bumbles into a thread with a name like “Tony Says Modelers Stink” all full of “u r all religious lol!!1!” rhetoric totally deserves a more elevated level of discourse. I don’t know what I was thinking.

  79. Erasmussimo

    Hey, c’mon, minimalist. Somebody has to take the first step. I treated these people like gentlemen, and they responded like gentlemen. There’s a lesson there.

  80. minimalist

    I’m not going to begrudge your methods; I’m glad you’re here, polite, and so erudite, but it’s not for me. All I could take away from Norm’s last post was: after you posted a long, thoughtful and detailed critique that surely took you some time to do, his response was “Hey, nice post, I have no response but I’m never gonna change my mind either so… bye!” Been there, done that.

    Tony, despite his initial bluster, evasions, needlessly inflammatory handle, and blatantly misleading use of statistics, actually has finally turned out to hold his own (and even softened the handle!), so I actually do feel a twinge of regret there. But hindsight is 20/20, first impressions are important, and nine times out of ten I find that someone who’s going to sling around over-interpreted, cherry-picked data like that isn’t going to contribute a whole lot.

    Plus I don’t particularly care if I’m thought of as polite or rude, because some denialists tend to use ‘politeness’ as a weapon regardless of what you do. See, for example, Sal Cordova, ID proponent and cottage cheese-dripping pussy. He’s full of the most slimy, but politely-intoned, insinuations about anyone on the Darwinian side, but expose his constant, blatant dishonesty in anything less than the most grovelling tones, and he’ll screech about how horribly rude we’re being. Fuck that.

  81. Erasmussimo

    I have this evil impulse to write a really nasty, insulting rude response, just for the irony of it, but for once I’ll throttle my black sense of humor. 😉

  82. Steve Bloom

    IMHO you’re being much too generous regarding Tony. His 6:23 PM post made it crystal clear that he drew his conclusions about climate models without first learning anything about them.

    I’ve found that the sole difference between polite versus impolite conversation with denialists is that the former can eat up a lot more time. Lately I’ve decided that the best approach is to make them read a paper if they want to continue the discussion. It makes them look bad if they refuse, and the chance of them at least coming away with slightly enhanced cognitive dissonance (the first step toward the needed epiphany) is enhanced. At present, I like this article about the key role of the Southern Ocean (and see these related fresh results) and Hansen et al’s “Target CO2” paper.

  83. Tony Says Modelers Shouldn’t Be Over Confident

    I regret that I picked a name initially called “Tony Thinks Modelers Stink”. That was a little inflammatory, and that is why I changed to the current one. The current one is truer to my nature. Recall, I am a software developer building complex software systems and models, which makes me a modeler. And to be fair, some of my past models have stunk.

    The basis for my initial position was a general distrust of any claims made from models and computer systems. I’ve seen a lot of claims, and the bigs ones are usually oversold and have never delivered. Climate modeling is making some big claims and warrant a full investigation. I think the religion label fits some people in the climate hype, but certainly not all. I think several people here have done an excellent job of challenging my rhetoric. That forced me to dig a little deeper into understanding the models, or at least more of what goes into them, and defending what I distrust about the models. I’ve done some initial research and will continue to dig into it. I think I’ve clearly defined what I think are key issues in climate modeling — getting the 1st and 2nd order effects correct (sun and WV), and then testing it very thoroughly. If there is one thing you can’t do too much of, then that is test software. All three of these are very very hard to do for the climate, but that doesn’t means you guys shouldn’t keep hammering a way it.

    Double check your sun and WV models. Those are my targets and I’m gunning for them. Hey, speaking of which, where can I get source or design documents for the major models? I want ones written for software people, not Al Gore or Joe Q Public.

  84. LanceR, JSG

    Tony, check IPCC’s homepage. IIRC, there was a bunch of code there once when I was hunting up some other data. I could be wrong, but that would be the first place to look.

  85. Steve Bloom

    Both the CCSM (NCAR) and GISS Model E codes are public. Googling should locate them easily.

    Per Jim Hansen, the evidence is paleoclimate, modern observations and models, in that order. I suggest starting with the Discovery of Global Warming and the IPCC AR4 WG1 report for context, then this nearly-complete textbook for modeling principles. After that, it will be possible to begin developing an independent understanding of the models.

  86. Seeing the debate going on here, I’d like to submit this blog entry for peer review:

    {{{{Posted by Dale Husband on February 15, 2009

    This is a group of global warming denialists who happen to be meteorologists, but are obviously clueless when it comes to chemistry. First, please review my earlier blog entry:

    Now, what do these “experts” say about the matter? They list this on bold as a “myth”, not a fact, and attempt to refute it:

    {{CO2 is the most important greenhouse gas.

    Not even close. Most of the greenhouse effect is due to water vapor, which is about 100 times as abundant in the atmosphere as CO2 and thus has a much larger effect.}}

    Oh, really?

    Suppose you have a planet with an atmosphere composed exactly like Earth’s, with water oceans and a yellow dwarf sun as well. Thus, its atmosphere would indeed have both CO2 and H2O, complete with clouds and typical weather patterns.

    Suddenly, all the CO2 is removed from the atmosphere. Without the greenhouse effect it provides, the temperature drops quickly. The relative humidity skyrockets. In some areas, it exceeds 100%, and when that happens, clouds form, increasing the planet’s cloud cover. The clouds block and reflect the sunlight, further cooling the air below them as well as the surface. Precipitation results and the atmosphere loses most of its H2O as well. So the atmosphere becomes colder and drier, until finally the planet is locked in an ice age, which it can never recover from unless CO2 is added. Even the oceans will be frozen up.

    Now, we add the CO2 back. With CO2 trapping heat once more, ice begins to melt. Then water begins to evaporate. As water evaporates, the H2O kicks in with its own greenhouse effect, resulting in more ice melting. Eventually, the oceans are restored, and the atmosphere returns to what it was.

    H2O alone on Earth cannot keep the planet warm enough to sustain life, because at certain temperatures and concentrations in the atmosphere it forms clouds which act as cooling agents, and on land below a certain temperature it forms ice, which also reflects light. CO2 must be the trigger for the greenhouse effect of both substances to operate properly on Earth. Quite simply, those ICECAP “experts” are either lying or just idiots!}}}}

    Norm Smith says: “I honestly have spent hundreds or thousands of hours studying
    “global warming” and I personally concluded that “natural cycles” trumps “human produced CO2″ as the best explanation.”

    I wonder what his sources of information were. Was ICECAP one of them?

  87. James Randerson

    George Monbiot on his blog at the Guardian has also done a demolition job on Will.

  88. Anonymous

    (1) Correlation does not equate to causation

    (2) Recent ice estimates and the related George Will counter-attack have just been re-corrected by the NSIDC:

    “The problem arose from a malfunction of the satellite sensor we use for our daily sea ice products. Upon further investigation, we discovered that starting around early January, an error known as sensor drift caused a slowly growing underestimation of Arctic sea ice extent. The underestimation reached approximately 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles) by mid-February.”

  89. The big question for the green lobby is not man made climate change yes or no. The big questions are economic and political ones which should be informed by, but not subservient to, science. If burning fossil fuels causes climate change then we have two options.

    A) Leave fossil fuels in the ground.
    B) Burn them. Deal with the consequences.

    The problem with A is how we get to it. How will the Saudis et al be compensated. Since energy usage has and can expand exponentially fossil fuels will likely always have marginal price to someone, hence the market in fossil fuels must be abolished on a worldwide scale. With new reserves being frantically searched for colour me sceptical in terms of any mechanism that can achieve this.

    The fossil fuels in the ground are worth trillions, more than the cost of the Iraq war several times over. A trillion forgone is a trillion spent. Given A, what do I get for my trillions? Where is the cost benefit analysis? That is the job of an accountant, not a doctor of science.

  90. LanceR, JSG

    Yes, Peep, those are the *only* two alternatives. There couldn’t *possibly* be anything else in the world to do. Wow. You sure have made me think.


    1. Use oil (a fossil fuel) to make plastics and other petrochemicals.

    2. Use other means of generating electrical energy (wind, solar, geothermal, tidal)

    3. Find something better to burn to power our transportation.

    4. Find a better form of transportation that does not require burning anything.

    And all this just off the top of my head. Too fast for you?

  91. As an amateur scientist down here in Texas, I have my undertaken my own global warming study. Every time I see a dead armadillo on the road I look to see whether he’s facing north or south.

  92. I love all the people who keep talking about the snowy cold winter we’re having, who are somehow unaware of the hot dry summer we’re having at the same time on the same planet. Australia’s right here on the internets, denialists, and it’s burning up. Have a look.

    Of course a single season means nothing one way or another. But their selectivity speaks eloquently of their respect for science.

  93. Erasmussimo

    Mr. Will has come back fighting, publishing a column that pours derision upon his critics and staunchly defends his earlier column. Once again, it’s a pile of lies. He claims that his critics only challenged one of his factual statements — I have seen line-by-line refutations of his column. He presents a convoluted justification for his statements regarding Antarctic ice — but it’s unclear from his writing as to whether he claims that his statements are justified by the original source or by a political website from which he obtained the data. All in all, it’s a snow-job, a smokescreen, a flock of lies with a bodyguard of sarcasm. I once respected Mr. Will as the voice of the intelligent right, but after this sordid performance, I am beginning to wonder whether there exists an intelligent right.

  94. minimalist

    Some of them are intelligent, they just use their talents for evil. Read a Krauthammer column sometime; the things veritably ooze with contempt and condescension toward his audience. They know they’re full of it, and don’t care.

    Will is famous in journalistic circles for throwing epic temper tantrums whenever he’s caught in an error (lie) and the possibility of a correction/retraction is brought up, however gingerly. Given the slimy behavior of Hiatt and the ombudsman, it gives me some small comfort to imagine the magnitude-10 shitstorm they were probably subjected to.

  95. I stumbled upon this blog and find it both interesting and entertaining. I’ve also learned that on the subject of global warming, a denialist more often than not is not someone who distorts or dismisses emerging or established science, but is someone who denies the real and perceived truths the blog hosts consider self evident.

    There is science on both sides of the debate, both good and bad, and this denialist site is necessitated by the fact that the “good” science which is counter to what mainstream global warmists consider as fact, is growing.

    A “regression analysis” of the “good science” which does not support catastrophic warming shows an upward trend in recent years – which is great – it will help mankind arrive at the right decisions – and balance the alarmist view on one side and the “denialist” view on the other side.

  96. LanceR, JSG

    Science? Growing “good science” which does not support catastrophic warming? Right. Pull the other one, it’s got bells on it.

    Any evidence of this “good science”? SDGIMIAB? Where is this groundbreaking work being done? UMYASS? Come on, you’ve got to have more than unsupported assertions. Where is this great work published? Washington Post?


  97. Got it. You mean the bell on the “left”. We’ve experienced periods of global warming as recently as medieval times and then the more recent contrasting little ice age, for which increases or decreases in man-made CO2 were not precipitating causes.

    This is not to say prudent control of man-made emissions is not a noble objective. However, there is a risk that we may experience global cooling in the near future. Global warming may be the higher risk, but the claim of certainty on either side of the debate is simply arrogance.

    My observation, was anecdotally proven by your response – condescending and dismissive. What is the term for an anti-denialist who resorts to denialist tactics? Standard liberal tactics – stick a label on a perspective different than one’s own – and then repeat it over again and again.

    Anyway, since we are both reasonable people looking out for the common good, at least we can both celebrate the Antarctic’s recent contribution to mitigating sea levels.


  98. LanceR, JSG

    Ah, yes. The oft-repeated myth of the Medevial Warm Period, and the “Little Ice Age”, both of which predate industrial society.

    Climate science is very robust, and the effect of greenhouse gasses is very well understood. As I pointed out, there is no science that counters AGW.

    Denialism is more than just “that guy disagrees with me”. Read the links at the top of this page. There are certain tactics involved in denial… (hint: asking for the evidence is not one of them, but repeating often debunked lies *is*)

  99. Thanks for reaffirming what it takes to be an anti-denialist – condescension, rhetorical overstatement, and assigning dismissive tags like “lie”. Perhaps there is more civil anti denialist rhetorical devices.

    Indeed there is a period described as MWP and LIA, including references in IPCC and Mann’s publications. Of course it has been determined that the changes are not as pronounced as anti global warmists had purported them to be. But MWP and LIA anomolies do exist – and using the popular monikers for these periods does not make my comment denialist.

    Point remains the, climate science is not fully mature, and while the risk of global warming may outweigh (materially) the risk of global cooling over the next century, only a denialist would hold that only one risk is certain.

    I’m simply hopeful reason will prevail, and those who dismiss my prior innocuous post with name calling are not part of the analysis process.

  100. LanceR, JSG

    OH! I recognize this one! The “artificial reasonableness” ploy. “I’m sure there’s some middle ground…” Nope. Still wrong.

    There is no, I repeat, no science that contradicts AGW. Period. Show me citations if you have any. Global cooling was one discussed possibility in the ’70s, and even then the authors stated that the question was whether aerosol cooling would overcome the greenhouse effect or not. Well, thirty years later, we have discovered that it would not.

    The MWP and the LIA are irrelevant, wrong, and have been wildly misrepresented in this debate. We’ve heard this song before, and it still grates on the ear. Merely mentioning them makes you either a denialist trying to muddy the water, or a well-meaning Joe who misunderstands the science. I’m inclined to believe the latter.

    Again, show me the science, or accept that there is none.

  101. Erasmussimo

    MOC, I’m happy to explain the science to you without being condescending. I appreciate that, in your effort to be fair-minded, you split the difference between the two camps. But I would suggest that, since this is objective science rather than subjective opinion, it is more appropriate to go with the science than to split the difference. And the science really is quite clear. Let me address some of the points you raise:

    1. “there is a risk that we may experience global cooling in the near future.” No, there is no such risk. The simplest extrapolation of long-term temperature trends shows a sharp rise in temperatures over the next century. Add to that the undeniable facts that a) CO2 emissions are rising and b) CO2 is certain to produce a greenhouse effect, and you get even stronger confirmation of the basic hypothesis that global temperatures will be rising for the foreseeable future.

    2. “We’ve experienced periods of global warming as recently as medieval times and then the more recent contrasting little ice age, for which increases or decreases in man-made CO2 were not precipitating causes.”

    The fact that human CO2 emissions did not cause previous increases in global temperature has absolutely no bearing on whether they will now. The fact that phenomenon A has been shown to occur without being triggered by cause B does not in any logical way suggest that cause B cannot trigger phenomenon A. The fact that nobody has ever been murdered by whacking them over the head with a laptop computer does not imply that laptop computers could never be used as murder weapons. Human release of CO2 is a new phenomenon; there has been only one trial of its effects and that trial shows strong warming.

    3. “climate science is not fully mature”. True. And nuclear physics was nowhere near mature in 1945. Tell that to the people in Hiroshima. Science doesn’t have to be fully mature to be useful.

    4. “I’m simply hopeful reason will prevail” Good. I hope that you will learn more about the science of AGW. An excellent starting point is a brochure by the National Academy of Sciences, the most prestigious scientific organization in the world (and one with a perfect track record on its policy statements), which you can obtain at

  102. Thank you.

    Two follow ups.

    I mean risk in the purest sense of the term. Couple that with the fact that climate science is not fully mature, there is a risk (remote; possible; probable; almost certain) that either cooling (remote to possible) or warming (probable to almost certain) will occur. Einstein contributed to the science that led to Hiroshima, but he also went to his deathbed grappling with quantum mechanics.

    Second, I believe 5 years from now the science will be mature enough that one can say with near certainty, that CO2, is a leading indicator, compared to certain scientists that hold it may be a lagging indicator; that what we observe may have othercontributing factors in addition to CO@, etc. I understand logic. Building on your point 2, the existence of A does not prove B. Great work has been done establishing a correlation between manmade CO2 and GW, but more work is needed on disproving other contributing factors.

    Very smart well respected (at the time) people did not model the systemic credit collapse we are experiencing. A small minority did. Anti GW scientists are the minority. I’ll be prudent re: my global footprint,but I prefer not to give either side short shrift at this point.

    Thanks for the link – could you also provide a link to one of the more objective, non-politicized, studies that summarize the scientific case against GW. At least one of those 650 dissentors must have been a respected scientist with an opinion based on objective research.

    Thanks much.

  103. Erasmussimo

    The chance of a general cooling in this century is, I would say, remote; a quick look at the temperature history of the last few hundred years shows that pretty clearly.

    On leading and lagging, CO2 is actually both. There’s no question that CO2 leads temperature in the sense that increases in CO2 will cause an increase in temperature. This basic cause-effect relationship has never been in question — it’s basic physics, established in the lab for more than a century. The unknowns arise from the various feedback mechanisms, which are both positive and negative, so the magnitude of the effect is in doubt. However, we do know that one of the feedback mechanisms is a release of CO2 into the atmosphere. There’s a lot of subsoil CO2 frozen in polar regions, and we’ve got data showing that, as polar temperatures rise, more of that CO2 is released into the atmosphere. So the causality is as follows:

    leading CO2 –> higher temperatures –> release of lagging subsoil CO2

    Hence, you can have CO2 both leading and lagging temperature increases.

    could you also provide a link to one of the more objective, non-politicized, studies that summarize the scientific case against GW. At least one of those 650 dissentors must have been a respected scientist with an opinion based on objective research.

    Umm, I think that the “650 scientists” to which you refer comes from a list prepared by one of Senator Inhofe’s staff members. It’s a hoax; he grabbed quotes out of context and put on his list anybody who has ever said anything contrary to any aspect of climate change science. There’s lots of raging debate over the details, but that doesn’t make the debaters opposed to the basic hypothesis. Many of the people on that list, when they discovered their names on it, demanded that they be removed — a demand that was ignored.

    There are some opponents who strike me as respectable even if I find some of their claims objectionable. I would list three:

    1. Steve McIntyre at
    He started off as a really good “loyal opposition”, poking and prodding at every study, pointing out errors. Most of his points were minor, but a few were major. He continues to provide a steady source of scientifically respectable information. However, I fear that his extended disagreements with other scientists have poisoned his attitude; he seems more strident these days and less cool-headed.

    2. Richard Lintzen. He’s definitely a top-notch scientist, and he’s definitely contrarian, but it’s a little difficult to figure out exactly where he stands.

    3. There’s a fellow at the University of Colorado who has done some good contrarian work. Sadly, my memory is not up to the task of recalling his name.

    I know you requested contrarian stuff, but I’d like to add, which is definitely a pro-AGW site. The trick is, these guys are real climatologists and they talk about the real scientific issues. They frequently refer to scientists with whom they disagree, so they might be a source of information on both sides for you.

  104. Thank you. Went to the Steve Mcintyre site and found this recent post linked below as it is consistent with the focus and tone of our recent posts.

    Unfortunately, I am left to conclude that perhaps the science may not be as mature as it could be in 5 years. I am not in a postion to weigh in on the credibility of the post. However, if it is any way indicative of what can occur in the scientific community among assumed respected scientists with objective scientific research, it does not bode well.

    It appears we have both politically motivated general less informed “Denialist” non-scientists framing the discussion – and as the link indirectly asserts, politically correct “Obstructionists” actually embedded within the scientific community.


  105. Erasmussimo

    Yes, that is a sad tale and it reflects poorly on the reviewer as well as the editor of that journal. However, please note several additional considerations: first, this paper was reviewed by a single reviewer. That takes place only with small journals. Most reputable journals have three reviewers precisely because the editor wants to insure that one cranky reviewer doesn’t ruin the reception for a good paper. Second, the paper was later published by another journal. That is one of the strengths of the modern scientific process: you can always try another journal, and if you got an unfair break from one journal, the mistake will be corrected in another journal. Third, the authors themselves acknowledge the iffiness of their results. The radiosonde data really is less reliable than the satellite data, and it really is reasonable to reject one dataset when it contradicts another dataset that is known to be more reliable.

    I can certainly understand why so many scientists would be gunshy about publishing questionable material that directly contradicts so much other work. The scientific literature has been plundered by skeptics who ruthlessly quote-mine for anything that they can twist around to make their case. The perfect example of this is the Inhofe list of 650 scientists, in which scientists who merely disagreed with some technical aspect of the AGW hypothesis were declared to be “opponents” of AGW hypothesis. It’s absolutely true that science should keep politics out of its considerations — but the problem is that politics has brutally invaded the science and twisted it beyond all recognition. The moral of this story is that everybody — politicians, citizens, amateurs, TV weathermen — EVERYBODY should keep their damn noses out of the science and let the scientists just do their jobs. And then the scientists should not permit any political considerations to affect their work.

  106. The paper to which you refer that reported that the Antarctic is warming was quickly and decisively debunked for the adulterated data that was used fallaciously by its authors. One bad paper does not trump real science and its records. In this paper, published by the same group that created the debunked and false Hockeystick graph, they took data from poorly maintained monitoring sites in the Antarctic margins, cobbled it together to produce a warming trend, and then used computer models to extrapolate the crappy data to the whole interior of the continent, pretending that we really do not know what is going on in there – ingenuously ignoring all satellites. NASA and all other monitoring systems all agree that the Antarctic has been cooling for 50 years. That is one really big weak spot in the global warming advocacy. This paper from Mann’s group is an attempt to pretend that Antarctica is warming and muddy the real facts.

    You need to realize that the scientists associated with the IPCC DO HAVE AN AGENDA which is nonscientific as the goal of the upper levels is to create a crisis which will lead to a carbon economy and eventually a one-world government. This was the plan of Maurice Strong, the man who created the IPCC. There is indeed a plan and, as politicians in charge of it, they do not care that their conclusions regarding the science have no relation to the science. They have to find a human footprint regardless of whether the scientists can find one or not. They would be failing in their mission, if they did not push the warming scam.

    Good scientists have to live with the facts and the fact that the Antarctic is cooling and growing, and Greenland is, too, is just too bad, if it does not fit the warmist agenda.

    We have been cooling for 10 years and with the PDO flipping to its cooling phase for the next 30 years as of 2007, as NASA and NOAA report and, with solar cycle 24 being eerily quiet, we have a very chilly 30 years ahead. Yell as loud as they can, it is not warming, CO2 cannot and never will drive the climate, and carbon cap and trade is a huge global scam being perpetrated on the public, in a huge betrayal of the public trust. Remember that carbon cap and trade will raise the price of everything we do or make. It is a hidden tax, critically designed to cripple Western industry and Western economy. Teamed with the environmentalist, the result is a misanthropic plan to make it too expensive to maintain our standard of living and even our birthrate. Basically, they believe that there is 67% too many people today and the plan is to bring that down to 2 billion.

    What these clowns, as a form of antitechnology Luddite, do not realize is that technology and progress will allow us to do things much more efficiently and with better health throughout the globe while giving nature more room to be. They have things perfectly backwards.

    Remember, these people have the same thinking as those who worked to ban DDT. There was no real science against it, it was a lie that it was harming eagles (they actually increased 25% while DDT was being used), and it was given credit for saving 500,000,000 lives over 20 years by stopping malaria in its tracks. The environmentalist saw this as a crime as described by one of their leaders. They liked malaria as: “Better dead than procreating wildly.” It was natural population control in their eyes.

    Ruckelhaus of the EPA banned DDT as a completely political decision with no reasonable rationale (he refused to explain anything) for the decision and with the stated goal of also giving the environmentalist movement a huge boost in power, by successfully banning DDT. Thus, in the last 30 years, the environmentalist movement has effectively killed about 750,000,000 people by banning DDT under false pretenses – more dead than all wars of all kinds in the history of the world.

    I am not a skeptic. I am a scientist. I am not a denialist. I support the facts and the real science. It is the warmists who are in denial of the fact that their science cannot and will not win as it is junk science and reality will eventually prove them false – it looks like sooner than later, if we are lucky.

    The amazing alacrity with which warmists attack the motives of skeptics belies the fact that the warmists have motives that they do not want to verbalize. With a 5 billion dollar budget, they have much more at stake than the few scientists, and it is only a few, who receive money from oil interests. In fact, good science is immune to its source and stands regardless of the background of the source. The junk science behind the case implicating CO2 as a greenhouse gas has no integrity scientifically, but sounds good to the scientifically ignorant. The denigrating and personal attacks on skeptics is the hallmark of a loser – if you cannot win against the science, attack the speaker.

  107. It might also be useful to point out that, back in the DDT era, Science’s chief editor declared that they would publish no articles which were not antagonistic to DTT. Now that’s scientific integrity at its worst! This is exactly how Science, Nature, and the Proc Nat Acad Sci are behaving today regarding global warming.

    One paper was rejected by Science with one line. The editor stated that: “How could 30 years of climate research be wrong?” Well, guys, when you think you have a warming mechanism and warming is the current trend, it is easy to convince yourself that you are, maybe, right. But, when cooling kicks in, ignoring natural factors becomes virtually impossible, and the computer models completely fail to predict the past, present, or future, maybe they are really, really wrong, despite the years and the huge wealth that were spent. I demand a refund!

  108. minimalist

    too crazy; didn’t read

    (Okay, fine, I peeked at the “one world government” part, lol)

  109. LanceR, JSG

    Wow. I started to list the logical fallacies, debunked talking points, and outright lies in those two comments… and ran out of paper.

    Total facepalm, with a double headdesk cluster.

    One world government. DDT. The crazy is strong with this one.

  110. Helper

    Global warming will continue to go up and up. Eventually, the whole planet will be like when boiling clay in a pot. There is hope for those that want to overcome. A free gift for humanity is available. No group to join, no money required. Any human being, regardless of color, religion, political or religious position has the potential within. Please ask for a free book at: It has the practices to prepare yourself for what is coming. No one can do the job for you. You and you alone can prepare for what is already happening: Floods, Earthquakes, Global Warming, Pandemics, World Wars etc.,

  111. LanceR, JSG

    Save your time, re: hercolubus

    Blah, blah, blah mystery planet. Blah, blah, blah destruction of Atlantis. Blah, blah, blah astral projection.

    Typical insanity. Nothing to get excited about.

  112. In view of recent events (the CRU emails and computer code) you might want to post a apology to the “deniers”. That is of course, if you have any integrity.

  113. LanceR, JSG

    We will apologize to the deniers. When they are right. In this case, when Hell freezes over. (Or at least the polar icecaps)

    I think you may want to look again at those stolen emails… they don’t say what you so desperately want them to say.

  114. I don’t know how old you are, but I’m 52, and I was a high school student in the 1970s. I remember hearing that there was a coming global cooling.

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