What’s up with climate deniers like Watts?

Here’s a video from Peter Sinclair’s “Climate Denial Crock of the Week” series. Sinclair is a longtime advocate of environmental awareness. It pokes fun at Anthony Watts, editor of the climate blog “What’s up with that?” and a guru of local right-wing blogger and global warming skeptic Russ Steele. It also shows a NASA scientist addressing climate change:

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

84 thoughts on “What’s up with climate deniers like Watts?”

  1. I figure those who now sit around and raise cain about Government This and That….while they collect their Government pensions, musta at some point sat in the sun TOO long.

    You can throw McClintock and his parade of mis-informed (or just plain out Jugheads) merry, Tea Party Elites in with those who fit the folks mentioned above.

    I think we give the local Tea Baggers, Racists, Climate Deniers, and Far…off the cliff…Right Wingnuts, too much “air time” and wonder out loud if we hurt our own perspectives and interests in the process.

    Surely, mention in a video, in a good or bad light, is publicity they really don’t deserve.

    1. PS: The Video Should Be Required Viewing by every voter — before they get to vote they have to prove they watched it. That should cancel out any possibility of McClintock getting sent back to DC.

      The local school board should make it mandatory, first day back to school after each break, with an update, for all students grade 4 through high school. Sierra College should do the same with the start of each new session, again, with update.

      The best part of the video to me is the statement that “Climate Deniers Keep Telling Each Other..” which gives me hope, as nobody outside their own twisted world view is being smacked over the head with their deep, deep, layers of BS.

      1. What about total sea ice? There are two poles, after all!

        Hmm, nothing unprecedented there either.

  2. Wow, thanks Jeff. That’s the best 9 min 44 seconds I’ve spent in a long time. In fact, I like this so much I’m gonna post it on my blog too.

    It’s hugely ironic, isn’t it, that some part of the oil industry throws lots of money at denying climate change science while some other part (the same part?) is spending billions in the arctic preparing to exploit the disappearance of the ice cap?

    Of course, the denier ideologues are completely immune to the reason and disciplined science expressed in this video. You’d think if they don’t have children of their own, they’d at least worry about ours.

  3. Here’s one thing that has always puzzled me: The climate change deniers and Prop. 23 proponents in our neck of the woods live in one of the most beautiful places in California. It’s a lifestyle choice to be here — certainly not an economic one. You’d think they’d want to fight to protect the Sierra and its foothills, including national treasurers such as Lake Tahoe, from the impacts being discussed. It’s the best asset we have. It’s what makes us unique — and that’s a business proposition too. There are no oil refinery jobs here. There’s also a chance to diversify the economy with “green jobs.” To me, it should be a no brainer.

  4. I posted a more concise summary of the Prop 23 stuff, and a few choice comments about Christian Reconstructionists, on The Union last night under my new monniker of “Mr GoodPhysics.”

    Guess what?

    This morning I am completely locked out of making or viewing any comments anywhere, even as a guest, even after clearing cookies, even after full restart and same clearing and use of two different browsers from normal.

    Now one might think that this is just a “Union Computer Glitch,” but if it doesn’t change soon, I think it will be clear evidence of censorship, with no violations of The Union guidelines. I’ll keep you posted.

    1. Douglas, when I looked at the Union this morning, I couldn’t view any comments either – just a horizontal barber-pole-type pending symbol.

  5. Of interest. After a full clear of all cookies, a reboot, my return to Firefox and The Union still immediately logs me in as one of my socks. Evidently The Union is putting deep tracking mechanisms on you computer than cookies. Wonder what they are? Michael? Would Linux stop them?

      1. Since I’m on a Windows desktop, it doesn’t seem immediately applicatable, but obviously if they are doing this sort of thing with Macs, they must be working on PC’s. I will do some further obvious experiments and research, which I will not describe here just yet.

        Other than tweaking GG with the monnicker, and in such a way that only he would recognize it, there is absolutely no violation of any of The Union’s rules. Again I will post and apologize to The Union, IF the problem disappears on its own.

      2. That’s just the sort of childish behavior that is expected from you, Keach. We can only hope TH has had enough Keachie sockpuppets for a lifetime.

      3. 3:21 pm and still locked out, but I also have made note of Sharon McKibben’s experience which mirrors mine.

        In addition I note that the group comment’s area is not updated past 1 am early Saturday morning. I’m begining to believe it is a megaglitch. haven’t had time to swap to a virgin hard drive yet, or drop by the library.

    1. In my verse, The Union came back to life at 6:04 pm. There is a complete hiatus of comments from the 1:31 am time slot.

      Apparently The Union has found nothing wrong with my comments, even the slightly wicked ones.

      Soory Greg, The Union and TH seem to have adopted a “nerds will be nerds,” attitude towards us.

      Or do you deny that you have at least some of the characteristics of a nerd? And go into nerd denial, as well as global climate change denial?

  6. Actually this video made me feel a little better about things. I was haunted by those images in Al Gore’s film where the rising ocean levels caused by the melting ice cap flooded over San Francisco.

    Our family loves our many trips to the City and I did not really want to see them lost.

    So, with this new data they presented, it appears that most of the ice is already gone and the oceans have not risen that much, so I think San Francisco is going to survive.


  7. While I’ll keep the champagne on ice for the moment, it does sound as if The Union may finally be exerting some adult supervision.

    We are at a crossroads on the Warming issue. The seven decade long solar maximum (sunlight doesn’t appreciably change, but its magnetic field and solar wind changes dramatically over short spans of time), unprecedented for the past 8,000 years, is over. We’re now in a solar minimum, some say similar to the Dalton Minimum, some whispering Maunder.

    The Argo system of robotic submersible buoys, launched to quantify the warming of the oceans, has failed to detect any warming, so we’re left with claims of “warming in the pipeline”, meaning there are gigajoules of energy laying around somewhere on the planet, but the believers don’t know where to find it.

    Debates would be nice, but I don’t know of any significant ones since the Warming proponents took a shellacking in the IntelligenceSquared NYC debate (carried by NPR) that had the alarmists (including RealClimate’s Gavin Schmidt) losing badly to MIT’s Lindzen, Peter Stott and the late and lamented Michael Crichton. Well worth the time, and the science continues to solidify on the skeptic/scoffer side.

    Alarmist director James Cameron (who, like one of us here, actually has a degree in physics) is the latest to back out of a debate deal, and we have famed environmentalist James Lovelock reporting that elite climate scientists are “scared stiff” they’ve gotten it wrong. Instead of real debate, proponents engage in name calling and sit back and make one sided video arguments with the straw men of their choosing.

    But, of course, the problem is big oil. Really?
    “Despite concerns over the risks that governments may retreat from their pledges to deliver emission reductions and continuing uncertainty surrounding the withdrawal of regulatory incentives in key markets, global climate revenues have held up remarkably well and in 2009 stood at $US530bn for listed companies”

    … that’s bn for billion. Big Green incarnate.

    We live in interesting times, and name calling really won’t help advance the issues.

    1. Ah Greg there you go again implying that James Lovelock is somehow supporting your positions (although when you recently stated it on The Union blog you were much more specific about Lovelock questioning climate change) ….how interesting.

      Actually Lovelock said this:


      He does not think climate change is not happening, he thinks we are too dumb to do anything about it.

      Physicist or not I fear he is right.

      As a matter of fact here’s what he says about climate skeptics, “What I like about sceptics is that in good science you need critics that make you think: ‘Crumbs, have I made a mistake here?’ If you don’t have that continuously, you really are up the creek. The good sceptics have done a good service, but some of the mad ones I think have not done anyone any favours. You need sceptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic.”

      So where are you buddy? A solid dose of skepticism is good, mad science is another thing.

      1. Steve,

        Very insightful comments: I will have to consider how this could be applied to the textual criticism that the Bible was subjected to after the Reformation. It could really help folks see where we are at today.

        Of course if what was being challenged was in fact false, then you would expect to see the kind of reaction we are getting today from most of the climatologists, looking like the man behind the curtain in Dorothy’s dream.


        PS: It sure looks like Greg is quoting a whole lot more science here than any of the rest of you. It always amazes me how truth and commonsense are so close together if we pay attention.

      2. John, you want I should burst out singing, “The Elements,” by Tom Lehrer? Or maybe , “The Theory That Jack Built,” from “A Space Child’s Mother Goose?”

        or maybe:

        “Probable Possible my black hen.
        She lays eggs in the relative when.
        She doesn’t lay eggs in the positive now,
        because she’s unable to postulate how.”

      3. No Steve, I’m not implying anything whatsoever about Lovelock’s beliefs about anything. His statement about what senior climate scientists told him is not a reporting of opinion, but his reporting of facts. Senior climate scientists are scared stiff that they got the physics of clouds and aerosols wrong, after denigrating the physicists trying to be heard for the past 20 years.

        Let’s just wait and see what happens when the climatologists finally accept what the physicists are telling them. Lovelock’s metaphysics are interesting, but remain speculative.

        In another blog, I suggested you read the following piece by physicist Nir Shaviv, in three easy reading parts, starting here:
        When you get to the end of page 3, we can talk. If you don’t understand something, just ask for help.

        Where am I? Apparently I’m here, and am the only one here with degrees in physics or engineering. You?

      4. Yes Greg I was calling you on your intellectual arrogance, which is proudly on display here, and at other locales.

        I respect credentialed people. Contrary to some others in the blogosphere, I do not have an inherent distrust of, suspicion of, or hostility toward intellectual pursuits. I do have a propensity to distrust people who are coy about it, or use their credential as a tool to diminish other people’s thoughts, or those who protest too much about their ideas not being accepted because of WHO they are as opposed to the case they make.

        As evidence of your churlishness, “when you get to the end of page 3, we can talk. If you don’t understand something just ask for help”, and “am the only one here with a degree in physics. You?”, and “who, like one of use here actually has a degree in physics”.

        In short, if you are a professional in this field, make the case as a professional, and you will be taken as one. State your credential, and let people know where you are coming from, rather than playing with it.

        So, what is your background and experience? You actually might discover that with most in this audience it might go a long way toward improving the discussion.

        And on Lovelock, you quoted him to support your position over on The Union blog, without making it clear to the readers that he is not a climate denier, that he believes climate change is a serious threat to the planet. That leaves the impression with readers that the founder of the Gaia theory is a climate skeptic, which he is not. Leaving out critical information about the context of someones statements is a form of disinformation. That is what I was objecting to from the beginning.

      5. Steve, you’re cherrypicking Lovelock’s opinions, and ignoring his cited testimony regarding the private opinions of the climate scientists whose public pronouncements are cited as gospel. They are scared stiff they have the physics wrong.

        You might show just a modicum of curiosity about the developments in physics that have led them to that point. It is indeed the physics of clouds and aerosols that convinced me there was good reason to scoff at the state of climate science in early ’07 when I first became aware of the journal articles of the likes of Lindzen, Friis-Christensen, Lindzen, Shaviv, Veizer and others.

        No, I wasn’t more “specific about Lovelock questioning climate change” on The Union blog, it’s interesting you think I was. Please, a quote that supports this interpretation.

        This isn’t “mad science”, and I have no emotional need to be a ‘good skeptic’ in your eyes, or Lovelock’s. In general, a ‘good ‘ tends to be someone who doesn’t rock the boat.

    2. Oh yes, Dalton and Maunder — the last great hopes. So sorry.

      From NASA: “The sun’s internal magnetic dynamo is still operating, and the sunspot cycle is not ‘broken.’ This new result dispells those concerns. The sun’s internal magnetic dynamo is still operating, and the sunspot cycle is not ‘broken.'”

      This is as geeky as I hope to ever get, but this denier crap is like playing slow-pitch. Time to give up, boys.


      1. The “denier crap” isn’t going away. Here’s Dr. Solanki’s talk from last December’s AGU meeting:


        He’s very clear about his Daltonish expectations, and cycle 24 has failed to come roaring in as Romm was hoping when he wrote that 15 months ago.

        Is it really so hard to grasp that the 8000 year grand solar maximum of the latter 20th century was the primary cause of the latter 20th century warming, and cycle 24, which Romm, Hathaway and others were forecasting to be even greater than 23, has petered out to the lowest energy levels of more than a century. There’s no indication it’s about to roar into life.

        Besides, why worry about Maunder or Dalton minimums? Michael Mann and friends made the freezes since the Medieval Warm Period go away, along with the MVP itself. Gone. Nothing to worry about.

      2. Not slow pitch or t-ball, Zane. Physical science.

        Here’s a brand new paper from two scientists at the National Solar Observatory. They’re predicting, if clear trends continue, that the new cycle 24 will have half the sunspots (an indicator of magnetic field strength) of cycle 23, and the sun is on a path to have no sunspots in cycle 25.

        Click to access Livingston-penn-2010.pdf

        So sorry.

      3. It wasn’t so long ago Greg was denying that this sun cycle would ever have ANY spots. I don’t get the sense that scientists are in any position yet to make accurate predictions in regards future sun activity, especially years out. How are we doing on local weather prediction, maybe two days out, and earthquakes, well, shake my bootie!

      4. “It wasn’t so long ago Greg was denying that this sun cycle would ever have ANY spots.”

        That is absolutely FALSE, Keach. A pure figment of your fevered imagination.

      5. Gottat run, but I’ll dig up the posts you made would would, to most reasonable people, imply that those were your beliefs. Frankly I’m beginning to realize that in reality, you have doubts about the sun coming up tomorrow, and you’d bring them up, should I happen to mention that you think it will.

        Yet you’ll blithely believe and promote the scientists who claim likelyhood of far fewer spots this go round, and none next.

        You do have problems…

      6. You do that, Keach. Have fun. If you actually find something you think “implies” this, you might run it by teachers you sub for (assuming you still manage to do this) to get their opinion before posting.

      7. As a retired K12, communty college, and university teacher of 30 plus years of experience, I’ll be happy to check it out with my younger colleagues. in the meantime, you are still endorsing, by bringing it up, sun “weather” predictions 20 years out?

      8. In reaction to GZ’s condescending “so sorry”, citing a grist Alarmist blog page, citing an old quote by Joe Romm, professional activist blogger, regarding some old National Solar Observatory research that suggested, if a new solar model was correct, there would be no “Maunder” style minimum and solar cycle 24 was about to spring to life.

        I then cited brand new research from the National Solar Observatory, published this month and not generated by computer models of the sun but rather actual observations of the real sun, that found a trend that, if continued, would result in 24 being half as energetic as the last cycle, and 25 being distinctly Maunderish.

        I only cite this paper. Folks with adult attention disorder may decide that means I believe to the core of my being that sunspots will be a distant memory in my golden years, but one can only lead the mentally challenged to information, you can’t force them to think.

      9. “It wasn’t so long ago Greg was denying that this sun cycle would ever have ANY spots.”

        That is absolutely FALSE, Keach. A pure figment of your fevered imagination.

        Still waiting for a retraction of this defamation by Doug Keachie of North San Juan.

      10. It’s all pretty tidy citing, but why are your bothering, if you then turn around and disown it as if it were mere puffery?

        Please note, the above statement in no way implies that Greg disowns it completely, but rather he only disowns it as if it were mere puffery. There is a huge difference, at least in Greg’s mind. He may not be disowning it in a thousand other ways, but who am I to say what they may or may not be?

      11. Doug Keachie, I’m not playing games. You’ve made a completely false statement regarding my past writings. It’s either intentional or delusional.

        In either case, it’s defamatory.

      12. While your up, define defamatory, please!

        Is your professional reputation as an engineer or a member of the community in peril? Are you being accused of being in cahoots on this issue with such local lowlifes as Russ Steele and George Rebane?

        You don’t wish to be associated with them? or any of your Danish scientists? My you are a puzzle!

      13. “While your[sic] up, define defamatory, please!”

        I’m sure anyone with 30 years teaching experience can manage this on their own.

        “It wasn’t so long ago Greg was denying that this sun cycle would ever have ANY spots.”

        That is absolutely FALSE, Keach. A pure figment of your fevered imagination.

        Still waiting for a retraction of this defamation by Doug Keachie of North San Juan.

  8. Thank you JeffP for featuring Peter Sinclair’s work (link); I’ve submitted a number of his Crock o’the Weeks to NCTV, where I’m told they *have* aired, and I’ve got a new set to carve up & submit soon.

    Re Anthony Watts, I do have a question for him, but as yet, no answer to the email I sent him a couple days ago, asking it –

    “Are you any relation to Doug Watts of [like-minded PR firm] Russo, Watts and Rollins?”

    Anyone know?

    I know he doesn’t like phone calls, and I know he doesn’t like visitors, but surely he wouldn’t mind answering an email that just asks a simple yes-or-no question…?
    (a Q that could shed light on his contrarian views)

  9. re credibility:

    “We’re talking about planetary life support. If we do not do the due diligence of letting people understand the relative credibility of claimants of truth, then all we do is have a confused public who hears claim and counter-claim.”

    1. Using a metric of “how many papers did they publish in journals that only publish papers that support CO2 positive feedback warming”, Anna’s favorites will always come out on top. Stoos will recognize this circular reasoning as common to all organized religions.

      1. “if it’s true that the world’s scientists are capable of deception and collusion on this scale, a lot more than climate change is in doubt. These same institutions have told us what we know about health and disease, species and ecosystems, energy and biochemistry. If they are corrupt, we have to consider whether any of the knowledge they’ve generated is trustworthy. We could be operating our medical facilities, economies, and technologies on faulty theories. We might not know anything! Here we are hip-deep in postmodernism and it came from the right, not the left academics they hate.”

        -David Roberts

      2. Groupthink takes no deception or collusion whatsoever.

        Conspiracies happen much less often than most people think 😉

      3. “…science has to hang together as a coherent picture. If climate people were seriously wrong about the radiative properties of CO2, then CO2 lasers would not work. And so on through a very, very long list. Conversely, if climate types were seriously wrong about CO2’s radiative properties, laser specialists would look at the climate work and point to the errors and that’d be the end of the wrong climate CO2 work.

        Instead, the [amateurs] take the view that science is story-telling. [that] Laser physicists go along with the climate people because the climate folks are telling a story that the laser folks like, not because there’s any particular evidence in favor of it.”

  10. The issue isn’t about the radiative properties of CO2, and Anna knows this. It *is* about the theorized positive feedbacks involving water vapor that have been found to not exist.

    The computer models have been made to cover the warming of the later 20th century by, in essence, turning up the gain for positive feedbacks which are inherently unstable. So we have predicted runaway warming. If the 1.6W/m2 attributed to CO2 and the positive feedbacks are instead 0.8W/m2 CO2 and 0.8W/m2 for the previously unknown role of galactic cosmic rays in cloud nucleation, then there are no tipping points and barely any measurable temperature increases attributable to CO2. And there are indications that, at times, the GCR have been responsible for at least 2 Watts per square meter.

  11. We can’t do much about the cosmic rays, but we can do something about the CO2, which you have just claimed are responsible for 50% of the warming.

    We can also go for cleaner air. given modern engine technology, not hopelessly dated East German pocket diesels, two engines, one producing less CO2, and both producing the same amount of horse power and torque, etc., the lesser CO2 engine is using less fuel, and by doing so, introduces fewer of the ingredients into the atmosphere needed to create smog and ground level ozone.

    1. No, I didn’t claim that, Keach, though I’m not surprised you couldn’t tell.

      There’s about 340 W/m2 of sunlight that hits the planet. A scenario of 0.8W/m2 for CO2, or less, really doesn’t mean CO2 is a problem or that shutting down fossil fuel use is a good idea, and it would mean that the tipping point claims are null and void.

      1. “If the 1.6W/m2 attributed to CO2 and the positive feedbacks are instead 0.8W/m2 CO2 and 0.8W/m2 for the previously unknown role of galactic cosmic rays in cloud nucleation, then there are no tipping points and barely any measurable temperature increases attributable to CO2. ”

        I’m pretty certain I see a 50 50 split here. Greg says there is not one.

        Seems you are taking the computer models’ words for something, for once.

      2. And if your “iffy’s” are not so (and you again postulate things and then zip then back under the table as if they never existed, if so why waste the bytes expressing them) and your GCR’s are as dated as covenants prohibiting blacks in subdivisions, THEN we do have global warming. If you are going to be iffy, then your stated results are iffy, and not the solid FACTS you like to imbue them with. Own up to that, for once.

      1. hmmm void…
        1. Containing no matter; empty.
        2. Not occupied; unfilled.
        3. Completely lacking; devoid: void of understanding. See Synonyms at empty.
        4. Ineffective; useless.
        5. Having no legal force or validity; null:

        Yes, I think that covers your points, Keach. Rather than dream up fantasy engines and what-if scenarios, please find specific *real* examples if you have serious questions and are not just being your usual harassing self. Reality is more than just a concept.

      2. Maybe we should discuss the County vehicle engines that were deliberately seized by the County of Nevada, and are now being so at auction on BidCal this next month? Would the engine that could have replaced them be my “fantasy” engine?

        How do the two engines stack up?

        Is that real enough for you?

      3. Those engines are still inside vehicles, including a ladder fire truck, a cherry picker truck, and several others….The vehicles go with the engines in the auction, and must be transported out of state. This should really entertain you.

  12. I think I’ll depend on these folks, rather than our local self annointed wunderkind:

    In June 2001, the President announced the Climate Change Research Initiative to augment the long-standing U.S. Global Change Research Program and form the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. NASA is a leader in this interagency effort, along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and others, and provides global environmental observations and scientific research, modeling, assessment, and applications research. NASA also provides input on monitoring for the companion Climate Change Technology Program led by the Department of Energy (DOE). NASA, NOAA, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) provide leadership for the interagency effort to develop the U.S. Integrated Earth Observation System, America’s contribution to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems. Finally, NASA has a key role in the U.S. Oceans Action Plan (the President’s response to the Congressionally chartered U.S. Oceans Commission Report) and the emerging Ocean Research Priorities Plan in partnership with NOAA, NSF, and the U.S. Navy (USN).

    1. Exactly what Eisenhower warned against in his farewell speech. Politically directed science.

      Or, as Lovelock put it, “They’ve employed scientists to tell them what they want to hear.”

      1. Greg, I occasionally find some of your facts useful. But you’re so extraordinarily obnoxious, narcissistic, all knowing, didactic and abrasive that you virtually render yourself completely unpalatable.

      2. Yes, that’s the “it’s not what you said, it’s how you said it” attack.

        Using phrases like “climate denier” is an attempt to stifle dissent, and is not only obnoxious, it cheapens the memory of the Holocaust.

  13. Russ Steele’s worldview is certainly melting. His big thing of late has been to call ALL FIVE reports that blew “Climategate” out of the water a “whitewash.” There could be 500 such reports, though, and he’d probably keep saying what he says. I mean, he rode Climategate harder than Fox News and it all blew up. He just won’t admit it. Or can’t. Or something.

    But then something almost as funny just happened. Bjorn Lomborg, one of Steele’s gurus, jumped ship. He went from denier to holy-crap-we-gotta-move. Why? Lomborg re-reviewed the science. So what does ol’ Russell say, after having once posted Lomborg’s book cover in his must-read column? Now, according to Steele, Lomborg was a “warmer” (the ultimate insult for someone who follows scientific consensus) all along. Never mind that Lomborg had touted himself as a skeptic. Steele is into full-scale revisionism.

    In both these cases, Steele waited awhile before responding to the news. Why? Was he coordinating with someone? It is clear that the word “whitewash” was already in heavy circulation before it became Steele’s mantra.

    As for Anthony Watts, he is a former TV weather guy. Steele gravitates toward those non-climatologists — Watts, Bastardi, etc. Any bets on when or if Steele reaches his own tipping point? Will the science force him to do a Lomborg?

    1. No, Gloria, Lomborg, an economist, has always been clear he believed in CO2 warming. His previous work had led him to conclude the proposed attempts, like Kyoto, were poor uses of the worlds wealth, since all they did was delay the inevitable for a year or so. Better to use that money to fight diseases, develop sources of clean water for the 3rd world, fight hunger. You know, the things ‘progressives’ used to be for.


      I’ve not paid that much attention to Lomborg, since it’s the physics that’s in flux. Lomborg is more tuned to the politics.

      His latest book seems to not be that radically different than previous works, evolutionary, not revolutionary. He’s in the business of selling books, more of the same is hard to market.

      1. OK, semantics are fun sometimes and kind of keep the debate juice flowing. But it’s not hard to call him a former skeptic given he had called himself one in the TITLE OF HIS BOOK (oops). And if you want to extrapolate his former argument — that we should put resources into other things and not freak out over the melting and such — he was without equivocation pooh-poohing the severity of warming. But now he isn’t. Furthermore, he was a darling of the deniers. Now he’s not — he’s just an economist. So now folks like Russ Steele are back to devoting most of their allegiance to weather guys.

    2. http://www.newsweek.com/2010/02/21/book-review-the-lomborg-deception.html

      (“when Friel began checking Lomborg’s sources, “I found problems,” he says. “As an experiment, I looked up one of his footnotes, found that it didn’t support what he said, and then did another, and kept going, finding the same pattern.” He therefore took on the Augean stables undertaking of checking every one of the hundreds of citations in Cool It. Friel’s conclusion, as per his book’s title, is that Lomborg is “a performance artist disguised as an academic.””)

  14. Greg,

    Here is my Sunday comment: The folks on this list seem to have the same problem dealing with your knowledge of science as they do with someone who has actually read and tries to understand the Bible.

    They think you are being arrogant if you suggest that actual science takes some real thinking: I have always enjoyed math and science, but realized long ago that physics was one tough subject! However, I am glad there are some out there who do understand it and hope you have a great day!

    Thanks for all the challenging comments.


  15. John, you just don’t get it do you? It’s not the possession or communication of knowledge that people find arrogant and condescending, it is the insistence on some people’s part that they possess a knowledge that only they, or a select few, can understand and appreciate.

    This is the fundamental flaw of the prosthelityzer.

    I clearly stated that I appreciate education and experience. For every statement Greg has made I am sure one could find someone with equal education and experience to counter it. That’s really not the point.

    The point I was making was that his tone and intent is arrogant, and that is self evident to any nuanced reader.

    1. The “fundamental flaw of the prosthelityzer”? “[T]hey possess a knowledge that only they, or a select few, can understand and appreciate.”?

      No, in the case of the physics of the climate that’s in play, it’s knowledge that most can understand and appreciate. Unless, of course, they run a business that depends on the regulation of CO2 for its profits; in that case, it’s knowledge that they would appreciate being kept under lock and key. Or, better yet, their politics aligns with CO2 regulation and taxation.

      The world’s great ice ages were coincident with periods where the world was bathed in galactic cosmic rays, and the great hothouse periods, including the Permian-Triassic extinction, “the Great Dying”, were when the galactic cosmic ray flux was at a minimum. The temperature of the world’s oceans has varied with GCR flux for at least 540 million years and maybe more, but we don’t have good temperature proxies for the world that existed before visible life evolved.

      Steve, the CO2 machine has worked overtime to suppress lines of inquiry that were contrary to the CO2 story. The best example might be the IPCC reaction in ’96 to Svensmark’s first linking of galactic cosmic rays and cloud cover… he was publicly denounced as being naive and irresponsible by the IPCC chair.

      Now, 14 years later, we are told the scientists manning the great climate science centers are scared stiff they got the physics wrong. Unfortunately, they’ll tell that to one of the world’s environmental icons, but not openly to the world at large… publicly, we just get the IPCC reports that estimate a 90% confidence level that they aren’t just blowing hot air. The debate is over, the science is settled. Not.

    2. Steve,

      Isn’t that kind of like how Anna treats all the poor weathermen?

      How come all the “nuanced readers” can only see arrogance on one side of the debates?


      1. I’m thinking I will get back to Greg someday, but he is such an ass I just don’t have the energy now.

        I am getting tired of shi$heads implying that my organizations positions are motivated by profit. I am with a non-profit because I am motivated by mission, and any money made due to the pursuit of that mission is by law returned to the organization. Its a total cheap shot to be attacking a non-profit for pursuing its mission. I suspect mission is why you are a minister John.

        An attack on my organization is functionally the same as an attack on your religions non-profit status.

        I’m not quite sure what your point is about Anna. Why would you imply that I have some responsibility
        for Anna’s actions? I do not countenance treating anybody with arrogance and contempt. When I notice it, I usually say something. I have come to the defense of many being treated poorly here regardless of position, including both you and Kim Pruitt in the last 10 days. Kim had the good grace to thank me for it in the last week while we were discussing another matter.

      2. Steve,

        Now you know what it is like to have your non-profit beat upon 🙂

        I agree that you are often the voice of reason for some of our discussions and call out the name-calling, but I thought someone needed to defend poor Greg in this one.


      3. I got home late last might and was in too good a mood to deal with this then. Frisch, if you’d spend more time on what is written rather than what you imagine is being implied, you’ll be more able to remain civil.

        Your ‘I’m just a regular guy who reads the paper’ persona at other blogs ignores the fact that you run a corp that earns revenue (is that less threatening to you than “profit”?) based on value created by environmental regulations. No one has claimed or implied you’re pocketing money.

        So, assuming it’s publicly available information, just what would the impact be to SBC revenues if Prop 23 passes? I’m expecting negative, but just what percentage hit would you take over the next two to five years, assuming California stays above 5.5% unemployment.

        For the science, have you bothered to read the piece by Professor Shaviv? It’s written for a general collegiate audience, you should be able to wade through it even if, like Anna, you’ve taken no physics in the past, or any other physical science class inhabited by science majors.

        You don’t have to believe it, but you ought at least to have a superficial understanding of what the informed opposition is based upon.

        Finally, I have been witness to the smug arrogance of scientific know-nothings, sure they have the revealed wisdom of a scientific consensus, since I came out of the warming closet in 2007. The only reason there has not been much of a debate in the open is because opposing views have been beaten down with ugly personal attacks for a good two decades, and it takes a thick skin to buck the tide; however, the attacks are subsiding as belief in catastrophic AGW subsides and the evidence against it continues to accumulate.

      1. Everything in exhaust that contributes to smog in California is already regulated, and this will continue, but then Keach knows this.

    1. Sorry to burst your balloon, but it was just a knowing smile and a barely audible chuckle. Humor works wonders.

      It ain’t about branding, and you and yours would not be casting about for a better name if the message was becoming more believable as time passes, despite billions being spent to bolster the evidence.

      1. The knowing smile … dang it! Should’ve guessed! Bet those come in bulk.

        (Yes, we know. You think your evidence is quality, ours just quantity. Yes, yes. 97 percent is nada. OK).

      2. GZ, the “97%” figure is meaningless, useless except as a means to convince the gullible that AGW is as settled as Newton’s Principia. The actual questions asked to get 97% of a cherrypicked subgroup (less than 100 out of a population of 10,000 earth scientists who were asked for their opinion) were so general that even I would have been in the 97% who agreed.

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