The February Off-Topic Thread

By February 1, 2018Other

This is a thread that allows readers to post their own thoughts on subjects that are not relevant to the current essay.

I start it with the note that President Trump, in his State of the Union address to Congress, did not refer once to climate change or global warming, for the first time in nine years in such a Presidential address. That might be expected, given his known views. But the Democratic  right-of-reply sequel, given by yet another Kennedy scion, Joe III, likewise didn’t mention that, or rising seas, or any of the other warming themes.

Later: Because of the coincidence of three hurricanes striking the eastern USA last year there has been renewed talk of ‘extreme weather’ caused, presumably, by CAGW. Roger Pielke Jnr, well known for his work on insurance and extreme weather, has written an essay pointing out that the three cyclones followed a twelve-year period in which cyclone frequency was well down. He also points out that though there was a sharp rise in insurance costs, that is because more and more people are living where cyclones strike with expensive effect, and that the long-term costs are downwards not upwards, as the following diagram shows. I’ll post a link to the essay below.

Join the discussion 62 Comments

  • A reminder about Thomas Sowell and some of his short quotes.

    Born in North Carolina in 1930, Sowell grew up in Harlem, New York. He dropped out of high school at age 17 due to financial difficulties and problems at home, but went on to serve in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. Following the war, he received a bachelor’s degree from Harvard, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1958. The following year, he received a master’s degree from Columbia University. In 1968, he earned a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Chicago.

  • David says:

    Trump did not mention Stormy Daniels either. So what should we make of that ?

  • spangled drongo says:

    Why is Bernardi the only one with enough brains to speak up about this mindless PC?

    “Cory Bernardi has criticised health authorities for seemingly encouraging midwives to acknowledge “white privilege” when treating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

    The crossbench senator seized on the new code of conduct for midwives, developed last year and due to take effect in March, which references concepts of “cultural safety” long accepted in indigenous healthcare circles.

    In a glossary to the code, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia cites the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives when it references “a decolonising model of practice based on dialogue, communication, power sharing and negotiation, and the acknowledgment of white privilege”’.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Just so true, Don. In my neck of the woods, SEQ and NNSW, coastal cyclones are pretty much non-existent and have been for over 40 years. Prior to that we used to get the usual half a dozen a year that had been arriving for decades prior to that. There have been a couple of ex-TCs like Oswald and Debbie that travelled inland from the far north that have mainly caused just heavy rain and flooding without the destructive erosion those coastal cyclones caused. In those days of regular coastal cyclones many ocean front houses were washed out to sea in spite of our desperate efforts to save them with sandbagging but it has been all forgotten about and houses rebuilt on those same ocean front sites have changed hands for tens of millions in recent times. As Pielke says, those cyclones will return and when they do it will all be “unprecedented”.

      A revision to the mean will introduce a lot of people to just what Nat Var really is.

      They ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

      • spangled drongo says:

        As will a “reversion”…..

      • spangled drongo says:

        This sort of reversion to the mean will also be a fantastic opportunity for alarmists awa the MSM to bed-wet to the max.

        When you look at the natural topography you don’t need much imagination to realise what incredible weather and climate forces have occurred in the past to produce what we currently see.

        When they can carry on so ridiculously with the occurrence of only mild Nat Var, imagine what panic they will be able to create and future disaster predict with normal to extreme Nat Var.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Peter Ridd is crowd-funding his legal challenge and received about $100,000 in a few days. His latest sally can be read here:

    • Chris Warren says:

      IF this is true;

      My emails have been searched. I was not allowed even to speak to my wife about the issue.

      and the email search was not court ordered – then this is truly appalling.

      However this should not excuse Ridd’s antics and remember, it is worse under Trump.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        What exactly are ‘Ridd’s antics’?

        • Chris Warren says:

          Antic 1: He is charged with for not being “collegial.”

          He has not addressed this but is carrying on about barrier reef.

          Antic 2: He spreads claims that ” we can no longer trust the scientific organizations like the Australian Institute of Marine Science, even things like the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies”

          Imagine if some Counsellor working for National Board of Employment, Education and Training went on local TV sprouting:

          We can no longer trust NBEET or its Councils. Their Reports are coming out not properly checked, tested or replicated etc etc.

          Imagine if some Executive Officer for a Vice-Chancellor told local journalists; you cannot trust the University. Their papers are coming out not properly checked, tested or replicated.

          Antic 3: He shouts: “I am fighting for academic and scientific freedom,” but public sevants do not have the freedom to go on TV and say you cannot trust the Secretary of the Department. This is standard. How long would you last in Trump’s office if you went on Sky News declaring; You cannot trust Trump because all his statements are not properly checked, tested or replicated?

          Antic 4: He suggests that some scientists have claimed “The reef is supposedly almost dead from the combined effects of a warming climate, nutrient pollution from Australian farms, and smothering sediment from offshore dredging.” But there is no evidence of this, all we have is scientists finding some areas of the reef that are damaged and making suggestions, soundly argued, that damage may increase.

          The action against Ridd was merely over his behaviour – not his beliefs – properly expressed.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Blith’s delusions. Let me count the ways:

            1. Not being a consensual group-thinker is an “antic”.

            2. Freedom of speech is an “antic”.

            3. Not believing that science and the search for truth = govt policy is an “antic”.

            4. When the JCU “collegials” have been bed-wetting, shouting to the world and getting huge MSM support claiming 93% of the GBR being bleached yet any sane observer can see it is BS, an honest opinion to the contrary that stands in support of the total NQ economy is considered by blith to be an “antic”.

            When members of the public such as our blith offer such misguided support for these hypocrites it is up to rational people who can see the corruption taking place here to get involved and support Prof Ridd.

            Thankfully there is a high level of rationality still around as witnessed by the financial support he has just received.

          • Don Aitkin says:


            Your suggestions about Professor Ridd’s supposed ‘antics’ are truly astonishing.

            (1) He has stated publicly that claims about the state of the GBR made by staff at the University, in The Conversation article they wrote, were ‘laughable’. The staff members appeared in the public prints (so to speak) with an assertion that he dismissed. He also criticised the quality of work and claims coming from the Australian Institute of Marine Science also about the GBR which he discussed in a published chapter. He is an acknowledged authority on aspects of the Reef. How on earth is any of this an ‘antic’? According to the Shorter OED, ‘antics’ are grotesque and bizarre aspects of behaviour.

            (2) Already covered in (1). Your examples (‘Imagine…’) aren’t apposite at all. You need to go and read what actually happened.

            (3) The University has tried to gag him, instructing him to to talk to anyone about the issues, even his wife. As a former academic, and former V-C, I see this this as monstrous action on the University’s part. You don’t think so, obviously, but there are many who would think you are quite wrong, as I do. I have seen no evidence of his ‘shouting’, and I have talked with him. Perhaps you could supply a link.

            (4) When you say ‘all we have’, what extract or link are you using as the basis for your claim? Exaggerated claims like the ones he is criticising are part and parcel of the issue.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    The orthodox position is that ‘global warming’ must be dangerous to humanity, mostly because the climate models say so. In fact it is really hard to see any signs of harm since James Hansen foretold of doom back in 1988. The earth if greener, food production has grown and so on. My own view has been that warming must, in net terms, be good for eco-systems, including us, unless the temperature rose ten degrees C or so. And that’s another essay altogether.

    But I came across this quite useful summary by Michael Bastach from The Daily Caller. It’s worth a read:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt set off a media firestorm when he questioned climate orthodoxy, asking if future global warming might actually be beneficial to humanity. Pruitt told a Nevada TV station “we know that humans have most flourished during times of, what, warming trends,” adding “there’s assumptions made that because the climate is warming, that that necessarily is a bad thing.”

    The response to Pruitt’s remarks was swift and fierce. Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann accused Pruitt of going through the “stages of denial,” and the American Meteorology Society’s Paul Higgins said “rates of change are unlike anything people have dealt with before.”

    It’s true that the United Nations, and probably most scientists, project global warming is likely to be a net negative for human civilization, and many studies on the economic impacts of future change focus on the worst-case scenarios. But Pruitt’s question is not totally outlandish. Economists do forecast at least some benefits with future warming, but there’s disagreement at what level net benefits from warming turn to net costs.

    Models, Models, Models
    “It’s always problematic to try to add benefits and harms together since people are different, but in terms of standard economic modeling, Administrator Pruitt’s comments are not as unreasonable as some of his critics are claiming,” said Robert Murphy, an economist with the free market Institute for Energy Research.
    “There are plenty of obvious benefits to certain regions from warmer temperatures, such as better harvests and fewer elderly deaths in the winter,” Murphy told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
    Murphy has done a considerable amount of research into climate-economic models, particularly in how they have been used by the Obama administration to calculate the “social cost of carbon” estimate.
    Murphy pointed out that one of the computer models, the FUND model, selected by the Obama administration to establish a “social cost of carbon,” showed global warming was a net positive through about 3 degrees Celsius of warming — a full degree higher than what the U.N. considers “dangerous.”
    The two other models the Obama administration relied for its carbon cost metric showed little to no negative impacts until about 1 degree Celsius of warming.
    “Obviously the FUND model leaves a lot of things out — as do all computer models — but it’s interesting that this was selected by the Obama team for their project,” Murphy said. “It shows that the actual economic research on the human impacts of climate change are not as catastrophic as the alarmists would have you believe.”

    Likewise, a recent study by prominent environmental economist Richard Tol projected the impacts of warming, at least in the near-term, would be a net benefit to society. Tol’s paper examined projections from 27 models and found net benefits from “initial warming,” then net costs to society after that. Tol said net costs appear around 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — that could be 40 to 50 years away.
    After 1.5 degrees, Tol found warming has “a limited impact on the economy and human welfare in the twenty-first century,” but the costs would be “substantially greater in poorer, hotter, and lower-lying countries.”
    The Paris climate accord aims to keep global average temperature under 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, with a stretch goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees. The U.N. considers 2 degrees a “dangerous” amount of warming.
    But again, Tol found future warming would have a “limited impact” on the global economy. Other studies have pegged the cost of meeting the Paris accord as high as $58 trillion over the next 25 years.
    Economists have to balance those projected costs and benefits, but in the nearer-term models suggest warming will bring positive gains.
    “There are of course positive aspects to climate change,” Tol told TheDCNF. “The eastern US has just been through a brutal winter. Climate change will bring lower heating costs in winter, and cut cold-related death and disease.”
    “Plants grow faster and tolerate drought better if there is more carbon dioxide in the air,” Tol said.

    Global Greening
    Indeed, satellite data suggests the world has mostly “greened” in the past few decades, which scientists partly attribute to extra carbon dioxide emissions put into the atmosphere through fossil fuel combustion.
    One reason is that carbon dioxide is an essential plant food. Farmers and growers have for decades pumped carbon dioxide into greenhouses to enhance plant growth. That’s one argument some skeptics make in the face of global warming alarmism.
    Scientists on the CO2 Coalition, a nonprofit, publicly argue that higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations are more of a benefit than a burden. One of their members, scientist Craig Idso, has catalogued a slew of studies pointing to the benefits of more atmospheric CO2.
    “And beyond this very real benefit to human health from increasing temperatures, the extra CO2 has helped to increase crop yields so as to improve food security,” Idso told TheDCNF.
    Though the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report found that “[b]ased on many studies covering a wide range of regions and crops, negative impacts of climate change on crop yields have been more common than positive impacts.”
    Some studies suggest yields are going up, but not as much as they would have without manmade warming. And others predict future warming will decrease yields of major crops — corn, wheat, rice and soybeans.
    Studies also suggest increased rainfall in some regions and drought in others will also have a negative impact on crop production, especially in poorer regions without modern agriculture technology.

    But are these negative impacts bearing out in the data? Crop yield and production data all show positive, increasing trends. Those trends will increase as poor countries, like India, continue to improve crop yields and resistance to bad weather and pests.
    The world produces so much food now the World Peace Foundation declared the “elimination of calamitous famines.” Population has grown, but the death toll from famines has shrunk considerably in the last 50 years.

    So What’s Going To Happen?
    No one knows what future warming might bring, but most experts would likely say that there will be net negatives by the end of the century.
    Even so, researchers are increasingly ruling out the most alarming global warming scenarios. U.N. analyses showed an extreme amount of warming based on unrealistic projections of global energy production, according to a recent University of British Columbia study.
    While there’s disagreement over the costs of future warming, the evidence is clear that 20th century warming has been a net positive for humanity. Standards of living, crop yields, health outcomes and pretty much every other societal indicator have improved in the last century.
    “The climate change we have witnessed over the last half century has been a net positive for humans,” Tol said.

  • spangled drongo says:

    In today’s “heatwave” we have a goodly number of flowering eucalypts and literally thousands of various Lorikeets in a feeding frenzy, swarming all over them and screeching their heads off.

    In a two hour walk this morning around my usual fire trails I counted 50 species of birds. I have never had better than that in the last 30 years. Last week I got 79 species over the 7 days covering the same territory.

    In spite of humans and other feral invaders encroaching on and removing their habitat, the little bit of warming that is happening for one reason or another, is not seriously affecting them.

    Humans are much more protected from weather and climate than wild animals and while evolutionary effects are bound to occur [mostly due to our burgeoning population] isn’t this what life is all about awa the way it has always been?

  • spangled drongo says:

    It’s not just freedom of speech WRT our GBR that the lefty-alarmist-extremists are screaming objection to.

    It’s happening everywhere:

  • spangled drongo says:

    For those without access:

    “When Katie Roiphe decided to write an article about the dangers of the #MeToo movement, she knew there would be a backlash

    Roiphe, a journalist and professor at New York University, has made a career out of radical feminism critique. Her 1993 book, The Morning After, criticised what she called the “rape crisis movement” then sweeping college campuses.

    Roiphe has been pilloried by her fellow feminists before her recent article. But even she was surprised about the vehemence of the response to the piece which was published in Harper’s Magazine this month.

    It argued that the fury of what she called “Twitter feminism” is terrifying more moderate voices into silence. She described her “whisper network”, friends and contacts who are concerned about what they see as the excesses of the #MeToo movement but are afraid to say so publicly for fear of vilification.

    Before the article had even gone to press, a campaign was already being waged online to have it suppressed. Writers and advertisers were pressured to not work with Harper’s following a rumour that Roiphe would “out” the anonymous creator of an online list detailing the sexual misdemeanours of “shitty media men”.

    Roiphe was viciously abused online, labelled as “pro-rape”, “human scum”, a “ghoul”, a “bitch” and a “monster out of Stephen King’s It”.

    “I find the Stalinist tenor of this conversation shocking,” she said in an interview, adding she would not have dared publish the piece if she did not have tenure at her university: “The basic assumption of freedom of speech is imperilled in our culture right now.”’

    Read more at the above link.

  • spangled drongo says:

    More rational response to the SLR bedwetting:

    Tuvalu waving, not drowning…”A cautious estimate of present long-term relative sea level change at Funafuti, which
    uses all the data, is a rate of rise of 0:8mm/year +/- 1:9 mm/year2 relative to the land. This
    indicates that there is about a 68% probability of the rate of rise being between -1.1 and
    2.7 mm/year.”

    So SLR could be MINUS 1.1mm/year?

    It most likely IS.

    Because that’s what is being revealed by highest astronomical tides over my lifetime.

    But lefty lifetimes must live in another world.

    Or they are in blatant denial of the real one.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Here is an excellent video which clarifies why a minority of people thought there was a “pause” or “hiatus” in global warming.

    Roy Spencer comes to mind.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Wow! No reference to ENSO or its counterparts elsewhere, no acceptance that natural variability is poorly understood (he speaks as though he knows all the factors involved), no warning that earlier temperatures estimates before 1979 are worryingly rubbery, and a calm knowledge of the future that is breathtaking.

      Otherwise, an interesting little video.

      • Chris Warren says:


        It was demonstrating a technical point. If you look at the “all influences” there are still variations beyond the constructed trend (in red). One peak in particular looks very likely to be near 1998. If a correction for ENSO was added the match would be tighter.

        But these fine-tuning aspects are out of scope for the exercise.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Anthony Dillon has an excellent piece in OnLine Opinion about what might help to Close the Gap. Great reading and great common sense.

        • Chris Warren says:


          We can eliminate natural variability completely.

          The current trends are well outside the natural variation going back eons.

          This is the general picture:

          There is no possibility that natural variation, unassisted by fossil fuel emissions, could produce CO2 concentrations much over 300 ppm – at any time, and particularly at the present time.

          And there are some who want to increase CO2.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “We can eliminate natural variability completely.”

            Poor, silly ol’ blith denies that atmo CO2 has ever been above current levels.

            Hate to be the bearer of facts but the earth has been above current atmo CO2 levels for possibly 75% of its atmo existence:

            “The historical record indicates that CO2 levels have been significantly higher than they
            are now, being 25 times at 545 Ma, (million years ago) (Veizer. J. et al 2000).
            The killer proof that CO2 does not drive climate is to be found during the Ordovician-
            Silurian (450-420 Ma) and the Jurassic-Cretaceous periods (151-132 Ma), when CO2
            levels were greater than 4000 ppmv (parts per million by volume) and about 2000
            ppmv respectively4.
            If the IPCC theory is correct there should have been runaway greenhouse induced
            global warming during these periods, but instead there was glaciation.
            This unequivocally proves that CO2 does not drive climate, it can only be a minor
            player, swamped by other far more powerful influences.”

            And please enlighten us, blith, as to what caused the hotter previous interglacials.

            You know, when CO2 levels were only ~ 280 ppm?

            Nothing to do with those powerful Nat Var influences?

            About time you took something for that psycho-stress, blith.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Really? We can dismiss natural variability completely! You mean, we know all that needs to be known about climate, though it has only been seriously examined over the last thirty or so years? Even the IPCC says it doesn’t know everything (for example, about the influence of clouds) and that its models do not cover everything. But you, Chris, know we can dismiss natural variability completely. Even the video admits it exists, though the speaker wants to suggest that all the elements of it are in the graphs.

            Wow! is about all anyone could say at such confidence.

          • Chris Warren says:

            Yes Don

            We can dismiss natural variability completely from the recent increase in CO2.

            Previous episodes (prior 400,000 years) were closely associated with Milankovitch cycles and followed the pattern – increased warming caused increased CO2.

            A natural variation of 6C temp appears to have led to a 100 ppm variation in CO2.

            We now have increased CO2 causing rising temperature which contradicts the previous natural pattern.

            Also the current level of CO2 is far and away in excess of natural variations going back hundreds of thousands of years.

            This is clear:

            So with the qualification that we are looking back over 400,000 years then present CO2 trends over 300 cannot be associated with any natural cause.

            It is possible to go further back, but it would be confusing to go back to periods when the sun was 25% fainter and there was no fauna. Such natural circumstances do not obtain today.

          • Chris Warren says:

            “Wow! is about all anyone could say at such confidence.”

            Yes …

            This is the benefit of science – the tool that eliminated smallpox and landed men on the moon.

          • Chris Warren says:

            Tide gauges – properly analysed, seem to show a globally average sea-level rise of 0.2 mm/year but with an acceleration of 0.002.


            This is a 1% acceleration, which is hard to explain based on natural causes.

            If it is based on CO2 then, if CO2 increases – acceleration will increase.

            Volcanoes and sunspots and ENSO cannot explain 1% acceleration in sea-level rise.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “Tide gauges – properly analysed, seem to show a globally average sea-level rise of 0.2 mm/year but with an acceleration of 0.002.”

            But they only SEEM to, hey, blith?

            What would you think, then, might be the margin of error?

            +/- 10 times that?

            Did I miss the sarc tag?

  • margaret says:

    In remote and disadvantaged indigenous communities parents of infants require the support of child health clinics and the incentive of free/nominal charge 3 year old pre-school and then the knowledge that if they ensure their children attend school (and are there well resourced schools accessible?), then at the fulfillment of a level of secondary education their children will receive free/nominal charge TAFE or if academically inclined university courses. Of course it’s utopian and would take several generations to realise. Three year old preschool and support programs for parents of infants is the beginning. And as for utopian, Utopia already exists and should be RE-named Dystopia.

    • Don Aitkin says:


      If this follows your reading of Anthony Dillon why don’t you post your comment there? I think that is what he is saying, at least in part.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Venice’s famous canals have completely dried up after unusual weather.

    Gondolas have been left stranded:

  • Don Aitkin says:

    I have read, and recommend, a most interesting essay by an environmentalist, a woman CEO who found herself trying to support the notion that natural gas was better than coal, and was vilified for her pains. A really good read, without exaggeration or shouting.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Sea levels and acceleration in them is discussed quickly and sensibly here:

  • Don Aitkin says:

    All those who worry about sea-level rise should read the long but most accessible recent Judith Curry essay — and the Comments. You will learn (properly) how the satellites measure sea level, and see that there is abundant evidence both for an acceleration of sea levels and against it. Great stuff. Loads of links and references.

    • Chris Warren says:


      The “Summary” part of your link was inaccurate.

      The cited paper by Ablain et al. (2016) says:

      “In terms of global mean, sea level rise over 1993–2014 amounts to 3.4 ± 0.4 mm/year (e.g., Nerem et al. 2010; Cazenave et al. 2014; Ablain et al. 2015). This value is two times larger than that of the previous decades, suggesting an acceleration of the GMSL rise.”

      It also cites other papers – such as:

      Jevrejeva S, Moore JC, Grinsted A, Woodworth PL (2008) Recent global sea level acceleration started over
      200 years ago? Geophys Res Lett 35:L08715. doi:10.1029/2008GL033611

      Jevrejeva S et al (2014) Trends and acceleration in global and regional sea levels since 1807. Glob Planet
      Change 113:11–22

      So there is a question whether sea levels acceleration started accelerating 200 years ago (1820) and some evidence to boot.

      In essence the question implied in the heading of the post “Sea level rise acceleration (or not): Part IV – Satellite era record” is best answered in the affirmative.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        Chris, you only ever want to talk about the papers that support your position. There are lots that don’t, if you read the essay and Comments closely.

        • Chris Warren says:


          I do not think that I have ever referenced a paper myself. Maybe I did once???

          I have ONLY, or mainly, responded to the various links other people have posted.

          However, if there is a refereed paper that stands out, please cite it explicitly.

          I do not use denialist websites or copy-post stuff from Tamino or SkepticalScience.

          I try to restrict myself to serious refereed sources.

          Where there were claims of deceleration, citing data, I found the quality of work so appalling that I did not bother discussing it further. However, now that you have queried my coverage, it is true you can introduce SL deceleration if you use the old dataset, you linked to 17 Feb – i.e,

          but not if you use their current data set, adjusted for land movement at:

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Chris, you said that you ‘found the quality of work so appalling’ that you did not discuss it further. Could you give an example or two, and why you found the work as bad as you did?

            I haven’t gone into the papers much at all, though I’ve read some for earlier essays on SLR. As with estimates of average global temperature, so much seems to follow from ‘adjustments’. But I would be glad if you would set out some appalling work from anyone at all.

            And Judith Curry has more essays to come in her series.

      • spangled drongo says:

        Blith, instead of trying to count angels on pin heads, simply try putting your head out the window and check what’s been happening locally, in the real world, for the last couple of centuries.

        It’s all there waiting for you.

        And quite easy to assess.

        When you have made yourself capable of assessing that data, get back to us.

        But in the meantime, stop blithering [as in denying the real world].

  • Chris Warren says:


    Re: “… I found the quality of work so appalling that I did not bother discussing it further.”

    Here is an example:

    Why, in 2018, would you end the data series at 2012 !!!!????

    If you go to the cited website and get the 2018 view you get the real picture, ie;

    There is just an irrelevant local short-run dip, that does not represent deceleration. Anyone can fake a claim of deceleration if they deliberately end their data series at 2012. Only a well directed knife could trim so fine.

    This is the same appalling trick as those who try to suggest there has been no cooling since 1998.

    There are other appalling ways of faking a cooling trend for example picking a convenient 20 year or even 15 year time-span instead of 30 years used by reputable commentators.

    Judith Curry is an inveterate practitioner of these two appalling tricks. See for example her “Uncertain temperature trend” in Nature Geoscience v7, p83.

    She makes the stock-standard denialist claim that – “there has been no statistically significant warming since 1998”.

    Her footnote 2 (in support) links to another paper Fyfe J C et. al. (2013) Nature Climate Change vol 3. p.767, which tried to suggest that climate models over-estimated warming but only by cherry-picking a 20 years time span.

    And just to exaggerate further – they then trimmed the time span down to start at 1998 and end at 2012.

    Again, artificially introducing a cooling view by deliberately starting at 1998 is a foul, dirty trick, and selecting a short run of temperatures that includes 1998 is also a foul dirty trick.

    All this is truly appalling.

    Much of what Jo Nova has produced has been debunked by one of the better blogs nominated by Time Magazine “DESmog” (2011)

    and by SkepticalScience.

    • Don Aitkin says:


      You seem to have sent two identical posts. I’ve removed one of them.

      Your response is quite puzzling. Nowhere, for example, is the WUWT post mentioned in Judith Curry’s essay, and no one mentions it in the Comments. Why are you referring to it? You don’t in fact mention anything in the Curry essay, but talk about other things altogether. That is a pointless contribution. And while you say that you don’t use Skeptical Science, you note that it has ‘debunked’ Jo Nova. I think you are referring at the end to DeSmogBlog, which I would call a hatchet operation aimed at anyone thought to be a ‘climate denier’. I would not have thought it provided any useful contribution to the climate issues debates.

      The Curry essay’s themes centre around measurement and attribution (the latter to be addressed, apparently, in a further essay. There are disagreements in the literature between Nerem, Cazenave, Fasullo, Morner and others about how much rise has actually occurred, the adjustments that have been made to deal with the obvious issues of satellite altimetry, and where the rises occur (the oceans are much higher in some areas than in others). What is your take on any or all of this? What you have written is imply irrelevant.

      • Chris Warren says:


        There are different types of appalling work.

        WUWT was one – the 2012 trick.

        WUWT also used incorrect old data not corrected for land movement. Was this naive or a trick?

        Judith Curry uses another – the 1998 trick.

        Fyfe uses yet another – 15 year, 20 year time span.

        The second post only had a third link to validate the respectability of DeSmogBlog.

        It was recognised as one of the 25 best blogs by TIME magazine in 2011, so cannot be categorised as “hatchet job”.


        They note only: “If it sometimes goes too far — as with its jihad against gas fracking — DeSmogBlog is nevertheless a necessary corrective. ” but this is a subjective statement.

        Otherwise and in general, TIME magazine is right – “DeSmogBlog dissects the half truths and outright lies around climate change, acting as an aggregator for smart research and opinion on green issues.”

        However I generally use NASA, NOAA, and CSIRO etc

        The sea level trend is:

        and there are short run periods where you can pick whatever trend takes your fancy.

        But SL rise is over 3mm per year while ever global warming continues.

        • spangled drongo says:

          “But SL rise is over 3mm per year while ever global warming continues.”

          Why then, blith, have all the local east coast tide gauges not measured this SLR?

          Even when they are actually sinking as well and that isn’t taken into account, they still aren’t showing anything like 3mm/y.

          Do a Morner, blith and go outside and look for yourself.

          And give us all a break!!!

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Chris, You are wandering away from the point. This is what you said about the Curry essay and the Comments:

          ‘Where there were claims of deceleration, citing data, I found the quality of work so appalling that I did not bother discussing it further’.

          I asked you to give examples, and what you cited had nothing to do with the essay or the Comments. Did you read the essay and Comments at all? Or am I to infer that actually you couldn’t find any ‘appalling work’ in the essay or Comments, but it worried you, so you found other work you don’t like and talked about that?

          And you don’t seem to notice that problems with SLR at all. For example, you say, at the end of your last comment,
          ‘But SL rise is over 3mm per year while ever global warming continues’. But you mean average global sea-level as measured by satellite altimeters. There is no 3mm/annum sea-level rise in Sydney or anywhere in south-eastern Australia. There is some around Broome, where the tides run at seven metres. Tide gauges simply don’t show what the satellites do, but tide gauges are where people live. Not to even notice this problem robs what you say of any credibility.

          OK, you are a believer, but you put yourself forward as a thinker and a rationalist apparently interested in data and arguments. There is a problem there too.

          And DeSmogBlog is what I said it is, a hatchet site denouncing ‘deniers’. Have you actually looked at it?

  • Chris Warren says:

    While there are hints that sea-level rise is accelerating, so far we may not have an adequate satellite time-series. However there are early indications from the CSIRO:


    • spangled drongo says:

      Blith applauds CSIRO for doing a Tom Karl. Tampering with and further adjusting already-extremely-tampered-with-and-adjusted early data to re-present the “facts” to “refine” their fakery.

      Very 1984.

      If I were you I’d keep quiet about it, blith.

      You know what happened to Tom Karl.

      WOW!!! The desperation is deafening.

      The “science” is sickening.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    You’re repeating what you said before. Where were these claims of deceleration in the JC essay or the comments? Which papers are your referring to? If they were not in either the essay or the Comments, what is the point of bringing them up in this context ?

    Any reader would think that you were referring to the essay or the Comments, or both.

  • Chris Warren says:


    The comments were linked here:

    The link to Curry’s essay is not clear except for the general theme.

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