The distinction between true scepticism and denial

I came across the phrase in the title, and followed a link to a recent journal article which for once was available on open access. Entitled ‘Science and the Public: Debate, Denial, and Skepticism’,  it looked interesting. You can read it here. The four authors come from different fields, and propose to outline ‘the distinction between true scepticism and denial’. They also offer some guidelines to help researchers, and interested members of the public, decide how to deal with enquiries, on the one hand,  and problems which people see in published science, on the other.

The reader is brought into the area of ‘climate change’ at once. The controversy surrounding climate change is just one example of a polarized public debate that seems remote and detached from the actual state of science: Within the scientific community, there is a pervasive consensus that the Earth is warming from greenhouse gas emissions (Anderegg, Prall, Harold, & Schneider, 2010; Cook et al., 2013; Doran & Zimmerman, 2009; Oreskes, 2004; Shwed & Bearman, 2010), but outside science there is entrenched denial of this fact in some sectors of society (e.g., Dunlap, 2013; Lewandowsky, Gignac, & Oberauer, 2013).               [my emphasis]

Whoops! Substantively, ‘climate change’ is not simply whether the planet has warmed through greenhouse gas emissions. More important and related questions include, for example, by how much has it warmed, what else has been at work besides greenhouse gases, is the warming unprecedented or not, does it matter anyway (isn’t warming better than cooling?), and many others. Pedantically, there is no need for a consensus to be graced with the adjective pervasive. If it is a consensus then it is by definition pervasive, meaning ‘permeated’, ‘diffused through’, etc.

Then interested readers might wonder where to find the entrenched denial of the supposed fact that the Earth is warming from greenhouse gas emissions. The sceptical community for the most part, I think, accepts that greenhouse gas emissions have contributed to the warming that has occurred over the past century or so (which is not quite the same thing). There are a few dragon-slayers who don’t agree. But entrenched denial? I’m not aware of it. The links don’t help, since Dunlap 2013 is a study of 108 climate change denial books with most of the interest being in their supposed links to business groups. The Lewandowsky link is even less helpful, as well as being an intellectually dreadful paper. I don’t know quite what I would expect to find as an example of entrenched denial in opposition to pervasive consensus, but there’s no evidence for it here. To continue:

Media reports occasionally even proclaim that warming has stopped (Ridley, 2014) or that we are headed for global cooling (e.g., Rose, 2013). These propositions have no scientific support …

Well, Matt Ridley’s op. ed. in the Wall Street Journal may not be top-of-the-line science, though he refers to the science, but the UK Met Office did indeed agree that there was a hiatus in warming, and that it would continue until 2017. The scientists who propose the possibility of cooling are solar physicists, for the most part, and their views may be wrong. But the ‘cooling’  view does have some scientific support (see, for example, here).

These introductory remarks are a little jarring, in the context of the pure bromide that is to come. Public debate and scepticism are essential to a functioning democracy. Indeed scepticism has been shown to enable people to differentiate more accurately between truth and falsehood. How could we disagree? So how do we tell when what we are getting is scientific fact or denial? Ah, you see, there are three factors that are always present when denialists are involved. First, they make stuff up. Second, denial commonly invokes notions of conspiracies. (I think Dunlap 2013, mentioned above, is an excellent example of the way in which conspiracies can be invoked, but I don’t think the authors had him in mind.). Third, denialists engineer personal and professional attacks on scientists both in public and behind the scenes, and issue prolific complaints to scientists’ host institutions with allegations of research conduct. Two of the authors of this article claim to have experienced such behaviour.

The authors claim, on the basis of what they call recent evidence, is  that up to US$1billion flows into foundations and think tanks in the U.S. every year that are dedicated to political lobbying for various issues. One of the principal objectives of this network is to support a climate “counter movement” that seeks to reframe public discourse surrounding climate change from one of overwhelming scientific consensus to one of doubt, debate, and uncertainty (Brulle, 2014; Plehwe, 2014). To illustrate, more than 90% of recent books that dismiss environmental problems have been linked to conservative think tanks (Jacques, Dunlap, & Freeman, 2008), and such books typically never undergo peer review (Dunlap & Jacques, 2013). This does look like conspiracy stuff to me, on first reading, but again, I doubt the authors had this in mind either.

Now comes more bromide: In a democracy, calls for genuine debate are to be welcomed and must be taken seriously. Given that scientific issues can have far-reaching political, technological, or environmental consequences, greater involvement of the public can only be welcome and made led to better policy outcome. Who could disagree? We are given a small example of how this has worked in practice (it is not in climate change).  Notwithstanding the public’s entitlement to be involved in issues that are scientifically informed, scientific debates must still be conducted according to the rules of science. Arguments must be evidence-based and they are subject to peer review before they become provisionally accepted. Hang on there! If arguments have to be evidence-based, and the evidence doesn’t support them, what then? Do we really have to wait for good policy until the peer-review process (something that applies almost solely to academic work) has considered the matter? In the climate science arena even well-credentialled sceptical scientists have found it hard to get critical papers accepted for publication.

In the matter of disagreement, the two first-named authors acknowledge the uncertainty in climate projections, but note that contrary to popular intuition, any uncertainty provides even greater impetus for climate mitigation. I’ve come across this line of argument before, and have to go along with ‘popular intuition’ here. If there is uncertainty about whether something needs to be done, because the evidence is weak or equivocal, it would seem strange indeed to say ‘Hah! That’s even more reason to go down my chosen path!’ I am open to persuasion, but not to this kind of assertion.

What I think is happening in this strange, muddled and evidence-free paper is a kind of explicit argument that peer review is the only way to go, if only because the blogospherical world (which the authors denounce) has very little in the way of support for the supposed consensus. By now the title of the paper has been forgotten by the authors, and we get this: People who deny scientific facts that they find challenging or unacceptable, by contrast, are by and large not skeptics. On the contrary, they demonstrably shy away from scientific debate by avoiding the submission of their ideas to peer review. One has to say, again, that peer review is for academics and is not the gold standard for science. Bad data, bad argument and self-interest are usually quickly discovered, and any proposition that results from them is usually dismissed, or at least put aside. What distinguishes ‘climate change’ is that policies like the carbon tax came before the science was properly in (it still isn’t), and for political reasons the policies remained current, despite the lack of continually corroborative scientific evidence.

Oh well, another blinkered, dodgy, peer-reviewed paper. Who let this through? Oh, I forgot to mention the Guidelines. The first, ‘Proposed Guidelines for Critical Scientific Engagement by Members of the Public’ begins with this little preamble: If your goal is to contribute to a scientific conversation, then you need to follow certain rules. One of those rules is that scientific arguments are conducted in the scientific peer-reviewed literature. If you are unwilling to do so, these guidelines are of little value. Indeed so. Good luck, would-be contributor!

The second set is for scientists who might be approached by a member of the public seeking critical engagement. The Guidelines tell you to be careful — you might be approached by someone who is not in good faith, and wants to find errors in your work. Don’t help them!

And when you’ve finished both guidelines, you still don’t know what the authors think a ‘true sceptic’ is, or how he or she is to be distinguished from a ‘denialist’. Yet that is embodied in the title of the article.

Finally, the authors. The first two names will be familiar to readers of this website, and indeed to anyone interested in the ‘climate change’ issue: Stephan Lewandowsky, Michael E. Mann, Nicholas J. L. Brown and Harris Friedman. You will learn about the third and fourth by reading the article. They seem somewhat more sensible than the first two. Oh, there are 96 references, of which 22 are self-referenced articles, 16 of them by Lewandowsky alone. I may be wrong, but I could find just three references that were critical of the authors’ standpoint. Not exactly a review paper, for all its pretension.

And I find myself saying, yet again, this  awful, poorly argued, self-seeking paper has passed peer review? What have we come to in the journal world?



Join the discussion 201 Comments

  • Neville says:

    These fools must be deaf, dumb and blind. There are many peer reviewed studies that don’t support any consensus about their CAGW. There is possibly some support for AGW warming since 1950 but it isn’t easy to find.
    All the ice core records from both Greenland and Antarctica support the observation that temp moves first and that co2 is the follower. The lag for co2 levels to change up or down can be from hundreds to many thousands of years. Even during the Holocene there is PR study evidence that warming or cooling does not always move in step with co2 levels. Over millions of years PR studies show that co2 and temp often move in opposite directions. Can’t these people read ?

    • BoyfromTottenham says:

      No, Neville, the authors of this classic piece of ‘disinformation’ (Definition: ‘Disinformation is a type of untrue communication that is purposefully spread and represented as truth to elicit some response that serves the perpetrator’s purpose. Disinformation is sometimes confused with misinformation but the two are distinguished by their intention. The purpose of disinformation is to deceive.’) are neither fools, nor ‘deaf, dumb and blind’. At the risk of being labelled as a ‘conspiracy theorist’, I believe that they are practitioners of ‘disinformation’ rather than ‘researchers’ as we know it. After identifying numerous markers of disinformation in this paper (which have been noted by several other commenters here, but mis-identified simply as ‘mistakes’, ‘errors’, ‘misunderstandings’, ‘pseudo rationality’ and ‘misuse’), I strongly suggest that every CAGW skeptic learns the definition and signs of ‘disinformation’, e.g. as it was practiced globally and with considerable success by the KGB during the Cold War, so that they can identify and call out this insidious practice.

    • Mark Luxton says:

      Well said Neville! This should be obvious.

      I would also like to point out that many people misuse the word Skeptic, even skeptic clubs, as if it were opposite to BELIEVER; disbeliever or denier.

      Example: Someone sees a ghost and exclaims, “I used to be a skeptic but now I am a true believer”.

      Humans can seem intelligent yet when you examine their words carefully you see they are nearly mad.
      In the example I gave; if a person is truly a skeptic and sees a ghost; that person is still a skeptic, but now knows ghosts are factual. That person in my example makes no sense at all. Even if this person admits that he/she, misused and misunderstood the word skeptic, and actually meant that he/she was a disbeliever or a denier, it still makes no sense to now declare yourself a believer, when you have seen evidence for yourself. The person is not a believer, but a knower.

      There is much belief and disbelief in so called science. Belief is foolish and a kind of mental disorder.

      Many people are being called deniers when they are not. This is a predictive programming term used to manipulate people.

      Personally I am not in denial of anything about AGW. I know this theory is not even close to being a scientific consensus. There may well be global warming happening, or cooling for that matter, not caused by man made CO2 though; at least not enough to be a concern. If you follow the money AGW is an obvious scam to rob from the people hundreds of trillions of dollars. I am not in denial nor disbelief. I know we are being lied to. The funds from so called carbon taxes are for funding NWO plans of global governances.

      Even the term climate change is a misused term. Climate is the result of the angle of the Sun on Earth. We have climate zones determined by the angles. The Earth wobbles and the degree of wobble changes; two dimensional thinkers call this the Earths tilt. Since the change in degree of wobble changes the angle of the suns rays hitting the climate zones; the zones change or move. This is actual climate change, and has nothing to do with any cause of global warming.

      The ice at the poles has been thawing for thousands of years. Global thawing continues.

      There are other real causes of global warming and cooling, and radical Earth changes. The changing output of the Sun. The Earths orbit being circular and at times being elliptical. Sudden changes to Earth via volcanoes, large meteorites, large planetary objects passing through our solar system, etc.. But no, a small group of paid off alleged scientists(IPCC) have declared that we are all doomed from causing the Earth to warm from our small contribution to a minor greenhouse gas? Co2 now being referred to as pollution when it is a life affirming essential gas, while very real pollution is being ignored.

      This AGW theory is an obvious scam, even if there is a very minor contribution to global warming.

      A skeptic is someone that reserves forming conclusions until there is sufficient evidence. A skeptic is neither a believer nor a disbeliever(denier).

      I remain a skeptic, always, and I know the AGW theory is bogus. I have seen enough evidence of this.

    • Philip Zoebisch says:

      Since the last Ice Age 11,000 years ago the earth has been warm for 10,500 years and very cold for 500 years, the recent Little Ice Age (1400 to 1900). Climate scientists arbitrarily and maliciously cherry picked the middle of the Little Ice Age, 1750, pre-industrial, for the base year of their computer programs to prove global warming, knowing full well that there were 10,500 warm years like now between the Little Ice Age and the last Ice Age.

      It is scientifically and mathematically impossible for the Little Ice Age to be the normal temperature since the last Ice Age. Geologists named this very cold period for a reason. It is fraud to pretend there was no temperature or climate before 1750.

      Of course the earth has warmed. If it hadn’t we would still be in the Little Ice Age and that would be horrible. How cold was it back then? In 1789 the Hudson River froze solid and one could walk on the ice between Manhattan and Staten Island. We would have trouble feeding ourselves at this climate.

      If temperature is measured from the warmth when Christ was born 2000 years ago, then there is no global warming and we have just returned to “normal” temperature.

      If temperature is measured from the depths of the cold Little Ice Age, as climate scientists do, then there is global warming. Pre-industrial temperature is measured from 1750 to blame industry/CO2 and create climate jobs

  • bryan roberts says:

    The aspect of the climate ‘debate’ that I find most infuriating is the pervasive misunderstanding and misuse of the term ‘peer review’. “Arguments must be evidence-based and they are subject to peer review before they become provisionally accepted”. Nonsense. Arguments are not put out for peer review, experiments are, and peer review is the process that evaluates the adequacy of the experimental methodology and design. It does not say anything about the merits (or otherwise) of the conclusions, nor does it decide whether arguments based on them are true or false.

    The worst offenders are those who should know better, viz, contributors to ‘sceptical science’, and ‘the conversation’.

    It is also worth remembering that the ‘elite’ journal Nature has, after peer review, published some appalling nonsense. Nature 1968. Identification of concealed randomized objects through acquired response habits of stimulus and word association. Nature 1988. Human basophil degranulation triggered by very dilute antiserum against IgE. In reference to the latter, the then Editor, who did not believe the study, wrote “Rejecting the paper on any objective grounds was deemed unsupportable, as there were no methodological flaws apparent at the time”.

    • beththeserf says:

      “Debate,’ a chameleon word. like ‘freedom;’ ‘ freedom’ to
      speak your mind or ‘freedom’ from unwelcome, and thus,
      ‘threatening’ contrary points of view.

      ‘Debate – contest of opposing arguments and evidence or
      sharing of uniform point of view, debating minor fine points
      perhaps, but out-groups precluded from the – er -debate.

  • beththeserf says:

    ‘In a democracy calls for genuine debate are welcomed
    and must be taken seriously.’

    … Ironic that in the light of those CRU emails.

    ‘I can’t see either of those papers being in the next
    IPCC Report. Kevin and I will keep them out – somehow,
    even if we have to review what the peer – review
    literature is !
    Phil Jones, CRU.

  • Neville says:

    I just listened to David Karoly and Clive Hamilton on their ABC telling us that it is critical that we have much higher reductions in our co2 levels. These two urgers say they take their positions because the science says me must do more.
    But in the real world China and India’s emission’s will continue to soar until 2040 , literally swamping the near flat-line trend from the developed countries of the OECD. BTW Clive Hamilton is a former Greens candidate who once thought that suspending democracy could be a positive way to tackle his CAGW.

    At the moment OZ emissions of co2 are about 1.3% and it doesn’t matter what we do in the future at all. Even if every country reduced their emissions to the Paris COP 21 letter it wouldn’t make any measurable difference by 2100 at all. Even Dr Hansen the father of CAGW understands this simple truth, so why do all the other extremists ignore simple data, simple maths and historical temp and co2 studies? Here is a fairly recent list of all countries and their co2 emissions.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      Possibly more interesting is a comparison of the top CO2 emitters per capita. These are, in order; Qatar, Trinidad and Tobago, Netherlands Antilles, Kuwait, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Aruba, Bahrain, Luxembourg, and the Falkland Islands.

      I guess it is churlish to ask why our populations have to suffer while theirs get off scot free.

  • Alan Gould says:

    I may not have a sufficiently intimate knowledge of the practice of Science, say, in the 19th Century, or the 1930’s, but my impression from the mix of stridor, carelessness in terms (“pervasive” etc) and the very fact that the language of these authors, Don, is evangelising rather than arguing a possibility, is that Science itself has passed from an epoch when it was an Ascendant culture to one where it is clearly a Decadent culture. this appears to be led by the controversies aroused by the deviously renamed ‘Climate Change’ controversy.
    I can offer no explanation as to why all things that are pass from their intervals of ascendancy into those where decadence becomes their condition. In this instance, would some tertiary training in the care with which language itself is used have helped in a BSc course? For it is one discipline to tabulate your data, another to have the wideawake that goes with choosing words for dispassionate argument as opposed to a fervid, but disguised agenda.

  • Alice Thermopolis says:

    Thanks Don

    A fine critique.

    Professor Lewandowsky’s papers in this area are proof of the triumph of, inter alia, pseudo-knowledge/pseudo-rationality – masquerading as the real thing – in academia.

    As you rightly ask: “How did this awful, poorly argued, self-seeking paper pass peer review? What have we come to in the journal world?” What, indeed?

    The Guidelines are merely a device to put a cordon sanitaire around the whole pal/peer-review process. Often happens when emperor (knows he) has no clothes.

    Suspect there are many more culprits/papers out there like it, especially in the so-called social sciences, but also of course in “climate science”.

    But plenty of material here for a parody. We do need another Alan Sokal:

    Will the esteemed authors tell us one day it was all a hoax?

  • spangled drongo says:

    Thanks, Don, for looking at this particular one of the world’s current many madnesses.

    Ordinary, rational people go through life making decisions based on observations of evidence to justify those decisions. These normal, ordinary people are quite well educated and highly interested in the ways of the world but they also realise there are still many things they don’t know.

    Alarmists have always known about the potential gullibility of ordinary people and specialise in pointing out they have overlooked the bleedin’ obvious and they are all going to die as a result.

    One of the long-time-proven, best methods for convincing ordinary people that they are going to die is to tell them it is all their fault and those ordinary people are as putty in the alarmist hand.

    This has been a recipe for fantastic success down through the ages. Particularly in brainwashing the young. In the past it was known as religion but today those same alarmists have been so successful in undermining the various religions in which they have no say, they suddenly saw the opportunity for a new one to fill the void.

    Unless the ordinary people remain rational and vigilant this new religion will rule the world.

  • Neville says:

    This mitigation fra-d would be a joke if the incredible waste of money for a zero return wasn’t so serious. Here’s part of what Josh Frydenberg said on ABC AM this morning.

    “And look, Australia has been very successful to date, whereas if you look at some other countries, particularly those in the G20, it’s worth noting for example that China is increasing its emissions between now and 2030 by 100 per cent, India by 200 per cent, and Germany has just commissioned a black coal electricity generation power plant”.

    China will increase their emissions by 100% and India by 200% by 2030 ? Yet these donkeys have the hide to tell us that they are doing something about mitigating their CAGW? China is the world’s largest emitter ( 22.7%) and India(5.7%) is the third largest behind a much reduced USA.( 15.6%) When will the people wake up to these con merchants?

    Here is the Josh Frydenberg interview.

    Here is the Clive Hamilton interview.

  • Alice Thermopolis says:

    As for the “con merchants”, the show simply must go on. The alarmist paradigm must be entrenched further. What is at stake here is a global developed-developing world wealth transfer ambition/mechanism, cast in the language/rhetoric of ‘climate reparations’, ‘climate debt’, ‘climate refugees’ and global ‘contraction and convergence’.

    Obfuscation, opportunism and politics have triumphed, despite the lack of compelling evidence for causal links between anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and ‘dangerous’ climate change. Hardly surprising when activist climate scientists are, as Garth Paltridge, a former chief CSIRO atmospheric researcher,suggested last year:

    ” quite willing to cherry-pick and manipulate real world data in support of their efforts to save the world. The scientists on their part have learnt that they can get away with it. Their cause is politically correct, and is shaping up well to be the basis for a trillion-dollar industry. That sort of backing automatically provides plenty of protection.”

    Nevertheless, the followers of the UN Church of Climatology happily endorse/promote a dodgy hypothesis to justify its Green Climate Fund (GCF), the annual 100 billion-dollar (ha, ha) pot of gold at the end of its redistributive rainbow.

    No wonder it wants an ‘agreed outcome with legal form’ (Transforming our World, Clause 31, page 6, here). For that would create a global trading casino for ticket-clipping ‘carbon’ traders and national ‘climate-control’ agencies; and give so-called ‘climate refugees’ legal status.

    After twenty-one years of conferences, political and reputational stakes are high. The UN desperately wants another role – to manage the ‘multilateral climate change process’ and be ‘the trusted channel for rising to the [climate change] challenge’. For whoever holds the reins, controls the purse.

    But don’t despair. The West does not have the money to make its GCF fantasy a reality, even if it was justifiable.

    As for waking up the gullible and confused, the earnest snake-oil from the political class about “controlling dangerous climate change” and producing a Goldilocks climate – and increased energy costs – hopefully will do so. But don’t bet on it.

    • michaelmas says:

      My issue with this faux debate lies in the question if CO2 levels are heading to be dangerous then what is the optimum level to ensure humanities survival. Surely it is much higher than at present. All we are doing with fossil fuels is to send back to the atmosphere that which was there in the first place. In the much higher CO2 atmosphere prior to the laying down of the coal seams the green abundance would appear to have been prolific. Until there is a clear target stated with unambiguous scientific proof I am more of a denialist than a sceptic. Without that proof then I have to conclude the claim we are heading for disaster is rubbish.

  • PeterE says:

    Blimey! Appeals to ‘the consensus’ and authority, with everything to be funneled through ‘peer review.’ But ‘quis cusodiet ispsos peer reviewers’? In my judgement this piece is simply sly lying and the authors are consciously crooked.

  • BB says:

    My view is that science must be open and transparent if it is to mean anything. First you must have a hypothesis and then having that hypothesis you should devise a test to see if it is correct. If your test shows you are correct you then write up a paper and submit it for publication. Your paper must show how you came to that conclusion that is the data and the tests you have devised. As I understand it in this area peer review is a fairly recent phenomena. For instance Einstein’s papers were not peer-reviewed. Peer review should serve the useful for the publisher who knows nothing about your paper to determine if it is worthwhile. The reviewers if it is new work also will know little about it but they can check roughly whether it is a reasonable hypothesis. The real work comes or should come when it is published it is there that there is a chance for it to be critically examined.

    Michael Mann allegedly had associates peer review his hockey-stick paper. After that he published deliberately not including his method or his data. In other words his intention was whatever he said should be accepted on his authority alone. Unfortunately for him there were 2 people who took exception and fought tooth and nail for many years to determine his methods and his data. For me that is not science at all! Testing and data should be the be all and end all not whether some authoritarian career scientists agree with each other.

    There are gaps in their story. Our society is quite willing to spend money on “solutions”. There is no work I know of determining whether what we do is working! Would prayer be a better option to wind farms? I would agree but I suppose I have a sound basis for doing so that the temperature of the world in general has increased. No one though considers whether that is a good or a bad thing this is important to know if it really is a crisis. No one considers what leverage we have, that is if Australia was to take the plunge and decide we should reduce our CO2 emissions by 1.3% that is close Australia down, would it be detectable. I have my doubts. Alarmism puts forward a fear that any change will be catastrophic. But no one asks would things be better if it was 2° warmer or not. An alarmist story can be put out about anything you would like for instance the Great Barrier Reef. Throughout my whole life I have been hearing stories about the demise being imminent. It’s still there but the fact these predictions were wrong gets little airtime.

    Don I have been noticing a few articles talking about the decline of science in the public’s perception I think these sorts of things are the reason why, they are so often wrong. Science does live in many areas of human endeavour but climate does not seem to be one of them. Finally I should say one should be sceptical about all things even sceptics!

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    You know, the pub test is a bit of a joke, but the guys in the pub are really not as stupid and gullible as the latte set would like to believe. They have seen the weather come and go, and are not particularly worried about the world into which their grandchildren will be born. They are much more concerned about the world in which their children are living. To them, Lewandowsky’s fulminations are completely meaningless.

    • spangled drongo says:

      The Pub Test is a good basic way to describe it.

      It stems from this problem of our media always incorporating “science is telling us” to validate their latest story.

      Scientists likewise use the media to promote their latest science and the two combined make anyone with any rational epistemological process automatically a bit sceptical.

      A natural reaction that is necessary for survival in the real world.

    • spangled drongo says:

      I’ll bet there was a lot of pub discussion about the “science” behind the exaggerated bleaching of the GBR.

      And it seems like they got results from it too.

      Only 5% bleached, not 93%:

      “Mike Ball Dive Expeditions operations manager Craig Stephen, who conducted a similar survey on the remote reefs 20 years ago, said there had been almost no change in two decades despite the latest coral bleaching event.”

      “The discrepancy is phenomenal. It is so wrong. Everywhere we have been we have found healthy reefs.”

      Not peer reviewed, of course, just observation.

    • Ross says:

      I have also applied the pub test to global warming.
      I hate to burst your bubble , but you drink with the wrong people.

  • Chris Warren says:

    I think you can separate useful skepticism which can be resolved by science from the project here which conducts itself in these terms:

    strange, muddled, evidence free
    deaf,dumb and blind
    fervid disguised agenda
    con merchants
    Church of Climatology
    GCF fantasy
    political class
    sly lying
    consciously crooked


    Make of all that what you will.

    I think I will stick with the data, analysis and science.

    • spangled drongo says:

      That’s the way, Chris.

      BTW, we’ve seen your “science” and you confirm perfectly much of what’s been said here.

      • Chris Warren says:


        I would hope that as many people as possible do get a chance to see the science.

        After all we spend millions of dollars sending satellites into space, and obtaining rigorous measurements.

        You posted some very useful, relevant data, and it helped a lot.

        • ATheoK says:

          Yes, ‘we’ spend millions of dollars sending satellites into space and obtaining ‘rigorous’ measurements…

          But NOAA and other global CAGW ‘experts’ ignore satellite measurements that fail to agree, or worse disagree, with the climate consensus.

          Temperatures via satellite have been tracked for quite some time, yet the faithful refuse satellite temperatures. Until recently when one of the satellite temperature trackers decided to modify their algorithms so that satellite temperatures match land based thermometers.

          Land based temperatures are highly and frequently adjusted. The land based temperature stations are subject to horrendous thermistor placement and maintenance. The station maintenance staff report that frequently finding wildlife in the thermistor housings is normal.
          There is zero evidence that these influences are ever tracked as potential error rates. Allowing NOAA and associated agencies to proclaim the ability to measure global temperatures in increments of tenths, hundredths and thousands…

          The OCO-2 CO2 tracking satellite was launched in 2014. Initial CO2 global images were published in 2015; since then, virtually nothing. Instead, the OCO-2 satellite data is undergoing ‘rigorous’ algorithm adjustments to tease out ‘manmade’ CO2 measurements. The resulting model images do not resemble any of the images from actual satellite data.

          So much for satellite launching science agencies serving as the primary gatekeeper for global climate data. Especially when the current and previous men in charge of the agency are well known CO2 alarmism activists.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Chris, fair comment. But did you read the paper? It seems not. If I’m wrong you might like to offer your own comment about its value. And remember, Michael Mann is perhaps the most celebrated climate scientist in the world, in some respects. No one else had a whole AR built around a graph of his (or hers).

      But let me defend those bits of language above that I think are mine.

      ‘strange, muddled evidence-free’ The paper is strange because it contains no data, is an assemblage of opinion, and provides advice. The journal is an academic journal in a field where one expects a hypothesis, some data, an argument and a conclusion. The paper is muddled because while it sets out to do something it actually forgets that purpose. It is evidence-free because it relies on opinion, not on data.

      ‘dodgy’ It is dodgy, as in the Dodgy Brothers, because it is not what it purports to be.

      ‘awful’ I have been a reviewer of academic papers since the early 1960s. This is an intellectually awful piece of work, without any virtue at all that I could find. I would not have recommended publication. Indeed, I would not have suggested revision — just the waste-paper basket, or its digital equivalent.

      ‘self-seeking’ I am always put off when people self-reference, and when they do not even deign to notice that there have been good critiques of their own work, or of the work that they are putting forward as ‘settled’. To do so is to pretend that one is above criticism. The editor should have pointed that out at once.

      I think those are the words I used. If you disagree with my review, then your task is to write another review of the paper and show where I have missed some excellence.

      And Chris, these people, at least the first two, have form. Some of Lewandowsky’s work is just awful, and I have said so before. How he keeps holding an academic appointment baffles me. Michael Mann is not to be relied on in what he does, because he seems not to be a good scientist — since you like science. He is good at appeals to authority, but he has not been able to deal with the criticisms of his work by Steve McIntyre, whom he dismisses because SM is not an academic.

      If you want to argue in this area it’s not enough to talk about the language of the critics. You need to see what it is that they have criticised.

      • margaret says:

        I read the paper right down to the last paragraph:
        “Finally, skeptical members of the public must be given the opportunity to engage in scientific debate: We have shown how two of the present authors—an academic and a member of the public who had been to three evening classes before his skepticism was aroused—teamed up to critique a widely-cited finding and showed it to be unsupportable. None of their activities fell within the strategies and techniques of denial that we reviewed at the outset, clarifying that denial is not an “avenue of last resort” for members of the public who are desperate to contribute to science or even correct it, but a politically-motivated effort to undermine science.”

      • JimboR says:

        “self-seeking’ I am always put off when people self-reference, and when they do not even deign to notice that there have been good critiques of their own work, or of the work that they are putting forward as ‘settled’. To do so is to pretend that one is above criticism.”

        Don, you do make me laugh sometimes! Spare a thought for the readers of your own essays. I would say 97% of them are perfectly described by that paragraph.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Sorry to see you descending to the quick smart comment, Jimbo. I was referring to peer-reviewed journal articles. My website is not such, and I do not self-reference (that is, refer people to what I have written before) other than to inform them. I do not regard myself as an authority on most things, and in any case, no one else does! I am in feather-duster land now.

        • JimboR says:

          Don, don’t be deceived by the brevity of my reply. It was meant as a genuine comment.

          “I do not self-reference (that is, refer people to what I have written before)”

          I would wager that “I’ve written about this before, here” would be one of the most frequently occurring phrases in your essays.

          “other than to inform them”

          Which is no doubt why scientists do it too. If I’m reading paper C from a researcher and it relies on work she’s previously published in papers A and B, then I find those references very helpful. There’s a very good chance I’ve not previously come across her work, and knowing the foundations on which paper C are built is often vital for a good understanding. I can’t imagine why you’d want them to leave those references out.

          Back to your essays: when I read “I’ve written about this before here”, I mentally add “and I’ll repeat the same mistakes again here” and 97% of the time I’m correct. The most significant flaws in your reasoning mostly go unaddressed when pointed out in the comments section. Occasionally you’ll put up a feeble defence, but never to the point of resolution. It’s tempting to assume your quiet withdrawal is acceptance of the critique, but then a few months later your “paper C” repeats the same errors.

          So another possibility is that you don’t accept the indicated flaws are valid and have better things to do than argue the point. Perhaps that’s also what’s happening when scientists reference their previous publications even after there have been “good critiques” of them. “good critiques” are in the eye of the beholder. I’ve seen some very good critiques of your essays left unaddressed. I’ve also seen some laughably bad critiques of published science left unaddressed.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Jimbo, Perhaps you would like to point out ‘some very good critiques of your essays left unaddressed’. Actually one would do. I try to deal with critique.

            For the rest of it, you haven’t absorbed what I wrote. Lewandowsky (the senior author) referred to 16 papers of his own. He did not refer to any of the critiques of his moon-landing paper, or the Legates destruction of his 97 per cent consensus paper. And this is in a serious academic journal, in an apparently peer-reviewed paper.

            My website is a conversation. I write about what I like to write about, and people comment. I am, like everyone, open to error, and am happy to concede I’ve made a mistake. But most of the stuff I write about is conjectural anyway. Where there is data I base what I write on the evidence. Sometimes there is conflicting evidence, and we have to deal with that. I do not try to engage everyone. If people write stuff I shrug at, I leave it as a shrug. Sceptics are not responsible for each other, and there is no Holy Book.

            It seems that you are much more confident about what you think than I am.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Oh, and have you read the Lewandowsky et al paper yet? Any thoughts on its value?

  • Nga says:

    It is good to know that Professor Don Aitkin and his geriatric assistants are hard at work at 24/7, 7 days a week at the Skeptics Lab ™. Hopefully Professor Don and his geriatrics will close the warming case soon and move on to other pressing scientific controversies, like Big Foot and alien abductions.

    • Alan Gould says:

      That’s the way, Nga, unashamed ad hominem – a tradition, perhaps even the spinal column – of alarmist discourse integrity going back at least to Kerry O’Brien’s interview of Plimer on Lateline maybe a decade ago, and whose intellectual disgrace you here join.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      If Big Foot spent more time at the pub, and less in the latte cafes, there would be far less talk of alien abductions (or other pressing scientific controversies). And maybe the ABC could go back to reporting the weather by looking out the window, as it used to do.

      Incidentally, why is their commentary now copied direct from ‘The Conversation’? What do their expensive investigative journalists actually do these days?

    • JimboR says:

      Kerry O’brien or Tony Jones? While looking for your reference I came across this one instead:

      I didn’t see it at the time, but it’s well worth a watch. I think we know where Don gets his talking points from. It’s all one big echo chamber in the Skeptics Lab ™. About the only thing that’s changed since that broadcast went to air in 2009 is that many more temperature records have been broken.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        “many more temperature records have been broken.”

        The point at issue, as you well know, is why they have been broken.

        ‘night’ babe.


      • JimboR says:

        Well the point was with regards to Plimer’s 2009 claim that the planet has been cooling since 1998, in spite of a boatload of data at the time to show that wasn’t true. In 2016 his 2009 claim looks even sillier.

        • spangled drongo says:

          And weren’t Jimbo & Co ever relieved when that Nat Var el Nino came along to cook their chestnuts.

        • Sunsettommy says:


          The “boatload of data”, being the poorly sited,regularly adjusted land based temperature data sets,such as GISStemp being the most popular.

          Why are Satellite temperature data being continually ignored? Could it be because it is FLAT since 2001?

      • beththeserf says:

        If THIS were an echo chamber you wouldn’t be here.
        Now HERE ‘s an example of an enclosed system in
        operation, Those CRU emails …

        ‘I think the skeptics will use this paper to their own ends
        and it will set paleo climatology back a number of years
        if it goes unchallenged. I will be emailing the journal to
        tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until
        they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.
        Phil Jones, CRU

        This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not
        publishing in the “peer reviewed literature”.Obviously, they
        found a solution to that–take over a journal! So what do we
        do about this? I think we have to stop considering “Climate
        Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps
        we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research
        community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal
        .Michael Mann, University of Virginia

        How to deal with this is unclear, since there are a number of
        individuals with bona fide scientific credentials who could be
        used by an unscrupulous editor to ensure that ‘anti greenhouse’
        science can get through the peer review process (Legates,
        Balling, Lindzen, Baliunas, Soon, and so on). The peer review
        process is being abused, but proving this would be difficult.
        Tom Wigley, UCAR

        One approach is to go direct to the publishers and point out
        the fact that their journal is perceived as being a medium for
        disseminating misinformation under the guise of refereed
        work. I use the word ‘perceived’ here, since whether it is true
        or not is not what the publishers care about–it is how the
        journal is seen by the community that counts.. . .Mike’s idea
        to get editorial board members to resign will probably not
        work– must get rid of von Storch too , otherwise holes will
        eventually fill up with people like Legates, Balling, Lindzen,
        Michaels, Singer, …’

      • Alan Gould says:

        It might have been Tony Jones, Jimbo. My thanks for that correction. I was quite taken aback by the aggression of it. Irrespective of differences of opinion, one is aware that the fundamental relationship on such shows is that between a ‘host’ and a ‘guest’.

  • BB says:

    It is this sort of thing that reinforces my skeptism. Predictions of global doom are to date all wrong, maybe one day one will be right but I think I prefer getting on with it.

  • spangled drongo says:

    And check out the Festival of Dangerous Ideas and then tell me who’s the Sceptic and who’s the Denier:

    • Chris Warren says:

      I think that misses the point.

      Everyone has the right to be skeptical until the facts are clear. So climate change skepticism does serve as useful cross examination and, in the end, verification.

      A true skeptic has an alternative view that is based on the same rigor and technique as the mainstream community. A denialist does not need one, their point of view is opposition not cross examination.

      So, in the case of climate change, a true skeptic would proceed based on satellite data and develop some alternative view to explain the recorded changes in global temperatures and in melting polar caps.

      The satellite data for melting polar caps is here:

      The satellite data for global temperatures is here:

      A denialist would say these data are irrelevant, wrong, corrupt, or disproved by earlier experiences from the age of dinosaurs.

      So we can separate true skeptic from denialist.

      • BB says:

        I think a skeptic accepts that all is not know and might never be. There is no need for an alternative view. A failing of humanity is to believe there is a known answer for everything and then accept authority knows the answer for everything.

        • Chris Warren says:


          No – all scientists accept “all is not known and might never be”.

          The need for an alternative view is absolute.

          Otherwise it is denialism.

          • Malcolm says:

            Nonsense Chris – Professor Judith Curry says “we don’t know” and so do I. We have no clear idea why the earth has moved in and out of ice ages over the millennia, and so we are unable to understand, explain or quantify these pre-industrial variations. And we certainly can’t model them. The null hypothesis is that the recently observed tiny variations in temperature are due to poorly understood natural variations, and there is no convincing argument from climate scientists that the null hypothesis is wrong. There is plenty we don’t understand in the natural world and this is just one more thing.

          • beththeserf says:

            As I understand it the burden of proof lies with
            the AGW CO2 Hypothesis, not the null or default

            Re the see-saw climate proxy and CET record and
            recent predictive failures,… missing Hot spot, the
            Pause , remember Phil Jones on this, and model
            projections that don’t match temp data or correlate
            with CO2 increases, I’d have thought the hypothesis
            was open to skepticism or even falsification. The
            following shows the problem of models that don’t
            match observations. IPCC Second Order Draft post
            AR4 outside the envelope of earlier IPCC assessments
            and quickly replaced by a less confronting spaghetti
            graph, lol.


      • Neville says:

        Chris, what is your point? I’ll try again by looking at the PR studies. Greenland warming was much faster in the early 20th century than today. It seems to follow the AMO warm phase and this should change to cool within the next 10 years.
        And your reference to RSS warming is 1.3 c per century since DEC 1978. UAH V 6 shows about 1.2 c over the same period. But since June 1998 UAH data is showing about 0.12 per century warming, so very little. In addition Nick Stokes’s software show that satellites have shown no Stat Sig warming for UAH 23 years 1 mth and RSS 22 yrs 8 mths.

      • spangled drongo says:

        And apart from your biased reading of the TLT, Chris, your ice melt graphs of both poles show no source but most likely are supplied by the flawed GRACE system.

        NASA has abandoned GRACE because of poor reference frames to be replaced by GRASP.

        Even NASA is aware that Antarctic land ice [which is 90% of the worlds ice] is gaining.

        And we all know about “Glacier Girl” in Greenland.

        Their biggest problem is the completely unaudited SLR con.

        So, as usual, your “science” is something a genuine sceptic would have second thoughts about.

        But keep it up.

        Nothing confirms Don’s point better than you do.

        • Chris Warren says:

          Spangled drongo

          Spiteful wingeing like that does you no good.

          I am sure you know the source of the charts because this would have appeared in your address bar and, anyway, is obvious in the link (for most people).

          So you are playing some sort of game.

          If you want to make accusations about supposed bias then put up the evidence or shut up.

          The charts do show that there are periods when ice is increasing and I only focus on the long-run tendency. They also show a recent move in the positive, so it is quite likely that Antarctic ice is increasing. This is consistent. There is no issue particularly when you read the NASA article.

          Why didn’t you cite the comments of the researchers who have reported recent ice-gain that:

          “But it might only take a few decades for Antarctica’s growth to reverse, according to Zwally. “If the losses of the Antarctic Peninsula and parts of West Antarctica continue to increase at the same rate they’ve been increasing for the last two decades, the losses will catch up with the long-term gain in East Antarctica in 20 or 30 years — I don’t think there will be enough snowfall increase to offset these losses.”

          It has obviously reversed in the past so probably will do so in the future. The impact on East and West Antarctica and the Peninsula are best understood as expressed above.

          No NASA or US government source claims that Antarctic ice changes indicates there is no global warming and every NASA source I have seen indicates that the future for Antarctic ice is grim when “the losses will catch up with the long-term gain in East Antarctica”.

          • spangled drongo says:

            You just don’t get it, Chris.

            You tell me the Antarctic is melting from an unsourced link.

            I show you the NASA report where they recant [reluctantly] on Antarctic melting.

            You then accuse me of spiteful wingeing [sic] and “bias” about your RSS graph that shows no warming for the latter half of its existence.

            You supplied questionable data and I questioned it.

            That’s what’s known as being sceptical.

            As anyone would need to be with warmists like you pushing your agenda.

            When an alarmist gatekeeper like NASA reluctantly confirms that they have been in error all this time and they finally come out with a statement that is the reverse of what they have been spouting for years, doesn’t the penny drop in your brain that they could be just as wrong on all their other prognostications?

            That dropping penny is what’s known as scepticism.

            Your interpretation, and excuse making, is what’s known as DENIAL.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Chris, you are obviously so indoctrinated in your warmist beliefs that you totally excuse NASA and scientist employees like Zwally for making alibis like you just quoted above that are full of ifs, mights, coulds and maybes.

            When it comes to “climate change” you haven’t got a sceptical or rational bone in your body.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        Chris, you keep getting this wrong. A sceptic does not have to have an alternative view, if you mean hypothesis. No way. He or she needs to be able to show that the hypothesis being put forward has obvious flaws in it, and to be able to show this via data and argument. That is what sceptics have been doing for thirty years, and the orthodox have had to deal with these criticisms. They hate it, as Beththeserf has illustrated through her extracts from the Climategate emails. We are constantly being told that the debate is over, and the science settled. But science is never settled and debate is never over until the hypothesis can stand on its own two feet. This one can’t at the moment, and hasn’t since the hiatus began at the turn of the century. Yes, to may be over, and warming has recommenced. But that is not the point. Carbon dioxide kept on accumulating but temperature took no notice. That is why the models get it wrong, because they are turned to the assumption that CO2 is everything.

        Steven Mosher argues that sceptics won’t be taken seriously until they have an alternative theory, and he is right because the orthodox position is the position of power. But one can point to the hiatus, which is accepted by both the IPCC and the UK Met Office. At last count there have been 70 or so ‘explanations’ to account for the hiatus. As Einstein might have said, one good one would do.

        I greatly dislike the term ‘denialist’, but you might tell me, and others, exactly what you think has been or is being ‘denied’. Exactly, not broad brush stuff.

        • Chris Warren says:


          A skeptic privately does not have to develop an alternative. But when they then claim that the mainstream is wrong – and even suggest that the public policies they are pursuing are wrong THEN they must put up an alternative.

          I can be skeptical of astrology without putting up an alternative but if challenged surely I must explain why.

          I don’t want to be diverted into the hiatus issue because I think this may have been resolved last year as at:

          and, more particularly, I fully expect periods of levelling off, falling and rising, due to the cyclical features in the climate system and the apparent sinusoidal tendency.

          A skeptic puts up arguments with evidence – a denialist puts up roadblocks without evidence.

          He is an example of denialism from “Quadrant”

          “Carbon dioxide has an effect on the atmosphere and it has an effect for the first 50 parts per million and once it’s done its job then it’s finished and you can double it and quadruple it and it has no effect because we’ve seen that in the geological past, and we’ve seen it in times gone by when the carbon dioxide content was 100 times the current content. ”

          This would be a skeptical argument if the author provided proper evidence that could be reviewed by the audience.

          • Neville says:

            Well Chris I’ve given you the evidence up page that shows co2 dropping for millions of years from 3,500ppm to 500ppm and the temp went up. What more do you want? But I don’t necessarily agree with that particular Quadrant quote. Perhaps some of it, but not all of it.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            No, no and no. I don’t have to put up an alternative. I simply need to point out that the evidence for some kind of AGW that requires a carbon tax, for example, is weak, and show why. I have been doing that for nearly ten years. If I have an ‘alternative’ it is that there appears no need for any action. We simply don’t know enough to go down the path of a carbon tax or an ETS, which will cost people money and achieve nothing. The evidence that it will achieve nothing is clear (see MAGICC), and the evidence that something needs to be done now is weak (see a thousand or so peer-reviewed papers), about which I have written.

            I am not trying to persuade government, and I don’t send these essays to Ministers. I write because I think there is a need to point these things out. I know that the orthodoxy has the power, but so what? That’s what critics are for. I write for a decently large group who read, and occasionally comment. Some like commenting a lot, but none of the critical commenters has even been able to show why the AGW hypothesis must be accepted. At best they point to supposed consensus, what learned academies say, or ask cocktail party questions about conspiracy-mongering. If you are so sure that catastrophic AGW is real, why don’t you explain why you think so, in terms of the science you say you base everything on?

            I know it’s hard. I’ve been reading this stuff for a decade.

        • JimboR says:

          “A sceptic does not have to have an alternative view, if you mean hypothesis. ”

          He does if he wants to make a difference. Policy makers are always going to turn to best available science, and heckling from the balcony does nothing to improve that, rather you need to replace it with better science. In spite of all your essays Don, we’re currently steaming towards an emissions intensity scheme in order to meet the targets the Abbott government signed us up for in Paris. If only you still enjoyed the policy clout you once did, you could save us from all this. These days your influence appears not to extend past the Canberra knitting circle and writers’ club. Some quiet introspection on why that is so may well prove beneficial.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Jimbo, when all alarmist scientists want to do is shout “It’s worse than we thought!!!” a sceptic only has to claim scepticism.

            Eventually, the truth will out. But apart from the logic of Nat Var accounting for the greater part [if not all] of the small amount of current warming, there is this:

            “A MATHEMATICAL discovery by Perth-based electrical engineer Dr David Evans may change everything about the climate debate, on the eve of the UN climate change conference in Paris next month.

            “A former climate modeller for the Government’s Australian Greenhouse Office, with six degrees in applied mathematics, Dr Evans has unpacked the architecture of the basic climate model which underpins all climate science.

            “He has found that, while the underlying physics of the model is correct, it had been applied incorrectly.

            “He has fixed two errors and the new corrected model finds the climate’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide (CO2) is much lower than was thought.

            ‘“Yes, CO2 has an effect, but it’s about a fifth or tenth of what the IPCC says it is. CO2 is not driving the climate; it caused less than 20 per cent of the global warming in the last few decades”’.

            Dr Evans says his discovery “ought to change the world”.

            “But the political obstacles are massive,” he said.

            “His discovery explains why none of the climate models used by the IPCC reflect the evidence of recorded temperatures. The models have failed to predict the pause in global warming which has been going on for 18 years and counting.

            ‘“The model architecture was wrong,” he says. “Carbon dioxide causes only minor warming. The climate is largely driven by factors outside our control.”’

            Why isn’t this very essential science from a very knowledgeable scientist that identifies this “catastrophe” as not only a non-problem but probably a benefit, being discussed by the govts of the world AWA the MSM?

            Just who are the deniers and who are the sceptics here?

          • Don Aitkin says:


            You are saying again what I have already said: the orthodoxy has the power, and I don’t expect to make a difference there. See below, my response to Chris on the same subject. I don’t claim to have influence in or with the government, and given my age it would surprising if I still had any. No, I write for a literate readership interested in a wide range of subjects, as I have done since the mid 1960s. If an MP or departmental secretary is part of that readership, so much the better. But that’s not the intended audience.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        Again, Chris, which are the ‘facts that are clear’? The IPCC doesn’t use the satellite data on temperatures much, though it likes satellite data on SLR. But give me five ‘facts’ that clinch the case for dangerous AGW in your view.

        • Chris Warren says:


          1) The atmosphere is more transparent to high wave length radiation than long wave length radiation due to GHG’s.
          2) This traps long-wave below GHG boundary and excludes it above GHG boundary
          3) This phenonema has been proven in satellite data
          4) If longwave radiation is trapped – the zone within the trap necessarily warms.
          5) The amount of trap increases if the amount of cause increases.
          6) If the amount of trap increases, the amount of trapped longwave radiation increases, so temperature increases.
          7) When the methane and carbon, now stored underground, were in the atmosphere, life as we know it did not exist.
          8) As long as CO2 emissions exceed the Earth’s sink – the cause of the trap will continually increase.
          9) If the trap continually increases – the warming will continually increase.
          10) The amount of trap increase is in fact increasing according to DR Roy Spencer.

          Spencers presentation shows that trap increase was (15 year increments)

          0.5 ppm in 1955
          1 ppm in 1970
          1.5 ppm in 1985
          2 ppm in 2010

          And we can add in over 3ppm 2016 {Mauna Loa monthly data)

          Anyone who has not left their thinking cap in the washing machine, can extrapolate these facts to reach the obvious conclusion.

          Skepticism changes nothing – alternative science does.

          • margaret says:

            Surely, that’s double the amount of facts you asked for Don.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Chris, this is not what I was seeking from you, and indeed none of them show that CO2 causes a temperature rise of worrying dimensions — which was what this was about. But your points, in order.

            1.A proposition, not a fact.

            2. There are better ways of expressing this point, but yes …

            3. It’s a phenomenon that has been illustrated, not proven, in satellite data.

            4. Yes.

            5 and 6. Again, this could be better expressed. The increase is logarithmic. Not a fact as stated.

            7. Depends on what you mean by those terms, and, in any case, so what? Not a fact.

            8 Very hard to say. The size of and flows between CO2 sinks and sources is not known in any precise way. Not a fact.

            9. Inasmuch as we are talking about carbon dioxide, the increase is logarithmic.

            10. The increase in CO2 ppm was not accompanied by an increase in temperature of anything like that ratio. What is the point?

            You are talking about a tiny aspect of a large issue, and much of what you state there is conjectural, as it has to be.

            I’m sorry. I don’t know who you are or what experience you have behind you, but there is so much more to learn about in this boggy area..

          • dlb says:

            Don’t get your point Chris? The rate of atmospheric CO2 increase is slowly rising but the global temperature the past 20 years has only risen slightly. The temperature has levelled off considerably compared to what had happened in the 20 years before 1998.

          • Lenny says:

            Skepticism changes nothing – alternative science does.

            And what drives the thoughts behind alternative science – skepticism.

            As a skeptic of the current man cause the problems, all I need to do is show that their model / their assumptions are wrong. I do not need to prove an alternative model / idea or frame of reference.

            If a bridge fails we can all be skeptical of the engineers / builder without having to know how to design & build a bridge.

      • ATheoK says:

        When a government starts propagandizing weak or non-existent evidence into alarmist reports, it is Lysenkoism in action.

        Graphs without references, unknown data sources, much opinion masquerading as scientific research, many many waffle words.

        Then a global graph that highlights a 0.6 tenths of a degree warming during a very short period of time.
        Why don’t we allow for real science to analyze the satellite data? Track the data for a hundred years or so?

        Oh! But that approach to actual science does not allow for billions of dollars to be spent on alarmism! Plus any and all fabricators of false evidence will either be exposed or have passed on. After all, we have already passed the initial claims for ice free arctic, another thirty years and we will likely pass the latest alarmist shrieks of disaster.

        Let nature take it’s course! After humans have captured detailed quality data over several natural cycles, then and only then will mankind actually be able to use the data intelligently.

      • Sunsettommy says:

        Chris, you come across as someone who long ago made up your mind,since you have yet to point out what is being truly denied. This is a common experience I have endured while I am continually been called a denialist. I would ask them,what am I denying,they ignore the question. Then call me a denialist again when I post evidence such as Satellite temperature data.

        For instance as Don pointed out almost all skeptics have accepted that CO2 causes some warming, it has also been warming for 300 years and that additional CO2 emissions into the atmosphere after the first 100 ppm have little additional warm forcing left.

        The warming you and JimboR run about doesn’t even support the IPCC reports, since they projected far more warming per decade than we are getting. You Christ posted the MSU satellite data showing that the warming per decade rate is around .13C per decade,while the IPCC which bases their projections on climate models which as based on the AGW conjecture.says it should about .30C per decade,which is also the MINIMUM rate.

        Here is what the 1990 IPCC report,on page 5 specifically states,using the BUSINESS AS USUAL emission scenario:

        “Based on current model results, we predict:
        • under the IPCC Business-as-Usual (Scenario A) emissions of greenhouse gases, a rate of increase of global mean temperature during the next century of about 0 3°C per decade (with an uncertainty range of
        0 2°C to 0 5°C per decade), this is greater than that seen over the past 10,000 years This will result in a
        likely increase in global mean temperature of about = 1°C above the present value by 2025 and
        VC before the end of the next century.”

        AGW conjecture is a failure by this alone, since that is what the projections are based on.It is amusing that the first report called it a PREDICTION (which utterly failed),to that of Projection in all the future reports,indicating a lowering of confidence.

    • Ross says:

      We have a Bolt fan. Surprise…It’s Drongo!

  • Neville says:

    Chris,here is the 2006 Vinther et al study from Greenland showing actual instrument temp recordings since the start of the Industrial rev. This included the leading lights of UK CRUT HAD centre and even Phil Jones was a part of this study. Briffa was also a member.

    Remember that Greenland then cooled from the 1940s until the mid 1990s when co2 was increasing to higher levels. This again probably coincides with the cool then warm AMO shifts in that area.

    Here is a quote from the World Climate Report’s Dr Pat Michaels.

    “Problematic from a climate change standpoint is the fact that the two distinct cold periods that made the 1810s the coldest decade followed an 1809 “unidentified” volcanic eruption and the eruption of Tambora in 1815 – unusual geologic events that defined the climate. However, of greater importance is the fact that the researchers found the warmest year on record to be 1941, while the 1930s and 1940s are the warmest decades on record. This represents very bad news for climate change alarmists, since the warmest period was NOT the last quarter of the 20th century. In fact, the last two decades of the 20th century (1981-1990 and 1991-2000) were colder across the study area than any of the previous six decades, dating back to the 1900s and 1910s (Table 1). When examining the instrumental records of the stations it is apparent that no net warming has occurred since the warm period of the 1930s and 1940s (Figure 1)”.

    Chris please look at FIG 1. A lot of food for thought. Here is Dr Michael’s summary of this 2006 Greenland study.

  • Neville says:

    Sorry, I meant Table 1 above not figure 1. But interesting to note that this study verifies the ice core temp measurements, like Alley et al. But Table 1 shows that the 1850s decade was about the same as the 1990s or minus 2.1 c. The Alley ice core study was supposed to have finished in 1857. And that 1857 temp would be much cooler than the Med wp of the graph and certainly much cooler than the many other WPs of the earlier Holocene. If 1857 was much cooler then so was the Greenland of 1990s.

  • Neville says:

    This Arctic study in 2000 wasn’t able to find any warming for 70 years. Here’s a quote from the Co2 Science summary.

    “What was learned
    In the words of the author:
    1. “In the Arctic, the highest temperatures since the beginning of instrumental observation occurred clearly in the 1930s.”
    2. “Even in the 1950s the temperature was higher than in the last 10 years.”
    3. “Since the mid-1970s, the annual temperature shows no clear trend.”
    4. “The level of temperature in Greenland in the last 10-20 years is similar to that observed in the 19th century.”

    What it means
    Again in the words of the author, the meteorological record “shows that the observed variations in air temperature in the real Arctic are in many aspects not consistent with the projected climatic changes computed by climatic models for the enhanced greenhouse effect,” because, of course, “the temperature predictions produced by numerical climate models significantly differ from those actually observed.”

    Put more simply, it is abundantly clear that the Arctic – where the world’s best climate models predict that greenhouse warming should be most evident and earliest observed – has not warmed over the last seventy years, in harmony with the contention of our editorial of 1 July 2000: There Has Been No Global Warming for the Past 70 Years. What more is there to say? The data have spoken”.

    Here is the full summary link.

    This 2008 Mac Donald et al Arctic study finds that the warming in the Med WP and Holocene climate optimum was much warmer than the present day. Boreal forests grew where there is Tundra today and this would have lasted for thousands of years. This supports the much higher SLs around the world at the end of the Hol climate optimum. And also found at Sydney only 4,000 years ago. There certainly has been a lot of NATURAL warming over the last 10,000+ years.

  • Chris Warren says:


    I cannot find the data for the Greenland sites. However to my eyes the three seasonal traces DJF, JJA, SON, do show a slight warming tendency. the MAM trace – probably not.

    The annual trace is ambiguous. However there is a significant uptick in all graphs from the 1990s.

    In general you cannot use regional data as global warming is a net effect over the entire globe so Greenland data needs to be combined with similar data from 1880 such as Australia which is here:

    Your source would not have been able to make those editorial comments if they used Australian or global data.

    However it has already been pointed out that the temperature records display a sinusoidal pattern so periods of falling temperatures are expected and do not change the overall view.

    It is best to stick with global satellite and all-of-globe land based data as they are in reasonable agreement, as shown here:

    Also you need to note that the three sources of Greenland data are all in maritime environments and so would be the most moderated by the adjacent ocean. The proximity to a ice sheet would also buffer temperature variations if the ice sheet melts. This extracts heat which would otherwise warm nearby sites.

    • ATheoK says:

      It is amazing that rational arguments are only supposed to be applied in one direction only.
      “…However it has already been pointed out that the temperature records display a sinusoidal pattern so periods of falling temperatures are expected and do not change the overall view…”

      Agreed! So let’s wait for the cycle to clearly expose itself when the sinusoidal pattern has reached maturity?

      Why does anyone expect that the unproven but much belabored claims of CO2 warming disaster, should be cause for alarmistic claims?
      Every warming period in history is labeled as an Optimum! Virtually every cooling period is evident by global famines and disasters.

      Every year that passes, crop yields are increasing, areas under grain cultivation expand; there are zero signs of disasters due to warming. And there are multiplicity of climate puzzles that are unsolved.
      Why is Antarctica ice not melting like the Arctic’s’?
      Why are many glaciers still growing?
      Where is the predicted hotspot?
      Why isn’t the sea level rate of increase speeding up?
      Why haven’t the tropics warmed?

      There are far too many unresolved questions to declare anything alarmist. Instead there are plenty of reasons to wait and see. Especially since none of the predicted CAGW disasters have come to pass. Given the rate that many of the enriched CAGW alarmists have purchased seaside homes, I seriously doubt that any CAGW disasters will actually occur.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Chris, I agree about global rather than regional data. But you might find reading the link below useful. Some 83 metres of ice have collected in one part of Greenland in the last seventy years compared to the level in 1944.

    • Ross says:

      Chris, Don agrees with you. You are right. Neville is mistaken. Don just can’t say it.
      Neville has a million graphs. One of them HAS to be relevant. Just you wait. Hang on….Here’s ANOTHER one!
      Spangled Drongo is in the unique position, in believing the Earths Oceans are actually falling. Nuff’ said.
      Don agrees with you, but….Now Don wants you to explain something else unrelated. Something about zgreenland he wrote years ago? He has many. Prove a point and he will come with another. See a pattern forming?
      ‘The science is not settled’. And that’s as scientific as a ‘citizen scientist’ needs to get.
      It’s good that you present a rational scientific response to the Denialists here.
      Dons even come to believe the world is warming. But only he and the skeptics know why.

      • spangled drongo says:

        “Spangled Drongo is in the unique position, in believing the Earths Oceans are actually falling. Nuff’ said.”

        Tell me something, Ross, have you ever made any long term observations of fine weather [~ normal BP] king tides in any geodetically and tectonically stable part of the world over a long period?

        Or do you know or know of, anyone who has?

        If you, or anyone you know of have, what have you/they observed?

        When you can present any personal evidence of genuine SLR and not the faked satellite altimetry or the unaudited tide gauge measurements, get back to me.

      • spangled drongo says:

        Don’s point about the difference between true scepticism and denial is beautifully illustrated by Ross when he commends Chris for believing his “scientists”, is contemptuous of all counter data, calls Don and others deniers for using counter evidence to question the “consensus” and falsely claims that sceptics claim to know why the world is warming.

        Ross would have to start school all over again to learn what true scepticism is all about but, alas, I don’t think they teach it anymore.

  • Neville says:


    I too agree about regional and global temps, but that’s what I was trying to do by comparing Greenland of the earlier 20th century to Greenland of the late 20th century. It warmed faster back then (30% ) and cooled for at least half a century before warming again.

    The Table 1 chart shows temps for the 1850s were ( ANNUAL) minus 2.1 c and the temp for the 1990s were minus 2.1 as well. I also compared the much warmer Arctic Study of the earlier Holocene to the Arctic of today. Once again I’m comparing apples with apples. And I stand by the GLOBAL satellite data that I quoted for RSS and UAH v6, that shows no stat sig warming for a long time and only 0.12c/century GLOBAL warming for UAH since June 1998.

    Also to repeat that global SLs were much higher after the Hol climate optimum than today. And some of that melt water during the optimum probably came from Greenland. If we were experiencing real CAGW today we should be able to find it using satellite imagery but we find that there is more coastal land today compared to 30 years ago. Of course tide gauge data from NOAA shows SLR today is no different than SLR was for the 20th century.

    Also the latest study of the Antarctic peninsula shows that it has been cooling for the last 18 years. And Antarctica has been cooling slightly since DEC 1978. Why would anyone think that we have a CAGW problem? Here is that Table one chart, first column is annual data. Compare 1850s to 1990s. Here is the graph using the Alley et al data and ending in 1857, not 1950 as shown.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Could this have something to do with being sceptical?

  • TonyFromCT says:

    The great scientist Richard Feyman said it best in the quote below as he explains how science needs to be conducted . You will immediately realize that the climate “scientists” have done none of these things. Notice that he doesn’t refer to the need for peer reviewed publishing.:

    “• There is one feature I notice that is generally missing in cargo cult science**. … It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty — a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid — not only what you think is right about it; other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked — to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.
    Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can — if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong — to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem. When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.
    In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.
    ** Cargo cult science comprises practices that have the semblance of being scientific, but do not in fact follow the scientific method. “

  • Barry Woods says:

    One of the co-authors of the paper – Nick Brown – had a blog post about the paper –

    you may find the comments interesting, as a few sceptics turned up to point out the hypocrisy of Mann/Lewandowsky –
    (notably Steve McIntyre, Prof Jonathan Jones, and Dr Paul Matthews)

    Some further (sceptical commentary)

  • Chris Warren says:


    You say:

    “evidence up page that shows co2 dropping for millions of years from 3,500ppm to 500ppm and the temp went up.”

    But when I looked I only saw links to Wikipedia and to Hamilton and Frydenberg.

    It is quite likely that CO2 dropped over millions of years. This is how fossil fuels were formed.

  • Neville says:

    Chris I’ve made a mistake it was at” arguing at cross purpose ” about 3 days ago. Actually it was a drop from 3,600ppm to 500ppm. Here it is.

    Neville says:

    September 4, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Here is a link to Co2 Science’s summary of the 2000 Palmer et al study of co2 levels and temp over the last 60 million years. There is little correlation between the two over that very long period. And temps actually increased after one period when co2 levels dropped from 3,600ppm to 500ppm. That’s after 13 million years.

    Here is their summary.

    “The Pathetic Relationship Between Atmospheric CO2 and Earth’s Temperature Over the Past Sixty Million Years Reference
    Pearson, P.N. and Palmer, M.R. 2000. Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations over the past 60 million years. Nature 406: 695-699.

    What was done
    The authors used boron-isotope ratios of ancient planktonic foraminifer shells to estimate the pH of surface-layer sea water throughout the past sixty million years, which they then used to reconstruct a history of atmospheric CO2 concentration over this period, which they finally compared with oxygen isotope ratios of deep sea benthic foraminifera that serve as proxies for temperature.

    What was learned
    Supposedly, good records of both atmospheric CO2 concentration and oxygen isotope values were obtained for the past 24 million years and for the period from 40 to 60 million years ago.

    What it means
    The authors state that “change in the carbon dioxide concentration of the atmosphere is commonly regarded as a likely forcing mechanism on global climate over geological time because of its large and predictable effect on temperature,” which “predictable effect” is that increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration cause higher temperatures to occur and that decreases in atmospheric CO2 concentration cause lower temperatures to occur. Their data, however, clearly demonstrate that this incredibly common assumption is just plain false.

    Starting 60 million years before present (BP), the authors have the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration at approximately 3600 ppm and the oxygen isotope ratio at about 0.3 per mil. Thirteen million years later, however, the air’s CO2 concentration has dropped all the way down to 500 ppm; but the oxygen isotope ratio has dropped (implying a rise in temperature) to zero, which is, of course, just the opposite of what one would expect from the “large and predictable effect” of CO2 on temperature that is commonly assumed.

    Next comes a large spike in the air’s CO2 content, all the way up to a value of 2400 ppm. And what does the oxygen isotope ratio do? It rises slightly (implying temperature falls slightly) to about 0.4 per mil, which is again just the opposite of what one would expect from the “large and predictable effect” of CO2 on temperature that is commonly assumed.

    After the spike in CO2, of course, the air’s CO2 concentration drops dramatically, declining to a minimum value of close to what it is today. And the oxygen isotope ratio? It barely changes at all, defying once again the common assumption of the “large and predictable effect” of CO2 on temperature.

    Between this point and the break in the record at 40 million years BP, the air’s CO2 concentration rises again to approximately 1000 ppm; and – need we say? – the oxygen isotope ratio rises slightly (implying a slight cooling) to 0.6 per mil. And once again, well, you get the picture: the common assumption fails miserably.

    Picking up the record at 24 million years BP, there are but relatively tiny variations in atmospheric CO2 concentration up to the present; but, of course, there are large variations in oxygen isotope values, both up and down, again in clear contradiction of the “common assumption.”

    The most interesting of these last oxygen isotope changes is the dramatic increase (implying a dramatic cooling) over the most recent two million years, when, of course, the air’s CO2 concentration has actually risen slightly.

    Now you tell us that you still believe in CO2-induced global warming. And if you do, we’d like to talk to you about a bridge we have for sale”.

  • Chris Warren says:


    Without the actual article or data this just represents duelling opinions.

    To what end. When there is no artificial involvement by human CO2 I would expect that temperature changes to have a different pattern.

    Increased temperature could cause naturally increased CO2, just as increased temperatures may release more methane from Northern permafrosts.

    Higher temperatures will lead higher CO2 levels through causing outgassing.

    These relationships change when humans interfere.

    By going too far back in time you get mixed up with unknown volcanoes, different orbital patterns, ice ages, different continents, different species and populations and different north and south poles.

    If CO2 is a concern I would expect to see an impact after several decades. I assume we can adjust to any longer trend.

    WE have only just now obtained the necessary data over several decades – CO2 from 1950’s, temperature from 1980’s.

    This shows increasing rate of increase of atmospheric CO2 plus warming trends where CO2 increase is greatest.

    While there have been warming episodes in the more recent pass, I do not think they are in anyway related to CO2 emissions except in odd cases of known volcanic eruptions.

  • Neville says:

    Mann is one of the authors of this nonsense about scepticism. Here is Prof Muller ( a strong believer in AGW) explaining the Hockey stick graph and Mike’s nature trick. You’ll note that after 1961 there was a drop in their proxy data so they spliced the instrumental temp data onto this to give them the continuing warming trend.

    If you look at Briffa’s black line proxy trend there is a big drop after 1961 and the blue and red proxies less so. Of course there are many scientists who have lost faith in Mann and Mark Steyn has written a book listing all the scientists and their comments about this fool. And many of these scientists believe in AGW but they can’t stomach Michael Mann and this HS study. Here is the link and takes just 5 minutes

    Here is Steve McIntyre with a much longer and detailed presentation of Mann’s HS.

    • Chris Warren says:


      Fortunately this fuss by MacIntyre does not change the overall trend cited by NASA.

      I only use scientific data that everyone else can use.

      Don has asked for 5 points – I have given him 10.

      None involve Mann, Briffa or Jones.

      The Heartland Institute has been criticised by Quiggin.

      He says “The Heartland Institute has no legitimate place in public life and anyone who works for or with it brands themselves as a charlatan.”

      We can and should avoid all of this by using satellite data ourselves.

      • Neville says:

        Chris I think you have just shown why this is a religion. I’ve given you the results of a very long PR study that shows no correlation of temp and co2 and this doesn’t concern you at all?
        You even claim that somehow human emitted co2 is different than natural co2. So, how does that work?
        If co2 levels decline by 3,100ppm over millions of years and the temp actually goes up, then I think most people would consider that to be a problem. Not you it seems? Steve McIntyre’s “fuss” is just good data checking and good science. Why would you quote John Quiggin? Thankfully many genuine scientist have been highly critical about Mann’s HS study and wouldn’t bother with him again.
        Your link to NASA shows about 0.7c increase in temp a century, still way below the average of NATURAL temp variation per century over the last 8,000 years. Again what is your point?

        • Chris Warren says:


          The answer is because I base my view on over three decades of satellite records.

          The rationale is – IF CO2 increases are of serious enough concern, they would be apparent in over 30 years of good data.

          I have lost the link to the PR study.

          Natural CO2 is volcanoes, microbial action, fauna respiration, outgassing.

          Human CO2 is fossil fuel consumption driven by population and percapita GDP.

          I think I have made my point enough times already. We cannot emit CO2 at a greater rate than the earth’s ability to reabsorb it.

          • JMO says:


            The Earth is greener now (at 400 ppm CO2) than when CO2 was lower (eg 270ppm pre industrial age). Surely the extra greenery has increased photosynthesis and therefore the Earth has extra capacity to absorb a higher rate of CO2 emissions.

            In effect the Carbon Cycle speeds up, or another way of putting it: the higher the CO2 ppm the more greenery, and therefore higher rate of CO2 emission is required to hold on to the increased CO2 concentration or to further increase it .

            And please do not respond with Tim Flannery’s no change in a 1000 years – it is garbage.

            Even the IPCC would disagree with him (they say up to 200 years). The 1/2 life of a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere is (according to some studies I have heard ) as little as 7-9 years.

            Also Chris, have you read my prior comments explaining why CO2 is by far the weakest IR absorbing gas and water vapour (up to 7000 ppm in our atmosphere) is 40X to 50X times IR absorber than CO2?

            If not let me know.

          • Sunsettommy says:


            I am glad you accept the Satellite data,which greatly damages the IPCC per decade temperature projections. It is well below the IPCC’s minimum per decade warming rate. 99% of people agree it has been warming since 1979,thus your implied complaint is irrational.

            Around 96% of yearly CO2 emissions are from Nature,the rest from Humans,yet somehow it swamps the planets ability to absorb it,that is funny when there are growing reports of a greening world coming in. The planet apparently likes the additional CO2 in the air.

            Your viewpoint seems laced with Malthusian thinking, since there is no indication that the life of the planet is in dire straits.

    • BB says:

      Neville I cannot agree that Michael Mann is a fool he has made a very good living from this. He was found out after many years of intensive investigation. He deliberately denied his data and his method and yet he is revered sufficiently to continue on what seems to me to be a fraud.

  • Oliver K. Manuel says:

    Here are the social costs to hide reality from the public:–social-costs-from-overlooking-this-power/

    The slope of the line across the top of Figure 2 is the bias that Carl von Weizsacker (1935) and Hans Bethe (1936) introduced in their calculations of nuclear “binding energies.” The slope of the line is the bias introduced to hide neutron-repulsion from the public. If the slope were zero (0), there would be no bias and nuclear “binding energies” would confirm neutron-repulsion, as do Aston’s nuclear “packing fractions” and atomic rest masses.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    This is great fun, and I’m sure we all get a warm glow from saying the same things to the same people over and over again, but it is all meaningless unless and until someone demonstrates REPRODUCIBLY exactly how many gazillion tons of CO2 correspond to one degree rise in temperature. Then we might have something to talk about.

    Reproducibility, not peer review, is the be all and end all of real science, and it has been the ultimate determining factor in all scientific controversies.

  • JMO says:

    David where are you, Chris needs you!

    Oh by the way I have another joke for you.

    Cheers JM

  • margaret says:

    For David to have been gagged and Dangled SpongeBob to be allowed to motormouth his way through the comments section is one of life’s great mysteries.
    If the growth of knowledge depends on disagreement, the growth of human understanding depends on co-operation and empathy.
    I agree with Chris Warren when he says skepticism doesn’t produce anything. I trust the scientific experts but I hear the antlers clashing on both sides. I still believe in AGW and it’s potential harm. The average non scientific person cannot sift the truth from the claims made here. But hats off to Chris for showing such … forbearance.

    • Don Aitkin says:


      David has not been gagged. He simply hasn’t shown up. He and you and SD are all subject to the no-more-than-three-posts-a-day rule, which you forget about every now and then. I have pointed this out to SD as well, as he also forgets. David and Ross have an additional rule that they need to post at least one more-press substantive post for every two witticisms.

  • Neville says:

    Chris claims to believe the satellite data, but I find that very difficult to understand. Since DEC 1978 the data shows warming of 1.2 c per century. But since June 1998 that trend has dropped to about 0.12 c per century or no stat sig warming at all. And helped by a very NATURAL warming of the strongest el nino since 1998.
    Chris can’t have it both ways, he either believes the data or he doesn’t. BTW I made a mistake with that NASA data since 1880. 0.84 c since 1880 is about 0.6 c/century not 0.7c/century. Of course HAD 4 data shows warming of about 0.5 c/century since 1850. But all of this is very weak warming when the planet is recovering from one of the coldest periods in the last 10,000 years.

  • Chris Warren says:


    When I see aerial photos of vast new pivot irrigation schemes green previous deserts – I agree with you. These are new carbon sinks.

    Enhanced CO2 will also increase plant growth, but I do not think this is anywhere equal to the excess CO2 being emitted today and cannot equal the amount of surplus CO2 that will be emitted tomorrow.

    However if you have data please let me know.

    There are “Negative Emission Technologies” (NETs)

    There are also so-called carbon offsets. These are more publicity stunts than anything else.

    But the Mauna Loa data remains, for all intents and purposes, unaffected by these factors.

    We first need to understand that the earths carbon sink is around 5-6 GT per year [20 GT CO2] and we will soon be emitting over 10 to 12 GT [40 GT CO2].

    The warming trend was miniscule before the Second World War and probably could not be observed. After WWII the rate was stronger but probably of minor impact until the 1990’s. It has increased since then and the cause of the increase (CO2 emissions) has the potential to grow exponentially leading to dire consequences.

    Now is the time for so-called Skeptics to get their thoughts sorted out. How long can you look at the data and not see what decades of data states?

    • Don Aitkin says:


      As I pointed out above, the notion that the earth’s net carbon sink is 5-6Gt is NOT data — it is an example of computer model output, hedged with lots of caveats about uncertainty. Why do you take it so seriously? Much of the earth’s surface is ‘unexplored’ for this purpose. We simply don’t know, so scientists make estimates, which become the basis of the model runs. But their output is not DATA.

      See, for example,

      • Chris Warren says:


        This is a critical point. So I will review the paper you linked to,

        I am not wedded to any figure – just to the relative magnitude.

        The 5-6 GT is just the best available.

  • Chris Warren says:


    Your statement:

    “since June 1998 that trend has dropped to about 0.12 c per century or no stat sig warming at all.” which you have repeated is either wrong or correct for some isolated spot where there is a lot of buffering from ice, ocean, or desert.

    The correct global figure is: around 1.3K per century.

    This has been mentioned before. You probably are not taking the sinusoidal pattern into account. This has been discussed before.

    Are you “denying” 1.3K? in effect overwriting it with “no stat sig warming at all”?

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      Please. The argument is not about warming (is today’s temperature significantly hotter than yesterday’s), it is about the cause. Come back with experimental proof that a global increase in CO2 causes a global increase in temperature. If you can’t do that (and you can’t), the fight is about butterflies in Brazil.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        Let me make my position clear. There are NO EXPERIMENTAL DATA linking CO2 to global warming. If there was, it would be out there, and the arguments would be over. All there are are (disputed) observations, speculations, ‘consensus’, and hope. I, and most of the population, are sick to death of it.

    • Neville says:

      Chris, as I said the trend of UAH V 6 since DEC 1978 is about 1.2 c/ century and RSS is about 1.3 c/century over the same period. But since June 1998 the trend has been 0.12 c / century for UAH V 6. Have a look at the second last graph at Ken Stewart’s July update to understand this properly. The first column is for Global warming and it shows just 0.12 c/ century or just 0.0012 c/decade if it stays that way. Of course the August update should show a bit more warming when the regions are posted soon.

      Lindzen and other scientists think that there will be a negative response to extra co2 emissions or less than 1 c for a doubling of co2 emissions. Certainly the lack of correlation for periods of millions of years is a problem for the true believers.

    • ATheoK says:

      Denying 1.3K?

      You extrapolate a short period of time into a full century, and then claim that people who doubt your claim are ‘denying’ it?

      False science is false science.
      Let’s track the temperature for a full century and see?
      By the way, that full century of tracking requires the same source and the same algorithm. Spliced or retroactively re-calculated and adjusted temperature trends are just more false science.

      I also love the way you proclaim some small item and then claim it “has been discussed before”.
      “sinusoidal pattern” has been ‘mentioned’! Discussion requires more than dropping the words into a comment.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    Is the climate in 2100 a top priority in anyone’s life?

    No, but, it’s a topic that engenders arguments that no-one can lose.

    OK, Don, 3 and a half comments.

  • Don, a nice post. As you say, it is amazing that this poorly argued, self-contradictory, evidence-free opinion piece was accepted by a serious psychology journal.

    We have written a series of blog posts about it, most recently on the hypocrisy of their call for a vigorous public debate, while doing everything they possibly can to prevent any such debate:

  • Don Aitkin says:


    Thank you for the link in your own post, which I enjoyed. But I have to correct you in a metaphor: things ‘go up like a lead balloon’, not down. There’s another like that. Liberace, asked what he thought about a particularly adverse review of his concert, said ‘I cried all the way to the bank’. It is now frequently put that he laughed all the way to the bank.

  • Chris Warren says:


    The site you linked too is a furphy. You and “dlb” and Don seem to think that there is some sort of hiatus or pause that somehow varies all the long-term trends.

    I note that the only evidence produced is from a blog that selected a convenient run of data without considering the impact of cycles such as North Atlantic, Atlantic, and Pacific Oscillations.

    The fact that you are continuing to reproduce this artifical view, without critical analysis, is disruptive. If you read the subsequent comments on the same blog from “MikeR” you will see an almost compete rebuttal and a range of issues that need to be addressed.

    So what did the now truely embrassed bloggist reply. Just the typical response you get from denialists, And I quote:

    “I think you take the prize for all time longest comment. Perhaps you need to start your own blog?”

    As I have said numerous times – there are sinusoidal effects so different tends over short runs are to be expected.

    You have completely, repeatedly, ignored this scientific fact. This damages your credibility particularly as in other contexts you do indicate awareness of oscillations.

    Although I am sure you (and Don) do know about sinusoidal oscillations you (and any other interested party) can discover them yourselves using the data tool from the University Of York.

    The link is:

    The years and months are entered in decimal ie 2000.5 is June 2000 and 2016.0833 includes January 2016.

    If there is an oscillation but no other trend the result of averaging over the period of the oscillation will be zero. If the temperatures are rising it will be positive and if temperatures are falling it will be negative. For periods less than the oscillation – they will sometimes be rising and sometimes be levelling off and sometimes be falling. So pointing to short periods without this context is false.

    The overall trend has been pointed out to using long-run RSS data. You have chosen to repeatedly overwrite this with short-run UAH data from a blog – not the real data.

    Anyone can use the UAH real data at the University of York.

    You can pick the short-run period 1980-1995 and prove (according to your level of scholarship) that CO2 cools the planet.

    You can pick the next short run period (also 15 years) 1995-2000, and again at your level of understanding, prove that CO2 heats the planet.

    If you pick 2005 to 2009 you can them fill-up blogs with scientific evidence that the globe is plummeting towards another ice age at over 7C per century.

    All theses are excercises in either self-delusion or denialism because it is the long-run trend – averaged beyond various oscillations – that is relevant and of concern. Concerns based on short-run variations are not true skepticism because true skeptics use science rigorously, not subjectively.

    You can observe the sinusoidal trend in UAH data by looking at the period 1989 to 1992.75 and setting averaging to zero.

    There is a clear cycle of 44 months.

    If you then set the graphing period for the full data set – and set the averaging to 44 months, you will get much closer to the true underlying trend.

    You can also set the units to Celcius per century.

    It is 1.5 (2 significant figures).

    • Don Aitkin says:


      You seem to think that I and others are unaware of some of the things you say. There’s nothing in what you have written above that is news to me. What is different is the message you get from the links and material. Incidentally the proper source for UAH data is UAH, not the University of York. I gave you the UK Met office reference. It does think there was a hiatus. And I showed you sine wave curves in a graph recently. While you stick to satellite data you can’t talk about long-term trends at all (a wave of 44 months? for heaven’s sake). This is the real dilemma for you (and for me). My response is to say that we don’t know very much, and won’t for a long time. The central questions for the notion that AGW is a serious problem for the whole world involve measurement of temperature over hundreds of years. The data for this purpose are poor.

    • Neville says:

      I don’t how to make myself clear, but I’ll try again. The site you linked to is still using UAH V 5.6 not V 6, therefore the earlier version shows 1.5c/century and the V6 data shows 1.2 c/century or 0.12 /decade. Here’s UAH V6 data from Roy Spencer. He and Christy generate this data every month.
      I’ve no idea what the temp will be in 10, 20, 50 or 100 years but I’d guess that it will be similar to the last hundred years. Perhaps there will be some additional forcing from co2 , who knows?
      Judith Curry discusses stadium waves or sine waves at her blog, so I know about it.
      I’ve written here in the past about the PDO, AMO, NAO etc a number of times. Others claim there is a 60 year , a 1,000yr and 1500 yr cycle. They could be proven right, who knows?

      But I’m sure that Ken Stewart has calculated the 1998 to 2016 UAH V6 data correctly and it shows about 0.12 c /century. Also your site confirms what I said about HAD 4 from 1850 and GISS from 1880. The warming for those two data sets are HAD 4 0.5c/century and GISS 0.7 c/century. But I still worry about real satellite observations that seem to show an increase in coastal land over the last 30 years . It just doesn’t fit well with their CAGW and dangerous SLR.

  • Neville says:

    Sorry the above 0.12 c/ century is for the period June 1998 to today. Don is correct, there has been a recent pause and Stokes’s data shows there has been no stat sig warming using UAH V6 for 23 years 1 month. BTW Nick Stokes is not a sceptic..

  • Chris Warren says:


    The MET paper does not mention the word hiatus. It talks about natural cycles or “fluctuations” ie (from the paper):

    ” A fluctuation in any one of these can temporarily exacerbate or counter the effects of global climate change in affected regions”

    So if you mean there has been a decline in natural cycles, that do not represent human induced climate change, then I agree. I assume you agree that if there was no human-induced global warming then there would still be periods of warming and cooling even including more general trends as we went in and out of glacial periods.

    However my point is different. Once you have taken these impacts into account – ie over a long enough period so these oscillations have come and gone, there is still a continuing, even worsening, tendency for the system as a whole to warm up due to the greenhouse effect.

    The MET paper discusses the relationship of global warming with the changes it is reviewing and notes:

    “Long-term forced changes, like global warming,will therefore not proceed smoothly with every year being warmer than its predecessor. Indeed, the historical record (Fig.11) shows periods where temperatures rose rapidly, such as the 1920s to 1940s and 1970s to 1990s, as well as periods with little warming or even cooling, such as the 1880s, 1900s, 1940s, 1960s and the most recent period starting around 2000.”

    The paper does not say that long-term forced changes like global warming have paused or entered a hiatus. This implication is restricted to a possible cooling in natural processes. PDO, AO, ENSO etc ensure that global warming does “not proceed smoothly”.

    If you look at fig.11 you will see many many periods where you could draw a horizontal line and cross the graph at different time periods – this only creates artificial temporary periods of pause or hiatus (by the dozen).

    You can see how these trends work out in the long run here from the Climate4you website:

    The tend is approximately 0.8 C per century (trough to trough) 1915 – 1985.

    • I find it strange that some people like to write several long comments about temperature trends, even though this has no relevance whatsoever to the topic of the blog post.

    • Don Aitkin says:


      You have quite a gift for discovering things and then telling others about them, as though they must be ignorant. This stuff is familiar to me, and I have been studying it for a decade. Tell me why you are worried by a 0.8 degrees C arming over 70 years. I have said above (indeed many times) that I accept that the planet is warming, gently and irregularly. On all the evidence, the warming has been beneficial. The more warming the more biological production, the less need for water, and so on.

      And have you read the Lewandowsky et al paper yet?

  • Neville says:

    Dr Roy Spencer will be a guest on the Bolt Report on SKY News at 7pm tonight. Dr Spencer and Dr Christy calculate the satellite data for NASA and post their UAH updates every month.–and-jeff-kennett/news-story/5897ab193c38ddc749194e1418fc6daf

    • Nga says:

      Hopefully Dr Roy Spencer will also discuss his belief that the world as we know it is the work of a supernatural creator (praise be upon him) while evolutionary theory is a wicked atheistic hoax.

    • Nga says:

      Hopefully Dr Roy Spencer will also discuss his belief that the world as we know it is the work of a supernatural creator (praise be upon him) while evolutionary theory is a wicked atheistic hoax.

  • Chris Warren says:


    I have version 6 data in a pivot table and it produces a similar result as for Spencer of 0.114 per decade

    Spencer’s trend goes from Jan 1979 to Mar 2015; mine goes from Dec 1978 to Jly 2016.

    Version 5.6 is higher so you can substitute a trend of 1.14 per century if you like.

    This does not change the points I made.

    I also get exactly the same equation as on Kenskingdom site for Monthly Anomalies:UAH v6.0 Globe. ie

    y=0.0010x – 0.2100

    So the data is pretty much the same.

    In either case, the long run tendency of global warming is over 1C per century when CO2 concentrations went from 334ppm to 404ppm.

    This is a rate of 0.65C per 100ppm CO2

    The current rate of CO2 increase is around 3ppm per year.

  • Chris Warren says:


    “Tell me why you are worried by a 0.8 degrees C arming over 70 years”

    I may have mentioned that there are generational issues.

    If present trends of increasing GHGs continue, then based on population growth and the industrialisation of Africa and South America, excessive CO2 will be emitted into the atmosphere. Given the weak commitments from Paris (except for Norway) it is clear that global GHG emissions will either stay at present levels or increase.

    Even if CO2 concentration levels off – the temperature will continue to increase. It will increase until the satellite temperature measurements above the GHG concentration stop falling. This requires significant thinning of the current 14 inches equivalent of CO2 and other GHGs to let heat out.

    The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has to be below 1979 levels because stratospheric cooling was already occurring at this point. This was around 5GT carbon per year.

    This is not possible while ever the amount of GHGs emissions exceeds the available sinks, particularly if sinks become saturated.

    The availability and efficiency of sinks is the critical factor.

    If global carbon emissions are less than 5GT then I will have few concerns.

    • Neville says:

      Chris , please go back and read my link to ABC AM and Frydenberg’s interview. The non OECD countries emissions will soar for a long time because they have a billion plus more people at least to pull out of extreme poverty. Renewables are a joke and even if they just used new nukes it still won’t make a scrap of difference. Look at the ice core lag and the RS NAS report question 20.
      Your side of the ledger doesn’t believe it and even a fool like Flannery understands the problem.

      • Chris Warren says:


        I agree with you. Non OECD emissions will increase for a long time because there are billions of people who will strive to obtain a higher standard of living.

        I have not found anyone who really understands the problem.

        But surely everyone agrees on two points – increasing atmospheric CO2 increases the amount of heat in the Earth’s system.

        This will continue as long as carbon emissions exceed carbon sinks.

        Therefore some future generation will have to suffer a 5, 10 or even greater temperature increase.

        Where, how, when can it ever stop?

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Well, I am not too worried about inter-generational issues. There was a crisis about the growing amounts of horse-manure in big cities 120 years ago — soon the streets would be covered. You can check it out by searching for ‘horse manure’ at the magnifying glass icon top right. There have been many other crises in my adult lifetime, including the population explosion, Y2K, famine etc. Each of them was based on a combination of insufficient knowledge and extrapolation. I think I’ll leave the IF problem you offer to future generations, and concentrate on the real problems we have now. And I have 14 grandchildren and 2 step-great-grandchildren.

      We simply don’t know anything like enough about the climate system to be trying to solve the IF problem now.

  • David says:


    Sort of a related question. How do you feel the debate is going? Do you feel the skeptics are winning, loosing or holding their own?

    • Don Aitkin says:


      There isn’t a debate of any sensible kind, as I’ve said before. There is a passionate minority, about 7 per cent in our country, for whom ‘climate change’ is the top problem facing humanity. Governments try to say as little as possible about the issue, and do as little as possible, as well. The Turnbull Government’s apparent attitude is clear: make the right noises, but approve new coal mines. No one is shifting to renewables other than South Australia, and that hasn’t been a glorious success, while it has given South Australians far and away the highest electricity prices in the country. It has had no effect of any kind on global temperature. What debate exists is carried on mostly in the blogosphere, plus some dissent from the orthodoxy in The Australian. The ABC and Fairfax keep on with the orthodoxy. Nothing much has changed in the last few years.

      Compared to ten years ago, you would have to say that the orthodoxy has lost ground, and that began to occur along with the GFC, the failed Copenhagen climate summit and the publication of the first of the CRU emails. In terms of general interest in ‘climate change’ or global warming, the Google evidence is that it has fallen right away. My guess is that this will continue to be the case for a long time to come. A return to quick increases in temperature not associated with ENSO, or a prolonged period of cooling, would probably change things.

      • JimboR says:

        I think that reply is an example of denial rather than skepticism. ARENA are throwing your tax dollars into renewable energy projects. And private companies are coughing up quite a bit too.

        Josh Frydenberg, minister for environment and energy, said the latest round brought federal investment through ARENA to $1.2 billion for around 250 projects, drawing a further $1.6 billion from the private sector.

        “ARENA will continue to be a major supporter of renewable energy through the $1 billion Clean Energy Innovation Fund [for concessional loans] which will see new jobs and investment in the sector,” Mr Frydenberg said.

        • Nga says:

          “No one is shifting to renewables other than South Australia, and that hasn’t been a glorious success, while it has given South Australians far and away the highest electricity prices in the country … What debate exists is carried on mostly in the blogosphere, plus some dissent from the orthodoxy in The Australian (sic).”

          I think you might be fantasizing again, Don.

          “In SA there is no long-term relationship between wholesale prices and the share of electricity supplied by wind, as shown below (comprehensive data on wind generation only date back to 2007). If anything, wind generation tends to drive down the wholesale price.”

          Check the graphs titled “Average Annual Wholesale Price and Wind Share of Total Supply in South Australia” and “Average Weekly Prices in NEM Regions and Share of Wind in SA in 2016”, Don. They tell me you are an expert in reading graphs, so how about you tell us what these ones mean. Explain to us in statistical terms, how experts like Hugh Saddler are wrong and why you, The Australian hacks and assorted keyboard warriors (bloggers) are right.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Nga, you are welcome to believe an alarmist site if you like [quoting The Con as a reliable source when they have banned every sceptical opinion on cli sci for years is so typical of true believers] but even other left wing reports on the train wreck that is SA power tell you the facts like the $14,000/MwH SA paid for their greenthink:

            “In response to the evolving crisis, which has seen the state’s wholesale electricity price spike to the maximum $14,000 a megawatt-hour, the South Australian government last week had to ask French-owned Engie to resume production at its mothballed Pelican Point gas-fired plant.”

            Read more:

            Interesting how only a super true believer can come to The Con’s weird conclusion.

  • Neville says:

    Here is the Spencer interview on the Bolt report. It starts after 6mins 30 sec. Just plain common sense, particularly about the mitigation nonsense and idiotic renewables.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Ah, sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found thee.

    That great nuclear fusion reactor in the neighbourhood that weighs 300,000 times more than Earth.

    And among other possibilities:
    •Solar stimulation of ozone via UV or energetic electron or particle precipitation — which changes the relative proportions of ozone and the relative heights of the tropopause at the poles and equator, which in turn affects the degree of north-south extent in the jet streams, which affects the amount of air mass mixing at boundaries of climate zones, which determines cloudiness and albedo (Wilde 2010 and 2015, Woollings, Lockwood, Masato, Bell, and Gray 2010 [1]).
    •Cosmic rays are suspected of encouraging cloud formation and thus affecting albedo, and are influenced by the Sun’s magnetic field, so they may be involved in force D. Cosmic rays decrease during TSI peaks, presumably decreasing clouds and albedo and warming the Earth’s surface, so they are not responsible for force N.
    •Solar stimulation of plankton — which produce aerosols that affect clouds (McCoy, et al., 2015 [2])
    •Meteoritic dust influences albedo, depositing particles large enough to reflect and scatter light but small enough to persist in the stratosphere for months. Meteor rates vary inversely with sunspot numbers (Ellyet, 1977 [3]), so, like cosmic rays, they might explain force D but not force N. The dust contains minerals that catalyze plankton growth (see previous point). (This possibility suggested by Peter Sinclair, a reader of this blog, and there will be a blog post by Peter on this soon.)
    •The interplanetary electric field affects cloud cover (Voiculescu, Usoskin, and Condurache-Bota, 2013 [4]).
    •Asymmetries in the motion of the Sun about the center of mass of solar system are correlated with deviations in the Earth’s length of day (LOD). The time rate of change of the LOD correlates with the phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation, while deviations of the LOD from its long term trend correlate with the phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (Wilson 2011 [8]). These ocean oscillations are correlated with decadal changes in surface temperature, so may be responsible for or related to force D.
    •The Jovian planets may influence solar activity (Sharp 2013 [5], Wilson 2013 [6], McCracken, Beer, and Steinhilber 2014 [7]) and might also be responsible for changes in force X/D half of a full solar cycle afterwards.

    And Chris sez:

    “I have not found anyone who really understands the problem.”

    The dim glim of scepticism finally emerges.

  • spangled drongo says:

    More plain and simple sceptical reasoning from JoNova:

    “What happens when scientists “stop reasoning like a scientist”?

    Once an issue has been yoked to our core identities, we stop reasoning like scientists (gathering evidence, seeing where it leads) and start reasoning like lawyers (start with a conclusion, work backward to build a case). Yale psychologist Dan Kahan calls it “motivated reasoning”— “the unconscious tendency of individuals to process information in a manner that suits some end or goal extrinsic to the formation of accurate beliefs.” In this case, the “end or goal” is preserving commitments core to identity.

    Dan Kahan, Dunlap and McCright are all their own case study in motivated reasoning. They simply cannot process the possibility that the groupthink is wrong. It mars all their research, stopping them from even considering the possibility that the “motivated” reasoning is a bigger badder problem on the side driven by irrational fear and herd behaviour and backed by gazillions of dollars.

    As a former Green my motivated reasoning was to find evidence to support the theory of a man-made crisis, but the harder I looked the less I found. Some of us can overcome that confirmation bias. Why won’t psychologists research that?”

  • Chris Warren says:

    Don said:

    “Well, I am not too worried about inter-generational issues. There was a crisis about the growing amounts of horse-manure in big cities 120 years ago — soon the streets would be covered. You can check it out by searching for ‘horse manure’ at the magnifying glass icon top right. There have been many other crises in my adult lifetime, including the population explosion, Y2K, famine etc. Each of them was based on a combination of insufficient knowledge and extrapolation. ”

    There’s the problem. This is the same as Keynes’ – in the long-run we are all dead.

    It also breeches the fundamental principle of morality – Golden Rule.

    There was nothing wrong with fears about horse manure, or Y2K, or population.

    If the numbers of travellers going up and down George St were on horseback, then George St would be awash with manure.

    If a massive amount of non-Y2K was not fixed during the 1990’s massive problems would have arisen.

    IN each case the extrapolations were correct, in the absence of some new development – motor vehicles, Y2K fixes and production of Y2K compliant software and hardware.

    So extrapolating climate change is exactly the same and is perfectly robust until some new development or event occurs.

    It is a scientific fact that, if GHGs are emitted at a rate greater than the Earth’s sink capacity, they will accumulate in the atmosphere continually and therefore the heat in the earth’s system will increase continually.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Chris, ya mean it’s just as well we got all those stones sorted during the stone age?

      Some good stuff from Geoff Sherrington:

      Are Australians seeing more hot days each year? Or hotter days when it is hot?
      A spokesperson for Australia’s Climate Council, Amanda McKenzie, stated on 20th March 2016 –
      “We are seeing extreme heat, hot days; heatwaves are longer, they are hotter, they are happening more often. We will see that accelerate if we don’t do anything more.”
      Unfortunately, that statement is not scientifically correct. One asks why authorities on climate do not question it.
      For Sydney and Melbourne, where nearly half of Australians live, there has been no significant increase in hot days and no significant increase in how hot they are.
      It is childishly simple to work this out. You download the 150 years or so of temperatures for the main Sydney and Melbourne weather stations, then count how many days there have been above some mark like the old “Century” each year; or what temperature was on the hottest day was each year.
      Learning from past examples, our climate specialists might say that this test is too simple, that hot days are worse if there are also hot nights, that humidity plays a part, if there are cooling southerly winds or hot northern winds, clouds or no clouds and so on. Expect to see the experts make a simple case complicated by talking about percentiles and fat tailed distributions and homogenisation.
      When there is a potential for conflict like this, try to keep it simple. Trust the raw data before you trust experts who have not yet explained the simple facts.
      Was it hot or was it not? Read the following report, then see if you agree with other readers.
      Author of the report, Geoff Sherrington, is a scientist from the natural resources sector, with long experience in data collection and analysis. He has compiled earlier, related reports that show that heatwaves in many of Australia’s capitals used to be more prevalent than they are now, despite claims from the Establishment. He noted –
      “There is much cause for concern when our official bodies see claims like those from the Climate Council and elsewhere, know what is correct, but fail to note the mistakes and fail to try to correct them. This goes on distressingly often in climate science. Where is CSIRO, where is the BOM, where are the learned Societies saying sorry, but the data tells us differently?”
      Many scientists and researchers are upset by this wrong reporting. There was an attempt to have the Federal Government commence an audit of the BOM temperature work, but then t was stonewalled.
      Stonewalling does not have a place in proper science. Good science proceeds through continuing criticism of the current scientific ides and continuing further research to either accept or reject those criticisms for the time being. Good science also recognises that sins of omission, like failing to speak, run beside sins of commission, like speaking about known falsehoods.
      Meanwhile, do have a look at this new report. Form your own conclusions about what you see. It really is that simple. Far too simple to even consider as a formal publication.

      Geoff Sherrington
      1st September 2016.

      • Chris Warren says:

        spangled drongo

        If the number of 10 sq cm stones on the planet increased by 1% per year, all life would have been extinguished and all the oceans filled in.

    • JimboR says:

      “IN each case the extrapolations were correct, in the absence of some new development – motor vehicles, Y2K fixes and production of Y2K compliant software and hardware.”

      Exactly right. And motor vehicles went on to have their own issues, solved by regulations phasing out leaded petrol, tighter emission standards etc.. There was a massive effort put into fixing real Y2K bugs. When these crises are averted by planning and hard work the skeptics who weren’t involved simply shrug “What crisis? See it was all a rent-seeking beat up”. They never stop to think how things would have turned out if we carried on business as usual.

      • Don Aitkin says:


        I was involved in the Y2K issue, and I am unaware of the massive effort you speak of. There were cases, but in the bigger firms and government departments, the response was, ‘It’ll be OK (crossed fingers)’. Do you have any particular massive effort in mind?

        • JimboR says:

          “but in the bigger firms and government departments, the response was, ‘It’ll be OK (crossed fingers)’.”

          That’s about as far from my experience at the time as I can imagine. I’m not sure how you were involved but I was working for a major multinational in San Jose providing critical infrastructure hardware worldwide, and the efforts to ensure our customers could just “keep their fingers crossed” were massive. Clearly that effort paid off, but as a result now we get “what crisis?” True, it never was a crisis but only because of a very careful strategy, plenty of time to work on the problem, an absolute deadline, and a lot of effort to make it so.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            No, you’ve now jumped to a metaphor. What do you think the residence time of molecules of CO2 is in the atmosphere? What do you think so?

      • Chris Warren says:

        Yes, and I am amazed that this is being denied.

        I actually worked for months Y2K testing for the International Division of Department of Education Science and Training (DEST).

        Several systems were not Y2K compliant and we worked to Y2K testing protocols developed by our Systems people. Every system had to have its individual sign-off documentation.

        At the same time there were hundreds of job adds for Y2K testers wanted over in the UK at massive salaries.

        It was boring, dull, work. It was a truely massive exercise.

    • Don Aitkin says:


      This is yours: ‘It is a scientific fact that, if GHGs are emitted at a rate greater than the Earth’s sink capacity, they will accumulate in the atmosphere continually and therefore the heat in the earth’s system will increase continually.’

      It isn’t a fact. It is a proposition, to be tested empirically. Don’t you understand what a fact is?

      • Chris Warren says:


        No, it is a very simple scientific fact.

        It is stock standard “stock and flow” mechanism.

        This is usually explained in undergrad courses looking at differential equations.

        If the flow of water into a bath tub is greater that the capacity of the drain – the amount of water in the bathtub will increase continually.

        Any vice-chancellor should understand this perhaps in these terms – If the number of student commencements exceeds the number of completions and withdrawals, the numbers of current students increases.

        This applies across all physical stock and flow problems.

        It is very very simple.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Tsk. Yes, I broke a rule. It’s not ad him, more like guilt by association. But in any case, ignore the last sentence.

          Mea culpa.

        • spangled drongo says:

          “If the flow of water into a bath tub is greater that the capacity of the drain – the amount of water in the bathtub will increase continually.”

          Now that you have put the GHG theory in such brilliant, simple and precise terms, Chris, how could any foolish denier not surrender and repent.

          Even the 97% consensual scientists sure missed the boat on that one.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Marg, when did you ever know a Club of Rome member to be right?

      Malthus, Ehrlich and the CoR.

      The warmists’ holy trinity.

      Maybe they just need more room on their sandwich boards to explain how the end is nigher.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        All of them were correct, they were just a little ahead of their time. Mathematically, the exponential function is unassailable. In a finite world, a population cannot expand indefinitely, and likewise, an economy cannot grow without limit. A belief in the impossible leads to absurd policy contradictions – Australia is going to reduce its emissions (sustainably!!!), while proposing to double its population within 38 years. Australia might once have been ’empty’, it has not been that way for dozens of years now. It has a growth rate one and a half times that of India, which is fighting its way out of poverty. Australia is careering its way into poverty.

        The government has now proudly announced the construction of solar farms that will produce enough energy to power 150,000 homes. That is enough to supply housing for half of ONE year’s migrant intake.

        In addition, renewables are very unlikely to make a significant long-term contribution to grid power (

        “There are none so blind as those who will not see”

    • Don Aitkin says:


      I was involved in the Y2K issue, and I am unaware of the massive effort you speak of. There were cases, but in the bigger firms and government departments, the response was, ‘It’ll be OK (crossed fingers)’. Do you have any particular massive effort in mind?

      • Don Aitkin says:

        I thought I’d better check, and found that, like ‘this science is settled’, the massive effort in dealing with Y2K is a bit of a mystery too. Here’s what one programmer remembered:

        ‘So why was there a scare? We didn’t know what programmers had done with the date for a few decades of coding. Some would be okay, some would not, and some odd things would happen. We didn’t know. Not knowing generated fear, fear translated to panic and that is what everyone remembers with all the doomspeak for Y2K. But that is all it was… we just didn’t know what would happen and everyone had to review a LOT of code to determine WHAT would happen, and if it was bad, fix it.’

        He pointed out that most systems are ‘fail-safe’, meaning that if there is a malfunction the outcome is that the system goes to safe mode. I remember all of this vaguely. It is getting on for twenty years ago.

        • JimboR says:

          “if there is a malfunction the outcome is that the system goes to safe mode”

          Well that’s reassuring. Safe mode for an automatic gearbox is stay in second gear. Safe mode for an ATM is don’t hand out any cash. Safe mode for a nuclear power station is shutdown. Safe mode for an Airbus flight control system is Alternate Law. It may not kill you, but it will certainly disrupt your day. Actually, that last one has been known to kill people when extremely stressed junior pilots assume they still have stall protection.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            The point was that Y2K was a scare. I was responsible for investigating and paying for what we did about it. Yes, we did some exploratory and remedial work. We asked others what they were doing and why. The general feeling was that the systems should be OK, but we weren’t sure. I don’t think we did anything massive and certainly we didn’t pay vast amounts. The scare was that planes would drop out of the sky, trains would crash, and all the rest. I am sure that there were great efforts in some parts, like the military. As I said, no one now is sure whether or not there was a real problem. But there was certainly a scare.

          • JimboR says:

            There was no scare or panic in the labs I was working in at the time. Just a determined effort to fix the problems. I remember seeing anticipatory patches going in as early as the mid 90s. There might have been a bit of anxiety as to whether we’d found them all or not, but that could be relieved by throwing testing efforts at the problem, often complex testing that involved interoperability with third party vendors, but everyone knew what needed to be done.

            “The general feeling was that the systems should be OK”

            Perhaps because vendors like the company I was working for were working overtime to ensure they would be?

            “As I said, no one now is sure whether or not there was a real problem. ”

            That is perhaps one of your silliest statements to date. Every CVS (or equivalent) log with Y2K in the title in company source repositories around the world reveal exactly what the problems were, how they were fixed, and what the expected failure mode would be had they not been fixed.

            It’s pretty clear you have no idea whether or not there was a real problem, but those working in the field knew exactly what the problems were and how to fix them. Kinda’ reminds me of your approach to climate science actually. You repeatedly show no respect for expertise in fields outside your own. If you don’t understand it, nobody does so we should just keep our fingers crossed and hope that it all works out.

            I’m curious as to which aspect of your quoted anecdote above (or maybe below, who can tell) you believe supports the inference that had everyone done nothing, it would have all worked out fine. You did see the bit about “everyone had to review a LOT of code to determine WHAT would happen, and if it was bad, fix it.”? Perhaps you were comforted by the promise of fallbacks to “safe mode”? You might have been comfortable waking up on 1/1/2000 to large parts of infrastructure having failed back to “safe mode” but for most of us that wasn’t an option.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Data, Margaret, data! He doesn’t cite any. It is rhetoric. His opinion is his opinion. But I could sit down and take it sentence by sentence, and show that some of it was wrong, or at least questionable, and some of it exaggerated. But life is short, and I have other things to do. In any case, he is a member of the Club of Rome, so he is speaking from the Club’s holy writ.

      • margaret says:

        Not every intelligent person has a scientific data brain so, is it only the sceptics and deniers who love data and science who should determine what action (or let’s face it – non-action) should be taken to ensure that anthropogens (yes I made that word up) don’t cause our pale blue dot to eventually implode? – (just a science fiction scenario for a bit of catastrophic colour). Anyway surely the Club of Rome has humankind’s interests at heart? I’ll have to read up on it.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Well, I guess that the dispute is between believers and data-people. I don’t have a solution.

          • margaret says:

            In matters scientific such as global warming and climate change, non-scientists and non-data people (who also have ‘other things to do’), sensibly trust in the consensus of the scientists. That doesn’t make them ‘believers’ in a religion because scientists aren’t asking them to follow blindly and faithfully, they are analysing and testing the data for us – the non-experts in that area.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “In matters scientific such as global warming and climate change, non-scientists and non-data people (who also have ‘other things to do’), sensibly trust in the consensus of the scientists.”

            Margie luv, you would need to have extremely profitable “other things to do” to be prepared, brave or foolish enough to “sensibly” trust in those consensual scientists.

            When climate gatekeeping sci orgs such as the IPA, IPCC, BoM, CSIRO et al have such obvious political ambitions towards grabbing billions of taxpayer funds and building their empires at the public’s expense, the only valid reason to be so “sensibly trusting” is to be getting a handsome piece of the pie for yourself. IOW, COI.

            If you’re in any other situation [which we almost all are, sadly] then you need to be paying the utmost attention.

            You obviously weren’t doing that when beththeserf showed you those climategate emails.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Read what you wrote again, Margaret. The scientists (the advocate-scientists like Karoly and others) are indeed asking you to follow them ‘blindly and faithfully’. They have analysed the data their way, and others have analysed the data in other ways. If you say ‘I trust them’, or ‘I believe in what they say” you are giving up your capacity to analyse material yourself, or to try and work out from the sceptical and orthodox positions, the ones that seems more sensible to you.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        Ah, an ad hom from the great man himself.

        You might like to review Albert Bartlett’s lectures on You Tube (when you don’t have anything else to do).

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Bryan, my reply was out of place up at 9.12 pm. I do’t know why. New computer today, but the software is the same.

  • Aubrey Meyer says:

    Relevant evidence: –

    Covering the period minus 600,000 years ‘Before Present’ till ‘now’, the chart: _
    . . . is a compilation of published research papers for: –

    1. Temperature
    2. CH4 atmo
    3. CO2 atmo – (Non-Fossil carbon release rise/fall)
    4. Ocean pH
    5. Sea Level Rise/Fall

    Open the pdf – every trace has a live URL to the the relevant research.

  • Chris Warren says:


    You can get the data here:

    If you graph the data in column B in the sheet

    Table AII.1.2 | Historical effective radiative forcing (ERF) (W m–2), including land use change (LUC)

    You will see a polynomial trend line (degree 2) fits better than a linear line and the equation suggests CO2 forcing started around 1900 years ago – ie probably when man started using fire for cooking, warmth, and pottery to some significant extent.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      “around 1900 years ago”

      So Christianity started global warming…

      Oh boy.

    • margaret says:

      Thank you for trying to help me, but it’s like a foreign language to me Chris. I’ll let you and Spangled and Don duke it out.
      Suffice to say that on this issue I am only sceptical about the politics, the people who are employed to brief the government who have vested interests on either side, and the media for delivering baby food to us.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        If Australia does double its population by 2050, as predicted, it will have a lot more to worry about than whether you can by beach shacks on the inland sea.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Spangled drongo

    I am very surprised that you asked:
    “You still haven’t told me why the current warming is more serious than that nat var of 300 years ago:”

    When this was discussed earlier.

    Pointing to same chart yet again doesn’t help. As I said previously this data is entirely consistent and corroborates satellite data.

    If you take a rigorous approach and just select those years for which we have satellite data, you can use Excel to demonstrate that CET warming trend (overall) is 2.56C per century.

    Now I have also said that my concern is more about trends in the northern hemisphere and over long-term overall trends as this can place future generations .in jeopardy when it will be too late for them to do anything about it.

    I am also concern how several people have taken a relatively short recent period of levelling off as representing what is really underway. This is could easiy be just a normal fluctuation driven by sinusoidal behaviours.

    I think John Quiggin got it right when he posted:

    The time-series evidence indicates an upward trend in global temperatures, with fluctuations due to a variety of factors some of which are fairly well understood (ENSO, volcanoes) and some less well. There is no statistical evidence to suggest that this trend has stopped or permanently slowed.

    This is what I found when I downloaded the raw data and did my own anlaysis using Excel and I am pretty sure than any disinterested observer will come to the same conclusions should they repeat the exercise using the data from 1979.

    There may be other concerns if the data proves to be exponential in tendency.

    • spangled drongo says:

      ” As I said previously this data is entirely consistent and corroborates satellite data.”


      Natural climate variability 300 years ago with a warming rate 4 times greater for at least twice as long is entirely consistent with that short period in the late 20th century that was possibly ACO2 driven???

      What that shows is the absolute opposite of what you are claiming!

      It shows 1] that it is quite possible to have much greater warming with no ACO2 forcing, and 2] that because the greater warming was caused naturally, the ACO2 could actually be causing cooling.

      Go back and read some of Feynman’s fundamentals on fizziks.

  • Chris Warren says:

    We only need to look at the last 38 or so years of satellite data.

    The decline in outer temperatures seems to confirm that more heat is being trapped in the earths system.

  • Neville says:

    More idiotic nonsense from the army of true believers. What an embarrassment that such illogical , irrational claptrap is published in the 21st century.

  • David says:

    I have enjoyed this thread. In my opinion the the arguments posted by Chris Warren in support of the AGW hypothesis have been well written and referenced. And in short Chris has wiped the floor with Spang and Nev.

  • Chris Warren says:

    spangled drongo

    Are you being serious or are just a wee bit frustrated when you said

    “The low activity of the current solar cycle that causes the atmo to shrink”

    If you check the data you will see this is impossible. The variation in sunshine is less than +/- a half of one thousanths.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Not impossible at all. As your link shows.

      If you’d read my link, Leif Svalgaard points out:

      “In low-earth-orbit there is still a small amount of air. When solar activity is high, the upper atmosphere heats up and expands bringing more air up to the satellites, thus braking them [by air resistance] and lowering their orbits. Sometimes so much that they fall out of the sky.”

      • Chris Warren says:

        That is silly

        If incoming radiation warms this gas – it will expand not shrink.

        If lower air enters the low earth orbit, this is a movement of gas – not a shrinking.

        The environment at low earth orbit is not representative of the atmosphere.

        As a reality check, just see how representative the gases density is of the atmosphere where warming occurs and ozone accumulates.

        As seen here:

        At this level there is of course no global warming – but there is global cooling caused by CO2 lower down, and at this height it is quite likely that the sun could excite the few gas molecules but any such effect is more than swamped by the time it gets into the earths climate system.

        But if you want a rarefied argument, why not go to such unrepresentative and irrelevant lengths?
        The International Space Station is around 400 kms out.

  • margaret says:

    This man could be more sceptical about blaming climate change? The Glenelg river that was part of a water restoration project less than a year ago because of drought, is now in flood.
    Extreme weather events caused by global warming? Or, natural cycles of Dorothea Mackellar’s ‘land of droughts and flooding rains’.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Yes, Marg, the crazy “environmentalists” think that the people who go to the trouble of preserving those flooding, wasting, waters in times of plenty and put them aside for the inevitable severe drought [not to mention renewable energy] should be penalised and have them taken away for an “environmental flush” at a time when nature is not able to cope with that flush and that during a drought a flush is completely unnatural anyway.

      But those same “environmentalists” just love kicking a conservative when he is down.

      That slimy practice is all the rage in that neck of the woods particularly for filling Lake Alexandrina which was always filled with salt water from the Coorong during droughts and of course the barrages should be removed so this natural event can occur:

  • DennisA says:

    “In the climate science arena even well-credentialled sceptical scientists have found it hard to get critical papers accepted for publication.”

    Check out the editorial boards on the main climate journals. You will find many of the names who are promoting the whole deal in the first place and they are the gatekeepers for what is published.

  • Timo Soren says:

    Oreskes, 2004: for INSIDE the scientific community! Stopped reading right there.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Timo, it is Friday, and I’m slow. But could you make the point a little more clearly? What did you stop reading, and why?

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